Last Sunday, at the Community Kickoff, ShalomCares met with families to discuss “Reflecting on the Pandemic and Looking Forward with a Growth Mindset.” Behind us we heard the Israeli dance music and saw the joy of the young dancers. Our group spoke of feelings of anger and a sense of languishing, of living with the pandemic as they work and raise families, of bar and bat mitzvahs that were very different from what they expected just a few years ago, of a sense of a “lost now” as well as the difficulty transitioning through all the various changes the virus demands.
And then people shared all the ways they and their families grew during these last 18 months: they are accepting the constant flux; the new ways to gather and parent; how they stopped focusing on the damage caused by the pandemic; how they came face to face with major life decisions; and the astounding ways their children developed new skills for their zoomed b’nei mitzvahs as well as how families came away with new values as they moved to Covid safe celebrations.
We could have talked for hours to explore all the ways people used a growth mindset to build the positive emotional and learning experiences we and our families continue to explore.
Recommended by Group: Puberty Prof Podcast with Lori Reichel covering growing-up topics.
Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for teenage girls’ mental health.
Free Virtual Screening of Angst plus panel discussion on September 30, 2021, 6:30 – 8pm. Register Here
Angst is a film-based education program designed to raise awareness around anxiety, with an emphasis on youth and families. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, experts, and parents.
Ian Schere Ph.D.
Preparing children for the return to school on KPBS on the Midday Edition
Clinical Therapist emphasizes listening more as students return to classrooms amidst pandemic uncertainty.
Center for Learning
What We Hear, What We Hold: Lessons of Loss
In the Box with Covid-19
We have no control of what pops into our heads. During this time of Covid-19 people often get stuck with worrying thoughts. Sometimes we need to gather information to make decisions. Other times the things that pop into our heads come at the wrong time, such as bedtime, and cause anxiety and sleeplessness.
One recommended way to put away unwanted thoughts is to place those thoughts into a box until you want to take them out. Use self-talk: “This is not the right time to focus on this.” And picture placing those thoughts in the box. Then picture closing the box and locking it with a key. Next put the box away, maybe in a drawer or closet or under your bed. Remind yourself that you have the key and can open the box to examine your concerns at a better time.
Links for Covid-19 Updated Information from CDC and NIH
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in Maryland
If you missed ShalomCares Zoom last May 18, 2020, Abby Adler Mandel Ph.D., gave us Abbey’s Tips and Tricks for Scheduling Your Time. This is sure to help as we move into yet another stage of COVID-19.
Scheduling Your Time: Tips and Tricks
Sticking to a schedule can be challenging during the best of times, but during a pandemic it can be even more difficult with everyone stuck at home and limited options for activities. However, the benefits of following a routine can also be plentiful, including creating a sense of predictability and control. In addition, being thoughtful about how you spend your time can provide opportunities to do things that are especially enjoyable and good for you!
You may already be following many of these general principles:
- Wake up and go to sleep at regular times
- Get dressed daily (as if you were going to work or school)
- Eat (3) meals a day at regular times
- Get outside daily
- Exercise regularly (walk, run, bike, hike, yoga, youtube videos, or fun apps for kids such as GoNoodle)
- Reach out to social contacts daily through phone calls, facetime, zoom, or sending a letter or card
- Write out a daily schedule and post it where all members of the family will see it; you can also set reminders in your smartphone to alert you to certain activities
- Set a timer to work on a particular task for a brief period of time (25 minutes), then take a brief break (5 minutes) to stretch, drink water, or walk around; after four 30-minute periods, take a longer break (20-30 minutes)
- Build in time to take deep breaths or practice mindfulness
One way to take your schedule to the next level is by setting daily goals for yourself. Aim to set between 1 to 3 goals per day. These can range from small tasks (sending a specific email) to larger activities (cooking dinner, completing an assignment). Writing your daily goals down on a piece of paper or post-it note can help keep you focused. Check on your progress at the end of the day, cross out what you accomplished and give yourself credit! If you didn’t achieve all of your goals, go easy on yourself.
When thinking about the types of goals to set, you want to consider activities across four categories:
- Pleasurable activities are those things you enjoy doing
- Mastery or Accomplishment activities are those things that provide a sense of achievement
- Overcoming Avoidance activities are those things you have put off doing because they seem overwhelming, unpleasant, or too hard but you need to do them anyways
- Meaningful activities are those things that are consistent with your values
These categories or not mutually-exclusive: what you find pleasurable may also be meaningful to you. Focusing on activities across these categories can help anchor your day. But its not enough to just do these activities, you must reflect on what they meant to you afterwards. How did you feel while doing the activity or once you completed it? Savor that feeling.
As we look toward the summer, it may be useful for families to sit down and talk together about what they want the summer to look like. Are there short or long-term goals each family member wants to achieve? This “Summer Bucket List” can be written down and each week one activity or goal can be the focus. For kids, it can be helpful to think about planning one main activity for the morning and one for the afternoon. Some things may be done together as a family, while other activities may be more independent.
Some additional tips to help put your schedule into action:
- Build in special occasions – something unique (special dinner, happy hour, game night) each week so you don’t feel like it is Groundhog Day
- Consider when during the day you are at your sharpest (morning/mid-day/evening) and plan more challenging activities during that time block
- Be flexible with your schedule depending on what your mood is and what the day brings; rather than setting specific times for each activities, it may be helpful to set an order for the activities of the day or give a few options during various time periods (e.g., between 10am-11am, you can either work on a puzzle, read a book, or listen to music)
- Try out a schedule for a few days and then adjust as needed; keep what works and change what doesn’t, but give it several days before throwing the schedule away completely as it takes time to get into a routine
- Remind yourself about why you are doing this routine: to feel some control, not to be controlling or rigid
Co-Chairs: Wilma Braun LCSW-C Karen Miller LCSW-C, Rachel Miller LCSW-C, PhD,
Members: Abby Adler Mandel PhD, Todd Christiansen MD,
Dara Goldberg LCSW-C, Kathryn Campana-Scherer PhD,
Brendan Rich PhD, Steven Wechsler LCSW-C, Susan Zemsky
Illness? Hospitalization? Other major life event?
Temple Shalom wants to be there for you, so please let us know.
Call (301)587-2273 or email ten.molahselpmet@tsabar.