Categories
Emotions empowering patients stress management

Emotional Wellness

This is the Key Points handout from my Empowering Patients presentation on December 10th, 2020.

What is Emotional Wellness? 

A deep sense of meaning and purpose, an abiding sense of peace, the ability to manage the stress and transitions of life, awareness of your thoughts and feelings and the ability to manage them.

Why emotional health matters

  1. Emotions influence our behaviour, our relationships and our thinking.
  2. Anxiety holds us back from doing what we need to do, from moving forward, from reaching out, and from giving our best to the world.
  3. Depression is a major cause of disability and absenteeism from work or school.

Anxiety Disorders

When your anxiety has a significant impact on your function at work, school or home or in your social life.

  1. Generalized Anxiety: excessive worry about many things
  2. Panic Disorder: recurrent panic attacks (symptoms may include chest pain, a racing heart, sweats, shortness of breath and dizziness)
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: repetitive intrusive thoughts or recurrent compulsions to perform an act (e.g. checking, handwashing, rituals)
  4. Social Anxiety: excessive anxiety in specific social situations e.g. large groups, interviews, shopping
  5. Phobias: extreme specific fears e.g. spiders, heights, flying

Mood Disorders

The Symptoms of Depression: fatigue, change in sleep, change in appetite, impaired concentration, forgetfulness, thoughts of death or suicide, self-blame and guilt, feeling sad, hopelessness, lack of enjoyment or pleasure, loss of motivation.

Bipolar Disorder: episodes of depression and mania/hypomania (heightened mood and energy, overconfidence, decreased need for sleep, impaired judgment, decreased need for sleep, delusions of grandeur)

Psychotic Symptoms

 impaired reality testing, delusions (fixed false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), disorganized behaviour e.g. schizophrenia

KEY EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS

1. A Meditative Practice

to calm your mind, centre your thoughts and reflect.

Recommended Reading on Mindfulness: Joseph Goldstein, Thich Nhat-Hahn, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield. 

Podcasts/Websites: JackKornfield.com, TaraBrach.com

2. Cognitive Therapy

  • Reflect on the thoughts that trigger your emotions. Is there another way to look at the situation? 
  • Question the underlying beliefs behind unhealthy thinking.
  •  Identify your cognitive distortions: 

Emotional Reasoning: Inappropriately reasoning from how you feel e.g. “I feel something bad will happen; therefore, it will.”

Fortune Telling: Assuming that you really know how things will turn out e.g. “I’ll always feel this way.”

Mind-Reading: Believing you really know what another person is thinking e.g. ”I know why my friend didn’t call me back.” “I know they think I’m a loser.”

Overgeneralizing: Making broad assumptions based on the facts on hand e.g “No one cares about me.” “All men/women are the same.”

Polarizing: All or nothing, black or white, good or bad thinking e.g. “She used to be an angel; now she’s evil.” “Either you’re with me or against me.”

Shoulding: Inappropriate judgment e.g. “Everyone should always treat me nicely!” “I have to be perfect.”

Personalizing: Taking things too personally e.g. “He did that just to hurt me.”

Catastrophizing: Believing the worse things will happen e.g. “I’m going to fail and I’ll never be a success.” “This is the end of the world.”

Recommended Reading: Mind Over Mood by Padesky and Greenberger; Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman.

3. Visualizing Your Goals

  • Turn your problems into goals. 
  • Instead of replaying the past or ruminating on the negative, think about what you want. 
  • When you are most relaxed, visualize yourself having achieved your goal. 
  • How do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? Make it real!

4. MANAGING STRESS

Burnout: when the demands of work or life exceed our ability to manage them.

Seizing the Locus of Control

  • Identify your sources of stress.
  • Are you reacting in proportion to the stress?
  • Recognize what you can change or control.
  • Accept what you cannot change; assume responsibility for what you can.
  • Recognize your choices.

The 80/20 Rule: 20% of our reaction to a situation is related to the facts; 80% arises from what we bring from our past and how we conceptualize the present.

