Almost a year into this pandemic, many are finding our mental resilience challenged. Dr. Simon-Thomas, Director for the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley has found that the ability to be resilient depends on how we manage our setbacks and difficult periods. The good thing is that resilience can be developed though active practices that are scientifically proven. These practices such as self-care and meaningful connection to others, help us move forward in a positive ways even during a crisis.
One practice that has helped CEDR as an organization, is working on that meaningful connection with our volunteers. Team Leaders often check-in with our volunteers during an activation, and even for some time afterwards. Team Leaders do this to make sure volunteers are managing the stress and emotions that emerge from being witnesses to a disaster. Our Team Leaders know the personal impact disasters have on our lives and the importance that self-care provides to help us manage our physical and mental stress.
Developing a healthy self-care practice to increase our resilience and improve our overall mental health is not easy even during normal times. Scientists have shown us that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, let alone a whole practice taking care of ourselves on a daily basis. However, the research of Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, has shown that with consistent practice we can thrive even during the challenging times.
Towards the goal of developing a consistent practice of self-care and positivity, we at CEDR have decided to launch a challenge over the next 30 days to help our volunteers and followers begin, develop and maintain a self-care practice that creates a mental resilience that will enable us to deal with any challenges that are ahead. We hope you will join us in this challenge and share with us feedback of your journey along the way. Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions about your self-care experiences using the actions on our list or from your own practice. For those who are visually challenged they can access the text of the image at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CDNAvQS8amMD4qw7dI1mV5aW6jqAdxtubIWwbv2OFw8/edit?usp=sharing
If you’re new at these types of challenges, participation is easy. Simply choose daily one of the 40 activities listed and make a note somewhere about your experience: either in a journal, or by checking off the box on a printout of the list, in order to develop a habit of accountability. Please note that even though it is a 30 day challenge we listed 40 activities in the event you might want to swap out an activity you don’t like. We encourage you to give us feedback on our social media accounts to let us know how things are going. Every Saturday night we will be available to chat on twitter and get your comments or questions on your experiences. These check-ins are what we do every week when we have activations to share life hacks or challenges with our self-care practices.
This #holiday season we’ve been sharing with our followers, resources our volunteers have found to be helpful in getting through this pandemic. Today we will share additional FREE resources our volunteers have used either to learn something new or to explore something that has always interested them. We invite you to take a look at these online resources and see if any of these capture your interest during this pandemic.
These learning opportunities run the gamut from simply exploring a hobby, classes in skills development, to the introduction of courses in a variety of subjects. Several give you an opportunity to earn academic credit or professional certifications. A few resources provide advanced level business or computer science courses. Many of the introductory online courses can be done in one day, while others require small chunks of time over a week or more.
Some of our own volunteers have used this time to finally dive deep into that hobby they always wanted time for, or they have acquired new skills that will help them move forward in their current careers. Others have used this time and these resources to alter the direction of their lives and have begun to pivot into new career paths. Some of these opportunities end soon so please review and explore them soon!
Coursera has hundreds of free courses that can be finished in under 8 hours. Topics vary from Cooking, Psychological First Aid, Child Nutrition to Introduction to Computer Programming or if you prefer, you can choose longer courses or programs, such Computer Programming Certificates.
Want to know more about how disasters are handled by FEMA, how you can prepare for the impacts of disasters on your pets or livestock, or how your community emergency response team operates? FEMA has a course for you!
Free online advanced high school and college level courses where you can learn about, or brush up on, many levels of astronomy, math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, finance, history, and more.
USE YOUR LIBRARY
Check your local library to see if they provide access to Lynda.com or Udemy.com. Both offer a wide variety of classes. In addition, your library may subscribe to Mango, a language-learning database, if you’re interested in diving into a whole new language. You’re paying for access to these databases with your tax dollars – use them!
Courses on computer and software skills ranging from computer basics and typing tutorials to Microsoft Office 2016, as well as topics as diverse as critical thinking, algebra basics, and digital photography. Many courses are available in different languages.
Digital skills help us connect, learn, engage, and create more promising futures. Learn how to effectively use devices, Microsoft software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and the internet to collaborate with others and discover, use and create information.
