You hear the word “quarantine” and you automatically think of the long list of things we are not allowed to do these days. But maybe you should instead think about all the opportunities this slower lifestyle offers… Here are all our tips and advice to make the best of this strange time!
" I do not have time ". Certainly the phrase that stuck with us the most. Instead of sitting around worrying about coronavirus or feeling lonely, use your free time to learn new skills, pamper yourself, and reconnect with what makes you happy. It's called downtime for a reason.
If some of you use this time to rest, to let go, others would like to make this time available. Don't see this list as some kind of pressure. Indeed, most people would like to take this opportunity to make the most of this weather. But the harder you push, the more creativity escapes, especially when you're under pressure. And we know that the most creative moments are often unexpected.
Create to escape. To live in reality. To come true. It's not necessarily about doing beautiful things, but simply about doing things. Creation is everywhere. Every moment. Cooking, writing, dancing... that's creating.
The question is how to optimize your creative sense. The ideal is to create an inspiration board . You can write down all the ideas that come to mind and use them as you go, at your own pace, when you feel like it. Of course, some ideas will be relevant while others will not.
See this article for inspiration if you're stuck for ideas of things to do to help you get through this tough time with your sanity intact.
1. Well-being - meditation
Meditation is one of the best things you can do right now to relieve stress and improve your well-being. From this practice that reactivates our energy, relaxes our muscles and frees our mind. 🍃
There are meditation techniques for beginners that will allow you to achieve more calm, serenity, peace, wholeness, but at your own pace. For the moment only the improvements and the well-being that you feel during the practice must count, it is already a lot. All you have to do is settle into a comfortable position, focus on your breathing or on a concept of your choice. Then just study the object of your attention in all its aspects, without however losing sight of it by letting yourself be carried away by the flow of thoughts. This simple meditation will train your mind to stay focused. You will see your ability improve and you will reach deeper states of consciousness by simple regular practice. If you have a child at home, this will allow you to be much less stressed.
As we know, the life of a mother or a pregnant woman can be extremely stressful. And, as we also know, meditation helps free us from the stress of everyday life. Take this little time every day to close your eyes and breathe mindfully. This little time just for you.
If you are pregnant, know that meditation can strengthen the bond with your child. Thanks to this calm and this bubble that you create, you will better manage to feel the presence of your baby, and thus communication and positive emotions will be all the more easy to transmit.
Stress can have many unsuspected impacts on the pregnant woman and her child. It has been proven that women who face a large dose of stress during pregnancy are more likely to experience premature labor or give birth to an underweight baby. Meditation helps women reach term in the healthiest way possible. Indeed, because of the intimate bond that exists between the fetus and the mother, the stress is direct. It can have an impact on the fetus and more particularly on its development. Thus, according to several studies, too high a level of stress during pregnancy can alter the physical, emotional and cognitive development of the baby. Meditation is the best way to relax and manage all the daily emotions that overwhelm us.
We have unearthed 10 short videos that will help you in your beginnings to meditation. To go further, after this little meditation session, why not practice a complementary sport like yoga? Stretch, do breathing exercises to relieve stress, then learn popular yoga postures through regular sequences. Your body will thank you!
2. Write in a journal
You are living through a major historical event today that people will study later, and talk about for generations after this is all over. Writing a journal about your feelings, daily emotions, impressions, and cravings will not only help you preserve your memories, but will also help you process your feelings about that precious time that feels endless.
We all like to complain about confinement, but there are people for whom this period is more difficult to manage. You might consider keeping a gratitude journal and writing down all those little things in life that you feel grateful for. This will allow you to put things into perspective and realize how lucky you are.
3. Read books
The antidote for all the grim news you've been reading lately? An ebook on happiness, success, self-help, or another positive topic. Of course, romance or science fiction novels count too!
When was the last time you took the time to read a book, or a long article in your favorite magazine? Do your reading habits revolve more around Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? If you're one of the many people who aren't in the habit of reading every day, you're missing out on a lot of benefits: reading can be an effective and useful way to vary activities at home. Like meditation, it not only reduces stress and calms the mind, but also stimulates the brain and contributes to the development of vocabulary and the improvement of writing: the more you read, the more you discover new words, the more likely it is to use them in everyday language. Expressing oneself eloquently and precisely is a valuable professional asset. Being able to communicate with superiors with confidence is a great way to improve your self-esteem. Reading also has a beneficial effect on learning a foreign language. Reading a book in another language allows you to see words used in context. It improves both writing and speaking.
