Realities of Bullying during the pandemic

Posted by: admin

April 8th, 2021 >> COVID-19

Children and teens are spending an alarming amount of time online, and with life coming to a slow down in so many parts of the world again, the possibility of putting a plausible pause on this time does not look possible. Also, children are cooped up in their homes, having less to almost none physical outlet to channelize their energies and frustration. They are bored, disengaged and confused because of the huge changes that the Covid brought into out lives. These are just some of the factors why we see a huge increase in cyber bullying. 

Apart from online classrooms, a hotbed for cyberbullying, where kids are spending endless hours, is online gaming. While most of the time the attacks manifest in the form of insults, ridiculing of gaming skills or more generally profanities being hurled at the players involved, it is by far not the only type of bullying that could be experienced in online battle arenas.

As a parent or a guardian, the onus is now on us to help curb this issue.

Some starter points that can really help are

—> Stay attuned to your child’s behaviour at home. Most often, it is a good indicator of how they conduct themselves online, school or otherwise.

—> Fostering an open minded, forbearing attitude in children at home encourages them

to treat their classmates without a prejudice. Teach them to be inclusive and tolerant of different perspectives and views.

—>  Children who are respected at home do not seek for attention outside and reflect more compassion.Model patience and respect towards your child’s opinions at home so they can carry that forward to their classroom.

—> The ability to control their emotions plays a huge role in how they interact with the outside world. Self help tools like meditation, journaling and exercising go a long way in helping them stay centered when things are not in their control. Empower them these self help tools so they can align themselves in and outside the classroom.

—> Children who are assertive and the ones who can articulate their feelings better tend to be the ones performing better at school as well as socially. Encourage them to voice their opinions and stand up for themselves whenever they deem necessary.

—> Spend time and meaningful conversations with your children. Encourage healthy discussions about their feelings and emotions on the daily. This will keep you in the know of their mental state AND will give them a place to vent. Nurture your child’s self- esteem and encourage them to report bullying to you, teachers, coaches or school administrators.

—> Children understand better when they are communicated with clearly, about expectations and rules. Set guidelines and rules for screen time and online etiquettes.

—> Boredom is one of the reasons why children choose to spend unconstructive time online. Urge them to connect with friends and family instead. That way they are fostering connections as well. 

—> Parents are increasingly becoming busier. It is easy to loose sight of what is important when you are consumed with work priorities. Take time to keep a check your child’s online activity as frequently as possible.

—> Teach your children strategies to deal with uncomfortable situations with classmates and others.

Schools authorities and teachers are constantly making an effort to make this online time for our children as safe as possible, but not much can be controlled what they do post school hours.

Let’s empower our children with tools and blueprints for a surer, safer and constructive experience online.

Manasvi Mehta

Founder, Good Earth Citizen
good_earth_citizen
https://www.instagram.com/good_earth_citizen/

Introspection

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April 6th, 2021 >> COVID-19, Introspection

I find that, mostly during seasons of transitions, many of us go back to the drawing board and check in with ourselves, looking at what needs to be readjusted and what goals need shifting (Personal or otherwise). The COVID-19 Pandemic has been a catalyst for many of us to engage in frequent introspection. According to google, Introspection is defined as “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.” Many of us have had to evaluate where we are, the work we do, and redefine our overall sense of purpose, because of the discomfort and vulnerability this pandemic has created.  Many have involuntarily lost so much, and during or after a much needed grieving season, we are getting back up with a revised lens through which we perceive life. 

In the late 1800s, Wilhelm Windt developed the original idea of introspection and his work later on, established the field of cognitive psychology (McLeod, 2008) Windt focused on 3 areas of mental functioning; thoughts, feelings and images. 

So why should we introspect? Dr. Poppenk of Queens university,  has found  that humans have more than 6,000 thoughts per day, by being able to identify the end of an old thought and the beginning of a new one. That number can be overwhelming and when we don’t take the time and effort to refocus our thoughts, we would be easily derailed by the fast paced life we live. As there is a toxic extreme of doing anything, there are toxic ways to introspect; which can lead us to feel anxious, and many other undesirable emotional and psychological discomfort. There is however a productive way to be introspective. A good place to begin, is by asking ourselves more “what” questions than we do “why” questions. According to Eurich, 2017, “why” questions tend to stir up more negative thoughts, while “what” questions keep us curious about ourselves, and draw us to a more positive future. 

