Living in Uncertain Times

Posted Mar 16, 2020


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Hello everyone. I'm Carol Phillips representing Beacon Health Options. I hope everyone is having a great day. Welcome to this webinar on Living in Uncertain Times. Unfortunately, we are living in very uncertain times right now with all that is happening with the coronavirus, but I trust the information in this webinar is going to help reduce your stress and help you make a plan for dealing with this situation and many other challenging situations in life.

I do want to invite you to participate in the conversation today by clicking on the blue chat bubble. Over on the chat section, if you see where it says 'To', there's a drop-down menu. For me to be able to see your comments today, please click on Carol Phillips. So feel free to chime in with some comments. Click the blue round chat bubble and then go over and make sure that 'To' says Carol Phillips. Then you can participate in the conversation today.

Okay, so let's think about this quote for a minute. "The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers." We tend to think about unexpected changes in the unknown as something to fear. It's very common for people to fear the unknown.

However, these happenings can also force us to not only grow and adapt to changing conditions, but also recognize new opportunities that can result from these changes. But right now people are in this mode of being very fearful of the unknown. We're all working together to figure out what's going on, what our coping mechanisms are, and how we can definitely reduce our stress, which is really important right now. So many what-ifs.

Here's a list of grave and unexpected events that have gained national and international coverage, and they've affected us to different degrees. Even if we didn't know somebody directly involved, they definitely have caused us stress.

Here's the thing, is they reached the primal parts of our brains that forced us to think of our safety and what we would do in these situations. So it's very common for us to say, "Well, what if that was me? How would I handle it? How would I deal with the stress?" They can negatively affect our happiness and definitely our sense of calm and normalcy. That's something that has just been really uprooted right now with everything that's going on, is our feeling of calm and normalcy is very, very disrupted right now.

And so, remembering that we're all different and that one person may respond to the same situation very differently than someone else. So, for example, one person may go right into helper mode and make a donation or help with the after-effects. Well, someone else may become just terrified and have nightmares and feel utterly helpless. Another person might feel totally disconnected to the situation.

So you have people who are just reacting to the same situation very differently, and that can cause problems with people communicating and coping with the situation. We also know that these events can cause chronic stress on a very large scale. That's definitely not good for our health.

So what I'd like to do is invite you to click on the chat bubble and join in on ... Okay. So somebody's having a hard time hearing me. Can people hear me right now? Can you click on that chat bubble and let me know if you can hear me. Oh, good. People are saying yes. Thank you so much.

So what are some national or global events that are etched in your brains? If somebody said to you, "Oh, what was a news story that really affected you?" Or anything societal that leaves you feeling very stressed and off-balance besides the current event. So some people are saying 9/11. Some people are mentioning a local event that really affected the community, threats of war. Yeah, Waco, mass shootings, Sandy Hook shooting. Yes, thank you so much for sharing.

So our brain has that ability to go in survival mode. Some of these events more than others really resonate with putting us in that primal fight or flight fear. But we need to figure out how we can cope best with these situations. So thank you so much for sharing that. Somebody wrote, "Witnessed the Challenger explosion." Yeah, absolutely. These are things that stay with us and affect us very, very profoundly.

So why are these things so challenging for us? A lot of things in life, if we learn the why, then we can better deal with different things when it comes to health and wellness. Our brains typically want to plan ahead and know what's happening, but there are things that happen that take that control away from us, and we don't like feeling out of control. Unfortunately, we do live in a world where terrible things can happen and we're left feeling fearful for our own safety and the safety of our family, friends, coworkers, et cetera.

The impact of uncertainty on our stress level has definitely been validated by a study by the University College London. It found that people who are certain they're going to receive a small electric shock, that's what we've done in this study, experience far less than those who know there's a chance they may get shocked and chance that they won't. So when they know something's about to happen that we don't like, we can brace for it. Certain situations can be very overwhelming. For most, people they prefer to know what's going to happen so that they can prepare for it.
So let's take a moment to have you think about how you typically respond to uncertainty. Feel free to chime in. Click on that chat bubble and mention a couple of things, one or two things, that make these situations challenging for you.

So some people are writing sleep. Of course, it affects your sleep, absolutely. A sense of being off-balance. Some people are saying anxiety. Definitely. Not having the answers to certain things. Some people, they just don't like feeling like they're hanging, like not knowing what's going on, lonely, not having control, less productive at work, depression. Some people are saying they tend to not dwell on it. So that's a good thing. Thank you. Thank you for sharing those. Yeah, tired. It does. It makes us feel more fatigued, absolutely.

