Lately, I’ve been swamped and feeling the stress. First thing, each morning, I usually write in my journal. For weeks now, I start with, I’m tired. And then stare out my kitchen window. I manage to get a few more words out.
The rest of my thoughts feel paralyzed and static. I’m baked, fried, roasted. Just roll me down a hill and let me stay there — preferably a hill that leads to a quiet beach and a cove insulated from any demands.
For months now, there’s been a steady inner voice telling me to do more. For transparency’s sake, I am the CEO of my private counseling practice, as well as a single mom, poet, cook, bookkeeper, and administrator of everything. Sometimes, it gets to be too much, and I forget to take care of myself.
As a former elementary school teacher, who later became a private tutor for grades K-12, I can assure you there are ways we can be more prepared if our children aren’t able to return to school this fall.
In this article, I focus on the possibility of not having our children return to school in August or September because of COVID-19.
Ask yourself, what worked for you before and what didn’t? Make a list of pros and cons. Reframe the negative aspects the best you can. Our attitude as parents will foster our children’s perspective.
Granted, this last spring wasn’t ideal. Yet, how can we prepare to make it better if we need to repeat another round of ‘homeschooling’ this fall?
I’m huge on being prepared. Probably to the point of being overprepared. So, here are some suggestions. I’d love to hear your ideas too.
Reevaluate your child’s learning area.
I am a licensed mental health counselor in private practice. It’s been a surreal time of regrouping and finding my new normal. Like many, I had hoped by mid-April I’d be back to my office.
However, it looks like social distancing will be in place much longer.
During the last few weeks I’ve been offering telehealth options. In addition, I’ve been thinking more about what works for me, and perhaps how it can help you as we all adapt to the changes.
Managing space, schedules and routines
Give each other space. Some people who are introverted and highly sensitive might be overwhelmed by the amount of increased socializing with everyone home. On the other hand, extroverted people might need more attention.
This disparity can be frustrating for both. Identifying your needs and sharing them with your family members will help. Honoring and respecting our differences is quite the art of putting love into action.
Personally, as an INFP, and a highly sensitive person, I’m slowly leaning towards at least an hour or two each day where I’m off limits to everyone!
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."