5 Tips We Can Learn From Past Hardships

It has been a rough six weeks or so since the cyclone known as cornovirus COVID-19, entered our world. For many New Yorkers, it’s been hard, to say the least. Now the IMF (The International Monetary Fund) has predicted a warning that the current state of economic turmoil we are in due to COVID-19 means we are entering into a recession. This recession is one that is being compared to the Great Depression. Yup, it’s official, these are hard times.  

Here is the good news. When we were young, many of us may have heard stories from our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents on how a hard period in their lives affected them. Britannica shares that “Aside from the Civil War, the Great Depression was the gravest crisis in American history.”

Why is this good news? For one, they survived to tell us their stories. And while the lessons were hard —knock, many would share they were quite valuable. We may not know why grandma overuses a tea bag or learned to make her own bread. Or why great-grandpa had two freezers in the garage full of meat, but many traditions or family quirks we now have are based on these lessons. Here are tips and lessons from past hardships like the great depression that can get us through COVID-19.

Psst..learn about 10 Free Online Resources for Families in Need of Support by IntegrateNYC

Grow Vegetables, Even if it’s Herbs on Your Counter

A big lesson from the depression era that was learned was, if possible, grow your own vegetables. Now we know not all of us city dwellers have a yard, but we can plant a small pot next to the window and grow herbs. Herbs such as mint and basil can be used for meals and tea, which counts as a money saver. 

Treating Coughs and Colds With Onion Syrup

Granny may have made this when you were a wee one, or perhaps your health nut neighbor has whipped up a batch of this homemade cough syrup. Onions are immune-boosting and abundant with antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, and antioxidants. The good stuff our body needs. It’s an easy-to-make recipe that can be kept in a jar. Add a sliced red or yellow onion and sugar or honey — which will help draw the liquid from the onions.

Cover and in about 6-7 hours, there will be a rich ‘syrup” that is a medicinal way to treat a mild cough and cold. We have found this tutorial useful.

Food Hacks Work

If looking to save money or work with staples you can find at the grocery stores right now, casseroles and batch cooking make for comfy and inexpensive meals. Not only will cooking these dishes help give you a break in the kitchen, but that one meal can feed the family for two to three days. Another useful trick for a meal to last is to “stretch your meat” by using one large piece of meat to make a few meals. So broil up that roast with the carrots and potatoes, the next day use the leftovers for soft tacos…if you have any left stretch it even further and add it to pasta. 

Lean on Your Community

If there is a time that the community is needed, it would be now. And this doesn’t have to be your hardship. You can be doing great, yet perhaps your neighbor has lost their job, or worse, a family member. It is during this time when we have to come together and truly be there for others, especially our elderly, expectant mothers, and parents with children with special needs. The pandemic does make physical help challenging, but local community pages on Instagram and Facebook are a great way to start. As of mid-March, Facebook is listing vetted COVID-19 coronavirus information at the top of their News Feed so that users can receive valuable and helpful information. 

Swapping is the New Barter

With millions losing their jobs and humankind experiencing a global pandemic, it is a humble experience to learn what one wants and really needs. If you are lacking funds and have items you can give for things you may need, there are many local groups where you can locally trade or pick up something you need. Two favorites are Freecycle, a free membership that is made up of 5,000+ groups where people give and get for free. And for reading, we love Paperbackswap where you can send books that you have enjoyed and pick new books for you and your family. All you pay is the postage to send your books out. Keep in mind that these sites and groups have new rules and measures to keep members safe such has disinfecting items and adhering to government guidelines.  

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The Gillen Brewer School

<p dir="ltr"><strong>The Gillen Brewer School is a private special education school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC, serving children ages 2.8 to 11 years old</strong>. Our mission is to educate and support students to become confident, independent, and engaged learners. </p> <p dir="ltr">Our individualized, academic-therapeutic approach to education incorporates speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and social groups throughout each child’s daily schedule. Students are immersed in learning which is developmentally appropriate and socially engaging. </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Our teachers and therapists are cross-trained in each academic and therapeutic speciality in order to provide a holistic and integrated program. Students benefit from small class sizes, and enjoy specials such as art, music, physical education, science, and technology. </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Central to our program is the home-school partnership, in which Gillen Brewer staff work closely with families to support the whole child in achieving their goals. </p> <p><br />Our Admissions Team is here to discuss how The Gillen Brewer School can partner with your family. Contact us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> to schedule an in-person tour today!</p>

Enabling Devices

<p><strong>Enabling Devices is a family-run business that designs, manufactures and sells adapted toys and accessible devices that make life more joyful and fulfilling for children and adults living with disabilities.</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>It started with a train set, a mercury switch, and a young boy whose therapist thought he couldn’t play with toys. In 1975 our founder, Dr. Steven Kanor, walked into a room at United Cerebral Palsy/Long Island and saw a boy sitting in a wheelchair, his head resting on his shoulder. When he asked where the toys were, the OT said, “He doesn’t have the motor skills to play with toys, and he can’t lift his head.” But Dr. Kanor was not interested in what the boy couldn’t do. He was interested in the boy's potential. The next morning, he was back. He’d brought a train set, which he’d connected to a mercury switch. The switch, the first capability switch he’d designed, was attached to the boy’s ear. When the boy raised his head, the switch made contact and the train ran around the tracks. After several weeks of playing with this toy, the boy was holding his head up straight, even when the train was not running. Dr. Kanor was elated.</p> <p>Since that day, he never stopped innovating, never stopped trying to make our products better, never stopped designing new devices. Today, our design team is just as passionate, just as creative, and just as committed to innovation as the man who founded this company. Enabling Devices is the place to find toys, devices and tools that help build more joyful, fulfilling lives. We have an extensive selection of adapted toys, capability switches, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, adapted electronics, mounts, iPad products, sensory items and products for the visually impaired.</p> <p>Over the years, the important constants remain. We’re still the same small, family-run company Steven Kanor founded in 1978, with the same values of personal connection and deep product knowledge. We’re still committed to providing caring, individualized service to each customer. And we’re still grateful for the privilege of sharing in your journey.</p>