Through these trying times, it's still possible to live your best lives as a family unit. Here's how to stay positive in the time of the coronavirus.
If there was a perfect time for a worldwide group hug, now would be it. Unfortunately, (no) thanks to social distancing rules, it’s just not possible. It seems like only yesterday the coronavirus was in its early stages and that the threat of it coming anywhere near us seemed unlikely. Then the numbers started rising and continue to do so each day. While many of us are lucky enough to have the option of working remotely and staying put at home, other key workers are bravely heading out into the world to keep this virus – and the rest of the country – under control. It’s an anxious time for everyone. Which makes you think, how does one stay positive during the time of the coronavirus?
However, there’s still a silver lining to this very dark time. In this time of crisis, many people are still thinking positive and still trying to live their best lives, despite the coronavirus. Here’s how people are coping during these trying times:
Spending extra time with their loved ones
How many times have we working parents complained that we never get to see our kids enough? Or that you can’t remember the last time your whole family had dinner together? The coronavirus has taken social gatherings out of the equation and introduced social distancing to flatten the curve: parents are now working from home, kids are forced to be homeschooled – basically, everyone’s just staying at home. For parents who don’t get to spend enough quality time with their children or their families, it’s been a godsend. “I’m hoping my kids will one day look back at this period as the time when Mummy and Daddy were around more, when we played games and cuddled up on the sofa to watch movies,” says HoneyKids editor, Amy. “When we baked and cooked and tickled and giggled. When we read and drew and painted and crafted, sang songs and stayed positive. I am doing what I need to do. I am there for my family.”
Getting creative with their parenting
Remember the days when parenting was mostly about limiting screen time and getting our kids to play outdoors? Well, with the coronavirus and lack of options, parents have dug deep and researched their pants off to come up with fun activities to keep their kids busy and brains whirring. They’re trying to find creative ways to get their kids learning, whether it’s through websites, apps or reading books. Some say it has been the perfect opportunity to teach their kids to cook and do more household chores. “Our kids (aged 16, 13, 10, and 9) are learning how to cook and bake,” shares Allison. “Not reheat and assemble, but really cook and bake: pizza with fresh dough, cakes, cookies, homemade hash browns, mac and cheese from scratch. Everything is delicious and they are all so proud of what they create.”
Others are more grateful for their families, like mum Ange. “I have never, ever appreciated my family, my husband and my children more than right now,” she says. “I appreciate my husband for his steady and reassuring words, and I am so grateful for my boys, my two rays of sunshine and energy. They make me laugh, they remind me to continue to be positive and hopeful for their future.” Some are grateful just to be well, alive and with access to healthcare. The global coronavirus situation has encouraged people to re-examine their lives and show gratitude for things they once took for granted – perhaps, for some, it has also provided a wake-up call and a chance to reflect on their lives. “I finally realised I have everything I ever wanted under one roof, and now I actually have time to enjoy it,” shares Marja.
Spending more time outdoors
For all the times we’ve spent avoiding the outdoors and choosing to spend our afternoons at the air-conditioned mall, there has never been a better time to appreciate our wide open spaces and all the adventures we could have. Whether it’s through bike riding, trekking or even just going on nature walks around your neighbourhood, outdoors feels like the only place you can be safely distanced from other people. “Right now, I get to see the sun and actually notice if it’s a nice day in the middle of the day, rather than just first thing in the morning and late at night,” says Yvonne.
Using the extra time to work on special projects
With social gatherings and hanging out in public spaces out of the picture because of the coronavirus, more people are using all this extra time at home to work on special projects, or even indulge in a little self-care to stay positive. People are reviving their long-lost love for Lego and building mini works of art, some are discovering a newfound love for painting and some are even using the time to declutter and get their homes in order. “My sister and I are finally finding the time to start our podcast,” reveals Honeycombers Hong Kong editor Sophie. “Despite her being unable to work right now in New Zealand and me being stuck in a studio apartment in Hong Kong, we’re getting to spend more time together and learn new things in the process.”
Virtually connecting with relatives and friends
More than ever, far-flung family and friends are turning to video calling apps like Zoom, Facebook groups, Google hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime to communicate with their loved ones. And in these stressful times, it is these social connections that help keep us going. Checking up on one another is now the new norm, and despite the distance, people feel more connected than ever to those they hold dear. “My daughter is doing a piece of homework on her family tree,” says HoneyKids mum Dawn. “She’s always on the phone talking to Grandma in Australia about relations who lived before us – it’s both strange and fascinating!”
The coronavirus situation is scary, no doubt about it. But knowing there is still some sunshine through all these dark days – seeing cute animals on our IG feed, clear blue skies and waters in the most polluted places, wonderful stories about the kindness of humans – makes us wonder: could this be the reset we all needed? One thing is for sure: it’s time to bring everyone together (digitally) and rethink our priorities and focus on what truly matters: action, compassion and family. We can do this, people!