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Coping with COVID-19

Tip Sheet

NOTE: Over the time of this Pandemic of COVID-19 this website will be offering tips to its readers how to survive the biggest Mental Health Challenge facing the world in our lifetime. We will focus on insights and ideas shared publicly by various Medical and Mental Health, Researchers and Professionals and concerned world citizens. You will see throughout this page we have used the World Health Organization (WHO) info-grams given they are based on science and for that reason extremely trustworthy. We have also reordered the page with Medical Source Articles at the beginning right behind the Mask Myth Busters so that you can read what Science is saying today about the pandemic. Always best to beat this virus to go with Science not "Happy Talk." Our hope is that the Tips on this page will help you to get through these tough times. If you have found an article, website or chart which you think would be a good fit for this site, please send it along to jamesjmessina@gmail.com

Till we talk again, Stay SAFE and SOUND.

Jim Messina, Editor COPING.US

FACE COVID
How to Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis

Focus on what's in your control
Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings
Come back into your body
Engage in what you're doing

Committed action
Opening up
Values
Identify resources
Disinfect & distance

F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D  is a wonderful short video by Dr Russ Harris to give us a quick reminder of the steps we need to take to cope with COVID-19. Have a look at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmvNCdpHUYM&list=PL0kImrCgJBAwbZ8URQ3DCzbH4grzMPAEV
How Respiratory Droplets can - or be stopped 
This YouTube video helps you understand how masks stopp the spread of repiratory droplets:

Mask Myth Busters

The Medical Minute: Separating mask myths from facts

Appeared on MDLinx and sourced from Penn State Health July 9, 2020

 

We see and hear new COVID-19 news almost every minute of the day. But separating facts from fiction can get challenging, especially when it comes to masks. We bust some common mask myths with two experts—infectious diseases physician Dr. Catharine Paules with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and pediatric allergist and immunologist Dr. Tracy Fausnight with Penn State Children’s Hospital.


Myth: We didn’t need masks early in the pandemic, so we don’t need them now.

Fact: Very little data existed prior to COVID-19 to assess whether masks are useful to prevent community transmission of respiratory viruses. This, combined with the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases early on and concerns about potential global mask shortages, stopped U.S. health officials from recommending masks. Recently it has become clear that asymptomatic people can transmit COVID-19 from speaking, coughing or sneezing. These individuals are highly likely to spread COVID-19 to others because they feel well and may not be limiting their actions in the community. This led to public health officials strongly recommending masks to prevent COVID-19 spread from individuals who do not know they are infected.


Myth: No studies exist about the effectiveness of masks.

Fact: “Several observational studies published since the COVID-19 pandemic began show emerging data that masks coupled with other distancing measures help to prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” Paules said.


Myth: Wearing a mask prevents oxygen from getting into the lungs.

Fact: Surgical masks and cloth face coverings allow some air to flow in and out of the lungs. They will not cause hypoxia (oxygen deprivation). Surgeons routinely wear masks for several hours during procedures without developing lung problems. Even some patients with chronic lung disease wear masks for protection. “The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation recommends surgical masks for all CF patients during doctor’s visits,” Fausnight said.


Myth: Masks trap in bacteria and fungus and make people more susceptible to bacterial or fungal pneumonia.

Fact: “There is no data to support this statement,” Paules said. In fact, health care providers ask patients at high risk for fungal infections, such as oncology patients, to wear masks for protection. Meantime, it is important to wear your mask correctly (over the nose and mouth) and refrain from touching your face, as failure to follow these steps can promote the spread of viral infections.


Myth: Masks won’t keep me from getting sick.

Fact: Masks do help keep you from getting sick but they are even more effective at preventing somebody else from getting sick. They inhibit some of an infected person’s droplets from spreading. This is especially important for people who either have no COVID-19 symptoms or have symptoms so mild that they don’t realize they are infected. “Wearing a mask is a way to say, ‘I care about you,’ to those around you,” Fausnight said. However, masks alone aren’t a complete savior. Social distancing and hand hygiene also play crucial roles in preventing the spread of COVID-19.


Myth: Masks weaken the immune system.

Fact: The immune system is exposed to germs all the time. Wearing a mask doesn’t prevent it from “remembering” all of those prior exposures and staying strong.


Myth: We don’t need masks. We need herd immunity.

Fact: Herd immunity works only if about 70 percent of the total population has COVID-19 from either a past infection or from a vaccine. Getting to that 70 percent comes at a substantial cost: a catastrophic number of deaths due to COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 whenever possible until effective treatments or a vaccine are found.

One “myth” that has some truth—wearing a mask can cause some people anxiety and a sense of claustrophobia. But it can be conquered. “Try wearing a mask at home for short periods of time,” Paules said. “Then you can gradually build up to wearing it for a whole trip to the grocery store, for example.”

Medical Source Articles

JAMA:

Updates on COVID-19 Diagnosis and Treatment at JAMA Continuously Updated

Association between statewide school closure and COVID-19 Incidence and mortality in the US at JAMA July 29, 2020

Reopening K-12 schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine at JAMA July 29, 2020

Social Isolation- the Other COVID-19 Threat in Nursing Homes at JAMA July 16, 2020

The Development of COVID-19 Vaccines Safeguards Needed at JAMA July 6, 2020

Developing a SAR-CoV-2 Vaccine at Warp Speed at JAMA July 6, 2020

Policy Solutions for Reversing the Color-Blind Public Health Response to COVID-19 in the US at JAMA June 4, 2020

Making Decisions in a COVID-19 World at JAMA June 4, 2020

The Urgency and Challenge of Opening K-12 Schools in the Fall of 2020 at JAMA June 1, 2020

The Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19 and Physical Distancing: The Need for Prevention and Early Intervention at:JAMA April 10, 2020


Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)

Similarities and Differences in COVID-19 Awareness, Concern and Symptoms by Race and

Cross-Country Comparison of Public Awareness, Rumors and Behavioral Response to the COVID-19 Epidemic: Infodemiology Study. at JMIR Vol 22, No 8 (2020) August posted August 3, 2020.

Ethnicity in the United States: Cross-Sectional Survey at JMIR Vol 22, No 7 (2020) posted July 9, 2020

A COVID-19 Risk Assessment Decision Support System for General Practitioners: Design and Development at JMIR Vol 22, No 6 (2020) posted June 16, 2020. 

Digital Health Strategies to Fight COVID-19 Worldwide: Challenges, Recommendations at JMIR Editorial Vol.22, No 6 (2020): June 16, 2020

Using Internet-Based Psychological Measurement to Capture the Deteriorating Community Mental Health Profile During COVID-19: Observational Study at JMIR Mental Health Vol. 7, No 6 (2020) June.

Flattening the Mental Health Curve: COVID-19 Stay at Home Orders are Associated with Alterations in Mental Health Search Behavior in the United States  at JMIR Mental Health Vol.7, No 6 (2020): June

Mental Health, Risk Factors, and Social Media Use During the COVID-19 Epidemic and Cordon Sanitaire Among the Community and Health Professionals in Wuhan, China: Cross Sectional Survey at JMIR Mental Health Vol 7, No 5 (2020) May

MDLinx/News

Coronavirus Updates at MDLinx Continuously Updated

COVID-19: Social media users more likely to believe false information at MDLinx July 31, 2020

COVID-19 dogs could be sniffing out cases in months at MDLinx July 30, 2020

Experimental COVID-19 vaccine is put to bigger test at MDLinx July 28, 2020

Scientists report that airborne coronavirus is probably infectious at MDLinx July 23, 2020

Blood test detects possitive COVID-19 result in 20 minutes at MDLinx July 17, 2020

US Census Bureau-assessed prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in 2019 and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic at MDLinx July 16, 2020

Experimental COVID-19 vaccine safe, generates immune response at MDLinx July 15, 2020

