March 23, 2020

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With so much change already this year, things constantly changing currently, and undoubtedly more change to come. This one thing has been consistent about 2020: It keeps changing.

There are biological reasons why this is so difficult for us. Our brains are wired for patterns. They do this as a survival technique – we need patterns to be able to make sense of the world around us.

There are emotional reasons why this is so difficult for us. Change involves loss. It involves grief. It involves the re...

There is much talk of “returning to normal” these days. What that looks like for each person is, of course, different – different considerations, factors, apprehensions, and all of this will be done at varying paces. What I keep thinking about is how wasteful this phrase feels – “returning to normal.” As if nothing has happened the last two months. As if we pressed a giant pause button and now we are simply pressing play. That doesn’t sit well for me. The last 2+ months have been difficult, stre...

The current pandemic has impacted nearly every area of life. We know it's impacting physical health; we know it's impacting mental and emotional health, but one area that has not been talked about as much is how the Covid-19 outbreak is impacting spiritual health. For some, the current global crisis has challenged their faith. They feel let down, anxious - they are mourning and they are wondering where God is in the current state of affairs. For some, this has caused them to slow down and consid...

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic modality that was founded by Dr. Marsha Linehan. One DBT strategy is IMPROVE the moment and uses the acronym for IMPROVE to offer practical mental and emotional tools specifically for moments of high stress, that you do not have the power to change. Sounds a lot like our current climate, doesn't it?

I – imagery: Imagery is a powerful mental tool. Your mind using images that are soothing and meaningful to you, to transport you to a mo...

Use this script with yourself or - together with the people in your home - have one person read it for you all:

Settle into a comfortable position. Eyes closed or to the floor, whatever feel most comfortable to you. Begin by noticing your breathing. On the inhale, say in your mind, “I am here.” On the exhale, repeat in your mind, “I am here.”

Inhale “I am here.” Exhale “I am here.”

Connect with one of your senses: smell, touch, or hearing. Notice what you can experience through these senses to grou...

Just as the current Covid-19 outbreak is impacting all adults in both very similar and very varying ways, the same is happening to children and teens. Young people are keen observers, feelers – like many adults, they can feel both the global weight and the personal impact this crisis is having. They may be empathetically feeling the anxiety and fear that everyone is feeling; they may be concerned about their parents’ jobs and financial security; they may feel lonely being isolated from their pee...

So many of the people I have talked to during the last week have had this similar thing to say: The emotions experienced as a result of the current pandemic have come in waves. One moment there is a peacefulness, acceptance, which is then quickly and suddenly followed by anxiety, exhaustion, fear, uncertainty, frustration, discouragement, sadness, gratitude, hopefulness – and then, of course, the cycle continues and we are back at anxiety, exhaustion, fear, uncertainty, frustration…

Here are some...

  1. Limit your media intake. Yes, the desire to want to know what’s going on in the world and to have the

    latest information is valid, and important even. AND the air is heavy right now and we are being inundated with information. Find a source you trust, check in with it, and then give yourself breaks to put down the phone, turn off the TV and do things that feel good, healthy, and happy for you. Trust yourself right now, too. Trust that you know when you’ve taken in too much and need to step...

Empathy is a person’s ability to meet another person need to feel understood, heard, and seen.

Authors Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD write the following quite in their book about empathy “Born for Love”: “The essence of empathy is the ability to stand in another’s shoes, to feel what it’s like there. Your primary feelings are more related to the other person’s situation than your own.”

To practice empathy, one must dig deep into their own emotive experience in order to practice an und...

Our brains are very wired for patterns. The first time you

ever drove to work, you may have used map quest; you likely watched each street sign closely as you navigated your way to a new place. However, if you have been working there for some time now, you likely no longer need directions. You are able to make the drive with little extra thought. You may even at times make the trip without being fully engaged and cognizant of the drive. That’s because the voyage from home to office has become a w...

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