If you’re looking to make a bigger time commitment or do a deep dive on something you’ve been hoping to learn then explore the offerings at Openculture. It has a catalog of 1,500 free online courses from major universities via learning platforms such as EdX and Coursera.
Start developing your skills for free with learning paths from LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn, then practice tech skills in the GitHub Learning Lab. Also, learn how the skills you already have map to thousands of jobs with LinkedIn’s Career Explorer tool.
Harvard offers a variety of open learning opportunities, including free online courses in a variety of subjects from Astronomy and Buddhism to Politics and Philosophy. A full list of online courses at Harvard is available through the link and through their edX learning platform which offers over 3.000 courses.
Alison offers a wide range of free basic/introductory courses in a broad range of subjects from business startup topics to marketing, in addition to their core IT management, networking, security, hardware, software and game development. While courses are free to participate in (by watching ads), if you complete a certificate or diploma course, you’ll need to pay a fee to get a printed or digital certificate. You also can opt to pay for a premium account for around $9 per month to remove ads, access to more advanced level classes, and additional features such as discounts on certificate fees.
Free online worker safety training from the University of Utah and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences which provides expert guidance on health, safety, virus prevention, employee rights, and COVID-19 policy in the workplace.
IBM offers free online training courses, designed to build valuable skills and improve your productivity. They include foundational soft skills programs as well as technical training. Many courses offer free digital certificates to help you build your professional credentials.
Udemy is for professional adults who need to enhance their skills to continue advancing in their career. Some courses are free, while some are available at a fee — it depends on the course and instructor. However, paid courses won’t break the bank, as most go on sale for as low as $9.99, so you can typically find a good deal (especially around the holidays).
2020 has been a challenging year for millions of families across the country as routines and lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The greatest disruption has been in the area of our social interactions. With social distancing and isolation requirements to protect our health, have come a new set of issues and stresses for all, but especially for children.
Children don’t always respond to stressful events in the same way as adults do. Often they are unable to articulate how they are feeling or pinpoint a cause. However, there are behavioral clues that can help parents and other adults know they are not managing to deal with stress well. Some of these are:
Excessive worry or sadness
Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
Irritability and “acting out” behaviors
Lack of school interest or poor performance
Avoidance of school work, including simple tasks
Difficulty with attention and concentration
Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
Children sometimes learn ways to cope with stressful situations from cues they receive from their peers and adults in their lives. The social isolation required by this pandemic has not been easy, as children and all the adults around them have been greatly impacted by the uncertainties of COVID-19. It is therefore important for parents to first identify any issues and then help their children develop coping strategies that will enable their resilience in dealing with the challenges that covid will continue to create in our lives.
Taking time to talk with your children about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand. It’s important to acknowledge their fears and concerns.
Reassure them that they are safe. Share with them how you deal with your own stresses so that they can learn from your own coping mechanisms and can approach you when they are concerned or fearful.
Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage about COVID-19. Children may misinterpret what they see or hear and may get frightened about something they don’t understand.
Make sure you create and maintain a sense of structure and routine, which often provides comfort to children.
Be a role model; take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your own friends and family members virtually so they can learn to use technology for peer and family support.
We have listed below some additional resources you might find helpful in supporting your children during this time:
Are your teens being challenged by COVID19 restrictions? Do you find your teens exhibiting unusual behavior or find they are just being different since the pandemic began?
Adolescence is not only a time of great physical change in a young person’s life during normal times, it’s also a time when change is felt very deeply. During a pandemic, some changes can become overwhelming or additional forms of stress for these young adults. Several sources of teen stress can include:
Changes in their appearance or body
School demands and frustrations
Negative feelings about themselves
Problems with peers at school
Separation or divorce of Parents
Illness or death of a loved one
Moving or changing schools
Family financial problems
Restricting favorite activities
Recognizing a change in your teen’s mood or behavior is the first step in being able to provide support to them. HealthyChildren.org has a page on ways parents can identify changes in their teens, as well as suggestions on how to provide support to them, as well as how to enlist support from health professionals, such as your teen’s pediatrician.
The mental health professionals at Child Mind Institute offer tips and provide a list of resources for parenting teenagers (and young adults suddenly home from college) during the pandemic.
The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) has compiled a list of mental health resources on a wide variety of Teen Mental Health subjects, from addiction issues to strategies on parenting young adults in close quarters.