So simply identifying our biggest struggles is the first step in building some valuable coping mechanisms to help us get to a better place, because despite what's going on, we need to figure out how to best take care of ourselves and the people that we love.

Also, I wanted to mention, if you're not familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, that's something you might want to check out. Maslow theorized that people need to have their basic needs met, like food, shelter, et cetera, and they need to feel safe before they can fully evolve to the point where they're reaching their full potential in life of being productive and helping others and being creative, et cetera.
So Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory based on what motivates people. It's also a good way to see why we struggle to live a normal and productive life when we don't feel safe and our basic needs are being met and. Those are the two biggest concerns with people right now, is they want to feel safe and they want to know that their basic needs are going to be met.

So it can help people understand some of the things that are happening in our current situation. So check it out if you'd like, if you're not already familiar with it. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's M-A-S-L-O-W.

So now let's transition from the problem to finding solutions that can resonate with you. As we go on, what I'd like you to do is take some quick notes on how you can counter the challenges that you are feeling that you're dealing with right now.
So as we go through the presentation, if we touch upon something where you think, "Oh, that could really help me right now," well, just jot it down. I always say that people are better off taking two or three, what I call, golden nuggets from a presentation than writing down a ton of notes and then never looking at them again. So let's go into finding some solutions.

One way to deal with this uncertainty that we can't control is sometimes we find ourselves wishing that life was perfect and that negative things didn't happen. Although that would be nice, it's not realistic and automatically sets up to continually stress, because our brains know there's a disconnect between what we're hoping for and reality. Our brains don't always like that because our brains like to be prepared.

So if we can just even stop and say, "Okay. You know what? Life isn't perfect. There are things that go on that we need to deal with. I need to just face that and figure out how I'm going to best handle this situation." Then you're automatically going to feel in control more.

So take some time to practice that. We can't control everything that happens, but we will deal with each situation to the best of our ability as each one comes along. So simply just that mental shift of your mindset can bring an amazing sense of calm to every situation that you're dealing with.
Then also do you tend to focus on the positive or the negative? Our thoughts drive our behaviors and our thoughts are very, very powerful. Do you tend to be a negative or a positive thinker? So sometimes in those moments, if you find yourself getting really, really stressed because you're thinking very negatively, you get to say, "Okay. Wait a minute, stop. I need to stop. I need to stop and think about what are the positive things going on right now?" Shifting your thinking can be very powerful.

Also, do you watch the news too much? Do you start conversations or participate in conversations that you know are going to just increase your stress?

What are some of the things that you're doing right now? I'm going to invite you again. Click on the blue round chat bubble. Then over where it says 'To:', and then there's a drop-down menu, make sure that it says Carol Phillips so that I can see your comment. Do not use the Q&A. We're not using the Q&A, so please don't click on the Q&A feature for this presentation.

So some people say praying. People watching too much news. They need to change that. Getting away from social media, getting away ... Just avoiding negative people. Reading and listening to music, I love this. Yes, I love them. Thank you so much. So much information coming in, it's great. Meditation. That can be huge. It really tells your mind to just slow down and get back to yourself. Taking walks, exercise. Terrific.
Somebody wrote live streaming church services. Now that a lot of people are working from home, et cetera, you can still stay connected to other people and other things that you enjoy via the internet. So that's one terrific thing about the internet. Great.

So, remember, there's an advantage to the internet. However, when it comes to technology, we know that there's negatives. One of the negatives is that our brains are not meant to be connected to every terrible thing happening on the planet every minute. Remember that we do need to step back and live our lives and try to enjoy life despite what's going on and not be so connected to it all the time.
Then put things into perspective. Remember, there's many more good things that happen in life than bad things. So if we're always looking for the good, that's going to keep us less stressed and moving in a positive direction.

I'm sure some of you have heard the story of Mr. Rogers when he was young. He was stressed about learning about the fact that there are terrible things that happen in life. He asked his mom about it, "How do you cope with situations like this?" and she said to him ... Yes, somebody's already typing it in. Thank you so much. "Look for the helpers. You look for the helpers. Every time there's a terrible situation, there will be people who just automatically step up to help other people." So if you can look for the helpers, you're automatically going into a positive mode. When we are helping, it helps us to not be thinking about our own situation. It just gives us a better feeling. So that can really help, too.

