Counseling And Self-Awareness

 

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Due to the intricately private counseling professional licensed counselors and psychologists do with their patients, a qualified counselor must be completely self-aware. Being capable of self-reflection allows a counselor to recognize and instill personal awareness and stay emotionally isolated from the relationship that he or she is establishing with a patient.

Increasing Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is a virtue that develops over time and with consideration. Strategies to help gather more knowledge about oneself can actually be learned, and personal encounters can impact personal emotions and ideas. A counselor goes through every concern and problem and must utilize the information acquired to help clients surpass their own difficulties in life. Through their entire training, counselors will be presented with an array of opportunities that will enable them to doubt what they believe in, including their values and self-awareness, and how these may affect their professional and personal lives. It is this self-education and self-awareness that shapes the very foundation of their counseling profession.

An individual’s growth and development could only be evaluated by self-awareness, and it is the same for those who work in the field of therapy. Being consistently open to career and personal development will assist a counselor in completely understanding themselves and their values.

Associating With Others

Counselors will normally come up with their conclusions about self-awareness. Their work with patients may pose a lot of personal difficulties, but similarly, a continuing prospect of being able to evaluate other’s emotions, boundaries, thoughts, strengths, and weaknesses along the way. Reasonably, a counselor can also go through a sense of personal awareness in the middle of their sessions but should stay emotionally disconnected the whole time.

Relating to their clients healthily and openly enables the client to divulge in a safe and private environment and offers the counselor the idyllic setting to communicate efficiently with them. Through their own share of past and present experiences, the counselor can then show compassion, open-mindedness, and consideration without getting personally entangled in the process.

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Shifting Attitudes

Through private consultations and guided counseling sessions with qualified professionals, a counselor will be capable of delving into their own personal growth and self-awareness. Challenges in counselor-patient attitudes can be expressed as well. This must be a continuing process throughout the therapist or counselor’s profession and can further personal growth, motivation, and clarity. If there is no positive avenue to explore these concepts, a counselor will not have the opportunity to practice and master his skills.

Working With Affection

Counseling is quite a private, intimate, and personal process for every client. It is a daunting experience as well for the counselor who is guiding his client through the process. Working with affection, to any degree, will cause an individual to feel unprotected, and the counselor will feel this too. Keeping a professional approach during the entire session will allow the counselor or therapist to guide the client the best way they can. But when the counseling session is concluded, hence the end of the counselor-client relationship, the counselor should be capable of closing the door on that relationship.

Additionally, an effective counselor will not allow his personal behaviors, values, and principles to put the counselor-client relationship in a negative place.

Self-Awareness And Intelligence

With regards to intelligence, on the other hand, self-awareness is the concept of oneself, which also involves his personal thoughts, attitudes, and experiences. A range of current studies has shown that a person’s self-awareness regarding intellectual process uniformly contributes to universal intelligence as other classifications, including dealing with speed, perception, and working memory. To put it another way, self-awareness is an element of one’s intellect.

A different way of viewing self-awareness is in the way it plays along with the therapeutic process. Through this interaction, self-awareness is outlined in terms of gathering a better understanding of oneself by looking into the objective input of a counselor. The entire concept of counseling is fundamentally a path towards self-discovery. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, a person evaluates behavioral patterns and how these impact attitude and state of mind.

Moreover, narrative therapy entails evaluating a person’s life experiences while unraveling aspects that are subconsciously ignored because of a negatively lopsided view of his encounters.

The significance of an impartial observer like a counselor or therapist in fostering self-awareness is presented in the research. There is an overall imprecision in the assessment of one’s personal knowledge, beliefs, and capabilities. For example, about 90% of motorists may consider themselves as ‘above average’ in their driving skills. This is known as the ‘better than average effect.’ Also, an irregularity in our views and judgments is as resilient as our familiarity with the facts.

