Are you anxious right now? I may not be at the moment, but like our Texas weather, if you wait long enough, it’ll change. The ups and downs of being in a lock-down-social-distancing-Shelter-in-Place kind of life are excruciating, boring, downright stressful. For those of us who are still working, that’s a big blessing for which I’m personally grateful, but whether you are laid off or working or something in between, this time of our lives is scary. Some of us have elderly loved ones or maybe your retirement account is taking a hit or possibly it’s as simple as your children asking you to be in charge of their entertainment…every…single…minute. 😉 I’m a more anxious personality to begin with so staying as positive as possible and trying to make myself find the funny in life are the ways I cope. I wanted to share what I am focusing on to help keep my fears at bay and what we’re doing at Sunrise to keep things light, fun and positive.
One of our students releasing a butterfly last week.
The Texas Optimism Project!
The Texas Optimism Project is a sponsored partnership between Texas Monthly and Frost Bank’s Opt for Optimism initiative. The project explores optimism through stories of extraordinary and everyday Texans. Browse interviews, podcasts, videos, and more. I love, love, LOVE this resource! Sign up with your email and they’ll send you a bi-monthly dose of optimism curated by the Texas Optimism Project with short articles. Are you more of a video person? They’ve got you covered with their podcast series. Each month features new inspiration and thought-starters around optimism in daily life. They have articles posted now at: https://paid.texasmonthly.com/texas-optimism-project/#about. You can also check out the UpliftingNews subreddit on Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/UpliftingNews/
Dancing with our kiddos!
10 Ways to Help Your Fellow Texans
Want to feel more control of your life? Take action. Our neighbors, friends, and loved ones are struggling but we Texans are a resilient, helpful bunch! Here’s a list of ways to help:
- Donate to your local food bank
- Exercise (I personally go for a brisk walk almost daily)
- Support Seniors who are housebound
- Check in regularly with friends and family
- Donate blood (they are in desperate need right now)
- Order take out from your favorite local restaurants
- Sign up to volunteer your time at an animal shelter or foster an animal
- Look up funny memes and jokes online and share them with friends (“What do you call the flood of babies that are going to be born in early 2021? Coronials. What will you call them 13 years later? Quaranteens.” lol)
My husband, Rob, has O negative blood, so he’s donated to the Red Cross. I buy lunch for my team at both locations on Thursdays (and dinner for my family…maybe lunch for myself on occasion too ;). Our Sunrise families have been calling to offer lunch to our teams on Fridays (thank you!) or emailing just to say hi (we miss you and your family, too!). Helping others helps yourself in the most unselfish of ways! To get links to any or all of these ideas/organizations, visit: https://www.texasobserver.org/10-ways-to-help-your-fellow-texans-endure-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
One of our babies at Sunrise =)
Do a Brain Hack to Break the Coronavirus Anxiety Cycle
So maybe you’ve tried some of the suggestions up above but your anxiety is having none of it. To hack our brains and break the anxiety cycle, we need to become aware of two things: that we are getting anxious or panicking and what the result is. There is a way to minimize the anxiety you feel as you stay informed or hear updates on what’s going on around the world. Here’s an excerpt from this easily digestible, fascinating article by Judson A. Brewer, M.D. (look for link to entire article at the end):
Since our brains will choose more rewarding behaviors simply because they feel better, we can practice replacing old habitual behaviors — such as worry — with those that are naturally more rewarding.
For example, if we notice that we have a habit of touching our face, we can be on the lookout for when we act that behavior out. For example:
- If we are starting to worry: “Oh no, I touched my face, maybe I’ll get sick!”,
- Instead of panicking, take a deep breath and ask: “When was the last time I cleaned my hands?”
- Think. “Oh, right! I just washed my hands.”
Just by taking a moment to pause and ask the question, we give our prefrontal cortex a chance to come back online and do what it does best: think.
Is reading just too hard to concentrate on? Here’s a video version from Dr. Bill Crawford., who also has dozens of other videos on topics to help you live your BEST life: https://www.billcrawfordphd.com/covid-19-the-what-why-and-how-to-stay-safe-and-sane/
One of our Sunrise Families showing us how it’s done
You DESERVE It
To relax, that is. This next article discusses the following ways to help yourself and why you are worthy: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/parenting/parents-need-stress-relief-too.html
I asked my Admin Team to brainstorm how we could help our teachers to feel safer, to lift their worries, and to bring joy to their lives and we came up with a few things, one of which is a big hit we’re calling Dress Up Fridays. Last Friday was come to work in your pajamas day, this Friday is come in a bodacious ‘80s hairdo. First and second place awards are given out to those who are super spirited. Hey, whatEVER it takes. Word.
Help your children cope with not being at Sunrise by having them watch one of our videos our teachers have been creating! https://www.instagram.com/sunrisemontessorikids/?hl=en
Now I’m going to tell you what I tell myself on a daily basis: This time of our lives is temporary and isn’t going to last forever. We will one day not have to worry about elbow bumping goodbye, Sunrise will fully reopen, and meeting friends for dinner and an adult beverage at a place other than our home is 100% guaranteed. Will my 16 year old son ever clean his room without being asked? Not so certain. But that kind of uncertainty I can live with.