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Adlen Robinson: Ideas to help your family stay busy while quarantined
Adlen Robinson

I can tell from social media and just speaking with some of my friends and family, people are feeling pretty “caged” as they deal with the current quarantine we are all experiencing.

Our new “normal,” is of course, anything but. 

Despite what we are going through, I do feel we are blessed to live in a country where, even though we are living with a pandemic, there is no better place to live than in our great country. 

Thank God we have leaders who are doing just that —  leading us through this crisis. 

Thank God we have a medical system that consists of so many amazing people who are working tirelessly to care for the sick. 

Thank God we can still get food, even though all of us have felt unsettled seeing so many empty shelves.

 So, how are you and your family handling the quarantine? My friends with young children certainly have their hands full. It is one thing to entertain children during a snow day or two. Now parents are having to entertain and supervise school work. 

I can’t imagine how hard it would be to keep teenagers at home right now. Teens are difficult enough on a good day. Telling them they can’t go anywhere or hang out with their friends must be extremely trying. I so hope my senior citizen friends are staying home and I also hope they are getting the assistance they need.

If you have cabin fever or are just bored after so many days at home, here are a few suggestions for you.

Maintain a schedule. Especially if you have children at home, work out a schedule for school work as well as for down time and stick to it. Young children in particular, definitely need a routine. Things such as waking up at the same time, eating breakfast and lunch at the same time, etc. Also, make sure to spend time outside each day when the weather is nice.

Cook together. I know not everybody shares my love of cooking, but cooking as a family is a great way to bond and interact. Even young children can help. Since you probably have more time than you usually do, cook something you might normally not due to being busy. Make spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna. You could even go the extra mile and make some homemade bread to go with dinner.

Tackle household projects. Every household has a closet or two that need cleaning out. Straighten out that junk drawer in the kitchen. You will be surprised what you find in there. Clean out the refrigerator and/or freezer. Take an inventory of what you have and do some meal planning while you are tackling these tasks.  

Since you have been at home so much lately, you have likely noticed things you need to do to your house. Make a list of bigger projects you want to take on this spring and summer. Are there windows you need to replace? Does the deck need to be pressure washed and restained? What is the clutter level in your garage? Do you need to get your carpets cleaned? Do your gutters need to be cleaned out?

Wash the cars. Instead of going to a car wash, why not do it the old fashioned way — with a hose, a bucket and a sponge? This is definitely a good project for the kids.

Read! I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons I don’t read as much as I would like to, is because I am too busy. In the past week or so, I have already read several books and have a stack to go. 

Go book shopping in your home. My sweet father used to say: “One good thing about getting old is you can re-read books over and over again.”

Open the windows in your house if the weather permits. Fresh air and sunshine make everything and everybody feel better.

Do some spring cleaning. Get a jump on spring cleaning and try to get everybody in on the action. Have your children sort through their toys and make a pile to give to charity. Go through your own closet to see what you haven’t worn lately and set them aside to donate. Purging makes everybody feel better.

Get out some board games and a deck of cards. Unplug those devices and do some human interacting with your loved ones.

I know these are stressful times for so many in our country and across the globe. My hope and prayer is all of you stay safe and if you get sick, I pray you recover quickly. Let’s all keep each other in our prayers and pray for our nation as we deal with this pandemic.

Check out this week’s food column which will feature some comfort foods that are sure to make you feel better — it is called comfort food for a reason. 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” Email her at