Hallmark of severe COVID-19 patients identified at MDLinx July 15, 2020

Common FDA-approved drug may effectively neutralize virus that causes COVID-19 at MDLinx July 15, 2020

Researchers identify genetic factors that may influence COVID-19 susceptibility at MDLinx July 15, 2020

Scientist discover key element of strong antibody response to COVID-19 at MDLinx July 13, 2020

The mental health benefits of physical activity in older adults surviving COVID-19 at MDLinx July 1, 2020

Here's what doctors know so far about the lingering effects of the coronavirus at MDLinx June 29, 2020

Studies Report Rapid Loss of COVID-19 Antibodies at MDLinx June 22, 2020

Preliminary research say 70% of those infected with coronavirus don't pass it on at: MDLinx June 5, 2020

Questions surface on COVID-19 Vaccines Immunity Potential at MDLinx June 4, 2020

Coronavirus hopes and fears center on Immunity at MDLinx June 1, 2020

Prevalence of "silent" COIVD-19 Infection may be higher than thought at MDLinx May 28, 2020

COVID-19 paients may test positive for virus weeks after recovery at MDLinx May 28, 2020

8 Very Unexpected Ways COVID-19 has Affected Medicine at MDLinx May 22, 2020

Tip of the Iceberg: Existing Racial Inequalities in Death from COVID-19 at MDLinx May 21, 2020

Interferon Therapy May Speed Recovery from COVID-19 at MDLinx May 21, 2020

Antibody Study Sheds Light on COVID-19 Immunity at MDLinx May 21, 2020

Mayo Clinic's Articles & Tips on Coping with COVID-19
Mayo's News Network on COVID-19 at Mayo Clinic Continuously Updated
COVID-19 Updates at Mayo Clinic Continuously Updated
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Mayo Clinic Continuously Updated
Understanding herd immunity at Mayo Clinic May 4, 2020
Self-Care tips during COVID-19 pandemic at Mayo Clinic April 7, 2020
COVID-19 and your mental health at Mayo Clinic April 2, 2020
COVID 19: Tips for Mindfulness & Coping with Anxiety at Mayo Clinic March 20, 2020

Johns Hopkins Medicine:

Coronavirus COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) at Johns Hopkins POC-IT Guides Continuously Updated

COVID-19: Are We Getting Ahead? Video Series at Johns Hopkins: Hopkins Guides April 28, 2020

Managing Sleep Problems During COVID-19 at Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide April 21, 2020

Managing Stress and Coping with COVID-19 at: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide April 2, 2020

Relief Central-Unbound Medicine:

Coronavirus Guidelines - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Relief Central of Unbound Medicine - Continuously Updated

COVID-19 News from CDC at Relief Central of Unbound Medicine - Continuously Updated
Other Sources of Medical Information

Science and Tech - El Pais

What I need to do during this

COVID-19 Pandemic

So what will I do to get through this COVID-19 Thing?

I will be understandingforgiving, and kind. I will be aware of my own feelings and anxiety as well to avoid taking out stress on those around me. It’s OK for me to be angry, it’s OK for me to be scared, it’s OK for me to be frustrated. But I will do my best to not feed the anger, fear or frustration by doing some or all of the following:


Practice mindfulness. Learning and practicing mindfulness can help me to let go of worries and bring myself back to the present moment. Focus on the gentle movement of my breath or sounds I hear around me. Maybe I try one of the apps listed below to get me started.

Find something I can control and control the heck out of it. In moments of big uncertainty and overwhelm, control my little corner of the world. I can organize my bookshelf or purge my closet. It helps to anchor and ground me when the bigger things are chaotic.

Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn a new skill, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15 hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read a book series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep me busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.

Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting or jumping rope) especially left-right movement (running or drumming) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress. No wonder running is “therapy” for some of people!

Find an expressive art and go for it. People’s emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for release of feeling. I will find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing) and give it my all. See how relieved I will feel. It is a very effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate as well!


Good vibes go a long way.  A simple act of kindness can mean everything to someone. Check in on those I care about…. INCLUDING MYSELF!

 

We will get through this pandemic together. It may not be in a straight line and some days may be better than others, but we will get through it.


NOTE: I got this wonderful chart and ideas from my friend Sara who is an MBSR trainer who graduated from our MBSR Train the Trainer Program and we decided she would be the kick off contributor to our COVID-19 Tips Section. Thanks Sara

COVID-19 and Mental Wellness Self-Help Tool

From: Livongo for Behavioral Health powered by myStrength


The online app myStrength is designed to assist you to learn ways to manage extreme stess, with tips for parenting during challenging times and to find support to help you take care of your emotional health.  myStrength will help you: 1. Build Emotional Strength, 2. Support your mind, body and spirit, 3. Give you inspiration and stories of hope and 4. Track your progress along your journey. NOTE: This COVID-19 and Mental Wellness resource is available to you and your friends and family at no cost through the end of June.


You can reach this app by clicking here

COVID-19 APPS


COVID Coach: The COVID Coach app was created by the Veterans Administration for everyone to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You can read more about it at: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/COVID_coach_app.asp

Apple COVID-19: This app has up-to-date information from trusted sources about the coronovirus in cooperation with CDC. It has a screening tool so you can find out what you should know about ourself or for a loved one. It give you access to resources you may need to feel supported and informed. You can read more at: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-covid-19/id1504132184

Wallet Size Tips for Managing Stress
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
From SAMHSA
Download this PDF which can fit in your wallet and remind you of the steps you can take to deal with the stress during this COVID-19 Pandemic. The images below are both sides of the card.
COVID-19 Mental Health Response Websites

HelpGuide.org: Supporting your Mental Health during COVID-19 with 12 distinct topics of suggestions covering: Lessening Anxiety; Parenting; Helping Children Cope with Traumatic events; How to Stop Worrying; Stress Management; Exercise during Coronavirus: How to Cope with Traumatic Events like Coronavirus; Coping with Financial Stress; Dealing with Uncertainty During the Coronavirus Pandemic; How to Help & Give Back; Audio Meditations & Quick Stress Release at: https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/coronavirus-mental-health.htm

CompassionResilienceToolkit.org: Staying Resilient during COVID-19 with 9 distinct topics: Stages of Fatigue and self compassion; Boundaries; Gratitude; Locus of Control; Steps to Compassionate Action; Stress Awareness; Expectations; Mindfulness & Relationships During Social Distancing at: https://compassionresiliencetoolkit.org/staying-resilient-during-covid-19/

NeurosequentialNetwork.com: NN COVID-19 Stress, Distress & Trauma Series with 9 topics: Patterns of Stress determine Risk & Resilience; Understanding State-dependent functioning: Emotional Contagion; Sequence of Engagement; Understanding Regulation: Dosing & Spacing; Self-care & Organizational Care; Decision Fatigue & Managing Transitions at: https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): Coronavirus Anxiety - Heloful Expert Tips and Resources This resource is rich with great advice, it is updated daily to provide helpful tips and strategies from ADAA mental health professional and personal stories of triumph. The goal is to help individuals who are struggling with anxiety around COVID-19 or with general health anxiety at: https://adaa.org/finding-help/coronavirus-anxiety-helpful-resources
Practice Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction (MBSR)
During COVID-19 Times

What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)


Prelude:Watch Jon Kabat-Zinn's Video on Sounds True:  Why Mindfulness Matters—and Why It Might Matter to You!  He provides you a reason why embracing Mindfulness at this point in your life is so valuable and important.


Mindfulness is: awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and -non-judgmentally.


Meditation is any way in which you engage in: Systematically regulating your attention and energy. Thereby influencing and possibly transforming the quality of your experience in the service of realizing the full range of your humanity and your relationship to others and the world.


There are two Forms of Meditation in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and there are two complementary ways to do this: Formally: Formally means engaging in making some time every day to practice with the guided meditations. Informally: Informally means letting the practice spill over into every aspect of your waking life in an uncontrived and natural way. These two modes of embodied practice go hand in hand and support each other, and ultimately become one seamless whole, which we could call living with awareness or wakefulness.


