09/07/20: Yancey County Empowering Youth and Families Program continues its discussions and reflections on how daily life has changed, for better and for worse, due to the pandemic. Program Assistant Niki Maness reflects on how so many activities people once had as a regular convenience such as going to a park to play with friends or eating at a restaurant when not wanting to spend hours cooking and cleaning are now a rarity at best. Even just socializing in close proximity is frowned upon, and adjustments to traveling, scheduling, and working have been massive for most people. “These are simple, everyday things that keep us as human beings going from one day to the next,” Niki states. More than anything, she has noticed through social media channels that families are being affected in a variety of ways. She posted the question, “How has COVID-19 affected the way your family spends time together?” on her Facebook page, and the responses she received covered the whole array from very positive to very much struggling. COVID-19 has brought opportunities for family bonding, trying new hobbies, and growing tech skills to stay in touch virtually. It has also brought anxiety over the future and feelings of isolation. Of one thing there is little doubt, the pandemic brought about change . . . and we as humans do not always like change. Niki states, “Our worlds as we knew them have been shaken up like a snow globe. None of the snow has settled in the same place – everything in it has changed in one way or another.” Some level of stress is a good thing to keep us moving, but several months of stress, as many are experiencing due to COVID-19, can be very harmful. During this time, even as some businesses and locations start to open their doors once more, it is important to take a step back and a deep breath, and put aside time for self-care and stress-relieving activities. Niki and the rest of the Yancey County EYFP staff will be doing their best to provide support for their families and empower each other to make it through the day. Together, as a community.
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