Posted in COVID-19, Educational, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Guest Speaker, Sharing Circle, Social events, ZOOM

Imagine (all the Zoom Meetings)

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us (online)
And the world will be as one…

Imagine all the people, connecting online…
Living life in peace
. Living life in peace with: (NEW) Inspire Thursdays: Living Well With Chronic Conditions/Inspire Saturdays: Living Well With Chronic ConditionsAs well as Sharing Circles, Knit Happens!: Therapeutic Knitting (and other crafts), Tuesday Trivia Time!, Tai Chi, gentle yoga, speakers, blog posts, Chat Clubs, Soul to Soul Convos, “All I Want For Christmas is Zoom” Virtual Christmas Party (Join Us for an afternoon of holiday cheer, laughter, reflection,and fun❖We invite you to come onto the call dressed in Christmas-themed apparel, like your one-of-a-kind Ugly Sweater, Christmas PJs, Elf/Santa Hat, Reindeer Antlers, “Over the Top”outfits!❖Bring Your Favourite Christmas Afternoon Delight – Tea,Hot Chocolate, Egg Nog, Alcoholic (you are home after all!) or Non-Alcoholic Drinks…as well as so many other resources.

We’re staying connected, so important, now more than ever – we’re just doing it virtually, instead of in person. We hope you’ll keep in touch.
Reach out.
Stay connected.

Take part in our FREE online activities
(you don’t even need to change out of your PJs,
just relax, enjoy, eat, drink, be merry!).

All ZOOM activities are free (we are a volunteer-drive, grassroots group so donations, of any size, are gratefully accepted —– via etransfers – fmgroup.london@gmail.com ), courtesy of Fibromyalgia London Group and open to all, especially those with Fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, CRPS, MCS, CSS (Central Sensitivity Syndromes), chronic pain/chronic illness, etc. We have people from around the world dropping by, you should too!

You don’t need a Zoom account to participate, but feel free to get one or download the app. We have an paid account and we’ve taken precautions to make it safe as possible for participants. Each activity is a “respect” zone where we respect each other and enjoy the activity, together. Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Please register (let us know which activities – you can attend any or all, just let us know which ones to save time and energy), so we can send you the free Zoom link (again, you don’t need a ZOOM account, we have one): Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com (or Donna at: darcyyada@gmail.com) ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198

Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share (seriously, seeing isn’t enough, share, please, you don’t know who you will reach, who you will help by simply sharing!) on Social Media —-Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca !!!!! Please, also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

Tuesdays in December 2020

B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1pm Tuesday December 8th, 2020 and 1pm Tuesday December 22nd, 2020 ~~~ it’s where we chat, 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, yoga, camping, TED Talks, podcasts, drawing, hobbies, writing, blogging, sewing, volunteering, music, fishing, hiking, painting, and more! Any questions? Contact Donna at: darcyyada@gmail.com Drop by and chat about things that distract us from pain and fatigue and all the bad stuff, but please, if you wish to discuss chronic illness, join us at one or more of our monthly Sharing Circles, Thursday/Saturday and/or email us questions or ask questions on social media (direct message if you wish it to remain private). This time is to escape our pain, worries, etc.

Tuesday Trivia Time (TTT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You get your 1st Trivia point, it’s on Tuesday! Join us 1pm Tuesday December 1st, 2020 and 1pm Tuesday December 15th, 2020, 1pm Tuesday December 29th, 2020 – “Special Edition: Saying Goodbye to 2020 and Hello to 2021!!! To Better Days Ahead!” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Prizes available! FREE!

PARTY ALERT!!! We’ve got you covered! Wednesday December 30th, 2020 ~ Please, join us for the goodbye to 2020 and Hello to 2021 Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious New Year’s Eve Eve Virtual Party!!!

Wednesdays in January 2021 – Qigong with new instructor, Ron Hicks

Wednesdays/Weekly at 1pm 2021 – “The ancient Chinese art of Qigong, closely related to Tai Chi, promotes health and wellness mentally, and physically by following 3 principles: Using the mind , proper breathing and slow movements. I will teach some basic exercises which can be done standing or sitting. Each class will end with a short guided meditation.” Instructor: Ron Hicks. Please check with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Thursdays in December 2020

Thursdays at 1pm bi-weekly – Knit Happens! (therapeutic knitting and other crafts shared in a group – new or an expert or something in between, join us) 1pm Thursday December 10th, 2020. FREE! No knitting (you can still enjoy at home, Santa probably needs some new socks!) December 24th, 2020 (Christmas Eve) – Happy Holidays! We’ll pick up this stitch in 2021!

