Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Educational, Fibromyalgia, Guest Speaker

A “Grounding Technique” to Decrease #Worry During These Uncertain Times

“A ‘grounding technique’ to decrease worry during these uncertain times” by guest blogger and Fibromyalgia London Group member, Dr. Rhonda Gilby, mother of two daughters with Fibromyalgia, and clinical psychologist for over 30 years, helping people cope with the various problems that they are experiencing. Rhonda has taught psychology courses at Western University (UWO) and its affiliates, worked with troubled children and provided psychological counselling to University students. Dr. Gilby recognizes that “it’s not always easy” and writes about how findings and ideas from the field of psychology can be applied to help everyone to cope better in their day-to-day lives.

Managing Uncertainty in Product Development - ProductCoalition.com

Life is full of uncertainty, and the current pandemic has only added to that uncertainty. We are unsure of what is going to happen. When will be out of this lockdown situation? Will there be enough tests, enough food? What will happen with our finances and the economy? Will I and my loved ones stay healthy? As human beings, we crave security. We want to feel safe and have a sense of control over our lives and well-being. Fear and uncertainty can leave us feeling stressed, anxious, and powerless.

Whereas most species are stressed by threats and dangers as they are occurring, our species can also be stressed by potential dangers that MAY lie in the future (but MAY NOT). We may go over the situation in our mind , imagining everything that might go wrong (catastrophizing), and worrying about how we might handle it. We begin to dwell in that future experience, which can interfere with what we our able to accomplish at the present time.

Imagine that someone comes to you, requesting some money from you. You ask them what the money’s for.  They tell you, it’s the interest you need to pay on a loan that you MAY take out in the future. You tell them that you haven’t borrowed any money from them. But you might, they say, you could owe me money in the future.  Would you pay them the interest?

It’s very similar with worry. Worry is the interest you pay in advance on a debt you may never owe. The thing that you’re worrying about may never happen. You’re wasting important mental energy on something that may never happen, when your energy would be better spent in preparing for what needs to be done now.

So what can you do so that you don’t worry as much. One helpful tip is to return your mind to the present.  That’s where you should be focused. Worry is, by definition, about the future, so placing your attention on the present is a powerful way to reduce your worries. One straightforward way to do this is called “grounding”.

Grounding brings you back to the here-and-now, helping you to let go of the worry, calm down and bring your focus to what’s happening right now. Grounding techniques often use the five senses—sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight—to immediately bring all your attention to the present moment. Hold a favourite object in your hand and notice all the details about it, blast your favourite song and really listen to it, massage your temples and notice how it feels, smell a perfume or lotion that you enjoy, taste a piece of chocolate slowly melting in your mouth. Through these actions, you are strongly engaging with the present.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

Another commonly used grounding technique makes use of all five senses at the same time. It is called the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. It starts with you sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and taking a couple of deep calming breaths (in slowly through your nose, hold, out slowly through your mouth, hold). Imagine letting your worry go. Now open your eyes and look around you.

5 senses

Find 5 things around you that you can see.

Notice 4 things that you can feel right now.

Listen for 3 things that you can hear.

Find 2 things that you can smell.

Notice 1 taste in your mouth (maybe put something in there to taste).

Then, finish with a deep breath.

By re-focusing on your body and what you’re physically feeling, you get out of your head and divert your mind away from anxious thoughts about the future.  Now that you are back to the present, you can focus on what it is that you need to be doing right now. Like any other skill, if you practice grounding techniques initially when you are calm, they will be more available to use when get caught up in your worries.

Take care, and don’t let your mind run away with worries during this difficult time.

Dr. Rhonda Gilby is the mother of two daughters with Fibromyalgia, and has been a clinical psychologist for over 30 years, helping people cope with the various problems that they are experiencing. She’s taught psychology courses at Western University and its affiliates, worked with troubled children and provided psychological counselling to University students. She recognizes that “it’s not always easy” and writes about how findings and ideas from the field of psychology can be applied to help everyone to cope better in their day-to-day lives. Contact/Connect: ngilby@rogers.com

Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Educational, Fibromyalgia

Some Tips for Coping During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Some Tips for Coping During the Covid-19 Pandemic” by guest blogger and Fibromyalgia London Group member, Dr. Rhonda Gilby, mother of two daughters with Fibromyalgia, and clinical psychologist for over 30 years, helping people cope with the various problems that they are experiencing. Rhonda has taught psychology courses at Western University (UWO) and its affiliates, worked with troubled children and provided psychological counselling to University students. Dr. Gilby recognizes that “it’s not always easy” and writes about how findings and ideas from the field of psychology can be applied to help everyone to cope better in their day-to-day lives.