So what is the practice of mindfulness? It is the very intention to practice with consistency and gentleness — whether you feel like it or not on any given day and is a powerful and healing discipline. Without such motivation, especially at the beginning, it is difficult for mindfulness to take root and go beyond being a mere concept or script, no matter how attractive it might be to you philosophically. While mindfulness and the current high levels of public and scientific interest in it may indeed appear to some to be much ado about nothing it is much more accurate to describe it as much ado about what might seem like almost nothing that turns out to be just about everything. As you practice Mindfulness you are going to experience firsthand that “almost nothing.” It contains a whole universe of life-enhancing possibilities


Mindfulness as a practice provides endless opportunities: it cultivates greater intimacy with your own mind and taps into and develops your deep interior resources for learning, growing, healing, and potentially for transforming your understanding of who you are and how you might live more wisely and with greater well-being, meaning, and happiness in this world.


All of this is so needed during this time of the COVID-19 crisis.


(Source: Jon Kabat-Zinn (2016). Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present moment-and your life. Sounds True, Inc: Boulder, Colorado, p. 1-4)


To learn more about MBSR use these resources on www.coping.us


Introduction to MBSR at:

http://coping.us/mindfulnessneurobiology/introtombsr.html


MBSR Train the Trainer Program at: 

http://coping.us/mindfulnessneurobiology/mbsrtrainthetrainer.html


Tools for Mindfulness, Meditation, Stress Management and

Sleep Enhancement at:

http://coping.us/mindfulnessneurobiology/mindfulnesstools.html


John Kabet-Zinn's Apps

JKZ Series 1, 2 & 3: Jon Kabet-Zinn's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Apps:

JKZ Series 1, JKZ Series 2 and JKZ Series 3. Each of the three volumes of Jon Kabet-Zinn's Meditations are available at the Apple Apps store. Each volume can be downloaded to your

devices for easier availability. Each App costs $10.00.

JKZ Series 1: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jkz-series1/id700402554
JKZ Series 2: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jkz-series2/id700523885
JKZ Series 3: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jkz-series3/id700524071


There is a list of other mindfulness apps at the bottom of this page. Have a look if you want to get going with mindfulness right away.

Cultivating  Mindfulness at this Critical Time
Daily Practices and Meditations with Jon Kabat-Zinn


These Daily Video Messages from Jon Kabat-Zinn began on March 25, 2020

The first was: Not Losing our Minds and Hearts When We Most Need Them: Mindfulness, Healing and Wisdom in at Time of COVID-19

To get to all these Messages go to: http://www.wisdom2conference.com/live
Practice Self-Compassion
during this COVID-19 Time

Compassion and Loving Kindness

Compassion is to “sympathize” or “to feel with” especially to feel the pain of others. Compassion is defined as the wish or impulse to alleviate suffering in another living being-which is different than just to “feel with” the other. If the suffering is within yourself, you can call this self-compassion. Compassion arises out of the foundation of a general well-wishing and benevolence toward all living beings-this is called loving-kindness. Compassion arises out of loving kindness as a natural response to suffering or pain so needed now with COVID-19.

Three Components of Self-Compassion


1. Self-kindness: Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self- criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties are inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences, rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against, suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration, and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced.

 

2. Common humanity: Frustration at not having things exactly as we want them is often

accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation — as if “I” am the only person suffering or making mistakes — but all humans suffer. The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable, and imperfect. Therefore, self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience — something that we all go through, rather than being something that happens to “me” alone. It also means recognizing that personal thoughts, feelings and actions are impacted by “external” factors, such as parenting history, culture, and genetic and environmental conditions, as well as the behavior and expectations of others. Many aspects of ourselves and the circumstances of our lives are not of our choosing but instead stem from innumerable factors (genetic and/or environmental) over which we have little control. By recognizing our essential interdependence, therefore, failings and life’s difficulties do not have to be taken so personally but can be acknowledged with nonjudgmental compassion and understanding.

 

3. Mindfulness: Self-compassion also requires taking a balanced approach to our negative

emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. This equilibrated stance stems from the process of relating personal experiences to those of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. It also stems from the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness. Mindfulness is a nonjudgmental, receptive mind-state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.


NOTE: For the Introducttion to MBSR's Self-Compassion Handout Click Here

Practice Mindful Self-Compassion during COVID-19 Times

During our COVID-19 Times: Self-Compassion in difficult times with Kristin Neff, July 21, 2020 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoqSvlakeSQ

Self-Compasion in the Midst of a Pandemic (Recording of live online meeting with Mindful Self-Compassion co-founders Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, April 15, 2020 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3I_FAM2FE

Self-Compassion Break in the Era of COVID-19 by Chris Germer April 3, 2020 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v76a5o5X5cQ

Mindful Self-Compassion Meditation for Caregivers at this COVID-19 time:
Self-Compassion for Caregivers at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ9wGfwE-YE&t=6s

Ten Self-Compassion Practices for COVID-19


The following 10 ideas are fully explored in the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion at: https://centerformsc.org/10-self-compassion-practices-for-covid-19/


1. Take a Self-Compassion Break - Be mindful, Recognize our Common Humanity, we are all going through this, and Self-Kindness which is an antidote to fear

2. Soothing Tough - Hug yourself or place your hand on your heart

3. Giving and Receiving Compassion - stay in compassionate connection with others by following our breath - breathing compassion in for ourselves and out for others.

4. Being with Difficult Emotions  - Labeling our difficult feelings while we're feeling it calms the body, find the emotion in the body anchors the experience

5. Soles of the Feet - When we feel overwhelmed, it may be helpful to anchor our awareness in the sensations of our feet on the floor. We then redirect our attention from our thought to the point of contact between our body and the earth, helping to ground and settle ourselves

6. Affectionate Breathing - Use soothing breathing to feel caressed by the gentle rocking motion of the breath in a way that is calming and soothing

7. Self-Compassion Daily Life - Ask each this question: How do I care for myself already? And then do it be it: listen to music, read a book, dance, or call on zoom your family or friends

8. Compassion Body Scan - Be compassionate to our body when we are scanning it for signs of the COVID-19 in our own bodies which is a way to befriend our bodies.

9. Core Values - Remaining connected to our core values and finding ways to stay true to them in the midst of disruption is an act of self-care.

10. Savoring and Gratitude - Joy is close a hand if we give ourselves permission to enjoy the simple things we still have in thid time of isolation and social distancing. Savoring a nice small mean is just one way to do this. Gratitude is another way to cultivate joy by noticing small things the enrich our lives that in the past we tended to overlook such as running water, morning sunlight, etc, etc.


NOTE: I am ever grateful to my Friend Coralis who shared this article with me for our Tips Sheet

3 Ways to Cultivate Self-Compassion During these COVID-19 Times

By: Charles Allen, LMHC


Many people are brought up to always be kind to others. But how many of us were taught to be kind to ourselves? Self-compassion, or self-love, can often seem like a foreign concept, particularly to those raised in an abusive or unloving home. Self-compassion and self-love are not to be confused with arrogance or conceit, which are usually indicators of a lack of self-love. Self-compassion has nothing to do with faux superiority and everything to do with being kind and gentle with oneself. It allows us to treat ourselves as we do our greatest loved ones. Instead of harshly judging ourselves for any personal shortcomings, we can instead give ourselves unconditional love and acceptance.

 

Why is Self-Compassion Important?

Self-compassion helps us recognize the difference between making a bad choice and being a bad person. It also helps us have greater connections with others and less depression, anxiety, and fear of failure which is greatly needed at this time of the COVID-19 crisis. A lack of self-compassion can take a toll on our personal relationships. How we treat ourselves is typically an indicator of how we let others treat us. The less love and compassion we have for ourselves the more likely we end up in abusive and dysfunctional relationships. But, when we have self-compassion, we are less likely to depend on others to validate our self-worth or “complete us.”

