#WeavingCommunity During Crisis: Care Ideas

Some ways I have cared for myself and others during this time are:

  1. relaxing by doing yoga with my husband.
  2. nourishing myself by journaling.
  3. purchasing gift cards from local businesses.
  4. letting a friend know I’m thinking about them by sending a friend an Amazon package. Some pricey ideas here, but gets the ideas churning - https://www.fastcompany.com/90479321/what-to-put-in-a-coronavirus-care-package
  5. taking my dog on a walk & lawn maintenance- so good to get fresh air!

Love love love the ideas!!

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I paused for joyful play this morning with my cats.

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I love this post I received from the Gottman Institute this morning (their Marriage Minute daily email):

In times of uncertainty, it can be easiest to tune in to what’s making you anxious.

After all, these days you may be regularly confronted with a waterfall of new information, eroding what “normal” used to look like. Anxiety comes in loud and clear.

It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. Practice tuning in to joy with your partner by asking them, at the end of every day, “what brought you joy today?”

It may be as simple and small as something that made you laugh, or it can be something as immense as a shift in the weather that brightened the whole day.

Give joy a chance to shine.

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I wrote this blog yesterday maybe it would speak to you:

** Amidst the Unrest, One Thing Remains the Same

**

In the matter of a few weeks, much has changed. Words and phrases such as “shutdown,” “lock-down,” “social distancing,” “pandemic,” and “outbreak,” among others, have become part of the common vernacular. Most of these words and phrases are inherently negative in nature, evoking feelings straight out of a Dean Koontz suspense novel, one in which we are all the lead characters.

But there is also another narrative, which is being written and rewritten for all to read. It is a bestseller—and we are all lead characters in this one, too!

You read this novel on the faces of little children as they “practice” school at home after academic institutions have been closed for days. Their simple laughter and joy remind us (adults) that adulting can be cruel and help keep us grounded in reality. You read it in the smiles of health care workers when they receive an unexpected free lunch, dropped off at the front desk by an unknown business leader, while they are mercilessly working extra shifts to keep the outbreak from spreading. Their tireless effort to keep others healthy, even when they have nearly reached their own breaking points, reminds us to press on, facing the elements as they come with courage, strength, and unity. You read it on the face of the business owner who is unsure about what the future holds, but nevertheless waits and slows down even when it goes against everything in her nature to do so. Her herculean effort to remain calm, to trust, to hope when her whole world seems to be collapsing gives the rest of us hope that we can persist too.

During this time, we face an epidemic of loneliness that has increased 65% in the last decade. The rise in loneliness and relational despair are associated with grim outcomes. Here is how relationship expert Robert Hall described it in in his essay “Straight Talk About Relationships, Community – and Faith,”:

John Ortberg’s words were never truer, “We would be better to eat Twinkies together than to eat broccoli alone.

And right there, in that last line, is the narrative we are trying to reanimate over and over and over again.

Philosopher Aristotle once said, “Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.”

The author of the book of Proverbs expressed something similar in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

And in Proverbs 27:9, “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”

Other theologians have declared that friendship has always been at the heart of their spiritual journey.

We all know that Twinkies aren’t good for us. We are also learning more and more every day how the coronavirus isn’t good for us either. Yet as John Orberg stated, it would be better to eat unhealthy Twinkies with others than to eat something healthy, such as broccoli, all by our lonesome. The same is true with the coronavirus — it would be better to face the severity of the virus together than to go on a five mile jog companionless. In other words, during these precarious times in which we find ourselves, let’s not forget the bestselling “novel” that has been flying off the shelves for centuries, the one that speaks of solidarity and camaraderie.

Friendship has always been at the heart of our journey, too. Amidst the rubble, one thing that remains the same is friendship. Mutual caring relationships are what is needed most in times of stress — relationships with an overabundance of kindness, generosity, tenderness, big-heartedness, and empathy.

We know this to be true in our own lives.

Someone To Tell It To could not exist as it does without the bonds of friendship that we as the co-founders share. This mission began out of a mutually supportive, vulnerable, and intentional relationship.

We have gone on countless walks together, dreaming and imagining, unburdening our minds and hearts, encouraging and examining our hopes and vision. We have been intentional about being gracious with one another, forgiving of one another, and always committed to being in this together through not simply the joys, but especially the hardest, most uncertain moments. We have weathered cash flow scares, have heard some of the most horrific stories in our listening together, and have done our best to embrace one another’s wounds and fears.

