151: College Students Missing Home and It is Time to Shine 💚

Empty Nest Coach Christine is seated with podcast cover art announcing episode 151

151: College Students Missing Home & It Is Time to Shine 💚

Hello, my amazing friend. Thanks for stopping by!

This month's episode includes updates on my life - whoa it has been interesting, a new analogy, and much more - all the details and locations in the episode are below. 

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"Always take deep breaths - for your own sake. Process through your emotions of their (your child's) homesickness. What are you making it mean?"

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

Listen to @emptynestcoach 's podcast episode: College students Missing Home and It is Time to Shine 💚  #collegeparents #emptynestsuccess #newepisode ▶

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This Episode is Brought To You By

Episode Topics & Their Minute Markers

  • 01:05 Quick Reminders
  • 02:14 My Wish for You Today
  • 02:44 New Things (personal)
  • 09:55 New Things (Your Empty Nest Coach)
  • 11:53 My Lessons Learned - It is Time to Shine
  • 16:12 Ask Coach Christine: My Emerging Adult is Missing Home
  • 18:41 Christine, Where are You? 
  • 19:37 Celebrating You and Your Wins
  • 22:05 What's in Your C.E.O. of Your Life Toolbox?
  • 23:24 Find the Funny 
  • 24:03 What I Wish My Parents Knew
  • 24:31 Two Questions for You
  • 25:53 Bloopers
  • 26:02 Still Listening?

Questions for You:

  1. Is anyone in your life missing home?
  2. How bright are you shining your light into the world? 

Episode Resources

Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 1-920-LIFEWIN (1-920-543-3946). 📞

Legal disclaimer: Listening to this podcast doesn't make Christine your official coach, and this podcast is not meant to replace your doctor or therapist. Curious? Click here for the deets!

First time here? Try these episodes & resources:

For those who are freaking out about the empty nest years. It is time to make the rest of your life the best of your life!

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It is FREE!

Want to get notified of new episodes directly on your phone? Subscribe to this podcast using your favorite app!

The Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, Episode 151

FULL TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00

Christine: Hi, I’m Coach Christine. This is my podcast, it’s the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, and we’re on episode #151. I’m here to help mothers who are freaking out about the empty nest ahead as I guide them to feeling freaking awesome. I’m all about coaching you to become the C.E.O. of Your Life and in my world, C.E.O. stands for Conscious Effective Olympian. You’ll do this by leveling-up 

[level-up music]

your life in small increments - those small wins add up to big changes.

I appreciate that you pressed play on this episode today. Here we go…

[up beat music]

00:00:37

This podcast is my gift to you: a parent adjusting to the idea of an empty nest, or possibly a student who’s wondering how your parents are feeling about you heading out on your own. These podcast episodes will have a base of life coaching infused with reminders to cheer yourself on, and maybe with a dash of may alter-ego, Sally, the hotline video operator popping in from time to time. I’m here to remind you that you should be your own biggest fan.

00:1:05

Some quick reminders: You’ll find a ton of information, resources and more on my website: YourEmptyNestCoach.com. If you enjoy this podcast, don’t forget to follow it in your favorite podcast player. That way you’ll be notified when my next episode is released. A special thanks to our fabulous sponsor - SupaPass, who now powers our GPS Support Flock Community - more on that, later in this episode!

00:01:31

[computer game level up music (short)]  

Some other big topics you’ll find in this episode is a quick run down of the big changes that I have experienced in my life in the last three months - and, oh my goodness, it has not been a calm ride, that is for sure! [giggle] But, if you remember, one of my things to focus on this year has been to enjoy the journey - and I’m happy to report that despite a few needed emotional bumps, the journey IS being enjoyed. Of course, I also have a new analogy for you today and this one has to do with vehicle headlights; yay - we have some wins to celebrate; we’ll talk about what is in our C.E.O. toolbox, finding the funny and more! 

If you wanna jump around in the episode, look for the time markers in the show notes.

00:02:14

[computer game level up music (short)] 

My Wish for You Today 

My wish for you today is that you may be present: where you are right now and through most moments of your day. Presence has the power to remove drama from your life and can you imagine your life with less drama and more time? I can tell you - it is freeing. I wish that you gain a bit more presence than yesterday and continue to work on it throughout the month ahead, my amazing empty nest friend!

00:02:44

[computer game level up music (short)] 

New Things. New Things. New Things!

Well, I had a summer hiatus: this was the first ever (for me) in my podcasting career. I was nervous to take the podcasting break but I knew it was needed, and with all of the things that happened, I’m glad I did!

What happened? Where do I even start? Goodness gracious. Well, back when I recorded my last episode, in May, my husband and I had just moved, I was about to turn 50 and our daughter was about to graduate from college. 

The move was successful.

I did turn 50. 

Our daughter graduated from college and that was a BIG deal.

 A side note: when my husband and I supported her attending college early - I can’t say we had a ton of support from the outside world during her consideration and then first couple of years of attendance at the college. I remember when she started, it did feel like those four years of out of state college were going to be a lifetime. 

Well, they weren’t a lifetime after all - and the pandemic even added some extra “fun”  in there, didn’t it? 

00:03:49

Our daughter returned home in May, and she wasn’t sure what the next year was going to look like since the funds just weren’t available for her to attend the grad schools that she was accepted into. And this meant for a rough adjustment for her being back home with no plans for the future. And we all know how the pandemic helps with this, right? It was a fairly rough start to her summer - especially with my next piece of news that I’m going to share but - no worries - as of now she is thriving and that makes my heart incredibly happy. What else can you ask for as a parent?

This takes us to about June. Well, June happens: I turned 50 and 15 days later, my husband asks for a divorce. 

Look, I’ll be honest, my mind had floated the idea of a divorce in our future, so it wasn’t a complete shock but the timing really caught me off guard - our daughter was about to turn 18 a few weeks later, I barely felt settled from the move, her return home, my new commute and so much more. I will be sharing more about what the divorce and what its meant in my life, how I’m doing with it and how it came about - in an upcoming episode, however, I’m doing my best to live in the present moment each day which means, I don’t exactly want to spend too much time thinking about it today.

I’ve been working really hard on following the things that I share in this podcast: watching my thoughts, keeping my thoughts, making sure that the thoughts I choose and the memories that I live in are ones that will move me forward in a positive way.

00:05:18

All that being said,  please know that I’m doing incredibly well and my daughter is thriving too. All this Conscious Effective Olympian (or C.E.O.) of Your Life stuff that I talk about really works. More than once I’ve created an episode and then the universe decides to say, “Oh yeah, Christine, let’s see how you do with this….” [giggle]

The good news is that the thought-work has been a life-saver for me over the last few years, and this was just one more place to use it all again. 

Now at home, my daughter and I are having a blast living together right now - we are a bit more like roommates due to her life stage which makes it super fun, and since I am well aware that I’ll be re-entering the empty nest sometime in the future, I’m fiercely enjoying her time here. 

With all of these things I just mentioned from my summer, I figured why not throw one more big change - or ingredient into my stew - let’s simmer it out after all. Yes, that’s a reference to a prior episode - see my show notes.

00:06:18

I feel your energy: “Christine, what happened next?” 

I did it. I resigned from my job at the college. Why? Because I was looking at heading back into the office five days a week and I no longer had an eleven minute walk to work - I had a 40-minute commute each way - and that was time taken from things I enjoy in life - like podcasting - and well - basically everything I enjoy in life. Also, due to my daughter’s unique education, she doesn’t have her own car and she’s still working on being a confident driver - it made no sense to have her stranded at home at this time.

I ran budget numbers over and over, and over, and over again. I finally bought this piece of software that I’ve wanted for years and it helped me [sings] so much. I’ll talk about that in another episode. 

But, ultimately, I knew I would regret not being here for my daughter at this time, and I’d get my time back to work on my passion projects. 

The one thing that was clear to me is that if I didn’t change my job, me (Coach Christine) would continue to have no time for bottom of the toolbox items and barely any time for even the top-of my life’s toolbox items. That’s not healthy. So, yes, I resigned. 

It was bold and a bit crazy but it has made the other transitions my life is experiencing flow smoother than they would have had I stayed in that position. I now work VERY part-time at our local Lidl store - because it has me not at a computer, super active and at the end of my shift I get to do my grocery shopping. Oh, and part-time employees at Lidl get medical benefits. In case  mm - you might find yourself in a similar situation and need to think about that. I had to think about it with the pending divorce and leaving my job. Yes, I am totally covering all my bases here. It’s also a little fun being at a job that is totally different from the work that I normally do and that is extremely active. 

00:08:15

I use the Pacer app to track how far I walk, and a low activity shift, at Lidle, my pacer app tells me I manage the equivalent of almost 4 miles - a high activity shift is a heck of a lot more! It’s a job that also allows me to work on my presence - which is an added bonus. 

Can you believe it? This takes me  -mm - to about July of this summer, which, that month did include celebrating my daughter’s 18th birthday - and she chose to get a tattoo! She designed it herself and included my handwriting on it. She felt so good about signing her own waiver - it is an odd thing to be on a college campus but need your parent’s permission to go on a trip. 

It makes my heart happy how excited she was about this - and since then she’s been totally on top of her own medical appointments which is incredibly rewarding as a parent. 

So, this brings me to August and you would think that that would be enough for one summer. But no, we aren’t done. The universe helped me out a bit on this one and I was offered an amazing job opportunity but it’s so new, I’ll share more about that in my next episode - it, honestly, feels too good to be true at the moment. 

I had a realization recently that a little over three years ago, I wrote down some things I wanted for future Christine and many of those have become a reality - I’ll share about those in the next episode as well so this one isn’t three hours long.

I’m sure there are many other things to share but with all of these big ones, I’ll just stop there. While I have managed to stay true to enjoying the journey most days (as I mentioned earlier), and I have felt peaceful the majority of the time, I do hope your last three months have been at least a tad calmer than mine! 

