What a Pandemic Can Teach You About Simple Living

woman with red and white polka dot face paint

Do you feel COVID-19 has disrupted your daily routines? Has it created more calm or chaos in your life? Have you improved your health and relationships, or have you seen a decline? If you are anything like me, you have probably simplified your life.

According to one survey by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, 59% of fathers said they feel closer to their children as the result of complying with Covid-19 restrictions. Many of them also told the researchers that they want to stay more engaged in the future but realize that will be challenging when they resume commuting and working long hours.

Is the pandemic helping you to get back to basics? Try these tips for enjoying simple pleasures and doing more with less.

Bonding with Family

group of person eating indoors

Living under the same roof can be stressful in the best of times, but it can also strengthen your connections. Appreciate your loved ones and treat them with kindness and respect.

Try these techniques:

  1. Talk more. Some of the most rewarding conversations you’ll have with your child happen naturally when you’re doing things together. Give them more of your attention and time. For example, I have some of the best conversations with my children when we are playing board games or coloring together.

  2. Share responsibilities. Chores allow children to contribute to family life and prepare them for adulthood. Build their self-esteem by putting them in charge of an age appropriate task. My children all have age appropriate chores assigned to them. For example, one child manages to take out the garbage and recycling to the curb, and the other manages to feed our pets.

  3. Resolve conflicts. You’re bound to disagree sometimes. Agree on house rules and be willing to compromise. Easier said than done, especially when my children are in a heated argument about whose turn it is to play on the X Box.
  4. Have fun. Enjoy each other’s company. Play board games and do crafts. Find a hobby you can work on together or at least in the same room. My boys and I have a new appreciation for playing cards together.

Staying Fit

woman in yellow shirt standing on bridge during daytime

Some news sources say that Americans are exercising less and gaining weight. Others say good nutrition and working out are on the rise. Whichever description fits you is really up to you.

You can make wholesome choices with these strategies:

  1. Eat healthy. Cooking at home gives you more control over ingredients and portion sizes. Stock your kitchen with whole foods. Plan your menus and limit snacking.

  2. Head outdoors. Green spaces lift your spirits and make working out seem less effortful. Go for a run or play catch in your backyard. Research nearby parks and trails where your family can move around and keep a safe distance.

  3. Design a home gym. Set aside a space for cardio and strength training. You can do body weight exercises if you have minimal equipment.

  4. Practice self-care. Safeguard your physical and mental well being. Prioritize sleep, physical activity, and nutrition. Think positive and repeat comforting affirmations.

Finding Your Purpose

woman sitting on seashore

Dealing with any hardship can be an opportunity to build character. Use your extra free time to create a more meaningful life.

Consider these ideas:

  1. Meditate and pray. Invest in your spiritual development. Read inspirational texts. Browse online for videos and podcasts that many faith communities are offering. Start a daily meditation practice.

  2. Help others. Shifting your attention to others can help you to keep your own troubles in perspective. Ask your favorite charity about how to volunteer online. See if your elderly neighbors need groceries or an occasional phone call.

  3. Continue learning. Make a list of subjects you want to explore for your personal enrichment or career advancement. Read books and take courses online. See what your local library has to offer on their website or through curbside services.

  4. Limit screen time. Resist the temptation to binge watch TV shows and movies. Save your time and energy for activities with a greater pay off.

You’re probably eager to send your kids to school and share a meal with friends. On the other hand, the pandemic restrictions may have introduced some positive changes that you’ll want to continue. Simple living makes you happier and healthier even when you start cutting back out of necessity.

How has your life changed with the pandemic restrictions?

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