The end of one very strange school week

It’s Friday, but what a strange Friday! I usually wait for Monday, so that I get a few hours to myself to do all my own projects and to just relax. But now all our routines are turned upside-down, and I’m looking forward to the weekend, and perhaps some hours to myself?

I feel like my main job right now is to be the cheerleader of the family, so that everyone will have a good time and not stress too much about the situation that the whole world finds itself in.

So. Now more than ever I try to focus on self-care. I sit in the infrared sauna almost every morning. I do yoga. I meditate and make a gratitude journal as I always do. And above all, I try to just go with the flow and not have any expectations of the day.

I watch opera with my kids if the mood strikes us.

I cook and enjoy the food.

I just lie on the floor if I feel like I need it.

And I try to be there for the kids when they need help with the school work.

I almost don’t say no to any suggestions from the kids. ”Can we have X or Y for dinner?” ”Yes!” (except when they suggest something unhealthy – we really focus on health right now. And those no’s the kids accept without complaining)

”Can I watch Netflix?” ”Yes, go ahead!”

”Do you want to watch Detective Pikachu with me?” ”Absolutely!”

”Do you want to play a video game with me, Mom?” ”Yes!” (although it ended with me falling asleep in front of the computer…!)

And the kids are having the best time! Many of their friends complain about being bored at home – not my kids! We’re going on little mini-adventures each day, with the kids doing presentations on different countries and us cooking some food from that particular country. My daughter does gym sessions for her friends over the computer. My oldest son lives life almost like before (the perks of being a nerd and a gamer!), only with a bit more opera thrown in! My youngest is a bit stressed out over letting down his teacher, but I try to encourage him and explain that nobody expects things to go perfectly in this very unusual situation.

And I’m so grateful that we started a meditation practice before all this happened! The kids have been meditating twice a day now, and do their gratitude journal at night. And every night, the whole family watch ”Gossip Girl” as our new ritual.

It’s strange living in this very mindful bubble, but it’s exactly what I need at the moment with all the horrific news from all over the world. Mindfulness and bunny videos!

   

P.S. I’m so grateful for the kids’ teachers who are doing such a great job! Thank you each and every one of you! <3 It was awesome talking to you all today, and we here at home will do our best to help you with your work!

 

 

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The weirdness that is now

I took these photos just a few days ago, but it might as well have been years – the world has changed so much in so little time.

We’re all at home, all five of us, and so far it is going great. I’m technically an extrovert, but I usually need space to gather my thoughts and relax. And there isn’t much of that at the moment!

So I’m thinking: this is my challenge right now. To find space for myself while living with all these other people. To be able to write and create despite being interrupted. To find calm and happiness amidst all the anxiety.

I need to prioritize self-care at the moment, and I can feel how it is especially important right now! I need to be a good example for the kids, and I can’t be that if I’m not calm and happy. So I need to get my stress levels down, eat good food, enjoy nature, and be mindful and just accept everything as it happens.

I’m stress-crafting a bit at the moment! I watch opera and make flowers and take breaks and help the kids with whatever they need help with. We all meditate and exercise in the morning, and if it wasn’t for the small thingy that is the pandemic life would be pretty sweet.

We have each other, we have a big house and a garden (courtesy of me always wanting to be prepared – I’ve mentally prepared for this ever since the bird flu, when we lived in a small apartment in Copenhagen).

It feels so odd to go outside where nature continues as if nothing has happened.

Weird.

”May you live in interesting times” – an old supposedly Chinese proverb/curse. And these are definitely interesting times!

I try to take one day at a time. I am so grateful for my meditation practice. I am so grateful that my kids have a meditation practice. I am so grateful that my kids value their school and do their homework diligently every day. I am so grateful that I somehow through all this found a love of cooking that just popped out of nothing.

I stand in the kitchen and slice ginger and garlic, and smell the scents wafting through the house. I savor the tomato sauce that has been cooking for an hour, the aroma infused in every little bit of the stew. And the lemon peel that gives a slight after-flavor.

We cook food from different countries each day – Japan, France and Thailand so far. And I send bunny-videos to people, and watch funny stories online.

We’ll get through this, we will, and hopefully all of us will take with us valuable lessons into the unknown future. It’s weird times, folks, and my family are trying to make the best of it!

Go check out:

Kitchen quarantine with Massimo Bottura

He’s a master chef who streams from his kitchen every night – such a wonderful happy family! It lifts our spirits to watch them!

 

And look, dolphins in Venice!:

Dolphins in Venice!

 

 

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What we do when we’re quarantined

How’s everybody doing?

We’re doing fine, and are having fun staying at home – which is essential if you want too keep your stress levels low. That’s one thing that everyone should really focus on right now, try to get the stress levels down through having fun, talking to loved ones over the internet, staying connected.

I do my best to give the kids a fun, everyday life, and so far they have been so motivated and lovely to be around (are these actually my kids?!)

They’ve been doing their schoolwork so well, they’ve even done voluntary assignments! The kids have been doing presentations about different countries, and then we eat food from those countries.

First up, Japan:

My daughter made some lovely sushi – some using salmon, and some just a veggie version for us that are allergic.

We even had ginger and soy sauce and ate with chopsticks! But first we got to listen to her presentation and watch some pictures from Japan.

Such a delicious meal! It’s odd  how now when we have all the time in the world, family life also changes. We prepare dinner for hours instead of just a few minutes. We aren’t in a hurry anywhere, and can just go with the flow and do what we like. Clothing optional! 😀 Apart from that we’ve introduced a new family rule – mediation twice a day instead of only just one time. I always meditate twice, but the kids have so far managed to wriggle out of it, but now they’re sitting still just like the rest of us both morning and evening.

We also do a gratitude journal every evening.

And we have a short workout session in the morning. I usually work out by myself, so it’s no biggie to simply have the kids join in.

Today we watched Carmen while I braided the hair of my youngest. It was definitely relaxing!

I try to take care of myself – I craft while I watch the news, and I try to find some time for writing. Haven’t been able to pick up a book yet, I can’t just seem to concentrate. Luckily my To Be Read-pile at home is quite large!

 

Here are some more online resources:

Räkna med mig – teorifilmer för åk 7-9

If you speak Danish, Randers Regnskov holds daily half-hour talks about an interesting topic.

450 free Ivy League courses

Free classical concerts online

 

There are free meditations, workouts and sleep stories on Calm

 

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