April 7, 2020 - 8:00am -- lehman.488@osu.edu

During a call this week, a staff member shared that they are struggling with all of the changes that their family is going through.  Older parents who are used to having the days to themselves are now sharing time with individuals who usually are working during the day, children who are usually in school are now it home, and everyone is sharing everything 24/7.  They have a developed a gratitude jar and when someone is tempted to grumble, they write down what they are thankful for and share with others.  I’m sure that many of the readers today have been affected personally and professionally by this silent virus that has changed our world now and forever.  I fear we will experience long-term transition from the changes that we have made, some of them for the better.  I hope that all of us can take time to savor the time and schedule changes, like being able to have meals together, experience more in depth conversations and fun times like taking a hike or playing board games.  I’ve tried to keep a daily journal of some of the details of the day, the impacts from the Governor, and how it has affected my personal work and family.  A very important part of my job is teaching adults, and since most of those classes are held during the evenings and weekends, this has been a definite change in my regular routine.  Learning how to do more things with technology, sharing resources, and being available to “meet” virtually has been an interesting venture, as we are all working from home during this time.  For those of you who might be in the same situation, the following beneficial tips were shared with us, and I want to share them with you for consideration.

  • Establish your routine. Work your normal hours. You can feel discombobulated if you don’t keep your schedule.
  • Your commute may have been a time to decompress. With your commute gone, use that time to take a walk or do something else to let go of work.
  • When your workday is over, turn it off. Do something else. Get away from screens. Do things that can help you recharge. Once you have heard or watched your fill of the news, turn it off.
  • It might be helpful to put on your normal work clothes or choose a style that you want to wear every day.
  • Set up a workstation that is separate from your living space or facing a different direction.
  • Take stretch breaks. Go outside and get fresh air.
  • Take your lunch hour away from your desk. Eat healthy foods at normal mealtimes.
  • You probably aren’t going to be as efficient as usual. This is not the time to be your own worst critic.
  • Spend time with people that you can connect with, but also give your family space to recharge.  

As the weather warms, spending time outside may offer a new work opportunity. Sit on the swing or patio or porch and mindfully enjoy nature as you work.  It may also allow us time to really talk with our families to evaluate what’s a priority in life.  Sometimes we become so busy that our life is controlled by the schedules of other events - how important are they and what’s the long term benefit?  Maybe, during our time with our families, we can reconnect and enjoy the hidden blessings for being together. Maybe there will be additional stressors that we need to acknowledge by putting a plan into place.  Maybe, for this moment in time, we just need to count our blessings and remember what to be grateful for.  The OSU Extension website has many valuable resources that you might want to check out.  I’ll be sharing those in more detail in the coming weeks.  Until then, stay home, stay safe, and savor the moments.

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

 

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