How To Stay In Touch Effectively With Your Loved Ones During Quarantine

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It has been a few months since the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world in its clutches. We’re living in a new normal where we need to put a physical distance with one another. While this is essential in flattening the curve, it also led some of us to distance ourselves socially. This self-isolation can take a toll on our mental and emotional state. Online platforms like BetterHelp provides a support system that can help us get through this trying time. Seeking professional psychological help is one of the best ways for us to navigate this pandemic.

“Even though we are forced to be physically separated from one another, it doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of connection,” says Nicholas Epley, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Even during quarantine, there is a myriad of ways to stay in touch with your loved ones. These ways can help make your self-isolation feel a bit less lonely.

Here are some tips on how you can make keeping in touch extra fun and creative.

Host A Virtual Netflix Party

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Nowadays, you can binge-watch movies together with your friends or family even when apart. While you cannot plop on the floor or the couch together, you can still stream movies together. You can do this by installing the Netflix Party Chrome extension on your desktop.

After setting it up, send the link to your loved one to sync the movie with a built-in chat interface. You can now enjoy an episode or a series or a movie together in real-time.

Play A Game Together While In Isolation

Bring the party to your respective houses with Houseparty. The app is full of features that you can use to start your party. It has a chat feature that allows you to catch up with each other. You can also play games as a group, such as Heads Up and Pictionary. Furthermore, you can record your party’s highlight to keep as a memory through the facemail feature. 

The app is an excellent way for a group of friends to stay in touch, creatively.

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Video Call And Teleconference

There are various video calling and teleconference apps that you can download to stay in touch with your loved ones. Some of these are Google Hangouts, Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. You can also play around with stickers and fun backgrounds to make each call more fun. No matter where both of you live, you can call your friends and family with just a few clicks.

Create And Listen To A Spotify Playlist Together

Back in the day, recording a song playlist on cassette tape was a huge trend. Now, you can do this through an app with just a few clicks. If you’re a music lover, you must be keeping up with the latest album releases. You can create a playlist with your significant other or friends through Spotify’s Collaborative Playlist. You can also have fun lining up the titles to send a message.

To make this, you need to create a playlist and click the Collaborative Playlist option. Send the link to your loved one, and then they’ll have access to adding tracks to the playlist with their accounts.

Join A Book Club

Meanwhile, if you and your friends love reading, you can still discuss your favorite books while in quarantine. List down a selection of books and assign a book for each week and then set a date for discussion. You can use various apps to read ebooks, or you can also order a hard copy for delivery.

Send A Snail Mail

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If you want to connect the old school way, this is the perfect time to write on real paper and get creative. Writing a handwritten letter or greeting cards to your friends and family never goes out of style. Moreover, you can input helpful tips from YouTube that can help boost their mental and emotional state.

It is also helpful for you as you will get to produce a creative output and distract yourself for some time. This gesture will surely be a beautiful surprise for the recipient, as sending snail mails are not as common now. By starting this, you can even create a domino effect as you send snail letters back and forth.

Stay In Touch!

This uncertain situation that we’re facing due to the coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly taxing. It is affecting all of us, emotionally and mentally. That is why it is crucial to stay virtually connected with your loved ones. Don’t forget to take a break from time-to-time and schedule a time to connect with your friends and family. Stay in touch and check in with your loved ones now!

How To Communicate With Your Kids About The COVID-19 Pandemic

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These months have been extremely daunting for all of us. The lack of assurance about our safety and livelihood amidst the ongoing crisis can lead to frustration and anxiety. As the news of the pandemic rules the television and social media conversations, your kids may be experiencing much stress as well. And they can worry more if you continue keeping them in the dark. Therefore, you have to communicate the news of COVID-19 in the best way possible.

According to child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, Jamie Howard, Ph.D., “Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.” Relaying to them valuable and factual information allows your kids to have a sense of direction and lessen their worries in these trying times. But how do you talk to them without adding fuel to their fears and frustrations? Here are some of the tips you can follow.

Level With Your Kids Knowledge

Depending on your kids’ age level, ask questions fitted to their current capacities. Construct your questions in a natural and calming manner. For example, ask them what they have heard lately about the new sickness, or their thoughts about people wearing masks. You can also ask them their reasoning on why they have to stay at home for a while. In this way, you can get to know how much your children understand about the pandemic.

With many media outlets available to us in this day of age, you have to be mindful of your kids’ source of news. You can discuss this with them so that they will have reliable information. Since you’re the one relaying the details, you have the power to filter the news appropriate to your kids’ age level as well. Avoiding the conversation can make them worry more.

Provide Sincere And Honest Answers To Their Questions

You shouldn’t provide more information than what your kids would like to know. Instead, try to answer your children’s questions with honesty and clarity. It’s okay if you can’t answer all of them, the important thing is to show them you’re available in talking with them. Only get information to credible organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Kids can easily pick up fears from their parents. Therefore, you have to talk to them calmly and reassuringly. As much as you have anxiety as well, allowing your kids to panic won’t do any good to your family. Don’t get upset and use a calm voice. Be emotionally available to your children’s emotions and questions.

