Dec 01, 2020
This year has been tough. And now the holidays are coming up. It can all be a bit daunting, especially if you’ve lost a loved one. Nearly **60% **of Americans have experienced the loss of an immediate family member in the past three years. That is a lot of people dealing with grief that is relatively new.
In a year full of ‘new normals’, when social distancing became socially accepted, and when so many of our interactions moved online, it can be especially hard to process feelings of loss and grief. It’s been a year that’s given new meaning to being alone and staying apart from others, even our closest family and friends.
As the holidays approach, many of us are thinking how can we do this? How can we get through it this year? How can we not miss our loved one even more after such a hard year?
If you feel like this, know you’re not alone.
88% of our members say they are struggling during the holiday season. And 67% report that the holidays trigger painful memories for them. In a season that’s supposed to be full of joy and celebration, many are hurting. As one member said, “I’m dreading the holidays. I don’t know how to keep pretending that I’m ok.”
We hear you.
Which is why we’re opening our virtual doors for three days of free grief workshops leading up to the holidays. From December 21-23, we will be offering live online workshops for small groups of people, led by professional therapists.
You can go through the holidays virtually and pretend everything is ok, or you can use online technology as a platform to find a real circle of support. Instead of feeling distant and exhausted from Zoom, it can be part of the solution that actually helps you feel better.
During the workshop, you’ll have the chance to connect with others who are dealing with grief during the holidays and learn how to maintain self-care during the holidays, while still dealing with grief.
Treat yourself kindly this holiday season.
Join our Circles of Support.
Nov 30, 2020
We’ve all been there.
We’ve all faced difficult times in our lives. And sometimes, it can feel like no one in the universe can really, truly understand what we’re going through that no one can know how we feel.
It can make us feel really lonely.
As much as our experiences differ, and even though we all experience them differently as individuals, there is, however, some common ground. That’s the beauty of life – it’s complicated and diverse, yet we’re all human. And human nature has the capacity for empathy and sympathy, and we often experience and feel similar things.
Talking to strangers can be strange at first, especially when dealing with your most personal thoughts and feelings. Still, there are also specific benefits, especially when you’re talking with others facing a similarly hard time. Your inner circle of friends may be the closest people to you, but if you’re dealing with anxiety or depression or grief, and they are not, it can be challenging to connect. But if you speak with others who are also going through the same thing as you are, it can be a real epiphany to realize there are people out there who know how I feel.
When you speak with others in a similar situation, you can get relief hearing what they’re going through and realizing you’re not alone. Not only that, but you can provide them with relief by talking about what you’re going through - you support and learn from each other. The diversity of life experience is also a benefit since it can help us discover different ways of coping or provide us with a whole new perspective on our situation.
Connecting with others going through similar hard times, especially in a small group led by a professional therapist, can be a beneficial method for helping people feel better and learn new coping skills. Groups such as these can help reduce feelings of isolation and alienation and give us a sense that “we’re all in this together.”
Another benefit is the opportunity to express your feelings and practice new coping skills in a safe, secure environment. When you are part of a supportive circle and surrounded by people who can relate to what you’re going through, you can rely on their support. This can give you strength and confidence, even between group meetings.
So, even though we all face our life challenges, so many people are dealing with similar things. Whether it’s a feeling of stress or anxiety or dealing with a specific life transition, we can take comfort knowing others are going through the same thing. When you find these others, and when you can connect with them in a meaningful way, it can make all the difference.
Dec 01, 2020
We launched 7Chairs a little bit over a year ago, aiming to make emotional support accessible to everyone, everywhere. After experiencing personal challenges myself, I recognized the real need and value of connecting with others while you’re going through a difficult time.
That led me, together with my partner, to create 7Chairs - a digital platform for support groups. The idea was to connect seven people who are all dealing with a similar challenge, in a group led by a professional therapist. We had one mission - to make sure that no one around the world feels lonely with their struggles.
We soon realized how deep the need is, and how wide the gap is - you may be surrounded by people, but still feel alone. People facing life challenges are eager for human connection, especially with others who are dealing with similar situations. We saw how profound the impact of a group can be, and how meeting other people can bring a person relief and show them they’re not alone.
