So, here we are, Dear Reader, in a New Normal. Mine is quite silent, with no human interaction for about twelve hours a day. I had already become accustomed to that with our job changes this year, and I mostly love it. Especially since I knew I could always pop into my car and go find someone for lunch or chatting. Not today, though. Probably not this month. Maybe not this spring.

You may be equally housebound with the addition of restless children who need to be fed three times a day and semi-educated – all while you are learning to Work-from-Home in a corner of the kitchen. Whew. We are about to prove ourselves resilient, are we not?

So, here are my suggestions for little breaks we can take throughout the long days and dark nights. These worked well for me pre-isolation. I think they are golden now. Scatter them through the day at scheduled times so you and the children in your care know they are coming. Just take ten minutes and give yourself a break.

  1. Move Your Body – March around the kitchen island. Lift canned veggies as weights. Turn on music and dance like no one is watching. Put on old socks and skate on hardwood floors. Stretch every part of your body. Do Yoga with an online instructor. Practice your balance by standing on one leg at a time. (If you do three of these during the day, you have gotten thirty minutes of exercise. Go, you!)
  2. Breath Fresh Air – (Combines nicely with #1) Walk to the corner and post a letter. Pick up sticks from the lawn. Stand on the balcony and watch the sun rise or set. Swing. Open a window and let the curtains blow.Our Swedish friends tell us there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. So even on a drizzly day, get your boots and umbrella and splash around the block.
  3. Snack – Monotony creates such an appetite! Save a few calories every day for scattered snacks. You know the best ones are nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. But a bit of chocolate here and there can save the day. Not to mention popcorn! (Best eaten from paper lunch bags in front of Netflix. I’m just sayin’)
  4. Read and Snuggle – This is one activity. If you are alone, snuggle with a blanket (or a stuffed animal. I won’t tell) Snuggle with a pet. With a child. With your spouse. This is best done as read-aloud time. Such a perfect time to read a book together. Try Narnia, or the Psalms, or an Old Testament book such as Ruth. Read poetry. If you are adults, read some picture books.
  5. Pray – If this isn’t a regular practice for you, now would be a good time to start. Here is an easy way: Write down the name of each person you love. Then pray this blessing from the Bible, “May the Lord bless and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He lift up His countenance upon you and grant you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

That is my prayer for you, Dear Reader, as we walk through these most-interesting days.