Good Neighbors

Sparkt@Home: How I'm Keeping Calm And You Can Join Me

This is something I never thought I'd be doing "virtually" but with no other option right now, I'm glad I am!

This story is part of a series where the Sparkt team will be sharing what we're all doing to try and keep life normal during the coronavirus crisis. We hope that by sharing our experiences, we'll make a difference for YOU as we work together to lift up ourselves and our communities during this challenging time.

For years I had a job that was about as stressful as a job can be. I worked in broadcast TV in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, leading teams of journalists in covering everything from a major plane crash and killer weather, to mass shootings and even 9/11, which hit close to home.

So you'd think working at home for Sparkt during the pandemic would be a piece of cake. I'm not trying to imply that my situation is even close to what the folks on the front lines are experiencing, but like most of you, I'm feeling what I'll call a sneaky form of stress. Will someone I love get sick? Will we all keep our jobs? What will life look like after this is over? Will we ever be the same?

Twice a week I try to put all that frightening stuff aside by taking virtual yoga classes, something I never imagined I'd do but I'm grateful for. Here's how we're doing it, and some wisdom from our Yogi that might help you cope too:

It's great adivice.

On another note: I can't help but think about where we'd be without the technology that's allowing us to live as normal a life as possible right now. My son JT is finishing his sophomore year at Baldwin Wallace University online, and even celebrated his 20th birthday last weekend in a Zoom call with friends.

The green tinge is part of JT's lighting scheme in his room.

Our church has an on-line service. And our extended family has been doing a weekly Zoom family conference call with my dad and step-mother who were in South Carolina for the winter.

Our family call included my parents, siblings and even the grandkids from all over the country.

The added bonus from this is that I get to talk to my sister in Virginia, step brother in Texas and step sister in Tennessee who I don't see as much as I'd like -- so that's a good thing!

I'm also continuing to try and help people in my community and looking for new ways to do it.

The pantry at the HUB Community Center in West View, PA, operates twice a week, distributing food from the front door.

Making a difference for someone else definitely makes me feel better and less stressed. I just remember: someone is facing a bigger challenge than I am right now!

Here's a story from another Sparkt team member who found herself in a challenge none of us would envy:

What It's Like to Move During the Covid-19 Crisis

How can you start something good?

If you'd like to join our virtual yoga classes Yogi Lou Martin from The Workout Place would love to have you. Call or text her (412-337-5430) with your contact info and she'll get back to you with an invite.

If you can't join us for yoga or find your own virtual class, Lou suggests practicing breathing as a way to reduce stress anxiety. Here's one good source of information to get started:
8 Breathing Exercises to Try When You Feel Anxious

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