Conclusion

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Self-awareness is the building block of creating transitions in a person’s life. With a better understanding of our feelings, attitudes, the circumstances that we are triggered, our strengths and faults, and the past that continue to haunt us, we can start the process of healing and recovery. Through self-awareness, we can identify what we acknowledge about ourselves and what we wish to change.

 

 

Types Of Counselors That Can Best Help Your Teens

 

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When you think about the topic of counseling, you might have imagined what it would look like. On the contrary, you may be uncertain about your expectations or whether your teen can benefit from counseling. The truth is, there are various types of counselors and therapists for teens. Her doctor will recommend a type of professional that he thinks would be perfect for her specific challenges. Remember that just because your teenager begins with one kind of counselor, she can’t switch to another kind of counselor or a new therapy classification.

Below is a list of some commonly sought counselors and therapists for teenagers.

Family therapists. When the client being treated is a teenager, most often, the entire family will require some counseling for the following reasons:

  • Your teen is somewhat a result of his home, and recognizing and enhancing the bond he has with you and the rest of the family members is frequently a big aspect of healing from whatever problems he is currently facing.
  • It can be beneficial for you and your child’s teen’s brothers or sisters to connect with your problematic teen along with a counselor. You can then learn how to communicate better and express your concerns safely and positively.

Your teen’s family counselor may be the same individual who sees him during private consults, or it could be a new counselor. If a member of your family is hesitant to join counseling, it’s fine if you schedule it anyway, but only the willing members can attend. Frequently, the hesitant member will eventually come around. And if he or she won’t, having the counseling with some family members is much better than not going through it at all.

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Behavioral Counselors. Among the most popular type of counselors that your teenager might be needed is a behavioral counselor. This expert works with individuals, often one-on-one, on modifying their behaviors to efficiently respond to their frustration, eating disorder, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, among others. A behavioral counselor does not independently manage the condition but rather teaches his patients the necessary techniques for coping with the challenges that they are confronted with.

Group Counselors. Another aspect of your teenager’s counseling program might be to join group counseling sessions. These usually include one or two counselors and a gathering of adolescents experiencing similar difficulties as your precious teen. Group counseling sessions typically help with one-on-one counseling, although occasionally, they are the only kind of counseling that a teenager has. This type of counseling enables your teen to establish connections with and trust other individuals with similar situations. By talking with other participants in the session, your troubled teen will be able to see things from a different viewpoint and even share his own thoughts with others.

Group counseling or therapy is frequently recommended for teens suffering from eating disorders, grief or loss of a loved one, posttraumatic stress disorder, or substance abuse. It can also be beneficial for teens with anxiety, extreme anger, and other mental health disorders.

School-based Counselors. Your teenager can possibly reach out to a therapist or counselor at his school, and he can benefit by talking to one in a school setting. The middle school counselor commonly helps teenagers go through problems like poor grades, friendship issues, bullying, or challenging teen or parent relationships. It’s also vital to acknowledge that the school counselor might not manage health conditions like major depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, and severe anxiety.

If your teenager manifests signs of moderate to severe psychological issues, you must get him the specific help necessary from a mental health professional. Your teenager’s school counselor will offer advice if he believes your teen is on the verge of harming himself or others, although most other kinds of issues are left confidential. If you believe that your teenager can be better if he talks to someone, then a school counselor is one of the most suitable counselors to ask for help from.

Art, Play, And Other Counselors

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Most people express how they feel more capably through artwork, play therapy, or other activities. Especially if your teenager is having problems confiding with a counselor, a specialized type of counselor could be helpful. Unlike what others believe, art and play counselors or therapists, including those who utilize animals to improve their practice, do not only cater to young kids. Teenagers, as well as adults, can reap positive results from these settings. Discuss this with your teenager’s physician, pediatrician, or present mental healthcare provider regarding the pros of these types of counseling and get a recommendation only if they are appropriate for your teen.

