Happy Wednesday Fabbies! Whooooo the world is in a bit of a situation here huh? The Covid-19 virus, better known as the Coronavirus, has called mass hysteria and confusion around the world, with thousands of cases of people getting seriously ill and some even dying from the virus. This has many of us shook and feeling like we got the rug pulled from under us, as businesses and restaurants are closing down, mandatory curfews are put into effect, and the economy is crashing. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone who has been directly affected by the virus, and I pray that we all get through this challenging time quickly and in good health.
Here in Mexico, with each passing day the city where I live, San Miguel de Allende and Mexico as a whole have begun to take more precautions regarding the virus. At first, many people flocked to the stores to get food and I’m sure stock up. Luckily there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of food or supplies like toilet paper or paper towels either. The largest grocery/home store in San Miguel looked like this on a Monday afternoon: March 16, 2020:
A different grocery store here as of two days ago will not allow kids inside of the store. They have to wait outside or you have to take them back home if they’re too young. And if you’re a family that happens to be shopping in the store that day, only one family member is allowed to shop at a time. And they have a greeter at the door there to tell you all of this info, and also is ready to squeeze hand sanitizer in your hand. That way that keeps the stores and aisles virtually empty. Crazy right!
We also just got word that many restaurants and bars are going to be closed indefinitely, similar to what many cities are doing in the United States. They are urging Mexicans to self-quarantine and stay home if possible as of yesterday. As I am a work-from-home-stay-at-home mom, I am used to being home anyway. I am home more than I am anywhere else, and I actually love it! I wanted to write a blog post to offer any tips or advice that my hubby and I use since we work from home AND homeschool our kids, in hopes that it will help many of you parents get through this challenging time while having to be at home indefinitely. Plus I’ll share what I’m eating and cooking over the last few weeks. (Hint: What I always cook hahahaha) (And lets face it even if you don’t have kids, I’m sure there are some things you could use from this blog post too. 🙂
As the Coronvirus has picked up worldwide, I have increased my tea drinking. I already drink tea almost daily, but I’ve increased the cups per day now. A few weeks ago Vito had the beginnings of a runny nose and I made him lemon tea and both kids have been drinking tea every day since. Warm liquids are great for digestion and breaking up mucous, so during this pandemic, tea drinking is essential for me:
I sometimes make homemade ginger tea where I cut up fresh ginger into cubes and put it in boiling water while it cooks on low, then I squeeze a little juice from a lemon or lime in my cup. And if I’m feeling fancy I’ll add a bit of agave. Other times I just get tea from the local markets in Mexico.
Drinking tea is sooooo relaxing and calming for me. I have really grown to love drinking hot tea over the last few years, and because of the wonderful benefits, (specifically any type of herbal tea,) I’m hooked. Sis stock up on some hot tea during this down time. Get several different kinds until you find the one you like, and add your favorite healthy sweetener like agave or honey.
As many of you know Supreme and I homeschool our kids, and have been for basically all of their young 8 and 7 year old lives.
(You can read all about their homeschool lives here.) This means that we are:
AROUND. OUR. KIDS. ALL. DAY.
Whewwwwwwwww chile! Of course this is a blessing and all that jazz, but let’s face it, all parents need a break from time to time! You feel me?
This is why our family incorporates breaks during the day, which come in the form of “Quiet Time” in each of their rooms for a period of time. This period of time depends on what activities were done that morning/early afternoon, but they are at least 45 minutes long.
What does Quiet Time entail? They each go to their own rooms, close the door, and do whatever they want. Sometimes we ask them to meditate on their own at some point while they’re in their quiet time, play with their own toys (quietly), or nap if they want. Vito chooses the nap option sometimes, but Zé rarely naps. I typically set the timer on my iphone for 45 minutes to an hour, and they go to Quiet Time. This time allows both me and Supreme to now have options on what we want to do.
Get some work done uninterrupted? Eat a meal without having to share?! A quick power nap?! The possibilities are endless!