NEW – Inspire Thursdays: Living Well With Chronic Conditions !!! – Speakers, videos, information sessions about chronic illnesses, resources, how to overcome challenges, learn about how to live well with a chronic condition, etc. 1pm Thursday December 3rd, 2020 ~~~~~~~ How to Save Money While Living With Chronic Conditions (Just in time to save you money at Christmas!). ~~~~~Done but you can catch the repeat this Saturday December 5th, 2020 @ 1pm

Weekday Sharing Circle Sessions — Sharing resources, information, stories, ideas, company, and hope at 1pm Thursday December 17th, 2020.

Fridays in December 2020

Bi-weekly Gentle Yoga/Breathwork/Meditation w/ Andrea Pearson (all the way from the UK) on 1pm Friday November 20th, 2020. FREE! A break for December and then back again in 2021!!! Please consult with your physician before starting any new exercise regime.

Soul to Soul Convo 1pm Friday December 4th, 2020 and 1pm Friday December 18th, 2020 (for FLG Members only). Discussing spirituality, hope, love, peace, caring, change, religion, philosophy, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, courage, spiritual harmony, spiritual activism, kindness and so much more. So join us, Soul to Soulers, take a break from the chaos of the world, turn off your devices (except the device you’re using to access Zoom lol), turn off social media, the news, and tune into to your inner calm.

Saturdays in December 2020 and January 2021

Inspire Saturdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions 1pm Saturday December 5th, 2020“How to Save Money While Living With Chronic Conditions (Just in time to save you money at Christmas!). Presenter, Donna Parker, blogger and Peer Leader of Fibromyalgia London Group.

Sharing Circle Saturdays January 9th, 2021. Need someone to talk to that understands? Really understands. Others say they get it. We really get it. Also sharing resources, tips, tricks, life hacks, hope and laughter.

Register so we can send you the free Zoom link (you don’t need a ZOOM account, we have one): Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~~~~~~~~~ or Tel: 519-453-3198

Read our blog pots, our social media offerings, enjoy, learn, then please, Share on Social Media ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Since the beginning of this historic, horrible pandemic, a lot of things have changed,especially with Fibromyalgia London Group, but a lot has stayed the same. Our commitment to staying connected has stayed the same.

Our commitment to being there for each other. Our commitment to supporting ourselves by helping others.
None of that has changed.

Drum roll please!!! Missing Christmas bazaars? (I know I am!). Need some stuff and services…for FREE??? Fibromyalgia London Group has our own Facebook group page, “Free For the Taking/Giving” https://www.facebook.com/groups/550486615667745/!!! The rules are simple, everything offered or received has to be free! Yes, FREE (love love love that word, Free) for the taking or giving!!!

Many of us have been decluttering, readjusting, rethinking, so here’s chance to give your gently-loved and/or new items a new home!

Here’s how it works: Post an item (or items) you wish to “Gift”/donate, then you type back you want it, then Private Message (PM) and arrange a contactless pickup. Easy peasy lemony squeezy!

AND/OR post an item (or items) you wish to “gift”/donate and myself or someone else says, “Yahoo! I’d love that!” and arrange contactless pickup/delivery and so on and so and so on…

You can even ask/offer services like but not limited to: picking up groceries/household items if you know the person has mobility or transportation issues; cooking/delivering meals/baking; helping teach computers, Zoom, social media, smartphones, streaming services, devices or any kind, etc.; cutting grass/gardening; picking up city garbage tags, or seriously, whatever – use your heart and your imagination! Check it out here… https://www.facebook.com/groups/550486615667745/

Both our group and Zoom have taken extra precautions so we won’t be Zoombombed. Just FYI, I hear a lot of people calling it “hacking”, it’s not really hacking, it’s obnoxious people getting hold of a meeting’s info and jumping in, kind of like old timey “photobombing”; “zoombombing” is silly, rude, immature, yes, but we’re doing everything we can to avoid it. To date, out of all our Zoom activities, and there have been dozens, we’ve had zero problems, with that.

So join us.
It’s safe.
It’s fun.
It’s helpful.
It’s here, for you. It’s FREE!!!!

And you don’t even have to leave your house!!!

If you have any questions, please email me (Donna Parker) at: darcyyada@gmail.com – I’m here to help (or at least try).
We have sooooooo many activities,
there must be something that interests you!!!
While all these activities have been free so far (we gratefully accept any donation of any size give only what you can and want – etransfers to: fmgroup.london@gmail.com).

