Letters Home

 
March 2020
Hello friends,

I can't remember a time before when the world has been so completely united against a common enemy. That which has come to isolate us, unites us.  At a time when we are having to physically distance ourselves from one another (and we must do this), it is faces and voices that are able to reach through the distance and uncertainty of it all and let our common humanity do its job. For me, this is not just through connecting with the ones I know, but by seeing in the faces and hearing in the words of strangers, that more than ever we are in this together. We are vulnerable together, anxious together, sad together, scared together, and in some sweet moments, hopeful.

We are having to adapt in ways that are completely new, and the unfamiliarity of this can bring anxiety for us and our children. Unfamiliar things do that. For the children and teens in your life, the antidote to their anxiety is you - your words, your presence, your warmth and wisdom. Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, or other trusted adult, you have a profound capacity to bring comfort to their world. They need the same things we all do at this time, radical tenderness, play, sleep, exercise, to be held close and loved big. If schedules or routines fall away in favour of this, that's okay. If screen time gets a little longer and bedtimes get a little later, that's okay too. These are such extreme circumstances, and there is no formula for how to move through this. We do what we need to do, and if playing, and telling stories, and watching movies together takes the place of schedules and routines, and if that's what makes them (and you) feel more held through this, then do that.

For us, it's about coming back to the things we know to feel safe and certain. This might look different for all of us - reading, playing, walking, getting outside into nature, exercising, sleeping, playing, cooking, but maybe not tonight, watching movies, or taking warm baths. If you're not sure what it is, what helped you feel safe when you were little? Can you go back to that? 

We have to do what we need to take care of each other. For the moment this means those of us who can stay home, need to stay home. For those who can't - our teachers, nurses, hospital staff, doctors, supermarket employees, paramedics, police, and many others - we need to stay home for them too. They are the heroes, and it's the least we can do for them and for their families. This is important, and it's what we have to do, but it has consequences. People will feel more isolated, or lonely, perhaps more anxious or sad. Don't underestimate the impact of a text or a phone call. For your children too, if you can help them stay connected to their important people, whether through social media, Facetime, Skype, letters, messages - it will help them get through this. 

Staying home will also have financial consequences. My own business, like many, is feeling the impact, but we will be okay. We will get through this. We have plenty of stock to see us through, and we are processing orders quickly. Australia Post and DHL are doing everything they need to do to make sure you receive your orders as soon as possible and all orders are tracked. 

With my speaking engagements being postponed, I am missing the person to person contact. But as with any loss, it has left space. Of course, I didn't want the space to happen in this way. None of us did, but this is where we are. I will be embracing that space by loving my family especially big and building more resources to support you and this loved Hey Sigmund community. If there is something you would like to see, let me know. If you're wondering how to speak to your children or teens about certain issues they might be struggling with right now, again, let me know. In the meantime, I'll be posting regularly to Instagram and Facebook.

We can do this, and we'll do it together.
Love and courage to you,
Karen x
 
How to Help Kids Feel Calm When the World Feels Fragile

Anxious thoughts will intrude at bedtime when the world is still, and bodies are still, and when young minds are meant to be still – but – a lack of sleep will make anxiety worse, which will make sleep the next night tougher, which will make anxiety worse.

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How to Help Kids Feel Safe During COVID-19 - A Video
At a time when the world is closing its borders, I feel as though humanity is coming together in a way we haven't seen before. We are facing something that affects all of us, and the only way to get through this is together.

Yes, we need to physically isolate ourselves, but let's not isolate ourselves socially or emotionally. We need each other more than ever - not only to get to the other side of this on a global scale, but individually. Let's be more like the people we need to be, and the people we were called to be. Let's leave judgement and comparison and righteousness well behind. They have nothing for us anyway. They never did. And let's replace them with radical kindness, compassion, and open-heartedness. Let's do that.

In this time when we are keeping our physical distance, don't underestimate what the little things might mean to the ones in your life who might be missing you, or who might be feeling more separate from the world, or maybe more anxious than usual - phone calls, messages, video chats, social media tags with 'this reminded me of you' in the message. Let's not take the little things for granted. They matter. As it turns out, the little things will be the big things that will get us through this.

In this video are the conversations I've been having with my own kids about what's happening around us. Hopefully it can help with the conversations you are having in your home too x
Watch the full video
Coronavirus
 
Please see the latest documents and updates re Coronavirus below. There are also some contact numbers of services which may be useful.