According to a journal article “87 self-reflection questions for introspection” written by  Courtney E. Ackerman, there is a bank of questions we can use to begin and guide our introspective journeys. And for some, you will need to journal to help process those thoughts, feelings and images more intentionally. Some of these questions are to jump start the self reflection process, others are to get to know ourselves better. Here are a few you can start on…

  1. What have I given up on?
  2. What do I need to change about myself?
  3. What act of kindness was I once shown, that I will never forget?
  4. The words I’d like to live by are….
  5. Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?

Arguments with Neighbors

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February 6th, 2021 >> anger, Arguments with neighbors

Do you consider yourself as someone who argues a lot? Do you avoid your neighbors to reduce conflicts?

The word “argument” is best defined as, “an oral disagreement, verbal opposition, or discussion involving differing points of view.” Often when we think of an argument, thoughts of a person yelling or saying put-downs comes to mind. Arguments can take place in any person to person dynamic.

A team at Lund University studied the impact of arguments on health. They conducted a long-range study gathering data on ten thousand Danish adults ages 36-52 in 2000 regarding their relationships and social lifestyles. Individuals answered questions about conflicts with partners, children, other family, friends, and neighbors. They found that middle-aged adults who frequently argued with their partners were more than twice as likely to die at a relatively young age, compared to people who rarely fought. Frequent confrontations with friends were 2.6 times more likely to die prematurely than those who got along with their peers. Even more surprising, these researchers found a specific group with whom arguing should be avoided at all costs.  Can you guess who? Neighbors. Neighbors who argue are three times more likely to die prematurely than neighbors who get along. 

A study led by Keith Sanford from Baylor University sought to identify, what was most important to people during an argument. The two main underlying concerns during conflicts include: 

Perceived Neglect – one person feels as though the other is being inattentive or disloyal.

Perceived Threat – one person feels as though the other is being too critical or demanding. Here, the partner is hostile, critical, blaming, or controlling.

When neighborly conflict arises, it tends to be driven by these two perceptions and resentment can occur when conflict goes unresolved. A hostile environment can take place when blaming, being critical or judgmental is the main focus versus conflict resolution. Many times, unresolved conflict is about control rather than the act of treating someone badly. You must ask yourself are you arguing because you feel like you were wronged? Or are you being stubborn and justified because of this perceived wrongdoing?

So, what’s the solution? A great place to start would be to reduce the frequency of conflicts. Did you know that quarreling has been found to give rise to undesirable health conditions?

Since arguing affects our health, learning to communicate assertively will help to develop a longer lasting relationship and decrease the effects arguing has on our health.

The following are some strategies to reduce conflicts with neighbors:

  • LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND – Most times when arguments take place we often just want to be heard and validated. Therefore, just as you want to be heard, your neighbor does too.
  • PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING – “Fixing” or “Problem solving” may be a good strategy if your neighbor requests for a change. But if they are frustrated about something that cannot be changed, then practice active listening skills. Be a sounding board for the other person and encourage them to talk. Doing so will help them cope through the problem. They will sense that you’re considering their input.  
  • GIVE TIME AND SPACE In order to have a productive conversation, you’ll need to check in with yourself. If you’re really triggered, excuse yourself and let the other person know that you’ll need to return to the conversation on another day. Often both parties need a cooling down period.  Creating a space and time for this to happen can be beneficial so that effective communication can take place.
  • TAKE TIME TO PROCESS – During this time, process what’s bothering you and return when you’re ready to talk. Once you begin sharing your concerns, take turns communicating your experience and perception of the situation.
  • ADDRESS THE ISSUE NOT THE PERSON – The issue and the person are not one in the same. Focus on expressing your thoughts and feelings regarding the root of the issue or your need versus the person. Blaming the person can cause for communication to become stagnate and make the person defensive.
  • BE WILLING TO COMPROMISE – Sometimes being the bigger person and giving in is really winning. Keeping peace for the greater good can be what is needed to move forward.
  • BE SOLUTION MINDED – When discussing the issue, be open to explore solutions together. Offer some suggestions or actions you are willing on taking.
  • OFFER A KIND GESTURE – When a neighbor realizes that you are offering a kind gesture, they will sense that you have their back.  Perhaps to inform them about a package they have in front of their door, or to offer that you would be willing on checking their mail if they’re away on vacation.