Fibromyalgia London Group (we also welcome anyone with CFS, ME, chronic pain and/or fatigue) is a extremely dedicated, active grassroots, volunteer-driven organization, but we need help…not just with donations, but help with support, volunteering, ideas, connecting to resources/information, sharing our information on social media and to family, friends, other groups, etc. Sharing is caring and you never know who you will help.

It’s much harder to concentrate on your pain, your fatigue, your worries, troubles, woes, etc. when you’re helping others.

This is a group for those who want not just survive the trials and tribulations we face, but to thrive (with some help). Help us help you!
Join our wonderful activities!!!
Join the group itself!!!

Thanks again and hope this week treats you kindly. Stay Safe. Stay Home. Stay connected. Wash Your Hands. Stay in touch. And when in doubt, Zoom it out!!!

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Buon Natale! Feliz Navidad! Frohe Weihnachten! toDwI’ma’ qoS yItIvqu’! “Chag Sameach! Mele Kalilimaka! Wesołych Świąt! Happy Hogswatch! Joyous Kwanzaa! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! 圣诞节快乐 Shèngdàn jié kuàilè! क्रिसमस की बधाई krisamas kee badhaee! Happy Festivus! Yuletide Greetings! ulihelisdi danisdayohihvi! Hanukkah Sameach! Happy Hanukkah! Καλά Χριστούγεννα! Meri Kuri! Laethanta saoire sona! Joy to the world! Happy Holidays! The fruit cake’s in the mail! Seasons Greetings! It doesn’t matter how we say it, we should feel it in our hearts all the year through!!!

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

Show Me The Money!

“Show Me The Money!” is a Guest Post by D. Parker, blogger and Peer Leader of Fibromyalgia London Group https://yadadarcyyada.com

Money is still, somehow, one of those weirdly “taboo” subjects.

This horror movie we’re living in, which so far has no credits, just keeps rolling on, but perhaps it can have a tiny silver lining. It can teach us to discuss everything. To be transparent, honest, to see all sides, all possibilities. We need to stop going to “check out that noise” or “check the basement” or “go to the attic”. If we learn nothing else from this nightmare, we should learn to be honest.

Too many people think honesty is scary. It’s the same when it comes to money. They think discussing money is: “embarrassing”, “frightening”, “crass”, or “inappropriate”. We all need money, unfortunately (it’s the main reason the world is a mess, simplistic, maybe, but it doesn’t make it untrue).

Money controls our lives. It’s the true reason for most of the world’s problems, yet too many people refuse to talk about it, learn about it, and try to figure out why money’s too tight to mention. Politics, religion, food, vaccines, money, “The Great Pumpkin”…geez, what can we talk about these days without a brawl?

Times are tough, or not, depending which politicians are trying to score which point.

Most people have at least a rudimentary knowledge of budgeting, oh no, I said a dirty word, the “b” word, “budget”. Who knows what I’ll say next? “Economize”. “Reduce”. Or the big “F”, “frugal”. Gasp!

Why are people ashamed of being poor? Or nowadays, using words like “reduced circumstances” (what if you were never “duced”?). Being “poor” isn’t a financially transmitted disease you’ll catch by using coupons, price-matching, or shopping at thrift stores! It’s not an austere version of COVID-19 (but for actual viruses, please wear a mask, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, physical distance, don’t hoard toilet paper, stay home as much as possible and stay connected).

Some folks are the same way about frugality. They seem to think trying to save money, trying not to spend so much, trying not to go into debt is somehow “embarrassing”. That somehow you should be ashamed of: shopping the sales, couponing, getting freebies, price-matching, buying secondhand (gently loved), or just generally living below your means. Yet personally, I love, love, love the Depression Era slogan,

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.”

I’m proud of being able to pinch a penny till it screams!!! Why? I don’t believe that being “poor” is “bad” just like I don’t believe being “rich” is “good”. It’s not noble to be poor or to be rich. Money should never be a measure of success. Character should be a measure of success. On The Orville they have a system of no money, everyone has what they need and what they want – it’s their reputation, their character that counts. Imagine turning our crazy world upset down and finally using “common” sense/no cents?

Until then, here’s some ways to save…

1… Stay connected. Stay safe. Zoom meetings help you stay connected and a Zoom account is free. For example, Fibromyalgia London Group – all are welcome, not just those with Fibromyalgia, as long as you follow rules of courtesy and kindness – has tons of “Free” (FLG is a volunteer-driven, grassroots group, we gratefully accept donations, big or small, we love and thankfully them all!) Zoom meetings every month. We’ll send you a free, safe link after you’ve registered (email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com).

