Hello friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

There is no way for me to minimize the pandemic or to give you a timeline. I wish there was. The reality is that it has been a long road, and we are just plain “in it.”  I know that there is uncertainty and a sense of weariness. But, today, I am here to reignite the fire inside of you. I know that you can find the strength to push through this; we will get to the other side of this situation.  In this week’s “Touch Points” I will be focusing on the importance of perseverance and finding ways to stay strong. I would like to share productive thoughts/habits, so ‘sticking it out’ is a little easier. As always, some ideas will resonate with you, and others… not so much… So, just try one or two things consistently, and I bet you will see a positive change.

In addition, I am thinking of all the families that are at home right now caring for someone they love. Perhaps that person has memory loss or dementia. My heart is with you as you manage through during this challenging situation. Besides doing your best to care for your loved-one, it is particularly important that you remember to care for yourself. I hope some of the ideas help you stay strong.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” (-Walter Elliot)

Here are Some Ways to Help Find Strength and Persevere:

  1. Find Strength on the Inside– In the past, some of us may have been through a health crisis or a life altering event. I am sure those times were incredibly difficult and traumatic. Perhaps, when you were in the middle of the event, you may have even wondered how you would get through it. But, you did. You found the strength inside to stay strong and do the impossible. Now, today, look back at that moment and remind yourself what you are made of. Build on that circumstance to help you through this moment, today.
  2. Watch an Inspirational, True Story about Olympian, Derek Redmond- This illustrates how important it is to never give up and to lean on people, when you need. Grab a tissue box first!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZlXWp6vFdE
  3. Be Your Own Cheerleader and Stay Positive– Positive affirmations can be very powerful tools to help us through difficult times. Sometimes, words, coupled with intentional posture can send a loud message. I know it sounds crazy, but it really works. First, focus on your stance. Put your shoulders back and stand tall with your head high. Look in the mirror, and say a short phrase that brings you strength. For example, try saying, “I’ve got this!” “I am strong.” “I can do this.” You are capable of so much more. Believe it yourself! Each week brings us closer to the end.
  4. You Have a Role in This Battle Too!–  We all can do our part! Each day, we can each make safe, healthy choices to make our world safer. For example, by wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, we make daily choices to help ourselves, each other, our community and even our world.  Psychologically, it’s also important to focus on what we can do as opposed to what we cannot. So, making deliberate, healthy choices throughout the day/week, may bring you an additional sense of power and strength.
  5. Try a Positive Brain Health Exercise– List 7 traits about yourself that you can always rely on. Then, write a short story about how one trait has helped you succeed in life. I bet that feels pretty darn good to shine a light on the gifts you already own! Embrace those traits; recall them whenever you need them.
  6. Take a Step Back and Believe– I know this might sound contrived or sentimental, but I honestly believe there is goodness in the world. I also believe that positive energy helps heal and awakens our best self. So, while I recognize this is very challenging moment, in my heart I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I encourage you to believe that goodness will prevail. In my own life, I have needed to find strength throughout multiple health crises. Without a doubt, having a positive mindset helped me heal and reach the other side. So, today, I encourage you to continue to hope and to believe in the good. Let’s notice and celebrate, for example, each progress scientists make. This optimistic outlook will help you find additional strength. Find the light that supports you and let it in. Keep believing consistently, and it will bring you additional joy and peace.
  7. Be Compassionate with Yourself– It’s okay to ask other’s for help to get through this. In fact, asking for help is a sign of strength. It means you are vulnerable enough to show other people your fears or emotions. So please give yourself permission to ask for assistance or rely on someone. Sometimes, asking for support can even strengthen the connection and trust between people. Surround yourself with people who care. If you are stuck or need additional help with caregiving resources, I am here, too! Just ask- my email is below. You are not alone. I would also encourage you to contact the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900. Trained staff is available day or night to help you with questions and caregiving issues.
  8. Check Out The Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s “Museum Moment”Ellie Gettinger, Education Director, shares the story of Harry Soref and Master Lock. Click here to watch this 10 minute video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GnN7EyJPpo&list=PLl-OCNr_mRXQ7DNfR6PSo4K0qdmYGmlz4&index=12&t=13s.  This story demonstrates the point of view- if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Once you watch, think about how persistence and patience work together.  Is there a time in your life that you continued to pursue a project even after you were rejected?

As Winnie-The-Pooh said, “Rivers know this:  There is no hurry, we shall get there some day.” This pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. Please have faith, stay strong and persevere. Together, we will get through this.

I am here for you and very happy to help. Please email me at DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana