Living through a Pandemic
Written by: Bonnie Jacques, Board President
Bonnie Jacques, Board President
Hello! My name is Bonnie Jacques and I am currently the board chair for Family Education and Support Services or FESS. I have been on the board for almost five years. When asked to write an article for the newsletter, I have to admit I racked my brain trying to come up with a topic, hoping for something profound. Since I had no ideas, my daughter suggested I write about how I have dealt with the pandemic and my own self-care.
I work part-time for the Department of Social and Health Services, managing their workplace giving program or the Combined Fund Drive. I also am an expert witness social worker for the Office of Public Defense (OPD). Both positions have required teleworking from home since March. I also live alone.
Before Covid, I worked varying hours, traveled and interacted with friends, family and my community. It did not take me long to realize I needed some structure in my life. I wanted to ensure I had positive physical and emotional activities in my life. So I established a set work schedule for DSHS. The OPD work is minimal since home studies, parent-child visitations and other activities were either virtual or not at all. Much of the work I did with children and families seemed to be on hold. I had a lot of isolated time on my hands.
Strictly by chance, I found an online life coach course to help structure my life, manage my isolation, and, at the same time, improve my health, immune system and connections to others. The course provided the structure for me to develop a morning routine. My routine includes breathing techniques; routine exercise like walking, dance, yoga or rebounding (mini-trampoline); silence /meditation; declaring affirmations; visualization activities; techniques for getting out of any emotional funk; reading; and scribing or journaling.
Throughout the course, I learned consistency versus intensity. I freely and intentionally express gratitude every day since it hard to be angry or frustrated when one is grateful.
For my health and immune system, hydration, sleep and exercise became primary. I am eating right for my blood type. Processed foods have been eliminated. Although never much of a sugar eater, all condiments and other foods with sugar have been disposed of. I also am learning to use intermittent fasting, food-combining and apple cider vinegar and lemon to alkalize my immune system.
Interpersonally, the pandemic has helped me connect with others in ways I had neglected. Being home, I have reached out to neighbors across our yards, enjoyed zoom “happy hours” and checked on others to make sure they were ok. I call or write to family and friends instead of texting. I facetimed or zoomed with family and friends initially and now have social distance time together. I keep my phone away from my bed and do not use any electronics at least 30 minutes before sleep.
I have embraced many other things to keep my physical and mental health strong and resilient. I miss being able to travel but am convinced I am emerging from the pandemic healthier in so many ways. This has been an epic journey for me and one I would have never predicted.
Take care of yourself and others, stay safe, and express gratitude.