Last on our list are two organizations where parents can find guidance on how to support teens dealing with trauma or grief. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has created three separate guides for parents on how to help young adults cope with trauma, loss and grief. You can find all three guides on this page.
The mental and healthcare professionals at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta have dedicated a section of their website for parents and caregivers who want to support teens through the various stages of grief. They provide support for this and many other topics on their Strong4Life website.
Additional resources can be accessed by teens directly through the links below:
Even though scientists are continuously discovering new information since the Coronavirus emerged, some of the basic safety measures still remain the same. For example, after dozens of studies, the fact that the #coronavirus can live on some surfaces for a long time is still true, but where there are differences is in exactly how long it can survive on different surfaces like paper, plastic, and metal. Regardless of how long it does live on a surface, there are still 3 personal strategies that have been essential in helping people protect themselves against COVID-19:
Personal hygiene practices: washing hands vigorously
Personal behavior practices: Wearing masks & Social Distancing
The most effective and easiest method of personal protection against #COVID19 is by not touching your face. That alone will dramatically cut your exposure to the virus. Next is developing a practice of hand washing before and after certain activities: https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1244006497635491841/pu/vid/720×720/qcd8t8vDorTauiLB.mp4?tag=10
By now you’ve heard a lot about 1 personal hygiene habit, that is extremely important: washing your hands. Here’s a video on the best way to wash so you are sure you’ve killed all harmful bacteria and viruses like COVID19.
Two other practices that are equally important is how you sneeze or cough and where. But even most important is what you do immediately afterwards. Even if you use your sleeve, use a tissue to wipe your face. Then immediately dispose of it in the trash. In order not to infect anyone else you should wash your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer.
Understanding how we get infected, helps us to know how to prevent getting sick. Below is a wonderful infographic that can be used to show others how the coronavirus infects and is transmitted to groups of all ages. Click through the cartoon to read the story
Studies have shown that not all disinfectant products are effective at killing #COVID19. The EPA has a list of over 500 disinfectants that are effective at killing this coronavirus, also known commonly as #COVID19, or by its scientific name: SARS-COV-2. Please visit this linked EPA page to see the full list.
Sadly, not everything in your life can be cleaned with a disinfectant. In fact the items that poses the most danger to you is something you need to learn how to clean differently. What is it? Your cellphone. Studies have shown that our cellphones have more bacteria than our toilets – Ewww, I know. But because cellphones are electronic you cannot spray them with disinfectants. Watch the video through the link below to learn how to clean and disinfect your mobile phone without causing any damage.
Protecting your family involves more than handwashing, it involves planning and a new way of doing things. For example: it involves wiping down your groceries before putting them away; storing the shoes you wore outside in an area where they won’t infect your family or pets; making certain plans in order to help vulnerable family members avoid others who might carry carriers of #COVID19. You can find all of this and more in the Household Pandemic Guide posted here: bit.ly/2HS03ue
Finally, stay informed of #coronavirus community spread and school and other closures in your area by signing up for updates with your local/county health department as they will be the ones responsible for making those decisions. Follow your State & local Health Depts on fb/twitter and online to learn of health alerts in your area. To find them visit: https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory
We have a variety of resources for Individuals, Families and Small Business
Here are some free #coronavirus resources posted on our website for you: -Personal Protection Resources – http://bit.ly/2IHRbI3 -Understanding #CommunitySpread, containment and mitigation + Resources – http://bit.ly/33eDzNV -Community Spread Part 1- http://bit.ly/2wUNZGe
For Single Parents Who are Working and Homeschooling We asked a mom, who has mastered the art of #homeschooling and #workingremotely to share her experiences in a blog post to help our followers prepare for that transition. We’ve posted it on our blog so please go visit: http://bit.ly/2TSPfTn
Tonight 3 resources for small companies that have to transition employees to work remotely due to COVID19 .
By Guest Author/ CEDR Volunteer – Sandi Luipersbeck
So, you checked your email last week only to learn that your company was sending workers home to telecommute. Now you’re getting ready to try to accomplish your basic work tasks while trying to determine what your children will be doing for school, and wondering how in the world you’ll meet all your deadlines. Before you start pulling out your hair and running for the exits, there are a few basic things to remember which I will share below along with 8 resources to help during this time.
