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#dontfreakout

I was already working from home but now my whole family is with me!

Stress

Its impacted my life alot. I work from home now. I fear for my childrens and my health everyday. I fear our residents and employees will be affected in a negative way. A lot of stress

We have to take this serious.

Well to be honest I thought it was a joke and didnt take it to serious. But as the time has gone by it has become a very serious. I myself have be impacted by have to now teach at home, as well as have my second job pretty much cutting hours reducing income into my home.

Rapid Changes

The corona virus has changed my method of teaching to remote, from home. I miss all of my students, but was able to meet with one third of my class this morning on Google Meet. My two college-aged daughters had to move out of their sorority house and dorm to come home and do online courses through the summer. Things have certainly changed overnight!

I am going through, moving forward, and discovery new activities.

I have not been able to participate in several of my favorite activities, swimming, Zumba Yoga and walking in the park. But I am encouraged , I read more, clean out my closets, (I am gathering things that I don’t need or want, and I am looking forward to getting them out of my space.) I am journaling, and I crotchet and I reach out to family and friends and friends who are family more frequently. (I text, call and/or email.) I spend quality listening to music.

Budding friendships

My two year old son was really enjoying school and playing with our neighbors outside. He was just starting to play with others and enjoy people’s company. Now, we have to tell him ‘no’ when he sees them playing next door. He wants desperately to join them and it feels awful to deny him that socialization! We’ve tried to play in our backyard while they play in the front. He can still see them through the fence, but we keep a good distance away.

A Not-So Gentle Reminder to Slow Down and Connect

I feel like I should be more concerned about the Corona Virus but I can’t help but feel a certain sense of calm around the whole situation. Maybe it is the connectedness – everyone is in it together and thinking of neighbors and loves ones. Because we are limited in where we can go, our home is filled with family time. Board games, pool time, and yoga have dominated the past weeks. When I walk my dog, everyone says hello now – or at least respond to me when I say hello (which I normally do). The sense of Unity that we are together in all of this is a feeling I enjoy – reminds me of a holiday – like the week before Christmas. Schedules are different and everyone is on a different, more thoughtful, mindset. Although it is an awful, tragedy of global proportions, I can’t help but enjoy the energy around me. Everyone is just on a slower pace, more mindful, more compassionate and looking to nature and simple activities to fill their days. If it weren’t so awful, its actually kind of nice.

Multiple-family social distancing

When we first heard about social distancing it sounded overwhelming to think that we would be away from extended family and friends for an undetermined length of time. A good friend and I decided that we would combine our families and social distance together. We made a commitment that we would not expose ourselves or our families to other people outside of our 10 person combined family. This has afforded us the opportunity to have the children play together, go to each other’s houses for a break, get some work done when necessary and have social interaction with people other than the 5 immediate family members living in my house. We had to cancel our spring break plans and then this past week we decided we would go to explore nature with our social distancing family. We have spent the last week tubing and letting the boys be boys. It has turned a stressful time into some of our favorite family memories.

To be human together

I’ve been impacted by anxiety since childhood. When I was young, I felt a lot of shame about not being able to tell my brain to stop worrying (as well meaning adults suggested). When my two older children were in their early teens, they were both diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a condition that runs in both sides of my family. Although I had already worked on my anxiety in therapy, my children’s diagnoses motivated me to deepen my research, and do whatever I could to learn to manage my mental health and theirs. When their doctor wrote “mindfulness meditation” on a prescription pad and suggested it for all of us, I took it to heart. My children and I became vocal mental health advocates, and I trained in trauma-informed yoga and meditation to help others learn a skill which had helped me and my children. I went to work for non-profits focused on mental health and trauma, both as a yoga/meditation teacher and a mental health peer specialist. When people ask me what I do for work, I summarize it by saying I help both adults and children with “big feelings” by sharing my own experiences and tools that have helped me. Now with COVID-19, I can’t interact with the people I serve face to face. Individual meetings have been replaced with phone calls. Classes have been replaced with YouTube videos and live video-conferencing. I am adapting everyday, as are the people I serve. It isn’t easy, but I’ve noticed a resilience coming to the surface. I’ve noticed that skills that I’ve developed over many years to manage my general anxiety (and trauma) are also helping me to manage this situational anxiety. I see the same in my children, my friends who identify as being in recovery from mental health conditions, and in many of the people I serve. It isn’t universal. Others are really struggling. Seniors in isolation share their fears with me, and they are real and heavy. We practice breathing and grounding together (which is different on the phone but not impossible). We talk about gratitude and hope. We do what we did before, which was to be vulnerable, to sit with big feelings, empathize and acknowledge suffering. To be human together.

100 Days of Solitude

I wonder how much unlimited data on my phone plan really means. Ever since the beginning of this self-isolation era, I’m sure people have turned to their phones and their home wi-fi to ride this wave of corona virus-related news. I know everyone must be watching their Netflix, having Zoom conferences, virtual classes and virtual happy hours, and calling their people to ask them what they’re doing for the umpteenth time that day. As for me, I didn’t realize until now how crucial my phone has become to staying connected and keeping sane in a moment where staying home is the most responsible thing we can do. I wonder how many people are the same way and if the internet overlords can keep this going for us. Can you imagine if those networks fell? Do we whip out our typewriters and feather quills? Do we start to create to our Hulu comedy specials during dinner time? Worse, how long before people living by themselves start feeling the anxiety caused by confinement? I say we use ham radios again or even cans on very large lengths of strings moving forward. Solutions are endless, I’m sure.It’s a deep rabbit hole to follow when we think about how we became so dependent on the internet. It’s truly a blessing and a curse. While there are so many things going on right now, it’s important to stay optimistic and responsive to our community. So, thank you to all the technicians out there doing what they do and thank you to the invisible cable in the sky for carrying our memes, love letters, funny cat videos, and the smiles our loved people across the way for us.