A Household Facilitator/Social Worker Shares Encouragement For Challenging Seasons (Podcast)

Hi, I hope you’re safe and sound, and had a peaceful weekend filled with reminders of blessed hope.

Today’s post includes an audio interview featuring another special guest who was called and compelled to help others from early in her life. Listen in or read up on a conversation I had with Davianne Phillips, a Household Facilitator/Social Worker in Barbados.

We speak about the now-jobless, the homeless, the elderly, her career journey, compassion and community.

Davianne works alongside the Ministry of People Empowerment & Elder Affairs, and outlines some steps we can take to help those who may be more vulnerable at this time.

I’ll also share a link at the end of this post, with a newly founded team (no link to them, but it look legit) that’s donating “baskets of food and goods” to some.

At a time when much of the world is on ‘lockdown,’ Davianne shares:

encouragement for the anxious

– how the current global crisis is likely to be affecting people who are attached to structure and routine

– insight into helping others through challenging seasons, whether that looks like unemployment or difficulties adjusting

– a reminder to do regular self-checks to tend to our own wellness

Click here to listen {19:22 mins.)

Here’s what Davianne shared in our conversation:

Routine and Re-Adjustment

“In terms of coping during this time, I think we’re focusing on the fact that we’re on a lockdown – we are inside mostly, and some people are taking for granted that (your) mental health could be severely be affected by this.

For instance, people who need structure and who thrive or can only function when there’s structure – those persons; they’re suffering during this time because the routines that they’re accustomed to, they can no longer keep.

Even if you fall into a new routine in terms of…you’re at home – can’t go outside…things are so fluid and they are always changing. You might create a routine at home, and then you have to uproot that same routine to re-adjust to something new, based on what is going on.

Helping Others

You have so many people who possibly were working paycheck to paycheck to support their families – doing the best that they can to try to make sure they can provide for their families, and these are people now that are without jobs – without support, because it might be a case where mum or dad might be employed and the other parent isn’t working.

If you’re getting support from overseas, those persons are unable to assist at this time because they too are on a ‘lockdown’ or facing their own personal challenges or crises, whether it be financially, mentally or any other aspect.

It’s gonna be really hard for a lot of people – and for awhile, because when the country opens back, it’s still not going to be “business as usual.”

I’m not a spokesperson for the Ministry, but they have a hotline for persons who need assistance, so you can call in and you tell them what assistance you require and they see how best they can assist you.

There are other private organizations that are trying to assist as well…

and in terms of what we can do on an individual level, it’s something as simple as being our brother’s keeper

Many of us have elderly persons within the community who, as we know, cannot get out because they’re high risk. Something as simple as looking in on that person. If you are unable to look in on them, then call the same hotline and speak on behalf of them.

Hotline – 1 (246) 536 4673

You might have a person in the neighbourhood that you know needs assistance, and because of the layoffs and the different economic challenges that we’re now facing, you might be able to help that person with something as simple as a meal.

It’s really about going back to those old adages like (African proverb), “it takes a village to raise a child,” and that whole community spirit that we were brought up on.

That is what we need to get back to right now (while) – practicing effective social distancing and good hygiene. It might not be a case where you go to the neighbour but you can call in.

At Home

Everyone in my family is considered an essential worker. My mum is a nurse and my sister is a relief worker at the hospital, in their records department.

I am still working from home – sometimes, I do have to go into the office. Some of the (proper hygiene) practices that we should have been putting into place before this pandemic or the things that you’re more aware and conscious of, are the practices that I hope that people will maintain even after this pandemic is no longer a problem.

Brotherly Love

I treat people how I wish I was treated and I treat people how they deserve to be treated. If we keep seeing people as they are, and not as they could be, we always look for the worst in people.

None of us are perfect. We all have our shortcomings and we all have our challenges, and we need to focus more on the good sometimes and not always on the bad.

Sometimes, it’s a case where some people don’t know any better, and when you treat people how you want to be treated, it is in turn reciprocated. I don’t subscribe to ‘you have to respect me in order for me to respect you.’

I am going to respect you regardless of if you respect me, because respect due to the homeless person on the road. That should not be taken away from them because of status or anything like that.

Encouragement for the anxious

We tend to compare our problems and rate them on a scale, and we believe that we seem selfish or ungrateful because ‘that person’s problem is bigger than mine.’

While it is good to recognize that we are blessed, sometimes we need to validate our feelings.

As long as it affects you, and it affects your ability to function or it causes some sort of fear or anxiety or any of those emotions that we don’t like to feel, in you, it is valid and you deserve to allow yourself every once in a while to acknowledge it for what it is and feel it.

When we constantly ignore these things and compare and don’t give them the validation they deserve, we tend to repeat them. Because we don’t understand where they’re coming from or why they keep re-occurring.

It’s okay if you feel overwhelmed because you’re working from home and you don’t have your normal routine versus someone that might have a family member that is sick.

All of our struggles are valid and we need to acknowledge them. It’s really good to check-in with yourself. It might be a case where you need to take a step back, put down everything and just breathe…and relax – just for a couple of minutes and clear your head.”

Thanks so much to today’s featured guest, for sharing encouragement for challenging seasons. Share this blog post or the link to the podcast interview to encourage someone today.

To connect with Davianne directly – @davikat on IG

Remember, we can always pray for (not prey on) others at and beyond this time. I also want to make a point to say please watch the words you speak over your life, regardless of what it looks like.

Choose faith over fear every day. Yeah, be aware of what’s going on, but don’t invite it home or set up a guest room for panic and a perception of lack in the house of your mind.

How have you been affected, what are you learning and how have you grown in this season? Care to share? No pressure…just an invitation.

Here’s the link I promised to share about an Essentials Team in Barbados that’s helping others in need of physical supplies.

To read more guests posts, click here and to hear more interviews, over here

Start your online writing journey (by clicking the link, you’ll help this blog earn some points to put towards keeping up with content.)

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