(Let’s get personal! For context, we have 4 children in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade at home, one of whom has Autism and another with ADHD… so now you know why CBD is so important in our lives!)
As fall, approaches, so does the looming 2020/2021 school season. Whether you have a preschooler, high schoolers, or college aged children, we are all stepping into uncharted territory and that can be quite unnerving.
Besides for the trauma the actual pandemic has caused our families, the addition of not having our children in school, has really thrown many of us over the edge. While it might be necessary to keep the kids home for their safety and the safety of school staff, it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.
Let’s look at the logistics: Working from home, finding childcare, the efficacy of distance learning, the lack of socialization, break from routine (the “norm”), juggling multiple learners under one roof, children with IEP’s and other special needs, therapies, not having individual needs met, and so on.
Next let’s look at the effects: Physical and mental effects of staring at a screen all day, grumpy cranky kids, grumpy cranky parents, anxiety, depression, lack of focus, lack of motivation, sleep disorders, negative behaviors, skill regression, falling behind, frustration, anger, obesity, exhaustion, hopelessness… okay let’s stop there.
As a family run business, Mitzva Wellness is blessed to be able to “keep it real”, by acknowledging the challenges that families like us are facing and addressing them with real solutions. We would like to share with you what we have found has made a positive impact in our home during the COVID pandemic, in hopes to alleviate some of the challenges everyone is facing as we move together into the school year.
Be Realistic: Our biggest fault is setting our expectations too high and setting ourselves up for failure. Homeschooling can be a great learning opportunity for many students, but it’s not for everyone. This is not the “new normal”. In fact, there is nothing normal about this! In most homes, this is not going to run smoothly and could end up being a total disaster, AND THAT’S OKAY. Let’s just keep it real and do what we can. Some days may turn out successful. You may be able to get all your work done uninterrupted while your child miraculously completes their assignments and doesn’t drive you crazy to make them a gourmet meal every 27 minutes. Other days, no one will get their work done, the house will fall apart, you will run out of groceries because your kids won’t stop eating and you will need to double up on your CBD just to make it to bedtime. THAT’S OKAY TOO.
Set up Structure: Make charts, make a group family chat, do whatever it takes to set some perimeters, so there is some expectation and not constant chaos. Giving yourself and your family structure can not only alleviate stress and anxiety, it can also give the kids something to look forward to in their crazy upside-down world. For example, “Between 2-4pm Daddy is unavailable. He has Zoom meetings for work and cannot be disturbed. If you need Daddy during that time, you will need to wait until 4pm (you will survive) or find someone else that can help you. You may only knock on daddy’s door for an emergency.” Structure.
Another example: One (or more) night of the week, plan to eat together as a family. Make sure the kids know what to expect beforehand so it’s not a shocker (“Every Monday Night, 6pm Family Dinner”) At the table make, or have the kids prepare, a game, like picking discussions out of a hat, or discussing 1 thing good that happened this week and 1 challenging thing. Make it a routine to be with each other, talking to actual human beings face-to-face, away from a screen, and perhaps even bonding!
- Shake it Up: Now that we just talked about structure, let’s talk about being spontaneous! 6-8 hours a day of screen time is bound to take a toll on the kids. We must expect there will be behavioral and emotional consequences. There are simple ways to combat this, by putting in a small amount of effort to do something different on a weekly basis. A quick game of family soccer one night, ice cream and an in-home movie, or a walk around the block can really break up the monotony of online schooling. Pedicure night with the kids is something we take advantage of, with both our sons and daughters. Pedicure kits can be purchased on Amazon or at your local drug stores. After all toes or cleaned and prepped, we take turns giving foot massages with the Mitzva Wellness, The Balm 300mg CBD Salve. It is packed with 13 natural terpenes, which permeate the skin, helping alleviate joint pain and stress tension. Not only does it feel great, the kids seem to be calmer and more relaxed after, so we make sure our Mitzva Family Spa Night’s happen right before bedtime!
Ask for Help: There is no shame to ask for help for your family. As the saying goes, “It takes a Village”. When school starts, call the office, and speak to the school psychologist or guidance counselor. Share your concerns and see what resources you can access from the school to better support your child’s emotional health.
There are many community resources that you can find via a quick internet search, your local hospital or house of worship. One resource we have utilized is Jewish Family Services, that provides community support and contacts for all ethnicities and religions. Many cities have their own JFS chapters and they can help provide resources for meals, mental health, elderly, children, and many types of relief. Here is a link to the Los Angeles Chapter: http://www.JFSLA.org. There are online therapy sessions that are available for free to begin and low cost, for adults and children as young as 10 years old. http://www.TalkSpace.com has a week trial for free and depending on the need, therapy starting at $65 a week, 5 days a week availability. http://www.AMWELL.com also has online sessions with a qualified therapist starting at $95 a session and is covered by many insurance carriers. Your regular physician and your pediatrician should be able to provide you with a list of local services, providers, and sliding-scale support in your area. If you need, help, just ask.
- Think Outside the Box: It’s okay to be different. This whole situation is “different”, and you have every right to do what’s best for you. Even if it’s out of the norm, you need to find and do what works for your family dynamic. At Mitzva Wellness, we are quite used to living outside the “norm”. Being pioneers in our community and creating the first Kosher Certified CBD brand under the Orthodox Union (OU), at times, we were looked at as different… AND THAT’S OKAY.
We were doing what was best for our family. We were healing our children from the inside out with safe, effective, all-natural products that we were creating under our own roof. We knew it would take time for people to understand, support us and join us in healing their own families, but we couldn’t feel more blessed, at this time, to be able to support our family and yours, when we need it most. We have chosen to take The Mitzva Good Day Tincture as a daily regimen in our home to help with anxious feelings and focus. We have also added the Mitzva Wellness Good Night Tincture to help fall asleep and promote a healthier sleep pattern, without the groggy wake up.
To make this routine more affordable for larger families like ours and people in need of everyday relief, we have started a subscription program, for additional monthly savings. Our family has added additional supplements like zinc, elderberry, and vitamin b6 to our daily regimen. This works for our family. Speak to your physicians, get the help you need and don’t be afraid to think outside the box to meet the current needs of yourself and your family. IT’S OKAY.
Our family is here for yours. To reach Shifra K. to discuss your family’s needs, to join the subscription program, to mom vent or just to have some extra support please email firstname.lastname@example.org.