Dialogue That Matters

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How are you caring for yourself during these times of "pandemic"?

from Rosetta E. Ross

For self-care, I am focusing on exercise — mostly walking and a few yoga stretches in the morning — and nutrition. Walking is helping me to get outside, at least out into the subdivision regularly. We have both been working on (or getting some work done on home projects). That is providing an emotional lift. It is a challenge to be prohibited so long by COVID-19. For me, online church on Sundays also has been helpful as well as continuing to work regularly on work and writing projects. Staying in touch with family and friends through Zoom and the phone is probably kind of a lifeline that is taken for granted.

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from Danita J. Snulligan

For anyone who is retired and living alone such as myself during this lengthy COVOD-19 pandemic, self-care is more important than ever. Each morning before beginning my day, I reach towards the nightstand for a uniquely crafted book Moments of Peace in the Presence of God (Baker Publishing).  It is a 365-day devotional that features uplifting spiritual stories followed by prayer for morning and evening.  While soaking in a jacuzzi bubble bath filled with one of my favorite scents (Verbena and Lavender), my eyes drift to gaze at a sunshine yellow wall with many favored quotes decoratively framed in a vertical and horizontal pattern. There is one by Gautama Buddha that I love, and I hope eventually to naturally rise and embrace its meaning daily on a more subconscious level: “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”  But, in the meantime - weather permitting, I take my adorable 10-year-old poodle, Mali, outside at least twice a day.  Drinking lots of water is not a problem while confined indoors, but physical activity is limited.  My mind and heart feel nurtured by daily texts from my two sisters that are often humorous and always encouraging.  In addition, at least one lengthy phone call a day by a family member or a close friend brings real joy. 

 

Lately, for brain food, I have graduated from finishing a 500-piece puzzle to completing in a rather timely manner a 1000-piece puzzle that depicts an image from a beautiful Annie Lee painting.  During these winter months, I make certain to find the time to read fireside from a book selected by myself or others in preparation for our monthly book club.  It would be so easy during these trying times to transform myself into a twice baked couch potato and flip through endless news channels or troll Facebook for hours.  But, just like a visitor without a mask during this time of COVIF, a disease named “dementia’ is not welcomed in my home.

from Karen Felter Vaucanson

Denmark is in the second-hardest degree of lock-down and has been so since January 17th. This means that everything except grocery shops and pharmacies are closed and all people in non-critical functions must work from home. Contact groups are limited to 5 persons including family but seeing fewer than that is encouraged. I think we all feel the strain of the isolation now. Some days I feel quite depressed.

 

I try to take half an hour every day where I do something good for myself. Oddly enough, what I most need is time of silence and peace. During this pandemic I find it difficult to not feel guilt - I feel I could constantly do more, i.e., write stuff, call my grandmother, have more Zoom-meetings etc. Since the work/life balance is completely thrown overboard I struggle with my own thoughts. So, I have told myself to take breaks. This most often involves finding a space of quiet, drinking a coffee and staring out the window without feeling guilty. I try to go for a walk every day to get some light. And my husband and I sit down with a glass of wine and dream about summertime :)

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from Phyllis Wilson

In reflecting on how I’m taking care of myself during the pandemic, I decided to describe it using the letters that spell self-care.  

  • S - Set boundaries and permit me to take personal time to do what I choose to do. Saying “no”  has never been easy for me, but I'm learning how to communicate my needs and take time for myself, especially during this pandemic. 

  • E - Engage in conversations with friends and family regularly. I enjoy socializing and spending time with good company. However, during the pandemic, physical interactions with friends have almost been non-existent. Instead of holding things in, I talk it out with people who care.  Speaking and spending time talking with people I care about is one of my best self-care tools. 

  • L - Laugh often. Being closed up inside can cause pandemic depression or sadness. Laughter is very therapeutic for me. I enjoy watching late-night comedians, sharing something funny with friends and family (especially my sisters), watching comedy movies and sitcoms, and laughing about my situations. I’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine! 

  • F - Fostering my relationship with God by spending time hearing and reading the Word and developing an understanding of His purpose for me is essential in my self-care. Praying and giving thanks for what He has done and what He will do is so comforting. In all ways, God is the center of my self-care. 

  • C - Control what we can. We have free will to make choices and decisions. Sometimes I worry  and try to figure out things out of my control, but I’m working hard to “let go and let God.” So during the pandemic, I am self-caring by continually reminding myself that I am not in control,  but God is always in control, and no matter what, everything will be all right. 

  • A - Avoid unhealthy conflicts as much as possible. Being cooped up under the same roof during this pandemic can be challenging. I don’t like arguing and prefer to disagree without upsetting myself or others respectfully. Therefore, I’ve been working on trying to “pick my  battles and don’t sweat the small stuff.”  

  • R - Relaxation and rest are vital to my self-care. I relax by doing things that I enjoy, such as completing puzzles, watching good movies, painting canvas, playing chess, and taking long bubble baths. Listening to soothing music and curling up with a good book or magazine also relaxes my mind. 

  • E - Exercising can be a real struggle because I frequently suffer from painful arthritis. Although I am an active person by nature, I know that little exercises are better than none.

 

Therefore, I try to walk at least 2 - 3 miles a day to avoid falling into a sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic.