Tag: wellness

Inspirational Doctor and Author Has Six Tips For Productive Quarantine

Judy Ho, Ph. D., ABPP, ABPdN is a licensed and triple board-certified Clinical Neuropsychologist based in Los Angeles, a tenured Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, podcast host, and published author. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, she’s also a regular on the set of The Doctors. Inspirational both in her achievements, and her extensive resumé, she’s here with six amazing tips to help you adjust to the new normal!

Image result for dr judy ho

image via DR JUDY HO

The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of us grappling with fear, stress, anxiety, grief, and feelings of being overwhelmed. With the new directives to practice social distancing (maintaining > 6 feet of physical distance from other people, or avoiding direct contact with people or objects—no hugs or handshakes—in public places during the current coronavirus outbreak to minimize exposure and reduce the transition of infection), we are urged to work from home, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, and do so to protect ourselves and the larger community.

These directives, while imperative and clearly necessary, have direct tolls on our mental and physical health in addition to our growing fears of the unknown and the fact that news updates seem to present an everchanging picture each day. With no specific end in sight, the unknowns of how long this new normal will last and what it will look like as the situation unfolds is bound to cause heightened anxiety. Unknowns are very stressful for the human mind. We want to feel in control of our lives, as the more we feel is in our control, the more our chances for survival increases. The social distancing directives isolate from others, and we know that loneliness and perceived dissatisfaction with social interactions can wreak havoc on our well-being. Being in one place most or all of the time will also lead us to experience symptoms of cabin fever, lethargy, sadness, problems concentrating, irritability, feelings of being stuck, claustrophobia, and difficulty dealing with minor stressors.

To help us cope, here are some evidence-based tips on how we can make the most of these times, attend to our mental and physical wellness, and stay productive and motivated.

1. Take deep breaths and combat defeatist thinking

In these unprecedented times, it is easy to lose hope or feel absolutely inefficacious about how you can improve the circumstances. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the challenges, take deep breaths. This resets your brain and body and tells it to chill out and veer away from a state of emergency or fight or flight. Then, manage any negative, catastrophic thinking. Thoughts are just mental events and not necessarily reflective of the truth, even when it feels that way! Try this evidence-based technique from the ACT literature called defusion. Whatever negative or catastrophic thought you are having, put the clause, “I am having the thought that …” in front of it. This takes the wind out of the sails of that negative thought just enough for you to feel more proactive and in charge of your life. So “I won’t be able to survive this” becomes “I am having the thought that I won’t be able to survive this.” This simple exercise of distancing from harmful thoughts without trying to change them is extremely helpful in helping to curb subsequent negative emotional or behavioral reactions.

 

2. Accept negative feelings and thoughts, and let them be

You are bound to have negative emotions right now, and one of them may be grief. Grief can be conjured not only be fears of death and dying (and this pandemic certainly has aroused that existential fear in many of us), but it can be about saying goodbye to a former type of lifestyle, the end of a job or career, the fracturing of relationships; all of which are possible outcomes many are dealing with during this uncertain time. Rather than grief processing occurring in stages, I actually think it’s a circle of grief. People don’t move linearly. When we grieve, we bounce back and forth between depression, denial, anger, acceptance, and bargaining. One day you might feel accepting of the situation, the next day when a news story hits, you are back to experiencing anger. And that emotional swing can be tough to manage, so we have to be kind to ourselves and allow these feelings to happen. Know that they are normal and that they won’t last forever. The more you struggle with feelings the longer they linger, but if you accept them as normal and fact, they tend to dissipate easier.

3. Find creative ways to socially engage

We are social animals and we need meaningful social engagement. We can do this by making sure we touch base with loved ones in real life by calls or video chat. This can be additionally bolstered by having a shared experience. For example, eat lunch or dinner with a loved one over video chat. Watch a movie together while on video chat and share commentary and opinions about the film during or after. Make sure you do this a few times a week.

4. Open the shades (and get outside)

Whenever possible, try to get outside, even for a few minutes a day, to take in the fresh air and the outdoors. Research shows this is especially effective in the morning hours to align with human beings’ circadian rhythm which can also help promote better quality sleep. If you are unable to get outside, open the shades. This can help ward off claustrophobia and boost your mood.

 

5. Avoid binge-watching anything (or binge video game-playing)

It would be so easy to pass the time with hours of Netflix or Call of Duty. But doing this can actually lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness, according to research. Limit yourself to two hours per day for video and media consumption. This would include leisure shows, the news, and social media.

6. Keep a routine

Routines are comforting to the human mind. Make sure you devise a daily routine that mimics what you did prior to social distancing directives. This means getting up at the same hour every day (set an alarm clock if you need to), showering and getting dressed as if you were going to work outside the home (and direct your children to do the same), and having “work hours” when you focus on industrious activities and “home hours” where you focus on family togetherness and relaxation.

feature image via usatoday

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Author Shares Amazing Tips To Help You Through The Chaos

If everything you’re seeing on the news is causing you stress and anxiety, it might be time to set boundaries.

