Bringing Down Stress During the COVID Pandemic with Megan Kirk Chang

The holiday season is here and a lot of us are trying to make sense of a very challenging, for some of us a traumatizing year 2020, in preparation for the new year. This week, and to hopefully bring you some appeasement and some warmth at this time when we’d all rather be with our friends and family celebrating, rather than being locked down, I am sharing with you a bonus episode where we’re going a little deeper into how we are feeling and about practices and habits that can help us enter 2021 with a better outlook on what’s to come.

Woman with long brown hair wearing black sleeveless shirt looking and smiling towards camera, with a backdrop of green shrubs

Megan Kirk Chang is a PhD Candidate and clinician scientist specializing in health behaviour change, trauma psychophysiology, and cognitive neuroscience. As part of her doctoral research, Megan developed the first registered clinical trial in Canada investigating the effectiveness of an online mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural intervention for adults diagnosed with PTSD. Megan has worked as a Mental Health Coach with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and University Health Network in Toronto. She is a certified meditation and yoga teacher on the Insight Timer App. She runs a public Twitter account with another colleague called MindfulAcademics and also a personal account on Instagram called My Trauma choach.

During our conversation, we talked about the burden the COVID pandemic has been on all of us psychologically, and Megan shared her reflections on how best to deal with the trauma and with the stress we may be carrying with us after a year under the gun.

Megan’s pearls of wisdom:

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic. You’re not expected to be more productive or as productive as you used to be, because inherently, our mind is half tuned in to what we need to do and half caught in this fear cycle of “How does this end? What does this look like? What if I get COVID? What if a family member gets COVID?” All of these questions are very real for people. We’re all doing the best we can. I don’t believe we get up in the morning and say “I’m going to try my worst today”. I think we all say we’re going to try our best. And some days, our best means making the bed. And that’s it, that’s all you get through.”

X’s links: LinkedIn – LinkedIn.com/in/MeganKirkChang/; Twitter – @MindfulAcademix; Instagram – @mytraumacoach.

You might also like the following episodes:

Cindy Hovington – Science-based Education: PapaPhD.com/22

Ines Thomas Almeida – Mental Health Advocate: PapaPhD.com/27

Katina Rogers – Equity and Innovation in Higher Education: PapaPhD.com/81

Zoë Ayres – Mental Health Advocate: PapaPhD.com/54; PapaPhD.com/55

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