00:09:55

Now for some new things specific to my Your Empty Nest Coach world:

The GPS Support Flock Community membership is back! Due to the summer I had, it was assembled a few months later than I had originally planned but I’m okay with that. The GPS Support Flock Community is powered by SupaPass and it is where you’ll find all of my resources going forward. I’m incredibly excited to offer it to you. While there are free resources available to those who register, if you choose to join our flock, you’ll have access to twice monthly group support coaching calls, all past and future workshops, weekly motivational messages, worksheets, activities and support for podcast episodes and more. All of this for only $27/month! 

I’ve already uploaded some workshop topics including: My Life Isn’t What I Expected, What is Love, Why Resolutions Don’t Work & College Breaks

And one of last week’s motivational messages was titled: Where are you living? Are you ready for the surge in your life? 

I’m incredibly proud of the offerings, and I’m excited for it to grow into the community that you need. 

Should you be in a place where you don’t need the community support but you would like to support the podcast. There’s a place for you to buy me a cup of coffee - or two or three - to help make that happen! Coffee is a big energy boost for me! 

Learn about all of the offerings I just mentioned - and more - by visiting my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com and clicking on the Community link

Of course, that link will be in my show notes. Our next GPS Support Flock Community office hours or group coaching session is Wednesday, September 8th at 7:30 PM EST - I’d love to see you there!

As for this podcast, I’ll be releasing episodes monthly September through June. With more time between episodes, I’ll be focused on serving the GPS Support Flock Community in a way that dives deeper into the podcast episode content and more. 

00:11:53

computer game level up music (short)] 

My Lessons Learned 

I have a 2007 Honda Odyssey. I do love my van, our family has moved quite often - for a variety of reasons and my daughter has even said to me that she feels more home in the van than our actual houses/apartments because it has been more constant in her life than any of our homes. It has been so good to our family. 

Over the years, though, the headlights on my car had become super cloudy.

Honestly, I’m not sure how any light was coming through them at all- and I couldn’t get them clean via a carwash or some of my own muscle and cleaning supplies. I decided to have them restored. Honestly, I think it was the best $100 I have spent in a long time. It was wild to see the change!  My car looks ten years younger - I guess I gave it a facelift - [giggle] - and when I drive at night, it’s amazing to be able to really see things. 

Now, the cloudiness of the headlights didn’t happen overnight. I would have noticed that. It took time, it took weather, hours, days, months of driving for the headlights to begin to cloud over and eventually block light from escaping. 

As mothers, we sometimes spend so much time thinking of our partners, our children, and others that our own light slowly begins to cloud over - the light being what I like to call our own internal GPS: who we are outside of our roles, outside of what we do for a living - or don’t do, outside of our actions we have taken that we identify with - actions that embarrass us and other actions that we are proud of. 

00:13:28

When our light covers over - even when it happens unintentionally due to life - it makes it almost impossible for us to see where to head in life - what direction to go. It also, whether we know it or not, becomes impossible for others to see who we are and that’s because we cover ourselves up so much that we barely know who we are. This is how things get fuzzy in life and  - we become identified with that clouded over version of ourselves - that light - and we begin to fiercely protect it because even though it is harder to see where we should be headed - we’ve adjusted to it and we’ve gotten used to it. 

Then, one day, we might decide to do some cleaning, some work on ourselves. We might even begin being kind to ourselves - in the thoughts we think about ourselves, in the actions that we take to better ourselves and we begin to shine brighter. I imagine this as a dimmer switch where we slowly head toward illumination mode - I talk about this in prior episodes. This all takes tremendous work: to do the thought-clearing, to become your own biggest fan and to trust your internal GPS - after all, that light has been hiding for so long. 

The wild part is that when things begin to clear - when restoration occurs - there are suddenly beams of light shining in our life that weren’t there earlier. And while these beams of light do help us to see better, they also have the potential to be more than your eyes can handle right away. It may even feel like you might have been better with the cloudy cover. 

00:15:00

Time is needed to adjust to the growth, and discomfort as your light begins to shine again. Remember that your bright light - finding your true self - also could shine brightly for others who just aren’t ready for it yet. They might need to put some sunglasses on. And I’m not saying you need to hide your light - no, not at all - I would never tell you that, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t warn you that some in your life may need time to soak it all in. They may love your light but the initial shock of it might make them flinch. As you begin to grow - to show your light - to become the Conscious Effective Olympian of Your Life, trust that the true you - your internal GPS is what the world needs. 

What you may notice is some are drawn to your light and others may find it startling because suddenly, you’re not fitting into the narrative that they’ve created about you, but ultimately (and this is really important) shining your light is what is going to illuminate your journey for your life ahead. Your journey. So I ask you, how cloudy is the cover on your internal GPS?  

[00:16:12]

[computer game level up music (short)] 

Ask Coach Christine

My emerging adult is at College and is homesick. What should I do? 

Great question and I have a special shout out to my TikTok friend Mariadoor who suggested this topic for hotline video content - she also was kind enough to support the podcast through my new community. I just mentioned by buying me a cup of coffee - well, she did that! Thank you so much Mariadoor. I appreciate you - and so do my listeners!

Back to homesickness - I’ll call it missing home - as it isn’t really a sickness - it’s normal. While not ALL emerging adults experience it, for those who do, it could happen right away or it may kick in after a couple months of living on their own. It could be something like a meal, a holiday or a situation that brings on the emotions of missing home. 

What can you do?

As much as possible, be available when they need to chat, and do your best to listen as you hold space for them. Hold yourself back from solving it for them. 

Listen. 

I’ve mentioned this before but I like to imagine that we transition into a bit more of a coach role than a parent role as our emerging adults “emerge.” It reminds us as parents that we aren’t here to solve everything anymore but to be a resource and guide. I know (trust me) that it can be easier said than done, after all, it is really easy to jump into problem solving mode because while they may be 18, 28 or even older, they are always our baby. 

 

Is it a good idea to run to campus and bring them home for the weekend? While it is always an option you can choose, I would hesitate to do that in the first month or so - unless there is an emergency - as doing that removes the opportunity for them to process through their emotions It also removes them from other students who are experiencing the same thing - which can be quite bonding to be stuck on campus together. 

It’s a great time to create a care package.

Always take deep breaths - for your own sake. Process through your emotions of their homesickness. What are you making it mean? Use all of the tools I talk about on this podcast - they’ll help. Your emerging adult’s emotions of them missing home may last a few hours or a few days - just like us processing through our empty nesting emotions - there is no set timeline.

Oh, and I did create the hotline video for this. If you want to see it, link will be in my show notes. 

 

00:18:41

[quirky music under segment]

Christine? Christine? Christine, where are you? 

The best place to find me is in the GPS Support Flock Community, of course. 

And believe it or not, I’m gearing up to speak at an in-person conference in October! She Podcasts Live ‘21 - I’ll be speaking about TikTok - what I like about it, how podcasters can use it even when they don’t have a huge audience, and more! My flight is booked, hotel is reserved, my dear podcasting friends will be meeting me there, and my daughter will be joining me! She does have her own plans for some of our time but what better place to spend time with your daughter than a place that has the goal to help women to share their voices with the world? It’s incredibly exciting! Should you want to know more about the conference, I’ll have a link in the bio - or feel free to reach out and ask away. I’d love to see you there!

00:19:37

[computer game level up music (short)]  

 

Celebrating You and Your Wins [sound] 

My win? I’m going with my ability to stay present is increasing exponentially daily and it feels great. I’m also celebrating that the GPS Support Flock Community is finally back to flying!

As for your wins, I’m happy to share recent wins from followers on TikTok and Instagram! See my show notes to click through to view these wins and cheer everyone on. As always, please forgive any mispronunciations:

First, from instagram NextchapterEmptyNest shares, I’ve been trying to decide what I want to do, how do I want to grow, what do I want to learn. My win is that I decided this week to sign up for a podcast course to learn more and grow my podcast. I’m so excited - first that I made a decision and now that have goals to meet.

LaurenJeanKinghorn, “Just launched my new podcast & YT channel, Fempreneurs Unite, with and interview and an awesome giveaway.”

On Tiktok, Olivia shares “moving away from home for college tomorrow. Excited and nervous about it.”

The.Elise.Diaries, “I listened to my body’s needs and ate intuitively! And I practiced my guitar and sang and I sound really good! It’s a win that I’m positive about me.

?? (double question mark) shares, “I went to college and had a panic attack but I got through by myself.

Gay Frog, shares with us “I managed to find my way home after I got on the wrong bus. I know it’s not big but I was scared and it was pouring down rain.”

Side note: No win is too small. They all count. They all build up to bigger things. And I’ll be honest, this doesn’t feel super small to me. You should be really proud of yourself. 

Finally, Sunny day shares, “Going to look at a new school for autistic because I’m autistic.”

00:21:21

[cheering sounds]

Thank you all for sharing your wins. Now my listener, I want you to take a couple of moments here and think of a recent win of yours: small - or big, that you can celebrate.Got it? Okay now, pump your hands in the air, do a little wiggle of joy and a small cheer. You should be really proud of yourself.

As a reminder, you can always share your win with us! You may send it to me in my DMs on social media, use my google voice number, yes, that’s in my show notes, or pop in the comments of my win videos posted on TikTok or Instagram: just be sure to add the microphone emoji.

00:22:05

[computer game level up music (short)] 

What’s in your life’s toolbox? 

As a reminder, these are things that bring you joy, or allow you to reset yourself in life in one way or another. Some are escapes that allow you the grace to have time until you’re able to process deeper or to allow your mind a bit of time to recalculate to what’s next; other things are tools and resources that allow you to do the deeper work - like working on your presence, finding a community (check out the GPS support Flock if you need one), listening to this podcast, or doing private coaching with me - or someone else. As always, I’d love for you to share what you use in your life’s toolbox for either moment in life - use that Google voice number to share, or DM me!

What’s in my toolbox? 

Well, with the emotional ups and downs that I’ve had over the last few months, I have found myself enjoying a bit of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Not daily or anything like that but enough to think - you know what? I don’t usually eat ice cream and sometimes, I just want some ice cream and a sad movie. Yes! I did the ice cream and watch the movie Beaches thing. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I consciously chose to do it and decided that this is a great top of the toolbox item for me - used in moderation.  Choosing to put it in my life’s toolbox has been kind of fun. It’s a really great tool to consciously use until I have time to really be able to dive deeper into my thoughts and everything. What kind of things do you use on emotional days? 