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Help Them Feel In Control

Young kids do need assurance that there are ways to prevent getting sick. Remind them that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands will help them to remain healthy. Explain to your kids as well that proper hygiene, social distancing, and protective wear prevent the spread of diseases to other people. With this, be a good role model and show your kids that you are following proper guidelines during this crisis too.

Do also tell your kids that people are assisting and saving people’s lives. It may give them comfort to know that doctors are treating infected people, and scientists are working to produce a vaccine. If they know that things can go back to normal, they will feel hopeful for the future.

Children also have tendencies to worry more about their loved ones than themselves. Allowing them to talk with relatives and friends online can affirm them that they’re safe. Having constant communication with the people closest to them also helps them cope with the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let Your Kids Express Their Emotions

Supporting your kids to express their emotions can build their resilience. Silencing them will only create panic and anxiety. Listen to their stories, and tell them that their feelings are valid. Let your kids know and understand that feeling stressed is part of life and is relatively reasonable. Children can share with you more if you recognize their problems and feelings.

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Keep Your Kids Updated

Check on your kids regarding their feelings and the information they heard or read. Offer regular updates so that they can learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic. Let them understand the precautions the family needs to take too. It allows them to know that the line of communication in the family remains open.

As we continue to live through the hardships the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, let’s not also forget how kids perceive these alterations. Proper communication is needed when situations demand us to be united. Pay attention to your emotions and the people around you. We will need each other to get through this!

Why Communication Is Important For Leaders: Guide From A Therapist

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We all have that specific person who comes to mind whenever we think about great leaders. Whether it is a political figure, someone from your personal life, or a colleague, and regardless of who they are or where they stand in life, they all exhibit specific traits that set them apart from each other. It’s one thing to lead, but yet another to be a leader who knows how to communicate well. Here are some things to remember about being a leader who knows how to communicate effectively according to every therapist.

Get Personal

Some leaders don’t believe in getting personal with their colleagues. They tend to act highly and build a wall between them and their team members to maintain a specific power or impression that leaders are too high of a person. For you to be an effective communicator, you must stop issuing corporate communications. Stop sounding too bossy. Begin to have an organizational conversation because the more personal and engaging the conversation is, the more effective it will be for your subordinates.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This quote has been with many great leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt, John Maxwell, and many more. It is true that people, especially in workplaces, don’t care about how much you know or you much you have achieved. They are more conscious of how you genuinely care. “You have to get really clear with yourself first about what’s motivating you when you agree to do someone else a favor.” A reminder from Erika Martinez, PsyD

Getting personal with people does not necessarily mean you have to build friendship instantly, especially in the workplace. It is just one way of showing to your subordinates you care about what they feel, and your intentions are real. If leaders fail to develop meaningful relationships with their people, they will never know what is truly in their mind, which may lead to complications within their team.

Authenticity Counts

Authenticity is very hard to determine, but we immediately know it when we see and hear it. We can usually tell instantly when a person is authentic or not. According to some research, leaders who have genuine intentions tend to be more emphatic, trusted, and believable.

Empathic communicators display a level of authenticity and transparency, which is not present with leaders who choose to communicate using a well-crafted façade to appear tough. Being authentic is what helps turn anger to admiration, and hesitation to trust. You may seem to show a tough exterior, and you can be the strict type of boss, but if you are an authentic leader who knows how to get real with people, then there is not much of a problem.

According to Susan Tardanico, founder and CEO of the Authentic Leadership Alliance, “People want real. People respect real. “People follow real.”

Listen

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“Nothing ruins self-esteem like surrounding yourself with people who abuse or neglect you,” says therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. To listen is something that seems like an easy thing to do. It is not. Communication is a two-way street, listening, and talking. It sounds pretty basic, but people forget we should need to be a good listener before we can communicate well. How are you able to say the things your audience wants or needs to hear if you don’t know how to listen?

A leader who knows how to listen well holds a precious gift. Imagine a subordinate talking to his or her leader about burnout. It is a concern every leader needs to address and be aware of because they don’t want any of their team members to feel tired and lost. What if during the conversation, the particular team member took notice his or her leader is not listening? They will lose confidence in whatever they are trying to say.

People only reveal juicy bits whenever they are in their comfort zone. So if you are the kind of leader who wants to know what goes down in their team, know how to listen well.

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Remember, anyone can take charge, but not everyone can listen genuinely. When communicating with others, most of the time, we focus on what we should say. However, effective communication is more about listening. Listening very carefully does not only mean we should understand the words or the information shared to us. Listening is also following the emotions the speaker is trying to convey.

“Bring the right people into your life.” Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D said. Effective leaders must motivate a team, and this would not be possible without a proper way of communication. They should communicate genuinely with good intentions, and their objectives must be clearly defined. They should also know when to stop and listen to their subordinate’s concerns.

A successful leader may have a natural talent, but he or she has to be able to convey all of this through positive and effective communication. Great leaders must be great communicators.

