How Getting Back to Basics Can Help Us Cope With Uncertainty
The word “uncertainty” is the perfect way to describe the current state of our country and the world. We are living in uncertain, unstable, and scary times. The number of cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the deaths contributed to it are rising every day.
Cope with Uncertainty
The government on both national and statewide levels have started to enforce restrictions in order to slow the spread of this virus so medical professionals can keep up. Many schools across the country are closed in addition to stores and restaurants. In some states, it’s recommended that you completely socially isolate yourself from others, or at least remain six feet apart to avoid contracting the illness.
While these times are scary, the brunt of this pandemic has fallen during a time when most kids and even parents are usually on spring break, and because of the pandemic, that “break” is much longer than usual. If you find yourself stuck at home, you might be dealing with more than just boredom. You might be wondering how you’re going to cope with the uncertainty of the world around you.
Thankfully, you can do just that from the comfort and safety of your home while inspiring your children to do the same. Finding peace and serenity in trying times doesn’t take a lot of money or external resources. Getting back to the basics is the key to coping with the shakiness of the world, and it can also be a great way to reconnect with your family.
Getting Your Hands in the Dirt
When you think about getting back to the basics, it’s important to determine what motivates you. In times like these, when you look at your kids, you can probably find the answer. So why not take it upon yourself to make sure your children understand the importance of respecting nature, growing their own food, and getting their hands dirty?
One outdoor activity you can do together over spring break is to plant a garden. Teaching your kids about the importance of farmers, organic practices, and growing their own food can help them develop an appreciation for where that food comes from.
Starting a garden doesn’t have to be a difficult task, especially if you follow these tips:
- Pick the right location with plenty of sunlight
- Create your garden (try a raised bed if you’re planting vegetables)
- Make sure your garden has access to water
- Use fertile soil
- Utilize the right tools
- Have patience
You can let your kids pick out the different herbs, vegetables, or flowers they want to add to the garden. This will help get them interested and motivated to take care of it each day.
Try Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning might not be anything new, but when you’re trying to get back to basics, you might want to consider taking it to the next level. The practice of minimalism has grown in popularity over the last few years and touts benefits including helping to clear your mind, reducing stress, and promoting better health.
The idea of minimalism is to “own” only what you need. It’s easy for a house to feel cluttered and disorganized, and getting rid of some of your excess stuff can feel like a weight off of your shoulders.
Even if you don’t want to practice minimalism, this is the perfect time to go through your house and decide what you don’t need or want. In the U.S., 21 billion pounds of textiles/clothes end up in landfills each year. So, instead of throwing clothes away, use the opportunity to donate them to your local thrift store or food bank. Donating is just one way to make a difference. Unfortunately, only about 10-15% of donated clothing is actually used in the secondhand market.
You can try selling your clothes yourself if they’re in good shape or commit to buying fewer new items. Instead, shop at thrift stores more frequently. When you do buy new items, support companies that use ethical and sustainable practices in their manufacturing so your clothing will last longer, and you won’t have to get rid of it as quickly.
If you just want to get your home more organized, utilize storage space that you already have, and create more by using bins or lockers. These can help you in every room of the house from the bathroom to the kitchen. When things are more organized and feel less hectic, it’s easier to feel calm and centered during uncertain times.
Working On Yourself and Your Skills
If you’re stuck indoors, one of the best ways to cope with uncertainty is to live in the moment. Mindfulness is more than just a psychology buzzword. It’s a great way to take a break from the negative news around you and focus on the present. Meditation and mindfulness have many benefits:
- Stress relief
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved sleep
Mindfulness can also help to improve your mental health and reduce anxiety and depression. Working on this skill by practicing it every day can help you to feel a sense of gratitude rather than a sense of worry. Knowing you have a roof over your head, a healthy body, and your family with you can make you realize how lucky you truly are instead of focusing on all of the negative things going on in the world.
Finally, use this opportunity to teach your children new skills that can help them get back to basics. Don’t let them spend every waking hour on their iPhones. If you have teenagers in the house, you can teach them how to start applying for jobs or to write a resume that will get noticed even if they don’t have experience. If you have younger children, you can teach them how learning can be applied to everyday things like using math in cooking or science as you explore your backyard.
Even though these are times of uncertainty, they are also unique times that give everyone a chance to reconnect with their families. Go back to basics with your whole family, and the spread of panic and uncertainty will not feel so overwhelming.