Another thing is where one door closes, another one opens. If you're kind of, "Okay. Wait a minute. There's a negative thing, but where can I find a positive one right now? My brain needs to focus on something positive."

Also, keep in mind that your behavior influences the people around you, and vice-versa. So surround yourself with positive people and teach your children, so your own actions, how to control the stress and focus on the positive despite what's going on, because right now children also need to see that. They need to see us handling situations well, trying to focus on the positive, and keeping our stress down.

We mentioned dealing with things that you can't control, but also recognize the things that you can control. For example, if your work was going through some changes, instead of stressing and thinking about the negative aspects where you might have no say, you can think about what are the positives that might come along that you're not seeing yet?

In that same situation, right now, what are the areas that you can control? "What can I do in this situation? How can I feel more in control?" Because that's part of the problem. It's not just what's going on around us with the coronavirus, it's when we're not feeling like we have ... We suddenly have no control. We need to stop and think about what are the things that we can control.

Yeah, so people are saying to continue to work out a schedule, look for the good in life, take a step back, plan for the future. This really is a good time for people to be able to take a step back, because now that people are home for more time than they usually are, it does give opportunities for positive things to happen that usually our lives are too busy to do. There's nothing wrong with stopping and enjoying that. Then people are saying rest, exercise, not dwelling on things. All those things are really important.

Also, reach out to others. We're social beings. Reach out to positive, supportive people who you know who will help you get to a better place if you're struggling. I read something the other day that talked about we shouldn't call it social distancing. We should call it physical distancing because we do need to stay connected socially even if it might need to be by cellphone, by internet, by Skype, et cetera, FaceTime. You definitely want to stay connected to other people.

Then one of the other things you can do is simply find things to laugh at. Just say, "You know what? I am going to unplug right now. I'm going to stay away from the TV. I'm just going to go and do something fun with my family, find things to laugh about, and just really take a break."

Some other ideas, getting outside, getting some fresh air. Again, feel free to keep chiming in with those great thoughts. Getting outside, yeah, absolutely. We can get outside and still keep our distance from other people. Stop and smile at people. That was another comment. That's terrific.

Also, spend some time building deeper and more positive relationships with people now that we are having more home time. Or if you're working from home, it's an opportunity to reach out to your coworkers. "Hey, how are you doing? Is there anything I can do for you from afar? How are you coping?" Great opportunities for us to stay better connected, that in a healthy work culture provides a wonderful support system. So the more you know your coworkers, the more friends that you have that can support you.

Yeah, somebody said call someone you haven't had time to call before. That's great. Yeah, who can you reconnect with that you haven't spoken to in a while? Elderly neighbors that might be alone. It feels good to help other people. Thank you for all of the contributions you're making by chat. That's terrific.

So what are some small changes you can make to manage your anxiety during this time? Self-care is critical and provides countless benefits. For example, keep in mind that every time you exercise and get your heart rate up and keep it up for any length of time, your brain will release those feel good hormones that we all desperately need right now, that'll help take you to a better place mentally.

So not to mention all of the physical benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, burning unhealthy fat, et cetera, it will release those feel good hormones. If you're feeling down, just know, "Hey, you know what? Maybe if I just go for a really brisk walk right now, I know I'm going to feel better when I get back."

Also, look at other areas such as nutrition. Forget the fad diets and depriving yourself. We are meant to eat. Obviously make healthy choices most of the time. That's really going to help us in that situation now, because when we're feeding our body and fueling our bodies and giving them what they need, then physically we can relax more. Then we're not dealing with physical stress on top of the mental stress.

Also, quality sleep. Quality sleep is critical for good health and reduced stress. Right now sleep is a really important component of good health and wellness for people, although people might not be sleeping as well because of the things that they're stressed about.

So one of the tips that I give people is make sure in the evening you have downtime where you're unplugged, where your brain can process the day before you go to bed, because our brains do not want to process our day while we're sleeping. Our brain wants to process our day during the day and in the evening so we can sleep better. Right now a lot of us have a lot of stress during the day. So take some time for yourself in the evening to just unwind.

What are some of the little things that you're doing right now? The simple things are the big things. What are you doing right now? Feel free to click on the chat bubble and chime in with what's helping you get through right now.

