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 Educational, Fibromyalgia

IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY: COPING TIPS FROM PSYCHOLOGY – Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

“Which wolf are you feeding?” 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.

“Which wolf are you feeding?”

Most people occasionally have thoughts that are unpleasant, worrisome or critical, and those with Fibromyalgia are certainly no exception, quite possibly experiencing even more of these thoughts than others. These thoughts, of course, make us feel bad. When such thoughts occur, despite knowing that they are not helpful, we may feel powerless to control them. There is a conflict between how those thoughts make us feel, and how we would like to be feeling.

This conflict is well-represented in the fable about two wolves. Although there is some question about the origins of this tale, it frequently has been referred to as a Native American legend. One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is negativity, it’s anger, sadness, stress, contempt, disgust, fear, embarrassment, guilt, shame and hate. The other is positivity. It’s joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and above all, love.”
The little boy thought about it for a while and asked his grandfather, ”Well which wolf wins?” And the grandfather answered, “The one you feed.”

The parable is really about where we focus our attention. It seems that, in general, people tend to spend more time focusing on negative experiences in life than focusing on what is good. In psychology, this is referred to as the “negativity bias”. It is considered to have evolved for a good reason—to keep us out of harm’s way. In our evolutionary past, our survival depended a lot more on our ability to recognize danger than on our ability to notice the positive. Not noticing a lion waiting in the grass could end your life. Not noticing a field of ripe, wild fruit that you are passing may just leave you hungry for a while longer.
According to clinical psychologist, Rick Hanson, negative stimuli produce more activity in the brain than do equally intense positive stimuli. We have become wired to pay more attention to negative information, and we perceive it more easily and more quickly. Apparently, the brain is good at learning from bad experiences but bad at learning from good experiences. So, many of our good experiences may feel good in the moment, without having any lasting value. “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positives ones.”

Nowadays, having a constant negativity bias is no longer necessary for our survival, and, in fact, increases our stress levels and makes it more difficult for us to cope. Can we train our brains for more positivity? Can we start feeding the more positive wolf? Do we get a choice? According to the most recent neuroscientific evidence, the answer is “YES”. According to Hanson, who calls this “taking in the good”, there are things that we can do to begin to feed the good wolf. Hanson recommends the following three steps to overcome negativity bias:

  1. Look for good facts, and turn them into good experiences. For example, let yourself feel good if you get something done, or if someone is nice to you, or if you notice a positive feature about yourself.
  2. Take time (at least 20 to 30 seconds) to pay attention and enjoy good experiences. Don’t just let a positive experience quickly pass. Making positive sensations last longer, solidifies them in our long-term memory.
  3. Focus on and let yourself sense the feelings of those good experiences as they are sinking into you. Imagine that positivity spreading through your body, like a warm glow spreading within you. While you hold the good experience in your awareness, it can become hard-wired into your brain.
    According to Hanson, “Any single time you do this will make only a little difference. But over time those little differences will add up, gradually weaving positive experiences into the fabric of your brain and your self.”

I know that this is certainly not a quick fix, and that looking for the good” is not going to be the remedy for all of our problems. In fact, changing our focus can be harder than it sounds, and making a change in the way we look at our world can take a lot of mental work. But I also know that we don’t have to be at the mercy of a built-in negativity bias that really doesn’t help us anymore. Although we may be struggling with those nasty symptoms that Fibromyalgia has thrown at us, it can be well worth the effort to work to find and focus on those good experiences (e.g., time with our loved ones, a caring FM community, a sunny day or a delicious meal, to name just a few) that are also a part of our lives.
So take care, have an awesome day, and remember to feed the good wolf!

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 has 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