Please be specific when you email – “Sign me up for Zoom” isn’t enough because seriously, we’ve got: Virtual Christmas Parties; Sharing Circles (what happens in the Sharing Circles stays in the Sharing Circles); Therapeutic Knitting (and other crafts); Inspire Thursdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions (speakers, videos, Q&As, etc.); Inspire Saturdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions (speakers, videos, Q&As, etc.); B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club) where we talk about anything that distracts us from pain, ie. books, movies, streaming, gardening, podcasts, pets (please bring your pets to any or all Zoom meetings, we love meeting them), hobbies, crafts, TV; Tai Chi/Qigong; Gentle Yoga with Breathwork and Meditation; “Tuesday Trivia Time”; special guests, speakers, and so, so much more – online activities galore!

Other ways to save?

2…Love streaming, but not the cost of streaming? There are someFree” alternatives, when it comes to streaming (but don’t be fooled and keep an eye out, some become decidedly less free and others more free!). Though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here are few, including but not limited to:

  • Tubi (free and fantastic).
  • MUCH – more than music.
  • Food Network
  • Pluto TV
  • YTV
  • Slice
  • Vice
  • TVO
  • TVO Kids
  • CBC/GEM
  • OMNI
  • APTN lumi
  • TDF
  • BET
  • Driving Television
  • The Weather Network
  • CPAC
  • HGTV
  • Food Network
  • BNN
  • Classic Cinema Online
  • ConTV
  • Knowledge: KIds (even has “Paw Patrol”)
  • Roku channel (if you stream on Roku)
  • Kanopy
  • Hoopla
  • PopcornFlix
  • Crackle
  • CTV (timed/limited)
  • Global (timed/limited)
  • and/or you can buy an indoor digital TV antenna or an outdoor antenna…there are so many ways to save and see!

Plus, look for Free Trials (many streaming services are, sadly, removing their “free” trails, for example, Netflix and Disney Plus) of streaming/music/reading services. Again, though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here’s a few available now, including but not limited to:

  • Acorn TV
  • Britbox
  • Crave
  • HBO/TMN
  • Spotify
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • Audible
  • Apple Music
  • Amazon Music
  • YouTube Premium
  • Sirius Canada
  • PBS
  • Sundance Now
  • Crunchyroll
  • Shudder
  • Smithsonian
  • Funimation
  • Discovery Channel
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Apple TV
  • and more!

Watch and see if they’re right for you. Note the start date of your free trial and cancel if you don’t like them. Cancel a few days before, you’ll still have the preview to the end of the trial. Easy-“stay home”-“stay safe”-“stay connected”-free-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

3… The “C” word, no, not Coronavirus, or cancer, in this case, a good “c” word, coupons! We used to clip these, now, they’re printed, or digital, or sometimes still mailed to us. I save a lot of money with coupons, sometimes even getting items free (what a lovely word, I never get tired of hearing or seeing it). If you’re into it, there’s also lots of free samples, contests, and surveys out there. Savealoonie, Samplesource, Websaver, Smartcanucks, Pinecone Research, Asking Canadians, Lifepoints, Swagbucks, and so, so many more. Sometimes, I get freebies, coupons, samples for items I don’t want or use, but get them anyway so I give them to others. Find more ways to save and places to find savings online through frugality blogs and other websites. If you have suggestions for ways to save, please leave them in the comment box below. We love to learn. We love to save.

4… Get paid to shop! Music to our ears and our wallets (virtual or otherwise). That’s exactly what some apps do, like: Rakuten Canada (formerly Ebates), Caddle, Checkout 51, Airmiles, PC Optimum, Petro-Points, Shopper Army, Swagbucks, Plum Rewards (the free version), The Mission Store, David’s Tea, The Body Shop, and so, so many more – look them up! And don’t forget to add the Honey, an app that checks for online coupons and can save you even more!

5… Happy Birthday! Lots of places give birthday “treats” – free stuff or discounts, etc. Don’t feel comfortable giving your “real” date of birth, make yourself a few years younger. But remember, sometimes age does matters! Specifically with Student Discounts and Senior Discounts (some start as low as 55 – the new 45?). Discounts at stores, restaurants, education, pharmacies, thrift stores, travel, car rentals, banking, hotels, entertainment, museums and so many more! Don’t be afraid to ask, you have nothing to lose and so much to win!

