A Toolkit For Trying Times – Podcast Summary

If you are an immigrant and a parent, you probably have faced some trying times. You, sometimes, have to combine working with taking care of your children. Below are a few nuggets shared by Georginia Nwoke, a counselor and registered psychologist, in surviving the effects of Covid-19. You will find within the nuggets toolkit for trying times.

Physical Care

If you are working, you are probably spending bulk of you time daily on the job. This includes the times you spend commuting to & fro work. So, it is highly important that you took care of your physical well being. Below, you find below the toolkit for trying times as it concerns your health.

 

  1. Eating and eating right – Eat your meals, and eat good food. Ensure you keep the junk food minimal. Being at home all the time will surely increase your cravings. So, don’t give in as much. Get your daily dose of fruit and vegetables.
  2. Resting well – Get the sleep you need whether it is 5 hours or 8 hours. The important thing is for you to get enough that your body needs.
  3. Choose the right activity and exercise – Choose an active lifestyle. Whether it is walking, bicycle riding, horse riding, hiking or even using your home gym equipment, do something. Whatever fits your schedule, do it and get the activity you need.
  4. Take walks during the day – Take a walk when you are tired. Working from home takes a toll on the body with poor posture. Whenever you get fuzzy, take a walk.

Emotional Care

Another tool for trying times is taking care of your emotion well being. You will find below some useful nuggets.

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My actions within

  1. Choosing your prevalent thoughts – Focus on the good no matter the situation. This choice can be the difference between making it or not.
  2. Address your fear – Acknowledge your fear and then face it. You only get to live once.
  3. Maintain a Journal – Write about how you feel regularly. You get in touch with your emotions that way. It builds your vocabulary as you will not normally write the same thing each day. This is because you do not necessarily feel the exact same thing each day. Writing helps you identify the differences and their associated triggers.
  4. Gratitude as a tool – Whether you have a job or not, choose to be grateful. The same applies whether you have a spouse or not. No matter your situation, you can still choose to be grateful for life and the prospect of a better tomorrow.

My actions without

  1. Defining and protecting your boundaries – Do all you can and no more. You don’t have to work longer hours to make up. The pressure of working from home while tutoring the children in the presence of your spouse is enough. Draw the lines and make them clear.
  2. Manage the stress of working at home – The walls are not right for your office call. The artwork is inappropriate. As you go through each day, there are questions demanding for answers in your mind. Did I turn off the video? I should have muted the conference call. My deliverables are due. I need to spend more time with my family. A myriad of work-related pressures have infiltrated the home front. It is no longer a safe space for anyone. The stress it has built is comparable to none. So, draw a line.
  3. Manage the stress on relationships – Your ever-loving spouse is now an ever-present gauge of everything you say and do at work. That already sounds stressful.  Deal with it and don’t let it get to you.
  4. Maintain open lines of communication – the omnipresence of family has brought out the worst in us. Closing lines of communication is a common outcome. It is not worth it. Blow out the steam. Seek resolution for the issues and choose to remain a happy family.
  5. Know when to ask for help – Take any help you can get. A breather can only help.
  6. Understand the impact of small community groups – Being part of a small group gives you an audience that is cheering for you. It can be the difference between crying yourself to sleep and sharing your pain with an empathic listener. Having a tribe in these times has massive benefits.

Spiritual support

This is actually my favorite tool. No matter your religion, you will find this useful.

  • Live out your faith – Living out your faith provides an anchor that sustains the balance of your will and emotions. A positive mental attitude will always result in a better outcome than a negative one. Living out your faith takes away the dissonance that results from having a faith and not living by it. That dissonance has consequences. Fix this.
  • Practice kindness – The feel-good factor that arises from being kind to another human being is difficult to match. Practicing kindness ensures that you are living in a perpetual high. Nothing, I repeat, nothing beats that.

Managing children

Children are gifts from God. So, treat them like that.

  1. Manage children in death, divorce or separation – When relationships break down, children are on the receiving end. They can become beneficiaries by playing both parents off each other, This happens when both parents are not in communication. Putting frameworks in places to ensure children do not take advantage of communication breakdown is in the interest of all parties. Adults need to be adults.
  2. Friendships and personal growth – Children are missing their friends and other dear school related relationships. It is important that they can connect with their school friends in other ways. Video calls, gaming, play dates and park meetings become avenues that must be considered and executed safely.
  3. Developing their own person – Children grow up modelling their parents. However, parents have to make the space necessary for children to form their own character and make their own choices.
  4. Learning new skills – Children learn what parents teach. Board games, card games, and outdoor games should be encouraged. Parents and children should try new things. Older children can focus on the things that they love more and leave out the rest, but a new language can be as challenging as a new musical instrument or a new subject. The novelty of the shared experience can build or strengthen existing bonds.
  5. Ensure open communication in the family – It is important that children know that they have a voice that is heard. Even if they don’t get what they want always, they receive the affirmation that comes with being heard. They learn to speak up for themselves. They also learn to resolve their issues without violence or other negative reactions.

Financial Care

One thing that can cause stress in a family is lack of money. As long as in your power, do everything to avoid this kind of situation. You will find below some useful nuggets.

  1. Consider a second career and develop new skills – This gives you the opportunity to create a new income stream which can be life changing.
  2. Apply for government assistance if you are running low on funds – The government of Canada has opened the treasury. So, if you are running low on cash and eligible, apply for the relevant funding. If you are not sure of what you qualify for, you can check the government of Canada’s website.

Are there any other tools you have found useful in dealing with uncertainties? Share them in the comment section.

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About Dotun Ayodele-Bamisaiye

Engineer turned Accountant, twice designated to boot. Now I just love to help.

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