My Top 3 Methods for Sifting Through the News Amidst COVID-19 by TeMeka C. Williams

3 Tips for Sorting data

I have to admit that lately my default has been to truly practice living in each moment as it comes. This is not in alignment with my Type A past. Seriously, I am a graduate of Duke University land of Alpha personalities and overachievers. Several life events forced me to – as I like to describe it: “tone down my Type A.” Yet, I have also been known to say recently that I feel like I am drinking water from a figurative fire hose of information while attempting to move at the speed of light and the last time I checked that’s not humanly possible. Given our current world state of affairs how are we to manage the plethora of information being presented to us – especially without feeling overwhelmed? There are 3 methods that work best for me: stay in the moment, conduct my own research, and be kind to myself and others. So let’s get started on how we all can move forward.

Graphic image yet feels fairly appropriate for what I’m trying to describe too.

I’m an avid reader. So the first books that come to mind when it comes to how I’m coping are:

  1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Like I said at the start of this blog article, I have to take pause and focus on the present moment. And, the first book listed was actually a gift to me from one of my best friends whose field of study has always touched on human behavior. She started as a social worker who holds a LCSW and now she has a master in Behavioral Analysis. Needless to say I value and appreciate all her knowledge she shares with me just because she loves me and has known me longer than she has had those degrees (funny yet very true!). Also, Eckhart Tolle was featured as part of Oprah’s Book Club and essentially he teaches mindfulness is the best way for me to describe it a nutshell. Now we all know anything Oprah touches usually turns to gold so I forced myself to pay attention. Please note, I am a much bigger fan of fictional work so it was truly a labor of personal development for me to get through this book and his follow-up book which was also part of my gift set. At first, it was not easy to stop planning ahead or reflecting and reviewing on way to improve on my past actions. Then, as I made a more conscious effort to implement his teachings, it gradually became easier. So, when the flurry of information about the Coronavirus started to feel overwhelming or appeared to be a constant influx of often times faulty information, I simply reminded myself to reset my mind. Rather than allow anyone else’s panic to infiltrate my life, I would again simply focus on what was right in front of me. Luckily, that was usually my children especially once Chicago Public Schools and day care were shut down by the IL Governor Pritzker or it was work for my corporate employer. Equally important, I enjoy both my babies and the sales and marketing career I’ve built so the reset is much easier than it would be for a person who is a bit unhappier with their current station in life. I’m sure you can guess what I enjoy more, right? Well, in case it is not obvious, I enjoy my family life with my children immensely and will passionately love and protect them especially from what feels like a huge world crisis right now with the way the information regarding COVID-19 has rolled out.

My children playing at a park near our home in Chicago

This also easily leads me to the passion I learned from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Her own journey through a life transition stirred my soul in ways that are hard to put into words. Yet, her book came to mind as a reminder on how to sort the information because she was also working as a writer as she traveled ate her way through one country, meditated her way in another, and fell in love in the final leg of the chapter of her life which she was illustrating for us. She was doing her very own first-hand research. This is what I encourage all of us to do as well! It shouldn’t be hard to do with the easy of smart phones, tablets, and voice-activated gadgets we all have in our home. And, if your anything like me and feeling like you practically live in your kitchen while eating non-stop (thanks again coronavirus LOL), then you have all the incentive in the world to put down that yummy food and get to work ensure you have validated the source. The Snopes website: https://www.snopes.com/ even does that work for us so we can get back to eating faster. I jest. Still, I did share with you all that I am a proud Blue Devil hailing from the research-based institution with a renown winning basketball team right? The library, printed sources, and reputable websites if you insist on relying on only internet information will help you to not spread the vicious cycle of misinformation we have all been experiencing as of late. I can not forget how when the virus first hit and I felt like my family was inundating with news and gossip they had heard trying to push me to the grocery stores. They were well-meaning but needless to say I was frustrated at stretching my planned grocery budget well beyond its means not to mention the amount of cooking I had to do to ensure food did not go bad. LOL They say the road to a hot place is paved with good intentions and I get cold easily so perhaps I should go down that path. Again, I am joking so I hope you can bear my style of humor.

With that in mind that leads me to my last tip and point of reference. Laughter is so critical to my life. I can not count the number of times I have had to laugh to keep from crying. So when I reflect on what I learned from the Four Agreements is that most people stay in their own heads and can actually be pretty harsh with his or herself in their. So again be kind. I will even bonus you all with 2 quotes this time:

“Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato

“The World is a Tragedy to Those who Feel and a Comedy to Those Who Think.” Horace Walpole

source: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/horace_walpole_163240

It’s too easy to be hard on yourself especially when it feels like your surrounded by chaos. Still, the best way to stay focused on the right data also means you must choose the words you spread carefully. And this is the reason why I brought up Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Admittedly, I haven’t finished his book because remember non-fiction is harder for me? Still, I remember him describing how Honest Abe turned around his political career. Honest Abe meaning our former president Abraham Lincoln who is from my home state of IL (bonus points if you know what number president he was)! Hopefully, you understand my parallel. And just in case, here’s the gist of all this information I shared in picture format.

This was a long one but hopefully you made it to the end and will like it enough to leave a comment here or via one of our social media channels. And, thanks so much for taking this journey with me!

TeMeka C. Williams
TeMeka C. Williams

A woman constantly learning for myself & about others whose also a proud mother of 2 beautiful angels. I’m passionate about my loves – all of them. Cheers to the living our best life.

