Dove: Welcome to Teatime with Dove and Dr. G. I am Dove Avylla.

Dr. G: And I'm Dr. G or Dr. Gallan, PhD.

Dove: Today we wanted to talk to you about different ways to find balance. In times of a pandemic, it is really hard to find a balance in one's life. You are trying to work from home, be a parent, be the stand in teach and home school and still have a life. Do you have any suggestions on how to balance it all?

Dr G: I have found a couple tools that I think can lend balance to a life that feels chaotic.
1) The first is setting a routine: Writing down on a calendar or making a daily list of all the tasks that need to be done and when. Keeping as much of that routine the same, day to day, is really a way to feel in control no matter what age you are: Kids need this structure; aging parents need to know when you will deliver groceries; and we need to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you exercise in the morning every day, keep it as a morning activity. With kids using a whiteboard and getting them involved by providing input on what they will do and checking it off when it's been accomplished can be very beneficial.

Dove: Kids, especially teenagers, may have a hard time with structure. How would you advise to help them get on a routine?

Dr G: Teenagers might provide push back. But I assure you, they want structure, they need structure. But let them help choose some of the activities so it feels like their routine and not just yours.

Dove: Are their ways to make things fun and creative so they want to join in?

Dr. G. Yes, Incorporating Fun and Creative activities is critical! I said we need structure, but structure doesn't have to be rigid. Let them help choose the fun activities. You can certainly throw some suggestions out there. We can all benefit from fresh air and sunshine - add some outdoor activities. Even our pets need outings. Board games are great for bad weather!! Families can be creative with how to fill up their daily calendar: it can be up to everyone to choose how they will get the heart pumping and creative juices flowing. Many of the museums and national parks are doing virtual tours, this is a great way to stimulate curiosity and get creative juices flowing. Whatever you do, I always think of things based around the family and doing things as a family.

Dove: I have definitely seen the virtual tours you can take at the various museums. Chalk Art is pretty big right now - I have seen a lot of kids in our neighborhood drawing pictures or writing fun and inspiring messages with chalk on the sidewalks and driveways. Or they are using tape to make geographic patterns and then they color that in and remove the tape and it leaves these pretty cool images behind. Just something new and different.

Dr. G. I saw something like that yesterday. It was so big I couldn't even read it all!

Dove: Those are some really great ideas. Any other thoughts you may have to help folks get that structure and help find that balance?

Dr. G: Dance, music and that kind of thing. I would want everyone to pitch in and bring to the table what they like and what they want to hear. The last element I would stress would be making time for quiet time. Quiet time. Alone time. Detoxing time. Get off the phones, get off the screens. Don't even use them to read. Read a book or a magazine. Or meditate. Give yourself permission to reduce the feeling of chaos, to calm down. You want to slow down and get to that meditative state. Think about things that bring you joy and peace. You want to end the day just being reflective, perhaps reading or writing in a journal. Sometimes I think soft music, meditation or prayer. It's good for the children to learn how to be reflective and wind down at the end of the day.

Dove: I love that. All of those are great tips and great advice. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. That's all the time we have for today. Until next time!

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