6… Groupon. Make sure you read the fine print (always good advice, for every single thing in life). I’ve found some great deals there, including but not limited to: Costco memberships with Shop cards/products that negate the amount of your membership (really!); pizza (anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, has never paid for a pizza or the makings of a pizza, yes, you can make pizza at home!). Oh and I paid $4 for a movie w/ popcorn and a drink – I went and saw that movie in a theater, remember those? Back in the good old days when we went to a place, went inside the building, with other people, sat in seats, beside other people, and watched a movie.

7…

Looking for gently used, previously loved and/or brand new items (sometimes with the tags still on)? Then try (carefully, use common sense): Kijiji, eBay, Etsy, buy and Sell, Facebook Marketplace, Buy Nothing https://buynothingproject.org/ and/or Swap groups, Swapsity, Swap and Buy, etc. Fibromyalgia London Group has their own version, just for those with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other chronic illnesses, “Free For The Taking/Giving” https://www.facebook.com/groups/550486615667745/

8…

Price/Ad Matching – you can bring a flyer, or show an app on a smartphone (ie. Flipp, Reebee, etc.) from one store to another, just show it to clerk and get items cheaper (yahoo!!!). Of course, an easy, amazing way to save is sales. Shop sales!

But wait, there’s more…

9…

It doesn’t have to be complicated, look close to home. Look around your place. Cooking, canning, preserving, and baking are shockingly easy ways to save money.

10…

Sewing, mending, knitting, DIY, gardening, and so much more. Decluttering. Repurposing – for example, my Mom magically changes T-shirts, pajamas, etc. into fun pillow art/pillow covers.

11…

Sort through your “treasures”, you know the ones, collecting dust, being used to hang clothes on, stored, just-in-case, might-fit-me-someday, what-if-I-need-it, whatever — sell them, donate them, give them away, swap them.

12…

Why buy new?

Why pay more? Buy gently loved. Buy previously loved. Buy brand spanking new but never used and given away. In this wildly consumer-driven culture, we too often “Dumpit to Crumpit”. But many people also generously donate. There are treasures to be found at: thrift stores, secondhand stores, mission stores, Salvation Army, Goodwill, eBay, Etsy (some new stuff, handmade) many of these places now are online as well! Don’t let perfectly lovely things go to the trash heap when you can give them new life. I’ve found Alfred Sung, Doc Marten, Derek Alexander and so much more, often w/ tags still on. A quirky wooden box that says library (it’s where I keep library books, how original). I don’t know the fate of “thrift” stores in a new world order, but for now, if you’re careful, we have hope.

13…

Look for free things to see and do in your community. Take walks on your streets (actually use the sidewalks, safer and if no sidewalks, remember, walk facing oncoming traffic and pay attention, stay safe). Go for lovely walks in your parks. Parks are an amazing resource, they’re ready for anything: Cycling. Picnics. Tai Chi. Yoga. Boating. Fishing. Photography. Martial arts. Playing. Pausing. I love walking through our Ponds – though I live in a large, very busy city, when I step in here, I’m in the woods

Get out there and discover!

14. Speaking of local, how about your local library? Libraries aren’t just buildings with books (but seriously, books are awesome!!!). And now many libraries are going fine free which is fabulous, but seriously, return the books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and more. Many library resources are online, especially now. You can check out ebooks, e-audio books and they’re returned automatically. You can learn languages, look up your ancestry, and stream movies. Read/enjoy thousands of free magazines and newspapers. Learn from free online courses. Get creative with hundreds of crafts. And so much more!!! Also, most cities allow you to get a non-resident card for a small fee. Go online, check it out, what do you have to lose? Hours and hours of fun and who knows what you’ll learn? Look around your neighbourhood for “Little Free Libraries” or “Swap Boxes” – take a book, leave a book. In these tough times, people also leave: food, hygiene items, household items, coupons, etc. Truly a community spirit exercise. Sharing is caring, in so many ways.

15…Online is filled with free (yes, free, why pay?) courses –

These are just a small sampling. Before you throw money at courses, check out some free ones!

What?!? More?!?

16…

Of course, YouTube – the vast universe of stuff at your fingertips!!!
Travel the world (who knew I’d become a
travel blogger during a pandemic?).
Watch “SNL” (especially vintage).
Watch “Graham Norton”.
“Honest Trailers”.
“Stephen Colbert”.
“Seth Meyers”.
“Jimmy Fallon”. Cooking. Baking.

