Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine

Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine

Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine

You Are Not Alone

During a time of uncertainty and fear, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone (especially, when current CDC recommendations call for a degree of social isolation). You may even feel a sense of disconnection…there’s a lot going on and a lot to process!

Although, it may feel like a “silly” time to find the silverlining (and, certainly, I do not want to diminish the hardship many of our community members are currently experiencing or will likely experience over the coming weeks). I do find sometimes, crisis situations lend themselves to fostering a sense of community and belonging if we are able to look hard enough. 

Think of an incredibly challenging event you have faced (and it might even be right now!). What did you crave most? I wonder if it might have been a sense of support or connectedness? A feeling that tells us, we are not alone.

First, it can be helpful to draw on what we as humans are programmed to do…which is to connect! We have a biological predisposition to seek connection, closeness, and attachment with others. 

At the core, we are social creatures. How we go about having our needs for connectedness met can vary, but I think most of us can relate to the desire to feel like a part of something larger than ourselves (i.e. finding our community: whether this means your social network, a bowling league, athletic team, a religious group, etc). 

I wanted to share ideas that may help you to foster a sense of belonging and connectedness, during a trying time, that can easily lend itself to feeling quite the opposite (disconnected and isolated). Below are a few tips to help you cultivate unity during a time of polarization.

You’re Not Alone

Everyone is experiencing the consequences of Covid-19. Although the consequences we each experience may vary in their specifics, we are all experiencing them. Unfortunately, no one has the opportunity to “opt-out.” This may in some ways feel disheartening, but perhaps we can view this as a more global opportunity to foster connectedness through shared experiences. 

We can seek cohesion, in knowing, across the world others are faced with the same hard questions, the same uncertainties, and are continuing to foster resilience. There is power in normalizing and sharing the burden of hardships. [For more on adapting to change, check out this article, Resilience: How to Adapt to Change.]

Reflect On What You Can Control And How This Can Help Your Community (And Yourself)

There is no beating around the bush, there’s A LOT of uncertainty about what the future might look like. However, there are things each of us has the power to impact. We are all able to contribute to the safety of ourselves and our community members. Find your agency in a situation where you may feel disempowered! 

Example: we all have the power to control our hygiene (like washing our hands and avoiding touching our faces) and to truly take part in social distancing efforts. Your individual efforts do have a community impact.

Community Contributions

Happiness research shows we feel better by doing good things for others. How can you contribute to the wellbeing of your community? Is this by donating to your local food bank (if able)? Or, this could simply mean doing your part to abide by health and safety recommendations. 

Conversely, perhaps you might find it beneficial to access community support and resources. Healthy communities can cultivate positive relationships, involving reciprocal give and take. If each person assumes responsibility for their part, we can inadvertently overcome obstacles as a community.

We Are All Connected

If the spread of this virus has demonstrated one thing, it is that we are connected worldwide through many different channels. This means, from a systemic perspective, when one person changes their actions, this can create a ripple effect. This then has the power to ultimately change the entire system. How cool is that?!

What this boils down to is recognizing we are part of a larger functioning system, and we each have power and agency to impact positive change. Your role in the system matters and is inherently intertwined with others.

Access Your Network (and, no, I’m not just talking about your wifi)

Identify your social support system and lean on them, as they will likely need to lean on you during this time. Specific activities that foster a sense of unity can have a profound impact on our individual sense of wellbeing. [Read: Coronavirus Life: Practical Advice to Help You Cope for more ways you can focus on your individual sense of wellbeing while being there for your community.]

Identify how you can feel close while practicing physical distance. Example: meeting with friends via FaceTime and participating in “virtual” activities.

I know this doesn’t take away the pain, fear, and loss you may be experiencing. Instead, my hope is to shed a small light on ways we could find unity within our communities. In turn, perhaps this may help to counterbalance some of the emotional burden.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on how we, as a collective society, will look back on this experience. What might we say about it? Perhaps we will be able to say, we stood by one another and worked to protect not only our own individual interests, but that of our loved ones and community members. 

Maybe we will be able to share that we looked at the worldwide consequences and thought about ways we each could individually impact positive change (because, believe it or not, we do have some agency). Not that we didn’t think about ourselves (because this is important too), but that we considered our own well-being in the context of others. We are stronger together.

