2021: Your Year of Resilience | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

2021: Your Year of Resilience

YIPPEE! 2020, the most horrific year the world has experienced, is over. Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief from the repeated traumas inflicted by the virus, by deaths due to abuses of power, by the creation and exacerbation of mental health issues, by increased domestic violence and suicides, and by the economic devastation of the shutdowns.

How were you affected in 2020?

2020: Let’s Not Repeat This History

Although we are happy that 2020 is history, it is a history we must be mindful to not repeat. It’s so easy to wish for something negative to go away or to get out of a painful situation like a bully boss or troubling neighbor or living with overbearing parents. When you wish, hope, and long for the absence of some problem without consciously intending or visualizing a more loving, more joyful, more meaningful experience, you actually invite in more of what you wish away. And that is how history is repeated.

Resilience Creates New Beginnings

The best way to create a new beginning instead of repeating the past is with resilience. It is so much more than getting away from unpleasantness. Simply wishing for 2020 to go away is not effective in moving toward a more positive, loving, and joyous experience of life. More than wishful thinking is required from each of us to move forward.

“[Resilience] is bouncing back and rising to a level higher than that prior to the issue. This malleability is about thriving, not just surviving.”

–Living In Total Health by Glen Alex

You Are Resilient

You have the capability to be resilient. It’s innate. And when you tap into it, you transcend your pain and trauma to move toward thrive. Even in response to the depression, anxiety, and stress evoked by 2020 events. Your resilience enables you to engage in life more fully, to experience successes and challenges and joys and love.

“Resilient people turn the tragic into a learning experience. They collect valuable information from their suffering so they may live better, be better, and move on and upward.”

–Living In Total Health by Glen Alex

In order to transform tragedy to triumph, being present to make decisions based on real-time information is an essential requirement of resilience.

Use ACASH to be Present and to Tap into Your Innate Resilience

You are naturally resilient. Here are a few tips for tapping into this innate skill set.

Acceptance

Instead of denying or avoiding the reality of your situation, acknowledge it. Ignoring the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain imposed by 2020, or any tragedy for that matter, only amplifies it rather than make it go away. Avoidance does not work longterm and is not healthy. Admitting to yourself that you are in debt, are struggling to provide for your or your family’s basic needs, or have to close the business that you worked hard to establish is a crucial step in achieving mental and emotional stability enough to move forward.

Acceptance is not failure nor is it an indictment of your character. Rather, you simply see what is as it is.

Control

Many depression and anxiety issues arise from lack of control. Depression involves looking backward in a way that either glorifies or laments the past while anxiety is about fear of what’s to come, which is gloomy and scary. Both depression and anxiety are about being out of control. However, you can’t control the past or the future. Your only power and control is in the here and now. So it is imperative to recognize that your control is in the present moment and focus each day on what you do control.

Though this may seem elementary, focusing on these elements of control are empowering and will enhance your mental and emotional health:

Make a list of what you do control

o What you eat and consume

o What activities you engage in

o What TV programs and movies you watch

o Who and what you listen to

o What you read

o The organization of your living space

Be Present

  • Engage in a mindfulness practice like meditation or Glen’s Gratitude Gaze (see November 2020 Gratitude blog)

Activity

You can still be active even though gyms may be closed and group activities cancelled. Available choices for moving your body to increase circulation, to expend nervous/anxious energy, and to retard depression include:

    • Mask up and walk/jog/hike a trail where permitted
    • Walk/run up and down the stairs in your home or building
    • Engage in free workouts on YouTube or other online sources
    • Dance to your favorite music
    • Sing along to your favorite songs
    • Work out in a park within safety protocols

Seek Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. There is no shame in needing assistance, we all do from time to time. More than that, you cannot use the same mindset and behaviors that created your distress to resolve it. Keeping to yourself maintains or intensifies the negative patterns that led to your anguish. Therefore, getting input from someone who cares about your wellbeing can improve your outlook and open you up to a new and constructive mindset. And there are many virtual platforms available to receive therapy as well as free hotlines to speak with someone anonymously.

Help Others

Even during times of economic upheaval, you still can help those less fortunate. Sadly, there is always someone struggling more than you…foster children, displaced abused women and children, veterans with mental health issues, those homeless. Donating goods and clothing in good condition is very helpful to those in need. So find a 501(c)(3) charity that speaks to you or connect with someone you know personally and give away what you no longer need.