00:23:41

Let’s find the funny!

[giggles from others] 

Do you know about the show TaskMaster? I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned it before on this podcast - and the New Zealand series is now available on YouTube. Holy Cow, the season two cast is a riot - and has provided me with many laughs recently. Laughter really is good for our souls.

00:24:03

[computer game level up music (short)] 

What I Wish My  Parents Knew

Showing up unexpectedly at college to check in on your kiddo and demand to be let into the dorm isn’t  - uh - how shall we say -  always appreciated. And, no, you don’t automatically have access to their school records if they haven’t given you permission. Please don’t go around your student and make a scene. It isn’t fun for anyone - especially your college student. 

00:24:31

Two Questions for You

Question 1:  Is anyone in your life missing home?

and Question 2:  How bright are you shining your light into the world? 

As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend.

My HOPE is that I’m able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life.

If you enjoy this episode please don’t forget to share it with others, it’s the best way to allow it to reach a wider audience. And of course, follow the show in your favorite podcast player!

I’ll be back with a new episode in October where I’ll share some lessons I’ve learned through my marriage separation, I’ll talk about the narratives we have for our lives, remind you about sunk costs and more.

My beautiful friend, life is no joke and you are managing it. While our life has moments that are amazing and beautiful, it also has heart wrenching and fear-inducing moments. This totality of life is what helps us to grow. Be sure that you are living in the moment you are currently in - rather than living in the past or the future. Because missed moments are sometimes missed growth opportunities. 

You’ve got this. Enjoy the journey and never forget that you are amazing. Chat next time!

[end music]

[00:25:53]

[bloopers]

00:26:02

Are you still listening? 

Take a deep breath in my friend. Let the air out and as the air exits your lungs, let go of negative energy, let go of negative thoughts about yourself and as you breathe in again fill your body with positive energy and only loving thoughts about yourself. 

[end music]

[end]

106: Whether Your Child is Going Back to Campus or Not, Feel those Feelings 💚

106: Whether Your Child is Going Back to Campus or Not, Feel those Feelings 💚

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

This is your reminder to feel those feelings.

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"...whether your child (or children) are heading back to campus or staying home - for whatever reason, I encourage you to feel those emotions. Trust that you are strong enough to process through them."

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

New podcast episode 🎙Coach Christine shares her thoughts on emotions around back to college (or not) season. 💚 #EmptyNest #NotSoEmptyNest #BackToSchool #Emotions #NewEpisode

Click to Tweet

This Episode is Brought To You By

Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 1-920-LIFEWIN (1-920-543-3946). 📞

Legal disclaimer: Listening to this podcast doesn't make Christine your official coach, and this podcast is not meant to replace your doctor or therapist. Curious? Click here for the deets!

First time here? Try these episodes & resources:

For those who are freaking out about the empty nest years. It is time to make the rest of your life the best of your life!

Subscribe To This Podcast

It is FREE!

Want to get notified of new episodes directly on your phone? Subscribe to this podcast using your favorite app!

FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 106 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast  with Coach Christine.  Episode number 106: Whether Your Child is Going Back to Campus or Not, Feel those Feelings, Parents! I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.

00:00:48

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! This episode and my next one are going to be on the shorter side. Well, at least that is my plan, as my daughter is gearing up to head back to campus a week from when this airs.

This is my fourth round of her heading back to or heading to college - yes, she’s heading into her senior year. I know that there is a level of anxiety that seeps into all we do. Even on the best years of on-campus returns, it is there. From all of us - yes, even my husband partakes in it. It manifests in different ways for each of us but it is there. I’ve seen it peek out in all of us over the last week. 

I’ve noticed it in me. I’ve bumped up my presence-work a bit. But before diving into the present, I do my best to name the emotion I’m feeling  - or at least to recognize how it feels in my body - and then I see if I can identify the thought that is causing it. If you are a regular listener of my podcast, you know the drill from here.  

00:01:50

Then, I work on pulling myself into the present, if the thought and emotion continues, I always find the more present I am; the less power that has on me, until eventually it has no power. That is the beauty of being present: “in the now,”  as Eckhart Tolle says. In Coach Christine speak, hmmm… kind of like that, 

It is as if, I wake up and check in with my protector. I ask them what the delivery is, I see it,  notice what it is doing to me (oh, there is a lump in my throat, my stomach feels off), and by noticing it, the power in that thought delivery begins to already subside. 

With that in mind, whether your child (or children) are heading back to campus or staying home - for whatever reason, I encourage you to feel those emotions. Trust that you are strong enough to process through them. Sometimes, by simply naming that it is anxiety, or it is nervousness, resentment, you manage to remove a layer (or sometimes ten layers) of that emotion that has a grasp on you.

00:02:54

Remember, you aren’t your emotions.  You aren’t your feelings. You aren’t even the thoughts that you have. You are an amazing human doing their best to get from one day to the next. Be kind to yourself. Gift yourself with love.

And, yes, whether your child is heading back to campus or not, I invite you to process through those emotions, and then use the extra time you have to spend some time hanging out with them. 

Give them the space to feel their emotions (of course you wouldn’t call it that, but you’ll know what you are doing) - some ideas would be to take a walk with them - destination (or no destination), have a coffee date, maybe play a board game that they loved as a child - it’s always fun to revisit things like this. 

00:03:40

Sometimes, we look back at board books or children’s books that were beloved in our house and we see the flaws in them or the things that we loved about them and it is a really fun discussion. So, while you are looking at the supplies they need for school, in the midst of all the doing of what needs to be done - be careful not to ignore what is going on behind all of those doing actions - for all of you.

Again, spend some time focused on your protector. Calm them down so that you may hold space for your family to see what lies behind their protectors. It is a gift that you will give you and your family - even if they are completely unaware of it. 

I’ll be back in a week with another quick bite episode. Now, my beautiful friend, those family members that live in your house and you don’t have to socially distance from, give them a hug - give them a  couple of extra ones this week  and create some memories.

00:04:37

And never forget that you are amazing. See ya! 

[Bloopers]

Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest.  If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community.  See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon! 

[End]

105: Aaaand My Child’s School Went Online Again 😮

105: Aaaand My Child's School Went Online Again 😮

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

I had another topic scheduled for today, but with my clients, friends, and colleagues struggling with figuring out their fall season this year due to school changes, I sat down in front of the mic to share some unscripted thoughts with you. Forgive the rabbit trails. 🐰

My friend, please know that while the next few months look like a hot mess, you can handle it.  

Here are some thoughts to try on. Adjust as needed. 💚

  • "This isn't what we planned at all, but we will figure out how to make it work, and I'll be patient with myself as I navigate the journey forward."
  • "This isn't what we planned. I'm not sure what the future looks like, but I can figure out my next best step at this moment - even if it is to stare at the wall to calm my brain."   
    • Let's be real. Sometimes this is needed.
  • "Online again: Well, I know what didn't work last time around. How can I change those areas?" 
  • "Online again: I can adapt in ways that I couldn't imagine a year ago. This won't look the way I had planned, and that's okay."

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"Be there for your children. All of the thoughts and anxiety that  you have (about our current situation) they feel that - and they have their own. So I encourage you to get to know them no matter their age - what's going on in their mind?"

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

New podcast episode 🎙Coach Christine shares unscripted thoughts with you about the online education announcements that we are being gifted with daily. 💚 #OnlineEducation #NotSoEmptyNest #SchooIsOnline #FallPlans #SchoolPlans

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This Episode is Brought To You By

What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • Watch Your Thoughts
  • Look at What You Are Considering Homeschooling
  • Consider True Homeschooling
  • Consider Cyber Schools
  • Why I Call Our Children (even those over 18) Children
  • To Consider the Level of Risk You Are Willing to Take and Do Your Thought Work

Episode Resources

Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 1-920-LIFEWIN (1-920-543-3946). 📞

Legal disclaimer: Listening to this podcast doesn't make Christine your official coach, and this podcast is not meant to replace your doctor or therapist. Curious? Click here for the deets!

First time here? Try these episodes & resources:

For those who are freaking out about the empty nest years. It is time to make the rest of your life the best of your life!

Subscribe To This Podcast

It is FREE!

Want to get notified of new episodes directly on your phone? Subscribe to this podcast using your favorite app!

FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 105 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 105: And My Child’s School Went Online Again.  I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.

00:00:48

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! I have had two different topics that I had planned to do today, and the more I see schools moving online, be it college or elementary school, middle school, high school, and parents, you know, rightly so, going right to freak out mode.  I understand there are so many things to think about.  I thought, you know, I was a homeschooling mother, so I’d like to share some thoughts with you that hopefully help you, moving forward.

00:01:27

Before we dive in, a quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of this episode; if something resonates with you; or if you have a question or a quick tip to share with my audience, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number.  You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website.  Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 105 (for this episode’s number).  (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P105).  I can’t wait to hear from you!

00:02:18

Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest.  If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community.  See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon! 

00:03:06

An extra thank you to bruh bruh Cuh-zoh who graciously took the time to provide my podcast with a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts. The encouraging review is titled: “Listening to a Friend!”  “From business, to parenting, to social issues coach Christine tackles them all in great form! I subscribed instantly and will listen regularly.”  This makes me feel so good.  Thank you.  You all know if you are regular listeners, I talk about this periodically, that podcasting is a quiet medium in regard to feedback.  So, thanks, Cuh-zoh!

00:03:41

Now, as I mentioned before, I had a totally different topic planned for today.  But here it is Sunday, the episode comes out Friday, and I’ve been watching colleges and schools move back to being online for fall, due to COVID-19.  Make sure you are really watching your Protector around all of the changes that are happening for your family’s schooling situation.  If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we can handle change.  We initially think we’re not going to be able to handle this.  It’s going to be awful.  All of the plans we had are up in the air or not happening at all.  But guess what?  We can handle it.

00:04:26

We need to check our thoughts.  We need to be in tune with our Protector.  We need to watch those thought deliveries that are continually being tossed at us over and over, and over again, from our family members, from the media, from school, from well-intentioned friends, from friends who have different views and values, and ideas about how the upcoming school year is going to go.  You need to know you.  You need to watch your thought deliveries 100 percent.  

