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For information on the Coronavirus, the Covid-19 disease, and the pandemic, click here to go to our information page.
In this section, we present information and ideas about how to live well during the time that we are restricted to our homes.

Why We Are All Staying at Home:  

The President, the Governor, and the Mayor of Lincoln have declared a state of emergency. That is a coronavirus pandemic is rapidly spreading across the United States and the rest of the world. 

To slow the spread top of the coronavirus, we must all practice physical distancing. This means staying at home as much as possible. When we go out for necessary shopping or for fresh air and exercise, we must keep at least 6 feet, about to me, from people who are not living in your home..

When we touch doorknobs, keypads, or items that other people may have touched, we risk catching the virus. To keep that risk small, it is important to sanitize your hands often with hand sanitizer or ordinary soap. Washing hands is the best prevention. Regular soap and water will destroy the virus if you wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Practice counting in English! One, two, three, up to 20. 

Staying at Home, Alone Or With Your Family, Is Hard.

Thoughts from Clay on How to Resolve Conflict

Dear Friends,

The Lincoln Literacy family spans the globe. Together, we are the world in miniature. We come from many places, we have many languages and cultures, but we are all human beings, endowed with human nature. That can be good or bad, depending on personality, situation, cultural beliefs, plus the knowledge and skills we have in our minds.

Staying at home is hard. Even though we love our family members, conflict happens. When forced to stay at home, we experience boredom, frustration, and fear about jobs, school, health, bills, and more.

This is true for me and my wife, and it's very likely true for you and everyone else reading this. What can we do?

First, keep in mind that our relationships with the ones we love are the most important thing in the world. I really mean that. There is nothing in the world more important than our relations with our spouses, family, friends, and other loved ones. That is where the meaning and joy of life arise. 

One day this pandemic will end, and on that day we want to be sure that our relationships remain strong and loving -- perhaps even better than when it started. Of course, these may be fine words, but they are not enough. 

Conflict will happen. How we respond to it makes all the difference.

People who resort to violence will damage their relationships forever. Those who hit or harm others at home may end up in jail. Violence at home is just as much against the law as violence in the street. 

People who respond to a single issue by saying “you always do this,” or “you never do that,”  will find themselves in a never-ending conflict. But people who learn and employ basic conflict-resolution skills can get past problems quickly. This is especially true if everyone in a household learns and uses these skills.

They start with three simple ideas: 

1) Use "I" statements: "I feel angry about this," or "I feel hurt." You cannot be wrong when you talk about your own feelings. This is very different from saying "you," as in "You are unfair," or "You don't care about me." 

2) Listen actively and patiently. When people are upset, they don't always express themselves clearly. Keep calm and ask questions. "Do you mean that when I did ____, it made you feel hurt?" or "Are you saying _______ is unfair to you?" Take some time to consider the other person's point of view. That doesn't make them necessarily right, but it helps you find a way to resolve the conflict peacefully. 

3) Don't generalize from the issue in front of you. That's why I say, don't complain or react to a complaint by saying "You always _____," or "You never ________." 

These are just my ideas. But let me share some expert advice.

Here are some techniques from experts:

Listen for what is felt as well as said. When you really listen, you connect more deeply to your own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening also strengthens, informs, and makes it easier for others to hear you when it’s your turn to speak.

Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or “being right.” Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and their viewpoint.

Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to grudges based on past conflicts, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.

Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worth your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes, but if there are dozens of empty spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.

Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive others. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can serve only to deplete and drain your life.

Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

More at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/conflict-resolution-skills.htm

Also, you may want to see this article in Psychology Today. It includes these ideas: 

  • Talk about how you feel without blaming your partner.
  • Don't automatically object to your partner’s complaints.
  • Do not show contempt for your partner.

To see the whole article, click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/close-encounters/201704/10-tips-solving-relationship-conflicts

And finally, here's a link to an excellent song for the whole family on how to resolve conflict: 
https://youtu.be/oqNID0Es5qg   
(Thanks to Caitlin Navratil for finding this!)

Be well, love well, and hold onto hope!
 

Clayton Naff
Executive Director

Stay at Home .. But Don't Let It Get You Down!

   Remember: things will get better. Humanity has had  many plagues and epidemics. This one is not the worst. Most of us will survive, it will pass, and we will get back to normal. It may not be the same normal, but it will be better than conditions right now.

   For now, if you're with your family or others, try to set a positive tone, plan some fun activities, and make the best of your time together.

   Here are some suggestions from experts:

■Encourage children’s participation in household chores to facilitate their sense of accomplishment. 

■ Plan enjoyable family activities, such as games, movies, and exercise. 

■ Maintain a positive mood. 

■ Practice patience and tolerance, which can be difficult during this time and model healthy habits for the entire household. 

■ Engage in relaxation techniques to reduce stress.

More at: https://www.cstsonline.org/assets/media/documents/CSTS_FS_Helping_Homebound_Children_during_COVID19_Outbreak.pdf

   And here's a suggestion for a relaxation technique from Lincoln Literacy coordinator Jennifer Conway:
It's called 5-5-5. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5, hold for a count of 5, exhale through your mouth for a count of five.
(Source: Take Five Children’s Yoga)

Visit the Sandhills Cranes in mid-Nebraska ... Online!

For some sounds and sites of nature, click here: https://youtu.be/8vwV_0_M0IQ or here: https://rowe.audubon.org/birds/crane-cam
It’s the Crane Cam, showing live images of the Sandhills cranes in mid-Nebraska.

Take a Trip to the Beach ... Without Leaving Home

If you can access YouTube, search for "nature relaxation videos." Here's one, shot on the coast of California. https://youtu.be/PLvMiqq2YtI

Get Exercise!

Moving your body is good for your health and your mind. It can help lift depression. If the weather is good, go outside for a walk. Keep your distance from other people -- at least six feet -- but enjoy yourself. 

At home, you can all get exercise without special equipment. A large plastic bottle filled with water can be a weight. You can do push ups. You can do sit ups. You can bend and touch your toes. Play music on your phone while you work out!

During this crisis, there are free online exercise videos. We are not endorsing this one in particular, but just as an example, here is a link to a popular one: https://www.youtube.com/user/blogilates

Also, the nonprofit YMCA of Lincoln has several exercise videos on its website. You can access them here: 

https://www.ymcalincoln.org/landing-page/stay-connected