Special Edition on Covid-19

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Self-Care Calendar by Practical Living Skills Coach, Pattylynn

3 Personal Stories of Navigating Life During Covid-19 Onset

Hello Gals! Welcome to our special edition of GALS Publication! This is a special, intimate edition that focuses on life with Covid-19. The GALS in our group were asked to write their personal perspective of what life with Covid-19 has been like for them. We are proud to put their work in this edition for your enjoyment and we hope that you find a story that you can relate with. You may find yourself saying, “Kandie- Covid-19 hit in April and now we are in June. What is with the two-month gap about?” Well, this delay has been due to many things; each that revolve around change. Frist, Myhriah approached me and asked if I would like to take on some responsibilities with the publication and that led us down the path of figuring out what that looked like for us, for GALS. Second, every day our lives were changing and while trying to navigate all this change, the publication took a back burner to more pressing things, like the Grad Bags the GALS put together for graduating seniors in our local area. Third, while GALS is experiencing growing pains, so is our community and the world beyond our doors. As I type this letter, there are several protests in progress around the world in support of Black Lives Matter and with that comes a lot of controversy and pain. I have struggled to sit down and write this letter because I am a politically minded person, I often engage in civil discussion around civil rights and I don’t want my voice to overshadow what GALS is all about. Our SheEO, Myhriah, myself and my fellow directors have had many discussions in the preceding days regarding how to respond to what is taking place in our world. We have decided to read White Fragility: Why is it so hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and will hold a series of workshops for our GALS to talk about the book and the participants personal experiences with racism. This is an open invitation to all our GALS to join in. As the newly appointed editor of this publication, I promise that I will continue to bring the voices of many different women to light. I choose to promote peace, love, and acceptance in my daily life, and I hope that you will see that translated throughout the pages you read. I am a firm believer that we grow together, and we grow exponentially when we bring different people to the table. I hope that we can create enough space in these pages for you to challenge your thoughts and find the encouragement to speak your voice. Much love and gratitude, Kandie

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A Hairstylist Perspective on Covid-19


Fear and Anxiety‌ and Covid-19


Self-Care During Quarantine


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Hearts Shaded Title in Magenta and Goes Fiery Here Red ByBy Author KathyAuthor Tarbell Staying home day‌ Who knows anymore? They have all run together. Isolated, alone with just my thoughtsParagraph: most of theCambria time. A daily ZOOM call with 16-20 friends or family or the social club I joined to be less isolated. Last week I had one with my doctor Just checking in. Know the real way to make progress on my health complaint as it involves hands-on and that is not allowed. My lists of things to do at home when I have time is steadily shrinking. To the point that I am now exploring the attic.

Why did I keep this broken rocking chair? Oh yeah it was a great- grandmothers. Not that I ever knew her- actually, I would have to go look up her name. It has no monetary value and as I move it aside yet again, I reflect on if it even has sentimental value. Nope, it does not. .

Put it on Cambria; the to-do16 list, when to go can happen. A box of stuff leftover Paragraph; from when kid number two cleaned out their room as they left for college. Gosh that has been a few years. She has two kids and a mortgage of her own now. Put that on the to-do list as well. A box of books. Now this could be promising. I have absolutely no idea where they came from. How did they get up here? I have lived here twenty years so how in the world did I miss not seeing this box before? I drag it to the top of the narrow stairs. I will sort through it later. In the comfort of my living room or maybe with a glass of wine in my outdoor living space. I created it from a dream I had. I woke up with the plan rattling around in my head. A bigger concrete pad, add sails overhead to block out some of the sunrays, get some comfy furniture, and a big outdoor table for when the family visits. A place for the BBQ and a sideboard table for food. A firepit to enjoy as the sun goes down and a chill fills the air. It has ended up being the favorite part of my house. A place where I can work from my laptop. Scheduling clients, promoting others, creating content, and marketing. Picture


The attic reveals a box of car parts. To what car I have no idea. Sleds, winter clothing, big plastic containers full of Christmas decorations, a file box of tax returns, old framed artwork. My to-do list grows as things are sorted and archived. Dusty and morose I leave the rest for another day. I haul the box of books and a beautiful vase down the stairs and secure the small doorway behind me. I make a note on the grocery list hanging on the fridge to buy flowers. The bright purple and turquoise vase set on the kitchen counter brings color into the boringCambria; off-white Paragraph; 16room. It will add even more with a beautiful spring bouquet. The box I place next to the fire pit and my favorite lounge chair. I promise myself that I will look through it before going to bed tonight. A refreshing shower and a change of clothes bring me close to the end of another day. I grab a snack tray loaded with cheese, crackers, and fruit and grab the wine bottle from the fridge. I set up a nest using my comfy blanket and light the fire pit. As I settle into the chair my snacks and drink are within easy reach and I grab out the first book from the box. An old western- Louis L'amour. I wonder who had gained pleasure from reading about the American cowboy and western lifestyle. It gets stacked at the start of a donation pile. The pile steadily builds as I add additional westerns, some mystery, a thriller or two, and a set of Harry Potter.

