So this is fun, right?
Okay so it’s not, and we know it.
It’s day #4 and being closed indoors, especially with young children, is not all it’s cracked up to be. To top it off it is set to rain for the currently stated quarantine period.
It’s not all bad though, we like to think this could be the very thing you’ve been waiting for. The game-changer you couldn’t possibly have seen coming.
Here are Valencia Relocate we’re making the best of a bad situation. We believe in the old adage; everything will be alright in the end; so if it’s not alright, it’s not the end. With that in mind, here are some of the thoughts & ideas that we wanted to share with you during quarantine.
Good to Know for Autonomos & Small Businesses
It’s hardest for small businesses and autonomos at a time like this because no work = no money. With the hospitality industry shut down and all non essential businesses currently closed by legal decree, a lot of people are being affected financially. Here are some things you might like to know in relation to that:
- Moratoria de Hipotecas have been approved, although the details are still unclear. So if you need the financial break thanks to Corona Virus, you’ll get one in the form of a mortgage break.
- Hacienda has also confirmed that the payment of taxes in Q1 2020 can be postponed for up to 6 months. Speak to your accountant to find out the details.
- Social Security is under discussion and we’re hoping for all you autonomos out there that it will also be postponed until further notice. 56million euros have currently been assigned with the objective that no small business should close and no autonomo should lose their job over the coronavirus. We’re not sure that amount will cut it, but here’s hoping!
- If you are a small business owner with employees that you can’t afford to pay because of the effect Corona Virus is having on your business, you need to look up ERTE: Expediente de Regulacion Temporal de Empleo. This is a regulation related to temporary employment used when circumstances are out of your control (like now). It means you can avoid firing your employees whilst only covering their social security. They can request 70% of their salary from the state for six months and 75% if they are infected with the virus. There’s more info in this recent newspaper article.
When this is all over we would encourage everyone to go straight out and support their local small businesses. Book a hair appointment, eat out, go to play areas. Do what you can to salvage those who are struggling the most!
Ideas to Combat Boredom
Okay so you’ve probably exhausted your basic Netflix and chill by this point. We’re guessing you’re sick of the site of your social feeds and you’ve probably already had the classic board games out to while away some time. For those of you who are struggling to fill the time, here are some ideas for making this precious opportunity golden. It’s your chance to do all those things you always say you want to and never get around to. Well, within the confines of your house anyway!
- READ READ READ – here at Valencia Relocate we’re book worms and we’re relishing the opportunity to catch up on actual books. Our top 5 recommendations for quarantine:
- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – quite possibly the best book ever written. The first in a three-part saga so plenty of time required if you get hooked like we did. Think Game of Thrones but without the sci-fi element and with Cathedrals as the central pillar. No really, trust us.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – not the one to choose if you’re already feeling anxious. With an upsetting ending it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but this modern look at friendship and anxiety had us from hello. Not to mention the stunning prose.
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – in case you feel like putting things into perspective. This true story is much better on paper than its film version and if you haven’t heard of it at all it’s WWII survival and resilience at its very best.
- 1984 by George Orwell – well because, LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING TO US! Orwell was a genius.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez – a tale to get entirely lost in leading you through the generations of a family in a town in Columbia. Total escapism.
- MEDITATE – if you don’t do this already, now is a great time to start! Download the Headspace app if you are a total novice. Or follow Jay Shetty’s 20 days of live meditation starting today (19/3/2020).
- EXERCISE – no doubt you’ve skimmed the options on Youtube. There are a lot! Trainers and exercise enthusiasts everywhere are coming together to offer a lot of content online to get us through this very stationary time. We love this 14-Day Quarantine Workout which you can pick and choose from depending on what you want to work on.
- TRY THE WIM HOF METHOD – in keeping with point 2 and 3, Wim offers an unusual approach and one that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. He has proven to beat illness, fight infection and smash world records with his breathing techniques so he certainly won’t be worrying about Corona Virus.
- WRITE WITH PEN & PAPER – nobody writes anything anymore and it makes us sad. It’s very therapeutic and quite poignant to write with a real pen and a real piece of paper, something ten year old you never would have thought, right? If you agree that writing is soon to be a lost and romantic art, use this time to write letters to your nearest and dearest, or to friends you haven’t spoken to in too long, or to someone you need to speak to but can’t bring yourself to say the words. Granted you won’t be able to post letters until quarantine is over, but what a lovely surprise for those you choose when it is! If letters don’t appeal, why not write a diary? If this extends another 24 months we’ll know a little more about how Anne Frank felt.
- MARIE KONDO THE PLACE UP – if you haven’t done so already, take the time to rearrange your furniture and reorganise areas of your home (and computer) that you would otherwise procrastinate on eternally. A real spring clean change-up is always good soul food.