To say that these are unprecedented times is an understatement!  Living through a pandemic is something that very few people today have any experience with, and facing a crisis of this magnitude with little knowledge or understanding of what is required of us undoubtedly can lead to many difficult feelings – fear, sadness, anxiety, exhaustion. These kinds of painful emotions are natural at a time like this. It’s important that you give yourself permission to be human! We are all feeling unsettled under the present circumstances. That’s normal. Be kind to yourself.

Many of us are feeling worried. Worry is not necessarily a bad thing, if it leads you to engage in activities that help keep you safe. But worrying about things that are out of your control only forces your mind to dwell on difficulties, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and wasting your valuable emotional energy. For things that are outside of your control, worry is not going to make a difference or solve any problems. Figure out how to let those worries go.

Instead, realistically focus on those things that you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy – and there are many. Wash your hands frequently, stay home as much as possible, maintain appropriate physical distancing when out, and wear a mask. Stay connected with others remotely (the Fibromyalgia London Group is doing an excellent job of creating opportunities for staying in touch with other people and providing occasions for social interaction). Make sure that you are getting both physical and mental exercise. Fill your days with lots of activities that you enjoy. Add structure into your day – perhaps you want to maintain a regular wake up time and bedtime or add some rituals to your day (e.g. a specific morning routine, a definite time for reading or exercising, etc.). Limit the amount of news that you are exposing yourself to and make sure that you are only using reputable news sources.                                                  

We don’t have to be at the mercy of our negative feelings. There are many things that we can do to lessen painful emotions and cope more comfortably as we all progress through this difficult pandemic journey.   

I’m a clinical psychologist. One type of therapy that frequently makes a lot of sense to me is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Cognitive behaviour therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs about a situation affect how we feel about it, and what we subsequently do about it. This means that the same event can produce very different reactions in different people, depending upon how they think about and interpret the experience. When thoughts about a situation change, emotions can change, too.  Even a small shift in the way that you think about a situation can have a big impact on how you feel.   

We all talk to ourselves, sometimes out loud, most often in our heads, and that’s perfectly natural. In fact, self-talk can help us to understand and organize our experiences, to plan, to learn, to think through problems to find a solution. But it’s important to pay attention to what it is that we are saying to ourselves. Not all of the conversations we have with ourselves are helpful. While positive self-talk can increase our confidence and positive mood, when self-talk is negative, it becomes unhelpful, and can have a very negative impact on how we feel.

A number of unhelpful thinking styles (also referred to as cognitive distortions) have been identified by psychiatrists and psychologists. One common, unhelpful thinking style that has been identified is called “catastrophizing”. Catastrophizing refers to worrying about and imagining worst case outcomes of situations, expecting terrible consequences, and believing that you won’t be able to cope.

Letting your thoughts spiral out of control like this is not helpful. Replacing these negative thoughts with more realistic, more reasonable thoughts is a much better way to live.  So, how do you do that?

Start by paying attention to what you are saying to yourself. Often, we are unaware of our thoughts. Figure out “What am I thinking right now?, What am I saying to myself that is upsetting me? What bad thing do I expect to happen?”

Remember that catastrophic thinking is just your guess (usually wrong) about what will happen, and not a certainty. Negative thoughts, beliefs and expectations are not facts, and are often not accurate.

Remember that there is a difference between possibility and probability. For example, yes, it is possible that you or your loved one may become ill with the coronavirus, but the probability is quite low. Don’t upset yourself worrying about things that probably won’t happen.

Evaluate the evidence for and against your thought. Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. “How likely is it that this will happen?”.  “What’s most likely to happen?”. “Is there another way of looking at this, one that won’t leave me feeling as stressed?”. Use logical thinking. Try to find facts, as opposed to relying on guesses and exaggerated beliefs.  Perhaps voicing your fears to someone you trust will help you to gain a more realistic perspective.

