Posts Tagged ‘covid-19’

Introspection

Posted by: admin

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?

Discovering Creativity in Crisis

Posted by: admin

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.”

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.

Managing Stress Related to COVID-19

Posted by: admin

March 30th, 2020 >> COVID-19

In recent weeks, many of us are experiencing strong emotions related to the growing concerns over COVID-19. Everyday seems to bring more reports of confirmed cases and that number continues to rise according to the California Department of Public Health. As we are advised to practice social distancing and “safer at home”, we can find that stress and anxiety are increasing, spiraling into unwarranted fears. Losing social contact has also impacted our emotional wellbeing and although many of us have turned to virtual means, we are still finding ourselves feeling overwhelmed with the uncertainty of COVID-19. Although many parts of this pandemic are out of our control, it is important to identify what we do have control over.

Here are some helpful tips on managing stress and anxiety during this chaotic time.

·      Set Boundaries – It is important to keep yourself up to date with information on various media platforms, but if you find yourself consumed with this information then set media limits.

·      Relaxation- There are various ways of practicing relaxation including deep breathing, grounding, and/or meditation. You can start practicing deep breathing by inhaling a slow deep breath, holding your inhale for 4-5 seconds, and following it by a slow exhale. 

·      Journal – It is okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Express your feelings in a healthy and constructive way. Journaling can provide you with an outlet to express and organize your thoughts.  

·      Self-care – Focus on loving and taking care of yourself, especially in times of stress. Remember if you do not take care of yourself, not only is your emotional health affected, but also your physical health as your immune system is compromised. Take a moment to identify simple ways to practice self-care.

Taking positive actions and identifying areas of control can help manage our fear. Remember that we are all going through this pandemic together and this too will pass. If you find yourself having difficulty controlling your anxiety or stress related to COVID-19, it can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional.

Talin Honarchian, LMFT

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.