About Janice Post-White

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So far Janice Post-White has created 44 blog entries.

Getting Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from Our Ancestors

Sand sculpture of Bubonic plague. Bouke Atema. istock.com How do we get through the COVID-19 pandemic? Lately, I’ve been compelled to read stories about how others have survived something. The circumstances are less important to me than how they got through—how they responded to and managed unexpected and uncontrollable adversity. Did survivors of other pandemics, wars, or adverse childhood experiences rise to the occasion with strength and resilience to do what needed to be done, or did they retreat to a familiar comfort zone to calm their fears and anxieties or rely on others to help them get through? How did they deal with the chaos and uncertainty? Fear is a human condition, and [...]

2020-08-29T23:02:45-04:00August 29th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Resilience, Stress, Survival|Tags: , , , , |

How Do You Choose What COVID-19 Risks To Take?

Now that it’s summer and many states (and countries) are opening back up after months of lockdown for COVID-19, how do you feel about being out and about? Have you changed your activity since April/May? Whether it’s by choice, a back-to-work mandate, or other circumstances, are you: Happy to be set free and willing to resume somewhat normal activities A little nervous, but relieved to be out more Still cautious—wearing masks around people, indoors or out Quite hesitant—still only going out on necessary outings Restricted by rules and can’t resume activities All of the above, depending on the day At the first onslaught of cases this spring, many of us were told what to do, with [...]

2020-07-12T23:15:35-04:00July 12th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Stress|Tags: , , |

Living through COVID-19: What are you reading?

What are you reading these days? Are you keeping up with news reports tracking COVID-19 cases, your ever-evolving state’s and country’s social distancing rules, and vaccine and treatment developments? Maybe you are tracking the stock market, financial fallout, and monitoring the impact of the coronavirus and demonstrations on cities, businesses, and importantly, black people’s lives. How do you manage this information onslaught, in addition to keeping up with developments and responsibilities related to your job, career, interests, and family? I want to stay informed, but I’m often overwhelmed with the constant updates streaming through my newsfeeds. I signed up for everything. It all seemed so relevant. And yet, so reactive. I now wonder what purpose all [...]

2020-06-14T16:31:38-04:00June 14th, 2020|Categories: Resilience, Stress|Tags: , , , , |

On identity: Who we are and who we are meant to be

In her memoir, Fairest, which debuted this week, Meredith Talusan dives deep into who she was, has become, and is now as she lives her chosen gender identity. She grew up an albino boy in a rural Philippine village, immigrated to America at age fifteen, graduated from Harvard University a gay man, and then transitioned as a woman. In an engaging and carefully crafted story, she navigates the reader through issues of race, class, sexuality, and love as she explores the intersection of her identities as a white-appearing immigrant and a gender-nonconforming person. We all struggle through life with defining who we are, who we want to be, and making choices to actualize our desires and [...]

2020-05-30T12:14:26-04:00May 30th, 2020|Categories: Resilience|Tags: , , , , , |

Getting through: On hope and fear, life and death

The weather in Minnesota is as unreliable as the coronavirus reports, as volatile as the stock market, and as uncertain as the likelihood of jobs and normalcy returning to our lives anytime soon. The sun winks at me between low, gray clouds as I close the door with my mittened hand and gingerly head across the parkway for my daily walk. It’s always a slow start as the few nerves in my lower spine that still fire fight for control of the muscles that no longer feel anything. By the time I’ve reached the top of the hill, I’m walking steadier, but the fierce northerly winds steer me away from my intended direction. It starts to [...]

2020-04-10T22:13:26-04:00April 10th, 2020|Categories: Survival|Tags: , , |

Tech Savvy Grandma: It’s Never Too Late to Learn New Tricks

My mother’s 90th birthday is today. I’m giving her an iphone. Shhh…it’s a surprise. Two years ago, I was cautioned by three different salespeople that smartphones are harder for the elderly to learn. She wants to text, and the ABC keyboard is cumbersome. I looked up how to key in spaces, and she used it once, but then forgot. I forgot, too. It couldn’t be better timing. She’s in lockdown in a small assisted living center in western Wisconsin. We won’t be able to celebrate her milestone birthday with her, as planned, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone’s disappointed, but she is accepting. This morning, we dropped off the largest decorated carrot cake our local bakery [...]

2020-03-21T13:10:17-04:00March 20th, 2020|Categories: Survival|

Going outside your comfort zone: When is it worth the risk?

Good morning, sunshine. I didn’t know how desperately I needed you until I did. Your early morning caresses soothe me. Your midday beams energize me. And your steady presence, day after day—here in Hawaii—rejuvenates my spirit and confirms my impulsive decision to escape Minnesota during one of the grayest, dreariest, and iciest January’s on record. I typically love the deep freeze of the Bold North winters—the biting and invigorating crisp air, the resplendently clear blue skies, and the teasing sunshine that sparkles but promises nothing. I just walk faster to keep warm. I had no intention of leaving on a jet plane in search of hope. I’d only just begun to travel again after a low-back [...]

2020-02-08T00:02:18-05:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Winter Solstice: Living in the Darkness of Light

Winter arrived early this year. Seven inches of heavy, wet, white fell like a weighted blanket on my November birthday. I typically love the first snowfall of the season, with the transformation from drab brown to feathery white, illuminating the darkness at night. But I wasn’t ready this year. The last big Minnesota snowfall was mid-April, when crocuses and tulips should have been rising out of bed. And I had just started walking again after a fifth major surgery and a broken foot, and I really wanted to rebuild some strength by climbing the hill every day. And now the icy undercoat makes it too risky for my fragile spine, which is rather like the decomposing [...]

2019-12-17T20:43:16-05:00December 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Why Stress Makes Us Sick

  Well, not all stress makes us sick. Stress can motivate and energize us—it helps us perform better in front of an audience or get psyched for an adventure, like white-water rafting on the Colorado River in chilly November (shout-out to Mike, Eric, and Frederique!) or skydiving from 13,000 feet (“terrifying” and “freeing” says my brave niece, Laura, pictured). Not surprisingly, skydiving triggers a “fight-or-flight” (literally!) stress hormone response. In one study, 39 men and women who tandem jumped for the first time had increases in cortisol, stress catecholamines, inflammatory cytokines (IL-12 and interferon-gamma), and natural killer cell numbers and gene expression. Manfred Schedlowski, a German researcher I heard at a conference way back in 1993, [...]

2019-11-23T22:47:25-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

“What were his symptoms?” was the most frequently asked question after finding out that my four-year-old had leukemia. At first, I was taken aback by the question. Why did it matter? I thought. We were in treatment now, moving on—at laser speed. I had no time to pause, to process the chaotic events leading up to his diagnosis. And yet, the awareness gnawed through my reality that first night in the hospital. In Standing at Water’s Edge, I write: After a day of seeking answers and direction, confusion cornered me. Why did I allow his symptoms to drag on for so long? I admonished myself during those dark, vulnerable hours of solitude and exhaustion. “Two months [...]

2019-09-06T22:38:16-04:00September 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|
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