Determine What Resources are Being Offered First, determine what resources your local school system will be providing you with if any. In some areas, schools are providing parents with access to distance learning materials so that they can access full courses with live instructors online. In other areas, schools are providing parents with take-home educational packets. And in some locations parents are being asked to homeschool their children for an indefinite period of time. Your first step is to determine what educational resources are being offered to you, so you’ll know if you need to create a curriculum, find a pre-created curriculum, or use the curriculum that is being provided.
You’re in Uncharted Territory Keep in mind that no one knows how to do what you’re doing “correctly” because as a nation we’re all exploring new territory. This is the first time, historically, that we’ve needed to be able to work from home in technological careers while teaching and entertaining our children. Previous generations were able to manage working, schooling, and housekeeping by focusing on one task at a time, but that’s often difficult as modern tasks multiply. Once you know which type of schooling you’ll be responsible for, you’ll be able to work your child’s education into the daily flow of your household.
Go Easy on Yourself It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to accomplish as much as you can at the office – go easy on yourself, and on your colleagues. Everyone is dealing with a large amount of stress at the moment. Deadlines may need to be adjusted, dates may need to be rearranged, and projects may not move along as quickly as they would if everyone was working in the office. It’s important to understand that it’ll take some time for everyone to get up to speed. Your children may also take some time to adjust to the new situation and settle into the new routine. Again, go easy on yourself, as this is a novel situation for everyone.
Keep Timing in Mind As you go through your day, both careful timing and flexibility will be important. Set aside specific chunks of your day for dedicated, focused work. This may be time when your child is sleeping, entertained with another activity, or working on their schoolwork. Use other blocks of time for less focused work like returning phone calls, making lists, returning emails, and organizing your tasks. As you adapt to working from home, you’ll develop a “flow” of accomplishing your daily business tasks while also caring for your family. You can plan for breaks for meals, time to review schoolwork, and any quieter times that various family members will need throughout the day, as well.
CEDR will be offering ongoing blog posts about adjusting to telecommuting, handling education from home, additional resources for parents, and managing a household during a crisis. Feel free to drop a comment below with any suggestions or specific topics that you’d like to see.
Here are 8 resources and fun hacks you can use to educate your children during a quarantine:
Since there have been many #schoolclosures announced today, we are separating the #coronavirus #resources from the #COVID19 stats to provide you with #hacks and all you need to keep your sanity while being the coolest #Parents on the planet. Please RT this so others can find. Thx! Articles on how to talk to our youngest children about the #Coronavirus #COVID19: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210-tips-for-families-talking-about-the-coronavirus
Educational Entertainment is going to be important while the kids are home. Reward children for completing their work and chores on schedule with extra viewing time; the catch is it can only be via free streaming on PBS. Elmo will be happy to see them. https://www.pbs.org/
Raising Dragons is a fun website that help get kids interestested in science. Activities are by age and parent involvement varies. Don’t forget to create a bookmark section to revisit the sites you find interesting and useful. https://www.raisingdragons.com/
Afraid your child might not learn or be left behind educationally? A great free resource is Khan’s Academy. They offer personalized learning to students of all ages including those AP subjects that can be challenging for Juniors and Seniors. #CEDRdigital volunteers highly reccomend: https://www.khanacademy.org/
And just because your indoors does NOT mean you get to skip Phys Ed. There are plenty of free kid-friendly yoga classes that parents can join in on. My son’s all-time favorite is Goat Yoga with Kids from Iowa PBS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vtfkq2HvwI
Finally, something you both can share… quiet time…in the form of a guided meditation. Headspace and YouTube have free guided meditations for kids. It’s a great way to get frustrated ansty kids to relax and its an activity you can both do together or apart.