The Daily Management of Stress

Be a good parent to yourself:

  1. Go out and play. Have an exercise routine.
  2. Don’t skip meals. Schedule regular healthy meals.
  3. Go to bed. Get enough sleep and take regular breaks.
  4. Go to the doctor. See your own family doctor appropriately.

Express your emotions with those close to you with a group of confidantes. Form or join a support group.

Live in accord with your values.

Attend to Your Relationships

  1. Foster emotional intimacy. Agree on a habit of checking in with one another each day. How are you feeling? How was your day?
  2. Show your affection. Express your positive feelings. Remember the 5 languages of love and the human brain’s Negativity Bias: You need to see and say 5 positives for every negative.
  3. Schedule regular dates, family time and time with good friends. Commit your time to who matters most. Don’t wait ‘til there’s time; make time!
  4. Communicate in a healthy way. Take a breath and let anger cool before you react. Acknowledge the other’s feelings and point of view. Express how you feel without blame.

Right Speech: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind?

Where to Find Help

Canadian Mental Health Association 

cmha.bc.ca

Courses, resources, cognitive therapy and support.

Burnaby Mental Health 

fraserhealth.ca (604) 453-1900

Assessment, treatment, counselling and crisis intervention.

Cameray Child & Family Services

203 – 5623 Imperial Street, Burnaby (604) 436-9449 cameray.ca

Counselling for children and families.

AnxietyBC 

anxietybc.com

Education, cognitive therapy courses.

BounceBackbc.ca a free online skill-building program for adults and youth over 15 years of age

Mood Disorders Association of BC

mdabc.net

Support groups, cognitive therapy and wellness programs.

SAFER  (604) 675-3985

Education, support and counselling for those who have suicidal thoughts, have attempted suicide. 

Support for family members.

Burnabycoronavirus.com for COVID information, social supports and Doc Talks

The Four Foundations of Self-Care

  • What you eat (what you put into your body). 
  • What you do (physical activity and rest). 
  • How you feel (emotional wellbeing). 
  • How you connect (healthy relationships).

Please share this information with your family, friends and anyone else who may find it helpful.

Together we’ll create a healthier community and a healthier future.

Categories
Emotions empowering patients Happiness Letting Go Meditation mindfulness Preventive Health Self-care stress management Wisdom

An Introduction to Mindfulness

by Davidicus Wong, M.D.

This is a handout I share with my patients to introduce them to the practice of mindfulness and principles of cognitive behavioural therapy. I consider these to be two fundamental emotional wellness skills that every adult and child should learn.

Like any other skills we wish to master, practice – particularly daily practice – is essential. Through the power of the human brain’s capacity for neuroplasticity (to change itself), we learn new skills – including new ways of thinking and feeling – through repeated practice. In the words of the pioneering Canadian neuropsychologist, Donald Hebb, “Neurons that fire together wire together.”

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION helps us to centre our minds, increase our awareness and calm the nervous system that modulates how we experience pain and other sensations. The practice of mindfulness teaches us a less reactive approach to the rest of our lives. We become open to accept and experience every aspect of our lives, our selves and our sensations, without clinging, aversion or judgment.

We begin meditation by spending 15 or 20 minutes each day just sitting in a quiet place in a comfortable position. We turn our attention to the natural flow and sensations of the breath without trying to control it in any way. This becomes a safe and calming anchor that we can return to at any time.

We can then turn our attention to sounds as they arise in our immediate environment, just attending to the arising and disappearance of different sounds as they come and go from our awareness. We don’t have to label or identify each sound. We simply remain aware of them as they arise.

We can centre our awareness on different physical sensations in the body, perhaps the pressure at points of contact, warmth, coolness, vibrations, pulsations, tingling and even pain. We can move awareness to different areas of the body, and if a sensation such as pain in one part of the body is difficult to manage, we can shift our attention elsewhere, to the part of the body that is most comfortable or back to the anchor of the breath.

With practice, we are able to maintain awareness and attention to every sensation without reacting to it, without aversion, clinging, judgment or identification. With time, we recognize that everything within our awareness is ever changing; nothing is constant – no sensation (not even pain), no mood, no emotion and no thought.

