Coping With Anxiety in a Pandemic

Coping With Anxiety in a Pandemic

🌿Hello everyone,

As we head into week 7 and I’m talking to more and more people online and offline, I am noticing we are all struggling with similar things.

Not knowing how long this will last can be unsettling and finding a rhythm that works is still a work in progress. We are still trying to navigate this new normal and figuring things out. 

Due to the pandemic and related stressors, I have been focussing on helping as many people as I can. 

These times are difficult for all of us and the social distancing is taking its toll on people. Parents are getting overwhelmed with having to work from home and homeschool, not being able to see loved ones or friends increases the sense of isolation, the complicated task of having to disinfect everything you buy can become burdensome, the lack of income is quite stressful as well… the list can go on and on. 

People are reporting a variety of difficulties in coping with COVID19, such as fear and incessant worry, being angry or irritable, sleep problems, difficulty focussing and concentrating, being indecisive, increase consumption of substances compared to their usual intake, more conflict within the home. 

I’ve heard comments like “I’m going nuts”, 😜 “This is insane”, “I’m losing it”, “My spouse and I are fighting all the time”, “I’m scared my parents will get sick”, “What if I get sick, who will take care of my kids?”….

There is no miraculous solution for this but apply some of the following strategies

  • stay active,
  • stay connected with friends and loved ones,
  • reconnect with your body,
  • practice self-care on a daily basis,
  • make time for yourself,
  • ask for help if you need it,
  • accept the situation for what it is and the feelings that arise,
  • focus on what you can control,
  • try to stay present as best as you can and remember that this will not last forever,
  • do all that you can to stay healthy,
  • minimize self-imposed stress,
  • accept that your normal way of functioning/living has to change,
  • it’s okay not to be productive all the time (these are stressful times,
  • you may need to rest more and take more breaks and do less),
  • make time for yourself,
  • create a realistic routine,
  • go on a news diet,
  • monitor your intake of substances

My psychology and coaching practices mainly focus on parenting, anxiety, stress management and coping with life transitions, such as what we are going through right now. So, if any of you were hesitating to reach out, please do not hesitate. I am here for you. I’m just a call  ☎️ or an email away. All sessions are via video in the comfort of your home, your car or the park 🙂

If you are not sure about working one-on-one, I have also created with a friend an online course to support you through the pandemic. We have set the price really low until May 15th in order to reach as many people as we can (ONLY $35). We know many people have been hit hard financially and cannot afford to hire a psychologist or a life coach.

This was our way to give back and contribute. 👐

🍃The course has 8 video lessons that cover topics such as coping with anxiety, parenting, helping kids out, dealing with uncertainty and fear, how to deal with the lack of control in this situation,  how to best support your children through all this, and so much more.  The videos have 4 hours of content and many FREE Bonuses, including guided meditations for children and adults and more free talks.

Have a look, at the course outline (with a 13-minute video) and our FREE webinar.

I have no doubt that many of you will find very helpful tips in this course. You can even offer it as a gift to someone you care for.  

So, that’s it for now. Stay safe everyone, practice social distancing but keep in touch with loved ones.  I am leaving you with this quote:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Vivian Greene

Wishing you all ✨to stay safe and healthy ✨!

With gratitude,   🌿

Dr. Gina

P.S.: One final thing: 

Those who know me, know that I aim to serve, so please submit any suggestions of content you would love to see in my membership site or in my newsletter.

✌️ Questions answered about COVID-19

✌️ Questions answered about COVID-19

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🌿 Is it week 4 or 5? I lose track. Is it Monday or Sunday? Who knows. The days are looking more and more the same 😕. In my case, they are looking more and more like weekends!

Okay, we are now kinda settling into our new reality. For some, it is easier than others. Adjusting to social distancing, quarantine, taking extra precautions, dealing with working from home while taking care of children, job loss, being away from loved ones, or simply feeling alone are some of the many new realities we have to deal with.

It is a welcome break for some while for others it is a highly stressful period. And I include myself in all this!

I have a lot more time on my hands that I was anticipating. So I decided might as well use this time for good!  🦋

As many of you know I lead a FB group with a friend of mine, Richard Robins, social worker extraordinaire. The group is open to everyone around the globe, called Ottawa’s Pandemic Mental Health Support Group. I pop in there to support people with questions, resources, positivity. A few other awesome practitioners are part of the group to help out (psychologists, naturopathic doctors, volunteers etc).

