How Are You?

— Written By and last updated by

To say things in our world are a little different today than a month ago may be an understatement. For many families, worlds have been turned upside down with screen time and schedules and having forced time together. So I’m asking, how are you? Just take a moment, be selfish, and think about you. Are you doing ok?

For many years, I have professed my undying technology geek status. I do love working with technology and finding ways for it to enhance my life, not run my life. With a sudden norm of working from home and videoconferences as well as school, friends, and family taking up your screen time, it seems like suddenly the world revolves around the screen. That is daunting as an adult, and for our children, it is no easy task either.

My coworkers and I have noticed the energy it takes to focus on a videoconference verses a telephone conversation. The amount of energy it takes to schedule our days between emails, phone calls, videoconferences, and the face-to-face time in our homes is challenging. Imagine our teachers trying to teach and manage a classroom remotely while at the same time trying to help their own children through school work and online class time. It is not easy.

The key to all of this may be to create your own schedule and routine first, then one for your family. Get up on weekdays, exercise, make breakfast, cleanup, and get out of the pajamas. Check your calendar for appointments for that day and create your plan of what needs to be done, and glance at tomorrow to figure out if you need to get a head start there. Just start a new routine. It may need some tweaking, but try it out; a little change could be a good thing.

Once you have figured out a routine, help schedule the rest of the family. Between classroom time, downtime, outdoor time (yes, you may need to schedule this for them), and a time to eat, the day will fill up fast. It is important for everyone to have their own space to work, even if they are sharing the technology, their own table or room to work in, and time to themselves.

The other piece of advice I would offer is to carve out a work station for yourself. Hopefully, not the bed (and please, not the bathroom), but someplace where you can close the door and focus even for just a few minutes. Set up a table or work area with your technology, something to write on, and a clock if necessary. That way you can work at maintaining your schedule.

So while we are figuring this all out, please ask yourself each day, “How am I?”  Your answer to that question could very well reflect how those around you are doing and how tomorrow may go. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too. For more information, contact Shea Ann DeJarnette, Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent, by email at shea_ann_dejarnette@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.