On top of this, almost a year of dealing with a global pandemic has shown us the power of community support, and in the process of developing our platform, we realized that we offer more than just a chair to sit in - we offer a full circle of support.
7Chairs is now Circles. We changed our name to better represent what we offer: circles of support, in the form of small groups of people who understand you, with professional therapists who carefully guide you through your journey. It’s your safe place to grieve, to cry and laugh, to listen and share, to support and be supported.
With Circles, you are always surrounded by care and support. You have the opportunity to find mutual relief and encouragement, to develop coping skills, and build personal resilience. We offer you circles of support, so you are never, ever alone dealing with life’s challenges.
Thank you for your trust, Irad Eicler, Circles CEO
Nov 26, 2020
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” Hansa Proverb
With the current state of affairs, so much uncertainty on the horizon, and our ever so busy lives it can be easy to focus on the negative. In fact, as a culture, depression and anxiety rates are at an all-time high and people are unhappier than ever before. But did you know that there is an easy way to bring more happiness into your daily life?
You may have heard that starting your day with an attitude of gratitude can have positive mental and physical health benefits. This is certainly true and the benefits of practicing gratitude are limitless. Better yet, incorporating a daily practice of gratitude is easy. It just takes a little time, effort and creativity to get started. To help you on your gratitude journey, here are a few simple activities that have the potential to bring more gratitude into your life.
What is Gratitude?
We all know the saying, “Take Time to Stop and Smell the Roses.” Simple and to the point, this saying has some excellent advice:
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. It allows us to recognize and focus on the good in our lives. Gratitude can be tangible. I am thankful for the apple tree in my yard – as in the late summer afternoons I can pick delicious apples to eat. Gratitude can also be intangible. I am thankful that I am able to hear the laughter of my child, as it brings me great joy.
Gratitude allows us to savor the moment in the present. Gratitude also allows us to focus on the good, while blocking the negative voices in our mind which are trying to be heard.
How is Gratitude Healing?
Happier people lead healthier lives and gratitude has been shown to make us more joyful and happy. When we focus on the positive we tend to take better care of ourselves physically and emotionally. When we feel good we tend to make good physical and emotional choices. Gratitude has been shown to:
How Can You Bring More Gratitude into Your Daily Life?
Bringing more gratitude into your daily life is easy. And not only is it easy, it can also be fun.
Start a gratitude jar. Keeping a gratitude jar is a fun way to bring more gratitude into the daily life of your family. All you need is any old jar, some decorations and some small pieces of paper. Get creative. If you have kids let them have fun decorating and personalizing the jar. Once the jar is decorated, have each family member write some things that they are grateful for. Feel free to use some prompts if you are having difficulty getting started. Prompts can include “Today, I am thankful for.” “The one thing I love about myself is_______.? Each day have each family member add 1-2 things that they are grateful for to the jar. Creating a gratitude jar is a wonderful habit to start . It trains the mind to focus on the good. And when you are feeling down its great to revisit the little notes in the jar to brighten up your mood.
Become a Volunteer. There is no better way to find gratitude than giving back. Volunteering helps you feel connected and allows you to feel part of a greater good. Volunteering also allows you to remain present at the moment. There are so many opportunities out there and so many areas where you can lend your gifts, talents and time. A great place to get started is www.volunteermatch.org
-** Write a Gratitude Letter**: Writing a gratitude letter can be a very powerful exercise. It can also bring much happiness to the recipient. Did you have a favorite teacher, colleague, or boss that you never had the opportunity to thank? Is there something special you want express to a family member or a loved one? Why not write them a gratitude letter? Writing can be cathartic and meditative. If you are feeling down, depressed or unmotivated this is a great exercise to immediately lift your spirits.
Remember, there are so many different ways to harness the power of gratitude every day. There is no right or wrong way – what matters is that it works for you. Why not make it a priority today and find the ways that you can bring gratitude into your life on a daily basis? We promise with a little practice, finding gratitude in the little things will become routine and you will be reaping the benefits of a happier more purposeful life in no time.