 

3 ways to practice self-compassion during these trying times


1. Treat Yourself as You Would a Small Child

You would never treat a small child the way you may sometimes treat yourself. You wouldn’t call a child “stupid” for making a poor decision. And you certainly wouldn’t tell them they are unlovable and “will wind up alone forever.” It may be hard treating yourself with such kindness in the beginning because you are not used to it. But in those moments, decide to treat yourself as you would a child and much


2. Practice Mindfulness

Self-criticism is a mental habit. In order to replace self-criticism with self-compassion, we must practice mindfulness. When you find yourself caught up in that negative noise and mind chatter, stop, take a deep breath, and refocus your thoughts on something more positive about yourself. What qualities do you like about yourself? What have you done recently that you feel proud about? It can be anything, “I am always on time,” or, “I have been taking all the COVID-19 safety measures to heart.” When you do find yourself having negative thoughts, DO NOT chastise yourself for having them. Thank those negative thoughts and tell them you no longer need them, then send them on their way to make room for positivity which is so greatly needed at this time in all of our lives.


3. Give Yourself Permission to Be Human

At the end of the day, self-compassion is about being okay with our own humanity. It’s important to recognize that being human means being flawed, and that’s okay. You and the rest of the world have imperfections in common. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and accept yourself, warts and all. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much lighter and happier you will feel during these extremely stressful times dealing with COVID-19.

 

NOTE: You can read his full Blog at: https://charlesallencounseling.com/3-ways-to-cultivate-more-self-compassion/

Also, he recommends you read up on the research on the benefits of self-compassion at:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5ff2/fb8ad4606ef9b3a62c2547113935c9bc1f14.pdf

HEART The Five Essentials of Total Health Integration During Times of Crisis

By Gray Otis and Sandi Williams


Have you ever wondered what it means to have total health and wellness? Nearly everyone who works in the fields of medicine and psychology now recognize that our physical health is also dependent on our mental and emotional well-being as well as the quality of our relationships. We call this health integration, which closely relates to Self-Compassion. So, how can we develop improved health integration?


The five essentials of total health integration create the acronym, “HEART.”


1. Health — physical wellness based on the principles of healthy living. Consider how you are taking care of yourself. Our health depends on getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, and eating well. Also, it is important to stay active. Walking is the best all-around exercise and you can do that in your home. Research has shown that the routine of daily activity reduces stress.


2. Emotions — emotional balance and enjoyment through self-understanding. Know how to take care of yourself emotionally. Deep-breathing, enjoyable music, meditation, playing with children’s toys such as blocks, doing a puzzle, etc. These individual activities help us destress because they reduce anxiety.


3. Awareness — conscious use of our mental abilities. Stay active and use your mind creatively. Make time to learn something new such as taking an online course, reading an entertaining book, expanding your knowledge about a hobby, etc. Awareness engagement creates mental health dividends.


4. Relationships — caring and satisfying connections with others. For everyone, conversation is the most common means to stay connected. It is good to have at least five people that we can talk with including family members, friends, colleagues, and others. We should try to have positive conversations about topics other than our problems. Face-to-face conversations in real time are helpful through the use of Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, FaceTime, etc.


5. Transcendence — enrichment through inspiring and uplifting influences. This is a good time to focus on uplifting endeavors. Any activity that is elevating, inspiring, or enriching will buoy us. Yoga, enjoying art and music, or appreciating nature can be transcendent. Even though we cannot attend religious services, we can be enriched by prayerfulness, reading uplifting books, watching positive online presentations, etc.


Health integration is fundamental because it incorporates the five essentials of physical wellness and emotional well-being. Each of these essentials impacts the other four. Together they regulate our overall health. When these essentials are primarily constructive, we become more resilient, develop richer relationships, and reinforce positive beliefs about ourselves. In order to be healthy and well-adjusted, we cannot afford to overlook any of these requirements.


NOTE: You can read the complete article publshed on April 9, 2020 at: https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2020/4/9/21209900/mental-health-crisis-covid-19-pandemic-safety-economic-shutdown-how-to-stay-healthy

Gray and Sandi are both counselors in Utah and they along with me were co-authors of

Key Core Beliefs: Unlocking the HEART of Happiness & Health.

Websites with Tips & Information
for Coping with COVID-19

VeryWellMind:
Coping with COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety at:
This is a very complete list of tips to help you deal with issues that arise in a
healthy and sound way.

Psychology Today
Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Resources - Continuously Updated
How to Cope with Covid-19 at: Psychology Today May 23, 2020


Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Emotional Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Outbreak - Resources - Continuously Updated


American Psychological Association
APA COVID-19 Information and Resources -  Continuously Updated
Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe - APA Resource - Continuously Updated

The Atlantic
What You Need to Know About the Coronovirus at The Atlantic - Continuously Updated

Slumber Yard
Bedtime Stress & COVID: 19 Wellness Tools for Kids at: https://myslumberyard.com/blog/bedtime-apps-for-kids-covid/
 
The Simple Dollar
A Home Insurance Guide for Multigenerational Families during Covid-19 at https://www.thesimpledollar.com/insurance/home/protecting-multigenerational-families/

My Move:
Can Coronarvirus Live on Mail? All of Your Questions, Answered at: https://www.mymove.com/moving/covid-19/coronavirus-mail/

Mental Health in a Time of COVID-19


NOTE: The Partnership Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives from HHS is conducting major webinars addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic and information from these programs is most needed and appreciated. In this section we will look at highlights from these webinars.


Webinar 1: April 28, 2020 Preparing Leaders to Address the Challenges (click on title to watch)

The longer COVID-19 Pandemic goes on there will be increase of mental health issues.


Contributing factors of the COVID-19 pandemic to a mental health pandemic are:

1. Quarantine/social isolation – leads to PTSD, increased depression and anxiety

2. Traumatization of frontline health providers – great risk for major depression up to three years at the end of the crisis and right at the peak of he crisis depression, anxiety and stress related symptoms come up

3. Unemployment & financial hardship – leads to major increase in substance abuse (i.e. Opioid overdoses etc.) and suicide ideation increase

4. Educational disruptions – where young individuals got mental health services which are no longer available

5. Domestic violence and child abuse

6. Impact on mental health service deliverer

 

How can faith-based communities support mental health during COVID-19?

Combat social isolation

Psychological first aid training

Meaningful service opportunities for individuals including children and their families

Offer practical help

Purvey hope


Another major concern in America coming from COVID-19 are the: Serious Mentally Ill: 2-3% of American Population have Brain Diseases and there are not enough people in the USA to treat these individuals. 40% get no care. Psychiatric Hospitals no longer exist in enough numbers for them and so they are in prisons, jails or homeless. Biggest stigma is criminalizing mental illness. Teachers, clergy, emergency workers, first responders are not available to monitor if there are crises, violence or other domestic issues with these people with their families.  Faith Communities can step up by listening, have folks tell their stories and then link them to available services in the community

Webinar 2: May 12, 2020  When Trauma, Fear and Anxiety Become Overwhelming  (click on title to watch)


Practice Spiritual First Aid for COVID-19 with Your Family and Friends

The Spiritual First Aid for COVID-19 downloaded at: https://www.spiritualfirstaidhub.com/manual,can be used to assist individuals and small groups (e.g., couples, families, roommates) while physically distancing, sheltering in-place, and helping remotely (e.g., online). This manual offers a step-by-step approach to learning and providing spiritual and emotional care for others through Spiritual First Aid’s BLESS Method. The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois developed the Spiritual First Aid's BLESS Method to take the “guesswork” out of disaster spiritual and emotional care and make humble helping and practical presence more “concrete.”


The BLESS Method addresses the five core needs of humans:

Belonging Needs - People need to belong. But the methods of containing an infectious disease can cause people to experience a loss of connection and ignite feelings of isolation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mandated shutdowns have often abruptly disconnected a person’s usual access to their sources of community. Research shows that social and spiritual isolation is a strong predictor of negative mental health outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety, suicide risk). People can cope better when they can seek and receive support during a time of uncertainty.


