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As countries around the world put in place increasingly drastic measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, should Singaporeans fret about being encouraged to stay home as much as possible?

You will be surprised at how we can still stay productive, and make use of our homebound days creatively. 


Working from home… with your kids in the same space

If you are a working parent and have been operating from home lately, you may be one of the many who are trying to get used to this mode of office. What’s more, if you have kids demanding your attention and time simultaneously.   

Just like very few of us sit at our office desks for eight hours straight, we should not feel compelled to do so at home, merely to “prove” that we are “really working”. Be sure to take regular breaks from our laptop. Make coffee or tea (as we would in the office pantry), have lunch over an hour, read the news, and have group calls and chats with colleagues.

Just as importantly, communicate with your children that you need time to complete work, and seek help from secondary carers to keep them occupied. Set aside time to check on your kids (such as when you go make your coffee) and enjoy your stay-home lunch with them (yes, away from your laptop). At the end of your work day, let them know you are “out of work mode”, and resume family time. 


Staying socially connected

Earlier mentioned, even as you work alone and remotely, you should still stay connected with your colleagues. While we may not be able to gather in large groups for now, we can still “catch up” in other ways. Try hanging out with your friends “virtually” over coffee from the comfort of your respective homes, set up games through apps, or have video calls with family members not staying with you (you may even have friends or relatives overseas, who are just as homebound as you are now). 

These regular social interactions keep you from falling into feeling isolated (or worse, trapped in your own home with your kids!). 


Starting a new hobby… with your kids

See this period as a great opportunity to start something new. If you have been thinking of doing something about your neglected balcony (which has ended up as storage space), why not consider growing indoor plants? Start a small herb garden, it does not have to take up much space or cost much. Take the chance to get your children interested in plants, and cultivate their sense of responsibility in caring for something living.  

If plants are not your thing, take up an art or craft, or embark on a puzzle project – train your children’s coordination skills and patience in completing something they start.

Game to try something even more adventurous? Why not take up the #ActiveParentsSGChallenge with your kids this month? Check out the details here!


Bringing the fitness indoors

For some, going to the gym is more than just getting a regular dose of exercise – it is valuable me-time, an outlet from the day’s stress and frustration. For others, being outdoors or in the sun is a weekly ritual with the kids. No doubt such times call for some compromise to our routine, it does not mean we need to stop working out altogether.

There are so many resources online, and cute family videos of DIY obstacle courses, parent-child yoga and even popular pop dance (who says dancing with your parents can’t be cool?). What’s best, these are free activities you can easily set up and do at home. Why not check out some of these ideas from myActiveSG?

Last but not least, we can all play a part to be socially responsible citizens in this national and global fight against COVID-19. Stay safe with MOH’s 5Ms

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