Resolve to Thrive

You have the natural ability to recover from the traumas of 2020. So set yourself up to thrive in 2021 by tapping into your propensity for resilience with ACASH—Acceptance, Control, Activity, Seek Help, Help Others. Doing so reconnects you to the present moment which empowers you to make real-time, conscious choices to restore your control and lead you to thrive in 2021.

“…to transform tragedy to triumph, being present to make decisions based on real-time information is an essential requirement of resilience.”

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Gratitude is Key to Health | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Gratitude is Key to Health

For most people, gratitude is about giving thanks for possessions and blessings. For some other people, gratitude is a deeply spiritual experience in which they feel connected with God. And still others invoke gratefulness when something special happens. No matter how gratitude manifests in your life, know that being in a state of gratefulness can be tapped into at any time, even during difficulties. Even in 2020. And during this most traumatic year, gratitude continues to be key to health. There are significant physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health benefits attained from being grateful. When in the state of gratefulness, your total health is enhanced.

How do you manifest gratitude in your life?

Gratitude Brings Better Health

Mentally, being thankful repels negative thinking, depression, and anxiety. It is impossible to be sad or fearful or gloomy and grateful at the same time. Emotionally, gratitude is a natural high. The brain releases oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin during the state of gratefulness. These feel good chemicals may also be responsible for improved physical symptoms. “Benefits associated with gratitude include better sleep, more exercise, reduced symptoms of physical pain, lower levels of inflammation, lower blood pressure and a host of other things we associate with better health,” said Glenn Fox.

“As gratitude grows, negativity goes.”
–Glen Alex

Gratitude and Spirit

Let me interject here that gratitude is much more profound than just saying “thank you”. It is a deep level of appreciation that puts you directly in touch with something greater than self. This is the spiritual aspect of gratitude. Spirituality for me is all about connection to God, to The Creator, to all there is. The state of gratefulness deepens your connection to self, to loved ones, to community, and ultimately to humanity. Gratefulness resonates at your core and is connective tissue to all there is.

It is impossible to be sad or fearful or gloomy and grateful at the same time.

3 Quick Tips to Gratitude

  1. Gratitude Gaze: Look around the room you are in. Select three objects you like. While gazing at them, think of how they add to your world and say “thank you”. For example, I am grateful for my sofa because it provides comfort for my refreshing naps.
  2. Gratitude journal: daily record what you are grateful for—family, lessons, finances, work, etc. For example, I am grateful for my health, my income, specific loved ones.
  3. Reframe Game
    • List the 3 negative terms you use the most.
      –For example, I don’t have…, My life sucks, I can’t.
    • Reframe them to express gratitude (generally the opposite).
      –For example: I have enough, I am happy to be alive, I am thankful for my abilities.
    • Rehearse (practice)

The state of gratefulness deepens your connection to self, to loved ones, to community, and ultimately to humanity.

Living In Total Health with Gratitude

Humans are blessed with the ability to choose. Each of us has the power to control our own thoughts and attention. I encourage you to exercise your ability to redirect your focus toward the beneficial. Even in 2020. Though society is still unsettled and uncertainty still on the horizon, you can experience and express gratitude. Your life, your family, your health, your ability to walk and talk, your ability to think, your breath are worthy of gratitude. Your overall health will be enhanced when you are in a state of gratefulness. And the more you express gratitude, the more you will have to be grateful for and have more experiences in which you are joyful, connected, confident, and complete.

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People in Pain | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

People In Pain

“People in pain hurt other people.” Susan L. Taylor’s words resonated with me when I watched her voice them years ago. It is true. Those who are suffering and unable or unwilling to cope hurt others. Many abusers were themselves abused. People who carry anger lash out. Those who are fearful can be controlling. So yes, it is wise to identify who they are and distance yourself. Susan also nailed it when she said, “Not everyone deserves a front row seat in your life.”

You see, you can love and have compassion for someone at arm’s length. They do not need to be in your home or in your head for you to respect their humanity.

The energy of your intention for them spans time and space and transcends the ego. So there is no need to put yourself in harm’s way to prove you care about someone.