Look for more realistic ways to think about the outcome of the situation you’re in – something less extreme, something that is more likely to happen.  Outcomes in life typically fall somewhere in the middle – not black or white, but shades of gray. Ask yourself “Is there another, more realistic thought that I can have that is a more likely outcome and won’t make me feel so upset.”.  For example, instead of thinking, “This is terrible – this will never end, things will never be normal again, I can’t stand it anymore”, a less extreme thought might be, “These are difficult times and the world may never quite be the same, but this will end and I will cope with whatever is to come, just as I have with all of the things that life has thrown at me in the past.”.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 illness is certainly serious and it is appropriate and necessary to take it seriously. But catastrophizing does not help us to cope. Be on the lookout for self-talk that involves catastrophizing, and challenge this unhelpful self-talk when it occurs.  It may take practice and time because catastrophizing can be a habit for some. You can choose to work on a more positive, more realistic and less stress-inducing way to talk to yourself.

Dr. Rhonda Gilby is the mother of two daughters with Fibromyalgia, and has been a clinical psychologist for over 30 years, helping people cope with the various problems that they are experiencing. She’s taught psychology courses at Western University and its affiliates, worked with troubled children and provided psychological counselling to University students. She recognizes that “it’s not always easy” and writes about how findings and ideas from the field of psychology can be applied to help everyone to cope better in their day-to-day lives. Contact/Connect: ngilby@rogers.com

Posted in COVID-19, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

When in doubt, #Zoom it out!

Fibromyalgia London Group presents FREE Virtual meetings/activities/sharing circles, etc. on Zoom (you don’t need an account to join in on activities). Stay as long or as little as you wish. Participate or just listen. “Mute” or “unmute”. Video or not. Whatever makes you comfortable. We will try to limit the length of each session so as not to try ourselves. Pacing. Upcoming Events:

WEEKLY!!! Wednesdays! Wednesday May 27th, June 3rd, June 10th, June 17th, 2020 1pm ET on ZOOM! (VIRTUAL) TAI CHI FOR HEALTH CHALLENGES held weekly on Wednesday, 1pm Led by our Group’s Peer Leader, Terry Lynn Clarkin, who shares with us her extensive expertise in Tai Chi and Qiqong instruction. These 45-minute weekly exercise sessions are geared towards individuals with complex health issues including Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes, chronic pain and mobility issues.Open to all ages and genders. Family members are encouraged to join in these sessions too! Please set yourself up in a 4ft x 4ft area, with your laptop/iPad/iPhone/desktop/tablet/smartphone in order to follow the ZOOM session; also, have a straight back chair (without arms or wheels) with you and a towel (if you sweat glow). Those who either have mobility issues or use mobility equipment can do all exercises seated. The movements are performed according to the physical ability of the student. There is a focus on exercises that can be used for pain management and to address specific health issues. Free. Register: Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share on Social Media —— Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Please consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.   

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 at 1pm ET – Knit Happens! Whether you’re a newbie or a knitting Jedi (like the teacher, Janice Sumpton), this is for you! Available for all. Bi-weekly and Free on Zoom.Register: Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share on Social Media – FLG Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Tuesday June 2nd, 2020 1pm ET is TUESDAY TRIVIA TIME! Join us on Zoom (free!) for laughter, trivia questions (and even some answers), bring (virtually) your own trivia questions and/or answers ours, prizes (porch delivery or pick-up, contactless) and more! Join in the fun. Please Register via Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share on Social Media —- Visit our Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca for more information (it’s always changing to help you. Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Thursday, June 4th, 2020 Sharing Circle @ a special time with an amazing guest, Sally Brabant, a professional RMT Masso and Rehabilitation Therapist since 1995. There will be a Q & A style discussion where Ms. Brabant will be happy to answer questions on Therapeutic Massage and Rehabilitation as well as related modalities and relative to Chronic illness/ Fibromyalgia and CFS. We cannot thank her enough for offering her time and expertise during this difficult time. Thank you. FLG Sharing Circle Sessions are on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month, free on Zoom. We all need someone to listen to us, connect with, who we can hear and give support and get support in return. In times like these this is truer than ever. We get it. Please Register via Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share on Social Media —- Visit our Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca for more information (it’s always changing to help you. Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Monday June 8th, 2020 1pm ET on Zoom B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club). Join us to talk about anything and everything but mostly what distracts us from pain, helps with pain, etc.Recommend, discuss, learn about: movies, streaming, TV, books, ebooks, e-audio, pets, card games, computer games, video games, board games, crafts, gardening, Tai Chi/Qigong, knitting, YouTube, TED Talks, podcasts, drawing, hobbies, writing, blogging, sewing, volunteering, music, fishing, hiking, painting, swimming, and more! Any questions? Contact Donna at: darcyyada@gmail.comBringing your lunch is optional, fun is not!Register so we can send you the free Zoom link (you don’t need an account, we have one): Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share on Social Media —— Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Attention All Caregivers – Caregiver Support Group on ZOOM session will be on Monday, June 8th, 2020 at 7:00pm ET. Spouses/Significant Others, Parents, Family Members, and Loved Ones who support Persons living with FM and/or CFS/ME…this FREE Zoom group is for you!
The next Caregiver Support Group on ZOOM session will be on Monday, May 25th, 2020 at 7:00pm ET. Led by Rick Avdovich, spouse and support person of one of our Peer Leaders. What happens in the caregivers support group stays in the caregivers support group. No members of Fibromyalgia London Group are in the meeting and it is not recorded. All information is strictly confidential. We would very much like to connect to all Caregivers supporting those in the FM and/or CFS/ME communities of London and Area. Please make a plan to join this ZOOM session, meet fellow caregivers and hopefully you will make a positive difference in someone’s day!  
All ZOOM sessions are offered FREE and OPEN TO CAREGIVERS ONLY.  You do not need to be a member of our Group to join! Register so we can send you the free Zoom link (you don’t need an account, we have one): Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share on Social Media – Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Remember to register for EACH Zoom meeting/event/activity at: fmgroup.london@gmail.com We’ll send you a link and other information about Zoom and the meetings. You do not have to have a Zoom account to be a participant, FLG has the account. This is a user-friendly platform.