Gaming. “James Corden”.
Knitting. Sewing. Quilting.
Coding. Household repairs.
Shoe repairs. Car repairs.
Learn languages including:
“Dothraki”, “Klingon”, “Elvish”,
“Nadsat”, “Minionese”, “Na’vi”,
“Parseltongue”, “Huttese”
and
even some “real” languages.
Want to know how to
cut an onion without crying?
Decluttering. Organizing.
Tips and tricks. Life hacks.
Health videos (beware).
Magic tricks. CPR.
Sourdough tricks.
Watch (particpate?!?)
exercise videos (personal fav for Fibromyalgia folks,
https://cocolimefitness.com/ ).
Chess. Poker. Meditation.
How to budget
(oh no, the “b” word again).

Live performance and concerts.
Music videos and events.

Lip Sync Battles. Movies.
How to make masks.
How to sell on eBay.
How to fight a shark.
Find any fix. Find news…from anywhere in the world (galaxy?).
Watch a NASA launch.
Find reviews.
Find things that make you snooze –
am I the only adult that enjoys

listening to celebs reading
bedtime stories to me?
Thank you, Dolly Parton,

Jeff Goldblum (stories, umm, umm, umm, find a way),
Tom Hardy, Sean Astin (I made a promise to read, Mr. Frodo), Ray Romano, Jude Law,
Josh Gad (do you wanna read a story?),
Jennifer Garner, Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Lupita Nyong’o, Justin Theroux, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Chrissy Metz, Betty White (thank you for being a friend),
Melissa Gilbert (Little Library on the Prairie?),
David Harbour (Stranger Reads?), Kristen Bell, Allison Janney,
Oprah (And you get a story! And you get a story! And you get a story!),
Barbara Bain, Michelle Yeoh,
Jake Gyllenhaal (I don’t know how to quit you),
Chris Pine, Dule Hill,
David Schwimmer (I’ll be there for you!),

Chris Evans (er, just don’t read from Instagram, Cap),
Kiernan Shipka, Christian Slater (Pump up the Reading Volume), Amy Adams, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth,
Lily James, Jeff Bridges, James Earl Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Silverman, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Mac Conley, Jimmy Fallon, David Byrne, Billie Piper, David Tennant, Josh Brolin (his reading is inevitable), Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Julie Walters, Eddie Redmayne, Eva Longoria,
Natalie Portman,
Iggy Pop,
Rami Malek (we are the reading champions), Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin,
Emma Thompson,
and more, thank you for promoting reading.
Most are children’s books or adult books, reading to relax me, er, for the children and for charity.
Also, free guided mediation on YouTube (Calm, limited; PureGym; Tara Brach UCLA Reasearch; BoHo beautiful; City of Surry; well, you get the idea, the sky’s the limit or beyond). Thank you Chris Hemsworth for the guided meditation. Thank you to the late, great Maya Angelou for leaving us recordings of her gifts; Neil Gaiman for reading us Dickens and Dr. Suess; Christopher Walken for sharing the horror of Edgar Allan Poe as only Walken can, and so many more. Get online and explore. Of course, for Shakespeare lovers and general sonnet lovers alike: Vincent D’Onofrio, Rufus Sewell, William Sadler, Michael Gaston, Lindy Booth, Sir Patrick Stewart (and more) – thank you for reading me stirring sonnets everyday (make it so).

17. Seasons change, but fun stays all the year long. There are many free or frugal activities for each and every season. Here are just a few.

  • Walking – free.
  • Loyalty – free.
  • Quiet – free.
  • Integrity – free.
  • Common sense – free.
  • Snuggling (the snuggle is real) – free.
  • Do you wanna build a snowman? – free.
  • Gratitude – free.
  • Courage – free.
  • Dancing – free.
  • Talking (words matter) – free.
  • Generosity – free.
  • Comfort – free.
  • Joy – free.
  • Forgiveness – free.
  • Compassion – free.
  • Snow angels – free.
  • Hope – free.
  • Imagination – free.
  • Smiling – free.
  • Games, so many games online, free. Puzzles, card games, board games, video games and so much more – free.
  • Friendship – free.
  • Sunlight – free.
  • Sincerity – free.
  • Perseverance – free.
  • Respect – free.
  • Empathy – free.
  • Moonlight – free.
  • Laughing – free.
  • Truth (not just your truth, the truth) – free.
  • Singing – free.
  • Love – free.
  • Understanding – free.
  • Ambition – free.
  • Fairness – free.
  • Cheer – free.
  • Art – free.
  • Literature (see library information above) – free.
  • Music (your brain is full of it, let it flow) – free.
  • Cookies – rarely free sadly (we need a weather machine that makes it rain cookies, who’s with me?), but you can buy the ingredients on sale or with price matching, etc., frugal.

