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CHRISTMAS, COVID & KIDS

CHRISTMAS, COVID & KIDS

‘Tis soon the season to celebrate Christmas, but COVID is changing many of our traditions this year.  When it comes to family time, it may be best to preplan the holidays a bit more this time around.  As adults, there’s a very strong desire to fight change, and the kids in our lives feel our anxieties.

I spoke to Angel Powers of Mainstream Therapy today about how we can create a different yet meaningful Christmas this year.(https://mainstreamtherapy.com)  Angel is a clinical social worker/therapist who has been in the trenches helping so many work through the changes that COVID has been creating.

The first advice Angel gives is to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.  We can only think one way at a time and should always work at keeping everyone on the right track.  In Angel’s words; “Where focus goes – energy flows…if we’re constantly focusing on what’s missing and how disconnected we are, we’ll amplify those feelings.  Instead, if we focus on reframing the way we look at connectedness, we can turn a negative into a positive.  For instance, if I close my eyes and imagine I’m walking to the fridge to get a lemon, imagine that I’m cutting and smelling the lemon, even biting into it I will always salivate.  The reality is that our brains don’t know if we’re imaging the lemon or actually eating it…perhaps this could be a key component to helping fill the void of disconnectedness.”

She asks everyone to create new family traditions that can replace not being able to gather in our larger family groups this year.  Keeping close to home there are still wonderful activities to do as a family.  Angel has given us a few ideas, but we’d love to hear from you as well.  Share your ideas in the comment section…your thoughts may help someone in a difficult time!

Ideas from Angel

  1.  Take a walk through some of Barrie’s beautiful trails – taking pictures.  We are blessed with a wide variety of trails limiting no one.
  2. Take a drive as a family to check out the Christmas Lights. (Maybe even open your windows and sing carols as you go…could be fun!)
  3. On the East Coast, they call this “Mummering” – visiting neighbours to sing, play music or act silly – only because of COVID you’ll need to stay outside.
  4. Set up a “minute to win it” afternoon or evening.  The short games can be hilariously funny with little to no cost.  If you’re not sure of the games, search online, there are great ideas to be found.
  5. Start a Christmas movie tradition during the holidays.  The memories made watching movies as a family can last a lifetime.
  6. Create stories and relive funny Christmas memories.  We all have one or two of those.  You might be tickled pink at what wee ones come up with!
  7. Put away the electronics for an evening and drag out the board games -Who remembers the last time you played Risk?
  8. At the times you would have been together with other family and friends, arrange to get together via Face time or Zoom.  The seniors in your life may really appreciate that.

Most of all remember, Love has no bounds – focus on that.”  Keeping your thoughts on togetherness and closeness will help everyone to make this a Christmas to remember in a great way!

MAINSTREAM THERAPY

"When we hold ourselves back, we deprive the world of the gift that is you.
-Angel Powers

FrontLine Workers

Today I had the opportunity to speak with Therapist Angel Powers about the increasing need for seeking therapy during this Pandemic.  We discussed the shifts happening in mental health with various populations in the City.  According to Angel, our front line workers are starting to understand more than ever that therapy is a very important part of their personal health care regime.  The fear of many is that when the Pandemic is finally under control we’ll see many more front line workers breaking down once their “fight or flight” mode ceases to be necessary.  Angel firmly believes that everyone needs to be proactive and wise enough to start self-nuturing… front line workers most of all.

Our Youth

The next concern is for the youth of today.  During the summer Angel was able to hold youth circles outside with great success.  She now has set two platforms for youth circles via Zoom; children ages 9-12 and 13-16 years old.  She finds that there is a distinct increase of anxiety in our youth today.  Most noticed is that there is much more impulsive behavior and a lack of connection with their community.  This often ends up in our youth feeling harassed by adults over choices being made.  Angel understands the need for physical outlets so well that she’ll meet her clients at the batting cages, on the track or even hiking.  For this age group – that’s a definite plus!

Couples Therapy

Mainstream Therapy offers Couples Therapy as well, but notice that women in general recognize the need for therapy sooner.  They seem to understand when they are in an identity crisis and emotionally bankrupt.  Angel and her staff work diligently in de-stigmatizing the therapy process.  The therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focus Therapy as well as Energy Work, including Reiki, Intuitive Training Therapy and Timeline Therapy.

Angel's Story

Angel’s own life story has compelled her to become a therapist, having been born into addiction and domestic violence.  By 8 years of age, Mom, Angel and her brother were in hiding in a women’s shelter, landing later in Vancouver where their names were changed.  During a freaky moment they were discovered in Vancouver causing them to flee with new names once again, to the East Coast this time.  Returning to Vancouver later, the family underwent intense therapy.  To make matters even more difficult Angel suffered a very nasty dog attack causing years of PTSD.  She attests to the value of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helping her to overcome her fears.

By 2012 Angel had started her career as a therapist, finally opening Mainstream Therapy in 2019.  She aspires to be Canada’s #1 Hub for Mental Health, Personal Development and Spiritual Growth.  During the Pandemic their business has moved online through Zoom, Facetime or over the phone.  As one client said, “The very fact that kept me from therapy was face to face.  The fact that it’s over the phone – that’s what I like the best.”

 5 STEPS TO SELF – HEALTH 

  1. Talk about your concerns with a professional if possible.  They are unbiased and can be openly honest.
  2. Monitor your “Check-outs”.  How often are you using alcohol, drugs, social media, t.v. or shopping to escape your reality?
  3. Take care of your body – it’s the only one you have.  Sleep, nutrition an exercise are vital.
  4. You are the average of the 5 people who surround you – connect with people who nurture you.
  5. Love yourself first – you’re better for everyone else when you do.

In closing, Angel tells me that at Mainstream Therapy it’s always about the client and navigating change.  It’s people helping people as we’re in this journey of human life together.  Make a choice and call Angel at (705) 717-2107.

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