Also, staying in the moment. Somebody wrote, "Taking my puppy outside to play." Okay, I want to take your puppy outside to play, too. Let's see. Drinking tea before going to bed, exercising and playing with my ... Talking to my friends, doing a puzzle, anything that can get your brain off of what's going on. Mindfulness, spending time with my family. Quilting. I love that.

Also, try to stay in the moment. Sometimes the reason we stress so much is because, besides dealing with whatever we're doing right now, we worry about the past and what we didn't do that we should have done differently, and we're worried about the future, the endless future. And so, not staying in the moment can create a lot of stress.

So if you have your day planned, then just remind yourself, "Okay. Now I just need to be in the moment and look for those areas where I can enjoy life despite what's going on." So trying to stay in the moment can really make a difference.

So what other areas of health and wellness are you focusing on right now? So they're all tied together, remember. They're all interconnected. They all affect each other. For example, if you focus on your exercise, well, you're going to be more likely to eat healthier. It's going to be likely to reduce your stress. It's going to be likely to reduce your blood pressure. It's going to improve your social connections.
Remember, just make little changes in each area. The simple things are the big things, and right now each little thing that you do for yourself is really important and it is much bigger than we usually give ourselves credit for.

Somebody wrote playing the piano. That's great. Music is so wonderful for our brains. One of the things that I do is, for example, when I get in my car, I used to just automatically turn on the music. Now when I get in my car, I say to myself, "All right. How am I feeling right now? Do I want the music on? Do I want it quiet?" So check in with yourself, say, "Okay. Wait a minute. How am I feeling right now? What do I need right now?"
Parenting is a big topic right now with a lot of the children being home from school, parents working from home, having a lot more time with their children than they would on their normal schedule. So how does your particular parenting style affect what you're teaching your children during this time in our society? Are your words and behaviors teaching them to fear the world around them or are you helping to put life into perspective for them? Are you avoiding difficult conversations or do you make time to discuss what they might be struggling to understand?

Also, with kids, it's great to ask them open-ended questions instead of yes-no. So, "Hey, tell me what's on your mind. Is there anything that's concerning you about getting your school work done at home or what's going on in the news, et cetera?" Make time each day to give them all of your attention and find out what's going on with them.
So this situation we're dealing with with the coronavirus is a great opportunity to start conversations with your children so that they can learn that these situations are rare and they're very unlikely to be a victim of whatever is going on with potentially other people. It's a good time to teach them some coping skills.

So what are you doing right now to help your children through this situation? Somebody wrote having family meetings. Oh, all the senior things that the seniors are missing this year, prom, et cetera. People might think, oh, in the overall scheme of things, what's going on, that's not a big deal. But you know what? To them, it is a big deal because some of these are once in a lifetime things for them. Having heart-to-heart discussions on what they fear, focusing on what they can control. Thank you. Great comments. Yeah, absolutely. Feel free to keep those comments coming. It's great.

And helping kids to feel empowered, because they want that sense of control too, while also teaching them to be empathetic of other people. Then beware of making small talk with them about traumatic events in the news. They likely don't know we have the brain development yet to deal with some of these situation, and it can cause them undue stress. So remember to keep the conversations at the appropriate level for their brain development. If you have any questions on that, you can definitely ask your pediatrician what's appropriate to discuss with them and what's not.

A lot of times, with kids, if you ask them a bunch of open-ended questions, their answers will give you a really good insight into what they're ready for and what they're not ready for. Then you can help them so that they're not so fearful. Also, be aware of conversations with your spouse that children may overhear that can cause them stress. Try to have those conversations at another time or when they're not within earshot. Remember, your children are watching what you're doing.

Also, pay attention to what they're checking out on the internet, what they're doing, who's in their circle of friends that might be influencing them and maybe causing them some more stress or who's helping them. Notice who the helpers are in their life, too. That can make a big difference. Then don't hesitate to set limits, but then at the same time be flexible during this time.

So what are some other things that you can do? How can you help some other people? You can reach out to your coworkers that are working at home and trying to do the homeschooling and say, "Hey, what's working for you? What's not?" Sometimes simply turning off the TV and playing a game together can turn a negative situation into a very positive one. There's nothing wrong right now with isolating yourself from the outside world, even if it's just for a few hours, to get back to some normalcy.

