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: Inspire Thursdays: Living Well With Chronic Conditions/Inspire Saturdays: Living Well With Chronic Conditions. As well as: Sharing Circles, Knit Happens!: Therapeutic Knitting (and other crafts), Tuesday Trivia Time!, Tai Chi/Qigong, gentle yoga, speakers, blog posts, Chat Clubs, Soul to Soul Convos…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.

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 Syndromes), CRPS, chronic pain/chronic illness, etc. We’re a volunteer-drive, grassroots group who gratefully accept donations, of any size —– via cheque, cash, etransfers – fmgroup.london@gmail.com 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, when you 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 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!

NEW DATE!!! Mondays in 2021

B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club) ~~ 1pm Monday January 4th, 2021 and 1pm Monday January 18th, 2021. Where we chat, laugh, 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! 1pm Monday January 4th, 2021 and 1pm Monday January 18th, 2021.

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. 1pm Monday January 4th, 2021 and 1pm Monday January 18th, 2021.

Tuesdays in 2020 and 2021

Tuesday Trivia Time (TTT) ~~~~~ You get your 1st Trivia point, it’s on Tuesday! Join us 1pm Tuesday December 29th, 2020 – “Special Edition: Saying Goodbye to 2020 and Hello to 2021!!! To Better Days Ahead!” ~~~~~ Prizes available! FREE! 1pm Tuesday January 12th, 2021 and 1pm Tuesday January 19th, 2021.

PARTY ALERT!!!

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

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

Wednesdays/Weekly at 1pm 2021 – Wednesday January 6th, 2021 1pm; Wednesday January 13th, 2021 1pm; Wednesday January 20th, 2021 1pm; Wednesday January 27th, 2021 1pm. “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. 1pm Wednesday January 6th, 2021; 1pm Wednesday January 13th, 2021; 1pm Wednesday January 20th, 2021; 1pm Wednesday January 27th, 2021.

Thursdays in 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). 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! 1pm Thursday January 14th, 2021 and 1pm Thursday January 28th, 2021 at 1pm.

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 January 7th, 2021 ~~~~ “How To Save Money While Living Well with Chronic Illness” ~~~ Presentation will include tips, tricks, hacks, many ways to save you more money in 2021!

Weekday Sharing Circle Sessions — Sharing resources, information, stories, ideas, company, and hope at 1pm Thursday January 21st, 2021.

Fridays in January 2021

Bi-weekly Gentle Yoga/Breathwork/Meditation w/ Andrea Pearson on 1pm Friday January 8th, 2021 and Friday January 22nd, 2021. FREE! A break for December and then back again in 2021!!! 1pm Friday January 8th, 2021 and Friday January 22nd, 2021. Please consult with your physician before starting any new exercise regime.

NEW! Men’s Online Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Support Group 1pm Fridayday January 15th, 2021 – Register at : fmgroup.london@gmail.com or call 519-453-3198 and we’ll send you a free and safe Zoom link!!!

Soul to Soul Convo 1pm Friday January 29th, 2021 (for FLG Members only). Discussing spirituality, hope, love, peace, caring, change, philosophy, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, courage, spiritual harmony, spiritual activism, kindness and so much more. So join the 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 January 2021

Inspire Saturdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions 1pm Saturdays bi-monthly.

Sharing Circle Saturdays bi-monthly — starting 2021 off right by talk to that understands. Who really understands. Others say they get it. We really get it. Also sharing resources, tips, tricks, life hacks, hope and laughter. Saturday January 9th, 2021.

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.

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.

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, Fibromyalgia, Guest Speaker

IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY: COPING TIPS FROM PSYCHOLOGY

Dr. Rhonda Gilby is a blogger, member of Fibromyalgia London Group and the mother of two daughters with Fibromyalgia. Dr. Gilby has been a clinical psychologist for over 30 years, helping people cope with the various problems that they are experiencing. She has taught psychology courses at Western University 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. ngilby@rogers.com

Savouring the positive – where are you shining your flashlight?

Our lives are filled with many, many different experiences. At any given time, there can be many wonderful things going on in your life, at the same time as you are dealing with some “not-so-wonderful” things.  What do you focus on?

Imagine that you live in darkness, always holding a flashlight in your hand. Where do you shine that flashlight? How much of your time do you spend focusing on the negative, shining your flashlight into a dark corner where some unpleasant experiences or painful feelings reside, and how much of your time are you using your flashlight to search for and focus on the happier, more pleasurable things that are also happening for you right now.

Life can (and will) hit you with all kinds of challenges and disappointments. Nobody gets a perfectly smooth ride on their journey through life. But you do have some choice in how those setbacks will affect you. You can take control of your flashlight, and redirect its beam to the delightful things that are also around you, despite those challenges, and focus on the richness that your life also offers.

bumpyroad

Choose to savour the small pleasures that life offers – making a deliberate effort to notice and appreciate the positive aspects of life. Psychologists Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff have explored the concept of savouring, noting that we sometimes we can experience positive feelings or experiences in our lives, and be too busy or too wrapped up in our negative emotions to pay much attention to them.

Happiness isn’t just about having the positive experiences, it’s also about noticing them, enjoying them, trying to prolong them, shining your flashlight on them. For example, rather than eating your morning muffin mindlessly, linger over it, appreciate the aroma, the sweetness or crunch, the blueberries as they burst in your mouth. 

blueberry muffin

Rather than just walking to get from A to B, notice the warmth of the sunshine on your face, feel the crispness of the air, or observe the beauty of the clean, white snow on a winter’s day.

Riverside walk on a snowy winter's day Stock Photo - 4218141

Instead of feeling like you really didn’t do anything tonight, even a quiet evening with family or friends can be savoured, for the comfort, calm, and feeling of care that it provides. If you make the effort, there is lots of positive in every life to focus on. You can savour a memory of a past experience, savour an experience as it is happening  or look forward to an anticipated enjoyable future experience.

Remember that good moments pass quickly, so make an effort to consciously appreciate them, and be careful about where you shine your flashlight.

Take care and be good to yourselves.

Dr. Rhonda Gilby, guest blogger, member of Fibromyalgia London Group. teacher, clinical psychologist for over 30 years, and the mother of two daughters with Fibromyalgia.  ngilby@rogers.com