We know it's hard to keep a healthy pace when our days aren't structured the way we used to. Taking a break from screens and starting to read will help you sleep better.
Several studies indicate that mental stimulation can slow the progression (and perhaps even stop it completely) of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The reason is simple: keeping your brain active prevents it from losing its abilities. Like all other muscles in the body, the brain needs exercise to stay strong and healthy. In this case, reading improves memory, analytical capacity and concentration because it requires remembering a multitude of information: the characters, their past, their intentions, their experiences, then the nuances, and all the secondary actions that intertwine with the main action. When we read a book, all our attention is directed towards the plot of the book. It's as if the rest of the world dissolves and you can completely dive into the details of the narrative.
For our future mothers, or those who tend to become, here are some books that we loved. It's a gift.
I am expecting a child by Laurence Pernoud
It is a complete and reassuring bible which accompanies you from the start of pregnancy to the first weeks after birth ( I'm raising my child by the same author can take over afterwards), by addressing the psychological upheavals that pregnancy entails, the questions food, health or even the month-by-month evolution of the baby before birth.
- breastfeeding by Marie Thirion
To breastfeed, not to breastfeed? The question arises from the first weeks of pregnancy. To get the best information on the subject, rely on the reference on the subject, signed by a maternity pediatrician with twenty-five years' experience, who effectively responds to the concerns of future mothers.
Preparing for birth by Francine Chenelot
A very good childbirth preparation book rich in anatomical descriptions to get to know your body better and which details the positions to adopt from the first contractions to the last push. The CD that accompanies the book is dedicated to sophrology and offers four relaxation sessions to prepare at home for the arrival of the baby.
The best way to eat while expecting a baby by Laetitia Agullo
Edited by Thierry Souccar, the Zorro of nutrition, and written by dietician, nutritionist and naturopath Laetitia Agullo, this book details the best diet to adopt from pre-conception to childbirth. Ultra complete, it sifts through the foods and specifies which ones to favor and which ones to avoid to fight nausea, control weight gain, optimize your health and that of your baby, in short, live your pregnancy in top shape. The fact remains that, like its successor Eating well for 9 months , it is no longer marketed: to unearth second-hand therefore.
Well-being and motherhood by Bernadette de Gasquet
Physician and yoga teacher, Bernadette de Gasquet has been shaking up obstetrics since the 1990s with her “Gasquet method” – combining traditional knowledge and modern medicine – and her famous hobbyhorses: freedom of position during childbirth and gentle perineum.
Well-Being and Maternity offers young and future mothers exercises borrowed from yoga and advice that is as pragmatic as it is useful.
Everything is decided before 6 years old by Fitzhugh Dodson
Why is my son still not walking? What toys to choose for him? Can I teach him to read? We don't automatically have the wisdom and the efficiency necessary for the art of parenting. It is a profession that is learned “on the job”. However, to avoid making mistakes, it is useful to know well the path that all children follow until their complete development. For Doctor Dodson, "everything" is decided before the age of six. It is therefore important to help the child without coercing or forcing him to make the best use of his abilities and his personality. In this guide, he shares his experience as a parent and psychologist with great warmth and tenderness.
- Baby, tell me who you are of Philippe Grandsenne
The arrival of a newborn takes his parents on an adventure full of unexpected events. Far from theories and preconceived ideas, this book, written by a pediatrician, has only one ambition: to help parents watch their baby live in order to understand him as he is.
4. Listen to podcasts
Podcasts — audio programs you listen to through your phone — are one of the best ways to educate yourself in your spare time. With topics ranging from comedy to history to fictional drama, there's something for everyone. You will be amazed at how quickly time flies when listening to a compelling story.
Out of inspiration? Here are some leads…
- “In your best shape” by Lisa Salis who is a nutritionist and reflexologist.
She shares her best nutrition advice with simplicity and good humor. Her podcast simplifies and makes nutrition interesting, even for the most novice or the laziest in the kitchen. She takes care of dissecting the true from the false, always explaining in a simple way and sharing her best advice with you. His goal: to teach you to listen to your body and push you to take control of your health!
