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ECC Group Blog: The Value In Group Support Meetings

Every person can benefit from some form of support in their lives, but a lot of people lose out on the opportunity by not knowing the full potential and values that come along with taking that first step. 

At Elpizo Counselling Services, our Community Connect virtual programs are dedicated to providing accessible services that can bring comfort and ease to any person, and more importantly, add value to overall well being. Group support meetings are the perfect way to introduce a no strings attached method of seeking help and relief for tons of issues that are more common than you think! 

Here are 5 valuable reasons to consider trying one of our support groups:

  • Group atmosphere is laid back, comfortable and a no pressure commitment 
  • Connect, listen, and exchange with others who are experiencing the same struggles 
  • Free opportunity to test out counselling services and methods 
  • No anxiety or fear of sharing your struggles with people in your personal life 
  • Judgement free zone with realistic and manageable ways to incorporate support

Our support groups are relevant and applicable to all kinds of situations, homes and lives that have been negatively disrupted by COVID-19. The goal of these sessions is to provide guidance and support during these uncertain times and to demonstrate how harmless it is to seek and find the help you need. 

There is so much to gain from our Community Connect support groups than just these 5 reasons. Just know that whatever struggle you are going through matters, and that you aren’t alone. 
Take that first step in seeking support by checking out our Stress Balance and Beyond the Blues Community Connect sessions happening throughout February and March!

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Keeping Fit – It’s Not Only Physical

It is natural for feelings of anxiety to increase during this challenging time – no-one likes uncertainty.  Fitness and self-care is important at the best of times, so it becomes even more important when we are under higher than normal levels of stress.

Here’s some things that might help:

  • Create a list of things that make you feel good and keep it handy.  Sometimes it’s hard to think of ideas in the moment.
  • Put together a ‘coping box’ that addresses all of your senses, it may include things like: a scented candle, some chocolate or herbal tea, some calming music, something soft and cuddly, photos of loved ones… Then it will be ready for whenever you need it.
  • Share self-care/keep fit ideas with friends and family, or your Facebook groups and social networks; someone may have a great idea that you haven’t thought of.
  • Keep a gratitude journal.  There are always things to be grateful for, even if it is just the smell of bread baking (which is all the rage in quarantine I hear).

Do you have ideas and suggestions you’d like to share?  Please add them in the comments below.  You may just help someone find a new joy.

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The Reason You Feel “SAD” During The Winter

The winter season is now upon us, which for some may mean a noticeable  change in our mood. With the sun setting early now and the cold weather taking over, it’s not uncommon to  experience a decrease in motivation and more frequent depressive episodes during this time.

The month of December shines light on Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as the acronym, “SAD”. This disorder is a type of depression that arises during the change in season. Most people who experience SAD feel their energy being depleted and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. On the rare occasion, people may experience depression caused by SAD during the spring or early summer months too. 

Symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feelings of depression as the winter season progresses
  • Low energy
  • Lack of sleep or oversleeping
  • Losing interest and motivation
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss/gain
  • Sluggish and anxious feelings 
  • Suicidal thoughts

The cause of SAD may be due to the reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter months, a decrease in serotonin levels due to the lack of sunlight, and the body’s level of melatonin becoming disrupted.

If you experience severe symptoms of SAD and do not get treated, it can possibly lead to worse problems such as:

  • Problems at work or school
  • Substance Abuse 
  • Extreme suicidal thoughts or behaviour 
  • Other mental health disorders

Light therapy, medication and psychotherapy are options of treatment you may want to look into if you’re experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Of course it is normal to have some days of feeling down, but if you feel it an overwhelming amount of times and just can’t get yourself back to normal, you should highly consider seeing a doctor or counselling service. 

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[FREE DOWNLOAD] Self-care: Recharge, Refocus and Reclaim Your Health

Self-care can come in many forms from writing in a journal to making more social connections. As the new year rolls around is very important to not focus on the ups and downs of 2020 but look forward to 2021 and new beginnings that come with it. We at Elpizo want to make sure that in 2021 you are focusing on self-care, and that is why we created a self-care document to help you get started on your self-care journey. Here are some of the things we cover in are Self-care: Recharge, Refocus and Reclaim Your Health downloadable: 

  • – Things can make self-care challenging
  • – Therapists and self-care
  • – Stress-management Tips
  • – Self-care Planners
  • – Holiday Budget Planner 

If you are interested in starting the new year off right, we highly recommend you check out our Self-Care downloadable which is full of tips and tricks to begin your self-care journey. Click the cover below to read the whole document!