In a time where you may feel alone, I’d like to wish you not only health but also unity and connectedness.

Warmly, 
Rachel Harder, MA, LPC, MFTC

Rachel Harder, MA, LPC, MFTC helps you find passion and joy in yourself and your relationships. She supports you in creating meaning and happiness, and not only facing your challenges — but triumphantly overcoming them.

Let’s  Talk

Read More by Rachel Here…

Covid 19 Anxiety: How to Cope

Covid 19 Anxiety: How to Cope

Covid 19 Anxiety: How to Cope

How to Deal With Coronavirus Anxiety

If you have anxiety about coronavirus, you’re not alone. Many people have been experiencing Covid 19 anxiety, and understandably so. The virus is spreading, things are being canceled, schools and businesses are closing, and these are uncertain times. 

There is so much in the news right now about how to protect your physical health against Coronavirus, but not so much advice for how to protect your mental health from Coronavirus anxiety. And… lots of people need that right now.

In the past week I’ve had so many therapy clients reaching out for online therapy for anxiety, (they wisely want to have their therapy from home right now!), specifically wanting to talk about how to manage anxiety about coronavirus. They’re worried about getting sick, or what will happen if they do get sick, and even their financial future. For some, it’s all they can think about. And it’s scary.

How to Manage Anxiety About Coronavirus

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m sharing practical strategies for how to reduce Corona anxiety and replace it with activating, helpful ways of thinking so that you can stay in a good place mentally and emotionally during this challenging time. Specifically:

– How to shift out of anxiety and into a proactive stance, mentally.

– How to increase your emotional resilience.

– How to maintain supportive emotional connections in the age of “social distancing” 

– And more.

I hope these strategies help you reduce your anxiety about Coronavirus, and resource you to stay strong and resilient.

Wishing you love, happiness, success and health,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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How to Deal With Covid 19 Anxiety

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

"Hi, I'm Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. For over a decade, I've been helping people all over the world create Love, Happiness and Success in their lives through positive, compassionate and effective Marriage Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching. I'm so pleased to be able to help you, too. There is help for you here, and I'm glad you've found us.

This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to meet our experts, get free advice on our blog, listen to a podcast, or take our "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz. Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation -- and, most importantly -- your hopes for your future." -- Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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Hunter Tolman, M.S., MFT-C

“Hello, I’m Hunter Tolman and I’m excited to partner with you in your journey towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

My passion is helping people just like you reach their highest potential both individually, and in their most important relationships. 

Whether we work together in couples counseling, family therapy, individual therapy, or life coaching, my focus will be understanding your deepest desires for your marriage, your family, and yourself so that I can help you create your most gratifying life. Our work can help you heal, gain understanding and compassion for yourself and others, and live with intention.” 

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Amanda Shaeffer, M.S., MFT-C

“Hi, I’m Amanda. I can help you understand yourself more deeply so that you can become empowered to make positive changes in yourself, and your relationships.

I became a therapist, life coach and marriage counselor after a career as an educator, and I believe I still have the heart of a teacher. My approach emphasizes learning and practicing new skills, so that you're not just talking about change — you're living it.

I'm available to meet with you for therapy, marriage counseling and coaching in Denver, Broomfield, and also online."

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Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT

“Hi, I’m Brenda. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach with almost twenty years of experience in helping my clients strengthen themselves and their marriages.

I use positive and effective individual counseling, for both adults and teenagers, marriage counselingpremarital counselinglife coaching, and dating coaching. I am here to help you enjoy your relationships with your partner; recover from depression and anxiety be able to live a more fulfilling life and cultivate meaning, joy, and love in your life.” 

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Anastacia Sams, M.A., LPC, MFTC

“Hi, I’m Anastacia. I'm a Couples Counselor, Colorado-Licensed Therapist, and Life Coach with years of experience in helping people heal and grow. My approach is holistic, and helps you connect your mind, body and spirit. My compassionate, non-judgmental way of being will help you feel understood, and safe enough to talk about the most vulnerable things.

Whether you're struggling with hard feelings, coping with a breakup, or facing a big life transition, I can help you move confidently and authentically forward into a joyful and satisfying new future. I'm available to meet with you in our Denver Colorado office and our Denver Tech Center office,  as well as through online video."

