I know that many of us and our children are experiencing COVID fatigue. To think that I did not even know what COVID was a year ago! But since we have been living with it since Governor Wolf closed our schools March 12, it has become a household word, along with COVID fatigue. Ryan and I pray daily for a miracle (perhaps one by Aunt Tootie/Dr. Barber).
This has been a very difficult time for all of our children and adults with autism and other disabilities. Their lives are structured, based on routines, and they do best when those routines are followed. For Ryan, it is working at Bello’s Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and at the Barber Institute in the afternoons.
Ryan’s days are very busy as he performs many jobs, including breaking down boxes, stocking shelves, cleaning the basement, and general maintenance tasks…and that is just his mornings at Bellos! In the afternoons, he has been busy with outdoor landscaping (when it was warmer) and now he is cleaning and disinfecting our vehicles to ensure compliance with Department of Health Guidelines. He loves this job! But this can change dramatically if he has a coworker who is positive with COVID and he must be quarantined. So, how am I trying to help him (and myself!) with COVID fatigue?
- Exercise, even more than once a day. Exercise has always released his stress and mine, as well. Those endorphins do great things!
- Practice gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for over and above our health. Ryan and I are back to writing in our gratitude journal.
- Talk about what we are looking forward to once we have a vaccine. For Ryan, he can’t wait to go to Washington to visit Bryan K., and of course, go to the buffet restaurants that are now closed.
- Laugh. Ryan always has a joke to tell me, so I prompt him with, “I need to laugh, tell me a joke.” He has as much fun telling the joke as I do hearing them!
Each of us have our coping mechanisms. Perhaps you can share what works for you and your child? Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!