Conclusion

Selecting a counselor or therapist is something that you and your spouse, your troubled teenager, and the family doctor must decide together. Keep in mind that your teenager has to feel safe and comfortable with the counselor that you choose. If he does not feel good about the particular counselor, it is not embarrassing to request another counselor, or you could consult different mental health professionals. Reassure your teenager that the counselor will help him, as they understand how important it is for a client to put his trust in his counselor or therapist. If you are worried about your precious teen and you are uncertain of what kind of counselor would be suitable, reach out to his primary care physician for an appropriate referral.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Calming Anxiety

Honestly, I do understand that anxiety is an inevitable thing. I know that I will still experience some sorts of ups and downs or fears from things around me, whatever I do. There is a lot that I worry about, and these include my relationship with other people, my financial status, my job responsibilities, as well as my emotional and mental health. But those things are merely part of my life. Therefore, I know I should not worry too much about it because no matter what I do, I still have to look for ways to better manage them.

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Dealing with anxiety is not something I am terrified of. In fact, I don’t even consider it destructive or anything. I understand its purpose, and somehow, I feel like the experience and struggle with it is normal that I do not have to think much through about its entire effect in my life. However, looking through the instated changes in my daily routine, particularly in my sleep, everything is becoming too much. There are nights I find myself struggling to get a good and relaxing sleep because I was filled with thoughts that I do not know where the heck came from. I find myself constantly worrying about tomorrow, and it is frustrating.

If you are like me that deals with crippling anxiety, you also have questions you frequently asked. Some of these may include the following:

How can I calm my anxiety fast?
You can calm your anxiety fast by talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, or even a health professional or counselor. You can also start using calming breathing exercises or incorporate mindfulness or yoga into your routine. Consider exercising activities such as running, walking, swimming, and yoga to help you relax. It is essential to keep your mind and body preoccupied with other things to stick around with negative thoughts.

How do I calm down my anxiety?
When you feel stressed and anxious, you can calm yourself by taking some time off. Consider eating well-balanced meals with fruits and vegetables. It will significantly help improve your mood and increase your physical strength. Also, try limiting your alcohol and caffeine consumption because those can trigger panic attacks. Prioritize getting enough sleep so your mind and body can recover from exhaustion. Practice breathing exercises and put your overall wellness as a top priority.

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How can I calm my anxiety at night?
Anxiety at night can be a tough battle, which is why you must prioritize your health improvement list. You can start with meditation. Focus on your breathing. Allow your mind and body to connect with each other. Also, get enough sleep. If you find it hard to concentrate in sleeping, consider playing some instrumental music so you can get adequate overall rest.  If your anxiety still does not go away, consider spending time talking to someone about your problem. Chat or call someone close to you that you know will listen and will never judge you.

What is sleep anxiety?
Sleep anxiety is a kind of performance anxiety. Usually, it comes from the stress from overthinking, which often hinders you from getting enough sleep. In unfortunate instances, it triggers feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and gastrointestinal problems. There is trouble concentrating. It makes you find difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Can’t sleep at night anxiety?
Anxiety is known to cause serious sleep issues, such as insomnia. But for some people, their anxiety leads to trigger a panic attack. It tends to be different as it somehow causes an uncontrollable level of exhaustion and fatigue. And when that happens, the mind and body become unable to function properly, leaving them incapable of emotionally and mentally handling themselves.

How can I stop thinking at night?
There are some ways you help yourself from overthinking at night. You can start with the creation of an optimal environment. Create a pre-sleep routine where you can focus your brain on some mental exercises. You can write down your worries in a journal, use some aromatherapy to soothe your bedroom, and just think about the positive things.

What is the most reliable medicine for anxiety and insomnia?
The best medicine for anxiety is these antidepressant drugs: trazodone (Desyrel), which are very good at treating sleeplessness. Benzodiazepines or known as the older sleeping pills. And when you want an insomnia medication that stays in the system longer, you can consider temazepam and triazolam.

How can I improve my deep sleep time?
It is important to note that some sleep improvement tips may work with you but not with others and vice versa. But you can always work on proven safe, easy, and effective ways that suit your convenience. It includes getting the right amount of exercise in a day, keeping a friendly diet, regulating your emotions, keeping your body hydrated, and avoiding alcohol.

