I want to acknowledge all of the parents and caregivers that are adjusting to this whirlwind of lifestyle changes due to the pandemic, while trying to hold yourselves together for the kids in this uncertain time. If your social media feeds are anything like mine, you are being bombarded by free educational resources for families right now – which is pretty great! But it also may feel overwhelming at a time when you are simply trying to mentally process what is currently happening in your life. Aside from protecting ourselves and others from illness, we all need to pay attention to our overall wellness. This can be hard to do while in the midst of these major changes and while feeling cooped up inside. If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress, or grief over the current situation – please, acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. Something that has given me a sense of peace is knowing we are all going through this together, even at a social distance. Try to take some time to yourself and trust that things will eventually fall into place with new routines. Some suggestions you may want to consider to help give your mind a break: go for a walk, meditate, listen to music, read a book, create something with your hands, journal, or exchange funny memes with friends – laughter is a great stress reliever! We have many ebooks about mindfulness and mental wellness that can currently be accessed through our catalog that may be helpful to you during this time. I’ve highlighted a few below. You can also view videos to help with stress management through Kanopy’s movie streaming site – I’ve included the link to one I’ve found helpful below as well.
5-Minute Mindfulness: Parenting: Essays and Exercises for Parenting from the Heart by Claire Gillman
This book promotes methods of mindfulness that allow parents to acknowledge their emotions and to be present in the moment. It is broken down into small subject areas that make for easy reading. There are tips for creating a relaxing home, dealing with emotions, handling change, handling loss and grief, the benefits of spending time outdoors, and many other subjects that are relevant to families. You will find these methods helpful with managing stress at home during this time, and any time going forward.
52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal
The small changes recommended in this book would be helpful to anyone wanting to improve their mental well-being. The changes are listed out with the recommendation of implementing one at a time for a week, before adding another change. They don’t need to be applied in a specific order, so you can choose to begin with any of the changes that interests you right now. It is recommended that you incorporate all of the changes in your life though since they are meant to work together. Each change listed provides a reason why the change is needed and then follows with advice on how to implement it into your life. Some examples of changes that are recommended include: creating a journal, listening to or making music, being a life-long learner, reading for pleasure, and practicing de-stressing rituals.
Mindful Crochet 35 Creative and Colorful Projects to Help You be in the Moment, Relieve Stress, and Manage Pain by Emma Leith
The act of crocheting can be used as a stress reliever. The design elements in this book were designed to help you relax by involving your attention and channeling your creativity. The author, Emma Leith, created this book after discovering the value of crocheting as a stress reliever during her battle with cancer. Following a crochet pattern requires you to practice mindfulness, which promotes well-being. Your creation will provide you with a sense of satisfaction and happiness. The 35 projects in this book range from beginner level to advanced, and each project begins with a mindfulness tip.
Relaxation Strategies (video)
This video can be accessed by streaming through Kanopy. An instructor guides viewers through multiple relaxation strategies for stress management. The guided strategies include a progressive muscle relaxation technique, a breathing meditation, an alternate nostril breathing technique, and a technique using Reiki to assist the natural healing of the body. Each method lasts around 5-10 minutes and can be incorporated into your day as needed.