 

Over the past several weeks I’ve seen an increase in patients coming to see me for anxiety and fear related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  Given the uncertainty of the situation, this comes as no surprise. Just as the actual virus can be highly contagious, so can the fear and anxiety that stems from it.

Let me explain.  In my book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days, I talk about the contagion effect of fear.  It’s our instinctual and primitive nature to spread fear.  In fact, it can help us to survive. In the days of early humans, if danger lurked, one person would tell the next and the next and then the whole clan was notified.   It’s this instinctual response coupled with modern technology that can cause fear to go viral. With the push of a button, in a split second, the entire world is informed of information.  Given what’s going on, this can help people to stay safe, but it can also fuel anxiety and make people feel worse and ill-equipped to handle the crisis.

Below are ways that you can keep your fear and anxiety in check as we continue to try to figure out COVID-19:

1. Stick with a trusted source for your information.  Have one local news outlet and a national/international outlet.  For example, your local news network that you regularly watch, and then another such as the CDC or WHO.

2. Separate fact from fiction.  Create two columns.  On one side list the things you know to be true and factual.  On the other side, list things that you can’t substantiate. Then, put an X through the second column, sticking only with facts. Know that the anxious mind attempts to create information to bring predictability to an unpredictable situation.  The problem with this is rarely does it actually provide accurate predictability, just panic.

3. Limit your exposure to social media.  Social media has, in part, become a place for people to vent, project fear, spread rumor, misinformation, etc.  I recently had one person tell me that 50 million Americans will die from COVID-19 in coming months. When asked for the source, he said “Facebook”. Folks, Facebook is not a trusted, credible news source!

4. Check the news less.  It’s overkill to want to know every minute or even every hour the latest news. Limit the frequency of your updates and notifications.  Instead allow yourself to check the latest news at certain points during your day. For example, morning time, lunch time, and evening.

5. Give yourself a break.  Rest-assured, feeling anxious and concerned is very normal right now.  Such a reaction is an indicator that you are a healthy-minded person facing new circumstances.  But thinking the end of the world is near, is not healthy, or normal.

6. Make peace with uncertainty.  When else in your life have you faced crisis and weren’t exactly sure what would happen? How did you fare? Know that you’ve probably faced uncertainty and anxiety in the past and survived.

7. Think ahead.  What steps would you actually take if you felt sick or tested positive?  Play this through and have a plan in place, just in case. By playing this out in your mind you’ll feel better equipped to handle a potential illness.

8. Don’t forget basic stress management.  Eat and sleep healthy, exercise, stay connected to friends, participate in enjoyable activities as best as possible, and remain optimistic.

Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days by Jonathan Alpert.

This article originally appeared on Thrive Global.

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Enter To Win $300 Gift Card With Dr. Judy Ho And SuperCharge Your Life

You might have read Dr. Judy Ho’s highly rated book Stop Self-SabotageWell, the Doctor will see you now – on your nearest podcast-playing device, that is. Plus, we’ve got a $300 Amazon gift card for a lucky listener and fan, too.

 

 

Ready to grab life with both hands and live it to the fullest? ​Then you need to check out the action-packed podcast full of tips to improve your life. Join Dr. Judy on her ‘SuperCharged Life’, produced by Stage29 Podcasts, where she dives deeply and fearlessly into guest’s issues in love, sex, friendships, work, career, bad habits, addiction, trauma, depression and anxiety.

Sometimes we get stuck in our old patterns. We want to change but we don’t know how. Uncover what’s holding you back and discover a new way to take on life, inspire love, and create happiness and fulfillment. Dr. Judy is passionate about helping you become the Superhero in your own life. Each podcast episode offers a tangible, scientific tool you can use to SuperCharge your life.

 

ENTER THE CONTEST NOW

Enter to Win a Supercharged $300 Amazon Gift Card! (Contest on Hive.co)

ABOUT DR. JUDY AND SUPERCHARGED LIFE

Dr Judy Ho is a Los Angeles based triple board-certified Clinical Neuropsychologist, researcher, author, and tenured Associate Professor at Pepperdine University. Her thought provoking insight and analysis of the human psychological condition has established her as a go-to television host. She is a co-host of the Emmy Award winning syndicated daytime talk show The Doctors, and a recurring panelist and expert on numerous national broadcasts. She is the author of the best-selling book, “Stop Self-Sabotage,” a useful tool for anyone standing in their own way, who undermines their own interests and intentions and is looking for lasting change and meaningful success.

“SuperCharged Life with Dr. Judy” is where she will dive deeply and fearlessly into guests’ issues in love, sex, friendships, work-career, bad habits, addiction, trauma, depression and anxiety. Sometimes it’s painful to uncover what’s really holding them back, but with Dr. Judy’s help they can discover a new way to take on life, inspire love and create happiness and fulfillment. Whether she’s helping to navigate life with her patients, swinging from a flying trapeze, singing her favorite Broadway songs or taking on a new adventure; Dr. Judy walks her talk and invites others along for the journey. Each podcast will give a tangible tool they can do that will “SuperCharge” their lives!