Even in pain, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy people do not seek to harm. Imagine Mother Teresa flying a plane into a World Trade Center tower. Can you see Mahatma Gandhi opening fire on concert-goers from a Vegas strip hotel? How about Martin Luther King, Jr. as a serial killer? You can’t connect these individuals to such horrors, can you? I submit to you that while Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and MLK had their human flaws, they had enough balance in their lives to spread hope rather than usurp it like the actual perpetrators of human depravity have.

Balance is the key. You know that. This knowing is not new. Yet this eternal truth needs to be reiterated with regularity in our world that is currently experiencing frequently intense waves of fear, hatred, division, and mass terror. Balance is the key. Balance.

Living In Total Health is about integrating all aspects of you, a whole being, to achieve the highest level of health and to achieve the strongest base of balance possible. It is not about being perfectly healthy nor is it about weight or body shape. Being human entails fluctuations in health, happiness, harmony, strength, relationships, focus, etc. It is the integration of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, however, that creates equanimity and provides us the strength to weather and persevere through the storms of life, and endure with a functional level of equilibrium.

Stuff happens. Life throws curve balls. So tap in to your True self, your whole self, to utilize your innate ability to balance pain with joy, darkness with the light, the good with the bad. Then you will intuitively discern who to give your precious time and attention to and who to love from afar.

The total wellness guide, Living In Total Health, is your ticket to get off the popular myopic rollercoasters which propose that health is only about diet and exercise. True health is about the whole person and the balance between the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual aspects of self. Pursue total health and you will gain peace and calm that leads to better self-awareness, self-confidence, relationships, fitness, connection, and balance. You will reconnect with your True self and reach a higher level of existence that no one can affect with baseness.

You are unique. As Les Brown says “There is greatness within you.” And all of you matters. So now is the time for you to step into your wholeness to reach your highest level of health because humanity needs you to join the forces of healthy people who don’t inflict pain. Healthy people spread love.

Even during this time of the pandemic, civil unrest, and political iniquity, each of us is still capable of being as healthy as possible. When you take your health physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health to the next level, then you will naturally distance yourself from people in pain.

You can then become a super spreader of love because we need more Mother Teresas. We need more health.

Glen Alex

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World Interrupted | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

World Interrupted

Never in my lifetime did I think the world would stop. Sure, I’ve experienced moments when time stood still—the deaths of my twins, my mother, my father and two brothers. But that was just my personal world. Then came Rona. And the global shutdown.

Rona imposed death, destruction, and massive uncertainty. Lives were upended. Normalcy dismantled. Couple that with the worldwide social discord over the murder of unarmed and handcuffed George Floyd, captured on video by bystanders. Several earthquakes felt in Las Vegas. “What is happening?”

About four weeks into the shutdown, I had an epiphany. The introvert in me loved being at home when not working as an “essential”. I caught up on rest, reorganized my garage, got creative with The Glen Alex Show, and wrote more. While the accomplishments were time well spent, I still did not like my choices being taken away. Nor did I enjoy the inconsistent mandates based seemingly on political interests rather than science. Plus no tennis!?!?!? Frustration was my quarantine companion.

Then I saw the light. I am a thinker who is always in pursuit of a higher purpose for everything I do. So as I performed those rewarding tasks in my space, it opened my mind to see possibilities. For the past two years or so, I seriously reflected on my life and working 7 days per week knowing I couldn’t keep up that pace. Nor did I want to. In December 2019, my cousin asked on Facebook for a one-word intention for 2020.

Clarity. My intention for this year was to become clear about my goals and choices and results. While I don’t recall the exact moment of my breakthrough, I recognized it immediately. In order to achieve the balance I want in my life, something really important to me had to give. “Yes, this is what I need to do.”

An overwhelming peace settled throughout my being. I won’t say what I chose to give up because that is the most irrelevant part of my epiphany. The importance is the clarity I gained about the opportunity to make a change.

Rona caused so much pain and provided opportunity, as do all challenges. Rona provided the best time to step away because I was already away, for a month at that point. “Now is the time.”

Conditions are favorable for positive, lasting changes for us all. Order is always preceded by chaos. Recession gives rise to upturn. Thus collectively we can create a new world, one full of purpose and camaraderie and mutual respect of each other’s humanity.

