Staff Stories from COVID-19

Social distancing has created challenges for our nation, across all sectors. For many of us, we are grieving the loss of normalcy and connection. But, we are also seeing the opportunities for growth the pandemic has created: more time with family, taking care of our neighbors, creativity in the kitchen, acceptance, and learning. Read our stories below for our perspectives:

A Note of Gratitude from CRCPHP Director, Dr. Cyndi Thomson

"In the last few weeks, we have all experienced a spectrum of emotions. Contentment, gratitude, serenity, uncertainty: a few words that describe my current spectrum. As I sit in my dining room, I know how fortunate I am to have a roof over my head and a family to share it with. I feel at peace most of the time, but that feeling of uncertainty creeps in my mind as I think about the days and weeks ahead. As a person who over-plans and organizes, the change in environment has been positive as I get to spend more time with my teenage daughters who have grown up too quickly! It has given me the opportunity to be more mindful of time with loved ones, work projects, trips to the store, etc. and not take any of the moments - big or small - for granted." - Nicole, Prevention Research Coordinator​

"At home, I aim to maintain a routine as close to normal, on most days. This includes personal hygiene, sleep times, working hours, and meal times. But days are far from perfect. Some days, sleeping in an extra hour or streaming an additional episode are what my body and soul needs, so I listen to these cues and indulge them as I am able. What is special about this time is taking the time to have all meals together with my spouse and take extra long walks with my dogs." - Meghan, Research Specialist

"Social distancing has truly changed how I live and how I adapt. As someone who struggles with depression and disordered eating, I shift my focus from structure to self-compassion when things don't go as planned. My work was nearly 100% social, so I am deeply missing my sense of community and interacting with my students and kids. To avoid sitting most of the day, I take my dog on multiple short walks. (At least he is enjoying me being at home all the time!) I am also using a free app for stretching and joyful movement. Even with the challenges, I have been given the gift of time and rest. Honing my sourdough craft, connecting with loved ones on Skype, taking naps, and slowing down." - Lindsay, Health Educator Sr.

Lindsay's Homemade Sourdough Bread

"I find myself experiencing anxiety and losing motivation to practice self-care. I can't sleep and I feel a knot in my chest. There is a tornado of worries spinning in my head and I get sucked into that; I feel paralyzed at times. I'm aware of this and giving myself some time to dwell on it, but I'm also aware that I need to focus on the good. I've been busy with work, but this is also giving me anxiety. I feel like I'm failing at work; I know that's not the case. I'm looking forward to brighter moments and I sure will work on it." - Anonymous

"I have found that trying to stick to a regular work schedule when working from home helps to balance the home-life experience with my family. Setting up boundaries for personal space has been helpful. Taking daily walks and visually taking in the scenery, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and eating healthy planned meals have helped lower my anxiety during this uncertain time (while also giving myself permission to be more flexible when things do not go as planned). I also check in daily to see how my daughters and a husband are doing and take time to be a more active listener." - Sabrina, Health Educator Sr.

Sabrina is enjoying the wildlife on her walks!