Anyhow, I digress. We have hosted some FB lives and we will be having another one Tuesday. More specifically it will be relating to helping people cope with the new reality of the pandemic and how it has affected their lives.

Myself and a colleague, Glenn Ambrose, will be answering your questions. So I am asking you to submit your questions if you cannot make it live. We will make it our mission to answer as many questions as possible.

There are no stupid questions. Your questions might help someone else who is too shy to ask. You do not need to be identified.

We will also be talking about a course we will be launching next week to help people like you and I cope.

We are doing the course as our way to give back. It will be highly discounted, just to cover our costs. We know, many people out there have lost jobs or are simply in a tight spot financially. Maybe you or someone you know might benefit from our course. Stay tuned.

 

When is the FB live?

  • Tuesday, April 21, 6h30PM- EST
  • You can send your questions by replying to this email, email [email protected], submit them to the FB group or message me on FB or LinkedIn.

So, that’s it for now. Stay safe everyone, practice social distancing but keep in touch with loved ones. And, finally, embrace this special time.

🕊️ Good will come out of it and try to see the silver lining.  🕊️

 

🌿P.S.: If your children are struggling with fear or anxiety I have posted 3 guided meditations for children 6 to 12 yo. They are narrated by my daughter when she was 6 and 11. Go to the App Insight Timer and you will find them there.  A review on iTunes would help people find us!! I would really appreciate it.

🌿P.S.2.: Join this community if you need support. It is a positive community that I and a friend, Richard Robins, a wonderful social worker, lead. Ottawa’s Pandemic Mental Health Support Group is on Facebook.

🌿P.S.3.: Here are my FREE gifts to you: A resource book for parents and adults that I keep updating. Parents Resources Booklet   and 380+ Activities for Kids of all ages.

 

Wishing you all ✨to stay safe and healthy ✨!

 

With gratitude,   🌿

Gina

💥💖The key to your happiness

💥💖The key to your happiness

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As we are bidding 2019 farewell, it is time to ✨welcome 2020 ✨and start on a loving note!  ❤️

The year is ending and you find yourself feeling tired, depleted, burnt out, lost your passion for life and you’re just going through the motions. 

You tell yourself that there has got to be more to life than this!

Let me tell you this. Every single choice you make matters!

Are you spending more time taking care of other people than of yourself?

 As a result of being such an independent, fierce, productive woman, who can do it all, does it seems like you are not getting the support that you need?

 Self-love is at the core of all the choices we make. And boundaries are the foundation for proper self-care. 

What are you willing to accept from others and where do you draw the line?  

 We teach people how to treat us. And if we don’t value ourselves, our time, or our health, why would others? 

 Your actions speak louder than your words. Your boundaries are a reflection of your level of self-love and self-esteem. 

 If your boundaries are loose, you are signalling that you value others more than you do yourself.

 Having healthy boundaries means asking for what we want in all spheres of our lives: work, family, kids, partners, friends. 

 To be happy and successful at anything in your life you need to put yourself first and then you can take care of everyone else. 

 If you don’t love yourself, you will betray yourself over and over again. With time it will wear at your mind, body and soul…

This is why, as Caroline Myss says, people don’t heal. Because they are not willing to face the truth.

Did you know that self-esteem, boundaries and choices are all inter-connected?

 If you’re not sure and want to experience it first hand, try this out for a week  or two and notice if there has been a shift:

  • First step: Awareness. 🍃Start paying attention to ALL the choices you make throughout the day, big AND small. And notice the consequence of the choices you have just made. If you can journal about it to keep track. We easily forget! 

 

Every single choice we make has an impact. Trust me!

  • Second step: Stop and think. 🍃Now that you realize how many choices we make in a single day. Take a second or two and notice the choice you are about to make and ask yourself this question:

 

Is what I’m about to do reflective of self-love or love of the other, or is it a choice based on fear or guilt or a sense of obligation? 

  • Third step: Action. 🍃Now it is time to actually go into action. You’ve determined if this choice was out of love or not. If it is not, are you willing to pass, say no, set a boundary to honour yourself? 

