As news of this virus began to spread, my anxiety did increase a bit. I have a family to worry about and underlying health conditions. Fueled in part by the massive amount of news coming in, I quickly stopped the news watching, and daily briefs. I limited my contact with the outside world. There was a huge issue with my kids (whom have challenges) accessing their (now) digital schooling. I was worried about so many things, we had to do something. Night one of being home from work, we had a family meeting and created a plan.

We reached out to the school for help and they responded to our needs. Virtual meetings, screen sharing and direct support calmed the nerves. Problem 1 solved. The next issue was how to get much needed items. We designated one person to go to the store for items. One person handling items and making sure hand washing/sanitation was frequent. Problem 2 solved.

Issue 3 was how to stay home, work and make use of the time. I played my instruments, my animals helped with my anxiety, tried to keep to a sleep schedule, talked to people via social media and fixed some stuff around the home worked. My Executive Director was great at keeping us up-to-date on what was going on with regard to work. My team was supportive and checking in, and my band mates also followed lock-down rules as we stopped rehearsals. We communicate daily with each other, for support.

Appointments were all virtual and made it very easy to access the care we needed. My groups and kids appointments went pretty well. I stayed inside for 31 days before eventually getting out into nature, far from humans, near water and fished. This became an every other day thing for my mental health. A way to get away and clear my mind. The air was fresh and weather was mostly perfect. I didn’t mind some cold, rain or even wind.

There were bad days. Nothing is perfect, and we did have issues that arose, even with a plan. The internet wasn’t working right, kids attitudes and challenges increased daily, the dog identified as a cat at some point (tried to climb and destroyed stuff where the cats bed), stress, and of course being confined to a home wasn’t helping matters.

It was helpful to take each challenge one at a time and solve that problem before going onto the next. I’m thankful for the support from my team, my employer, my band mates, and friends whom helped during this. It’s not easy, but one day at a time.

Gary K.
Marketing and Administrative Support Coordinator

The P.E.E.R. Center