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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

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!

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.

#togetherwecandividedwefall

My 92 year old father lives with me full time. His daily routine includes exercising in our community pool at the building where we reside. Unfortunately, there are people coming down to Florida on vacation to escape the pandemic up north or for what reason, I am not sure. But what they are failing to realize is they are putting our elderly and compromised at risk. They are not self quarantined. I have been quarantined for several weeks as I have a responsibility to my father and to the other compromised individuals who live in my building to keep them safe. Together we can, divided we fall. It’s disheartening that people are not learning that right now. Secondly, how important is food security right now? How important is it to teach people to grow their own food at their homes right now and if they don’t have a place to grow food, having a community garden where they can get fresh produce and fruit. How important is it to be able to feed people fresh produce from an accessible green space? It is relevant now, more than ever. Now is the time to provide people who are at home with the knowledge and supplies to be able to grow their own food and if they don’t have a home to grow their food, providing a space where they can grow their own food and learn from those who can teach them! Losing resources at any time is difficult but now, when people do need access to fresh produce and tools to help them manage their stress, it is incredibly difficult. And for me, personally, I am three classes away from completing the Mindfulness Training Course and without the tools provided to me through this class, I am not sure how I would be able to manage my own stress and be able to keep my father safe and our staff feeling secure. I am personally grateful for the knowledge our educators provide and am hopeful that we will reach more people and spread this knowledge that does feel so relevant and important during this crisis.

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.

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.

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.

Starving

I live on a limited income. I ran out of food yesterday after going five days of eating only one meal. I have no money or food stamps. I have no car. The bus is my only transportation. I am considered high risk due to underlying health problems. I have no mask or gloves. I am terrified of going out unprotected. Many of the food pantries have closed or I cannot get to them or there are specific instructions on accessing them which I cannot meet. Example: This link came with a notice of a food pantry that will be open today. You have to have a car, you pull up in line, you cannot get out of your car, when your turn arrives you either open your passenger side window or automatically open your trunk, the food will be handed to you or placed in your trunk, then you drive off. Like I said before, I have no car. I have no family or friends who can help me…