The Power Of Self-Communication

Are you someone who tends to speak to yourself? Do you tend to talk to yourself when you find yourself alone in a crowd, or when you are indecisive about something? You might think this may be crazy behavior, but psychologists acknowledge the benefits of speaking with yourself. Self-communication is formally termed as “intrapersonal communication.” It is one vital skill that is not receiving too much recognition. If you want to hone this skill, you can seek support from online resources like BetterHelp. It provides communication with trained professionals who are experts in the matter.

“Research shows that how you think about yourself can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Practice using words that promote feelings of self-worth and personal power. Give yourself a positive pep-talk.” Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist explains. The power of self-communication is a trait unique to humans. It is the ability to speak to yourself, but mostly in a non-verbal way. The difference in intrapersonal communication amongst humans is how much one person has developed his or her self-communication skills in a way that is beneficial to his or her self.

Communicating with yourself have numerous cognitive benefits you may not feel immediately, but these effects are very beneficial. Here are seven benefits of a well-developed self-communication.

You Are Aware Of Your Strengths And Weaknesses

“Awareness is the beginning of all change.”  Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT said. When you communicate with yourself, you become more aware of yourself. It includes identifying our strengths and weaknesses. By identifying these, you can adapt and adjust yourself to the different situations that you face. It is also essential to acknowledge them, most especially your weaknesses, as doing so can help with your self-development.

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You Can Self-Motivate

Because you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you know what drives you to be productive and what will give you the energy to accomplish something. It is important to remember that motivation will always come from within you. Communicating with yourself will help you develop your self-motivation skills to help you reach your goals. You also know how to utilize what’s around you to help improve your mental state, such as getting motivation from social media.

You Learn To Be Independent

Being aware of yourself will teach you that you don’t always have to rely on others. You are aware that you are a strong-minded individual who can accomplish many things. However, you should also be conscious that you cannot do everything and that seeking help is sometimes the best solution. Self-communication aids you in identifying the times when you can do it by yourself or when you need help.

You Develop Better Focus

Self-communication and self-motivation will help you develop a better focus. You become aware of the things that cause you distraction, and you avoid them by all means. With deeper concentration, you can center on the task at hand and achieve them. It will help you become more productive with your time. “Look at negative thoughts like reruns of a TV show you’ve seen a million times. Let them play in the background while you shift your focus to something else,” explains Jo Eckler, PsyD, a therapist.

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You Boost Your Confidence

Having well-developed intrapersonal skills will help you become more comfortable with yourself. You recognize that the person who will never leave you is you. There are times when there will be no one to support you, and you will need to do the support yourself. With self-communication, you become more confident.

You Become More Adaptable

Being self-aware will help you adjust to your environment. You realize that the things and people around you are not necessarily made for you and might cause you discomfort. But because you are self-aware, you are not afraid to take on these challenges in front of you. You can confidently and calmly react to the stimuli around you.

You Tend To Think First

With self-communication, you understand the profound importance of always thinking first. There are still consequences on what you think and do. By thinking first, you always weigh the outcomes to avoid undesirable effects. You will be able to prevent spur of the moment decisions that may lead to disappointing results.

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Those were some of the powers of self-communication. By developing your intrapersonal skills, you can become a more responsible and mature human being. But when we talk about power, we talk about how to create and destroy. When there is the right side, there is always the wrong side. It is also applicable to self-communication. It also has some adverse effects that may affect the way you live. Some of these negative benefits include the following:

Arrogance

There is always a thin line between arrogance and confidence. When crossed, it may considerably influence the way you live and how people perceive you.

Introversion

On the other hand, being so good at self-communication may lead you to neglect the importance of social interaction. We are social beings, after all. Disregarding your social life may hinder your growth.

Overthinking

When you always have thoughts in your mind, you may tend to overanalyze things and obsessively think of the outcomes. It may lead you to become anxious, as well.

In a nutshell, there are pros and cons to self-communication. The choice and power are yours on what tactics you will practice to avoid the counteractive effects of self-communication and practice it in a way that will best benefit you and your environment.

Developing Your Child’s Mental Health Through Effective Communication

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Emotional and psychological well-being influences how individuals think, feel and act. Dealing with our mental health is similarly as critical as having a solid body. As a parent, you assume an essential job in your young one’s psychological wellness. With the things that you say and do, and how you make your home, it will affect your child’s mental health. You can also find out about the early indications of psychological issues if you suspect that your child may have it and go to experts for help.

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7 Tips For Motivational Speakers

Anybody who is interested in becoming a motivational speaker needs to master the art of communication. If you want to be an expert in this field, it is imperative on your part to familiarize the rules when it comes to connecting with someone. Fortunately, there are several ways on how you can make this happen. You can practice connecting with a close friend or a family member so that you will not feel awkward in the process.

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Conflict Within The Family (Mental Health Concerns): How To Improve Communication 

There will always be a conflict between each member of the family. Unfortunately, if this is not appropriately handled, communication might be broken, and the relationship would be stunted. Time might come that a brother will avoid his father, or a sister will not talk with her sister. Things at home will be difficult emotionally because not speaking with your loved one is excruciating.

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