Livelihood Needs - Job layoffs, workplace shutdowns, and physical distancing have also caused financial hardships. Concerns over food insecurities have increased because of COVID-19. The pandemic has also led to shortages of necessary supplies. Shortages of healthcare professionals, protective equipment, properly equipped facilities, and medical supplies (e.g., ventilators) all cause major hardships. It is common for such struggles and losses to lead to other losses.


Emotional Needs -  COVID-19 has disrupted life rhythms and daily activities. This has led to a significant increase in people reporting emotional struggles. Many people are struggling with a wide range of psychological challenges. People are having difficulty balancing disruptions with the need to find ways to resume their typical activities. These disruptions have caused further psychological challenges. However, the more you are able to address gaps in a person’s emotional needs, the more likely they will be able to identify and practice healthy coping strategies, thereby reducing future stress.


Safety Needs - Mandated physical distancing, sheltering-in-place, and city lockdowns are necessary to help prevent spreading of the pandemic. However, it is important to note the seriousness of major health threats and other safety concerns that may arise during COVID-19. It is important that efforts are made to protect people from serious harm and to enhance a sense of security, especially for vulnerable groups (e.g., older adults).


Spiritual Needs - COVID-19 is causing some people to question meaning and suffering. For example, some may wonder why God allows suffering through illnesses. The Humanitarian Disaster Insttitute's research shows that disasters like COVID-19 can cause what we refer to as a meaning rupture. Examples of a meaning rupture include loss of purpose in life, awareness of mortality, and a sense of lacking control over one’s situation or life.


The Spritual First Aid Manual Teaches you how to assess and prioritize unmet core needs:


Step 1: ATTEND: Give people space to share and tell their stories and their most pressing unmet needs will naturally become apparent


Step 2: ASK: After sharing about their COVID-19 experience use open-ended questions to clarify those thing they are willing to share. Help people to clarify the primary unmet core needs that are most pressing for them


Step 3: ACT: Respond with recommended interventions that are paired with their needs as presented in the Manual. But always begin with the safety need which they have identified.


Step 4: And Repeat: Address  other unmet core needs if warranted and possible.


NOTE: The Spriitual First Aid COVID-19 Manual is a powerful tool book for those who want to reach out to others to support them in these bleak pandemic times. You would think this Manual would be enough but get this they have 18 Tip Sheets for parents, ministries and volunteers on how to cope with COVID-19 at: https://www.spiritualfirstaidhub.com/resourcesmain

For a diverse range of responses and resources related to mental health, faith and COVID-19, check out the Center's recent resource titled: Considering Faith, Community and Mental Health During the COVID19 Crisis  (Click on Title to download and read)

Tips for Coping with COVID-19 Crisis: Overcoming Anxiety

From the: National Council for Behavioral Health


We’re all in this together, and there are coping mechanisms that can work for everyone, even if there are nuances that make your situation a little different than another person’s situation. Many people crave order, it’s especially true now when we’re surrounded by chaotic events.


Here are a few tips to help:

1. Establish a routine – structure can help by providing boundaries and creating some sense of normalcy and predictability.

2. Set small goals – and accomplish them! This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment.

3. Acknowledge your grief/anxiety – we all are experiencing losses. It’s okay not to feel okay.

4. Use technology – stay connected to family, friends and health care practitioners using online applications and platforms.

5. Don’t ignore your physical health – taking care of your body helps you take care of your mind. Also, it’s okay to go outside and take a walk while maintaining distance from others.

6. Limit your news consumption – there’s always time to catch up on the news, so remember to take a break from the tidal wave of information.

 

To read the full article go to: https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/BH365/2020/03/23/coping-in-a-crisis-overcoming-anxiety/

COVID-19 Impact on Immigrants and Dreamers
On Coping.us, there is a new section on DACA and Immigration. Specifically there is a section on the COVID-19 Impact on Immigrants and Dreamers. This new section has a powerful message that all of us who know little to nothing about DACA, Undocumented Immigrants or Immigration policy ought to read and do more research on. There are excellent links on this section which you can explore to enlighten yourself more. The section is called DACA and Immigration Issues in Light of COVID-19 just click on the Link with name and you will reach it.

Suffering Alone from COVID-19 Stress? - Acceptance May Be the Solution

by Dwight Bain


This article by Dwight Bain appeared April 25, 2020 in Florida Mental Health Counselor's News Release and it clearly takes a Self-Compassion Perspective. He began the article asking us if we are experiencing any of the following COVID-19 Stress Symptoms:

- Panic about the future

- Career anxiety about employment

- Insurance loss if laid off and the possibility of no healthcare for your family

- Financial ruin from mounting debts

- Impulsive actions after weeks of lock down

- Crushing loneliness from social isolation

- Painful grief over no school graduations, family birthdays or vacations together

- Missed connections with friends, coworkers, and aging family members

- Feeling helpless and hopeless about the future

- Physical exhaustion and mental depletion

 

He concluded his article stating that the strongest choice to shatter COVID-19 stress is: Acceptance.

He encourages us to learn from those who survived global crisis events like World War Two or the Great Depression. They faced the difficulty directly and found a way forward.

You can too.

1. Take a breath and think about peace instead of panic.

2. Trust that others have faced impossible situations and found resilience and strength.

3. Ignore the doomsayers and you will immediately find a deeper level of peace.

4. What happens on Wall Street isn’t as important as what happens on your street.

5. You cannot control what happens in a global pandemic, but you can practice healthy self-care to build mental wellness and strength despite the stress.

 6. Taking care of you and your part of the world is a good place to start in moving forward.

7. Remember the words of the serenity prayer that carries millions of people forward every day,

“God grand me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.”

He concluded his article by saying:Let this journey through a pandemic be one of a growing sense of perspective.You become bigger than your fears when you confront COVID-19 stress with acceptance, peace, and courage. That is the great hope of the serenity prayer. Not that your circumstances changed, rather that you did.


NOTE: You can read the entire article at: https://fmhca.wildapricot.org/Member-Forum/8926350


Here are three more articles by Dwight Bain related to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

1. COVID-19 Recession Recovery: Click here to download

2. COVID-19 Panc Will Ruin Your Immunity and Health. Here's How to Make it Worse. Click here to download

3. Can Sports "Heal" Coronavirus Stress?  Click here to download

Here is another good idea from Dwight Bain:

Spark resilience and mental wellness after COVID lock down with 21 questions that connect at a deeper level than just asking

“How are you doing”


Build emotional strength and resilience by asking:

1. What are you doing to practice self-care and personal wellness today?
2. What benefits have you seen during this shut down? (example, more family time)
3.   Besides toilet paper what items do you wish you had stocked up on?
4.   Where do you want to go first when the shelter in place is lifted?
5.  What books or online magazines have you been reading during the shutdown?
6.  What streaming services have you used most? (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, AppleTV, Amazon Prime or Disney+)
7.  How have you simplified your life during the lock down?
8.  What habits have you been able to break during the extra time at home?
9.    Have you picked up any bad habits during quarantine?
10.When you can safely attend public events after the lock down where will it be?
11 What parts of shelter in place have been the easiest to apply?
12.What parts of quarantine life will you keep in place after the lock down is lifted?
13.What do you miss most about life before COVID?
14.Which family member have you missed seeing the most during quarantine?
15.What act of kindness has impressed you the most?
16 What have you discovered you can live without?
17.What is hardest for you while sheltering in place? (example isolation)
18.Where do you find hope to keep going through this time of lock down?
19.What do you hope to remember about this time of global shut down?
20.How has the COVID shelter in place process changed you?
21.What topics are the hardest to talk about as lock down is ending? (example financial fears, substance abuse or abusive relationships)

Consider sharing a few of your own answers to spark conversations with your family and friends as you model the value of open conversations about COVID shelter in place. Story is a powerful force to build morale and courage for everyone.


