To Our Dear Yad Rachel Clients:
Hope you and your families are doing well.
We know that during these unpredictable times you must be feeling uncertainty and anxious. We want you all to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Here at Yad Rachel, we understand what you are struggling with and trying so bravely to overcome. We can imagine with all the news and school closings and thoughts of quarantine you will be feeling more symptomatic than usual. Times like these can trigger anxiety. We are hoping that these thoughts we are sharing with you will bring some relief.
1. THESE FEELINGS ARE NORMAL. We all feel the same to some degree. This is a world wide crisis that is effecting everyone. This doesn’t mean you have a lack of Emunah. This doesn’t mean you aren’t flexible. This doesn’t mean you are a bad mom or wife for not wanting your kids home now. Whatever you are feeling is NORMAL.
2. Tell yourself if the Governor is insisting that schools close and activities limited, you are participating in a Chessed. These restrictions are to limit the population’s exposure to the virus. You are potentially saving lives. That sort of positive mindset can help you feel purposeful knowing you are part of a huge Mitzvah. How empowering!
3. THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Copy this affirmation and paste it on your fridge door. This crisis will NOT last forever. One day at a time, we will get through it. It will end. We promise!
4. Many of your children will be home starting Wednesday. Be proactive and prepare. Color paper, markers and crayons. Stock up! Go to the dollar store and get a few projects and toys. If you can afford more, buy some games. Invest in or borrow CD’s for the kids. There are so many wonderful story CD’s out there to keep them occupied such as Marvelous Middos Machine, Rebbe Hill and Uncle Moishe. Designate times for outside play, find neighbors that want play dates. Keep meals simple, and don’t bother cleaning the house till they are in bed. Practice acceptance. It’s going to be messy no matter what. Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation has a wonderful phone line for children of all ages. Stories, shiurim and interviews galore. This will keep them happy for hours.
5. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT PESACH. We will be sending you out an email later this week on how to prepare and function with Pesach prep.
6. Make sure you are stocked up on your medication. Call your local pharmacy on what their policy is regarding refills during this time.
7. Take time to practice self care. If your husband is home too, make sure you are taking time outs ON YOUR OWN to rest and relax behind a closed door. Nap, mediate, watch something or take a long bath. You must try to focus on self care so that you will have the energy to get through all this.
8. Make sure to drink, eat and exercise. Stock up on simple nutritious meals such as a whole wheat sandwich, instant oatmeal with banana or a yogurt with fruit toppings. Drink a lot of water. Take a brisk walk around the corner with or without your kids. If you have an exercise DVD or have access to internet, do a class. Throw a dance party in your kitchen! Put the music on loud and dance with all your kids! The endorphins that will be released will give you the best boost ever. Try to do this at least once a day.
9. SHARE YOUR FEELINGS. If you are seeing a mental health professional, call to schedule an appointment. Talk to a good friend, mentor or relative. Someone that will validate and listen. The best way to let go of something is to admit you are holding onto it. Journaling is a powerful tool too. Write down your feelings and fears to help ease them.
10. Try to limit your exposure to the news. Get off chats, news blogs etc. Stop inquiring about the facts. Appoint a friend, your husband or a sister to be your gatekeeper. Have them inform you of relevant information you need to know. Everything else is a minefield of triggers!
11. Now’s the time to utilize whatever tools and exercises you’ve been learning in therapy. They actually work. Whether it’s deep breathing, mindfulness, etc, now’s the time to brush up on those life saving techniques and put them to work! Use them daily, every hour, every minute. Even if it’s just a small respite, it’s effective!
12. Do whatever actions the CDC is advising; washing hands when coming home, cough and sneeze into a tissue, keep a safe distance from people when out and about. Please try not be obsessive. That is really the most we can do about the current situation. We can do Hishtadlus, the rest we are powerless over. For the majority of the population, this virus is not too concerning. However, if you feel you’re spiraling, obsessing or becoming phobic to a point of manageability (such as difficulty sleeping, rapid obsessive thoughts and panic attacks) please reach out to a mental health professional to assist you.
We understand that the next few weeks will be a test for all of us. Alone we are strong, but together we are stronger. Yad Rachel is behind you! We are thinking of you, Davening for you all, and here for you!
We admire you all, you are each so amazing, incredible mothers, and so brave, and courageous! You inspire us each and every day, and we are so glad to have you as part of the Yad Rachel family.
The Yad Rachel Staff