- UPCYCLE – is there anything in your house you can upcycle? This trend is one we always wanted to try but never got around to…yet *she writes whilst removing stained socks from repainting desk*
- DRESS UP – okay stay with us! We’re not suggesting role play (although if that’s your thing, be our guest!), what we mean is try on all your clothes and see if you can match up new outfits. Chuck out everything you haven’t worn in a year.
- PICTURES – we are a world obsessed with photos nowadays. We take them all day every day and share them incessantly. How many photos have you looked back at in the last year? From a couple of years ago or more? We’re betting not more than the ones Timehop has shared with you. Take the time to go through your pictures, organise them into ones you want to print for albums and ones you can throw. Maybe re-evaluate how many pictures we really need?
- GET A NEW HABIT – we’ve saved the best ’til last in a way. Did you know it takes 21 days to make anything into a habit? Just do that same thing every day for 21 consecutive days and your brain will assimilate it as something you now do every day. So here we are in quarantine and the world is your oyster! Want to quit something? Quit for quarantine! Want to start reading, writing, dancing, singing, meditating, exercising, vocalising your gratitude, etc. etc.? QUARANTINE IT UP! We’re betting this is a surefire way to turn quarantine into something you’ll be grateful for looking back.
Quarantine with Children
Ah, children. They just make the whole prospect of everything in the above paragraph seem somewhat fantastical and out of reach.
So for those of you in this situation; TOYS AT THE READY!
All the personal assistants at Valencia Relocate have children aged one to five so we are experts in this age range. If your children are older they will of course be more open to longer lasting activities and they will have homework to be getting on with but they might also like some of these gems!
We’re guessing you’ve been online for advice and that’s a great idea, there are so many genuis parents out there sharing ideas aplenty to keep the less creative amongst us going. Our favourite geniuses are:
- Busy Toddler: making it to naps, one activity at a time! With plenty of activities for older children too.
- Five Minute Mum: offering a plethora of easy to set up, 5 minute activities to get you through the day.
- Fatherly: because there are plenty of dad’s out there who are totally aceing it too.
Our favourite rainy day games from these websites and our own creations to give you a snapshot:
- Tape masking tape along the floor the whole length of your house in wiggly lines and get them to walk it. If they ‘fall off’ they have to start again. Simple, yet effective.
- Fill a plastic tub with soapy water and give the child (18 months +) a scrubber or brush to clean all their plastic toys. This is a win-win situation and soapy water on the floor = clean floor! *obviously only appropriate on water-friendly surfaces as spillage is inevitable*
- Pom pom ramp – check this one out on Busy Toddler. It’s a winner.
- Place basket/bucket/fillable item of your choice in the centre and start a race to see who can get more items inside. This gets them excited and tidying; win-win.
- Treasure hunt – this is popular with all ages and easily adaptable. Use puzzle pieces or anything else your little ones would love to find.
What else do we recommend for staying sane?
Structure is key. We favour doing a morning assembly just like they would at school, using the same songs they sing there. It’s an opportunity to show them a loose agenda for the day which is effective because kids love to know what’s in store and because it gives you some pre-determined blocks to shuffle as needed. Use the assembly to set a family motto too or set an intention for the day. Don’t get too attached though, it usually changes!
Exercise is essential for all ages in quarantine and if you don’t have outside space, it’s not the easiest thing to get. Of course you’re set with the effort of running around after small people all the live long day but they need something planned. Aside from dancing, which is great fun and gets everyone moving, there are tons of workout videos for families on YouTube. We usually do a 10-15 minute routine and then play musical statues. Our favourite toddler routine is very simple one. There are a few musical statue renditions that do the pauses for you so you can be 100% present in the game.
Take time to rest when the kids have down time. Don’t use that time to do chores because you will go insane fast. You need time for yourself as well and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! It’s great for kids to see you doing chores anyway as it teaches them that they don’t get done by magic but by hard work and effort. If your kids are one – three they will probably love helping you with the whole range of chores you have anyway, let them help!
We only have final suggestion; take a moment at dinner or just before bed to have everyone say something they are grateful for today. It’s important to express gratitude and even if quarantine isn’t our ideal situation, it’s certainly not the worst that could happen. What are you grateful for today?
Still Planning Your Relocation?
We’re so glad to see that coronavirus hasn’t put you off your plans! Of course we don’t know when any of us are going to be able to physically move around again but the Valencia Relocate team is still available online until we can get back to our day to day. More about what we can do during quarantine below:
- Relocation Planning– we remain available for relocation consultancy on the phone, Skype and Whatsapp as always. If Valencia is the place for you and you have burning questions, get in touch now!
- House Hunting– whether it be renting or purchasing we can house hunt online and via our agents, we can advise on where to live according to your needs and we can help with all the documentation needed.
- Finding the Right School – we have numerous reports available offering details of schools all over the Valencian Community. We offer many face to face services in this area which for now we could talk you through online (for free).
- Spanish Lessons – we can get you started with these; virtual ones for now of course!
Wherever you are and whoever you live with, may your quarantine journey be restorative, creative and most importantly, healthy!