If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that a year and a half indoors can drive any family crazy. No doubt, having to work from home, do classes over Zoom, and find ways to entertain young children 24/7 can wreak havoc in a household. In fact, a study done by Penn State researchers found that the increase of stressors in 2020—such as anxiety over COVID, financial stress, and lack of interaction with the outside world—led to greater conflict within families.
By now, we know that staying healthy means more than just masking up and washing your hands. Mental health is just as important, and there isn’t a better time to take care of your sanity than during a pandemic! Here are several ways you can keep you and your family healthy and balanced during these uncertain times.
Create a schedule.
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re stuck in quarantine. However, children—especially younger ones—need consistency and predictability. In fact, they thrive with it. For them, schedules not only help in developing good habits, but also becomes a source of comfort. Plot out the things everyone in the house must do within a day, over a span of a week: from doing mundane things like chores and homework, to fun activities like games and screen time. If you work from home, use this as an opportunity to let them know you’ll be blocking off certain periods of the day, and that mom and dad shouldn’t be bothered during these hours unless absolutely important! Place this schedule in an area where everyone can easily see it.
Let’s get physical!
Adults aren’t the only ones who benefit from endorphin-boosting exercise session: studies have shown that for children and adolescents, exercise can help their self-esteem, improve their concentration, reduce depressive symptoms, and help them sleep better. So get off that couch and get moving! If you live within a village, make it part of your schedule to have a 30-minute walk, run, or bike session around the neighborhood. Not much space to move? Play a fun online streaming video, like a dance workout or sports drills for kids. Go online and purchase items like jump ropes, hula hoops, and cones, then hold “contests” to see who can jump, hoop, and do the most shuffles!
Cook as a family.
Drop those bags of potato chips and start eating healthy! No amount of supplemental vitamins will ever make up for natural food, so nourish the family properly with good, healthy dishes. There are many easy-to-follow recipes online, and online shopping makes purchasing ingredients easier than ever. Get the whole family involved by planning out meals together! Involving your kids in the planning—and cooking!—process increases the chances of getting them to try new, healthy food. Added bonus: cooking widens their vocabulary, teaches them how to follow instructions, and engages their senses! If the idea of cooking with the entire family sounds daunting, start out by doing this for one meal a week.
Here’s the reality: if you have young children and work from home, you’re bound to be interrupted during meetings. And that’s okay! This is the time to advocate for yourself, so let your employer and colleagues know that there may be some unexpected interruptions. Business hours get blurred when you’re working from home, so give your boss a heads up that you need to get “off work” at a certain time every day to tend to your family’s needs. Set boundaries within the family, too! Have a conversation with your partner and children about the importance of not being interrupted during work hours. Let them know that less interruptions mean more family time!
Have peace of mind.
Easier said than done, we know—but there are some ways to ease your anxieties about maintaining your family’s health. Choose everyday essential products and services that works just as hard at keeping your family healthy. For instance: did you know there’s a credit card that empowers you to make healthier choices for the family? Signing up with Metrobank’s Femme Signature Visa or Metrobank Platinum Mastercard doesn’t only give you the power to make healthy purchases for the family: it also rewards you with up to Php8,000 worth of health and wellness electronic GCs for a minimum accumulated spend of Php15,000. Cardholders get a one-year access to unlimited telemed consultation for 4 at Medgate, a one-time annual physical exam at Hi-Precision, and free P3,000 worth of health and wellness eGCs at Nike, Owndays, Mercury Drug, Tempur, or other participating merchants. What’s more, you get free AXA daily hospital insurance of up to P120,000 in case of hospital confinement and free access to AXA Rescue Line (ambulance, police, fire and roadside assistance) in case of emergency. Being assured your family is taken cared of will surely reduce your stress, which results in a healthier, happier home!
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