By Laura Swanson, Editor, Tillamook County Pioneer
Putting 2020 behind us and moving forward into 2021 brings anticipation and question marks unlike any other New Year. SOS Tillamook, the prevention program of Tillamook Family Counseling, each year seeks inspiration from local students. Last year’s calendar featured helpful self-care and mindfulness suggestions that we’ve all needed in 2020. With so many challenging changes this year, middle school students (6th, 7th and 8th graders) provided lots of creative ideas for “When things change, I cope by …” And they didn’t disappoint – with incredible artwork and thoughtful ways that they are coping with distance learning and new ways of doing things.
The 2021 calendar has been sent out to mailboxes with the excellent advice in January for “Improvising” to “thinking happy thoughts” in February; then a detailed parrot drawing includes the caption … “Learning – I like how birds learn to fly and change into adults & change color, this brings me JOY.” April is graced with a self-portrait, singing to my cat; May’s watercolor depicts meditating by the beach! June is the perfect time to ride horses with friends, and July finds many of us working on our lawn mowers. August and September present popular themes – playing outside and going to the beach. Then in October and November we are listening to music and reading. Baking yummy treats was a perfect idea for December.
As we put this uniquely memorable year in the history book, our local students have provided helpful guidance on how to cope as we move forward. There are now vaccines for COVID-19, but masks, distancing and hand-washing will continue to be our routine for some time to come, but there are ways to cope, and there is help in our community if you need someone to talk to.
Here are more ideas for when things change, ways to cope:
- Breathing deeply and visualizing a safe, calm place.
- Drawing or painting
- Listening to uplifting music
- Going to the library
- Holding an ice cube
- Organizing space
- Sitting in the sun and closing your eyes
- Sucking on a peppermint
- Sipping a cup of hot tea
- Complimenting someone
- Movement – Exercise
- Write yourself a nice note and keeping it in your pocket
- Dancing to music
- Going for a brisk 10-minute walk
- Going outside and listening to nature
- Calling a friend
- Write positive affirmations on cards and decorate them
- Planting a flower in a pot
- Knitting or sewing
- Doing yoga
- Watching a funny or inspirational movie
- Making a collage of your favorite things
- Writing a poem
- Swimming, running or biking
- Making a gratitude list
- Doing a good deed
- Bake cookies to share with someone
- MORE IDEAS ….
If you or someone you know is having a difficult time coping, please reach out – there is help and there is hope. SOS Tillamook – Prevention Program of Tillamook Family Counseling Center can be reached at 503-842-8201.
For more local health and wellness information, go to www.tillamookcountywellness.org, follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.