00:04:59

I want to say a few things about if your child is going online, and I’m going to talk about all age ranges real quick.  If your child’s school is online, and they are younger than high school, I want to challenge you in that if you thought what you did in the spring was homeschooling, I just want to say, no, it was not.  That’s all.

00:05:23

Well, no, that’s not all.  But when your brick and mortar school is forced to go online very quickly to an infrastructure that they are not set up to do; that teachers are not educated in how to teach online; that your child probably can do it better than them, because they spend more time on technology.  I’m not talking about subject matter.  That, and then you expecting to help them teach a lesson that you know nothing about, that my friend, is not homeschooling.  I don’t want you to give homeschooling a bad rap, because homeschooling can be amazing.  Amazing!  There are no forms to fill out.  Well, you have your end of year and beginning of year, and things you need to do for your state that you live in, legal things.  But you don’t have these forms coming in daily that you have to sign for tomorrow.  You don’t have projects that your child didn’t tell you about, that you suddenly have to help them with.  Your parent/teacher conferences are now you are heading out to have coffee, and you can pat yourself on the back, because you got to plan your day.  Yeah, homeschooling has really bad days, but it also has really good days, and you have a lot more control on what it looks like.  Guess what?  I didn’t even teach new math.  I didn’t have to.  [Giggle].

00:06:51

I just want to share with you, if your child’s young and you do have the opportunity to do traditional homeschooling, and that would work for your family, do research.  Look into it.  You can reach out to me; email me, DM me on the socials.  I am happy to talk about homeschooling, any time.  

00:07:09

Homeschooling for every family looks different.  Some have no curriculum whatsoever, that’s called unschooling.  Others replicate what brick and mortar school looks like right in their house, and that’s what works for them.  It’s all good.  And then, in the middle you have cyber schools, so I want to introduce you to the idea of cyber schools if you haven’t considered them.  Whether it’s temporary or long-term, it might be the right fit for your family, right now.

00:07:36

I share this with you because cyber schools are already set up with the infrastructure to teach online.  They already have teachers who are used to teaching online.  They have a support system, maybe not enough this year, because I’m willing to bet that most cyber schools are completely inundated with enrollment requests, but they normally have plenty of people that will help you and they know what to look for when your child isn’t doing well.  They have check-in sessions.  They can handle the IEPs online, so definitely check this out.  I’m not saying it’s the way to go, just check it out.

00:08:18

Now, if your child is technically an adult, 18 or over, yes, I like to use child no matter the age, because I’m still my mother’s child, and I’m almost 50.  Back to college.  So your child’s school moves online.  Take deep breaths.  Try to hold your thoughts until you're alone: say them out loud; say them to a friend; write them down.  Encourage your child to do the same thing.  There are a lot of variables here, too.  Who’s paying for college, is it you?  Is it them?  Do they have merit scholarships, where if they don’t go back, if they take a gap year, they’re going to lose it?  So ultimately, it doesn’t make any financial sense for them not to attend, even if it is only online. 

00:09:09

Here’s the thing, I don’t have the answer for you.  What my child’s doing and what your child’s doing, does not have to be the same.  It doesn’t have to look remotely the same.  We have totally different circumstances.  The reason my daughter is at the school she is, is completely for her to have peers that she has not had in her life.  It is the best decision we have ever made, and for her to stay home, online, at a time when she could be on campus.  Yes, there are risks involved.  We are well aware of them.  But she has decided it’s worth the risk.  She might change her mind in a week, and that’s okay.  But ultimately, the things that we can control, the things that make the biggest difference in our lives, are knowing who we are as humans, and encouraging our children to know who they are as humans.  And to be able to make a decision knowing all the facts that you know in the moment, to feel peaceful with that, and to be able to look ahead in a few years, think about yourself, and then try looking back, and going, hmm, do I think I’m happy with that decision?  Do I wish I had taken the risk?  Do I wish I had stayed home instead of taking the risk?  Who am I?

00:10:28

This is really valuable work, and it shouldn’t be something that is decided based on what you read online; based on what 80 percent of the people are doing.  Yes, it should be decided on facts that impact health, your immune system and safety, and from there, the actual decision should be yours.  It should be your child’s, your family’s, and move forward.  Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.  There is a lot of worrying what everyone else is doing.  Guess what?  No, everyone is not going to wear their mask at a college campus.  We all know this.  But you can go to Walmart and people aren’t all wearing masks, so let’s be real.  

00:11:21

This is how life works.  You figure out what risk you’re willing to take and you take it, or you don’t take it, and that’s the decision you make.  And then, you have a lot of thought work to do around that decision.  Like, a lot of thought work.  Just when you think you’re done with that thought work, there’s going to be more.  Yup, it’s a big roller coaster, and that is from my flock member, Michelle.

00:11:48

So my friend, I really, really, really, really could talk about homeschooling versus not homeschooling, and I really didn’t talk about it a lot in here, because I just know it will be four hours long.  If you want to know something: if you want to know thoughts; if you want to know what my experience is; just ask a question and I am more than happy to answer it in an upcoming episode.  I think that’s the best way to go, rather than me talk for 40 minutes about something that might not be of interest to you.  But know this, you know what’s best.  You need to trust yourself.

00:12:20

Your child, if they’re 18 or older, and they can drive away and pay for their college, and they decide to do something that you think is just not the right decision, well, I bet you did some of that stuff when you were their age.  This is their time to figure it out: to try the crazy things; to try the things that, yeah, there might be a lot of risk; it might be amazing; it might be awful, but you don’t know until you try.  Be there for your children right now.  All the thoughts and anxiety that you have about our current situation, they feel that, and they have their own.  I encourage you to get to know them no matter their age.  What’s going on in their mind?  You know?  If they’re five, hey, how’re you doing today?  Do you have any big thoughts that you want to talk about?  If they’re 18, be like, hey, I know you probably don’t want to talk to me right now, but like, if there’s anything that you just want to throw out there, and we can discuss, let’s do it.  There is no better way to get to know your kids.  But hold the space for them.  Listen to them.  If your gut reaction is to be like, ugh, I don’t like this, and you can feel it, just stop.  Take deep breaths.  Be curious about why you’re thinking that, and you know, be curious to them, why do you think that’s going to happen?  Why do you think that wouldn’t happen to you?  Enjoy this.  If you get more time with your kids right now, enjoy it, because the empty nest is going to show up eventually.

00:14:08

While you may have a honeymoon period where you are very excited that your children are back in school, or moved out of the house, there comes a time where you realize you miss them.  So take deep breaths, enjoy the time with them now, and bond so that when they do leave, they find themselves wanting to call mom.  Maybe not everyday.  All right, I’m just going to stop there.  Let me know what you think.  I’ll be back next week.  Remember, my friend, you are amazing!  See ya!

[Bloopers]

[Still listening] - Lessons from a spider web - Episode #26 - Changing Your Mind is Okay.

[End]

103: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 2 of 2 Featuring Dr. Jill Grimes, Author and a Family Physician Focused on College Student Health

103: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 2 of 2 featuring Dr. Jill Grimes, MD

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

If your child is scheduled to head back to campus in four to six weeks, you may have questions about how to best prepare for campus during COVID.

In this episode, I have great fun chatting with Dr. Jill about this topic. We talk about forms, checklists, favorite chapters of her new book, and so much more!

Her book, The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook, Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness, is the perfect reference book for both you and your child. I give it my five happy chick rating, and I invite you to  listen to the full episode. 

We created the COVID Emergency Bag Checklist! Click here or the image below to print your copy now. 

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

Podcast episode!🎙 Is your college student heading back to campus in a few weeks? @JillGrimesMD and @emptynestcoach have some tips for you! 💚 #CollegeParent #EmptyNest #CollegeLife #CollegeStudent #FallSemester #BackToCampus

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This Episode is Brought To You By

What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • Learn how Dr. Jill became an author and an on-campus health provider
  • What forms Dr. Jill plans to complete ahead of time for her college-aged daughters
  • Student health care center tips and advice
  • The moment we came up with the COVID Emergency Bag Checklist
  • And more!

Where to Find Dr. Jill Grimes Online

Quick Tip Submissions

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Have you picked up Dr. Jill’s book yet, or are you on the way to order it?   
  2. What question do you wish I had asked Dr. Jill?

Episode Resources

Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 1-920-LIFEWIN (1-920-543-3946). 📞

Legal disclaimer: Listening to this podcast doesn't make Christine your official coach, and this podcast is not meant to replace your doctor or therapist. Curious? Click here for the deets!

First time here? Try these episodes & resources:

For those who are freaking out about the empty nest years. It is time to make the rest of your life the best of your life!

Subscribe To This Podcast

It is FREE!

Want to get notified of new episodes directly on your phone? Subscribe to this podcast using your favorite app!

FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 103 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 103: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for a Different Campus. This is Part 2 of 2, featuring Dr. Jill Grimes, author, and a family physician focused on college student health. I can’t wait for you to hear this. I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.

00:01:00

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! In this episode, I welcome Dr. Jill Grimes to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am crazy excited to have her here. I have read her book: “The ULTIMATE College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness.” It is fabulous. I’m going to keep the copy I have for myself and pick up another one for my daughter. Yes, it’s that good. Speaking of my daughter, I asked her to take a look at my copy of Dr. Jill’s book. My daughter’s comment was, “This book will be great to have in my dorm room, especially as a peer RA, as residents may have concerns that I don’t know anything about.”

00:01:46 

Well done, Dr. Jill, on creating one of the few resources that when I shared with my daughter, I didn’t get the “Okay, Mom” eye roll. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky.  No, my friend, I’m not immune to it either.

 

00:02:01

Dr. Jill Grimes is a nationally recognized medical media expert, award-winning author, medical editor, and Board-Certified Family Physician.  Her passion is prevention.  After two decades of private practice, Dr. Grimes now enjoys seeing patients part-time at the University of Texas in Austin.  What you, my listener will be interested in is that she is also a proud mom to two awesome collegiate daughters.