We are able to attend to each thought as it arises without getting carried away in a train of thoughts or a story in the remembered past or imagined future. We can note thoughts as they arise, without judgment or identification and let them go. We can do the same with the transient feelings and emotions that arise without getting caught up and carried away with them. We experience moods, feelings and emotions but we are not our moods, feelings or emotions. We can see them as transient, temporary conditions like a mist, a fog or a shower. They pass through us or we pass through them.

We can be mindful when walking, attending to the sensations of each step, the sounds and pressures on the feet and the movement of the legs. This becomes a mindful anchor from which what we hear, see, feel and think arises in our open and accepting awareness. 

Mindfulness can be practiced while eating, attending to the taste and texture of each bite of food; swimming, attending to the sensations of buoyancy, flowing water on the surface of the skin and rich sounds of moving water and air; and even driving. Mindfulness only begins with meditation. When you apply the healthy attitudes of non-reactive acceptance, gratitude and compassion to everything in your life throughout each day, you will discover a deeper level of peace, happiness and meaning. 

Mindfulness when diligently practiced can bring serenity to your mind and body throughout each day – an open, accepting and nonreactive approach to your life. It can foster in you greater compassion for others and yourself.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY trains us to uncover our underlying beliefs and assumptions, choose our conscious thoughts, reframe our situation and shape our emotions. We can discover that we can improve our moods, thoughts and function in life through healthy self-care – eating regular healthy meals, ensuring adequate rest, daily appropriate physical activity and spending quality time with supportive friends and those loved ones who naturally lift our spirits. Mindfulness meditation can help us identify unskillful thoughts (those that increase suffering) and help us choose skillful ones.

MORE RESOURCES (I’ve put my favourites in bold)

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom (Joseph Goldstein)

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening (Joseph Goldstein)

Radical Acceptance (Tara Brach)

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Tara Brach)

JackKornfield.com, TaraBrach.com Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s videos, guided meditations and lectures are available for free on these websites. By listening to these teachers, you will quickly see how the attitude of mindfulness can be applied to your everyday life.

Local mindfulness retreats: Westcoast Dharma Society http://www.westcoastdharma.org

MicrodosingMindfulness.com will show you how to fit in routine mindfulness breaks in just a few minutes a day

THE PRACTICAL SCIENCE OF NEUROPLASTICITY

Hardwiring Happiness (Rick Hanson)

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom (Rick Hanson)

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment(Martin E. P. Seligman)

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (David D. Burns)

Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think (Dennis Greenberger, Christine Padesky)

Anxietybc.ca has many useful resource including the Mindshift app for smart phones

Checkingin is a free mindfulness app for your smart phones

DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (a synthesis of mindfulness and cognitive therapy)

            The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for AnxietyBreaking Free From Worry, Panic, PTSD, & Other Anxiety Symptoms (Alexander L. Chapman)

For an effective technique for establishing healthy new habits, check out TINYHABITS.COM

Categories
empowering patients Happiness stress management

Understanding and Embracing Emotional Health – Challenging Common Mental Health Myths

Understanding and Embracing Emotional Health – Challenging Common Mental Health Myths

Davidicus Wong, December 6th, 2020

It’s been called the parallel pandemic. The social isolation, uncertainties and financial impact of COVID-19 has stressed us all, but those most vulnerable – including the elderly, the homeless and those struggling with addictions – have been hit hardest.  

Most people don’t realize that up to 30% of the daily work of a family physician involves emotional health – helping patients manage difficult emotions, relationship challenges, anxiety and stress. 

But I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg because many people are reluctant to bring up emotional issues and may never seek support. 

There remains a stigma attached to emotional or mental health challenges. In recent years, pubic health agencies have tried to remove the stigma by getting people to talk about it. 

But for many, just raising the awareness that you can and should talk about it to those who can help hasn’t erased the prejudice, embarrassment and myths associated with emotional health.

An unfortunate legacy of the 17th century philosopher, Rene Descartes is mind-body dualism, the incorrect separation of mind and body as completely distinct and independent. 