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

Our lucky winner will get their hands on a shiny, new, ready-to-use $300 Amazon e-gift card. You can use this on all of your favorite Amazon products (a copy of Stop Self-Sabotage, perhaps?).

HOW TO ENTER:

Follow the steps on the contest plugin, and remember, each step increases your chances of winning, so follow as many as you can to up your chances of the prize!

For instructions on how to subscribe and download Dr. Judy’s podcast, please follow the steps below:

ON YOUR PHONE (4 steps only with images below, if you prefer a 20 second video tutorial instead, click HERE)

ON YOUR COMPUTER:  (4 steps only with images below, if you prefer a 20 second video tutorial instead, click HERE)

 

Check out the widget below to see the other ways of entering and upping your chances to win $300 on Amazon!

Enter to Win a Supercharged $300 Amazon Gift Card! (Contest on Hive.co)

Winner must submit screenshot of subscription and download to claim the prize. Good luck!

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Your Local Bookstore Needs You More Than Ever

With the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the world right now, restricting movement and gatherings, threatening life and the normal order of business, people are freaking out. What this means for some is a panicked excursion to the supermarket for supplies… too many supplies in some cases.

empty ALDI shelf // image via instagram

While some huge conglomerate stores and more regional markets have been slammed with worried customers, independent retailers have not had the same reaction.

For many independent bookstores, the coronavirus has had a devastating effect on their business, one that threatens the very subsistence of the store itself. In a time of panic, worry, and (necessary) isolation, your local bookstore needs your support, now more than ever.

In the US, we spoke to Cheryl Popp, owner of Sausalito Books By The Bay, located on the other end of the Golden Gate Bridge in California, about her store, and the overwhelming challenge it now faces.

Sausalito is a “locally-owned and operated bookstore”, and one that has only been in operation for six months. This blow, as you can imagine, could not have come at a worse time. Particularly when January and February already serve as some of the slowest time periods for retail. Cheryl’s approach, given the situation, is “precaution vs panic.”

Sausalito is planning on remaining open, potentially reducing from seven days of operation to five, but “would like to continue to be a community resource and safe haven for residents during this challenging time.”

In some ways we aren’t changing what we’ve always done — we have always shipped books for free and I will deliver books for free to any local doorstep. These two customer services are especially valuable right now. If someone is wary of leaving their home, we can bring them books. Books make good company when you can’t get out and about!

With quarantine and self-isolation a reality for many, this service is incredible, meaning those cooped up indoors can at least escape into a book, all while supporting a local business. Alongside this, Sausalito also runs a community-driven book service, with customers able to put a book cost on their account – running a book tab, of sorts.

“People need to support their independent bookstores”, without this, it is not sustainable. “The health and safety of everyone is the concern”, with the store undergoing more thorough cleaning, and plenty of lysol and hand sanitizer to go around. Sausalito have not yet suspended local events, having hosted a 35-person strong event just this past Wednesday. “Everyone went for dinner afterwards. In smaller communities, merchants and residents have to support each other.”

So how can you show your support?

BUY BOOKS! Now more than ever, we need book lovers to buy even more books than they might normally in order to sustain their local bookstore during this dark time. Buy them for themselves, buy them for others. After all, what could more nourishing (and perhaps a much-needed distraction) than to journey into a good book?

Bookstores around the world have taken to social media to voice their own concerns:

Books Upstairs, a small city-center bookstore in Dublin, Ireland, voiced their worries in light of Ireland’s COVID-19 lockdown \ via twitter

On the East Coast, we got in touch with Cari Quartuccio of Shakespeare and Co., to discuss how they have been impacted. As the business is a bookstore and café, the most marked slowdown has been on the café end. “Some larger purchases have been made for people in quarantine”, with people stocking up for a possible isolation period. They are, however, expecting a slowdown in trade in the coming months, and taking some cost-cutting procedures in preparation. “Having no idea of when it ends adds to the uncertain nature.” The expenses of running an independent store don’t go away when crisis hits, and rent will still need to be paid. Plus, the welfare of employees is paramount, with their bills a considerable hardship.

To support Shakespeare and Co, and your own local store, many bookstores are selling books on their websites. Shakespeare and Co “now offers free shipping”, minimizing the need for people to come in-store. In addition, Cari says “gift cards are a wonderful thing” that have the opportunity to “bridge the gap for stores.” This way, you can support your local bookstore for now and in the future. If you have the means to shop local, your support may keep a business afloat during the hardship sure to loom in the shadow of the current pandemic.

For some, you can even order through Postmates. Now you really have no excuse.


While you may be inclined to run straight to larger companies for your book needs during this trying time, consider ordering from your favorite indie bookstore, online or in-store. They need your help, now more than ever, and you can rest easy (and in isolation), knowing that your contribution may save the livelihood of many.

 

Featured Image via Seattle Times

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