When you talk through things you always get through them better. These questions require more disclosure as you get closer to the bottom of the page so start at the top and encourage others to share what was meaningful, or frustrating about lock down.


When you open conversations, it helps each person feel less stress and stay more engaged into the relationship. Covid recovery will be challenging for some, but to those who keep open lines of communication, their relationship will improve. Crisis can create connection when so start a conversation which may help someone find strength to move on.


“Next to creating a life the finest thing a man can do is save one.” – Abraham Lincoln

MY 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule


My COVID-19 Time Capsule is a fantastic activity for you and all of your family member no matter where they are residing during the Stay at Home Time. This is an 11 page activity that little kids, big kids and old fart kids can do. Here are some ideas how to use it:

Activity One

1. Print out a separate copy of this Time Capsule for each person living in your home and then email the PDF to your extended family and friends who are practicing Social Distancing

2. Challenge these family members and friends to fill out their Time Capsule and put it in a safe place to take out when we are no longer staying in place due to COVID-19.

Activity Two

1. An alternative is to complete your Time Capsule and immediately convene your family and friends to whom you sent the Time Capsule. By Zoom, Face Time or Conference Call go over each of the 11 pages one at a time and have each person tell you what they put down. If you have video have them show it.

2. You might want to do only 1 or 2 pages at a time so that everyone can get it done. This sharing with each other will hopefully encourage each of you to expand your creativity to think of new and exciting things to do at this time. ONCE the sharing is done then place it aside until we are no longer staying in place due to COVID-19.

Activity Three

1. Complete the Time Capsule on your own. Then send out the PDF to family, friends, co-workers, fellow club members, fellow synagogue and church members, neighbors and any other folks you would like to give this MY COVID-19 TIME CAPSULE CHALLENGE to.

2. That's right this is a challenge to all those folks to fill it out and then set it aside until we are no longer staying in place due to COVID-19.

3. Once things are back to normal invite all the people who took the challenge to submit their Time Capsules at a reunion you set up with them and then have all the participants vote on what they felt was the most compelling Time Capsule and once the votes are tallied that person is declared the WINNER of MY COVID-19 TIME CAPSULE CHALLENGE!


NOTE: My thanks to my friend Rick who sent in the Time Capsule PDF and my hope is that you all will give it a try. It is a hoot!

Getting Back to Nature Through

Green Exercise

to Cope with COVID-19


Here are list of activities which you can do in nature, which Green Exercise can have positive impact on your mental health during these stressful times:

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Gardening
  • Farming activities

Here the types of nature environments you might want to explore during these stressful times:

  • Waters: Ponds, Lakes, Streams, Rivers, Bays, Gulfs and Oceans
  • Countryside: Farmlands, Forests and Woodlands
  • Wild habitats
  • Urban Greens

The study: What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health found that self-esteem and improved mood came from Green Exercise irrespective of duration, intensity and location (Barton & Petty, 2010). Click to read the article


NOTE: My thanks to our brother Gary who sent this article which is so timely at this time in our lives.

 

Say you cannot get out into the Outdoors then What?

Being stuck at home can lead to “cabin fever.” It can also trigger anxiety and lead to depression. So what can you do to help stay active and energetic?

As you know going to the gym or going out to run and exercise has been limited at this time. This has made it challenging to maintain regular exercise. Being stuck at home can lead to “cabin fever.” It can also trigger anxiety and lead to depression. So what can you do to help stay active and energetic?

Exercise is a very low cost way of keeping your mood up and has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Moreover, where you exercise does not matter. If you’re unable to go outside or to a gym to work out, you can exercise in your house and still enjoy the mental health boost as well as the clear physical health benefits.

What types of exercises can you do indoors? There are plenty of choices: squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and pushups are some examples. You can hop on a treadmill, download an indoor-cycling app, subscribe to an online workout program, or start a zoom yoga class with friends.

Do you have stairs? Then walk up and down the stairs for about 10 minutes for a short cardio workout. You can make this more challenging by carrying a couple of detergent bottles or packing a few books in a backpack. In fact, wearing a loaded backpack while doing squats, lunges, or pushups makes each of those exercises more challenging.

Try this circuit to get your heart rate up:

  1. 10 jumping jacks
  2. 10 pushups
  3. 10 squats
  4. 10 sit ups
  5. 10 lunges

Rest 60 seconds, then repeat twice. Doing this short workout three times a week can help relieve your stress and energize you to endure this challenging time.

Read more at: https://www.pdhealth.mil/news/blog/indoor-exercises-improve-anxiety-and-depression

Take a Stroll in a Beautiful Floral Garden
Below is a PDF of a beautiful Stroll you can take in a beautiful floral garden. Take your time and look at the beauty of the flowers and the unique designs they were put in to. This was the work of a Floral Design artist Lewis Miller and his design company put up floral displays in Manhattan during the COVID-19 crisis in the city. Enjoy the sights of these wonderful uplifting floral arrangements.
Walking through the Flowers Imagine a Swere Comes Your Way
  • A swerve smells astringent, like the wind off the sea
  • it tastes red, the way Red Hot cinnamon mints
  • burn in your mouth;
  • it's heavy, the way the weight of letters is heavy,
  • arriving in sacks at the Senate;
  • it sounds like the click of needles
  • as hundreds of thousands of women knit pink hats;
  • it looks like a coyote, crossing the freeway to go home.
  • At any Moment, There could be a Swerve in a Different Direction
  • Ellery Akers
  • New York Times Magazine, 5/10/20
Watch Fun COVID-19 Videos at Home

Fun COVID-19 Videos: On YouTube  at:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Fun+covid+19+videos

 

Parody's about COVID-19: On YouTube at:

  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query

=funny+covid+19+parody

 

Quarantine Parody's: On YouTube at: 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=quarantine+parody

 

COVID-19 Parody Music: On YouTube at: 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=covid+19+parody+music 

 

COVID-19 Inspired Toilet Paper Shortage: On YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Funny+COVID-19+Toilet+rolls+crisis

 

PS these lists of COVID-19 Fun go on and on and should keep you busy when you are bored and have nothing better to do Cool

 

Name that Feeling -
Staying at Home Family Challenge
DIRECTIONS: Name that Feeling Challenge

People who live in the same home during the COVID-19 Stay at Home Orders, set up a table with blank paper and pen or pencil for each person sitting at the table. Then ask each person to work on their own to name the feelings being shown on each of the 30 faces. Then once you all have written down what the feelings are that each of the faces display, have each person explain why they chose the feelings named. Once all 30 faces of feelings have been discussed then vote for each face for what the actual feeling each face displays. This is a game where only the majority wins. So choose carefully.

Once you complete the naming then openly discuss which of these faces of feelings are what the players have felt or are feeling during these difficult times. Hopefully you all will recognize that you all are having emotions and feelings which are common and that it is OK to be open to express these feelings in your house. After all, you all want to survive these challenging times of loneliness, isolation and boredom.