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I use a blend of thoughtful, insightful counseling and strategic, solution-focused coaching to get you unstuck and moving forward again. I am licensed as a therapist in Illinois, and available to meet with you online."

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Silas Hendrich, M.S., MFTC

"I'm Silas, a therapist, life coach and couples counselor with Growing Self. I've had my therapy and coaching clients share that my down-to-earth style and sense of humor help them feel comfortable, and like they can talk about anything with me.

If we work together, I'll help you understand yourself more deeply so that you can heal, grow, and make positive changes. I'm available to meet with you for therapy in Broomfield, Colorado and for online life coaching.

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Georgi Chizk, M.S., MFTC

"Hey there! I'm Georgi. I specialize in marriage counseling, premarital counseling and therapy. I have a very warm, gentle approach that helps you feel safe, comfortable and understood. I can help you heal and growth through compassionate, evidence based therapy that helps you cultivate self-esteem and feel good about yourself.

I am available to meet with you for therapy or marriage counseling in Bentonville, Arkansas. If you are a resident of Arkansas, I'm able to meet with you for online therapy or online marriage counseling."

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Tomauro Veasley, M.A., MFTC

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I am available for online therapy if you live in Tennessee, but I work with people across the US and internationally as a life coach online."

How to Stop Your Anxiety, Right Now.

How to Stop Your Anxiety, Right Now.

Ahhh Anxiety. The sleepless nights. The pit in your stomach. The worries, ever swirling. Anxiety is the experience of being traumatized by bad things happening… before they actually happen. Not fun, and yet so common. Many of our Denver therapy clients and online anxiety therapy clients struggle with this same thing, before they use how to learn evidence-based anxiety management techniques to turn things around.

In efforts to help you manage the very real and understandable anxiety about Coronavirus that so many of us are experiencing, I’m re-posting this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. In it, I’m going to teach you how to stop mentally time traveling into DOOM, and restore your sense of inner peace through evidence-based therapy and mindfulness techniques.

First, I’ll help you understand what anxiety is, and the mind-body connection that keeps you trapped in it’s clutches. Then, I’ll be teaching you my four favorite techniques for stopping it. They’re all mindfulness based, and in my experience very effective. They work for my clients, and they work for me. I have every confidence that they’ll help you, too.

For much, much more on this subject, be sure to check out my online Happiness Class which is chock-full of even more practical cognitive, behavioral and mindfulness-based strategies to help you feel good again: Mind, body and soul.

 

How to Stop Anxiety: Listen Now

(Music Credits: “Anxiety Attack,” by Jeffrey Lewis.)

Key Points:

How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals

How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals

How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals

Achieving Ambitious Goals is a Journey…

At the time I write this, we’re about 30 days into the new year. Ah, February. In addition to being dark, cold, and relatively boring… you’re a heart breaker. Valentine’s Day aside, February often brings the bleak reality of what all those shiny New Year’s resolutions  and “new year new you” aspirations actually look like after a month or so of bashing up against reality.

If you’re feeling a little discouraged right now, I have two really important things to tell you: First of all, you’re not alone. Everyone (everyone!) who attempts ambitious goals encounters obstacles along the way. When you try and make big changes, you start off with high hopes, lots of motivation and energy, and then… drift off the path. Totally normal and expected.

Secondly, this “drift” experience is not just normal — it’s good. I know, I know. When you try something new and then don’t stick to “the plan” it feels like you’ve failed. But really: This is not the moment to slink away in defeat. THIS is the moment to double-down, and dig in.

Having things not work is a gift, one that offers you insight and crucial information… as long as you’re open to it. Making a change and then having the experience of whether or not it works is the reality-based information you require to learn, grow, and revise your approach. Having something not work out the first time is simply an invitation to go deeper, and figure out what achieving your most ambitious goals *actually* requires.

New idea: Having the experience of “failure” is what success actually feel like, in practice. (As long as you keep going!)

How to Achieve Ambitious Goals (Really)

The true path forward — the one that’s hard-won through trial, error, and lots of experimentation — is typically not at all like the path forward we imagined in our heads, before we began taking action.

