Perhaps for many people in their ‘normal life’ there isn’t really a need to consider the difference.  However, there are few in this time of pandemic who would likely consider their life to be even close to what was once normal.  Most people’s lives ebb and flow to some degree – there are some stressful times or occasions, some events that make us feel anxious, but generally, we move through them or that stressful or anxiety causing time passes.  But what happens when there is prolonged stress or the anxiety is caused by something that has no foreseeable ‘end date’?  

Ovation Communication Experts Jan Bailey and Shona Welsh are joined by Counselling Therapist Kimberly Schaschl in this candid conversation surrounding the difference between stress and anxiety.  Understanding the difference and being able to recognize how you are personally feeling is key to managing ongoing stress or ever present anxiety.

the notion of manageable stress or passing anxiety has shifted

Does it matter?

Stress, as outlined by Kimberly, is something that can be defined as a reaction to a specific episode or situation that passes.  Anxiety, on the other hand, is something that persists as worry beyond the time when the event or situation passes.  The tricky part is that the symptoms feel a lot the same.  Now add a pandemic to that and the lines become even more blurry.  So why does it matter – stress or anxiety – neither feel great.  It matters because of the physical, mental and emotional effects of prolonged stress and the impact anxiety can have on your ability to see clearly through challenging times. 

There is no doubt we are all experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety in a situation that has no predictable end date.  If stress is a natural reaction to an episode or situation, but that episode doesn’t seem to have an end, what then?  First, by understanding the effects of stress and anxiety, you can relax a bit in the knowing you are not alone – we are all feeling the strain.  Second, you can determine if you are having an appropriate response to what is happening around you and take steps to get some help if you feel anxiety creeping into all areas of your life.  

Communicating with yourself and about yourself can be painful and scary – but in order to feel like you are on solid ground and able to communicate clearly with others, you must begin by being honest and kind with yourself.   

Sandbox has partnered with Ovation to present a series of videos which offer thought provoking conversation, a little laughter and some concrete tools to help you shift your perspective about how and why you communicate the way you do. In a time when physical distancing is a reality, it is more important than ever to feel as though you are able to clearly express your thoughts, fears and hopes. We all know that with face to face communication it is easy to be misunderstood – in times of heightened personal and professional strain and only virtual communication to keep many of us connected, occasional miscommunication is almost a given. Take this opportunity to join Ovation and their special guest, counselling therapist Kimberly Schaschl as they unravel some of the mysteries of effective communication.

About the contributorS:

In their highly interactive workshops, OVATION speaker trainers have helped countless individuals transform their ability to connect to their audience and deliver authentic and meaningful messages with impact. Now, more than ever, communication with some oomph is an essential skill. At a time when our emotions swing from overwhelmed to irrational, our ability to communicate effectively follows suit and it can be hard to remove the anger, frustration or even fear from our voice, let alone from our message … and that can have all manner of consequences.

Shona Welsh, BA, MCEd, CHRL, CCC is a communication and speaking expert who has won numerous speaking, writing and learning design awards. The author of several books and designer/facilitator of hundreds of international workshops in speaking and communications, she has held international senior executive positions over three decades. She teaches extensively about leadership, communications, and innovation with numerous universities and colleges.

Jan Bailey BA, MAEd is a communication and speaking expert who has designed and delivered hundreds of workshops internationally on public speaking, stage presence, on-camera presentations, and communication. Along with writing and producing a ten-part career development series of books, Jan’s 27-year career has involved extensive on-camera experience as a television host along with being a long-time professor of communications.

Kimberly Schaschl BA BEd M.Ed Psych is a counselling therapist who has worked in the field of mental health and education for over 30 years. She has a wealth of experience assisting clients from school age to adulthood on a wide range of mental health and life management issues. She is a registered member of the College of Licensed Counselling Therapists of New Brunswick.

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