This Feeling Challenge could also be converted to a live "role play feelings" game where the person who is up displays a feeling and the group has to guess what it is and they only have five chances to get the right answer. You get 1 point if you were right and you do the game until you have covered at least 30 different feelings like in the original game.
  TO DO PROJECTS DURING
COVID-19 STAY AT HOME TIMES
Project #1: Protect Your Family's Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article by James Retzlaf appeared May 19, 2020 on Beeboom.com
This projects involved two groups in your families- Senior members over 65 years and Children

Senior's Needs
Protect them by using:
1. Use 6 foot social distance
2. Self-Quarantine - self-separation is not a punishment is it a precaution
3. Isolation - madated if exposed to COVID-19
Results of these are Loneliness and Isolation which impacts not only mental health but also physical health
Solutions:
1. Maintain communications with your seniors via Phone, FaceTime, Zoom or Google Meet
2. Encourage Seniors to get a daily walk in
3. Encourage Seniors to engage in hobbies like arts and crafts or gardening
4. Encourage Seniors to attend online sessions with their social and/or religious groups

Children's Needs
1. To be provided  legitimate information about COVID-19 and resulting life situations faced
2. Limited access to news so as not to increase their stress and concerns
3. Lessons in how to manage self-care for themselves
4. Encouragement to support one another in the family, their friends and neighbors
5. Be provided upbeat and positive thinking and positive messages
6. Time spent with parents in talking, listening, responding and reassuring to let them understand the situation, to help motivate them to think positively

Project #2: Organize Your Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic


This resource comes from the American Psychological Association at: https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/parenting-during-pandemic

 

For many parents, home in the age of COVID-19 has become the office, the classroom, even the gym. Many parents are struggling to not only keep their children occupied, but also to oversee schooling, even as they telework, grocery shop and perform all the other daily necessities of family life. At the same time, children may be reacting to stress by acting out or regressing to behaviors long outgrown.

 

1. Acknowledge your emotions

It’s normal to feel fearful, anxious or stressed now. Discuss your experiences with relatives and friends or share a laugh. If you continue to experience problems, try a telehealth consultation with a mental health professional.


2. Set boundaries

Boundaries blur when work and home life occur at the same place, making it more difficult to get things done or disconnect from work. To help: 1. designate a specific area to work in, ideally a room with a door. 2. designate an area for schoolwork and homework. 3. If you don’t have a home office, consider setting up your children’s homework space alongside your workspace so you can model for your kids how to work productively. 4. Try setting a kitchen timer for 90 minutes and tell children you’ll spend 15 minutes doing something fun with them when the buzzer goes off. When children know the plan, they’re less likely to interrupt your work. 5 Thank your child for allowing you to do your work. Threats, such as loss of screen time, are far less effective.


3. Establish a routine

It’s unrealistic to think you and your children will put in normal hours during this stressful time. But it’s important to maintain a routine, even if children are getting or staying up later than usual. Routines help family members cope with stress and be more resilient. Post a written schedule of when you expect children to get up, do schoolwork, eat meals, play and go to bed. Also include times dedicated to your own work. Remember not every hour needs to be scheduled. Allow for flexibility, play and free time.


4. Relax screen time rules

Don’t feel guilty about allowing more screen time than usual. You might allow your child to watch a movie or play a video game while you complete a work task, for example. Or help your child stay connected to friends via videoconferencing or multi-player video games.  Don’t forego the rules entirely. Younger children should use a computer or tablet in common spaces rather than their rooms so that parents can monitor content. With teens, talk about appropriate content and screen time limits.


5. Communicate with supervisors and co-workers

Explain your situation to your supervisor and colleagues. They may be unaware you’re juggling work and home-schooling. Negotiate with your boss about schedules and expectations. Work together to craft a plan that works for both you and your employer. Perhaps you can agree that you’ll focus on home-schooling in the morning but be available for calls in the afternoon, for instance.


6. Share responsibilities

If there’s another parent or caregiver in your home, negotiate child-care shifts. You might oversee schoolwork in the morning while your partner works, then trade off in the afternoon. Get help from people beyond your home, too. Ask a grandparent or friend to video-chat with your child while you make an important work call, for example. Or trade off organizing virtual play dates with a neighbor, which can not only keep your children busy while you work but help them maintain friendships.


7 Practice self-care

You—and everyone else in your family—need alone time every day. Take a walk, enjoy a long shower or just sit in your car. If you can’t get away physically, put in earbuds and practice mindfulness meditation via your phone.And practice self-compassion. Don’t worry if you can’t concentrate or let housekeeping standards slide. During this stressful time, it’s important to go easy on your children and yourself.


Here are two additional Parenting Tips from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s: Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Parents and Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019

Project #3: Clean Your Home to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

1. You can reduce potential spread of COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets and sinks. Do this daily if someone in your home has COVID-19.

2.  When using disinfectants, read and follow product instructions, including what precautions to take when using the product. Many disinfectants need to remain on surfaces for some time to be effective. This is called the contact time. Check the label for the specifics. Also make sure you have good airflow in the room when you're using any type of disinfectant.

3. When disinfecting your house start by putting on gloves before cleaning and disinfecting — preferably disposable gloves, so you can throw them away immediately after you're done. If you only have reusable gloves, don't use them for any other purposes. Thoroughly wash your hands after removing your gloves.

NOTE: These are some take away TO DO's from the article on the Mayo Clinic website: Ways to Fight Coronovirus Transmission at Home at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-transmission/art-20482397?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=controlling-diabetes
Project #4: Find Ways to Be Physically Active at Home


Being physically active during our COVID-19 Stay in Place TIme is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Physical activity has better health benefits, such as better sleep and reduced stress and anxiety. Regular physical activity can decrease depression and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. The good news is that every little bit of physical activity can provide health benefits—the key is to move more and sit less throughout the day. And there are many ways to be active wherever you live.


Find an exercise video online. Search the internet for exercise videos that are led by certified exercise leaders or trainers and match your interests, abilities, and fitness level. You can find videos to help you do aerobics, dance, stretch, and build strength. No gym or special equipment needed. You can also find videos created especially for kids and older adults

Work out with items you have around the house. Use full water bottles, canned goods, or other items for strength training if you don’t have weights around the house. Stretch with a towel. Walking or running up and down stairs (that are clear of obstacles to avoid tripping) can be a great workout.

Make the most of screen time. While watching TV, your family can do jumping jacks during commercials or move along with the characters in a show or movie by walking or running in place.

Family playtime is a great time to work in physical activity. Hula hoops, hopscotch, jumping jacks, and jump ropes are a great way for the whole family to get active. Games like Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose, and playing catch keep everyone moving and having fun.

Housework and yard work count! Vacuuming, sweeping, gardening, and cleaning inside and outside where you live all count towards your physical activity goal. And you’ll knock out some items on your to-do list while gaining health benefits


Try to keep moving because any amount of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster can improve your health. For even greater health benefits, experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week which can be broken into smaller amounts such as about 25 minutes a day every day.


NOTE: The ideas for this To Do Project  came from CDC on April 23, 2020 at https://www.coronavirus.gov/
Project #5: Healthy, Productive Ways to Roll with the Punches During the COVID-19 Pandemic

No one needs to tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned things upside down for millions of Americans. And even though many states are in the process of reopening their economy and loosening social distancing restrictions, it will be a long time before things are back to how they used to be, if they ever get there.Now is the time to make changes in your life that can produce short-term and long-term benefits, whether they’ve been forced upon you by the pandemic or you simply want to make them. Below, you will find some healthy, productive ideas for improving your life in the COVID-19 era.

 

Selling a Home

One industry that has seen dramatic changes due to the pandemic is the real estate industry. Buyers are much less likely to tour homes in person, and home sales are declining. Nonetheless, if you need to sell your home, you can make it happen. By utilizing 3D walkthroughs and video-chat tours, buyers can view your home sufficiently.Whether you choose to sell during the pandemic or wait until things are closer to normal, you will need to prepare your home by decluttering, cleaning, staging, and other processes that help to bring out the best in your home.

 

Taking on a New Career

If you’ve been let go from your job or have experienced a significant cut in your hours/salary, make sure you allow yourself to grieve and cope. But also start thinking about what’s next. This could be the perfect time to step into a new chapter by starting a different career. This might mean staying in your current field and going out on your own, or it might mean diving into a different industry altogether. Whatever the case, you have a lot of options when it comes to remote work. Check out freelancing sites like Upwork to find work in everything from sales and accounting to writing and designing.

 

Adopting a Pet 

Another change to consider making during the pandemic is adopting a new pet. Bringing home a pet can add tremendous joy to your life, and you will have a companion who loves you unconditionally. However, there are responsibilities involved as well, so make sure you prepare your home and make the necessary adjustments to your routine to accommodate a pet.

