Today we are talking all about how to resume services after this COVID crisis has ended. How do we get back out into life and feel at peace with having your kids go for a walk, or to the park, and the grocery store? How do we transition into the next phase of this when we have special needs kids at home that we are scared to death will catch COVID? In this episode, I will give you steps to take so that you can make those decisions and have peace around them instead of living in fear and anxiety every day.
How Do We Go Back Into Society After COVID?
The fear and danger is real. There is a great possibility that there will be a surge in COVID cases. We all know what is happening. So, I feel like now is the time to stop filling your brain with more information about COVID. If groundbreaking news comes out, you’ll hear about it. That is the first step in trying to bring peace around entering society again and resuming services again.
I personally have a lot of peace around what is happening in the world. I have from the beginning. It was a decision I made that I wouldn’t allow this pandemic to bring me ten steps backwards and be in a place of depression, fear, and anxiety. That decision served me well. But I don’t think that comes easily to people.
I say peace meaning that I’m not scared. I am not afraid that we are going to get it. If we do, we do and we’ll figure it out. I know we will because we have thus far.
Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t care or I’m not cautious; I have a set of precautions that I take and we follow those rules in my house.
How Do I Have So Much Peace Around My Decision?
The last time Remy was in the hospital, she was there for six weeks having seizures every day. When we got back home, I tried to construct a world where Remy would never have to be hospitalized again. We were going to make sure she wasn’t sick ever or injured from a seizure. That is how I was going to protect her. I would keep her at home and watch her at all times.
But I met a woman named Dawn who had a daughter, Madelyn, who was 16 and also had the same seizure disorder that Remy has. One thing that stuck out when I started to get to know Dawn and see her daughter’s life, is that Madelyn had the fullest life. She was in gymnastics, she danced, she had traveled to Egypt, Spain, and all over the U.S.
One day, I saw the most horrific post I’d ever seen. Madelyn passed away from a seizure the day before. It was the most shocking post that I’ve seen. I thought it would tell me that I was right and I shouldn’t let Remy leave our house.
But what happened was that I started to look at her life and I saw that she had such a full life even though she didn’t live past 17. If Dawn had the same way of thinking that I did, then when Madelyn passed away at seventeen, she would have lived a life that would have never been outside or experiencing things. It changed my perspective. I think about her every single day and it impacts how I parent Remy.
You might see videos of me taking Remy out and about and the reason is because I know how precious life is and tomorrow isn’t promised for her. Every-time she has a seizure and she’s in bed all day taking medication, at the end of that day, it makes me realize that the last two days have been taken off of her life. Two days where she couldn’t play, go outside, or live her best life.
Steps To Finding Peace Around Navigating COVID19
I want to give you some tangible steps for you to create a place in your head where you are not worried and can live your life with whatever decision you make.
#1 Write down all of your fears.
Get out a sheet of paper and write down ALL of your fears.
Sometimes you need to get those fears and thoughts out of your head and on paper. If you keep them in your head, it keeps replaying over and over. It will become an irrational fear. If you put it on a piece of paper, it has less power over you.
#2 Write down the cost of each of those fears.
So, if you decided to never go to the grocery store, the loss is that you can’t go to the grocery store and access food you want.
Every fear has a cost. Write a list of all of those things.
The reason I want you to write this down is because I want you to see what this COVID has cost you. Your job, seeing family, going to a funeral, a wedding, vacation, school for your kids. Those things are important in our lives and for our mental health.
#3 Write down all of the benefits
Write down everything you would receive if you resumed life as before
So, if you decided to have your kid get their services back, it would give them the ability to work on their behavior and have a routine and give them a sense of peace and order.
This is the simple pros and cons list. It is important to write all of those feelings and thoughts down so you can look at them and study them instead of having them play over and over in your head.
The next list can be the rules you put in place. A game plan for how you will navigate the future. Then you need to stop worrying about what you can’t control. Make the decisions and move on.
That’s the difference. We all need to get to a place of having peace around what decisions we make. There comes a point where you have to let go and surrender. Whatever you decide, if you are having anxiety or fear around it, you have to work through it and write it down. The cost of your anxiety is your family’s well being.
- Life is so very short. Take this time to figure out what you are willing to sacrifice for your child’s wellbeing. If Madelyn’s life taught me anything, it is that life is SO very short and we need to live life to its fullest while we can.
- Write down your fears. Everything that scares you about COVID19 and how it impacts your family.
- Write down what these fears will cost you. Without services, your child can’t resume services and continue working on their behavior plans. Or you can’t get access to the same foods you normally would because you are scared to go to the grocery store.
- Write down what benefits you would regain if you resumed your life normally. What would change? Would your life improve? Is it worth it to move on past your fears to gain these things back?
- Once you make your decisions and establish your guidelines for how you are going to respond to resuming normal life, move on. Don’t dwell on it anymore. Find peace with what you decided and keep going.