Tennis may be the most appropriate blueprint for this shift. It is the love of my life because tennis always shows me what I do well, how good I can be, and what skills I need to develop to be better. Tennis presents challenges along with the provisions to grow through them.

The best results on court come from intention (visualization), practice (preparation), learning (skill development), and most importantly problem solving. Transfer the beauty of tennis to daily life. Set your intention. Prepare to actualize it. Learn coping skills to effectively deal with challenges. And make adjustments as needed.

It is my hope for all of us that we awaken to this opportunity, be ready to act upon it, and have the drive to see it through. Even when life is hard. Even when your world is interrupted.

Crimes Against Humanity | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Crimes Against Humanity

I wrote this blog in December 2018 and I am posting it again because it is still relevant. The United States specifically is knee-deep in darkness. Still.

I love crime dramas. The Closer, Criminal Minds, How To Get Away With Murder, The Purge, and every Law and Order Series. These shows delve into the human psyche, which I am passionate about, and demonstrate the depths of depravity unique to our species in an entertaining way. Macabre, I know.

Yet the acts performed on my favorite shows are not real. Those stories are made up and easy to walk away from. Besides being entertaining, crime dramas serve the purpose of allowing viewers to tap into their dark side and sublimate the accompanying impulses.

And while I dig exploration of the mind because I’ve always gravitated toward psychological underpinnings, I shudder at the reality of the harm we humans are capable of inflicting on each other. I am haunted by the brutality of rape, child abuse, domestic violence, killing of innocents, discrimination, and isms. They evoke pain. There is no entertainment value in such actions.

I cannot shake off beatings of anyone because of their race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. A mother killing her children and one lover ending the life of another weigh heavy on my heart. A man forcing himself on a woman with fists and genitalia provokes an emotional stew made of sadness and fear topped with rage.

I am equally impacted by the suffering of those victimized. Their traumatic experiences and untimely deaths seem so unnecessary to me. And painful, emotionally and spiritually. Please know that I am not naïve. I do understand the duality of human existence—good-bad, light-dark, right-wrong, black-white. However, my very human response to human-on-human violence is sadness because I empathize with those victimized. I have the ability put myself into another person’s shoes and experience what they experience…why I can’t stomach the true crime stories. Empathy…“It’s a blessing and a curse.” Adrian Monk

I am also disappointed and outraged that we have not done better. History, technology, heightened awareness are underutilized in improving our individual and collective experiences. What is the hold up?

We have been here before. Many times in human existence factions and fundamentalists and fascists and narcissists imposed their will on others violently. The internet, Youtube, and Facebook give us instant access to useful information. And all things spiritual are more mainstream.

So why haven’t we learned to treat each other better from history? Why haven’t we used technology to right wrongs? Why haven’t we lived the tenets of major religions and wisdom traditions and behave like we are all created equated and of the same Source?

What on earth is taking so long to end crimes against humanity?

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author of Living In Total Health, Health Skills Coach, Speaker

Need assistance coping with boundaries, stress, relationships, or recovering from a setback?

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Living Mindfully | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Living Mindfully

If the word “mindfulness” conjures up thoughts of sitting in silence with mind empty, then you’re on the right track. Meditation can quiet the mind’s chatter, relegate the mind’s stream of consciousness to an attachment-free film strip, and deepen insight. Whether you use breathing techniques, mantras, movements, or guides in your practice, meditation brings about a profound sense of peace, relaxation, and the gift of connection. Yes, mindfulness is closely related with meditation.

“Mindfulness and meditation embody many similarities and can overlap, but the terms are not exactly interchangeable.”
–chopra.com

There is, however, another type of mindfulness of which I write. Self-awareness. Not to be confused with self-absorption or egocentrism nor any form of negative selfishness, self-awareness is being attuned to your thoughts, feelings, and actions–knowing what you experience internally and do at any given moment. This is not a trick! Every human being has the innate ability to tune in introspectively. Yet, not all do.

Many people are not self-aware, not present to their own experiences. Mindlessness is pervasive. It is attending to every little thing or nothing with a blank mind or being overwhelmed with mental prattling. If you have ever driven somewhere and could not remember the drive, then you were mindless. This has happened with me and I am thankful that I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else. If you have ever been told that you said or did something yet did not recall doing so, then you were mindless at that time too. Andy Bernay-Roman called mindlessness a trance state in The Mind/Body Connection.