“Le Gratin” by Pauline Laigneau.
Through her podcast, Pauline seeks to demonstrate that anything is possible. She questions those who have succeeded because they believed in it and encourages us to do the same. She digs to understand the journey and the obstacles encountered before reaching their goal.
“La Poudre” by Lauren Bastide.
Lauren Bastide's podcast highlights personalities brilliantly chosen to discuss the place of women in society. Between glamorous and exciting subjects, we let ourselves be carried away by the debate.
“ Generation XX ”.
Throughout the stories, inspiring women tell us about their project and how they carried it out. These women with strong personalities share their experience with us. We note their valuable advice to give yourself the means to succeed and live from your passion.
Does your child take up a lot of your time and you don't have a single minute to yourself? Why not do the same with them? This may provide an opportunity for a new ritual or rendezvous between you and the children. Podcasts also make it possible to offer help in the event of a “difficult” moment to manage, or even as an alternative to the little evening story.
Having become very fashionable and increasingly consumed by adults, podcasts are also gaining ground among children, from an early age. Far from being just a fad, podcasts for children are a real positive resource, appreciated by children!
Their benefits are numerous:
- Keep children away from screens
- Encourage dialogue: it turns out that children have a strong tendency to comment on what they have just heard and to ask questions at the end of the podcast
- Encourage imagination and make active: unlike screens, podcasts that do not involve visuals encourage children to imagine the scenes that are counted to them and thus have an active consumption of the media
In fact, following a study conducted by Kids Listen, an American association which widely supports the use of quality audio content for children, it was revealed that children have a great capacity for attention and commitment (unlike the common belief which tends to say that children no longer know how to concentrate and be active because of screens). In other words, well solicited, the brain of your little ones is still as strong and capable as that of previous generations, if indeed it is not enslaved by the screens.
80% of children who listen to podcasts listen to them more than once (and 20% even listen to them at least 10 times);
Children prefer “long” podcasts of 15 to 20 minutes, or even longer than 30 minutes; 73% of children listen to podcasts at home and 53% of them listen to them in a group (whether with family or friends).
Here are some podcasts for children under 3 to discover without delay:
- munki (from 0 to 8 years old)
- dream blower (from 3 to 9 years old) to discover pretty stories
- Feet on the ground & head in the clouds to learn about meditation together and enjoy a break, a moment of calm during the day
- Bloom also nicknamed the "children's radio" with a mix of stories, songs, reports, and games
- The famous tales of Henri Des ( Tom Thumb, The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks … ) and by Alain Royer ( The Little Mermaid, Tom Thumb, Cinderella … ) are also available to listen to on iTunes in particular
- Sybel : which is actually an application that brings together a good number of podcasts for young and old on which you can rely to make new discoveries
- Have you read it my little wolf to allow you to discover new books to read to children, or even The little boats to help you easily answer all the questions asked by your children.
Of course, always in connection with the sound benefits, listening to music is also a smart way to relax, pass the time, or occupy/put your baby to sleep. This article will help you anticipate the different methods, and thus fully understand the benefits of music.
5. Optimize your time through learning
Finally, what could be more logical than using this time to learn new practices? Sew, knit, paint or even practice a new language. Duolingo is an easy-to-use, totally free app that provides daily lessons in 35 different languages. Can you choose a standard like English, Spanish, or Italian?
Almost anyone can name a language they would like to learn. But almost everyone finds countless excuses for not having learned it yet. Is there a better time to learn than this confinement that forces us to stay at home?
Learning a language boosts your confidence. Indeed, you will find new friends, will understand films in original version without having to resort to subtitles… You will be able to travel with more comfort, and this even allows you to further stimulate your gray cells (memory, for example).
Of course, this can be a considerable asset professionally: being a universal citizen, able to communicate with people from all over the planet is crucial in our connected world.
Learning to garden can also be an unusual way to pass the time. Just because you have to stay indoors doesn't mean you can't start your spring gardening. Bring the outdoors in by growing seeds or planting a container garden.
Bonus: You can use your fresh herbs in your healthy dishes that you learn to cook.
Because yes, the kitchen is the main new occupation of the confined. Learning new recipes can only be beneficial for you, as much for you as for your children! We will come back to you later for a special article on all our techniques to integrate good nutrition into the lives of our children…
See you soon !
The Looping team.