55 Things To Do If You’re Stuck at Home Because of Coronavirus (but you’re not sick)

We are honored to bring you this post from our honored guest Nicole Leffer.  This post originally appeared on NicoleLeffer.com. While I still try to wrap my head around COVID-19, most of my commentary on it has been limited to my Facebook page so you’re welcome to check it out there.  And, without further ado here’s the article.

Cheers,

TeMeka

HEALTHY LIVING / LIFE TOOLS / RESILIENCE

As coronavirus spreads, it looks like a lot of healthy people are going to be spending a lot more time at home for a while. Whether you get stuck at home because of an actual quarantine, or are just at home a lot more because of social distancing and social events being put on hold, we may all need to find some exciting activities to keep us from going totally stir crazy or getting bored.

A possible quarantine while healthy doesn’t have to mean that life is super boring if you come into it with the right mindset.  With a little preparation so that you have the right supplies on hand (no, I’m not talking about toilet paper or canned goods, I’m talking about tools for home-based self-entertainment, personal growth, and creativity) it could be very rewarding experience that allows you time and space to connect with God and your own soul, learn and dive deep into mindful activities and self-reflection we wouldn’t ordinarily pursue, get creative, play, and just really enjoy the gift of life.

In this light, as we all get prepared for the possibility of coronavirus quarantine, I asked my awesome friends for their ideas of things to do  (other than watching Netflix) and what to have on hand if you get stuck at home (but not sick) a lot more because of coronavirus. The list of possible quarantine activities and supplies is awesome and will keep you occupied whether you’ll be home alone or with family. The list spans a wide range including spiritual and personal growth activities, creativity, play, self-care, education and enrichment, and life productivity.

Here’s the quarantine activities we collectively came up with, the quarantine supplies you may not realize you’ll want to have on hand, and some online resources you may find handy!

Things To Do During A Self Quarantine To Make it Awesome (these are also just awesome things to do if coronavirus just has you at home a lot):

  1. Meditate
  2. Pray
  3. Journal
  4. Write a letter to God (or however you define your higher power)
  5. Read a spiritual text (maybe even one from a different faith tradition than your own)
  6. Write a letter to yourself from your future self (the things you think your future self would like you to know NOW)
  7. Create a vision board
  8. Create a written life vision (like a vision board, but in journal form)
  9. Write a bucket list
  10. Write a list of goals (and a strategy to achieve them) / map out your life and work intentions
  11. Finally do the written or meditative exercises in a self-help / personal development book you’re reading
  12. Write heartfelt letters to your friends or family (like the pen and paper kind!)
  13. Email an old friend you’ve been meaning to re-connect with
  14. Read a great book
  15. Listen to an audio book (many libraries have the ability to loan audiobooks virtually so check with your local branch!) – you can do this WHILE you do several other things on this list, too!
  16. Take a relaxing bubble bath
  17. Give yourself a facial
  18. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure
  19. Do a puzzle
  20. Color (yes, adults, I’m talking to you, too!)
  21. Catch up on sleep you need
  22. Watch TED Talks
  23. Start writing that book you’ve been saying you should write
  24. Start a blog
  25. Bake
  26. Try a new recipe
  27. Knit
  28. Embroidery
  29. Paint / watercolor
  30. Sketch
  31. Weave
  32. Cross Stitch
  33. Sew
  34. Make homemade greeting cards
  35. Make jewelry
  36. Make homemade soaps, bath salts, lotions, etc. with essential oils
  37. Build Legos
  38. Play a board game
  39. Play card games
  40. Do Yoga (there are great tutorials on YouTube or you can stream classes online!)
  41. Do an at-home fitness class / exercise on demand
  42. Go for a walk or a run (just don’t come in contact with anyone if there’s an actual quarantine situation!)
  43. Purge and re-organize your closets, drawers or kitchen
  44. Do that home improvement project you’ve been putting off
  45. Finish a project around the house that you started and never completed
  46. Deep clean your house
  47. Deep clean your car
  48. Teach your dog a new trick
  49. Take a class online
  50. Learn a new computer skill or software program
  51. Do online coursework / certifications for continuing education or skills training
  52. Listen to podcasts
  53. Update your resume and LinkedIn and start looking for the new job you’ve been considering
  54. Get an intuitive phone reading (it gives you deep personal connection with no germs required!)
  55. As my friend Ciji at Balanced Not Busy suggested: “Do nothing, just sit still. Seems like the perfect time to me for folks to see what it feels like to not have an over-programmed, demanding and unrealistic schedule and just be balanced not busy.”

Supplies you may want to have on hand if there’s a quarantine:

  1. Roll of craft paper
  2. Poster board
  3. Coloring books (adults, too!)
  4. Markers and/or colored pencils
  5. Paint / watercolors
  6. Canvases
  7. Sketch pad
  8. Other craft / DIY project supplies
  9. Magazines to cut up (for vision boards)
  10. Puzzles & puzzle mat
  11. Books
  12. Games
  13. Playing cards
  14. Journals
  15. Stationary
  16. At home yoga stuff (mat, blocks, strap)
  17. At home workout equipment
  18. Organizing bins / tubs / etc.
  19. Tools / supplies for home improvement projects
  20. Self-case stuff (essential oils, bath salts, nail polish, etc)

Online resources that were recommended (I haven’t checked all of these out, was just told they’re great!):

For Online Courses

Yoga On YouTube:

For Meditation:

For Art:

Nicole Leffer
Nicole Leffer

Nicole’s boasts a successful background in entrepreneurship, business, journalism and politics, combined with her service work and vast travel experience, adds a unique depth of perspective to endeavor as an intuitive.