The reality is that there is no such separation. The brain is obviously an inseparable part of the body. In fact, you can recognize many emotions by how you experience them physically. 

When we are anxious or stressed, we breathe more rapidly, our hearts beat faster, our muscles tense, our stomachs turn and we sweat. 

When angered, not only do our thoughts race, but so do our heart and breathing rates. We feel a surge of agitated energy throughout the body. 

When depressed, we slow down physically as well as mentally, sleep is disturbed, energy dips and we may gain or lose weight from changes in appetite.

Our thoughts and emotions affect other “non-mental” aspects of our health and can contribute to high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, an overactive bladder, stomach ulcers, heartburn, chronic pain and fatigue. 

Compounding the false belief of mind-body separation are myths about emotional health. Because some conditions require medication, some incorrectly conclude that emotional problems are strictly chemical (i.e. neurotransmitter) imbalances. Others incorrectly assume that all emotional health problems are genetic. 

Another common misunderstanding among friends and family members of those suffering from severe clinical depression is that it is just the same as when we feel sad with a loss or other negative event. Depression can be so profound that it affects an individual’s outlook and ability to think clearly and solve problems. Those who have never experienced clinical depression may not understand why their loved one just can’t get over it or snap out of it. 

Your emotional wellbeing is an important aspect of your overall health. There is much we can do individually and collectively to support the wellbeing of everyone in our community. When your mood, stress or anxiety are affecting your function and enjoyment of life, don’t hesitate to seek help. 

Every community has organized supports for those struggling socially and emotionally. In Burnaby, we’re all working together through the Primary Care Network. Check the resources that are available at https://www.burnabycoronavirus.com/social-supports

On Thursday, December 10th, I’ll be giving a free online talk on behalf of the Burnaby Division of Family Practice’s Empowering Patients program. The topic: Emotional Wellness. I’ll be sharing key emotional health skills that we all need to manage the effects of this pandemic and community resources for help. For more information: https://divisionsbc.ca/burnaby/for-patients/empowering-patients

Categories
COVID 19 Emotions empowering patients Self-care stress management

From Surviving to Thriving During the Pandemic: Managing Our Emotions and Stress

I recently gave a community webinar through Burnaby’s Primary Care Network.

I provided some practical strategies for managing the increased stress and difficult emotions we are all experiencing with all the changes of the Pandemic.

I also provided links to resources for the many of us who need more support.

Please share this information with anyone you know who may benefit.

Categories
COVID 19 Emotions Self-care stress management

Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis: You are not alone

DSC04772We live in an extraordinary time with nearly everyone on this planet profoundly affected by the pandemic.

During the COVID-19 crisis, communities around the world are collectively coping with a range of negative emotions: anxiety, panic, boredom, anger, depression and grief.

It reminds me of the Great Depression. My dad was born in 1930 – the first year of an economic disaster that shaped the mood of the world for a decade.

He is weathering the pandemic in his usual resilient way. His generation and the world survived the second world war, many economic downturns and the unpredictable unfolding of history.

He pays attention to the news and is taking the recommended precautions, but he has kept busy looking after himself, staying in touch with friends and family by phone and occupying himself with activities at home.

If you’re feeling stuck at home, try saying, “I’m safe at home”, “I get to stay at home” or “I get to stay at home, safe with my family.” Those who have jobs considered essential services, leave their families each morning and look forward to rejoining them for dinner.

None of us is alone. You are not alone if you need to work outside your home, if you can work from home or if you are out of work because of the pandemic.

You are not alone if you are self-isolating after a return from travel or because you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Many others have shared or are sharing the challenges of your experience.

You are not alone if you are worried about money because your place of work has closed, you’ve lost your job or business is painfully slow.

One of the keys to managing the stress of difficult circumstances is to recognize where you do have a sense of control. As individuals, we can feel helpless in a pandemic, but there are many things that are still within your control.

By staying home as much as possible, keeping a safe distance from others and practicing good hand hygiene, we can protect ourselves, the people around us and collectively the health of everyone in our community.