Stay Safe. Stay Home. Wash Your Hands. Stay in touch. And when in doubt, Zoom it out!!!

Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Fibromyalgia, Sharing Circle

What Happens in the Virtual Sharing Circle Stays in the Virtual Sharing Circle

Staying home but want/need to attend the Fibromyalgia London Group (also CFS/ME, and other chronic illnesses) Sharing Circle Session this Thursday April 16th, 2020? You can!!! We’re doing a virtual Sharing Circle Session
Thursday, April 16, 2020; 11:00am (ET).
FREE ~ OPEN TO ALL

Email fmgroup.london@gmail.com to register!
You’ll be sent an email with the link that will Zoom you right to a virtual meeting room (if they ask you for a password, it’s rare, but it happens, we’re going to send you that too. We’ll send you the time, date, Meeting ID, password, link, everything you need. You just need a device that has audio (and video if you want to be seen too) – laptop, tablet/iPad, desktop, smartphone, iPhone.
As a participant, you don’t need to have an account. You can “Mute” or “Unmute” any time you wish. You can use video or not. You can come and go from the meeting whenever you wish. You can add, or share, or listen – whatever makes you feel most comfortable. This is a safe space. No pressure. No judgement. No COVID-19. Just friendly faces who understand. People say they understand chronic pain and chronic fatigue and everything that goes with it and I’m sure they want to understand. We understand. We live it. We want to help. Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) is a grassroots, community-based, volunteer-driven, self-help and wellness support group for London, St. Thomas and Middlesex County (and on the internet, the world! Hello world!). https://fibrolondongroup.ca/ Join us for companionship, information, resources, caring, sharing, kindness and compassion. Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives. And remember to Thank those who are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2020/03/27/even-covid19-cant-beat-our-ldnont-spirit/

ZOOM virtual meetings hosted by Fibromyalgia London Group!!! Easy, free, fun, informative, a perfect way to stay in touch during these unprecedented, difficult times. If you have any questions, contact me (Donna) at: darcyyada@gmail.com or Jacqueline at: fmgroup.london@gmail.com There’s no place like home!

Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Educational, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

KNIT Happens! on #ZOOM

NEW!!! Join members of the Fibromyalgia London Group (and others with chronic illnesses) on Zoom for the Knit Happens!

Dress Code: Quarantine Fashion (Sissy that Zoom!) – Daytime PJs, Loungers, plaid shirts and sweats are also welcome. Hair? Who even cares? Make-up? What’s up with that? We’re chronically fabulous.

