Hey, how are you doing? This is super weird, right? Life has really changed abruptly and dramatically in the past couple weeks, as the U.S. tries to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. All adults who can work from home are being asked to do so in entire cities and states where COVID-19 cases are especially high. And with school closures, we're all suddenly spending a lot of time under one roof with our families.
A schedule is essential to keep the household on track, but what a daunting task on top of everything else we're dealing with! Look, you have a lot on your plate now, so rather than totally reinventing the wheel, why not browse through the COVID-19 daily schedules all those annoyingly organized parents have already put together. You can copy them for rote or custom-fit them to meet your family's individual needs!
Having a COVID-19 schedule helps you maintain balance
Jessica McHale's schedule has become pretty much the gold standard and has the seal of approval from the experts — doctors, teachers, you name it! It's brilliant for a number of reasons, but my favorite is the extended bedtime for kids who don't complain about the schedule and follow it to the letter.
Use a chalkboard if you want more freedom to change things
A big theme among these schedules is making time for walks in the morning to get some fresh air and also carving out time for music, arts, and games as well as work. And if rigidity is not your thing, making your daily schedule on a chalkboard or whiteboard gives you the freedom to switch things up when the mood strikes.
Include free time as rewards for following the daily schedule
This teacher-parent makes it clear the two academic periods of the day can be shortened by up to 30 minutes if the kids get their work done, leaving them that time to do whatever they want. Brilliant!
Kids aren't the only ones who need a daily schedule in the time of COVID-19...
Will you follow it? That's up to you — probably not, but it is a good practice just to remind yourself that just because you're working from home doesn't mean you must let work bleed into the hours you spend with loved ones or practicing self-care.
Build sanitation chores into the schedule.
Real talk — it's important to remind yourself and your kids to take time out every day to not only wash hands but make sure the surfaces we come into contact with are clean and sanitized. By having a set period every day where you go around and wipe down door knobs, light switches, and your electronic devices, you will make sure you're keeping your home safe.
Bullet journals are a great way to stay on track, too.
Young students and parents aren't the only ones who need a little organization to get through this. College students finishing their semesters from home and adult workers without kids who are adjusting to that WFH life might want to scribble out a rough schedule to make sure they're allotting time for work or studies, but also for exercise, cooking and eating healthy food, and free time with loved ones. And remember social distancing really means physical distance. Build in time to call a friend or a family member, or schedule a Friday night Netflix Party hang.
Above all else, be realistic
Schedules fall apart, and so do people in crisis. And let's face it... this is a crisis. Be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.