by Ben Esposito on May 20, 2020
With thanks to Dr. Audra Kaplan
You may have many feelings about Camp being canceled. Allow yourself to be angry, worried, sad, disappointed or even relieved. Focus on giving yourself what you need to manage stress, rather than seeking to eliminate your feelings altogether.
Give yourself permission to unplug from work, the news and Zoom. You need time to refuel now more than ever. Also give yourself permission to be imperfect. This is hard stuff and no one has a road map.
Staying in the moment and resisting the temptation to solve all of the big picture problems will help you feel a sense of control.
Talk it out with your family and friends and let them help support you in ways that work for you.
Take care of your needs so that you can take care of others. Take deep breaths, take walks and give yourself a break. Think about other coping skills you have used in the past and what has worked for you in challenging times. Stress can take a toll on your physical wellness. Help yourself manage this stressful situation by making sure you are eating well, sleeping enough, hydrating and exercising. Taking good care of your body will help you adapt to stress and reduce the effect of emotions like anxiety or depression.
Be patient, kind and compassionate with yourself. There is not a perfect way to respond to this situation. Be patient with your non-Camp friends and family too. While they will want to support you, they might not understand the depth of this loss.
Reach out to your Camp friends and coworkers when you need to talk or to just be with someone else who understands. The Camp leadership team is also here to support you and answer any questions you might have.
Ask yourself: What do I need? Then ask others for what you need. Ask questions of the Camp leadership team to help you understand the decision.
You are a resilient person. With time, love and support you will find your balance.
If you are concerned about the duration, intensity or frequency of your feelings, please reach out to a mental health professional in your area. If you don’t have a trusted mental health professional, reach out to us and we can connect you.
If you are talking with campers, please be mindful to listen, and be careful with how much you share of your feelings. It is okay to let them know that you are also sad and disappointed, without sharing every detail of your thoughts.