How's your new 'normal' at home going?
If you're at home with kids, no doubt your weekend routine now looks vastly different with organised sport and social gatherings momentarily on hold. Even the iconic backyard barbie with neighbours, family and friends is on hold for the time being!
Routines and rules around screen time might also be different during these extraordinary times and it's important not to judge yourself (we don't need any more layers of guilt!) or other people for individual choices and resources they may choose to use to help them get through the daily grind, as we all watch and wait for things to continue to unfold.
If you have a teenager, you will know how connected they are to social circles through their phone and limiting this will cut them off from friends during what is no doubt a difficult time for them also. In saying that, it's always a good idea to encourage some time off screens. Younger children might also be using online platforms (under close adult supervision of course!) to be entertained and to keep in touch with their friends, if they want to call for a chat or FaceTime.
IPads and iPhones are also just as essential for us 'big kids' to check in on our own elderly loved ones who, during this current period of self-isolation, we are unable to visit.
However, despite all of that, let's not make screens our automatic default. But rather, let's balance the day with frequent face to face communication with the whole family over a regular meal or two around the table and take some time to encourage some physical exercise outdoors to get those much-needed endorphins going.
Like everything in life... all in moderation. Kids need boundaries, framework and rules to guide them - even the bigger kids crave it!
So, make sure in amongst the daily angst you are all no doubt experiencing, don't be scared to be 'that parent' (i.e. the naggin' dragon - that's our job!) to force your whole family to schedule time in every day to enjoy screen-free activities. Let's all try and ditch some screen time every day for some green time!
Outdoor activity ideas
We've collated just a few ideas below to help get your started, just in case you'd forgotten what a life without a screen looks like.
And the best bit? A life spent in the great outdoors in your own backyard is so affordable! There's nothing extravagant about hide and seek, a game of chase, or British Bull dogs (especially if you have a household full of testosterone fuelled teenage boys!).
Depending on the age of your children, or your own personal interests, you might enjoy:
- compulsory morning backyard boot camp
- join the ''chalk drawing on the footpath'' craze
- set up your own home-made gym (outdoors or garage) create a Zen yoga space for family mediation or go it solo for some quiet time
- backyard cricket match with your wheelie bin as the wickets footy game/drills/handball/kicking practice
- game of home-made quoits totem tennis
- fly a kite
- read a book, or if you are having trouble with concentration span, flick through the pages of a magazine
- arm wrestle championships
- running races
- a walk through some local bushland
- bike ride on one of the local trails
- walk the dog
- play some old-fashion board games,
- game of cards
- camp kitchen cooking
- bonfire to toast marshmallows
- build a cubby with every pillow/chair in the house
- plant a veggie garden (with seeds/pips from food scraps)
- colouring books or puzzles (great for mindfulness)!
- shift the dining room table out on the grass for the evening meal
- relocate the lounge suite/beanbags and doonas and set up an outdoor cinema under the stars - for a refreshing change in scenery
- stargazing - name all the stars and the planets (there are fantastic apps for this)
- what about a picnic lunch/backyard barbie (without extended family or friends!)
- a morning tea party on that family picnic rug you crawled on and took your first steps across
- chill-out, laying on top of your lawn to watch the clouds and listen to your favourite playlist
- lawn bowls
- write or revisit your bucket list (goals to achieve within the next 12 months/five years/10 years) ... it's always good to look forward
Or - if your place is anything like ours - prepare and allocate a job list to every family member to tackle each day! We need to stay on task to ensure there is some sort of normality.
Whatever your passion, do whatever it is that gets you outdoors in the front or back yard to soak up some of those essential rays to get your daily dose of Vitamin D and let your brain enjoy some down time away from the addictive dizziness of 'screen scrolling' and get back to the basics.
It's not all bad news...
Take this forced moment of time to #stayathome as a gift. A gift of time. To resist the FOMO (fear of missing out) - because the only thing you are missing out on is contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. Take charge of your own destiny without worrying about what the Joneses are doing - this is your time - whatever that looks like, to reboot, reflect and reassess your own family's shared value system. Check in on what's important to you and your family and how you want the next chapter of your lives to look when the freedom to choose 'what you want to do, when you want to do it' returns. We're pretty sure none of us will ever take that privilege for granted ever again. Who would ever have dreamed so many basic freedoms like entertaining friends in the backyard would dissolve so quickly?
With many Victorian beaches and public parks starting to close, the sanctuary and usability of your own backyard is going to be more important now than ever before. Contrary to recent land development trends, where back yards have been getting smaller and the local park in some suburbs has in fact been replacing residential home yards – people are now having to spend more time re-thinking how they quickly improve their own backyard space to enhance its functionality and to make the best use of their own private patch to entertain, educate, centre and calm their families and their minds as the nation collectively navigates this next uncertain pandemic chapter.
If you have a backyard that is filled with bare dirt, patchy lawn or full of bindies, prickles and weeds, you might be wondering how you are going to cope with your family under one roof for a prolonged period of time.
Repairing or replacing your lawn could be the quickest, cheapest and easiest investment you ever made... for everyone's sake!
Keen for a new lawn?
Call the Coolabah Turf delivery hotline today and get the kids onboard in the backyard to help with hand weeding or fertilising your lawn - or if they're old enough - give them an opportunity to actually mow the lawn! They will love it! (even though they might whinge about it at the time!). Let's up-skill our next generation and give them some responsibility and a reason to ditch screen time for green time by enabling them to make valuable contributions to the family.
If you need a new lawn - call us today to arrange a contactless home delivery. You can call our Coolabah HQ 1800 055 515 or jump online and order via our lawn shop here.
Or, if you just need some lawn care advice to repair or improve an existing turf landscape area, call us on 1800 055 515 or jump online here and order some of our aftercare products to help do the job.
In the meantime, we'd love you to share what you have been doing in your new routine of home isolation to ensure everyone is staying calm and contented.
The CoolTurf Team