We wouldn’t trade any of it for a different journey, even though on some days, this journey has been harder to navigate than we could have ever imagined. Because through it all, it has brought us immense joy. We’ve not done everything perfectly. But we have done it together. And that makes it all the sweeter when — on so many days — it has been good and all the more forgiving when — on some memorable days — it has been bad.

Right now, we, as members of the human race, are on a journey that is bringing fear, isolation, and horrendous anxiety to the world. But, like faithful friends, we are on this journey together, all of us. Together.

We will see some of the worst of human behavior in the midst of it. We will also see some of the best; the “better angels of our nature,” as Abraham Lincoln so poetically phrased it in regard to the American Civil War.

Together, is how we will make it through. And we will be stronger for it when we do.

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This is such a great thread and kudos to everyone taking a step to connect with others and foster community in a time that it is difficult.

I wanted to add two things we are doing:

  1. Making sure we order take out from one local community restaurant a week…and being sure to tip. Looking to make small contributions to the businesses that we hope don’t get too hurt by the shut downs while we have opportunity to do so.

  2. Offering to pick up groceries for neighbors. This is an effort to build and foster the relationship while reducing the need for more people to go out and reduce their risk of going out. Small pickups, not full grocery shopping. Since food delivery is up to a week around here, this is helpful when any of us just need something.

Anyhow…thanks for all the great ideas.

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Reply to this post to share your social innovation ideas for connecting with others. Here’s what folks in the We Are Weavers community say people are doing across the country to support their neighbors:

  1. Video Meetups
    • To gather friends and neighbors
    • To make art and other creative projects with friends
    • For meditation sessions with others
  2. Peer writing/reading circles, where we share our writing on what’s happening for discussion with friends
  3. Victory Gardens, by ordering and sharing seeds with neighbors to start vegetable gardens
  4. Chat bots to help people find the closest open food pantry
  5. Free courses for K-12, like http://www.cultivatinghope.net
  6. Setting up “emotional hospital beds” by offering facilitated conversation spaces, like at https://feelreal.net
  7. Offering an open marketplace for the community, where you pay-what-you-feel
  8. Cooking meals for our homeless neighbors
  9. Live YouTube sessions on uplifting subjects to keep our minds strong, like at DC Meditation Museums https://www.meditationmuseum.org/meditation-events.html
  10. Donations and creating meal trains for folks impacted by business closures
  11. Neighborhood Facebook groups for the community to meet needs: food, clothing, shelter, supplies, services, connection and checking on our most vulnerable.
  12. Putting yourself on Help Map for your Nextdoor neighborhood https://nextdoor.com/help_map/
  13. Organizing to put up holiday lights or candles in windows of apts to show “We are here with you”

Add your ideas by replying to this post. Also visit the #WeavingCommunity During Crisis homepage to join with others in strengthening our relationships during the pandemic.

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I’ve created a 5-minute morning podcast to offer calm from the English countryside

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I am a retired psychotherapist. I have been recording tips along with guided meditations twice a week on FB. I also do a book review of spiritual books that readers can share their thought about. I have offered free tele mental health sessions as well.

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My kids participated in #ChalkYourWalk as a way to embrace #WeavingCommunity - was great to see them take that initiative themselves! They don’t follow hashtags or any social media on this topic and yet felt intuitively that we are in need of connection and relationship even during a time of physical distancing! Proud Papa!!!

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Loving all of these ideas!

We just launched Seder2020.org - a free, easy way for anyone and everyone to organize their Passover Seders this year.

We hope it’s a helpful tool for families who were worried about how they were going to come together, organizations who otherwise had to cancel their gatherings, and everyone else who needs a way to be in community.

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I’m the founder of a podcast network called The Democracy Group, which focuses on civic engagement and civil discourse. We put together a playlist of episodes that examine how our democracy is responding to this crisis and are working on a panel event/Q&A session in the coming weeks. You can access the playlist here: https://democracygroup.org/playlists/coronavirus-pandemic-2020/.

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We’re joining others in fasting this weekend - praying for “relief from the physical, emotional and economic effects of this global pandemic.”

