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COVID-19: Take Care of Yourself

Monday, April 20, 2020   (0 Comments)
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STOP and take time for yourself.

We are in a very unusual time; in fact, I keep saying that I feel like I am in a sci-fi movie and this cannot possibly be real. If you watch the news and reports, you may feel stressed about those who we cannot help and those who are helping on the frontline. You may have a loved one whose health, job, or family has been affected by the virusthere are so many factors that we cannot control. Many of us are working from home in an environment not necessarily set up for this new norm. Internet is a challenge, homeschooling is a challenge, accomplishing housework is a challenge, dogs digging holes and becoming covered in dirt and mulch while you are trying to work is a challenge.

However, we cannot let this unusual time control us. We must stop, breathe, and clear our head and our heart. I find myself taking mini breaks to walk around the backyard, as we have been blessed with some beautiful spring weather. I have taken up yoga via YouTube and I have now done double the amount of classes I had ever done before. I am taking 30-minute walks each day, and the next time I go to the doctor, I will tell her, “Yes, I walk every day for exercise.” I really do (clearing my conscience)! I feel for the parents who are now serving as their child’s teacher and trying to accomplish work from home. We had our seven-year-old grandson from St. Louis with us for the first two weeks, trying to help out my husband’s daughter and her family while they figured out their game plan. He was a handful, but we managedsome days better than others. What I stopped and reflected on, though, was that without COVID-19, we probably would not have had the opportunity to spend this quality time with him. So parents, while this is a trying time, please try to remember that you are being given extra one-on-one time with your children that otherwise would have been spent away at an office or on a business trip. The other aspect that I realized while our grandson was here was that we did not necessarily need to spend six hours in school or doing certain assignments. There were other opportunities for learning. We learned about different birds, we learned about the Pink Moon, and we spent time going through our Highlights magazines on the different states and finding something interesting in each one that he liked. 

The other way I have found to be able to manage and feel grateful for this opportunity is that there is a red-bellied woodpecker who, for the past seven days, has been building a nest in a dead tree right behind our back fence. It is interesting to spend a few moments watching how hard at work he is and that he takes breaks to fly off to eat at our feeder, drink from our birdbath, and do his usual knocking on the telephone pole. I would not have been able to watch this fabulous architect/construction worker had I been in my regular routine of going to the office. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities have occurred in a very simple format.

As for working, I often reach out to my donors and prospects to check in with them on how they are doing. Several are older and live alone, so I hope my email, card, or phone call makes a bit of a difference for them. I am also taking advantage of this time to invest in myself and take advantage of many professional development webinars out there. I have reached out to my peers and to those I have mentored to check in on them. I have had a tremendous amount of face-to-face meetings via Webex through work, and it has been great seeing everyone’s home workspace. I have been given a chance to get to know my workers on a more intimate basis. I have met their pets and their children, and we’ve even had a contest of “guess whose refrigerator this is” through photos that are posted. Even being apart, we have shared so much with each other that when we return, we will be closer and have a better understanding of who we are individually.

So, if you are feeling the stress of the challenges, I encourage you to pause and breathe. Take a look around and admire what you have. When you feel you are at the end of your patience or stuck in a crack, you can still bloom and be your best.

Your AFP Friend,

Beth Wilson, MS
Senior Director of Development

UTHealth

 

*Elizabeth.k.wilson@uth.tmc.edu, if you need a friend to listen.

 


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