Remember, these are your neighbors. You are bound to run into them frequently. Why would you choose the path of conflict when you can work together to have a peaceful and harmonious neighborly relation.

Communicating Goals Effectively

Posted by: admin

December 31st, 2020 >> Uncategorized

As we begin 2021, many like to reflect and strategize or plan for the year ahead. For many of us, whether we lead teams, or are part of a family or are married, we would need to communicate these goals with others effectively, to make sure everyone is on the same page. Communicating effectively and getting everyone on the same page can be difficult, especially when there are different motives driving the individuals.

Out of the various types of communication, assertive communication is viewed as the most effective. According to Anita Avedian’s Anger Management Essentials Workbook, assertiveness entails directly expressing our thoughts and feelings in a respectful way, leaving no room for assumptions. Some fundamental tips to consider when communicating the goals and plans in either your home or business;

1.         Include those involved in the planning process. Be transparent with the goals. Transparency helps to foster trust within a group of people. According to forbes.com, not only does it show that you trust the person and value their input, but that it could also be an opportunity to get new ideas! Make sure these goals complement the vision and mission of the company.

2.         Evaluation session. This would be a good time to review the last season, or year, to thoroughly evaluate what worked and what didn’t. According to the center for creative leadership, evaluation clarifies outcomes, focuses attention, supports ongoing learning and finally, it influences future actions and decisions.

3.         Do your homework. Make sure you have vetted the processes of how you would like to attain or reach your goals. Do the necessary research, consult with experts in areas when you’re not as familiar and determine a process which is easy to communicate and digest.

4.         Divide tasks.  Delegating is giving each of them a responsibility, helping them feel valued and helps reassure them of being major contributors to the success of the business or family. This is also a significant way to exercise good time management skills. According to the Harvard business review, a study was done in 2007 on time management, close to 50% of the 332 companies evaluated expressed concern about their employees delegation skills.

5.         Accountability. If you are able, have a 1:1 meeting with employees, checking in regularly and determining ways we can be of support. For family members, this could be a good time to check in with your children too – not on a meeting, but a date or time with just the two of you.

6.         Set reasonable deadlines for each step of the journey. This is to make sure there is progress being made and no one is left behind.

Although these tips may seem more business oriented, they can be applied in various areas of our lives. How we manage money to how to improve relationships. They are strategies that could be used dynamically.

Interviewing during COVID-19: Preparing for Virtual Interviewing

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October 30th, 2020 >> Career

By: Destiny Johnson

While traditional interviewing can bring its own challenges due to the coronavirus, it has taken on a whole new meaning and experience for both the interviewer and interviewee, leaving some unsettled. COVID -19 has employers adapting their hiring and interviewing practices to accommodate the season of social distancing and remote working. This means interviewing, as we have known it has made a few adjustments.  These new updates may be difficult to navigate and may have some thinking about how they should prepare. Do not worry, there are still ways to conquer the job sector with a few concrete and concise tips for virtual interviewing to help you better prepare. These tips can lead to successful outcomes and build your confidence before and during your big day.

Remember preparing for a virtual interview may be different and, in some way, uncomfortable, however it is still designed for you to articulate, and showcase your skills in an engaging way.

  • Make sure you have the right computer equipment, and software programs prior to the interview. A virtual interview requires equipment such as:

o   camera and microphone on your computer, tablet, or smartphone

o   software application program (such as Zoom or Google Hangouts etc.)

Set up and test computer technology to ensure it works properly. Download video meeting software prior to the interview and practice logging on at least a day before your virtual interview. Turn on the sound and video to ensure everything is in working order.