The Grinch learned that Christmas doesn’t have to come from a store, that Christmas can mean just a little bit more. A timeless and free life lesson. And the same goes for birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, every day. How much you spend doesn’t show how much you care. Caring is free.

Kindness is free! So spread it around. Sprinkle that kindness anywhere and everywhere. Fill the world with it…Kindness is the key, and lucky for us, the free key.

“Show Me The Money!” is a Guest Post by D. Parker, blogger and Peer Leader of Fibromyalgia London Group https://yadadarcyyada.com

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

I’ll Stop the World and #Zoom with You

All ZOOM activities are free, courtesy of Fibromyalgia London Group and open to all, especially those with Fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, CRPS, MCS, CSS (Central Sensitivity Syndrome), chronic pain/chronic illness, etc. We have people from around the world dropping by, for free, you should too! You don’t need a Zoom account to participate. We have an account and we’ve taken precautions to make it safe for participants. Each activity is a “respect” zone where we respect each other and enjoy the activity, together. Please register so we can send you the free Zoom link (again, you don’t need a ZOOM account, we have one): Email fmgroup.london@gmail.com (or Donna at: darcyyada@gmail.com) ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Read, Enjoy, Learn, Share (seriously, seeing isn’t enough, share, please, you don’t know who you will reach, who you will help by simply sharing!) on Social Media —-Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca ! Please, also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

Tuesdays November/December 2020/January 2021

B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club) ~~~ 1pm Tuesday January 5th, 2020 —- where we chat over lunch about things that distract us from pain and fatigue and all the bad stuff. Any suggestions on books to discuss? Places you’ve traveled or wish to travel (even virtually?)?

Tuesday Trivia Time (TTT) – you get your 1st point, it’s on Tuesday 1pm ET December 1st, 2020 —— where we “fight” memory problems, to see who can remember things, without looking them up, ok, we often (eventually) look them up. Prizes available! FREE!

Wednesdays January 2021

Wednesdays/Weekly at 1pm January 2021 – “The ancient Chinese art of Qigong, closely related to Tai Chi, promotes health and wellness mentally, and physically by following 3 principles: Using the mind , proper breathing and slow movements. I will teach some basic exercises which can be done standing or sitting. Each class will end with a short guided meditation.” Instructor: Ron Hicks. Please check with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Thursdays November/December 2020 and January 2021

Thursdays at 1pm bi-weekly – Knit Happens! (therapeutic knitting and other crafts shared in a group – new or an expert or something in between, join us) 1pm Thursday January 7th, 2021. FREE!

Inspire Thursdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions – Special videos, speakers, information sessions about chronic illnesses, resources, etc. Thursday December 3rd, 2020 at 1pm ET – Topic: “Saving Money while Living Well with Chronic Conditions” (Just in time for the holidays!).Weekday Sharing Circle Sessions — Sharing resources, information, stories and hope at 1pm Thursday January 28th, 2021.

Fridays November 2020

Bi-weekly Gentle Yoga/Breathwork/Meditation w/ Andrea Pearson (all the way from the UK) on Fridays. FREE! Yoga will be on a break in December and back in 2021!!!

Soul to Soul Convo Friday December 4th, 2020 1pm ET (for Members only).

Saturdays November 2020

Inspire Saturdays: Living Well with Chrnic Conditions 1pm Saturdays. 1pm ET December 5th, 2020 Saturday — Inspire Saturdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions – Special videos, speakers, information sessions about chronic illnesses, resources, etc. Saturday December 5th, 2020 at 1pm ET – Topic: “Saving Money while Living Well with Chronic Conditions” (Just in time for the holidays!). Usually first Saturday for the month. Sharing resources, information, stories and hope. Also, bi-monthly, Saturday Sharing Circle!!!

Stay tuned for upcoming special events!