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Of course, I understand that some of the activities mentioned above might not interest you. Thus, it would be unfair to force yourself on things you are not comfortable with. With that, you need to take things slow. If you want to talk to people about your anxiety, then start with a trusted person. After that, you can gradually walk your way through expressing your thoughts and feeling to a smaller group before reaching a crowd. And about some suggestions mentioned above about medications, you must understand the purpose of your drug intake. Understand your condition first and evaluate how much it impacts your life. That is the only way you can recover once you already knew what you are dealing with.

It is important to realize that a good night’s sleep is essential in your overall development. Thus, you should not let anxiety get in the way of it. It would be great to try your best to deal with the mental condition before it gets worse. Never ignore the signs and symptoms and seek professional help immediately.

 

Self-Awareness: The First Step To Achieving A Sound Mental Health

Being mentally healthy is not just a state of being free from mental illnesses. It is also a condition wherein you can positively cope with stress, work productively, and function with your full potential.

Achieving sound mental health takes a lot of work, from checking up on your thoughts to changing habits. But what is the first step to being mentally healthy?

Mental Health And Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is a psychological mechanism influencing your personal development. It is a way for us to identify our personalities and coping mechanisms.

Simply put, self-awareness is the ability to check up on your mental health. Checking up on your mental state can help you identify habits or mechanisms you want to change to improve your well-being.

Being self-aware also helps us identify triggers to anxiety, stress, or depression. It also enables us to check for symptoms we might have of mental disorders. The earlier we notice symptoms, the earlier we can seek treatment.

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How To Start Being Self-Aware
You can start achieving self-awareness by pausing and evaluating yourself. Give yourself short breaks in between heavy workloads and take a breath with a short stroll. While walking around, try thinking about how you’ve been feeling all day. Start making connections between your actions and thoughts resulting from your situation.

Stressful moments can also be opportunities for self-awareness. Assess your situation and the thoughts and feelings resulting from it. While analyzing your thoughts, you can also determine the root causes of your stress. This way, you can avoid situations connected to such root causes and develop better coping strategies to work healthily.

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Keeping a journal will help you track down your thoughts and emotions every day. A collection of your ideas will show you patterns of behavior. Introspection and meditation are also beneficial to keep you diving deeper into your consciousness.

Being self-aware will also allow you to identify the reactions you want to change. You may find a common factor in the different situations upsetting you. As soon as you recognize patterns, you can prepare and control your reactions better.

Self-Awareness And Self-Evaluation
Your thoughts are often rooted in your ideals. Self-awareness allows you to connect your actions and principles with each other. This way, you can evaluate whether or not you are consistent with your own truth.

Besides realigning actions according to your core beliefs, self-awareness can also do the opposite. As you study your thoughts and feelings, you can discover underlying principles you didn’t even know you lived with before.

Self-awareness will let you find out what is important to you. Setting priorities will help you optimize your resources and save lots of your mental and emotional energy.

Being self-aware not only means being aware of your emotions and feelings but also your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strengths will build your self-esteem while discovering weaknesses will jumpstart your journey towards progress.

Taking Your Self-Awareness A Step Further
Once you become aware of your state of mind, you can start taking it a step further. Change doesn’t have to be significant and abrupt. Start small to ensure slow but steady progress. You can divide big goals into smaller milestones, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

You also need to learn how to celebrate your small victories. But avoid relying on them for validation and happiness. Remember, you are not only defined by your achievements and failures but of your efforts as well.

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Meeting your self-imposed expectations will not only transform your mental health for the better, but it will also benefit your way of thinking towards the idea of progress. When you achieve your set goals, you will feel like you are capable of anything.

However, achieving your goals does not mean halting your introspection. Self-awareness is a continuous process! Continue tracking your thoughts to gain insight on how far you’ve gone or how far you still have to go.