  • Confirm you have a strong internet connection. Before your interview 20 minutes beforehand check internet access and connection. You want to ensure you have the right bandwidth to stream video. Once your connection is made, sign into the video meeting using the link provided by the company or interviewer. Technical challenges can occur but will be worse if you have not tried to troubleshoot prior to the interview.

o   Have a backup plan if technology is not working. If this is possible and feasible for you, have a smartphone or tablet that you can use as a backup plan if your computer is not working. Many apps can be used interchangeably from one device to the other.

  • Workspace for the interview should be clutter free with a clean background. Not everyone has an office space in their home however, it is important to have a clean background that will be visible to interviewers. The background can be a color solid wall, a wall of paintings, or organized kitchen or bedroom, or nice décor accent. Zoom also has a setting in which you can choose a picture as a background. Test it out: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/210707503-Virtual-Background
  • Choose a space that limits distractions. Select a quiet area free from distraction to have your interview. With everyone being home these days, prepare your family for the interview a few days prior so if adjustment needs to take place that can. If you have pets, house them in a different room. If you have small children do your best to plan your interview around nap times if you can. We are all home and navigating shared spaces so do your best to limit distractions.
  • Familiarize yourself and do your research.  With any interview you must prepare. Whether it be virtual or in person the process is the same. Do your research and know the company, job description and responsibilities, and prepare to connect and discuss your transferable skill.
  • Dress professionally and grooming should be polished. Although you are having a virtual interview, your dress attire and appearance matters and is still a very important process of interviewing. Do not slack on appearance. Wear professional attire and groom your hair and face.
  •   Lighting and professional posture. Make sure to sit up straight and place the camera so that you are in the middle of the screen. Use an area that has good lighting for the webcam to focus on your face and the interviewer can see you easily.
  • Stay engaged and authentic. The benefit of virtual interviews is you can pick a setting that you feel comfortable in. Using a relaxing environment will help you express yourself authentically. Stay engaged by using confident tones and speech. Use your body language and facial expression to show interest in the topic.
  • Smile and make eye contact. Here is a trick, grab a small post it and place it near your computer camera that reminds you to smile naturally
  •   Take notes. Have a notepad or a piece of paper and pen ready handy to take notes or open a tab for notes on your computer. Write down any questions that the interviewer is asking to ensure you answer them fully.
  • Share skills and examples concisely. Express your skills that display your adaptability during this difficult time along with skills aligned with the job duties. Take your time, formulate your answers including concrete examples that are concise, yet paint a vivid picture of your abilities.
  • Prepare questions. At the end of each interview there is a moment you can ask questions to the interviewer. This is a great time for you to convey your dedication to learning about the company. Have 1 or 2 questions prepared beforehand to ask. Some question can be related to

o    In person health and safety guidelines (mask wearing, temperature checks, social distance due to COVID).

o   Job security of position, office culture, and support due to pandemic

o   What policy changes have the company made or things you should expect to accommodate remote work.

o   What are the new opportunities the company is developing or what are the challenges the company may be facing and solutions etc.

  • Follow-up after the Interview. Within 24 hours of the interview you should contact HR or the hiring representatives to say thank you for their interview and consideration and express your availability for further questions.

Discovering Creativity in Crisis

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October 21st, 2020 >> COVID-19

When I think of Creativity in Crisis, the first thing that comes to mind is resilience. The ability to bounce back, a productive way of dealing with crisis. Given how the situation has been worldwide this year, I have seen people re-imagine processes and procedures they have had in place for a long time. I have seen most of us being pushed out of our comfort zones to think outside the box. So how do we remain motivated, and relevant in a time that limits us from doing what we have been doing?

According to an article on psychology today, written by Alice Boyes Ph.D, the problems we are facing now are not problems we have had to deal with before, and hence innovation is inspired. She explains how empathy spurs creativity and how creativity comes alive when our ingrained habits and ways of thinking or doing have been disrupted. Research and current life experiences  have shown us that we can be creative by switching up routine, which has become our new normal. So what are some key factors to consider during our creative process?