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-Cambria The shower, wine, and fire have lulled In different sizes. me into a half dose, and I am almost to the bottom of the box when I open a book and a note on letterhead falls out. At the top it says: If you are reading this, you have been chosen. Say WHAT? That gets my attention. By the firelight I can't make out the heading and I am definitely too tired to have any sort of intellectual conversation with myself around it so I place it back in the book, gather my belongings and head back inside and put myself to bed. I wake up to staying at home day‌ Who knows anymore? My morning routine is like what I picture others doing as well. Virtual work out with my yoga class, shower then dress in my sweats and a t-shirt. I check the news, Facebook, Instagram my email. Nothing exciting or new has happened overnight the situation has not changed. I 'Like" a few posts, send a message or two to make me feel connected in some way, delete the SPAM folder. Over a cup of coffee and a muffin I remember the note I from the night before.

Mind-numbing I find the book where I have left it next to the vase on the kitchen counter. In the bright morning light, I notice that it is a college textbook with geometric patterns and a longwinded title that scrolls over the whole front cover. Likely leftover from a course I took several years ago to help me jump start my casual studio into a money-making business. I pull the folded letter from its place within the pages and unfold it. Yes, I had read it correct the night before in bold blue lettering: If you are reading this, you have been chosen. Picture

Mindfulness I skip back to the top to inspect the letterhead. The sender's logo is swirls of hearts shaded in magenta and fiery red. From a company I had never heard of before- Die Of A Broken Heart. No address, no phone number, or contact information just the logo and name. Back to my laptop I go and enter it into the search engine. Three pages of references show up. I have nothing but time, so I follow the rabbit trail. Hours later I am not any closer to solving the meaning of the letter. I have found a one-page company website that lists nothing but an email address. Staying home day‌. Who knows anymore? Workout, shower, dress, coffee, muffin, news, social media. Email- answers? I sort through the junk to see a response from Info@dieofabrokenheart.com. I cautiously open it and quickly realize that this simple email is going to change my life.

The email starts with the quote "If you can't love yourself, you can't love anyone else. You can't give the love you do not have". Then goes on to say If we resolve By Author to be kinder in the coming year, we must also first resolve to be kinder to ourselves. We are often our own worst critic and the harshest judge of our own Paragraph; Size 12 If we cannot be compassionate to ourselves, how can we perceivedCambria; inadequacies. be truly kind and compassionate to others? Love begins with loving ourselves only then can we give without a sense of obligation or fear. And with these words I realize that yes, I am dying of a broken heart. One that I broke myself. That I have spent years being so busy taking care of and giving love to others that I have not only neglected myself but hurt myself in all sorts of untold ways. That this time of forced quiet is a gift. A gift back to loving myself. Finding my purpose and taking in Joy. Fixing my heart. I fold the letter and carefully take a book from the center of the stack and gently place it in between the middle pages.

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A Hairstylist

Perspective on Covid-19

Title By Cristina Cionea Graves

I still remember, Profoundly, the last time I got to work my last shift at my salon. I have been a hairstylist for 18 years. This day however was not a regular one. You see, I normally don't work on this day. This day is one of my days off. Still, it was my last By Author chance to get some clients' hair done before we had a mandatory shutdown of our salon. So, I made last minute arrangements to be able to secure my station so that I Paragraph; Cambria; could work on this lastSize shift.16It is Indescribable to explain the mixture of feelings I was feeling in my stomach. A mixture of excitement, sadness, and anticipation of Hope. I arrived at the salon and saw my lovely coworkers. I remember I looked in their eyes for answers and comfort but clearly none of us knew what was in store or what to expect. We encouraged each other and brushed it off as a two-week closure because that's what we were facing at the time. One by one my co-workers ended their shift. As each one said goodbye, I felt my heart sink and I felt choked up because the reality, fear, insecurity and worry that was harboring in my emotions was bubbling up inside. I felt like I was saying goodbye for a long time and as if it was a nightmare. I literally wanted to say to each one of them, “Don't leave!� However, while being supportive of each other and encouraging each other we made light of our goodbyes and tried to smile as much as we could, because none of us wanted to break down or give in to our worry while we left.

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What would happen next? What would I do? When would I see everyone again? Is everyone safe? So many questions flooded my mind. I really started to think that I wanted to capture the authentic truth and reality that a stylist might be feeling so I made a video of that moment that captured a message to my clients, family, and friends. I wanted people to know the reality we felt that last shift especially because it happened so fast that no one was prepared. It is important to validate what we go through for us to process everything. So, I closed it up, got in my car, and broke down in tears. So many emotions flooded me that I held back earlier. I was mourning and grieving the uncertain now career part of my life and all that was part of it.