00:02:29

I don’t think I could find a more perfect guest for this podcast at this particular time.  My daughter’s scheduled to head back to college in four weeks, so this is timely for me, as well.  Dr. Jill’s book is a wonderful reference book containing topics such as sunscreen, tattoos, hangovers, the “missing” tampon, nose bleeds, and so much more.  You know that first aid kit I mentioned in the last episode?  Dr. Jill’s book has a Bonus Section about your DIY First Aid Kit.  You have to check it out for yourself.  I give this book my highest rating, five happy chicks! 

 

00:03:09

At the end of this episode, I’m also going to give you a couple of follow up things that Dr. Jill and I talked about offline after the recording.  She has a blog, media interviews and more on her website, so I encourage you to dive into those to learn more about amazing Dr. Jill.  Also, if you find you wish I asked her other questions, please don’t hesitate to send them in as an audio message or email, and we’ll see if we can get them answered on an upcoming episode!  I’ll be asking her a handful or so of questions today.

 

00:03:40 

Before we dive in, a quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of this episode; if something resonates with you; or if you have a quick tip to share with my audience, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number. You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 103 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P103). I can’t wait to hear from you!

00:04:30

Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon! 

00:05:16

Christine:  Welcome to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, Dr. Jill Grimes.

Dr. Jill:  Thank you so much for having me.  I’m thrilled to be here.

Christine:  I’m thrilled to have you here today, and I love that your daughter is the illustrator of your book.  Now, was that something that you had planned all along, or did it just happen to work out?

Dr. Jill:  Oh, my goodness, I am just thrilled that it worked out.  No, it was not something I planned all along.  In fact, I just didn’t think a publisher would agree to that, because they have in-house artists.  What happened is, my daughter, I’ve been asking her to draw pictures and sketches for my medical presentations for years now, because that way I don’t have to worry about copyrights.  She’s done them; I’m not stealing anyone’s ideas, and besides that, I can make it look how I want to make it look.  She was doing that, and when I submitted my book proposal, I submitted her pictures along with it.  They said, well, is she available to be the illustrator, and I’m like, yes.  I’m thrilled.  It worked out great.

Christine:  I love that so much, and I identify with it, because I’ve also had my daughter make drawings for me, for the same reason.

Dr. Jill:  Yes, it’s super convenient.  I will say, in fairness to my daughter, she had actually already had a job at her university.  She attends Loyola Marymount University in LA, and she got a job as an illustrator for their press.  She had already had that work experience which certainly gave her a leg up in getting the job.

Christine:  That’s excellent.

Dr. Jill:  Proud mom brag.  I’m allowed.

Christine:  Yeah, go her.  That’s awesome.  Well, I’ve already taken the liberty of introducing you to my listener already, so if it’s okay with you, I’d like to jump right into my questions for you.  Are you good with that?  

Dr. Jill:  Outstanding. Absolutely.

Christine:  Awesome.  So what brought you to where you are today, working part-time, writing books, serving college patients?

Dr. Jill:  My path has been a little bit unusual.  So, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, from the time I was very little.  Neither of my parents were doctors.  My dad was a professor, and my mom was a mom, and a fabulous one.  They told me I could anything and be anything, and I wanted to be a doctor, and I did become one.  I started off with my own private practice, which I loved, but unfortunately, my mother developed Alzheimer’s and at the same time, our kids were very young, and it was just too much.  There’s only so many hours in the day, so I went to part-time, and then, a few years later, I’m like, no, it’s still too much running my own practice, even with another physician.  And so, I stopped my own practice, and went to work for someone else, where I could just walk in, be the doctor, walk out, and not have to hire and fire staff, and do all of that, and that was great.  Meanwhile, I ended up writing my first book, and I sort of naïvely thought as a doctor I could write a book, and the publisher would take it and go put in bookstores and it would sell, and I would keep being a doctor and that’s how it would go.  They said, no, that’s not how it works.  So, I ended up becoming a media person, and doing a lot of radio and some television, and speaking to larger groups and that was, you know, part of my career.  So, I stayed part-time, and I’m also that “Girl Scout Mom.”  So, I was the Girl Scout leader, and then in a national charity league, which was a mother/daughter service organization.  I loved being super involved.  Our daughters both danced.  I was the team photographer.  So as you can see, like many of us, I like doing a lot of different things, and I’m not the primary breadwinner.  My husband is.  He is also a physician.  In our family, it worked for me to stay part-time, and then, after getting into this book writing thing, and I’m realizing I had more books in me that I wanted to do.  I want to just be even more part-time, and as our kids went off to college, I’ve always been involved with their friends and their age group, so it was a really natural fit for me to work in a college setting.  And I live in Austin, and the University of Texas, I had worked there just you know helping out occasionally over the years for many years, and they needed me.  I wanted to be there, and so I’m very part-time there, but it’s wonderful ‘cause it works for both of us.

Christine:  That’s fantastic.

Dr. Jill:  Kind of a long answer, sorry.

Christine:  No, I love those answers.  More for us to get to know you.  

Dr. Jill:  There you go.

Christine:  It’s also, as you’re talking, I’m like, she’s so perfect for us to listen to right now.   And a total slacker in the mom department, that’s sarcasm.  So, I know you have at least one daughter heading back to campus in the fall?

Dr. Jill:  Two.  I have two.  One’s in grad school, and she’s in Saint Louis at Wash U, and then the younger one is a Loyola Marymount.

Christine:  Awesome.  So, with them going back to college, or I guess, the grad school, she’s there already, probably?  Right?  Is she there yet?

Dr. Jill:  Actually, no.  She’s remote also, unfortunately.

00:10:14

Christine:  Okay, so, this question works.  Okay.  Awesome.  So, as a doctor, wear your doctor hat more, and parent hat a little bit, what’s your biggest concern with your children heading back to campus, in our current pandemic?  And is there anything you’re doing in preparation for that?

Dr. Jill:  Well, it’s a little hard to sort out, because obviously I wear the different hats.

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  But honestly, one of my concerns is just that COVID is going to be tying up the healthcare system so much, that I want to be sure that our girls are even more prepared than usual, to take care of all their non-COVID health issues.  Of course, I’m a text away for them, and that’s great, but particularly the younger one, out in LA, does not have a car and so I want to make extra sure that her college first aid kit is super well stocked, because if, you know, she’s got a cough, well, then I’m going to be worried about COVID.

Christine:  Right.  I know.

Dr. Jill:  But still, but if she has a cough from just having allergies --

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  -- I want to make sure that she’s got more on hand and understands when she’s supposed to use what.  We have spent a little bit of time already this summer, talking about some of those different things, and you know, when is it appropriate to access the healthcare system and all of that.  Obviously, with COVID, everything is different and honestly, my biggest challenge has been finding them a new thermometer, because, you know, you can’t find thermometers.  They’re sold out.

Christine:  I somehow got some on Amazon.

Dr. Jill:  Excellent.

Christine:  I must have gotten really lucky.  

Dr. Jill:  Yes.

Christine:  I can’t find disinfecting wipes.

Dr. Jill:  Yes.  It’s a challenge.

Christine:  It is.

Dr. Jill:  I’ve always been a proponent of the digital oral thermometers, and that’s what I was looking for.  Now, they have all the no-touch infrared ones, and I am assuming that they are relatively accurate.  The things that have the roller on them, that it rolls across the forehead, those are not accurate.  

Christine:  Oh, good to know.

Dr. Jill:  The ear ones are mostly accurate.  I haven’t seen any great studies on the accuracy of the other ones, which is of course, what everyone is relying on, as we move forward with COVID.

Christine:  Yeah.  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  There’s some different challenges this year, but I think the biggest one is going to be the ability to access the healthcare system when they need it, because the healthcare system is going to be tied up with COVID.

Christine:  That’s a really good point.  It’s interesting, because I was just reading, in my daughter’s school’s policy and procedure.  If you think you have COVID, because we started talking about this, you go to the health center, at her school, they’ll do contact tracing, and they’ll do a test for her.  And that’s her school, I know they’re all a little different.

Dr. Jill:  Right.

Christine:  But what we were talking about is that then she’ll move, like say she tests positive, she moves to an off campus --

Dr. Jill:  To a quarantine.

Christine:  -- and I said, you know, I think we should think about this.  What if that happens?  You’re not going to have much notice.  It’s kind of like you’re pregnant, and you need that bag, or at least the list.

Dr. Jill:  Right.  Exactly.

Christine:  ‘Cause you’re not going be able to go back to your dorm room --

Dr. Jill:  No.

Christine:  -- during this time.

Dr. Jill:  Right.  So, the one thing that’s a little different is that if they’re going to go -- I want to say, for the listeners, in general, most of the health centers are not going to say to go there.  They’re going to say you need to call first, and that’s an actual phone call, not just a text and getting an appointment online.

Christine:  Good point.

Dr. Jill:  Because they want to talk with you through the triage nurses, and make sure that you’re coming in the right entrance, and you know, all the schools are going to handle this a bit differently.  But almost all of them that I’m aware of, start with a phone call, which is not something our college kids are necessarily used to doing.

Christine:  No, not at all.  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  Second thing is, when you go, whether you’re going to a hospital or whether you’re going to a clinic, be sure you take your electronic chargers with you.  Because once you go into isolation, that’s going to be your connection, and you’re going to need your charger.  That’s something that ordinarily, kids don’t always pack those in their backpack automatically.  They’ll have their phone; they always have their phone, but you need the charger, too, and not just the portable.

Christine:  Yeah.  We need a list.  Let’s do a list.

Dr. Jill:  It’s a good idea.  We should do a list.  I agree.

Christine:  We’re going to do a list, listener.  We’re going to have that available, because I think you’re going to have your own special list, but I think having a starting point would be really good.  We’ll talk offline, if that’s okay, Dr. Jill.

Dr. Jill:  Sure.  

Christine:  Excellent.

Dr. Jill:  Excellent.  Absolutely.

Christine:  Okay.  Here’s my next question, those of us who already have our children in college, should have already thought of this, but sometimes we don’t.  Are there any medical forms or processes, that we as college parents, should have already filled out, that maybe we didn’t think about.  I know there’s some things with age, like sometimes they don’t even have to tell us as parents, things that happen.  Are there any pitfalls that you see in college patients with the process?