  1. Identify the new problems that need to be solved. Entrepreneurs see this as the key to having a successful business. Being able to identify what is needed and what is not working anymore is one of the basic principles in being innovative. 
  2. Establish the recipients of this re-imagination. Who is your audience and what are their needs? Do research and make sure their voice is included. 
  3. Take inventory of what resources you have readily available. This could be staff members to help, organizing troubleshooting sessions with trusted ones or team members. Identify which voice is missing from the table and invite them – work together and encourage diversified perspectives.  
  4. Cost vs. rewards  – Evaluate whether actionable items can be achieved in a reasonable manner. 
  5. Start somewhere – I know it can be intimidating to try something that has never been done before, so courage is pivotal when it comes to launching new ideas. Don’t be afraid to fail if there is a failure to launch. Reassess and make adjustments as you go. This reminds me of a saying “it is impossible to steer a car that is not moving.”

SETTING GOALS DURING THIS NEW SEASON

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September 16th, 2020 >> accountability, achieve, attainable, commitment, goal setting, measureable, motivation, productivity, reflect, SMART goals, time oriented

SETTING GOALS DURING THIS NEW SEASON

By: Destiny M. Johnson

During this new season of ambiguity, one might find themselves searching for meaning and direction. Things that felt so common and routine like leaving the house to attend an event, going to get food, or going for a walk have decreased due to the easily transmitted and wide spread of coronavirus, COVID- 19. The typical day for many individuals has changed and left much uncertainty about the future. Some pressing questions may be, how do I find normalcy when things keep shifting and changing?  How do I make a schedule that fits my new lifestyle of being home with children? How can I still progress in my career while managing homeschooling? How do I measure my productivity?

Although these questions are arising, take heart in knowing you are not alone during this difficult time. Many are in transition and taking stake of what is important to them. Adjusting and setting goals to enhance productivity doing this new season is essential during this time.

Why making goals and writing them down are important?

Setting goals are important because they provide tangible productivity, direction, and degrees of purpose to one’s life. Goal setting yields many with the opportunity to become intentional and an active participant in their life rather than a bystander. Goals allow for everyone to seek out and define objectives and aim to complete them. 

Did you know, you are more likely to accomplish a goal if you write them down? Writing down Goals can free up space in your mind, so you can focus on other things or more specifically on things that matter. Also writing down goals helps you remember them and stay attentive to what you want to accomplish.

Here are some tips for Goal Setting:

Define your WHY…. for Setting Goals

·         It is good to identify why you want to accomplish a goal. Is this goal for you or others? Why is this goal important to you? Who does the goal serve? What is the purpose of your goal? Is this a Project Goal, Personal Goal, Career Goal, Passion Goal etc. 

Find you Motivation

·         Ask yourself, what and who is your motivation? Is this Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? Intrinsic motivation definition refers to behavior that is driven by natural and inborn satisfaction. Someone with this motivation looks for an internal reward such as personal growth and development. There is a strong personal desire to thrive that energies a person to complete a task. The opposite is extrinsic motivation, which is driven by others recognition or external rewards or to avoid punishment. Rewards or incentives can be praise, promotion, fame, or money. Either types of motivations can be used however, it is vital to know where your motivation comes from. Knowing where your motivation stems from will allow you to draw from that place if fatigue begins to occur during your process toward achieving your goal.

Determine the Duration

·         Establish if the goal is short-term, weekly, monthly, or long-term and if you are willing to commit to the duration.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

 S.M.A.R.T. Goals are effective because they are:

·         Specific – They are clearly defined and identify your uniqueness. Define what you want and do not be vague. Clearly defined goals help you stay on track, so you do not drift away or change the goal midway because it was too general.

·         Measurable – They can be quantifiable and able to be proven.

·         Attainable – They are reasonable to manage and possible to be achieved. Be honest with yourself and set goals that can be successfully completed.

·         Realistic – They are a true representation of you and relevant to who you are. Make it personal!

·         Time Oriented – They are planned with a beginning and an ending, deadline, or timetable. Do not fall into a cycle of starting a goal with no set timing of accomplishing the goal. Time sets the boundary and can help with accountability.

 You can create goals in bite sizes. This format of goal setting will help guide you, track progress along the way, provide accountability based on the time you have set for yourself and ultimately help you reach completion.