Gaining Support And Seeking Help
Achieving goals and changing by yourself brings a different kind of fulfillment. However, you don’t necessarily have to do it all alone. If there are still changes you can’t seem to improve on your own, you can always seek help from others. Support can be from your family, friends, or mental health professionals.

Your friends and family can be a source of inspiration. There are times when you may feel you’re not making any progress, especially if your steps are small and gradual.

During these moments, you may confide in your friends and family. They can provide you an external perspective and inspire you to continue your journey towards a better self.

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A therapist also helps you manage your emotions and thoughts. Professionally trained therapists and counselors will guide you towards healing. They can also teach you practices you will need to reach your self-imposed goals. The pacing still depends on you, but they will be there to guide you through the journey.

Having sound mental health will unleash your fullest potentials, and self-awareness is the first stage to achieving it. Learn to evaluate and change in a cyclic process until you reach your peak. Start by taking a step back, aligning your thoughts and emotions with your principles, and accomplish all you can be!

9 Situations When A Family May Need Family Counseling

Family is an essential connection that humans have from birth until our last breath. Even so, it is inevitable for families to experience problems, conflicts, and stress. The key to having a well-connected family is through understanding and identifying the needs of each individual. Family counseling is one of the several types of therapies that can help tackle those problems.

Here are some situations when a family may need to undergo family counseling:

Lack Of Communication  

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People tend to change as they grow older. In the dynamics of a family’s relationship, we need to adapt to how each of our family members changes and grows. Communication should flow freely and openly within the family.  When families don’t communicate these changes, it is impossible to reach an understanding of each other.

If you cannot share problems and opinions willingly to your family, who can you run to in times of distress? Family counseling can help the family look more in-depth into how they should be relaying their thoughts and emotions.

When Someone Hold Grudges

If a family member holds a grudge for a long time, it affects the entire family’s relationship. Family counseling can help resolve these conflicts within the family by understanding the perspective of the people involved. Containing and suppressing these feelings often result in unnecessary fights and miscommunications. Often, they will lash out at the person without them knowing the reason why.

Here are some reasons why families may form grudges against each other:

  • Parent/Child Conflict 

Parents often play such a massive part in the child’s earliest development. Thus, issues between parents and children can be especially emotional and deeply rooted.

  • Competition

Competition between siblings is unavoidable. It can get to a point where you may hurt each other’s feelings that can lead to a lifelong conflict.

  • Comparison

For a child, being always compared to their siblings or other children can be very stressful. They can hold grudges on this issue and may result in having low self-esteem and feeling of inferiority.

Neglect

Affection and emotional support are some of the bases of having an emotionally healthy family. Unfortunately, many parents become too focused on making a living to the point where they start neglecting their spouse and children. It’s also the same situation when children ignore their parents because they’re busy having fun with their friends.

If a family lacks attention and affection from each other, they will find other sources to fill that need. Children may turn rebellious, while your partner may look for affection in the arms of someone else. When issues like these arise, it is vital to seek a family counselor before it gets too late.

The Disconnected Family

Do your family members prioritize their gadgets over having a conversation or eating meals together? The more we spend time in the virtual world, the less connection we have with the family. Sometimes, we get too caught up in “connecting” that we tend to forget the people who mean the most to us. 

A family counselor may help you formulate a plan that lessens the use of gadgets in the household to increase physical interactions instead.

Trust Issues

Trust issues are a significant problem that causes division within the family. There are times when a couple fails to be honest with each other. While this can be resolved quickly by sitting down for a conversation, not addressing it may lead to a spiral of problems. Such problems may cause further lack of communication, distrust, and lack of support within the family. It also applies to children who always lie to their parents, making parents doubt what they say.

Depression

It is normal to seek some privacy and solitude when you’re at home. While wanting to enjoy some time alone is okay, it can turn alarming if you see signs of withdrawal from socializing. In some cases, this can be an early sign that they may be suffering from depression or other mental health issues. It can also be a result of falling victim to bullying or abuse, which family counseling can address.  