Let's start by focusing on our attitude when dealing with uncertainty. Then when we change our mindset, our behaviors will start to change. But also remember that it's okay to not be okay sometimes. If you're having contract trouble controlling your stress or making changes on your own, reach out to family and friends, or schedule some time for some professional help.

Our society is moving at a very fast pace now with everything that's going on, and taking care of our mental health as much as possible is really important right now. So breathing techniques, meditation, staying connected to people. So what are some of you doing for your mental health? What are some things that you've been doing for a long time or you've tried something new since all of this has started?

Some people are saying shopping online because now we're not having to go in the store and be close to people. Reading, positive outlook on life. Keeping a gratitude journal, that's a great one. Yes, so people are saying they have a Calm app, so the app on their phone. There's a lot of medication apps, family game night, writing, spending time writing, deep breathing. Great. Great ideas. Yes, getting outside in the sun. Absolutely, very important.

Even if you just take a moment and then just stop and take a deep breath and then just think about calming your breathing down and closing your eyes and getting to a better place mentally, just those few seconds will tell your brain and body that you're trying to take care of yourself. That's very, very important. It works really, really well. The more people do that, the more they see the benefit of it.

So start to recognize and remove yourself from the stress, spend less time on social media or watching the news when it's stressful for you. Notice who the positive people are in your life that are helping you to feel better. Spend more time with them as possible. Then embrace quiet time and other things that make you feel calm and happy.

And be on the lookout. So have your mind open to, "Oh, that made me feel really good," or you end up talking to somebody you haven't talked to in a while and you have a great conversation. Don't let that be the one and only, say, "Hey, you know what? I'll call you again tomorrow or next week." So pay attention to what really helps you to feel better.

Also, reach out to family and friends, find out what's working for them, because we can all be learning from each other. Also, remember to live. We want to keep living. Being fearful makes us want to hide away, and then we reinforce our own negative thought. It gets to be a vicious spiral. So you still want to live, whatever the new definition for that is temporarily, and that will help you to get to a better place.

Then notice the uncertainty in life that has resulted in unexpected wonderful fun and fulfilling experiences. So notice the changes that we're forced to make right now. For example, "Oh, now I have more time at home with my children. I'm really getting to develop better relationships with them." What are some of the positive things you've noticed since all of this has taken place? Because I've always said there's good things that come out of every negative situation. We want to be looking for those. It helps us feel hopeful.

One of the things people are now very aware of the importance of handwashing. Even before this happened, people die every year from people not washing their hands properly, and then people getting sick. Some of the things that we're going through now are really helping to educate people on several different things. So moving forward, they're going to be practicing better handwashing and better habits and they're going to be aware of trying to stay away from people when they're sick, et cetera.

Okay, coworkers stepping up to cover for others. I love that. People learning to be more flexible. Great, I love all these ideas that are coming in. One person wrote their company has upped their safety and wellness messaging, which is terrific. Very good.
So jot down a few quick items that you can begin to implement. You can even make a list with your kids and put it on the refrigerator. When we start to feel stressed, this is our go-to, our go-to list of what's going to help us feel better and stay positive.

So big picture situations. When we're dealing with large situations that can negatively affect millions of people, it can be very easy and understandable to become extra stressed. However, when you're feeling overwhelmed with negative situations beyond your control, try saying this to yourself, "I can't control when or if something bad happens. It's out of my hands and no amount of worrying will prevent it. But I can control how I behave each day and how I take care of myself," which is so very important.

It's powerful because it helps you make that crucial mental shift from feeling helpless to taking control of all that you can control, even if the situation is such where you feel like you have little control. We always have control over certain things. Our mindset is a very, very powerful one.
Then somebody wrote, "I need to be better at calling people instead of just texting." I do that every now and then too, or if I'm about to email somebody, I'm like, "Oh, you know what? I'm not going to email them this time. I'm going to pick up the phone and call them." It's good to hear other people's voices and say, "Hey, I haven't talked to you in a while. I miss you." What can we say that's going to make other people feel good, too? Great.

So in big picture situations, one plus one really equals two, one plus one typically equals five. For example, after reading multiple articles about the spread of the coronavirus, people might think, "Oh, we're all going to die." They go into this crazy extreme thinking. However, repetition of a detail does not actually increase the facts of that, even though it might seem like it at the time.