But what this also does is gives the kids a break from being around each other. Being 15 months apart, Zé and Vito are super close and are totally best friends, but if you are around ANYONE all the time, ehhh you might need a break. Am I right? or am I right?! If you have more than one kid you know the that level of aggravation that happens between siblings is enough to drive you crazy! So this Quiet Time allows the both of them to play independently, not aggravate each other, and also gives them a break from having learned/played/whatever that morning and early afternoon.
During this Coronavirus pandemic, Daily “Quiet Time” will be a useful tool in helping you parents stay a bit sane during these coming weeks. Even if your children are toddler-age, you can try and incorporate Quiet Time for them, which of course could be just “nap time” or just them playing quietly in their rooms. Are they gonna come out of their rooms asking “is Quiet Time over now?!” Yes. Yes they will. You can then give them a task to do in their room to keep them busy. (Quiet Time can quickly turn into boredom for kids who are not used to being alone, or who are used to being stimulated by electronic devices during their downtime, so they are going to be looking for something to do.) This could be:
-have them draw a picture of your family
-Organize their toys from smallest to biggest
-Start a puzzle (and when quiet time is over you can maybe help them with the puzzle)
-For your older kids, you can have them write a song then perform it for the family
-have them write a letter to a friend or family member during quiet time
-Encourage them to just “rest” by lying down on their bed. This will sometimes lead to them falling asleep and napping
If your kids share a room, you can designate an area of the house for one of the kids, or they can use your bedroom while you go have a wine/weed break elsewhere. 😉
Quiet Time will most perhaps be a bit of a challenge at first for your kids, as they might be bored or be annoyed that they have to even have “Quiet Time”, but as we explained to Zé and Vito a few years ago, it is so essential for kids to get know themselves outside of their other siblings, their electronic devices, and make discoveries in their own little worlds. Learning to be your own best company can start at any age. 🙂
When it comes to actually having to teach your kids, I know many of you have let out deep sighs like, “aww hell wtf am I supposed to do? Now, lets all take this moment to give cyber hugs, cyber flowers, and love to all the teachers of the world. Because let me tell you, I teach two kids. TWO. And with teaching just my two, lawd sometimes they force me to reach into the depths of my soul to find ultimate patience! So imagine having to teach TWENTY KIDS. Or 25 kids. Or even 30. And! And! These teachers are teaching other people’s kids!! I teach my own kids and am ready to retire some days lmaoooooo! But in all seriousness, teachers have to not only manage teaching and curriculums, taking their work home to grade papers, etc, but teachers also have to often manage emotions of these kids, and sometimes their traumas. Whew. Teachers, you are the real MVPs. For real.
So for the parents who are absolutely NOT teachers, this can be an overwhelming time to now have to be thrown into the fire to continue your kids’ educational schedule. For some of you your kids’ teachers have sent home work for you to to administer to your kids, but for others, you’re kinda left scratching your heads.
And if you’re left scratching your heads and feeling too overwhelmed, it’s okay that the kids have an extended Spring Break. Or early summer. Where they just be kids and nap and eat and play. Or where you casually find the time to google some learning activities at your leisure for your kids to do when you feel the need arises. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to feel like you should be stimulating/teaching/entertaining your kids 24 hours a day during this “Social Distancing” and school closing time. Just change your perspective: Your family is now on a month-long plus vacation where rules are relaxed, both play and rest are encouraged, and there’s no pressure; you can just “be”.
If your extended vacation becomes daunting and you are looking for things to do, I would suggest that you come up with loose schedule for the kids. I say loose because you’re home! Home is the safe haven. Home should be relaxing, especially during times like these. So stay in your pajamas all day if you want, and wake up with a schedule of breakfast, then play, learning, etc. After you establish a routine that is perfect for you and your family you will find that it will make your days flow that much better.
This Self-Quarantine and “Social Distancing” period could also be a time for families to bond! How do families bond? A huge way that families can bond is by making new memories together, and learning together! No matter what age your children are, being introduced to a second language during this time of “Social Distancing” could be not only beneficial, but also so fun! YouTube has lots of fun learning videos for language that would be fun for not only your kids, but for you too!