 

Still hesitating, then ask yourself “If I wasn’t scared or did not feel guilty or obligated, what would I do?” And do it!

  • Fourth step: Taking responsibility. 🍃 If you were able to make a choice based on self-love. That’s awesome. Keep it up. You will reap the benefits, no doubt about it. 

 

If you still struggle with fear, guilt or sense of obligation, and let these emotions make the choices for you. That’s awesome too! 

Huh? You wonder. Well yes. Now you know the source of your stress, overwhelm, burnt out, depression, anxiety… you name it. 

You get to turn your life around NOW! 

Before I let you go, keep this quote in mind:

The life you have today is based on the choices you made yesterday and the life you will have tomorrow is based on the choices you make today.

If you want to find happiness, be mindful of the choices you make. They matter more than you think!

🌿P.S.: Don’t miss my bi-weekly podcast episodes and submit questions or topics of interest. Episodes 6 & 13 are relevant to today’s topic. A review on iTunes would help people find us!!

🌿ANNOUNCEMENT.: I’ve been working diligently on my membership site. It will be chock-full of resources of all kinds (online courses, audios, videos, PDFs, helpful lessons AND an online community where we can connect and ask questions, Q & A calls). All at a really affordable monthly price for those who cannot afford one-on-one coaching. 

Those who know me, know that I aim to serve, so please submit any suggestions of content you would love to see in there or in my newsletter.

Wishing you all a ✨Happy New Year ✨and Health ❤️above all else. The rest will naturally follow!

With gratitude,   🌿

Gina

 

⏰ Do you feel like time is passing you by?

⏰ Do you feel like time is passing you by?

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I get it. In this day and age of instant gratification, everything moving at the speed of light and the pressure from peers and society to be highly productive, you might be wondering…

”Where does the time go?”

For me, I get caught up in the busy-ness of being a mom and my career. I can easily get distracted with a pile of chores and obligations and an endless to-do list.

We compare ourselves to others and feel we need to keep up, leaving us energetically drained, overwhelmed and possibly feeling as though life is passing you by. 

Am I striking a chord?

If I am, I want you to know there IS a better way! Let me explain…

The first step is to stop the spin cycle and start making YOU the priority in your life again.

Admittedly, life was simpler 100 years ago. With no technology, things moved much slower. Not that people didn’t work hard, it was more about fewer things distracting us and filling our mind on a 24/ 7 basis.

For example, what’s the first thing you do when you lay down to rest after work?

Maybe close your eyes for a minute – and most likely pick up your phone/ tablet to check messages and surf the net…am I right?

Here’s the thing…just like a hundred years ago, we still only have 24 hours in a day. Yet we try to cram in more than is humanly healthy or even possible.

We spend more time up in our heads than we do in our hearts – no wonder you might be spinning all the time.

If you haven’t unplugged and taken the time to just BE present, there’s no way to access what’s truly in your heart.

How do you do that? Well, let me tell you how.

Take time to “smell the roses”. Stop and actually notice what is right in front of you and take it in. I mean it, truly take it in!

Savour that coffee and taste it. Sip it slowly. Smell its aroma. Pause. Close your eyes and really taste and smell it. Don’t multitask.

Take a moment to notice your beautiful space, that smile on your child’s face, your partner lying next to you. Be in that moment fully. Be truly present.

This simple daily ritual will make you feel more grounded and connected to the people around you. If you do this throughout your day, your stress levels will go down.

The next step is to carve out 15-30 minutes just for you first thing in the morning. If you have to, get up before everyone else. Don’t grab your phone as soon as you open your eyes.

Before you dial into production mode, create a morning ritual as a gift to yourself. Doing things just for you. Be in the receiving mode.

You’ll notice the benefits add up over time.  It will set the tone for the day. You will feel energized and you will take better care of yourself.

As the last step, a few times a day, start noticing what you are thinking about and how you are feeling. 

Half the time we are not present and we are lost in our thoughts. Worrying, planning, ruminating, replaying. You name it.

Stop the time travelling and bring yourself back to this moment in time. Just immerse yourself fully into what you are doing without allowing your mind to wander elsewhere.

