The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly disrupted our daily routines, but it has also had a few positive effects. You’ve probably simplified your life, and you may like what that’s doing for your health and relationships.

For example, several people I’ve talked to have mentioned that they feel closer to their children as a result of complying with coronavirus restrictions.

Many say that they want to stay more engaged in the future. At the same time, they realize this will be challenging as they resume commuting and working long hours away from home.

These discussions were the foundation that led to last week’s blog post where I shared strategies we can use to maximize quality time with family post-COVID.

Looking closer at your own experience, I’m sure that you’ve also found that the pandemic has helped you get back to basics in some ways.

Let’s build on that with these tips for enjoying simple pleasures and doing more with less.

1. Bonding with family

Sheltering under the same roof can be stressful, but it can also strengthen your connections. Appreciate your loved ones and treat them with kindness and respect.

Try these techniques going forwards:

1. Talk more.
Some of the most rewarding conversations you’ll have with your child happen naturally when you’re doing things together. Give them more of your attention and time. A simple strategy is to share what’s happened during the day. We do this over dinner at my home. Everyone takes a turn and shares what we liked during the day, what was challenging, and one life lesson learnt.

2. Share responsibilities.
Chores allow children to contribute to family life and prepare them for adulthood. Build their self-esteem by putting them in charge of an age-appropriate task. One of the best results for me was teaching my sons how to cook. They’re doing it so well now that they’ve practically taken over the kitchen!

3. Resolve conflicts.
You’re bound to disagree sometimes. Agree on house rules and be willing to compromise. Also, allow children to chip in with their version of house rules. Teach them to start taking responsibility for setting and keeping rules from a young age.

4. Have fun. Enjoy each other’s company.
Play board games, do crafts, or complete puzzles. Find a hobby you can work on together or at least in the same room. Set aside one day for movie night each week. Create a home restaurant experience where you cook your favourite meals and ‘eat out’ at home. The possibilities are endless!

2. Staying fit

There are conflicting news sources on exercise and weight gain. Some sources say that overall, people are exercising less and gaining weight. Others say good nutrition and working out are on the rise. Whichever description fits you is really up to you.

You can make wholesome choices with these strategies:

1. Eat healthily.
Cooking at home gives you more control over ingredients and portion sizes. Stock your kitchen with whole foods. Plan your menus and limit snacking. You can also carry leftovers to work for lunch for a wholesome meal and to reduce spending.

2. Head outdoors.
Green spaces lift your spirits and make working out seem less effortful. Go for a walk, jog, or play with your family in your backyard.  Find family-friendly nature parks and trails that are also safe.

3. Design a home gym.
Set aside a space for cardio and strength training if you have some extra space. You can do bodyweight exercises if you have minimal equipment. Alternatively, take an online fitness challenge that suits your needs and available time.

4. Practice self-care.
Safeguard your physical and mental wellbeing. Prioritize sleep, physical activity, and nutrition. Think positive and repeat comforting affirmations. Learn to meditate and use this to create inner calm.

3. Finding your purpose

Dealing with and surviving any hardship provides an opportunity to build character. Use the experience gained from this pandemic to create a more meaningful life.

Consider these ideas:

1. Meditate and pray.
Invest in your spiritual development. Read inspirational texts. Browse online for videos and podcasts that many faith communities are offering. Start a daily meditation practice.

2. Help others.
Shifting your attention to others can help you to keep your troubles in perspective. Identify a charity and find out how to volunteer online and offline. Check with your elderly neighbours to help with their grocery or just to catch up with an occasional phone call.

3. Continue learning.
Make a list of subjects you want to explore for your enrichment, professional advancement, or business growth. Read books and take courses online. See what your local library or nearby colleges have to offer online and offline. Explore courses that are in line with your Purpose.

4. Limit screen time.
Resist the temptation to binge-watch TV shows and movies if your schedule is still dictated by a lockdown or curfew hours. Reduce time spent on social media too. Save your time and energy for activities with a greater payoff.

The end is in sight

You’re probably eager to send your children back to physical school and to spend time with friends freely. On the other hand, the pandemic restrictions may have introduced some positive changes that you’ll want to keep. Simple living makes you happier and healthier even when you have to cut back out of necessity.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Caroline Gikonyo
Caroline Gikonyo

Caroline Gikonyo is a Life and Business Coach at Biashara 360. She's an avid blogger and also oversees our content creation. This ensures that we give our readers quality and well researched information and tips.

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