What is ZOOM?  Zoom is free for participants, you don’t even have to have a Zoom account, only the people HOLDING the virtual meetings need an account (free or paid), not you as a participant, you don’t need to sign in to be part of the meeting, you just need to follow the link the host sends you. Zoom is a cloud based service which offers organizations and groups of 3 or more people to meet virtually by using its video conferencing capability. Again, it is a FREE app (application) you download onto your: tablet, iPAD, laptop, smartphone/iPhone, or any desktop computer. Again, there is no need for you to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting, as a participant, you just click on the link the host of the chat sends you and ZOOM, you’re in the virtual meeting ROOM! The person/organization holding the meeting will send you a link you can follow and you will be there in the meeting room, virtually so you can #StaySafe #StayAtHome, (and/or the Meeting ID and password). It’s really easy and user-friendly. You can use video or not, your choice. Same goes for audio, you can “Mute” or “Unmute” (just remember “Mute” is on when you arrive in the chat, just in case…), or you can just listen. You can also enter or leave the chat at any time. You can also type information or comments in the chat area. Seriously, it’s that simple and that fun!

All three levels of Canadian government continue their efforts to contain COVID-19 and “flatten the curve”/“plank the curve” – all Canadians are required to continue practicing self-isolation, by staying at home (only going out for necessities, think about that word, look it up in a dictionary, what is “needed”, not visiting, not for Easter, not to babysit, not to gather in crowds including standing in line at Costco, seriously. If you’re displaying any symptoms: dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of smell and/or taste, unusual headaches, hallucinations, malaise, etc. stay at home or go to see a doctor, don’t drop by Walmart and/or Tim Horton’s drive-thru and/or KFC and/or Loblaws while you’re on your way to the doctor or on the way back from the doctor – they are working in dangerous conditions with a highly contagious illness so you can be well, don’t be selfish; #StayHome or see a doctor. If you have returned from traveling, #StayHome for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms, remember, asymptomatic people can spread the virus. And of course, #WashYourHands frequently!!! #StayHomeSaveLives #StaySafe #StayAtHome ) Peer Leaders of FLG agreed this is a fantastic time for our Group to use, ZOOM, a popular communication tool as an alternative way to connect with our members and potential members and be available to those seeking advice, emotional support, education and resource information on living with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or any chronic illness). So far it has been amazing. We’ve had several online meetings/activities and have found we can stay in touch at a safe physical distance (online and in the real world remember, it’s not a shopping cart length away, it’s 2 or more metres or 6.5 or more feet apart; also remember wearing a mask doesn’t protect you, it protects others from you).

During these unprecedented times, yes, we’re going to self-isolate, we’re going to #StayHome to Save Lives from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), but we’re still going to be here to support each other during this Quarantine. We’re pleased to announce that FLG will host ZOOM VIRTUAL meetings in the month of April as follows:

Thursday (if you know what day it is, I think today is Wednesday?!?), April 9th, 1pm (Eastern Time)  – Knit Happens! now on Zoom but still with the amazing Janice Sumpton as our knitting guru (thank you Janice!). REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline fmgroup.london@gmail.com if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting. 

But wait, there’s more! Thursday April 16th, 11am (Eastern Time) – Sharing Circle for those w/ chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, really just chronic suckage https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2019/12/06/chronic-suckage/.

Mon, April 20th, 1pm (Eastern Time) – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2) where we discuss, in a fun, informal, light-hearted way (no pressure, no judgement) anything and everything: self-care, books, ebooks, e-audio, TV, movies, streaming, crafts, hobbies, music, fashion (even Quarantine fashion, I see you rocking those sweats!), coping techniques and mechanisms, stress relievers, ways to relieve pain, yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, dancing, singing, exercise, card games, board games, video games, cooking, baking, de-cluttering, gardening, sewing, knitting, art, writing, blogging, cleaning, chocolate…

Thursday, April 23rd, 1pm (Eastern Time) – Knit Happens!

Monday, April 27th, 1pm (Eastern Time) – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2)

Thursday, April 30th, 1pm (Eastern Time) – Knit Happens!

PLEASE NOTE: All our VIRTUAL activities/meetings are FREE (yes, that’s an actual thing!) and OPEN TO ALL members and their guests, as well as visitors, regardless of where you live in Canada…join us! Here’s how! ADVANCE REGISTRATION is required to participate in all VIRTUAL meetings.  Just send an email to fmgroup.london@gmail.com to confirm your interest in participating.  You’ll then receive an email with instructions on how to join the meeting, just click on the link in the email and whoosh, you’ll be right in the meeting room, no need to have a Zoom account, no need to pay, we’ll send you the link (meeting ID and password).
WATCH FOR EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENTS, from Donna or Jacqueline, on when registration for each virtual meeting is open.

