The Covid Way


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

If Covid has taught me anything it’s this: I get rather stuck in my old ways sometimes. To be clear, my old ways are not necessarily bad. In fact, I had a good healthy balance between work, family, social and self-care before COVID. And I still do. But it’s very different and I find I sometimes have high expectations that my old ways will still work. Most recently, I found a new challenge as I started to teach virtual fitness classes. Since I have been teaching in person for 25+ years, it comes rather natural to me and I need no preparation at all. I just need some great music and some people who like my style and are happy to be a student. It’s like hosting a party. I entertain. It’s my fitness teaching style. I’ve always taught the way I speak which is fairly off the cuff and I’ve enjoyed the banter that follows. My worst fear was getting into the class and the music not working or people not giving me any feedback.

Teaching virtually has brought it all to a screeching halt. The old way just does not translate through a Zoom meeting. First of all, it is super difficult to align the music with the device. I sought help. Spoke with people who have had some success. Learned most do not use music due to the complications that occur trying to stream it. After multiple “promises” that music was coming soon, I’ve had to let go of that expectation and accept what would normally be a huge fear for me with teaching in person—there shall be no music people!  And forget any banter because the only person who has a mic on is me, the teacher, and everyone else is muted. It’s my nightmare coming to life. No feedback? I feel like an actor on stage giving a monologue—terrifying, actually. In fact, it is so very different that I found myself getting “nerved up” before the virtual classes due to all the things that can go wrong when you rely on a device, Wi-Fi, and your students navigating the sign-in process. I held on so tight for the first month trying to re-create what I did “in person” that I felt each week I had failed. This past week I finally made peace with the idea that I can teach a quality class without it being the same as in person. It just sort of washed over me on a walk. I let it sink in that things are different now. Time to see things as they are… the new Sheriff in town is Covid and we have to do things the Covid way.

Does this sound familiar? Are you trying to hold on to the old ways that worked and you’re finding it is causing stress or upset? You know, it’s truly our own expectations that cause us to feel a failure when most of the time, those around us do not see a fail at all. As we try to bring kids back into the schools, the teachers are realizing that the old ways do not translate into this new world. As we bring the adults we support back to day programs, the staff is prepared to let go of the old ways and try a new version of what works based on the guidance we must follow. Hair salons look different. Stores are different. We are all learning a new way to do the “old things.” The Covid way is doing the best we can do with what we have. This philosophy is really no different from pre-Covid and it won’t be too different when we are post-Covid. If we are doing the best we can with what we have, then our expectations are in order. It is not a fail at all to not meet the expectations of the old ways … in fact it is a huge success to find a way to continue on in any way that works! That’s far more than anyone expects and believe me, it is appreciated! Remember to thank those who continue providing a service, even if it’s the Covid way, because it means they did not give up and they found a new way!

 

 

 

 

Tale of Two Donkeys


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

One of the most well-known donkeys in storytelling is good old Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh series.  Eeyore is pessimistic and gloomy—he just cannot see the “bright side.” We all have our Eeyore days. Over the past few months of challenge and change, we may have found ourselves stuck in an Eeyore state of mind because, let’s face it—misery loves company and you can get a lot of people to join your band wagon if you talk negative. I once did an experiment with a youth group I led. I gave them bundles of newspapers and asked one group to cut out all the negative articles and put them in a box. The Continue reading

Sailing Advice- Are you Pro- or Re- “Active”


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

As we enter the dog days of August, I decided to look back to the last time I felt active and in control of my routine. That day was March 11th for me. It was the day my routine began to change. Many, like myself, rely on a routine for well-being. We like to feel actively involved with our daily life. In the dictionary, active is defined as “engage, participate, do Continue reading

Deadhead


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Depending upon who you are, the word deadhead will likely conjure up an image of the Grateful Dead, an airplane or a garden. For me, it’s a garden. And if you’re wondering how I am going to intertwine deadhead with wellness, hang tight because that is exactly what I am going to do. Continue reading

Catch a Wave


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

One of my favorite things to do when I visit the west coast is to get up early and watch the surfers off Manhattan Beach Pier. It’s been the same group, more or less, for the past few years and it’s been fascinating to watch their techniques and strategies. Two years ago, in June, I watched a young newbie surfer girl learning the ropes. She would see a potential wave, Continue reading

50/50/50 in Times of Change.


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

As the daughter of a Marine, I have been in training my whole life to be as resilient as possible. I can safely say that the skills I honed through mini drills as a kid are guiding me and I am doing pretty well navigating these uncharted waters as we practice distancing and sheltering-in. I pride myself on resiliency. But like all humans, I crack sometimes. Today I had a mini-break and I let a situation get the best of me. I didn’t follow my own rule! I call it the 50/50/50 rule. There is zero science to my rule and mathematically, it does not add up, but it works for me! To navigate life’s changes, you have to give it your all…it’s 50% eating Continue reading

Humor is Health


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Do you have a “most embarrassing moment?” You know what I mean…a story that wasn’t so funny in the moment, but looking back it is rather comical! Now is a good time to share those funny stories! Laughing at ourselves is key to our health, both physically and mentally. And when we are telling our stories and laughing at ourselves, those around us laugh, too. Jokes are fun. Riddles are fun. But a truly funny embarrassing moment story comes with a visual… a set-up… a moment, and then the end result. Continue reading

Take a Breather


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Well we did it…Holidays are over. For most of us, that means we are now in waiting mode. Waiting for spring or summer. Hibernating like a bear. If we had a clicker, we could fast forward; but, unfortunately, until H.G. Wells truly invents a time machine, we are stuck in the moment, which I am here to tell you IS NOT A BAD THING! This quieter season can be a good time Continue reading

ReSOLUTIONS Anyone?


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Welcome to the year 2020! Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Me too. So… how’s that been going? Be honest! Are you nailing it every year? Have you even just once followed through on a resolution? Would your nose grow like Pinocchio if I asked you in person?

Sorry if I sound sarcastic, but I’ve been doing this New Year’s resolution thing a very long time and I have come to the conclusion that it means nada, nothing, zilch. It’s more like Continue reading