You want to ignore too much input and listen to your brain when it says, "Okay, I've had enough. I really need to stop and take a step back and put this into perspective. What is really affecting me? I have a plan in place for what I'm going to do. Now I can get back to as much normalcy as I can in this situation."

So when you do get overwhelmed, remember, just go back to what is happening to me right now and what is normal that I can focus on? Break it down into bite-size pieces. Then if you feel like, okay, you'll feel like you have more control of the situation. If you think of any other coping mechanisms that you're using, feel free to click on the blue chat bubble and join in on the conversation.

So let's talk a little bit about denial versus a healthy separation from the situation. We don't want to hide mentally or emotionally because it's going to leave us feeling helpless. We want to remind ourselves that we need to take care of ourselves right now, even if it's just small efforts in different areas of our health.

Practice positive thinking and keep incessant worrying at bay by reminding yourself that it's not changing the situation. It's only going to hurt you with the chronic stress that's involved. It's okay to limit your exposure to the news and other sources of information overload, including other people who are hyper-focused on it.

So set limits and boundaries with others to protect your mental health and reduce your stress. There's nothing wrong with having a conversation with somebody, saying, "Oh, I'm really stressed out right now. Let's talk about something else," or, "Let's do something. Let's go watch your favorite show," or whatever it is. Feel free to interrupt that negative conversation and get back to what's going to help you reduce your stress.
So somebody wrote, "How much media is too much media?" Well, each person needs to decide that for themselves. The more you get to know yourself and what triggers your stress, the more you can recognize and say, "Okay, wait a minute. Yeah, this is too much." Usually, mentally and physically, your body will tell you. It'll say, "Okay, wait a minute. I'm getting too stressed."

It can be addictive to stay connected to that stream, constant stream, of information, but you need to advocate for yourself and say, "Okay, enough. Enough." Sometimes don't even turn it on. Say you're taking a break from your work during the day, instead of turning the TV on, put on some music or just enjoy the quiet or go for a walk. Then notice how good it makes you feel, how you feel less stressed and more calm, et cetera. Then remind yourself, "Oh, yeah. This really is a good thing that I'm doing for myself right now."

As we become more and more connected across this planet and technology continues to advance in terms of availability of information, which might be accurate, might be false, we'll continue to experience the big picture situations. While this can lead to more underlying constant or consistent stress, it also provides us with an opportunity to develop a great awareness of the big picture.
Remember, knowledge is power, and it's the key to taking our experiences and anticipating future situations in a proactive manner. It helps us to feel more in control.

This doesn't mean we need to become doomsayers, rather we develop an understanding of how these big picture situation impact our daily lives and help us make more informed life decisions. For example, many organizations who survived the recession developed more proactive financial policies to shield themselves from future economic downturns.
With the coronavirus, washing our hands might now be practiced more regularly. It's going to help us in other areas too, like so for next year, with the flu season. People are automatically going to be more aware of washing their hands.

So what other things do you see that are going to change for the better once we get past this situation we're currently dealing with? Feel free to chime in. Click on the chat bubble and share your thoughts on what you see the good is that we're going to notice in the future, things that are changing for the better.

Yes, somebody's saying we'll be kinder and more tolerant. We'll be more prepared for this type of thing. Somebody wrote, "I finally have my house clean." Yeah, cleaning can be good for the brain. Very good. Also, a couple of great resources during this time is the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC, and the National Institutes of Health, so or NIH, National Institutes of Health.
Somebody wrote the stocks going up. Yeah, at some point they are definitely going to go back up. Somebody else wrote being more aware of people's hygiene. Great.

So, "I can't control when or if something bad happens. It's out of my hands, and no amount of worrying will prevent it. But I can control how I behave each day and how I take care of myself." You can even put your own mantra up on the fridge or the wall or something. Make a big sign with your kids. Spend an hour or so coming up with, "Hey, what's our family mission statement going to be? Let's come up with a really positive message that we can remember all the time during tough times."

It could be a fun activity, and it's there for everybody to see. You just never know when that message is going to be helping your children as they go through this situation, something next year, something the year after, and they see that sign and they say, "Yeah, okay. I've got this. I'm feeling empowered, I'm feeling in control."

So what do you think you could come up with? If a little mission statement comes into your mind or just something that's always resonated with you, feel free to share that. All those positive messages can be so helpful in these situation.

