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3/31/2020

Messages of Love and Compassion

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This period is a huge adjustment to many people used to busy schedules and little free time. The new norm of fewer obligations, no socializing and being confined to the interior of one’s home with only the company of those one lives with, if anyone at all, is an extreme opposite reality. While every situation has its hardships, having an optimistic perspective will ultimately determine the level of the difficulties you face. Choosing to seek a positive outlook in everything we do will only lead to more positivity and happiness.

Children can teach us a lot, especially during this challenging period. Through the many barriers of isolation, social distancing and lack of school and play dates, they have found ways to connect and project positivity to one another.

Scavenger hunts have been established through schools and social media outlets in which kids create their most colorful and vibrant shamrock, butterfly or rainbow to be taped to their front window for other children to find when taking a walk. Rainbows are especially significant as they usually present themselves at the end of a storm. Many children can equate this time of quarantine as needing to take shelter during a storm.  Excitement grows as children can count numerous treasures, knowing each one represents a child that made an effort to brighten their day. While they take a walk searching for their treasures, inspirational chalk messages and more rainbows can be found on several sidewalks and driveways for any passerby to stop and read. Messages such as “We’ll get through this” and “You are loved” in sweet childlike writing are common among neighborhoods with families. Yet another way children look to bring happy thoughts and joy to others. The effect of such a simple act can have on another person is tremendous. If everyone could pay that forward and reach out to another person in a positive way, the overwhelming feelings of happiness could carry us forward during this time of uncertainty.

All it takes is a text, call, funny meme, joke, positive quote or short prayer to uplift another person. Below are some examples of what our youngest generation has done to brighten the day of another in some of the communities where PAB&T Branches are located. Hopefully it will bring a smile to your face as they intended.

Child's chalk drawing on driveway.   House with children's drawings and motivational saying in windows.

3/26/2020

How to Keep Positive, Safe and Sane at Home

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Limit your intake. Choose one or two news sources and decide how much limited time you’ll spend with them each day. Then stick to your plan.
 
Look to the past. Get hope from your past resilience. You have likely endured other unforeseen major life disrupters. Know that you will get through this. Remind yourself of your resilience regularly.
 
Watch a funny video. Thanks to the enormous popularity of YouTube, there are thousands of videos that can help you take your mind off current events, if only for three minutes at a time. Start to bookmark the funniest among them so you can return for a repeat viewing whenever things feel gloomy.
 
Look after your neighbors. You may be at a low risk of severe consequences from the virus, but it may not be the same for your neighbors whose immune systems are compromised. The act of checking in on them (keeping six feet apart, of course) will not only make them feel good, it will make you feel good and remind you that there are others for whom this predicament is even more stressful.
 
Support your favorite local business. You should be heeding the social distancing advice. Order “no hands” carry-out or delivery. In addition, buy a gift card to help the business owner now and prepay for a meal you can have to celebrate when this pandemic is behind us.
 
Send gifts in the mail. It may not be wise to drop in on your loved ones with some fresh-baked goodies, so send them a card or gift in the mail. Unexpected treats can be a huge pick-me-up-in times of stress. This is especially valuable to the elderly who are living in nursing homes. Many facilities have closed their doors to all visitors, making residents feel even more isolated and vulnerable.
 
Take advantage of found time. Keep active. Read, engage in hobbies, take a walk (maintaining social distancing), study a new language, etc. If your company has implemented a WFH policy, how will you use the time you previously spent on commuting?
 
Practice random acts of kindness. Leave an envelope with a little gift for the mail delivery person or a cold soda or bottle of water for the refuse collectors. Kindness doesn’t require a monetary outlay. Write a book review. Comment on a colleague’s LinkedIn post. Thank the cashier and baggers at your local market. Think of those who could benefit from your thoughtfulness and generosity. Then act.
 
Take a daily inventory. Close your day, every day, with a positive acknowledgment of something you accomplished, learned or are grateful for. It will help dilute some of the negativity you’ve absorbed and remind you that not everything that’s happening right now is bad or depressing.
 
The above ideas were adapted from a Forbes article. To read the original article, click here.

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