By Brandy Browne
Even introverts may be feeling seriously deprived of social interaction these days. In order to mitigate the spread of supervirus COVID 19, many social gatherings have been cancelled or postponed, and many are staying home for fear of their own safety or for fear of those they love (I, for example, help care for my immune compromised father. I do not wish to give his body one more thing to battle…he has been through enough in the last few years.). Just because you know that it is better to stay in does not mean that you will not have times that are lonely or challenging for your mental health. According to the CDC, these “public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety” (CDC, 2020, retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html).
So, how do we meet our social needs while taking safety precautions? How do we protect the wellbeing of our family in this new normal? One mother I spoke with mentioned that they engage in many family friendly activities, such as movie and game nights, but it is still different, and occasionally, it is hard to get buy in from family that just wants to get out of the house.
I recommend getting creative. I recently authored a book 120 Ways to Celebrate with Your Children All Year Long (see the Amazon link here…only $2.99…https://www.amazon.com/Ways-Celebrate-Your-Children-Year-ebook/dp/B08R8WWMHH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=G1D16BK8SRFL&dchild=1&keywords=120+ways+to+celebrate+with+your+children+all+year+long&qid=1611173897&sprefix=120+ways+to+%2Caps%2C169&sr=8-1), and it outlines 120 ways to bring the fun to your family routine. I spent some time researching several unique holidays and ideas to bond with your family, and I’ll outline five of my favorites below!
5 Ways to Bring the Excitement into Family Nights
- The first Saturday in February is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast day, and I recommend celebrating in style. Hot fudge toppings, sprinkles, whipped cream, the works. It will be completely out of the ordinary, and your children will LOVE you for it!
- April 28th is World Superheroes Day. Don your favorite superhero gear, and play superheroes all day! Bonus points for a superhero movie marathon…
- Play “High, Low, Buffalo” at the dinner table. Everyone shares a high point of their day, a low point, and just something they want to share. This is a great conversation starter!
- Try geocaching together. I had never heard of this until a couple years ago, but there are plenty of free apps to tell you where to go treasure hunting at, and my kids have a blast when we go!
- Have a Minute to Win It game night. Let each person come up with a different challenge for everyone to try…the crazier, the better.
Hopefully, these are some new ideas that your family has not tried yet. There are plenty more ideas in my book, and with three children, I have definitely had to get creative. Please reach out in the comments section, my email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or on the UnStuck facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UnStuck-108043424440195). I’d be glad to chat! Also, please reach out if you are battling mental health issues during this pandemic. This introvert has also struggled at times, and I would be more than happy to talk you through it and brainstorm with you. It takes a village, and I would love to be part of yours. #getunstuck2021
CDC. (2020). Coping with stress. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html