Please register so we can send you the free Zoom link (again, you don’t need a ZOOM account, we have one): Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca Please also find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Educational, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Guest Speaker, Sharing Circle, Social events, ZOOM

I went to a #Zoom meeting and this happened…

July 2020 is gone?!?
“Time flies like an arrow,
fruit flies like a banana.”
~Groucho Marx

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES/EVENTS:

We’re staying connected, we’re just doing it virtually instead of in person. We hope current members will keep in touch. Reach out. Stay connected.
Take part in our FREE online activities (you don’t even need to change out of your PJs,just relax, enjoy, eat, drink, be merry!).

image.jpeg

PLEASE register for any or all activities so we can send you the free Zoom link (you don’t need an account, we have one): Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ or darcyyada@gmail.com ~ or Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Also, please read, enjoy, learn, share on Social Media —— Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca You can always find us and share us (Fibromyalgia London Group) @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Since the beginning of this historic pandemic, a lot of things have changed, especially with Fibromyalgia London Group,
but a lot has stayed the same.
Our commitment to our members.
Our commitment to staying connected.
Our commitment to being there for each other.
Our commitment to supporting ourselves by helping others.
None of that has changed.

Who loves the word, “FREE”? Then you’re gonna love this! Missing yard/garage sales? Need some stuff…for FREE??? Our new Facebook group page, “Free For the Taking/Giving” https://www.facebook.com/groups/550486615667745/ !!! Everything for FREE (love love love that word, Free) for the taking or giving!!! Many of us have been decluttering, readjusting, rethinking during lockdown so here’s chance to give your gently-loved and/or new items a new home! Here’s how it works: I post an item (or items) I wish to “Gift”/donate, then you type back you want it, then we Private Message (PM) and arrange a contactless pickup. Easy peasy lemony squeezy! AND/OR you post an item (or items) you wish to “gift”/donate and myself or someone else says, “Yahoo! I’d love that!” and arrange contactless pickup/delivery and so on and so and so on… You can even ask/offer services like but not limited to: picking up groceries/household items if you know the person has mobility or transportation issues; cooking/delivering meals/baking; helping teach computers, Zoom, social media, smartphones, streaming services, devices or any kind, etc.; cutting grass/gardening; picking up city garbage tags, or seriously, whatever – use your heart and your imagination! Check it out https://www.facebook.com/groups/550486615667745/

Both our group and Zoom have taken extra precautions so we won’t be Zoombombed (just FYI, I hear a lot of people calling it “hacking”, it’s not really hacking, it’s obnoxious people getting hold of a meeting’s info and jumping in, kind of like “photobombing”; it’s silly, rude, immature, yes, but we’re doing everything we can to avoid it) and to date, out of all our Zoom activities, and there have been dozens, we’ve had zero problems, with that.So join us.
It’s safe.
It’s fun.
It’s helpful.
It’s here, for you, from Fibromyalgia London Group, for FREE!!!!
And you don’t even have to leave your house!!! If you have any questions, please email me (Donna Parker) at: darcyyada@gmail.com – I’m here to help (or at least try).
We have sooooooo many activities,
there must be something that interests you!!!

While all these activities have been free we encourage those who have not YET signed up or renewed their FLG membership to do so now, please.It’s $20 (or more if you can/wish to further support our grassroots, volunteer-driven efforts)) goodwill donation per year/per person and a caregiver/support person!!! This includes everything (yes, everything) we offer – resources, support, help, as well as: any/all activities, meetings, guest speakers, events, well, everything!!!

Fibromyalgia London Group
(we also welcome anyone with CFS, ME, chronic pain and/or fatigue) is a extremely dedicated, active grassroots,
volunteer-driven chapter, always there for it’s members,
but we need help too…

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Help us help you!
Join our wonderful activities!!!
Join the group itself!!!

Others say they “get it”,
we actually “get it”.
Let’s be here for each other.

Thank you for your time, these having been trying times, let’s get through them together (apart but connected). Thanks again and hope this week treats you kindly. Stay Safe. Stay Home. Stay connected. Wash Your Hands. Stay in touch. And when in doubt, Zoom it out!!!

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 try to limit the length of each session so as not to tax ourselves. Pacing (yeah, we used the “P” word, deal with it).

Upcoming Events:

Saturday June 6th, 2020 at 1pm is Saturday Sharing Circle Session Virtual Edition (what happens in the virtual sharing circle stays in the virtual sharing circle!!!) on Zoom! Chronic pain? Chronic fatigue? Brainfog? IBS? Headaches? Anxiety? Insomnia? I could go on and on and on, but you know what I mean, and we know what you mean. Lots of people say they “get it”, we actually “get it”. Need resources? Information? Support? Someone to listen? Sharing Circle is all that and so much more! Join us!!!

“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”

~Adam Lindsay Gordon

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!

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!

WEEKLY!!! Wednesdays! Wednesday 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.   

Tuesday June 16th, 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!

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