Also, don’t forget about our essential workers!!! Seriously folks, what would we do without: doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, pharmacists, radiologists, porters, clerks, truck drivers, farmers, plumbers, restaurant staff, electricians, hydro workers, payroll clerks, government workers, police officers, firefighters, energy workers, maintenance, social services, research, agriculture, food production, manufacturing and Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers (you want to see panic, let the internet go down!!!) and so many more! We care! We’re Thankful! You have our gratitude! They’re putting their life on the line so we can stay home and “flatten the curve”/”plank the curve” so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. Here’s what you can do to say “Thank You” here in London and everywhere!!! https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2020/03/27/even-covid19-cant-beat-our-ldnont-spirit/ #StayHomeSavesLives #WashYourHands

Don’t Forget (so easy with Fibrofog, I know), join us this Thursday, April 9th, 1pm (Eastern Time) – Knit Happens! – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline at: fmgroup.london@gmail.com if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting.

Can’t wait to chat with you soon! #StaySafe #StayHome Spread the love not the virus!!!

Posted in COVID-19, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

Pajama Party on #Zoom – B2C2 #COVID19 Edition

NEW!!! Join members of the Fibromyalgia London Group (and others with chronic illnesses) on Zoom for the very first Brown Bag Chat Club (aka B2C2) COVID-19 Edition.

Dress Code: Quarantine Fashion (Sissy that Zoom!) – Daytime PJs, Loungers, plaid shirts and sweats are also welcome. Hair? Who even cares? Make-up? What’s up with that? We’re chronically fabulous.

B2C2 was initiated and will be facilitated by Peer Leader and FLG member, Donna Parker (that’s me and also a cheesy Nancy Drew knock-off series of books in the 50s and 60s). This new initiative will provide members, support persons and those suffering from chronic pain with an opportunity to meet over lunch (hence the brown bag) or not, your choice to chat. We were supposed to introduce this new group activity in March but, unfortunately, that did not materialize.  We are thus introducing it as a virtual activity…Covid19 Edition.  

What kind of topics can we chat about?  

  • Books, ebooks, e-audio, movies, TV shows, streaming, TED Talks, YouTube videos.
  • Music, hobbies, crafts, games, exercise.
  • mind, body and spirit matters – self-care is vital with chronic illness.
  • Whatever distracts us from pain, fatigue and other Fibromylagia or CFS/ME or other chronic illness symptoms.

What is ZOOM?  Zoom is a cloud based service which offers organizations and groups of 3 or more people (up to 100 participants) to meet virtually by using its video conferencing capability. It is a FREE application which you download onto your tablet, laptop, smartphone, or desktop computer. You don’t need to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting, as a participant. It’s really easy and user-friendly. You can use video or not, your choice. Same goes for audio, you can mute or unmute (just remember Mute is on when you arrive in the chat, just in case…), or just listen. You can enter or leave the chat at any time. You can also type information or comments. Yes, it’s that simple and that fun!

All three levels of Canadian government continue their efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus and “flatten the curve”/“plank the curve” so all Canadians are required to continue practicing self-isolation, by staying at home.  Peer Leaders agreed that this is an opportune time for our Group to utilize this increasingly popular communication tool, ZOOM, as an alternative way to connect with our membership and be available to those seeking advice, emotional support, education and resource information on living with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

During these unprecedented times, yes, we’re going to self-isolate, we’re going to #StayHome to Save Lives from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), but we’re still going to be here to support each other. We’re pleased to announce that FLG will host ZOOM VIRTUAL meetings in the month of April as follows:

Mon, April 6th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2 COVId-19 Pajama Party Edition) – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline at: fmgroup.london@gmail.com if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting. Bring lunch or brunch or slupper or Quarantinis, or cookies, cake, brownies, sandwiches…whatever.

Thu, April 9th, 1pm  – Knit Happens! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline fmgroup.london@gmail.com if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting. 

Thu, April 16th, 11am – Sharing Circle.

Mon, April 20th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2)

Thu, April 23rd, 1pm – Knit Happens!

Mon, April 27th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2)

Thu, April 30th, 1pm – Knit Happens!

PLEASE NOTE: All our VIRTUAL activities/meetings are FREE (yes, that’s an actual thing!) and OPEN TO ALL members and their guests, as well as visitors, regardless of where you live in Canada. ADVANCE REGISTRATION is required to participate in all VIRTUAL meetings.  Just send an email to fmgroup.london@gmail.com to confirm your interest in participating.  You’ll then receive an email with instructions on how to join the meeting, the link/meeting ID and password.
WATCH FOR EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENTS, from Donna or Jacqueline, on when registration for each virtual meeting is open.