This too shall come to pass. One day at a time. Isn't it funny how some of these sayings that we've known forever, sometimes they don't resonate with us until we're going through a certain situation. Then all of a sudden it clicks and you think, "Oh, that's why that saying is so important to so many people," because it's usually because people have been through hard times and they use these little phrases to help get back that sense of positivity.

Ride the wave. Ride the wave. I immediately pictured a family making a poster where somebody's on the surfboard and it says, "Ride the wave." Keep calm and wash your hands. Go with the flow. Absolutely. Great, I love these. Control what you can and what you can't, get assistance. That's terrific. Remain hopeful, spread the hope and faith to others. Don't worry, be happy. There you go. You can play that song and dance in the living room with your kids.

I know that we have dance parties on a regular basis, just impromptu dance parties. We take turns picking songs. It's just so much fun. It's just so good for the brain and the body.

Wash out your worries with soap and water, I love that. Yeah, that's a great idea. So every time you wash your hands now, think about your stress just being washed down the drain. That's terrific. I love that.

Okay, so before we move on, I just want to remind you that your employee assistance program is an employer-paid benefit that provides you with a wide variety of services and resources, including counseling, education, referrals, all different topics such as childcare and parenting, adult care and aging, health and wellness. You can get financial advice, legal advice, et cetera.

It's designed to help you reduce your stress and maximize your overall wellness. These services are available to you at no cost to you. That makes it easier for you to get the help and the information that you need. I always suggest that you put their 800 number right in your cellphone, so whenever you need them, their number's right at your fingertips. They're available 24/7 to you.

And so, keep in mind that you have this great benefit available to you, and use it when you need it. I like to remind people that you don't even have to know exactly how they can help you. Just give them a call and say, "This is what's going on in my life right now. This is what's keeping me awake at night, et cetera. how can you help me?" They might come up with ideas you hadn't even thought of. But you can also go to their website. Lots of great information and resources on the website, too.

So somebody wrote, "Where can I find that number?" You can reach out to your HR contact to get your particular number and information for your employee assistance program.

Then this time, if people want to chime in with any questions or additional comments, feel free to join in on the conversation. I'll give you guys a few seconds to find that blue chat bubble. Then make sure you're not using the Q&A. We're not using the Q&A feature today. Make sure where it says 'To' and there's a drop-down box, that you're clicking on my name, Carol Phillips, so that I can see your comments.

Somebody asked if this is recorded. Yes, it's being recorded today. Yes, you're very welcome. You're very welcome. Yeah, exercise is so important. Absolutely. It's a great stress-reducer. Remember, every time you exercise you get a whole host of benefits in addition to the stress reduction. People are saying this is very helpful. You're very welcome. I'm glad it was helpful. Yeah, feel free to keep jumping in, putting whatever thoughts you have.

While you're doing that, I just want to remind everybody that we will get through this situation. People are coming together, people are staying up-to-date. The fact that we do have the internet and lots of different sources of information makes it easier for us to know what's going on. Feel free to reach out to your employee assistance program, your doctor's office, whatever your professional resources that are available to help you.
Remember that sometimes there are situations we have no control over. Sometimes our stress can just go higher and higher and higher and higher. If we can recognize that and bring it back down and try to live some sense of normalcy during this time, that can make a big difference. So be your own best friend for your own health and wellness. However much you can, enjoy the extra time that you have with your families.
Somebody's mentioning nature. Yes, absolutely. Nature is a great thing, the fresh air, the sunshine. It can really make us feel better. Yeah, so meditating. Okay, somebody asked about Maslow. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. So it's M-A-S-L-O-W. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. That's his last name.

Yeah, so that can give you some really great information on why we're feeling the way we are and why we're not in our regular mode of behavior, why we're so off, off-kilter. That can really explain some things and be very helpful. I turn to it on a regular basis to try to put some pieces together when I'm dealing with some wellness education that I'm doing.

Okay, feel free to keep the questions and the comments coming. I encourage you to reach out to your coworkers, check in on them, build better relationships with them. This might be a great opportunity to do that. Yes, so it's M-A-S-L-O-W. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Yeah, great comments. Thank you.

So in closing, I just want to thank everyone for participating today. I encourage you to keep discovering new ways to try to live your best life despite what is going on around you, especially during these very uncertain times. Have an amazing day, everyone. Goodbye.





The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©Carelon Behavioral Health



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