By Sandy Kyriakopoulos, PsyD; Associate Vice President, Clinical and Community Integration at The Village for Families & Children
Millions of Americans find themselves at home these days and wonder what to do with their time. Some have shifted into the new virtual world with ease, while others have hit some road bumps. Those who had always thought they would love to work from home are now reevaluating that idea. There is definitely a new appreciation to the concept of being able to grab a cup of coffee or lunch with a coworker, or to even spend time at a friend’s house or go to the movies. These activities will all resume in the coming months and I expect there will be renewed appreciation for the freedoms and activities that we had all taken for granted up until now. I consider these freedoms and activities to be some of the daily traditions of our American world.
One thing that has not changed is that time continues to move on. We have officially entered into Spring, which is a season of hope and growth. For many, the next few weeks are also filled with holy days and events where families would have typically come together. While it may feel different this year, it is important that we try to maintain or at least tweak some of our traditions of the season.
As a psychologist, one of the things that I work with clients on is the importance of maintaining routines. For our youngest clients, we use visual schedules to help them structure their days. Routines help build a sense of predictability for all of us and predictability helps us to regulate our thoughts and emotions. Routines are especially important when there is something big or scary happening in our lives or in our world.
Traditions are part of what I consider to be our life routines. I challenge you to see how you can make traditions come to life this Spring. What can you do to help maintain the traditions that define you and those around you? Time doesn’t stop and is now calling for us to adapt to the circumstances around us. Tweaking your traditions will be of great benefit and may result in you finding new and creative ways to celebrate the season, while also helping to maintain a sense of balance and predictability.