“…in the trance state, “vegging” out and living unconsciously, the brain disengages from the senses and tunes into its own archive, the past. So today’s reactions are fueled by yesterday’s experiences. Which can be problematic, obviously. As with “choosing well,” the past need not control today’s decisions.”
–Glen Alex, Living In Total Health

Let me share my personal experience. My life’s work is about health because I believe healthy people—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—are more loving, more genuine, and less likely to intentionally harm self or others. It all began in childhood with boundaries. I was so enthralled by the nuance of interaction and took keen mental notes of when people smiled, when they cringed, and when emotional pain consumed their faces.

Boundaries came more into play as a teenager. The youngest of 10, I realized that healthy boundaries are crucial for personal health, wellbeing, and relationships, and learned to say “no” after experiencing mounting frustration from being taken advantage of by elders. I moved from watching to learning to experiencing to teaching matters of health.

During my health journey, I made conscious decisions about how I want to be treated and how I would treat others. Just saying so wasn’t enough, however. We all have said we would do something and it never materialized. Affirmative action required to meet the stated goal was missing. In order to live up to my personal commandments, I programmed myself to be aware of when I fell off my behavioral wagon.

It was a bit rough in the beginning, as I had to walk on awareness eggshells until the habit formed. When it did, by my late teens, I could pretty much recall words and phrases and actions that I delivered, in pretty much any situation. The level of self-awareness I carry daily is high, which requires a lot of energy. And totally worth the personal cost because being authentic and responsible and positively impacting humanity are external manifestations of my Personal Truth, my purpose.

Side note – my self-imposed self-awareness elevated my kinesthetic awareness as well. Not only am I aware of what my body is doing in space, I’m also attuned to what it is doing internally. During the initial visit with my new dentist at the time, I told him about my symptoms and treatments and responses and timelines in such a way that he called me a “genius” because of my connectedness to my existence.

My call to you is to take this one of many opportunities that the global health crisis offers to grow, ignoring all the political agendas. You can become mindful. Allow unhealthy and useless habits to fall away. Touching your face with dirty hands, quick wipe downs, no wipe down, saving time by not washing hands, sneezing and coughing openly are automatic behaviors that need to be laid to rest now and quite frankly should’ve been eons ago. For your own health. For the health of those around you.

Every challenge is married to the opportunity for personal growth. Seize this moment to start living consciously, mindfully. Eliminate automatic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that endanger your health and that of those you love. Your past is not your present and need not control your choices. Mindful self-awareness puts you in charge of what you think, feel, and do. Reprogram yourself to become more self-aware. The benefits will extend beyond this crisis.

Humanity needs you to be mindful. Now is that time.

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author of Living In Total Health, Health Skills Coach, Speaker

Need assistance coping with boundaries, stress, relationships, or recovering from a setback?

Book your complimentary Discovery Call now: www.glenalex.as.me/schedule.php

Unintended Consequences | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Unintended Consequences

I didn’t mean for that to happen. It wasn’t my intention for…

Have you or anyone you know ever utter these words? Probably. Most of us don’t actually weigh the possible outcomes when we make decisions. We only see what we want, which comes at a cost. But alas, what price?

Every choice yields positive, negative, or neutral consequences. Every choice. Oh, and a yes to one thing is a no to another. It’s just a matter of being clear about the potential results and accepting your responsibility in bringing them about. Because if you only focus on what you want or have to have, then you leave the door wide open for yourself and others to be harmed. And I wonder if you took the time to weigh the probabilities, would you make that decision anyway?

This is so true for the current global health crisis. Yes, the pandemic required an immediate and effective response from leaders. Hence the world shutdown with shelter in place (SIP), business closures, and social distancing. Many believe that these measures have reduced exposure, slowing down the rate of new infections and the number of deaths.

After about two months of the shutdown and the declining numbers, many people are still afraid of catching a virus that most will recover from, about 98% of active cases are mild and don’t require hospitalization according to worldometers.info/coronavirus. And many rightfully question the continued social closures, never mind how “essential” businesses are selected. Some governments don’t even have a concrete plan for reopening.