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Now, after that dreaded night of closing, I still experience similar feelings when I drive by because I spent so much of my life in that place. I formed so many friendships and have had so many experiences in that place. A place where I am earning my living so I can provide for my family. A place where Paragraph Cambria: Size 16 my art and my creativity come to life. A place where wonderful people come, and we connect. A place where I can encourage someone else and be there for them. You see, many times, us stylists hear our clients' life story while they are sitting in our chair. We are the listeners so many times. It is so true when I hear people talk about us as counselors. We hold so much space for our clients to unload their life. This is a precious gift we also give to those in our chair. Yes, great hair! Also, a needed listening ear.

This incident has affected so many people, and so deeply. We closed our shop Large Back without knowing where our income for our family would even come from. We did Paragraph Cambria: Size 16 what we had to, and we did what was right. Coming back is going to be different in many ways. We have not been told when we will reopen so I cannot tell my clients when I can schedule them as of now. yetfor soaclose I am holding my breath. Hair salons are ThisItisseems meantsotofar beaway, a page goodthat amount of content. If you have more conpart phase 2 non-essential What I doFont know, have tentofthan what can fit in thisbusiness text boxapproach. with the Cambria at how Size I16, then worked forneed 18 years, nowup willyour lookcontent differenta bit when I go back. All in all, amid this you will to break more. limbo, I am thankful I can sort out all of my emotions and process them. Lots of them.

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A cough. A sneeze. The word COVID-19 or Coronavirus- all of these are currently striking fear in many people and raising anxiety in even the calmest of souls. Our world is in deep hurt right now. As I type this, I have a dear friend that is quarantined to her bedroom and her father-in-law is in ICU with complications from COVID-19. My cousin, who is more like a little sister, to me works in an emergency room. My mother and my son just got over the flu. I have many in my circle that have compromised immune systems and when I feed my fear, my anxiety begins to cripple me again. I have a lot of fears around this pandemic we are in. Many are tied to my personal life, but my fear also revolves around those in my community. I am afraid for our first responders and the elders in Italy. I fear that the box of Frosted Flakes I just bought for my kids may be the one thing that knocks me down with this virus. So much fear surrounds me that I have to remind myself to breathe at times. I can’t tell you how many times in the past two weeks that I have caught myself holding my breath.

The last couple days I have had some long conversations with a few of my friends. Friends that I can be completely vulnerable with- and, let me tell you, that is exactly what I needed to get out of my own head. In these conversations I was reminded that I am not alone in my fears, nor am I alone in the anxiety around this pandemic. I was also reminded that if I chose to focus on what I can control, which truly is not much, I have less anxiety and my fears start to dissipate. This pandemic is not something to shrug off, but I do have a little bit of control. We all have a little bit of control with how this virus effects our world. Our minds are very powerful, and I am a true believer that what you allow your mind to think of becomes your reality. Today I decide that I am going to focus on the positives that have come my way these past two weeks. I have been able to teach my daughter how to stand up and pedal her bike. I have been able to be the gopher for my mom and others by running errands for them and bringing them groceries. I have been able to watch a new series on Netflix I never would have allowed myself the time just a month before. I’ve also expanded my waistline with all the “science brownies” we’ve made. My son has gotten lots of practice time driving since we’re not rushing here or there. I’m hopeful that next week I’ll get some backyard maintenance in and plant these beautiful iris bulbs we found on one of our bike rides. In order for me to find some peace in this chaos I have logged my gratitude each night before I go to bed. Sometimes I write this down, sometimes I just recited it out loud while I thank my Higher Power for giving me another day in this world. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression right now, I encourage you to reach out.

Reach out to your trusted confidants, be vulnerable, be true to yourself about how you are feeling. There is great strength in vulnerability and if you do not have that space in your life, please feel free to reach out to me directly. What I have found is that the second I was able to say what I was fearing, when I was able to accept that I was afraid and that I was struggling, my fears were diminished. I was able to breathe again and I took a little bit of my personal power over this virus back.



Everyday we wake up we have the choice of what kind of day it will be. We have the power to change our thoughts and our actions regardless of everything else going on, we always have the power to chose how we respond. Be vulnerable. Write out your gratitude- start with ten things you are thankful for. If you can’t think of ten, write out three and everyday add one more. I can tell you from experience, you will feel lighter by the end of the first week. Before you know it you will have developed a deeper appreciation for your life and for those in it.

“Fear is not a proper motivator. Hope wins out”

— Michelle Obama

Self-Care Durin

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By PattyLynn Gossman Picture I am encouraging you to take some thoughtful steps to care for yourself during this time. We are mostly at home right now. Some of us are together with our family. Some of us are isolated in our homes. This can be a time of stress filled with either busyness or boredom. Our work lives are different now. Some are out of work. Some are working harder than ever. Some are working from home or in a completely new way. But whether you have more time on your hands or less time do not neglect yourself! While we are apart, we still need connection with our families and friends. Reaching out to others can be caring for them and ourselves at the same time. We must care for ourselves to be functioning at our best. Selfcare puts us in a place where we can care for our loved ones, our homes, and our work. Self-care brings about a positive outlook in life and improves our mental and physical health. There are so many ways to take a break and rejuvenate! Use the following Self-care Ideas calendar to encourage you in your self-care.

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“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.� ~Nelson Mandela