Dr. Jill:  Sure.  So let me start by saying, again, I have a graduate student, and a rising senior in college.  I have never filled out forms in advance, so this is new for all of us, and with COVID, I actually think it is a good idea to go ahead and fill out, there are a couple of forms, each school will probably have their own HIPAA release.  HIPAA is the privacy act forms.

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  And so there’s a release of information and you can check on your child’s -- not child, your young adult.

Christine:  I say child.  Aren’t they always our children?

Dr. Jill:  Yeah, they’re still our babies.  They’re babies.  Anyway, you can check on their university’s website, and see if they have a specific form, or you can go to -- I know there’s several online paraform organizations, like one is called Mama Bear forms, and I’m not speaking for them; I have not used them myself, but I know I’m aware of many people who have.

Christine:  Got it.

Dr. Jill:  I understand it’s about $50 to get two forms, and one is the release and the other is the medical power of attorney, and that would be important if your child, who is 21, or whatever, anything over 18, if they were unconscious in a hospital, unable to make decisions on their own.  This would really smooth things out paperwork wise, if you had this already filled out and notarized ahead of time.

Christine:  Got it.

Dr. Jill:  And so, this year, I probably will go ahead and do those forms for both of our daughters. 

Christine:  That’s really good information.  Thank you.

Dr. Jill:  Yeah.  The other thing I really want to say is that as a provider at a university, honestly, it’s really not to me, it’s our nursing staff, and our phone triage people, get inundated with angry parents saying, I want to know is my kid there, being seen.  I need all the parents to know, we can’t even say that they’re there, or they’re not there, not without your child’s permission. 

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  So our hands are tied, so please don’t be upset with the health staff, they’re not trying to be difficult.  Honestly, we’re trying to do the best we can for your kid.  For something like, something we see all the time, like say your kid is really sick there, so they’ve got food poisoning, or they’ve got mono, and they’re just really down and out, and we need to kind of have them there for a bit, maybe to give them some IV fluids.  The parents know that they were on their way there, and it’s just like, text your kid.  They can text back.  We don’t take away their phones.  They can answer and most providers are going to be willing to talk to a parent, but we can’t call the parent, if the student is talking to the parent, and the student, right there in front of you says, “Would you talk to my parent,” and hands us the phone, then we can say something.  Every school’s got their nuances of that, but just know that the healthcare providers are really -- we care about the kids a ton.  I don’t know anyone that works where I work that doesn’t just honestly love college students.  We’re all there, there’s not a lot of money in college health.  We’re there because we love the environment; we love the enthusiasm; we love young people, and we want to help them.  Please know that your kids are in good hands.

Christine:  Yes.  That makes me feel good as a parent.

Dr. Jill:  We give a lot of hugs.

Christine:  Well now, social distanced, right?

Dr. Jill:  Yeah.  Yeah.  I guess, now we don’t.  No, we’re not hugging.  Virtual hugs.

Christine:  Yeah, exactly.  I have a new favorite GIF and it’s the little raccoon that does this.

Dr. Jill:  Yes.  Exactly.

Christine:  I’ll have to put it in my show notes.  It’s very important.

Dr. Jill:  Absolutely.

Christine:  So, Dr. Jill has a book that she’s written, and there is a theme -- I’m going to talk about it a little more in a bit, but there’s a familiar theme in your book, I noticed, about washing your hands --

Dr. Jill:  Pre-COVID.

Christine:  Yes.  This is pre-COVID.  Washing your hands to avoid illnesses, and while it isn’t COVID-specific, I see the knowledge dropped already within your book, on how to minimize your chances of picking up the common cold and such, which is great.  Why does it take us humans a pandemic to notice these things, not that I expect you to have an answer.  But that isn’t my question.  My question is related to your book.

Dr. Jill:  Okay.

Christine:  Do you have a favorite chapter of your book, and if so, why is it your favorite chapter?

Dr. Jill:  Okay, so every author out there knows that that’s like asking like, do I have a favorite child, so hard to pick.  But I will say a little bit in deference to our younger child, who’s the illustrator, probably if I had to only pick one topic in this, it would be the insomnia chapter, because I was talking with her about doing illustrations and figuring out which chapters we could use pictures for, and I’m like, oh, this is great, we can have all the solutions to insomnia in this picture.  That’s my favorite chapter.  One, because there’s a ton of things that kids can do that they don’t realize, kids and adults, in and out of school, ways that you can - - insomnia, before you ever get to the point of being so frustrated that you haven’t slept in a week, and in college student’s case, that they’re flunking a class, then coming in.  So this gives them a lot of things that they can do on their own, and tells them again, when it’s come in and let us help.

Christine:  Excellent.  I love that.

Dr. Jill:  Thanks.

Christine:  Now, I’ve got to go back and look at that chapter.  So this week, I actually received a listener question for you.  

Dr. Jill:  Great.

Christine:  Thanks to Deb, from Connecticut, for the following question.  I’m going to read it for you.  “Hi Christine, I think parents need to talk to their kids about what happens if they do get COVID when returning to college.  If they’re close enough, do they come home?  Is there a COVID dorm?” Well, we’ve already talked about that, that the college offers, and would they be expected to stay there.  Think about the options before they go and discuss.  Emotions will be running high --

Dr. Jill:  For sure.

Christine:  -- if they do come down with it.  Interestingly enough, we covered a lot of it, but yeah.  Any additional thoughts on that?

Dr. Jill:  I think setting expectations upfront is really good and helpful, and yes, if I get that phone call that one of our girls has COVID, is my instinct going to be to jump on a plane, ‘cause my kids are a thousand miles away in different directions, you know, is that going to be my instinct?  Yes, that’s going to be my instinct.  Am I going to do it?  I hope not.  One thing we really need to remember is that although COVID is scary for a lot of reasons, still the vast majority of disease is mild, and hopefully, if and when our kids get it, they will fall under that category of mild disease.  They’re going to be uncomfortable.  They’re going to be achy.  They might be miserable, but it may not be medically scary, and I don’t think we need to immediately go somewhere.  

Christine:  Got it.

Dr. Jill:  The great thing is that now we’ve got our smartphones, we can see them, we can Facetime.  We can talk with them.  I don’t think we need to be just running -- we’re not going to swoop them in and take them to a hotel.  I’m sure that when you check into a hotel, they’re going to say, “Do you have COVID?”

Christine:  Right.

Dr. Jill:  I don’t think ethically we can take someone with COVID to a hotel.  Could you do an AirBNB?  Yeah, I think that honestly, I think that’s a reasonable thing.  I think if my kid were in a situation where I felt I needed to be there, that’s probably what I would do, is I would try and rent a home, rather then -- because I don’t think ethically, you can take them to a hotel, with the shared ventilation systems and all of that.

Christine:  Right.

Dr. Jill:  Just talking with them ahead of time, to say, hey, you know, if you get this, the first thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to be isolated, we want to make sure that you have your phone charger and your phone, and your iPad and your computer, and the chargers for those with you.  You’ll have to figure out how the campuses are going to be delivering food to them.  How are they going to check their symptoms and move forward? All of this changes, of course, if your child actually were to be immune-compromised.  We know if our kids have special risk factors that would change our immediate concern.  But if they are the average overall healthy kid, and asthma does not seem to be making COVID worse, oddly enough.  We have not really seen a big thing like that, so if they’re a standard, overall healthy kid, I don’t think we need to be swooping in immediately.

00:23:06

Christine:  That’s good advice.  I like your honesty, too.  I hopefully will not swoop in.  I appreciate that.

Dr. Jill:  You know?

Christine:  I know.  We’re moms.

Dr. Jill:  And it depends on the kids.  You’ve the introverted kid who’s doing just fine in social isolation, and you’ve got an extroverted kid, who is really missing that.  There’s so many factors that weigh into this, but there you go.

Christine:  There really is.  All right.  So, if you could have all of the college parents in the whole world in one huge room, obviously, social distanced.  This is a big hypothetical.  And you could give them one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dr. Jill:  This is a tough one.  I’ve actually been thinking about this since you told me you were going to ask me this, because I’ve got 30,001 things I want to say.

Christine:  Right.

Dr. Jill:  But I think one thing for all of us to remember, and this is directed at me, too, is that:  one, young people are resilient, we’ve already seen that; two, this is sort of - - but not really, not every day of college is fantastic.  If I say think about college right now.  If someone tells me that, I’m going to think about Aggie football games and having so much fun, and the super awesome times that I had in college.  I am not going to think about the night that I sat in my dorm room sobbing hysterically when my first boyfriend broke up with me, or the day that I bombed the test and I thought, oh, my God, I’ll never get into medical school, or the, or the, or the, or the.  We all have those other things.

Christine:  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  The problem is, is our kids grew up, and especially now, in this high pressure, what college are you going to, and all of that that we do to our kids.  We didn’t grow up saying oh, yeah, I had bad days in college.  They grew up hearing us or going with us to football games, and having these fabulous times.  One of the things that I think we forget to tell our kids, is that it’s not all great, and that’s okay.  Because the problem is --

Christine:  So true.

Dr. Jill:  -- they have this image of everything in college is going to be fantastic.  If they weren’t popular in high school, they’re going to go there and suddenly be popular, or if maybe they were super popular in high school, they get to college and they’re not that big fish in a little pond.  But there’s all kinds of disappointments that happen.  A lot of which happen in that first semester away from home, and it’s twice as hard because they think, oh, my God, these are the best years of my life.  That’s what I’ve been told, over and over.  So my one piece of advice is to say, yeah, college, I would say at that point in my life, that was the best time of my life, but it’s not all great, and each year gets better, and each year gets better after college, too.  We have to have more perspective.

Christine:  I love that.

Dr. Jill:  Thank you.

Christine:  It’s such great advice.  It really is.  I say this often, is that I think one of the detriments is that we aren’t taught early on in life that life isn’t supposed to be perfect.

Dr. Jill:  Right.

Christine:  So everyday, things aren’t perfect, so we lose control, and if you just realize, okay, this is the not-perfect thing right now, I mean, it’s not always that easy to say that, but it helps.