We also have control of how we occupy our bodies with activity and our minds with helpful thoughts. We all feel compelled to follow the news, but if we left the TV on all day, we will soon be overwhelmed with bad news.

Take your daily news in small doses – maybe just an hour, when Dr. Bonnie Henry and our Minister of Health, Adrian Dix provide their daily updates.

If you’re at work, recognize that what you are doing is essential for our community and that you are making a difference.

If you are at home, recognize that you are doing your part in reducing the spread of infections in your community. Create meaningful structure to your day. Get up at the same time each morning, shower, change and make your bed. Plan healthy meals and find ways to get the exercise your body needs. Carefully choose the entertainment and information you are exposing to your mind. The goal is to inform and uplift.

Reach out online or by phone to your friends and family. Check up on those you know who need to hear your voice or could use your help.

Those of us in healthcare are committed to caring for our patients and our community. Our hospital healthcare teams have been actively preparing to provide the care that is needed.

We have your back, and we will be here whenever you need us.

Family physicians are still in their clinics each day, looking after our patients by phone or video and when required, seeing patients in person when necessary.

If you have symptoms that may be due to COVID-19, use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool at bc.thrive.health. By completing it, you will be guided to the most appropriate care. If you are a Burnaby resident or a patient of a Burnaby family physician, use the burnabycoronavirus.com tool.

We are in this together. You are not alone.

Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician. He was the founding chair and lead physician of the Burnaby Division of Family Practice and continues to serve on the board. His Healthwise Column appears regularly in this paper. For more on achieving your positive potential in life, read his blog at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.

Categories
COVID 19 Emotions Happiness Self-care stress management

An Introduction to Mindfulness (and CBT)

Dr. Davidicus Wong

IMG_3680

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION helps us to centre our minds, increase our awareness and calm the nervous system that modulates how we experience pain and other sensations. The practice of mindfulness teaches us a less reactive approach to the rest of our lives. We become open to accept and experience every aspect of our lives, our selves and our sensations, without clinging, aversion or judgment.

We begin meditation by spending 15 or 20 minutes each day just sitting in a quiet place in a comfortable position. We turn our attention to the natural flow and sensations of the breath without trying to control it in any way. This becomes a safe and calming anchor that we can return to at any time.

We can then turn our attention to sounds as they arise in our immediate environment, just attending to the arising and disappearance of different sounds as they come and go from our awareness. We don’t have to label or identify each sound. We simply remain aware of them as they arise.

We can centre our awareness on different physical sensations in the body, perhaps the pressure at points of contact, warmth, coolness, vibrations, pulsations, tingling and even pain. We can move awareness to different areas of the body, and if a sensation such as pain in one part of the body is difficult to manage, we can shift our attention elsewhere, to the part of the body that is most comfortable or back to the anchor of the breath.

With practice, we are able to maintain awareness and attention to every sensation without reacting to it, without aversion, clinging, judgment or identification. With time, we recognize that everything within our awareness is ever changing; nothing is constant – no sensation (not even pain), no mood, no emotion and no thought.

We are able to attend to each thought as it arises without getting carried away in a train of thoughts or a story in the remembered past or imagined future. We can note thoughts as they arise, without judgment or identification and let them go. We can do the same with the transient feelings and emotions that arise without getting caught up and carried away with them. We experience moods, feelings and emotions but we are not our moods, feelings or emotions. We can see them as transient, temporary conditions like a mist, a fog or a shower. They pass through us or we pass through them.

We can be mindful when walking, attending to the sensations of each step, the sounds and pressures on the feet and the movement of the legs. This becomes a mindful anchor from which what we hear, see, feel and think arises in our open and accepting awareness.

Mindfulness can be practiced while eating, attending to the taste and texture of each bite of food; swimming, attending to the sensations of buoyancy, flowing water on the surface of the skin and rich sounds of moving water and air; and even driving. Mindfulness only begins with meditation. When you apply the healthy attitudes of non-reactive acceptance, gratitude and compassion to everything in your life throughout each day, you will discover a deeper level of peace, happiness and meaning.