Have Accountability

·         Use of technology such as reminders and notes on cell phones, excel spreadsheets, computer software, etc.  Also, Apps to track progress are great. Some tracking apps that can be used are goal setting tracker, daily planner, todoist, trello, and Monday.

·         Journaling and writing down goals using a planner are great accountability. Other fun alternatives are using post it notes, dry erase board, vision board with goals or even writing goals on a mirror. Visibility of goals remind you that you are working toward something and help you manifest them.

·          Accountability Partner or Group. Who is in your circle of influence and supports you? Reach out to those family or friends for support and let them in. This connection will help you when things get hard and they will also be there to help celebrate your progress. 

Revisit, Reflect, Recalibrate

Not all goals are easy to accomplish therefore, revisit the goal and take time to reflect. It is necessary to check on your progress periodically throughout your process. Remember reflection is part of the journey. Take inventory on where you are mentally and emotionally. Reflection will help you determine if things are going well or if things need to be recalibrated for more efficiency. It is okay to modify the goal, this does not mean you have failed. Things change and we must adjust and keep moving forward. 

Trust the Process

Understand that hiccups may occur so be patient with yourself and be open to the process. Achieving goals have their highs and lows and require resiliency.  Pace yourself but do not be afraid to push past uncomfortability. Be kind, be gentle, and take care of yourself. Some goals require mental and emotional strength, time, money, and effort. Whatever the goal may need trust that if you are doing your part it will all work out. 

Celebrate the Progress and the Wins

Do not forget to clap for yourself. The finish line is not the most important part of the race. The journey tends to be what you spend the most time on,  so celebrate each milestone no matter how small. Then when you accomplish what you set out do it big you deserve it.

Hacking Happy

Posted by: admin

July 10th, 2020 >> depressed, happy

When people say, “choose happiness,” it sounds like an unrealistic task. You can’t just decide to be happy and then magically feel rainbows in your heart. However, there is science behind eliciting happy emotions in order to become a happy person. What makes you smile? Do that, and in time you might find yourself feeling happier in general. This is called “Behavior Activation.” When we are in a negative headspace, we tend to self-punish and convince ourselves that we don’t deserve to do things that we enjoy. When we are depressed, we tend to lack motivation to do things we once had interest in. 

If we force ourselves to engage in things that we like, we end up being in “the mood” again (sound familiar with sexual libido?). Here’s a task: write a long list of situations that elicits good feelings. Try to engage in or expose yourself to at least one of those each day with the purpose of feeling happy. Even if it is looking at pictures, you might be pleasantly surprised with how it makes you feel! Here’s a sample list for ideas:

  • Watching animal videos on YouTube
  • Manicures
  • Flowers
  • Sweet treats
  • Dancing
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Talking to a friend
  • Helping others
  • Cleaning the house
  • Exercising
  • Singing/ Listening to music
  • DIY projects
  • Visiting the beach
  • Cooking
  • Getting a haircut
  • Dressing up
  • Being cozy in a soft blanket
  • Watching a movie
  • Hugs
  • Reading
  • Making a collage
  • Being around your favorite color

Getting Out of the Quarantine Slump

Posted by: admin

April 25th, 2020 >> COVID-19

By: Silva Depanian, MA, AMFT, CAMC

Have you noticed your energy flagging lately? How about feeling low motivation and poor mental health? Over the last few weeks in quarantine, I myself have had to make some mental shifts and reassess my needs due to this new change of pace while staying at home. Here are three tips that have helped me get out of my quarantine slump, and that I hope you will try out to help yourself too:

  1. Have stimulating conversations. We are social creatures accustomed to having dynamic days filled with a variety of stimuli. We used to interact with people at the office, while taking a walk outside, while going shopping at the mall. Please note, an interaction doesn’t necessarily mean having a full conversation. Simply making eye contact, smiling and nodding at someone walking by, or saying a quick hello can stimulate the mind and counts as human interaction. Without the constant stimulation, our mental energy flags from the monotony experienced during quarantine. To break this monotony, shake it up with conversations! Keep in touch with friends, family, partners, and colleagues, whether via video conferencing, making a phone call, or shooting a text message. Create your own opportunity for interaction.
  2. Activate your creative mind. This shift to a more monotonous, repetitive lifestyle can be stressful and depressing. Create a mental shift by actually doing something creative! Try working with your hands and make fun new things, whether it’s art, food, or attempting a funky hair or makeup style. Focusing on a creative activity helps to keep you in the present instead of thinking about how you wish things could be different.
  3. Give yourself a break. Now that many of us are at home, there is an odd pressure to “make the most of your free time.” Really, this is a time to reset, not necessarily a time to conquer the world. It is important to be kind to yourself through this stressful global event. As your mind slows and is no longer bombarded by constant stimuli, all those triggers and difficult emotions you’ve been avoiding have the chance to resurface. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the perceived need to keep pushing yourself, slow down. Reflect. Rest.

This change in daily structure has been rough on so many. As such, it is vital that we create our own structure. I call on you to discover your own, possibly shifted needs during this new time, while living this new lifestyle. Just remember to be kind to yourself as both your body and mind adjust.

   Silva Depanian is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist offering therapy for individuals and couples in Glendale, Pasadena, and Hollywood. She specializes in helping individuals with anger management, chronic pain management, and codependent relationship issues. She is offering 30% off for new clients through the end of May.

Beauty rising from the chaos – Silver lining of COVID-19

Posted by: admin

April 15th, 2020 >> COVID-19

During this very uncertain and strange time in history many people find themselves in a state of confusion, conflict and chaos. Feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and fear are at their all-time high. However, it is our individual responsibility to reframe our perspective during times of crisis and give ourselves and others grace and patience as we ride out the tedious and indefinite task of orders like “shelter in place”. Many are asking themselves “How will I make ends meet”,” Why do I feel so alone”? “How will I support my kids and manage working from home”? “What will I do now that I’ve lost my job”?  (Heavy stuff, right)? These realities are what we are faced with during this time, but we cannot be overtaken by what we cannot control. So, to reframe these thoughts, we ask, how do we embrace the circumstances that we are in with positivity?

Every rose has its thorns, but thorns don’t keep us from picking the flowers (ouch!) As we live and grow, we come into the understanding that love does not cease to exist without pain. The same is true in times such as these, understanding that life is not lived without hardships, uncertainties, or uncomfortable situations. However, it is our personal responsibility to find the silver lining.

The following are silver linings to consider:

  1. Spending Quality Time with Family and Friends

    Have you ever said, “I wish I could have a day off to spend some extra time with my family”? Or, “I wish I could catch up with my friends like we use too”? This is the perfect time to love on your friends and family, as life is so short.  A few ways to connect with each other is by using technology to your advantage, use Zoom, House Party, or Facetime to virtually connect and get creative with those who are at a distance. Have a game night or sit at the dining room table and share a meal with your family. Watch a movie or talk about frivolous things with your significant other.

  2. Slowing Down

    Taking time to rest is vital. Slowing down allows us opportunities to reflect, plan, and strategize toward implementation. Not taking the appropriate time to pause, can result in burn out, stagnation, and being on autopilot. Waiting, does have to be passive, you can actively wait. For example, meditation, reflection and journaling, making a hot breakfast in the morning, taking naps, and sleeping in.

  3. Focusing on What’s Important

    Most days we are bombarded with the nuances of life. The routine of being busy, but tragedy has a way of resting order. Which helps us identify what really matters during this time (this may look different for everyone). I challenge you to sit with your values, and that which you hold dear to determine what is of most importance. Find ways to align with the present as you prepare for the future.

  4. Appreciation of What We Have

    Take a deep breath! Inhale, then exhale
    Count your blessings and find gratitude in the small things. Such as not fighting  traffic on the 405 (thank God for that!), spending excess money on gas, hanging out with your pets a little more, and being able to spend a little more time taking care of  home (tackling that large load of laundry), and listening to the birds outside your window.

    Now it’s your turn, what are a few of your favorite silver linings?

Destiny Johnson, M.S

Avedian Counseling Center is offering three free individual sessions to a limited number of people and, Talin Honarchian, LMFT, will be starting a free virtual support group on Mondays at 11 am for those directly impacted by the Coronavirus. Call us at (818) 426-2495 to learn more.