CHANCES are, you have seen a few of the memes with parents in distress as they struggle to coexist with their children for 24 hours each day following the Government's decision to close all schools over a projected 14-day period, and then order non-essential workers to work from home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
But with no clear indication of when children will go back to school or when they will go back to work, many parents are unsure how they will maintain their sanity when just a few days into the lockdown they feel as though they will lose their minds.
Weasked parents who are now a week into staying with their children just how they manage to keep sane. Their strategies might also work for you.
Tiffany, 40, teacher:
I bought some wine to weather the storm. I mean at least I got a stipend to put up with my students driving me crazy. Now I lock myself in the bathroom for a half an hour to 45 minutes whenever they take a nap and soak myself, enjoy the silence and my wine, until I hear “Mom!”
Shane, 27, guidance counsellor:
I have noise cancelling headsets so if I am to be honest, I owe it to those. When we don't have schoolwork to complete, we play football and computer games with my son. Since he is so inquisitive we lock all the doors in the house so the only rooms he has access to are the living room and bathroom. This way we always have eyes on him. I think the silence that we get when he sleeps or the sound of his laughter when we are watching something and he finds something amusing is our escape from the horror of being locked up with someone who God only blessed with selective hearing.
Michelle, 29, executive secretary:
Working out is my escape. I used to go to the gym but since I can't, I just brought everything to the garage and I've been doing this with my favourite playlist twice daily, an hour each time. They know not to disturb me during this time, unless it's an emergency.
Cedric, 33, chef:
The good thing is I can rotate with my wife so it's not as bad. When it gets overwhelming I watch old football videos and matches and listen to some good reggae music. My wife binge watches soap operas and eye shops mostly before purchasing something. I think she will have something to represent each day she was in voluntary quarantine.
Janice, 43, dental assistant:
I am going crazy, honestly. Surviving being at home with my kids is much harder than what I thought it would be. They are really demanding, but thankfully I have been able to put some things in place. One of them is a reward system for who makes the least complaints. I have put schedules in place to make the days less chaotic and I have stocked up on books — my first love. It's a good time to catch up on hobbies.
Grace, 32, business owner:
I have been trying to do a lot of activities with the kids so that it's not so stressful. We watch comedies and play board games and so on. When it comes to my self-care and keeping my sanity, I would say comfort food. I have my own stash and a bite of Cadbury chocolates erases the stress.
I also wake up much earlier than they do — that way I get my coffee, catch up with my favourite Instagram pages, flip through a few pages on my favourite clothing sites, and plan the day.
Paula, 40, beauty therapist:
I catch up on Lifetime movies when I don't have to part a fight or assist my child with online classes and assignments. Don't ask me what it is about those movies, but they are therapy. I also do facials and get a little yoga and meditation in thanks to the app Calm. It's great to help settle your mind, calm fears, and just help you to deal with the chaos that is life.