April 7, 2020

“You’re Not Alone” Community Conversation Takeaways

You feel that everything is gone
I feel it too, you’re not alone”
—Traveling Wilburys

Last week we hosted our first Crisis Solutions Community Conversation, conceived during this challenging time to pull together as a community to discuss relevant topics and share frustrations, ideas, and best practices. “You’re Not Alone”, our initial conversation led by Dr. Jackie Ogden and Kathy Wagner, focused on finding, cultivating, and working your support network to get you through what’s ahead. We thank the 40 audience members that participated and shared valuable information.

We’ve highlighted the key messages and resources discussed during the call below, including a letter written by Dr. Jackie Ogden regarding caring in times of crisis.

  • Virtual communication is more critical than ever. We encourage you to use these tools for assistance:  

    • Zoom

      • Ensure security controls are on

      • Use polling feature with large groups to gain input

    • Google Suite — Docs, Hangouts, etc.

    • Microsoft Teams — including platform for video calls and chatting

    • WhatsApp

    • Slack

  • We’re all processing this situation differently: nobody’s perfect, and likely everybody is on a bit of a rollercoaster. As an example, extroverts generally seem to be finding the remote working aspect more difficult and are finding more ways to reach out and communicate with people (or their dogs!)

    • Many people are experiencing grief.

    • Many people are experiencing a “survivor’s guilt” if they are healthy, have a full- or part-time job, etc. For these people, the value of gratitude and service can be extremely helpful to overcome this feeling. 

    • Many people are experiencing anticipatory grief. Instead of worrying about the future, focus on living in the moment as a coping mechanism.

    • Reaching out to others can be accomplished in many different ways, from helping those that are working remotely or have been laid off/furloughed, to sending videos and/or photos of animals, to sharing inspirational quotes, words of wisdom, and humorous quips to breakdown the anxiety and offer much needed small distractions.

    • There are many resources available to assist with coping during this uncertain time.  

      • Grief (including anticipatory grief)—Click on the article titles to read:

      • Stress and Coping Webinar

        • Co-hosted by Tara Harrison, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University (NCSU), and a social worker from NCSU. Contact Tara for a PDF of this webinar at tara_harrison@ncsu.edu.

      • Mindfulness

        • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn (book)

        • The Magic of Mindfulness by Tim Ferriss (podcast)

    • Gratitude, empathy, vulnerability, leading with wholeheartedness

    • Self-care (and a bit of Mindfulness)

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