If you started the new year with ambitious goals and aspirations that are already on life-support, or have been abandoned altogether: CONGRATULATIONS. Only now do you have the real-world information you need to reassess your situation, gain more clarity, and tweak your approach.

To help you figure out how to achieve your most important goals for real, I’ve invited master life coach Laurie Gerber of The Handel Groupto share her tips for how to use setbacks to understand yourself more deeply, and shine a spotlight on the mental, emotional and practical strategies that will help you achieve your most ambitious goals.

Listen and learn:

  • How creating multidimensional, holistic self-awareness can help you uncover blindspots that could otherwise become obstacles.
  • Why the obvious path to change is often not effective (and what often unseen things actually are)
  • How to get your thoughts, feelings and behavior into alignment
  • Different ways of thinking that will help you stay motivated over the long haul

 

I hope that this conversation helps YOU dig deeper, get into alignment, and get clarity about where to refocus your energy.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: We discussed a number of resources in this episode. One of them is our free Ten Year Plan exercise. If you haven’t done this yet, here’s the link to get the pdf or access to the online version.

 

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Marissa Anderson, “Resurrection”

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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How to Feel Happier Instantly

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Something Good Happened Today.

What was it? Was it a moment of solitude? Connecting with a friend? The feel of the wind on your face? The knowledge of a job well done? Your morning coffee? Holding a child’s hand? A sudden awareness of the fact that a part of your body works perfectly?

I bet that as you scroll back on the events of your day, were there many, many such small moments. Subtle, fleeting moments that are perfect, but easy to dismiss or overlook because they are nothing fancy or earth-shaking. In fact, they are so normal that you may not notice them at all.

Here’s some free advice from a life coach and therapist: One of the biggest mistakes that you can make (if you want to be a genuinely happy person, anyway) is to dismiss these ordinary moments as being of no consequence.

Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

One of the toxic mental habits that chronically unhappy or dissatisfied people often fall in to without even noticing that they are doing so is indulging an obsession with things that are wrong. As a result, the inevitable imperfections and problems of life seem to bloom and grow, becoming ever larger and overwhelming.

We know from research and studies on the most effective form of therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, that certain thinking styles are a one-way ticket to despair and depression. (In fact, there are about 10 types of most unhelpful thinking styles that ruin people’s moods and makes it hard for them to feel happy, confident, and strong). One of the most insidious usual suspects that many people engage in without even realizing is something called “negative filtering.” This means that they overemphasize negative, unfortunate, or problematic circumstances while discounting the positive.

While dissatisfaction and a strong desire to make a positive change are both good things when they are channeled into motivation, obsessing and feeling terribly about your problems is generally not productive. Why? It’s not solution-oriented. There is a huge difference between feeling badly about something, and making a concrete plan of action to change it. It’s the difference between flopping around in a disgusting mud puddle (“Agh! I’m in a mud puddle! This is horrible!”) and getting up to go find yourself a shower. (“I don’t want to do this anymore.”) While motivation for change leads to transformation, negative filtering will just keep you frustrated, heartsick, and stuck.

Feel Happier Today

I teach powerful antidotes to every single one of the most common toxic thinking styles in my online Happiness Class, but here’s one that you can use right now to help yourself pick yourself up and start feeling better if negative filtering has been dragging you down lately: Gratitude.

Practicing gratitude means that you intentionally and deliberately re-direct your attention away from what’s not working to what is working. If you intentionally notice your strengths and positive circumstances, and allow yourself to feel gratitude for everyday grace, your heart will begin to overflow with appreciation for your life. Furthermore, by focusing on your strengths you’ll feel much more empowered to make positive and constructive changes.

This one small mental shift towards gratitude and appreciation can change the emotional experience of your life. When genuine gratitude is present, you shift from helplessness to hope and feel energized by the blessings being showered upon you in each and every day.

Try it, and see what happens. Here’s a challenge: Practice gratitude for even just today and notice the difference it makes. Keep a “Gratitude Journal:” a mental or literal list of all the things about this day that you appreciate — both big and small — and see how it makes you feel. Every time you start to sink down into the muck of overwhelming problems, whip out your Gratitude Journal and write down your strengths, opportunities, and the good things that you have in your life.<

My bet is that you will feel more hopeful, and resilient, and better able to make real and lasting change in your life.

With love and respect,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
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