Also, don’t forget about our essential workers! What would we do without doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, pharmacists, radiologists, porters, clerks, truck drivers, farmers, plumbers, restaurant staff, electricians, hydro workers, payroll clerks, government workers, police officers, firefighters, energy workers, maintenance, social services, research, agriculture, food production, manufacturing and Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers (you want to see panic, let the internet go down!) and so many more! We care! We’re Thankful! You have our gratitude! You’re putting your life on the line so we can stay home and “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. Here’s what you can do to say “Thank You” here in London and everywhere!!! https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2020/03/27/even-covid19-cant-beat-our-ldnont-spirit/ #StayHomeSavesLives #WashYourHands

Don’t Forget (so easy with Fibrofog, I know), join us this Mon, April 6th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2 COVId-19 Pajama Party Edition) – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline at: fmgroup.london@gmail.com if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting.

Can’t wait to chat with you soon! #StaySafe #StayHome

Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

There’s No Place Like Home, Zoom with Us!

The Covid19 Pandemic Crisis in Canada continues. By staying home, we are saving lives. We’re not “stuck” at home, we’re “safe” at home.

Though Fibromyalgia London Group (also for those with: CFS/ME, any chronic illness) cannot meet in person, we’re going to ZOOM! Yes, FLG is on Zoom now and so although we can’t meet, can’t knit, share, cook, chat, hug, etc. we don’t have to touch to stay in touch.

We’re having our very first virtual Sharing Circle! Please join us tomorrow, Saturday April 4th, 2020 at 1pm Eastern Time (USA and Canada) on Zoom!

All you need is a laptop, desktop, tablet or phone, preferably working well (download the Zoom app, it’s quick and so easy, this one is user-friendly to the extreme!), with audio and a camera (if you wish to do the video portion, if you have “Scopophobia” aka a phobia of cameras; or a fear of electronics, or whatever, no worries, we understand.

If it’s “Quarantine Fashion” you’re worried about, bring it on, we’re all in this together. Sissy That Walk. Wear sweats. Dress up. No pressure. No judgements. Bring your own refreshments! Tea, coffee, water, smoothies…wine, cheese, medical cannabis, Quarantini (shaken not stirred); brownies, cake, veggies, nachos, fruit, lasagna – this is informal, you’re among friends. The good thing about Zoom, you can come and go from the chat whenever you want to. Or mute if you want to go to the washroom, burp, crunch on a celery stick (sure, or chicken leg or cookie)… Turn video on or off (remember your Mute button is on when you first enter the chat, turn it off to “talk”). Put your own name up, or a nickname, or an aspiration name. We’re just going with the #StayHomeSaveLives flow here at FLG trying to “Support Ourselves by Helping Others” and the best way we can help is #StayingHome with you.

It’s FREE! Please join us tomorrow, Saturday April 4th, 2020 at 1pm Eastern Time (USA and Canada) on Zoom!!! You don’t have to get dressed up. Hair not done, that’s what hats are for. No make-up, no problem. We’re here to Sur-Thrive (survive while thriving with chronic illnesses)!

The situation will continue to be reassessed and we know it seems wild out there sometimes, but until then, you’re safe in here with us, we can meet and greet in the virtual world!! Please join us tomorrow, Saturday April 4th, 2020 at 1pm Eastern Time (USA and Canada) on Zoom!

WANT TO PARTICIPATE? Just send me an email fmgroup.london@gmail.com confirming your attendance, and we’ll send you the chat link AND simple instructions on how to download the Zoom app, and join the meeting, tomorrow, Saturday April 4th, 2020 at 1pm Eastern Time (USA and Canada) on Zoom!

Just FYI, Monday April 6th at 1pm we’re having another Zoom chat, B2C2: COVID-19 Edition. B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club) is where members would, under normal circumstances, meet, bring our lunches (or not, your choice) and we sit and chat about:
books, movies, TV shows, streaming, TED Talks,
ebooks, audiobooks, hobbies, You Tube, crafts,
games, sports, dreams, anything and everything,
but especially what distracted us from pain.

