COVID-19 Pandemic

How am I doing? I am grateful to be able to seat at my desk and type a response to this discussion question. A mere two weeks ago, this was not possible! COVID-19 has had quite an impact on me, my family, and my work. Since the last week of October, one member of my household has tested positive for the coronavirus, been hospitalized, and on a ventilator for 5 days. The rest of us in the house have remained negative but we were taken physically to varying degrees. I am currently on a medical leave of absence from work and dealing with home health care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and trying not to get tangled up in my oxygen tubing. I am making slow but steady progress. As I do this, I am caring for and cautiously watching over my daughter who is 38 weeks pregnant and recovering from pneumonia. My son-in-law pretty much has his hands full with their two-year son. Every day I am fielding calls and emails from my students as well as the instructors who are taking over my teaching responsibilities.

Are you able to practice self-care in this time of crisis? I learned a long time ago as a single parent that recharging my own battery was a necessity that I could not neglect. So every day, I take 15-30 minutes to recharge. Sometimes I do the same thing for weeks at a time. Other times something could be a one and done thing. But it is not missed because it is a priority to me. Doing a word puzzle. Coloring a picture. Journaling in a notebook. Over the past months, as things seemed to close in, the allotted time has been a struggle to find but I have consistently been amazed at the change of perspective and improvement in my mindset so this remains an important thing for me.

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What ways, both professionally and personally, has your normal life changed? How are you adjusting to the new normal? I went from working 40-45 hours a week on campus to working 60+ hours a week from home back in March when the nursing program transitioned to online teaching and virtual clinicals. There was new technology to learn. There were internet issues. And for everyone, there was a total blur of the work/home balance. When this all started, I think most of us thought we would be done with this in a few months. So the longer it goes on, the more it is wearing on us and this becomes the concern. I have found that remaining in contact with my family and friends is vital. We talk about anything, everything and nothing! As the holidays draw closer there is a tendency to lament the gatherings that won’t be happening or how things will be different for various reasons. I have chosen to focus on the positive aspects of the new normal life I am in right now. Am I feeling 100% myself right now? Absolutely not but I am stronger today than I was yesterday and for that, I am grateful and blessed!

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