 

Building a Garden

If you’re spending more time at home, isn’t it the perfect time to start that garden you’ve always wanted? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and you can create a great little garden on the cheap. For instance, buying plants in the off-season, saving seeds, building plant beds from repurposed materials, and tracking down free mulch are ways that you can save money.

 

Creating a Home Office

Whether you’re telecommuting full-time or starting your freelance career, you need a place to work productively at home. Otherwise, you will deal with constant distractions, and it will be harder to get into a rhythm. Consider the equipment and tools you need for your work, and choose a location in your home that would work best for your needs (e.g., spare bedroom, garage, closet nook). If you want to go the extra mile, make it into a multipurpose room that can be used for exercising, hobbies, and so on.  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some obvious challenges, but it’s also brought about a unique opportunity to improve our routines and overall lives. Consider the ideas listed here for changes that can boost your health, productivity, and happiness. But don’t stop here; keep thinking of ideas and remain open-minded to how you can take your life to the next level—both in the short-term and long-term.


Written by: Jennifer Scott

Project #6: Help Senior members of your family, friends, neighbors or communities  to stay healthy and connected during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1. Help them handle social distancing by getting them masks and gloves
2. Help them when they must self-quarantine
3. Help them deal with their feelings of isolation
4. Help them deal with their feelings of loneliness
5. Encourage them to get Financial Counseling if experiencing financial difficulties at this time
6, Encourage them to use Telehealth to keep up with their doctors to maintain their health both physical and mental health
7. Encourage them to use computers and smartphones to stay connected with family members, friends and their social networks
8.Encourage them to increase their physical activity in their homes
9 Encourage them to maintain their weight and healthy balanced diet
10. Encourage them to engage in old or new hobbies such as gardening, arts & crafts, picture albums and scrapbooks
11. Encourage them to engage in activities that bring them joy
12. Encourage them to take care of their health through getting a good night's sleep, taking their medications and eating healthy meals daily

NOTE: These ideas are more fully explain in this article which was sent to me after opening this tip sheet:
Project #7: Help your Older Family Members, Friends, Neighbors or Citizens in you community who want to age in place both during our COVID-19 era and in the future

If you have older family members you are concerned about during these COVID-19 times and these family folks are living at home on their own, here are some things you can do to help them age in place safely not only now but after this pandemic goes away.

Take on a project of fixing up you family members home to insure their safety by doing the following:
  • Remove area rungs from their home and check to see that all carpets are fixed firmly to the floor
  • Replace handles on doors or faucets with ones that are comfortable for their use
  • Install grab bars near toliets and in the tub or shower
  • Reduce fall hazards: place no slip strips or non-skid mats on tile or wood floors or surfances that may get wet
  • Place Light Switches at the top and bottom of stairs and make sure that night lights are used at night
  • And if need install a ramp with handrails to the front door

NOTE: These tips are from the National Institute on Aging to make your old family member's home safer so that they can stay in their home and Age in Place safely.
Project #8: Get a Pet Fish for Your Home

The Editor of VIVOFISH Blog at https://www.vivofish.com/ sent us a request to put an article on 18 Reasons Why Getting a Pet Fish Can Keep You Healthy and Improve Your Life at https://www.vivofish.com/fishkeeping-benefits/. The amazing thing is that the research done on this activity comes to us at a perfect time with our COVID-19 Stay at Home orders. Our thanks to Matt Leighton for asking us to post his wonderful ideas. Below is the chart that goes along with his article.

Apps for Mindfulness

Insight Timer - Meditation App (cost free)

Learn to meditate on Insight Timer to help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, manage stress, sleep deeply and improve happiness. At: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zen-timer-meditation-timer/

id337472899?mt=8

 

Guided Mind (cost: free)

Relax and get guided through meditations on a variety of topics dealing with the stresses and challenges of day-to-day life. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guided-mind-guided-imagery/

id672076838?mt=8

 

Mindfulness - Everyday guided meditations (cost: free)

Science-backed audios for everyone from entrepreneurs to stay at home moms.

Use Mindfulness to quiet the chatter in your brain and to achieve clarity.

Come back anytime you need an extra dose of serenity. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mindfulness-everyday-guided-

meditations/id826468170?mt=8

 

The Mindfulness App – meditate (cost: free)

Start your journey to a more relaxed and healthier state of mind with The

Mindfulness App. Whether you are just starting out or experienced in

meditation, The Mindfulness App will help you to become more present

in your daily life. At: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-mindfulness-app-meditate/

id417071430?mt=8

 

Mind Timer - A Simple Timer for Insight Meditation (cost: free)

Mind Timer is a simple app that keeps track of the time while you meditate. At: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mind-timer-a-simple-timer-for-insight-meditation/

id901569488?mt=8

 

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep - Mindfulness Meditation Daily (cost: free)

Reduce stress & anxiety, improve focus, and sleep better using daily mindfulness

meditations, life coaching, stories, and music. All personalized to you based

on your mood. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aura-calm-anxiety-sleep/id1114223104?mt=8

 

Take a Break! - Meditations for Stress Relief (cost: free)

Take a break now and let your stress melt away! You can enjoy the deep relaxation,

stress relief and benefits of meditation now with this app by Meditation Oasis™.

Featuring two popular meditations from the the Meditation Oasis podcast, the app

gives you the option to listen with or without music or nature sounds. You can

also listen to the relaxing music and nature sounds alone. At: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/take-a-break-meditations-for-stress-

relief/id453857236?mt=8

 

Calm (cost: free)

Calm Body sessions are 10 minute guided video lessons on mindful movement and

gentle stretching. Lessons include "Morning Wakeup", "Afternoon Reset", "Back Care"

and "Evening Wind Down". Addition programs on the app include: Calm Masterclass,

Breathe Bubble, Scenes selector, Calm Body, and your Profile. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calm/id571800810?mt=8

 

Headspace: Meditation Breathe, sleep, relax & focus (cost: free)

Headspace is the simple way to reframe stress. Sleep trouble? Meditation creates

the ideal conditions for a good night’s rest. Relax with guided meditations and

mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness and balance to your life in just

a few minutes a day. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/headspace-meditation/id493145008?mt=8

 

Stop, Breathe & Think - Meditation for Calm & Sleep (cost: free)

Meditation & mindfulness to help you feel strong, connected and inspired

through life’s ups and downs. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stop-breathe-think/id778848692?mt=8

 

Happify: for Stress & Worry - Activities, Games & Meditation (cost: free)

How you feel matters. Whether you're feeling stressed, anxious, depressed,

or you're dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective

tools and programs to take control of your emotional wellbeing. At:

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/happify-for-stress-worry/id730601963?mt=8

 

Simple Habit - Meditation (cost: free)

Simple Habit is the best meditation app for busy people. Meditate for just 5

minutes/day to reduce stress, improve focus, sleep better, relax faster,

breathe easier, and more. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simple-habit-meditation/id1093360165?mt=8

 

Meditation Rx - Relief for Patients & Families (cost: $2.99)

Find relief from the stress of serious illness with the Meditation Rx app.

Whether you are ill or are supporting a loved one through an illness,

you will find guided meditations especially designed to suit your needs.

The app helps you to deal with the stresses of being ill, being in a medical

setting, undergoing difficult procedures, hearing bad news and more. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/meditation-rx-relief-for-patients-families/

id1165851703?mt=8

 

At Ease Anxiety & Worry Relief (cost: $2.99)

The Meditation Oasis® At Ease app has a unique approach to relieving

anxiety and worry, by combining voice-guided breathing meditations,

exercises and journaling. At Ease is intended to make deep and lasting

change rather than applying a temporary “band aid”. Most people will

experience immediate relief using the guided breathing meditations,

but the long term benefit of At Ease will come from using the breathing, exercises and journaling regularly over time. At:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/at-ease-anxiety-worry-relief/id453042967?mt=12