It’s like a lunch hour at work.
Just chatting while eating our lunches.
But COVID-19 happened and so we’ve decided to go ahead with it anyway, online, on Zoom. We’re going to virtually meet and just talk about anything from your latest binge show to Jason Momoa (might be me who brings him up)
to what motivates us, inspires us, helps us get by. Anything. We’d love for you to join us at B2C2: COVID-19 Edition. I suspect it will be fun, informal and quite possibly silly.

Also, don’t forget about our essential workers! What would we do without doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, pharmacists, radiologists, porters, clerks, truck drivers, farmers, plumbers, restaurant staff, electricians, hydro workers, payroll clerks, government workers, police officers, firefighters, energy workers, maintenance, social services, research, agriculture, food production, manufacturing and Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers (you want to see panic, don’t let the internet go down!) and so many more! We care! We’re Thankful! You have our gratitude! You’re putting your life on the line so we can stay home and “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. Here’s what you can do to say “Thank You” here in London and everywhere!!! https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2020/03/27/even-covid19-cant-beat-our-ldnont-spirit/ #StayHomeSavesLives #WashYourHands

 

Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Fibromyalgia

Even #COVID19 Can’t Beat Our #LdnOnt Spirit!

We are living in unprecedented times. Now more than ever we need to be here for each other. Please help spread the word by sharing this post on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, any or all social media platforms. Also, please, tell other Londoners (London, Ontario, #LdnOnt) about this – by text, phone, email, Facetime, Zoom, Skype, snail mail – anyway you can share the gratitude for those essential workers who are putting their lives on the line so we can stay safe! Even COVID-19 can’t beat The London Spirit! Share the gratitude! Thank you!!!

Dear Londoners!
Several grassroots-led, community-wide efforts are underway hoping to lift and keep morale among Londoners high, especially front-line healthcare and essential service workers, during this extraordinary time in all our lives. Please join us in saying “Thank You” to those putting their lives on the line for us. You can participate through a number of ways explained below, to demonstrate your individual/group support, express gratitude, and cheer on these workers for as long as it takes.

Here’s a few ways in which you can support your neighbourhood, your London community, your friends, and neighbours:

1. Window Signs – Here are some signs you can print in colour or black & white, or get creative, make your own, heartfelt “Thank You” signs. Display these signs in your front windows, mailbox, front door, fence, railings, tress, garage door, etc.  You can also spread the word by printing then inserting into a sheet protector, and placing on the sides of the Canada Post postal boxes or to the poles of street signs (just like you would display garage sale signage) – please be careful to damage anything.  Print and put them up for the duration of this crisis in London!

2. Hearts in Windows – Children and adults alike can have some fun drawing, painting and/or cutting out hearts in all colours and sticking them in your front windows as another way to express support to front-line workers. There is a nationwide movement, originating from British Columbia, calling on all Canadians to participate in this activity.

3.Ribbons – Tie RED RIBBONS around the trees and shrubs in your front lawn, fences, railings, the front of your apartment building (with permission), on the tree trunks of the trees along your street. That way those who are required to go into work during these challenging times know “you have their back”.  Why red? The colour red symbolizes courage, strength, confidence, compassion and love – all things we want and wish for our front-line healthcare and essential service workers!

4.Facebook & Twitter – we have set up a new community page, The London Spirit – Covid19 Crisis or @thelondonspirit, and a Twitter account, @londoncovid19, which are both safe, open social media spaces for anyone to post…

Messages of hope! Messages of gratitude! Acknowledgement of essential workers. Sharing positive stories. Sharing inspirational stories of how specific front-line healthcare and all essential service workers have helped you, your family, organization, neighbourhood, etc. during this contagious and dangerous pandemic. Please, please, please share tales of courage and/or kindness by our local heroes: healthcare workers, grocery workers, pharmacy workers, store clerks, maintenance workers, bus drivers, public service workers, and everyone working so we can stay safe at home! Please, feel free to express your expressions of gratitude, motivation and encouragement to front-line healthcare and all essential service workers!
EVERYONE, please take a few minutes of your time to participate in one or more of these easy-to-do, inexpensive, grassroots, community-driven activities! They can help boost the morale of so many who fear for their own families, but are serving Canada by going into their workplaces everyday, in spite of the risk to themselves.  
Let’s demonstrate how STRONG and ALIVE our community spirit, The London Spirit is by participating  in all of these activities TODAY.  Now, more than ever, we’re all in this together, so let’s support those risking their lives to save ours!

Even COVID-19 can’t beat The London Spirit!

https://www.facebook.com/thelondonspirit/