CEDR’s Selfcare Challenge

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.

For a bonus as well as a boost of inspiration, we encourage you to listen to The Science of Happiness Podcast.

image shows the podcast title: The Science of Happiness

Helping Kids Cope With Pandemic Life

Pic of boy sitting alone by a window in a mask who is dealing with quarantine sadness. See article for resources on how to help kids with covid issues.

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. 

The University of Colorado School of Medicine offers a number of tips to help support children. They include:  

  • 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: 

For more resources related to children, teens and homeschooling during this pandemic, please visit our CORONAVIRUS COVID19 RESOURCES page.