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Homeschooling, and Coronavirus- TRUTH TIME

Updated: May 18, 2020

by Jessica O'Donnell

Anxiety is something that we strive to cover here as a topic at HerKind Collective. Anxiety is something that I’ve struggled with in some way or another my whole life. Yet, while I find mental health to be of upmost importance, something not to be swept under the rug or hidden in a closet. I suppose I haven’t talked very much about my personal experience with it here.

If I’m being honest, the last two weeks have brought my anxiety to a tipping point. My anxiety can manifest in so many different ways. Some days, I just feel less patient or my mind is racing, sometimes I have insomnia. Other days, on the bad days, my heart will race, my face can feel numb, my eye will twitch, I can get headaches. I don’t live with the bad symptoms every day. I live with those symptoms on a more situational basis. But, given the current events - my general level of anxiety is heightened.

You see, part of my job is to keep up with social media, update our Facebook page, interact with a community related to my profession. Seemingly innocent and easy tasks. But, I’ve found that lately I never really get a break from Facebook and Instagram (between my personal and professional life) … and then worse, CNN or any other type of news. Over the last two weeks with the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s become difficult.

I want to know it all. I’ve always been a news junkie. The problem is with the state of media as is, it’s easy to become oversaturated by media and noise…. and panic.

At first, I didn’t even notice it was happening, but soon I felt drawn to know the updates, checking my newsfeed quite frequently. And truth time... that was all fine and not seemingly disruptive to my life in anyway (::cough cough::- I wasn’t sleeping great) until late last week when schools closed for the day...and then the schools closed for 3 weeks. So not only was I not going to have the TIME to waste diving into all the community gossip on Facebook, I realized that I simply couldn’t allow myself to take in all of the noise.

It’s important to be informed and I thrive on that. But, I needed to stop consuming media to the point where it was becoming toxic to my mental health. I’m writing this to you as a work in progress. I know the tools that work for me and I know what I have to do. I’m working on it still as I type this now. But, I’m writing this in hopes that someone will read this and know that they are not alone.

As a mom who is now tasked to work from home while also “homeschooling” her children for the next three weeks, it will be important for me to stay on top of the news while also keeping it at arm’s-length. While I need to know what’s going on in the world, I also need to do what’s best for myself and my children. Having anxiety is hard. Having anxiety when there is something easy to be anxious about is even harder. But, the last thing I want is to pass any anxiety onto my children. In times when for some reason we can’t even find toilet paper in the grocery store, it’s important for me as a parent to remain calm and assure them this will all be okay. It won’t be easy. We are only two days in and while we’ve made it through just fine, the thought of doing this for at least another 12 days is a lot to digest. So, my plan is to just take this one day at a time.

All kidding aside though, our children won’t be seeing their friends for three whole weeks! Their whole lives are being turned upside down. Their schedules have changed and it’s our job as parents to make this transitional period of time as stress free as possible. It can feel like a lot of pressure! But, in the end we will get through this and hopefully with some funny stories to tell when it’s all over. We’re all more resilient than we know!

In the meantime my goals on a daily basis are to ….

- Get moving! Exercise keeps my anxiety levels low.

-Take it one day at a time. Don’t think about tomorrow just get through the day!

-Limit the consumption of sensationalized media and seek high quality fact based content

-Keep in touch with friends who are going through this too

-We will take breaks, lots of breaks and get outdoors!

-Continue to practice social distancing for the health of my community and loved ones

Stay healthy!


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