Mindfulness when diligently practiced can bring serenity to your mind and body throughout each day – an open, accepting and nonreactive approach to your life. It can foster in you greater compassion for others and yourself.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY trains us to uncover our underlying beliefs and assumptions, choose our conscious thoughts, reframe our situation and shape our emotions. We can discover that we can improve our moods, thoughts and function in life through healthy self-care – eating regular healthy meals, ensuring adequate rest, daily appropriate physical activity and spending quality time with supportive friends and those loved ones who naturally lift our spirits. Mindfulness meditation can help us identify unskillful thoughts (those that increase suffering) and help us choose skillful ones.

MORE RESOURCES

Mindfulness Meditation

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom (Joseph Goldstein)

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening (Joseph Goldstein)

Radical Acceptance (Tara Brach)

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Tara Brach)

JackKornfield.com, TaraBrach.com Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s videos, guided meditations and lectures are available for free on these websites. By listening to these teachers, you will quickly see how the attitude of mindfulness can be applied to your everyday life.

Local mindfulness retreats: Westcoast Dharma Society http://www.westcoastdharma.org

The Practical Science of Neuroplasticity

Hardwiring Happiness (Rick Hanson)

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom (Rick Hanson)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment(Martin E. P. Seligman)

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (David D. Burns)

Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think (Dennis Greenberger, Christine Padesky)

Anxietybc.ca

Mindshift app for smart phones

Checkingin.co

Checkingin is a free self-awareness app for smart phones

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (a synthesis of mindfulness and cognitive therapy)

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anxiety: Breaking Free From Worry, Panic, PTSD, & Other Anxiety Symptoms (Alexander L. Chapman)

Categories
COVID 19 Self-care stress management

Online Resources for Coping with COVID Pandemic Stress and Anxiety (Loraine Araujo, M.Ed., RCC)

Starling Minds 

https://covid19.starlingminds.com/registration/covid19

A free confidential online program to help manage the uncertainty, stress, and anxiety triggered by COVID-19 pandemic. Starling’s program can help you:

  • Understand and manage your mood and negative thoughts
  • Set goals to keep your life on track
  • Maintain healthy boundaries for accessing COVID-19 news
  • Access a supportive, confidential online community for ongoing peer support

Anxiety Canada

https://www.anxietycanada.com/covid-19/

Information and proven coping strategies for managing anxiety related to COVID-19, and in general. It has links to other helpful resources.

 

Parenting

Coronavirus ZERO TO THREE

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210-tips-for-families-coronavirus

Tips for families including age-appropriate responses to common questions, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing.

 

Self-Compassion

https://self-compassion.org/

Research-based resources and guided practices to help increase self-compassion, the capacity to be kind to yourself during difficult times.

 

HAPPIFY

https://www.happify.com/ (also available as an app)

Content developed by a panel of scientists and experts, focused on emotional well-being. It covers topics such as gratitude, resiliency and self-care, and it includes activities and games based on positive psychology, CBT and mindfulness.

 

Insight Timer app

Meditation app to help you relax and develop a mindfulness practice. The app features guided meditations, music and talks posted by contributing experts.

 

Just One Thing Newsletter

https://www.rickhanson.net/writings/just-one-thing/

“Just One Thing” is a free e-newsletter, by Rick Hanson, PhD, that suggests a simple practice each week to help bring you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind and heart. These practices are grounded in brain science, positive psychology, and contemplative training.

 

Need to talk to someone? Find out where to call if you are distressed or worried about someone else.

What is a mental health crisis?

  • Intense anxiety or depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Threatening violence
  • Distorted thinking
  • Self-harming

Emergency mental health services

Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you love requires immediate medical attention for injuries/overdose or the person is at risk of seriously harming themselves or others.

For adults

Fraser Health Crisis Line

604-951-8855 or toll-free 1-877-820-7444

Trained volunteers provide toll-free telephone support and crisis intervention counselling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call for information on local services or if you just need someone to talk to.

Learn more about the Fraser Health Crisis Line.