Addiction

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Any kind of addiction can have a significant impact on a family either in the short or long term. Children who witnessed or experienced addiction from a young age may suffer from its long-term effects. It may often lead to the development of mental and physical disorders. In cases like this, a family counselor may help address the root of the issue of a family member.

Here are some examples of addiction:

  • Substance addiction
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Gambling addiction 
  • Gaming addiction
  • Shopping addiction
  • Social media addiction

Violence

It’s normal to have arguments and quarrels in the household. However, if it turns into physical or verbal violence, the relationship may lead to an abusive path. Experiencing violence at home is the most severe issue among family problems. Thus, immediate counseling is necessary to help stop it from going.

A home should not be a place where people feel threatened. Unfortunately, violence destroys many families and relationships.

Financial Problems

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Financial shortage is a dominant reason why many families develop conflicts. For many parents, debt is the leading cause of their stress. Often, stressful financial situations turn into fights and blame games.

Families with substantial financial capacity also face this problem. If a family member feels they do not receive their fair share, they may feel cheated or disrespected. Families fighting over money can develop into long-term resentment against each other.

Conclusion

Whatever problem there is in the family, it is possible to overcome it by seeking help together.  Whether your loved one needs a diversion from their issue or counseling, the entire family will benefit from family counseling. Family counseling can help navigate those problems and give suggestions on how to deal with it properly.

Life Lessons During Coronavirus Outbreak

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The coronavirus is one of the fiercest enemies you’ll encounter in this lifetime. Every country is practically fighting it by urging the citizens to hide in their homes and avoid going out unless they’re told that it’s safe to do so. Do you hear that? We are fighting by hiding.

Despite that, what else can we do but stay at home like we’re all told? It is better than going out without any vaccine to shield us from the coronavirus. At least, when we remain in one place for a long while, the virus cannot find us. And there’s no shame in retreating from a fight sometimes, especially if you don’t have the necessary weapons to win the battle.

I have thought of a few more life lessons besides that, including:

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Saving Up Is Good

For many years, people always tried to advise me on what to do with my hard-earned money. Some of them that I should save up as much of it as I could. Others told me than I didn’t have to do that at all. Instead, I could choose to invest my money in some businesses and watch it grow on its own.

Well, I feel thankful that I decided to do both of them. I have investments here and there, and then my savings account gets regular deposits.

I am especially grateful for the latter because I need not worry about not having work for at least a couple of months during the quarantine. I know that so many people around the globe are struggling financially because of the pandemic. Instead of waiting for monetary aids, I can even help others with my savings.

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Being An Introvert Is Not Bad These Days

My friends have always called me out for being an introvert. After all, they are the type of people who enjoy talking to strangers while I cannot even stand chatting with them for hours. I prefer to stay at home and be with my dogs instead of going out and socializing with people.

As it turns out, being an introvert is not a curse these days. Between my friends and I, I am the least bothered by this quarantine. I can spend an entire day in my garden doing quarantine while they are getting bored out of their minds. I never feel the need to break the rules; however, they come up with excuses to be able to go out.

Although I would never wish for my friends to contract the coronavirus, I knew that my introversion made me safer than anyone.

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You Can Learn Anything When You Have Nothing Much To Do

I realized this fact when I ran out of bread for the first time during the quarantine. I was never interested in baking, but my local bakery was closed. Then, I saw a YouTube tutorial about it and thought that I should give it a try.

Without the stay-at-home order, I may have never tried baking at all. But now I am aware that I can do it and it’s more fun than I have expected. It shows that you can learn anything when you are left with nothing much to do.

Final Thoughts

We all need to stop protesting about the lockdowns and quarantines that govern different parts of the globe. If it is challenging for some to stay at home, it must be 20 times more difficult for the government officials and frontline workers to try to save us all from the coronavirus. Besides, there’s no reason to complain too much if:

    • You have a comfortable house.
    • You can buy anything you need.
    • You can pick up any hobby you want.

Let’s all try to learn some valuable life lessons during this coronavirus outbreak. Agree?