 The easiest way to do that is to place your focus on the information inputted by your five senses. Right now

Stay there a while. You’ll see. In that place, there is no struggle or resistance.

See your relationships improve. Life has more meaning. You will be happier.

Try these steps out and keep me posted on the results you notice.

P.S.: Don’t miss my bi-weekly podcast episodes and submit questions or topics of interest

With gratitude  🌿

🌋 Reduce the overwhelm taking over your life !

🌋 Reduce the overwhelm taking over your life !

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🌿 You barely woke up and you’re overwhelmed before the day even started. 

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you wake up in the morning? You can be guaranteed that it will set the mood for the day ahead.

Mindset is everything! 

Our mindset impacts our mood, our behaviours and the choices we make.

When we consciously make an effort in the morning to keep our mindset in check, it will start your day on the right foot. And it makes all the difference.

Our mind in an incessant chatterbox. It never stops and it’s wired to pay attention to the negative

Did you ever notice that?

Did you know that we have between 60 to 80 thousand thoughts a day? Imagine if most of your thoughts are negative. It can weight down on your mood and your energy pretty quickly.

You’ll hear me say this over and over… pay attention to the present moment. It’s the only moment that really exists.

I want you to focus on what happens in your inner world and your outer world, at this precise moment. Yes, right now, as you read this.

You might not realize it but one harsh thought can lead to a storm of more negative harsh thoughts. Next thing you know you are sad, angry, resentful, frustrated because of the ongoing monologue going on in your head. 

Remember that you hold the key to changing what happens in the privacy of your own mind. You can’t control people or external events but you can control how you choose to react to them. 

On the path to a better life, we need two things: self-awareness and being kinder to ourselves.

How do I do that? You wonder.

The first thing I recommend is to live, as best you can, in the present moment.

When we are truly present, we pay more attention to what happens inside of us and outside. We are not lost in our minds. The by-product will be increased self-awareness. 

The sooner you can incorporate living mindfully, the sooner you will calm the monkey brain. The less stress you will experience.

Mindfulness is not another fad technique, it is a way of living. You can’t change your mindset if you are not self-aware.

The second thing you need to do is to let go of judgment of yourself and others. Positive AND negative.

Judgment is a mind trap. Replace those judgments with self-compassion or just let them go. Try to resist the urge to judge.

Then shift your attention back to the present moment. Even if it is a difficult moment.

Just see and feel things as they are. Right now. Don’t resist, don’t label. Just observe what IS.

When you start doing that your mood will improve, your overall mindset will be more positive and you will be more productive. Overwhelm will be reduced drastically!

So, try this out for the next week. Combining noticing your mindset in the present moment and dropping all judgments. 

Use certain cues to remind you to do this several times a day.

Until it becomes a habit, you can set an alarm on your phone a few times a day to start, or you can use walking through doorways as a reminder.

Pay attention to how you feel after a while. Chances are, the struggle will have gone.

P.S.: Don’t miss my bi-weekly podcast episodes and episode 3 is about letting go of judgment!

With gratitude,  🌿

Healing with Forgiveness…

Healing with Forgiveness…

Photo by David Marcu

Photo by David Marcu

Here is video 2 of a series of videos I have found that were quite inspirational. This one is about forgiveness. Living in unforgiveness  (if there is such a word !) can be a heavy burden to carry to the point that it can affect of physical and mental health. Forgiving a person who has hurt or wronged us in the past is something we do for ourselves, not for the other. Living in anger and resentment hurts us, not the person we are angry with.
Here are a few quotes from the video, which also contains beautiful pictures, as always.
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world”. Marianne Williamson
“Forgiveness is the final form of love”. Reinhold Niebuhr
Let go so that healing can begin
Hardened stories have worn grooves in your mind and heart
Hardness becomes a habit long after the event has passed
You hold on to the story hoping that some day it will make it right but the gift comes when you decide change is within you
The whole story falls away, all is new again, you invite the light in, you see what is reality
Forgiveness is a letting go, not accepting a wrong or going against your basic values
It’s to heal yourself so you can soften, so your body can open to new space within, to places you never knew before existed
It will set u free
One day u may come to forgive yourself and allow others to forgive you too… this is an act of bravery and the first true act of great love
Enjoy the video!

 

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