One of my favorite learning YouTube channels for fun learning videos for kids is Rock N Learn, and their language videos are cool and interactive for all of you! Like literally age 0 to you and your mama age could get into these learning language videos:
Here is a video for learning Spanish: (and there are several different kinds on their YouTube page:)
And here’s one for learning some basics of French:
Add these videos to your weekly or daily schedule and watch you and your kids start to learn a different language. You will be so proud of yourself, and happy to have exposed your children to new language. (And even if you don’t have any kids and are at home alone, please watch one of the videos and see how hooked you quickly become! They’re so fun and interactive! You’ll be well on your way to learning the beginnings of a second language.)
Something else you alone or you and your family could explore is the art of meditation. Do any of you practice meditation? Please share! Sometimes prayer and meditation can be intertwined, as there are so many different types of meditations, methods and practices, but I found a great description of what meditation does for you:
According to www.thebuddhistcentre.com, meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate, new more positive ways of being.
During uncertain times, anxiety levels are UP for many people across the world. Meditation is something that hugely helps with anxiety, because during meditation, as the Buddhist Centre stated, practicing meditation encourages a “calm seeing of the true nature of things”. I think during times like these, having a strong spiritual center will definitely help with all the uncertainty going on. The biggest questions are how do I start? What do I do? How do the kids do it?
Again, YouTube will be your friend during this Social Distancing. It’s such a great learning resource. For the entire family, this video offers a guided meditation, where you (and your littlest family members who can understand directions) get comfortable and listen to everything the teacher says. It’s so relaxing, and you are guided through the whole way:
Here is another video where you get to see a visual description of what it physically looks like for (some) people who meditate. This is just one a short 3-part video for beginners, but it is a wonderful video explaining the basics of meditation.
You and your family could do this together. My family and I sometimes set aside times for all four of us to do yoga & meditate together on the roof of our house. Either Supreme guides the meditation or I do, and we’ve done this for years now. I also meditate by myself before I go to bed. Meditation brings such a calming, centering energy for me. I first started meditating 5 years ago when we lived in Los Angeles, which ironically is when I went from vegetarian to vegan. It was also then that we introduced meditation to our kids. The family mediating together started when they were 2 and 3 years old!
Supreme and I both meditate together just he and I sometimes, but mostly we meditate/stretch and do yoga separately with our own rituals and routines as well. I typically meditate and do yoga before I go to bed in my studio at home mostly, but love to meditate and stretch outdoors as well. For me, meditating brings a sense of peace, is relaxing, and also helps me see myself almost from an outside view. I am able to process my thoughts and feelings that aren’t expressed aloud through meditation.
Since the streets and parks are virtually empty during these times, going for a neighborhood walk or run would be great, and having your kids play outside to get fresh air would be awesome too. If the sun is shining where ever you are in the world, do take advantage of it! 🙂
Creating art or painting together could be something fun for the family to do as well:
So currently and going forward, we are still prayed up and meditating, and cooking good vegan food and making smoothies:
Quick tip: Kep a few packs of fresh white mushrooms and any kind of onion on deck if you can.You can make so many meals using mushrooms! (I say white mushrooms because they are my favorite, but you can use any kind!)
Sauteed mushrooms and onions go good on:
>quinoa (drizzle your favorite sauce on top)
>brown rice (again, add any sauce, ranch, hot sauce, you want)
>on a vegan sausage
>on a vegan burger
>tacos (the mushrooms and onions could actually be the filling for the tacos. Sometimes I’ll even add brown rice:)
During this time of Social Distancing, I hope to stay as centered and healthy as possible. I still detox regularly, and will do a fruit detox soon.
This will entail drinking smoothies and eating fruit for 3 days, to clean my body out of all of these quarantine snacks I’ve been eating hahaha. (I’ve been known to inhale an entire big ass bag of popcorn by myself. Damn you munchies!!)
The year 2020 has proven to be quite a challenge so far, and we are just finishing up month 3. Now more than ever, trying to maintain a positive outlook and have faith that this pandemic will end soon will be vital to your sanity. Because thinking “the worst” or being crippled by fear wreaks havoc on your physical being. You are literally weakening your immune system when you think negative thoughts or are controlled by constant fear. Let us all be the light for each other and take care of our bodies and minds as we move past the COVID-19. We are all much to fabulous to let this virus stop us.
I love you all! Have a wonderful rest of the week and stay safe!