Dr. Jill:  And COVID sure is making things not perfect. 

Christine:  Wow, we are really being tested this year.

Dr. Jill:  We’re mastering that one.  Got that one down.  Nailed it.

Christine:  We do.  So what’s the best way for my listener to pick up your amazing book?

Dr. Jill:  Well, because of COVID, I’m going to say the best thing you could do is to support your local bookstores, because I love small independent bookstores.  So, one, start there.  Order it in advance, and then they’ll either deliver to you by mail, or you can drive up and pick it up.  So I would say that number one.  Number two, of course, is on Amazon, and actually, it is also on Walmart and Target online.  If you’re on there shopping for your other dorm stuff, just add it to your cart.

Christine:  Go you, Dr. Jill.  You’re everywhere!  I love it.

Dr. Jill:  I’m in Walmart.  Whoo Hoo!

Christine:  That’s awesome.  

Dr. Jill:  Thank you.

Christine:  So before you go -- it’s so funny, I could talk to you for four hours, I can already tell.  

Dr. Jill:  For sure.

Christine:  So I have four fun questions that I ask every guest of mine.

Dr. Jill:  Okay.

Christine:  Number one, very important, waffles or pancakes?

Dr. Jill:  And I’ve just got to tell you, I swing both ways.  Kind of the --

Christine:  Excellent answer.

Dr. Jill:  -- I gave a lot of thought to this.  So, if it’s a Mickey waffle maker, Mickey waffles, every time.  If there’s link sausage, then pancakes, ‘cause I want to make it pigs-in-a-blanket.  So those are my determining factors.  Anything with fruit and whipped cream, either one is equal.

Christine:  Syrup or no syrup?

Dr. Jill:  Whipped cream over syrup.  Less calories, tastes better, feels like a treat.

Christine:  It does.  That’s awesome.  What is one item you can’t live without and why?

Dr. Jill:  Okay, so my knee jerk reaction to that question is, of course, my phone, because that’s how I talk to my family and how I communicate, but you know what?  I can also do that through my iPad or my laptop, so if it was one thing within that, it would be iMessage.  But I decided to scrap all of that, and the one non-computer thing that I can’t live without is my blender, because I make smoothies every day, and that’s the easiest way for me to keep healthy.

Christine:  Now, I want to ask you twelve more questions.  Is it like protein powder smoothie, or fruits, or --

Dr. Jill:  No, nope.  

Christine:  -- what do you put in your --

Dr. Jill:  Frozen strawberries, two handfuls, I put a lot in there.  Frozen strawberries, banana, that does not have to be frozen, and then Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt.  That’s it.

Christine:  Oh, it sounds perfect.

Dr. Jill:  Then to clean it, here’s the really important part.  I learned this a long time ago.  

Christine:  Yeah?

Dr. Jill:  You dump it out, you pour water back in the blender, put one drop of your detergent in there, put it back on there, turn it on, it cleans it, rinse it out, you’re done.

Christine:  Oh, yes.

Dr. Jill:  It’s life changing for me. 

Christine:  Pro tip from Dr. Jill today.

Dr. Jill:  There you go.  Clean your blenders, that’s ‘cause that’s the one thing people hate about making smoothies.

Christine:  It is.

Dr. Jill:  So I learned that.  So there you go.

Christine:  That’s excellent.  Oh, wow.  All-time favorite movie and any particular reason?

Dr. Jill:  Okay, so tough one.  If I could only pick one, then I would have to say “Shrek” and that’s because “Shrek” was the first movie we really enjoyed as a family, when the girls were little and driving back and forth, we do these long road trips that take 17 hours, and so we watched “Shrek” a lot, and I love the adult humor.  I loved the animation, didn’t know our youngest was going to become an animator, but it kind of ties it all together for our family.

Christine:  Excellent.  I love that.  So, you have an hour of alone time, no one’s going to bother you.  What’s your go-to thing to do?

Dr. Jill:  Take the dog for a walk or jump on my Peloton. 

Christine:  Really?

Dr. Jill:  Yup.

Christine:  Wow.

Dr. Jill:  Exercise for sure.

Christine:  What kind of dog?

Dr. Jill:  We have a Portuguese Water dog.

Christine:  I can’t even picture that.

Dr. Jill:  It’s what Obama had.

Christine:  Oh, okay.  Thank you.

Dr. Jill:  She’s black and white.  

Christine:  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  They’re hypoallergenic, and they’re friendly.

Christine:  Excellent.  Excellent.  All right.  So, Dr. Jill, I am beyond thrilled that you took the time to chat with me today.  I’m even more thankful as a parent, that I have your book, and that soon my daughter’s going to have her own copy of your book.  So, my amazing listener, you know I don’t recommend things often in this manner, like I really don’t.  So, this one is a total no-brainer.  Look for Dr. Jill’s book in your local bookstore, if you’re able, or use the non-affiliate link in my show notes.  Is there anything else you would like to share with my amazing listener, Dr. Jill?

Dr. Jill:  Just that, guys, we’re in this together and it’s going to be okay.  College does not look like what any of us want it to look like, right now.  But you know what?  They’re going to have a super unique experience, and they’re going to be telling their kids about that -- college in the pandemic and how we all wore masks, and we’ve learned we can really be flexible and do things differently, and they’re going to find more and more fun things to do outside.  They’re going to have more frisbee golf aficionados, and all kinds of different activities.  So it’s going to be okay.  I’m there with you.  I’m concerned, too, but it’s going to be okay.

Christine:  Wonderful.  Thank you for that reassurance.  I love it.  Thanks again, for being here, and for the incredible resources that you have gifted the world with, and a final thanks for sharing your knowledge with the college parents in my audience.  Thanks for being here today.

Dr. Jill:  Thank you so much.

[Music]

00:31:18

Christine:  I hope you enjoyed this interview, my listener. Dr. Jill’s website is JillGrimesMD.com. I’ll have a link to her website and her socials in the show notes!  When we finished recording, I spoke to Dr. Jill for a few minutes.  We came up with a quick list of items to have prepped in a COVID Emergency Bag.  It isn’t all inclusive but will get you started. She also mentioned that in her first aid kit she’s now recommending that a dorm room, or suite of college students, have access to a pulse oximeter. Her reasoning is that if your child has a cough and fever you would contact the college’s health center but if your child also has access to a pulse oximeter and their oxygen levels are low, then that is right to the hospital worthy.

00:32:07

One final thing we discussed is she recommends a mask that has a pocket for a coffee filter. She has a blog post with all the details on the why.  It totally makes sense and the link, of course, is in my show notes. 

[Music]

00:32:21

The questions I have for you in this episode are: have you picked up Jill’s book yet, or are you on the way to order it?  And the second question is, what question do you wish I had asked Jill?

[Music]

00:32:26

It is time for a quick tip, advice, or thoughts from a listener.

Jo:  I’m here to talk about Instagram, which I have a slight love/hate relationship with, as I’m sure many other people do, as well.  I basically think there is six stages that you go through.  You set up an Instagram account and follow anyone and everyone, in the hopes they’ll follow you back.  Stage two, you realize you can’t possibly go through the posts from 2,000 people, you seem to be following sites you have no interest in, like your neighbor’s cat, who seems to have their own feed.  I mean, what’s that all about anyway?  Any way, you unfollow three-quarters of the people you originally signed up to follow, in order to get your numbers more manageable.  Stage three, is the very next day, when you realize that those three-quarters of people have actually unfollowed you as well.  Stage four, you realize that this is actually good, that now, you only follow people you like and are interested in, and the people who follow you are engaged and seem to like what you do.  Five, you realize when Instagram goes down that perhaps you’re a little bit too tied to it, as you alternate between sulking, rage and full-on panic.  Six, you realize that some of your friends on Instagram are actually more awesome, insightful, and supportive than your real friends, and wonder, if in fact, you can stop following your non-Instagram friends, figuratively speaking, and just live on Instagram.  Okay, so that may be a little bit extreme, but my advice is this: your engagement is what matters.  Interaction with like-minded amazing women living their best life alongside yours, not the number of followers you have.  This isn’t news to many of you, but to those of you who are new to Instagram, or feeling slightly overwhelmed, keep it manageable.  You don’t have to post every day.  Post when you have something to say.  If it gets too much, take a break, come back again.  It’s meant to be fun, not a chore, and don’t go so far down the Instagram rabbit hole that you forget to be present with the people around you.  Anyway, I must go now.  I need to catch up with what Mauggie, my neighbor’s cat’s been up to.

00:34:32

Special Thanks to Jo Davies, for her humorous thoughts on Instagram.  Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all, and it is the best way to be notified of a new podcast episode.  As always, I provide content to make you think. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life.  I opened a box today and it told me that you are amazing!  See ya!

[Bloopers]

[Still listening?]

[End]

102: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 1 of 2

102: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 1 of 2

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

Fall 2020: some of our children's schools have plans for an on-campus return, and the campus won't be the campus our child(ren) left or visited. Life is different, and campus life will be no exception.

While our daughter is scheduled to head back to college in less than six weeks, that may or may not come to fruition. 2020 has a sneaky way of showing us that plans are rarely concrete. In the meantime, the best thing our family can do is prep for a return to campus with the knowledge we have now. In this episode, I share some things we are doing to prepare for an on-campus semester. 

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"If your child doesn't already have a thermometer and a first aid kit - it is time to round one up for the fall!"

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

New podcast episode 🎙 How Coach Christine's family is preparing for her daughter's fall return to campus - tips and advice! 💚 #CollegeParent #EmptyNest #NotSoEmptyNest #CollegeLife #CollegeStudent #FallSemester #OnCampus

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What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • The Ways That Coach Christine And Her Family Are Preparing for a Fall On-Campus Semester
  • To Consider Talking About the What-Ifs

Quick Tip Submissions

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. If your child is heading back to campus soon, what are your biggest concerns? 
  2. Do you have a medical question about your child being on campus in the fall? 

Episode Resources

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 102 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 102: How To Help Your College Student Prepare for a Different Campus. I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest. My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time? Is this you? I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion. I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you. This podcast is my gift to you.