My question is, what about the unintended consequences of the ongoing shutdown?

Domestic Violence

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a big problem. IPV includes physical violence, sexual assault, mental and emotional abuse, and stalking. And according to the CDC, current or former male partners kill nearly half of all women murdered. For the domestic violence survivors, mental health, heart, digestive, muscular, and nervous system disorders can affect them for years.

With SIP, there is no escape. Victims cannot leave home to seek shelter, despite what Nevada’s Governor says, and are more vulnerable. Isolation is a major enabler of domestic violence. Mandatory reporters—medical providers, teachers, therapists are removed with SIP because they cannot see the bruises or get a report from those abused or provide resources for help. Increasing stress, unemployment, and sudden shifts in daily routines are also contributing factors.

Something else to consider. Harvard University Medical School trauma expert, Judith Lewis Herman, found that domestic abusers use similar methods to kidnappers to control hostages and repressive regimes use to break the will of political prisoners to control their partners and children. Andrew Campbell reported that new cases in the United States involve the abusers not allowing their partners wash their hands, using the threat of contracting COVID as another means of control.

Brazil reported a 40-50% increase in reports. France reported a spike of 30%. In the UK, domestic murders of women and children have doubled. In the United States, Houston police received 300 more domestic violence calls, 517 more in Charlotte, and nearly 200 more in Phoenix. Other U.S. cities that reported increased domestic violence calls include Boston, Milwaukee, Seattle, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Utah County, Fresno County, Montgomery County, East Baton Rouge Parish, Buffalo, Sparks, Portland, Nassau County, Cherokee County, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is unfortunately tied to Intimate Partner Violence. About 30-60% of children who live in IPV homes are abused and/or neglected themselves, according to preventchildabuse.org. DoSomething.org reported that 68% of the abuse is perpetrated by family members and more than 70% of the children who die as a result of abuse and neglect are younger than 3 years of age.

Not only do these children experience violence first-hand, they may also witness one parent, usually mom, be victimized. The long term effects of the IPV environment involves psychological, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral issues. And many of those abused as children are linked with future criminal activity.

Authorities are concerned that the usual modes of reports to the police and child protective services are disrupted. Because schools and social outlets are shutdown, children are not seen by teachers, medical providers, other mandatory reporters, or even extended family. The apprehensive expectation is that when society reopens the number of new reports will be exponentially higher than the norm.

Suicide

There was a loneliness problem in the United States before the pandemic. In the age of massive technological connection via social media, more and more people experience disconnection and are lonely. That issue has worsened because of the forced social isolation from the national shutdown.

“We’ve seen several suicides that we can directly attribute to the isolation from not being able to get out and move about and do the things that they normally do. They get depressed,”

–Bobby Parks Evans, Jr., Greenville, SC County Coroner.

Vikram Thakura and Anu Jain wrote, “The looming economic crisis may create panic, mass unemployment, poverty and homelessness will possibly surge the suicide risk or drive an increase in the attempt to suicide rates in such patients. US already claimed a vast increase in unemployment (4.6 million) during coronavirus emergency and speculated that lockdown will cause more deaths than COVID-19 itself amid the recession. This uncertainty of time for isolation, not only demoralize but also make people feel worthless, hopeless about present and future.”

Increased domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide are just a few of the unintended consequences of the shutdown. Lack of access to health care also comes to mind. Leaders must take them all into consideration. Reopening society will require a conscientious balancing act, weighted by keeping those most vulnerable safe from this viral scourge while allowing the healthiest to live and help those in need.

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author of Living In Total Health, Health Skills Coach, Speaker

Need assistance coping with boundaries, stress, relationships, or recovering from a setback?

Book your complimentary Discovery Call now: www.glenalex.as.me/schedule.php

The Day The Hour | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

The Day. The Hour.

We don’t know the day nor the hour of transition. The exact moment of death is beyond human awareness. Until the moment arrives. Up to that point, however, it is imperative we plan ahead to unburden family. You may be thinking that only the elderly or infirm should do so.