This Post continues the theme of: How to Prevention COVID spread
Since the World Health Org has declared #COVID-19 a global pandemic, we thought it best to share some basic info – our Coronavirus Personal Protection Page which includes a Household Pandemic Guide: Link: http://bit.ly/39uBwY9
As #coronavirus spreads on its predicted course, the US has also responded with measures aimed at curbing it. Two days ago we began to help our followers in #NH #MA #FL #CA #NJ understand what #COVID19 Community Spread is and its impact via a thread: http://bit.ly/38DUYRg
We’ve seen how #NY & #Washington state have implemented Social Distancing measures and these were different based on how far the disease has spread in each of their communities. The Gov created a containment zone for the town of #NewRochelle with had already over 100 cases under a 1mile radius. Washington chose a number of closures/bans aimed at social distancing to stop their spread. In both cases they are a multi-layered approach that expands from voluntary to mandatory depending on the severity of the spread. Link: https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-who-npi-guidance-social-distancing.html
So if you see/hear Please Wash Your Hands & Stay home, it’s because we understand disaster response and know what will be experienced in the US in about 4 weeks if the measures in place right now are not taken seriously. So please develop the habits below NOW
And we suggest you also do the following: First, locate and sign up for alerts with your state AND local health departments or Emergency Management to stay informed. Locate your local health department by going to: https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory
Share these resources with friends, but please don’t badger them because the more you persist they’ll resist. When they’re ready share these threads, that’s why we created them. We know there will be people who won’t listen even when they themselves are sick.
Instead focus on you and your family and do everything you can to stay healthy and serene. Our bodies respond to stress by lowering our immune systems and making us candidates for illness. So find ways to DE-STRESS rather than be in DISTRESS!
Today’s Post is a continuation of the Community Spread theme, however, here we will focus on how you are the first line of defense.
COVID Protection Begins With You a)The protective measures we use b)How we interact with others in our community c)How we interact with our environment We’ll do a brief overview of (a) [see tweet 3] Then we’ll move on to (b) us & our community
But as #COVID19 spreads hand washing as a Protection is 1 tool in a multi-layered strategy. Below are other measures we must take to help stop community spread in our own homes first. Those habits will help us stay healthy and avoid infection in our own community
7a) Once a contagious disease like #COVID19 spreads in a community the next most effective way of stopping it is through Social distancing. Today Chicago & NY implemented different levels of social distancing. In the video via the link below, Dr. Arwady explains Level 1 http://bit.ly/2vVdLtS
7b) In #NY, a moderate level of mitigation was not enough to curb the rapid spread of #COVID19 in #NewRockelle #NY. As a result, the Gov increased the measures to a Level 3 with many closures and to support those who lived there the Gov of New York state activated the National Guard. They will also be helping the #NewYork State Health Dept with testing logistics. Because the spread has infected hundreds and there are over two thousands more who are potentially infected and currently in quarantine, it required a more drastic measure to keep everyone safe.
8) Today was Italy’s first day using a Level 3 Mitigation strategy – a lockdown, in order to stop the spread and reduce the deaths. In the U.S. 2 cities have opted for a more limited strategy, which has been effective in #Singapore & #Vietnam. That did not work in the Northern region of Italy and so the lockdown was expanded. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51810673
9) Social distancing measures are not without emotional impact. This past week not being able to be together for religious holidays impacted many. In the linked 4 pg. fact sheet, the different measures are explained along with the emotional impacts that arise with each and there are some strategies you can use to minimize them: https://bit.ly/2K0WPFA
We are posting Coronavirus information and resources daily on our Twitter and Facebook accounts to help you prepare and get through this emergency keeping your family safe and healthy. We’re tagging states with new #COVID19 cases today who could use this info: #OK #MO #VT #LA #HI.
This post is about: How Covid Spreads in a Community
News of the #coronavirus #COVID-19 is everywhere, including the playground. It’s important that we talk to our kids before any members of your household get sick. The article via the link that follows, give you reassuring ways you can explain this topic to your child.
Personal preparedness is where we start to fight community spread of COVID19. It begins with hygiene practices at home & continues w/support from members of your community. Please share the link from the CDC w/leaders of organizations & businesses in your community: Link: http://bit.ly/38oi5Po
Finally a tool that is important in any crisis is Self-care. Because this is a long drawn out event it’s important that you find ways to deal with increased stress in positive ways so you can remain healthy. Harvard Health’s tips for mini-relaxation: http://bit.ly/2TY0U2e
CEDRdigital is a disaster response group that activated on 1/25/20 to help communities prepare for this pandemic while supporting local government agencies get ready to respond to the #Coronavirus.