We love our families and enjoy spending time together. The COVID-19 pandemic has families spending more home time together, and Dr. Jan Heinitz, Assistant Director of Graduate Counseling, offers some guidelines that can help everyone thrive.

As teachers and parents, we may know a little bit about stress.  When we are asked by the government to be aware of social distancing, this may add to the stress.

As members of God’s family, our community (church, school, town), and our own immediate family, we know that we love one another.  However, sometimes loved ones may need to take a break from each other.  What might be a good gesture or phrase to let a loved one know that they are still loved, but we need a break for a bit?  This might be a good discussion to have at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table as we review plans for the day.  Maybe family members can arrange to have ‘zones’ of time and space in which they can be by themselves or have special time with another family member.

While we enjoy being with family and friends, we also should be able to spend time by ourselves, with our own thoughts and feelings.  Having journals (blank paper) or coloring books (blank paper works here also), to reflect may help us deal with these unexpected times together while we are on our own.

Please reach out to friends and family during these times.  This can be a time to write letters to loved ones,  FaceTime with friends and family.  This can also be a time that we work on new experiences with family members (look, children, you get to learn how to do laundry today!).

Enjoy this time with your family. Times with families together pass quickly and are a wonderful time to create memories.

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