Culturally sensitive crisis line for Aboriginal peoples

1-800-KUU-US17 (588-8717)

KUU-US Crisis Response Services provides culturally sensitive support and counselling to Aboriginal peoples 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Learn more about Kuu-us Crisis Response Services Line.

Alcohol and drug information and referral service

604-660-9382 or toll-free 1-800-663-1441

Available to anyone needing help with any kind of substance use issues, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Provides information and referral to education, prevention and treatment services, and regulatory agencies.

For children and teens

Kids Help Phone

1-800-668-6868

Toll-free, confidential and anonymous telephone and online counselling and referral service for young people up to age 20, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more about Kids Help Phone.

Kids Help Phone Online Chat

Wednesday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. in B.C. to connect you with a Kids Help Phone counsellor, on the web or from a smartphone.

Learn more about Kids Help Phone Online Chat.

START Team

1-844-START11 (1-844-782-7811)

Fraser Health’s START program provides assessment and intervention services to children and teens (ages 6 – 18) experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Weekends and holidays: Noon to 9 p.m.

Alcohol and drug information and referral service

604-660-9382 or toll-free 1-800-663-1441

Available to anyone needing help with any kind of substance use issues, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Provides information and referral to education, prevention and treatment services, and regulatory agencies.

 

 

Categories
COVID 19 Self-care stress management

19 COPING Tips for managing the stress of COVID-19 (Courtesy of Loraine Araujo, M.Ed., RCC)

Loraine Araujo, M.Ed., RCC

Here are some things you can do and keep in mind to help you cope during these challenging times, and some ideas for how you can use your time in a positive way.   

  1. First, know that it is okay to be scared, stressed or overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress and anxiety are normal responses to major change, threat and uncertainty. Allow yourself to have your feelings, but make sure to take some actions to help reduce the stress.
  2. Don’t start your day with COVID-19 news. It can wait.
  3. If you’re staying home, create a structure to your days. Decide on what you will do and when.
  4. Schedule time to read/watch the news from reliable sources. Perhaps not more than 1 hour in your entire day. You need to be informed, but it’s not helpful to be overexposed to the news.
  5. If it’s not something you’re used to doing, this may be a good time to start practicing it. Meditation is a helpful way to stay present and grounded during times of stress and anxiety.
  6. Prepare healthy meals (try to avoid watching the news while you eat).
  7. Do something that helps you feel in control, like taking actions to boost your immune system (good sleep, healthy eating, exercise, avoiding smoking and drinking) or doing something to help others, like grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor.
  8. Connect with old friends via phone or video-calling. Check in on them, and catch up about each other’s lives before the COVID-19 outbreak.
  9. If you live with your family and are isolating together, this is a chance to connect and have fun.
  10. If you’re separated from your family, try to stay in touch via phone or video-calling regularly. Telling people you love what you appreciate about them can help you feel closer, even when you’re physically apart.
  11. Stay physically active. Go for a walk in a non-crowded place if you can. Being out in nature is a great outlet for stress.
  12. Learn something new or pick up an old hobby again. If you’re home a lot, it’s an opportunity to learn and create.
  13. Read a book. Check out free digital libraries.
  14. Listen to music or take a virtual tour of National Parks, Museums, etc. Even brief moments of distraction from COVID-19 worries can help.
  15. Allow yourself to have fun. Humour and joy are good for mental health.
  16. Kindness towards others, Self-compassion (kindness towards yourself) and Gratitude have been shown to promote well-being. It’s always a good time to practice all three.
  17. Look for the Good: the heart-warming gestures, the uplifting stories.
  18. Don’t finish your day with COVID-19 News. Practice sleep hygiene and choose something that is soothing (that works for you) before bedtime. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. It helps reduce stress and strengthens your immune system.
  19. Hang in there! This too shall pass.

 

*If coping strategies are not working, or if you’re struggling with even bigger issues (i.e. job loss, prior mental health challenges), call The Edmonds UPCC to talk to a Clinical Counsellor.

Edmonds Urgent & Primary Care Centre: (604) 519-3787

Categories
COVID 19 Self-care stress management

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What is Mindfulness

Categories
Self-care stress management

Anxiety Coping Skills

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