00:00:46

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! As of this recording, my daughter is scheduled to head back to campus in less than six weeks. Now, while that is the plan now, this episode very well may be of no use to anyone if the trend continues on the trajectory that the epidemic is on now. Whew! If our daughter is home for the fall, there isn’t much we can do to prepare for now, but if she heads to campus as planned, there are things we can prepare for, so I do that but am continually checking the drama in my mind around the idea of her going back. Wow, there are so many things outside of our fence right now.

00:01:26

I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I thought I would share some things we are doing to prepare her for a campus-life that will look different from the campus she left in March. Before we dive in, a quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of this episode; if something resonates with you; or if you have a quick tip to share with my audience, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number. You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 102 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P102). I can’t wait to hear from you!

00:02:24

Thanks! Thank you! It’s time to thank our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon!  

00:03:08

What am I doing to prepare for my daughter’s return to campus?  Here’s nine things: 

  1. Stocking Up. Where I live, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are just now entering the shelves in stores, and the disinfecting wipes, if one or two are on the shelf, I run. Well, I don’t run, but I want to run. I’ve been picking up my one allotted disinfecting wipes on the rare occasion that I see them, and have started a small collection of tubs and hand sanitizer for the fall. I say a small collection, this is not a surplus in my garage. I have a hunch that in six weeks, with everyone else returning to school, these items may be even harder to find than they are now.  We are not stockpiling, like I said. We are purchasing enough that she’ll be okay if she can’t get to a store during her time on campus, and if someone in the dorm is diagnosed with COVID-19, this would allow me to feel like she isn’t high and dry on supplies.  That’s number one, stocking up appropriately.

  1. Public Mask-Wearing Practice.  Now, some of you are going to think this is ridiculous because you’ve been out and about wearing masks, but some people have not left their house often, and if your child has not been out and about yet, it is time for them to get used to being outside of the house with a mask on.  It’s important. Getting used to this, along with social distancing is also important. Most, if not all colleges, are going to require masks on campus and in classrooms. It makes sense. Make or purchase your masks now and get used to wearing them, properly. Some individuals with sensory issues or other things may need some adjustment time to get used to it. I know that sounds odd for those who don’t have these concerns but I’m a firm believer in limiting the amount of anxiety our children have, so getting familiar with wearing them will be helpful. Hopefully they know themselves well enough that you can start a conversation with them and they’ll have their own ways to prepare for the fall. Listen to them, and encourage them to seek supplies and helpful resources now.

00:05:17

I don’t know about where your child goes, but my daughter’s college had already implemented that a mask was required for those who are sick in prior years, so she already has it in her head that it is a courtesy to others to wear a mask when she isn’t feeling well, but has to go to a class. This was pre-pandemic, so I’m guessing moving forward she would not go to class, and it would be a no-brainer. But I do know that even among my own friends, there are varying degrees of comfort in being in the outside world with masks.

  1. Mask Maintenance.  I feel like this is going to be the thing that everyone overlooks, so I’m trying to get into our daughter’s head ahead of time.  Yes, your child’s college may be giving two masks per student, or something like that.  But are they on track to know how to properly wash them, because they should be washed after every use - every use.  Yes, every use, and we know how great our children are at keeping up with their laundry. Yes, this is why I think this is going to be the overlooked and troublesome part. The CDC.gov site has all kinds of resources, but high-level cloth masks should be washed after every use and dried completely, high on the dryer or out in the sun, which is kind of tough to do in the dorm. When we remove our masks, we need to be sure that we use the ear loops or ties to remove it and fold the outside corners together. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing the mask and wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. Which brings me to ...

  1. Proper Hand Washing. My daughter’s college sent us videos that we had to check off and say that, yup, we watched these before we headed back to pick up her items a few weeks ago. Sure, we were on the honor system but it is funny, after we both watched them, we discussed how we were never really shown as children how to properly wash our hands. Sure, we were told to sing the Happy Birthday song twice, but what to do during that time?  That’s really helpful to know, and there are great videos out there for this. 

  1. Temperature Taking. If your child doesn’t already have a thermometer and a first aid kit, it is time to round one up for the fall. If the college they are attending doesn’t have them track their temperature, encourage them to track it for a few days at home, for them to become comfortable with their normal body temperature. It may surprise them. I have a link to one of my Pinterest boards that has some DIY first aid kits for college dorms in it, or just search on Pinterest to find it.  So many options.

00:08:06

 

  1. Social Life. Let’s talk about social life.  Our children need to understand that the social events that they are heading to college for may not be there at all. How are they going to do with that? How are they going to deal with it? Ask them to think about it now. Ask them how they will handle it. No matter the college policies, also, look, it’s college, there will be parties. Will your child go to them? Will they not? What level are they comfortable with, and so on. With the other tips that I’m sharing here, in mind, do some coaching on the topic. Truly, I mean coaching, have a discussion.  Listen and coach them through different things that could happen. In a Forbes article titled College Students Want to Party: How they Keep Their Social Life This Fall, the author, Stephen M. Gavazzi (I hope I’m saying that correctly) offers a new motto for our students to consider, “study smart, party smart.” It might be worth sharing.

00:09:09

  1. Best Ways to Keep in Touch? If you are going to be a bit more anxious than normal and your child is not the best at communicating with you, come up now with a protocol for communication that works for both of you. Maybe you discuss you send a particular emoji to them, that means, hey, I’m thinking of you, I’m getting a little worried, can you just give me a quick status.  Maybe you’ve already discussed which emojis they can send you back, that let’s you know, hey, yeah, thumbs up, I’m all good, Mom, busy. Have that conversation now. College normally, is a lot for students, this is before COVID-19. Sure, they might be more homesick than usual, and reach out more, or they may be dealing with a lot more and a conversation with their mother may not help at the moment.  Not something to take personally, but have this conversation now.

00:09:59

 

  1. Talk about the what-ifs at a high-level and when the timing is right talk about what-if. What if their fall looks totally different?  What if the fall semester goes online?  What if you get roomed in a hotel down the street?  What if there are no social activities? Are there any of these things that would make them stay home, even if their college is onsite? Does it impact any scholarships they may have, if they decide not to go to campus? Are there circumstances that would have them not attend at all, even online?  Would they consider a gap year? I’m going to put a link to an episode of “Collegehood Advice” where Katy Oliveira talks about a gap year during COVID-19 with a guest. There is also an article on “Grown and Flown” titled Surprising Ways College Will Look Different This Fall. It is really worth a read, as it is likely you won’t know all of the ways your child’s college will look different until there isn’t enough time to process it out.  Two examples listed in the article: some schools may assign specific showers, sinks or toilets to students, and scheduling may be needed for showering. Some colleges have rented hotels and will be housing students in those to allow more space. So, yeah, be ready for anything. And a quick shout-out to Dale Troy who shared the article from “Grown and Flown” in her “College Parent Support Community” on Facebook.

00:11:31

  1. Nitty gritty medical concerns.  This one I’m going to leave ‘til next week, since I’m not a doctor, and because I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of her new book, I’m going to have Dr. Jill Grimes with me next Friday.  We’re going to discuss specific medical needs and concerns related to COVID-19 on campus. I’m looking forward to chatting with her and to bringing our chat to you! So look for part two of this series, next week!

As always, if you have your own tips, your thoughts or concerns about your child heading back to college you may join our GPS Support Flock and share there, or the Green Popsicle Stick Facebook group.  We can’t wait to chat with you.

[Music]

00:12:15

The questions I have for you in this episode are: if your child is heading back to campus soon, what are your biggest concerns? Do you have a medical question about your child being on campus in the fall?

00:12:34

Christine? Christine? Christine? Where are you? Do you know about the Stay Home Sisters?  Rebecca Moses, artist, designer and author, has been painting pictures of women who are staying home due to physical distancing and she shares their stories.  Her illustration of me was included recently and I will have a link to her Instragram profile in my show notes.  She’s up to, I believe, 270 as of this recording.  That’s pretty amazing!  Thanks, Rebecca, for all that you do for us.

[Music]

00:13:15

It is time for a Quick Tip, advice or thoughts from a listener. Today’s Quick Tip is from Katherine, the 5 Kilo Traveller.

Katherine:  In my last tip, I talked about traveling light by wearing your heavy and bulky gear on your flight, and I also briefly mentioned merino wool, or Smartwool. Now, in New Zealand, we have 27 million sheep. That’s six sheep for every New Zealander. I am a huge advocate for the New Zealand wool industry, but I am not sponsored by them. Today’s tip is all about merino wool and Smartwool. Merino comes from a sheep and it has amazing natural qualities. Merino moderates your temperature. It keeps you warm in cold weather, but also keeps you comfortable in hot weather. I’ve worn a long-sleeved merino on a boat in a New Zealand summer to protect against harmful UV rays of the sun, and I’ve not got overheated. Again, I’ve worn multiple merino layers in New York, in winter, and have been comfortable even when I’ve headed into the well-heated shops. That is once I’ve removed my puffer jacket, my coat, my hat, my gloves, my scarf, and every other layer. Merino doesn’t retain smells. I think on the packaging they say it repels odor. This whole odor repelling quality means that you can wear it for several days without it needing laundering. I’ve tested this, but there is a trick to it. You need to hang it up and air it, after wearing. This can be as simple as draping it over a chair.  If you decide to dump it in a pile of clothes, it will still be smelly the next morning, believe me. I’ve tested this. A company I buy merino clothing from, also said that when you have a shower, hang your merino gear in the bathroom.  The steam helps to freshen up the fabric. merino is light and compact. If you compare a cotton sweater or a fleece with a merino sweater, the merino one will be lighter and smaller. Merino is also quick drying. Generally my merino clothing dries overnight. I wash merino by hand or I use a delicates bag if it’s going in the washing machine.  I wear merino from top to toe, literally head scarf, neck, back, tops, pants, socks, and even underwear.  There you have it, my tip for today.  Merino wool or Smartwool is my absolute essential clothing fabric for travelling light.  Happy light travels!

00:15:46

Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all, and subscribing is the best way to be notified right away when I have a new episode. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. Psst, my friend... you are amazing!  See ya!

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[Bloopers / Still Listening]

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