As states lift emergency restrictions put in place over a year ago, and we begin to emerge from this hibernation and get back to “normal,” we may want to recognize that a period of transition, for ourselves and our family members, may be needed. Here are some ideas that may be helpful for parents to consider.
Take Your Time
It’s just about summertime. Take advantage of the opportune timing by embracing a simple, old-fashioned summer complete with cookouts, running through the sprinkler, time at the pool or beach, trips to the library, copious amounts of ice cream, backyard campouts, and whatever else makes summer a joy to you and your family.
Allow your kids time to detox from what was likely way too much time in front of computer screens this school year and the pressures of masks, fear, isolation, and a learning environment that may not have been ideal.
Be Kind to Yourself
Speaking of pressure, you may be surprised after all this time, how challenging socializing and a more hectic day-to-day life seem to be after “staying home” so much. Just like atrophied muscles need to be gradually worked back to full strength, so too do your socializing muscles need time to get back in shape. So, have patience with yourself, give yourself grace, and take baby steps back to being the social butterfly you once were.
Take Lessons With You
There are certainly lessons to be gleaned from what we’ve all been through. Take time to process what they are for you and take them with you into the future. Perhaps your priorities in life have become clearer to you, or your career aspirations have changed, or you’ve been thinking about where you should raise your family. Maybe your understanding of your children’s educational needs has improved. Challenging times like these can provide valuable lessons you’ll want to reflect on and take with you.
The perspective gained after this time may also leave you with a deeper sense of gratitude, or a need to reignite your sense of gratitude. Journaling about the things you’re grateful for each morning or just before you go to bed can have a surprisingly positive impact on your outlook on life.
Any time life takes a turn, it’s an opportunity to view it as a refresh. See this new chapter as a fresh start. When you make a fresh start, you usually want to keep what’s good, clear out what’s not, and step off on the right foot. Let go of whatever weighs you down and enjoy life refreshed.
As the world intermingles more and more, maintain empathy for others and compassion in your heart. Everyone has been through this in their own way and will have different understandings about the best way to move forward, different outlooks on what the future holds, and different senses of fear and hope. Think twice before you pass judgment on others and do your best to be the kind person you want others to be.
Seize the Day
Finally, recognize how precious the time you have is and seize the day. Make the best of your children’s childhood, your time together as a family, and the opportunity to do what you’ve always felt compelled to do. Make the most of each day. Aim for the highest possible vision you can conjure.