You're in the middle of dancing to your favorite song when someone changes the music on the station. You can't go back to your favorite song, and the station is no longer playing your kind of music. The new music is not your style at all, and the moves you know won't work with the new beat. When will your favorite songs be available? No one knows.
1. Losing Your Normal
When you were a teen and joking around, changing the station was a prank. You could get back to the music you loved. Perhaps that's the same for you when you first heard of the Coronavirus. It was something happening somewhere else. It was a blip on your radar - one wrong song in your favorite playlist. The truth is now in our faces. The Coronavirus has stolen our normal. It's not our playlist anymore.
2. It's Okay to Be Angry
What started as suggestions of self-isolating, have turned into government regulated rules. It feels like we've got two left feet. We don't know what moves are okay to make, the instructor keeps changing the choreography, and it's hard to keep up. How do you learn new dance moves when the music keeps changing?
Dr. Denise Pope of Challenge Success (https://www.challengesuccess.org) says that kids need P.D.F. - Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time. These will help them process their emotions during this stressful time. During playtime, they can experiment with new norms. Downtime gives them time to think about what's happening or take a mental break. Family time is critical as your kids look to you to let them know that it's okay to be angry at what's happening, that you love them, you're there for them, and together you're going to get through this.
3. A New Groove
You'll find your new groove - something that works with the new music. Once everyone settles into their new roles, responsibilities, and routine -you'll discover that you're dancing a new dance - a dance that makes sense with this new rhythm of life.
How do you find your new groove?
1. Acknowledge that things are different. Don't try to recreate your old life in the new normal.
2. Make a list of the most important things you and your family need to do. (It's probably less than you think.)
3. Create a routine around those important things. Include downtime, playtime, and family time.
4. Write out the routine - try it, adjust it, repeat... until you like your new groove.
What's important to your family? What will your new groove look like?