You would be wrong. Young and healthy people die too. I know a few individuals younger than 60 who died from cardiac arrest, aneurysm, suicide, accidents, and unnatural causes. A sad case in point is the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year old daughter Gianna, and 7 other people in January. Thus, advanced directives are crucial for all adults.

Providing loved ones with clear direction about health care choices, end of life issues, and the division of assets is the healthy thing to do. No, it does not signal giving up. Instead, an advanced directive will definitely minimize the anguish of making decisions that directly impact another person’s lifeline and vitality. You may be thinking this is a morbid subject.

You would be wrong again. Advanced directives are not about dying. They are about living. About the carrying out of your life wishes when you can no longer speak for yourself. Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney are tools that provide for living the last moments of life well, on your terms.

Is there a higher form of health than that? I’m not sure there is. Facing mortality and being clear about how you want your life to end indicate strength, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health, and are admirable. Not only does establishing an advanced directive indicate realism about the finite time we have on earth, it’s also about loving those charged with making critical decisions so much that you choose to lessen their fears, sadness, and hesitations when it’s time to do the best thing for you.

Prepare now to transition your way before the day, the hour arrives.

Printable Advanced Directives by state:
https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/free-printable-advance-directives/

We All Can Get Along | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

We All Can Get Along

I am compelled to share this. If you are politically biased or have issues with death, then please don’t read any further.

In this climate of division and open prejudice, I am happy to share a loving experience amongst diverse peoples.

My sister Vern, the matriarch of my immediate family since my mother’s transition in 2010, raved about the Converse, TX Police Department. You see, Vern flew to Converse on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 to care for our brother Ray because he had been really ill. When she arrived that night, he didn’t answer the door bell nor his home or cell phone.

Through a series of family calls and Ray’s non-response, I decided a Wellness Check was in order. However, I paused at that decision because of the rash of recently reported police shootings of black people, especially in their own homes. This is a crazy consideration in “the land of the free”. Yet I, a clinical social worker with a profound understanding of human nature, a champion of the Human Spirit, and humanitarian was afraid about the trend in police-black person interaction. This should not be. And anyone who does not experience this pause is privileged.

Still, I made the call because Ray’s condition and Vern being stranded in an unfamiliar environment at night were far more important than dogma. The intake person was compassionate and patient with me as I fought through tears to explain the situation. She said police would be dispatched immediately and would call me with an update.

I was struck by the questions the intake person did not ask. She did not ask for my brother’s name or description nor my sister’s name or description. She only asked for the address and the circumstances. So the police were dispatched to check on, not a race or stereotype, rather a person in possible distress.

An eternity passed. It seemed like hours since I spoke with anyone. Finally, Vern called me. My brother’s neighbors were kind enough to take her in. One allowed Vern to use their phone to call her son and me. Later, another neighbor allowed my sister to charge her phone in their home while the police completed their work.

The police gained entry into Ray’s home and found him. Because of policy, they didn’t allow Vern inside. However, the police drove her to the nearest hotel, offered to carry her bags to her room, and were compassionate with me during the follow up call from an officer. More than that, they returned to Ray’s home afterward to secure the door they had to bust to gain entry.

Who does that? And why don’t we hear more about the police officers who actually protect and serve? Yes, there are bad seeds in police departments, as there are in all industries. And please believe that I’ve had my negative experiences with police. My stance is that police training needs to involve more than profiling and shooting. Training needs to include the meaning of service and the dismissal of psychologically unfit candidates.

How about we as a nation forego isms and focus on and honor what binds us? Yes Rodney, we all can get along. Just be human.

Perspective | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Perspective

We narrow-minded and egocentric humans believe that only the old and infirm die.

Wrong we are.

As sad as the loss of a parent or elderly person is, the truth is that anyone can die at any time. Yes, the old and infirm do die…my mother, father, sister-in-law, cousin, and 2 brothers just in the last 10 years.

Yet the young also leave sooner than we think they should, sooner than we are ready for them to. I am reminded of this because of the sudden death of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. He was 41, she 13. Both healthy.

Life is precious.

There is no room for ego-based drama. No time for foolishness. No space for abuse or disrespect. Stop squandering the gift of breath with B.S.

Do take advantage of opportunities to become the best version of yourself, to share your innate gifts, to express authentic love.

The old and infirm are not the only ones who die. Live your life to the fullest before it’s your time.