South Africa is currently in a 21-day lockdown due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We may feel overwhelmed, scared or uncertain about what lies ahead. We are also adjusting to new working from home (if we can), as well as keeping our kids safe and entertained while having to stay contained.
While we’re all staying at home, working towards flattening the curve of the outbreak to help our healthcare system cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, cabin fever may kick in.
We’ve compiled a list of activities to help you keep the cabin fever at bay while you’re doing your bit to help keep your fellow South Africans safe.
For the adults:
Those of us working from home are not only navigating new ways of doing things, but we also need to look after ourselves mentally and physically during the lockdown. Here are some activities and tips for adults to help you:
1. Stick to your routine while you’re working from home.
Set up space where you can work from home comfortably. Avoid working from the couch and bed (your back, neck and shoulders will thank you.)
- Get up at the same time you would typically do,
- get dressed and then get going.
Remember to also take a break to hydrate and eat. Also, set your “office hours” and try to stick to them to prevent burnout.
2. Stay active.
Whether you do yoga or like to go jogging, you can still stay active while you’re at home. There are many online workout channels and programmes to help keep you in top form. There are many fitness apps out there, or if you have a trainer at the gym, they can also work out some home training schedules for you.
P.S. Here’s a free Yoga class to get started!
3. Tackle those tasks you’ve been putting off around the house.
Once your workday is over, and over weekends, tackle those household or gardening tasks you have been putting off to help you switch off. Maybe you’ve been wanting to hang some family photographs or paint a room. Now’s the time to get started.
4. You can still see your friends, online.
Socialising with friends and family may be what keeps you going. But staying indoors doesn’t mean that you cannot see your friends and loved ones. With the technology available to us, you can always set up some time to braai and chat with your friends online. We recommend apps like Zoom, FaceTime or even WhatsApp video call.
P.S. did you know that some ISPs are increasing your fibre speed from 1 April?
5. Declutter your home.
Whether it’s the linen cupboard, the kitchen or the garage, now’s the time to KonMari your house. Even better if you can get the whole family involved - tackle your house room by room. You can donate items to shelters or hospice as soon as the lockdown lifts.
6. Cure your wanderlust with online tours.
You can still somewhat settle the travel bug, online. Google is offering free virtual tours to over 1 200 museums across the world. Hop on, and join in.
7. Start that hobby you’ve never had time for.
Use this time to take up that hobby you’ve never had the time for. Try out new recipes, bake some bread, read that book you’ve been wanting to, or build that puzzle you haven’t touched since you’ve bought it. There are also free online training resources if you would like to upskill yourself. Try out Coursera or even Massimo Bottura’s cooking classes.
For the kids:
Even though it would have been school holidays now, our kids need entertainment and stimulation while we are all home. Juggling taking care of your children with working from home can be stressful for parents and children alike. We also need to make sure that our kids keep to a routine to help them ease back into school when it starts again.
To make sure our littlies are entrained and stimulated, you can plan out some fun activities:
1. Set up a timetable for each day.
Ask your kids what they would like to do the next, and draw up a timetable. This way, it gives them a sense of autonomy. But do remember to suggest some balance as well with some structured or chosen activities.
Here’s an example of a timetable from justmamma.com:
- Chore time
- The main activity of the day
- Mid-Morning Snack
- Free play
- Naptime / Quiet time
- Outdoor play
- Mid-afternoon snack
- Screen time
- Fitness Fun
- Dinner / BathTime / Bedtime
2. Get the kids to help out with chores.
Of course, chores need to be age-appropriate, but everyone in the house can chip in and do their part. Here are some chore ideas:
- Putting toys and books away every day
- Help to feed pets
- Helping with laundry, like sorting out the clothing
- Making their bed
- Water the plants
- Setting the table for dinner
- Help to prepare lunch or dinner
- Help to pack away the dishes after a meal
- Help to pack away groceries
You can also reward chores with a kind of currency that they can spend on “luxury” snacks (like perhaps chocolate or some crisps) in mom’s tuckshop.
3. Keep learning through play.
There are so many activities that you can do with your kids, it may feel overwhelming. From arts and crafts to sensory play and motor skills, what does one choose? Simply put, ask your kids what they would like to do and set this up as a structured activity. Here are some ideas:
- Making playdough (here’s a recipe and some colour and scent ideas)
- Finger painting
- Baking (from mud pies to actual cookies)
- Teaching how to count or doing match puzzles with items from the pantry like dried beans
- Scavenger hunts (like finding 10 things in the garden, if you have one)
- Helping with gardening
- Building obstacle courses
- Having Lego challenges (timed build challenges, or imagination play)
- Building puzzles
- Solving puzzles
4. Have family activities after dinner
Whether its a movie night, board games, puzzles, or reading, take this time to spend some time as a family enjoying some much needed time together.
Together we can help to flatten the curve and prevent COVID-19 from spreading to our fellow citizens. Stay inside, keep hydrated, and more importantly, stay at home.
While you may have some time on your hands, it may be the perfect time to shop around for car and home insurance.