Making this small sacrifice helps with a sense of solidarity - being in this together. And I always feel cleaner and refreshed internally. The money saved from temporarily pausing our usual consumption patterns will then be donated towards efforts to help those who are sick or out of work. Millions of dollars were raised the last time we held a fast like this. We’d love to have you join if you’re able! See more details below.

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Hi everyone! I’m the founder of Civic Dinners, a community engagement platform designed to bring people together for conversations that matter. We just launched the ability to host Virtual Conversations (in lieu of in person dinners) and you can choose from over 2 dozen conversation topics to bring your friends, peers, neighbors, family and anyone from around the world. Simply go to civicdinners.com and find a topic, then click “Host your own” and follow the steps. You can use any google hangout, zoom room, or other video chat room, or we can generate a room for you on our platform. You’ll receive a host guide with the prompts and questions to engage in a meaningful conversation.

We’ll soon be launching a Virtual Happy Hour series to help bring people together socially in these times of physical distancing.

I really loved David Brooks’ recent article in the New York Times about the need for deep conversations. If you have ideas on questions or even topics that we can help create and make available to everyone, please send me an email: hello@civicdinners.com

Cheers to all of you stepping up in these challenging times to help create a better world.

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Thank you for this wonderful on-line gathering of kindness and connection.
We at the non-profit You Matter Marathon (No running required) are sharing You Matter cards with healthcare providers, grocery store workers, pharmacy staff and others who are serving us at this vulnerable time.
We’ve also invited the young children on my street to make home-made “get well” cards for all the folks in our local hospital who aren’t allowed visitors.
Coming together in humane ways big and small is the best medicine.
YOU MATTER.
Cheryl

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I love the #ChalkYourWalk movement - my girls participated this past week, encouraging our neighbors as they passed our house!

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I LOVE this Cheryl! Handwritten notes are the best!!!

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A local florist in (New Albany, MS!) set up space outside of his shop to gather bouquet of fresh flowers to take to your house! Of course the florist honored social distancing rules, such as only one person at a time and take any flowers you touch. Some dropped the bouquet off at their grandparents house, some used the flowers for themselves, but hundreds of people around town showed off their bouquet off on facebook tagging the florist, and thanking him for his generosity and collectively agreeing upon the joy he allowed our community to experience!!

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At Mismatch, we are launching a simple, free video platform that connects Americans in deep, meaningful conversations to build relationships and stay connected during a time of physical distancing.

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Someone we’ve supported for several years through our non-profit Someone To Tell It To has pancreatic cancer. Typically, she has friends and family members to take her to her appointments, to sit with her and be present during those moments of uncertainty during her treatments. Yesterday, with hospitals not allowing visitors, she wasn’t allowed to have anyone with her which created more anxiety. Our team texted her prior to the appointment–during the appointment–and again immediately afterwards so she felt less alone. She is also going to be a guest on our podcast, telling her story of how COVID is affecting cancer patients.

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A group of us in Phoenixville, PA—five mothers concerned with the future we’re creating for our children—created the Phoenixville Community Conversation Project. While the most extreme voices get the most airtime, causing many to withdraw, structured conversation can bring us back together.

It’s working.

We’re hosting a series of Living Room Conversations, allowing our community to grapple with hard issues. We’re building trust, deepening relationships, and increasing a sense of belonging.

Coronavirus means we’re shifting to virtual conversations, but participants are more committed than ever. During conversations we listen generously, and that a practice that spills over into our lives. “Because of these conversations,” shares participant Stephanie Root, “I’m conscious of how I listen. I assumed people wanted comments like ‘Yeah!’ I’m learning that being quiet and present is enough.”

Conversation helps us cultivate inner spaciousness that brings calm clarity in moments of high anxiety. “I’m learning to practice silent affirmation during our conversations,” said participant Linda Valloor. “Showing care without words helps me as a teacher and parent.”

Social connection doesn’t require physical contact. Dr. Catherine Renzulli, Principal of Phoenixville’s Schuylkill Elementary, was looking for opportunities to increase civic discourse. The Conversation Project inspired her to consider adding a “question of the week” prompt in her weekly email blasts to equip families with tools for connection while schools are closed.

These are just a few examples coming out of this movement in recent weeks. I’m so encouraged and inspired reading all of the work being done across this community.

Thank you!

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