Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

I'm a clinical social worker at a major teaching hospital, specializing in group therapy.

Day 3309: How to express empathy

How do you express empathy? With spoken words? Written words? Facial expressions? Hugs? Other non-verbal communication?

Where do you express empathy? In person? On the phone? In ZOOM gatherings? On social media?

To whom do you express empathy? To family members? Friends? Acquaintances? Strangers?

Sometimes I’m not sure how to express empathy, but I know I feel it every day.

Do you see how to express empathy in any of my images for today?

If you comment, I will do my best to express empathy in my response.

Thanks for all who feel and express empathy, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 3308: Who needs a hug?

Who needs a hug on National Hugging Day?

I’m assuming we all do, because there’s been such a vast reduction in hugging for TWO YEARS.

People need hugs to feel comforted and connected with others. Yesterday, in my therapy groups, I asked people to give themselves hugs during the mindfulness exercise. (If they didn’t feel comfortable hugging themselves, I suggested they give themselves mental hugs).

Several people spoke about how much they yearned to be in the same room together again. I hugged myself as I admitted that we had no idea of when that might be.

Do you see anyone who needs a hug in my images for today?

I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not hugging any squirrels today.

This is what I find on YouTube when I search for “who needs a hug.”

Now I REALLY need a hug.

I hope my gratitude, here and now, feels like a hug to you.

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3307: Note to self

Note to self: Write about yesterday’s therapy group, when people sent letters to themselves starting with “Dear (your name here)” and ending with “Love, (your name here).”

Note to self: It can be very healing for people to send themselves important messages with love.

Here’s my note (or letter) to myself for today:

Dear Ann,

Remember to balance other people’s needs with your needs. And stop mindlessly snacking on popcorn and sunflower seeds to distract yourself.

Love,

Ann

Note to self: Share the images for today.

Note to self: In my groups today, do that mindfulness exercise where people hug themselves, in honor of National Hugging Day.

(Note to self: Make sure you have the date right before you publish your blog post. )

Note to self: look for a YouTube video of 97-year-old pianist Ruth Slenczynska.

Note to self: express gratitude to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 3306: Chillax

Because I can’t seem to break my habit of worrying about (1) possible catastrophes, (2) not responding quickly enough to everyone, and (3) inexplicably high numbers for my weight and my INR, I am telling myself (and anyone else who needs to hear it) to chillax.

If you don’t know what “chillax” means, chillax. Here’s a definition.

These days, I can dance to my favorite tune or chillax, but I can’t have friends over because of Omicron.

Yesterday, in a remote Coping and Healing therapy group, we helped each other chillax by consciously letting go of fears and accepting our own worth.

I recently committed to doing another remote Open Mic on Friday and doing a presentation about my groups in February, so I need to chillax about both of those. I have a tendency to get nervous about performances, even though I’ve done so many before, so (say it along with me, please) …

Chillax.

After I get up every precious morning, I chillax by creating this blog. Do any of my images for today help you chillax?

I don’t know what “World Quark Day” is, but I’m going to chillax about that. Also, I’ve been eating way too much popcorn lately, which might explain the weight gain, so instead of eating popcorn on National Popcorn Day, I’m going to chillax.

Joan chillaxes by fetching her favorite toy.

What helps you chillax?

Ending each daily blog post with gratitude helps me chillax, so thanks to everyone who is visiting here now, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3305: Projection

Projection, in psychology, is when people ascribe their own thoughts onto others.

My projection is that you might want some definition of “projection,” here and now.

That second definition describes projection as a behavior rather than as thoughts, which reflects people’s thinking that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interrelated.

I think there is a lot of projection going on these days, making it difficult for us to understand other people’s differing opinions and choices. I think the best we can do is to be aware of our own projections, so we can leave room for the fullness and complexity of other beings.

Do you see projection in any of my images for today?

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In honor of National Thesaurus Day, here are synonyms for “projection.”

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Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “projection.”

My final projection of this blog post is to assume that others are grateful, every day, for wonderful people like YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 3304: Any questions?

Any questions about my images for today?

Any questions about what is the most important way to celebrate today?

If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments section, below.

Any questions about how grateful I am that you visit this blog?

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3303: What are you looking at?

What are you looking at, besides this blog post?

I’m looking at:

  • a cold New England,
  • COVID statistics,
  • hopes and fears about the state of the USA and the rest of the world,
  • one of the 1325 Buddhist Ways to Be Happy,
  • this awesome book by my friend Janet:
  • TV shows including Ted Lasso, Flowers, and Station 11,
  • Twitter, and
  • cats.

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Me? I’m also looking at the answers to this question I asked last night on Twitter.

Those answers are helping me compile a list of places I hope to be looking at in the future.

Wherever you are, what are you looking at for this precious day?

I’m looking at another day when I don’t have to go under the scalpel. Yippee!

This comes up when I search YouTube for “what are you looking at?”

Soon, I hope to be looking at your comments.

What are you looking at now? My gratitude for you.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3302: A moment’s peace

During these times, it’s even more challenging to get a moment’s peace. That’s why I took a moment to ask this question on Twitter last night:

I’m working on getting a moment’s peace, here and now, while it’s very cold and windy outside.

Personally, I find it more difficult to get a moment’s peace when I’m scared and those temperatures feel scary!

Can you find a moment’s peace in any of my other images for today?

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If I have to go out today, wearing a hat might give me a moment’s peace.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “a moment’s peace.”

How do you get a moment’s peace?

I’m grateful for everything and everybody that helps me get a moment’s peace, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, life in the USA, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 3301: Intuition

My intuition tells me to start this blog post with a definition of “intuition.”

My intuition told me to ask this question on Twitter last night:

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My intuition tells me that we could all use a laugh these days.

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My intuition tells me to blog every day and share images like these with you:

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It looks like the Daily Bitch’s intuition has not served her well.

24 years ago, my intuition told me to get tested for endocarditis (a very dangerous heart inflammation) when I was eight months pregnant and running a fever. I had never had endocarditis but, for some reason, I felt like I might have it. The doctor told me I had the flu and that was why I had the fever but “since you’re here and because of your heart, I’ll test you.” A few days later, I got a phone call, “come into the hospital immediately, you have endocarditis.” They put me on IV antibiotics for six weeks and told me, “This might make the baby deaf.” It didn’t.

After my son was born, I said to my cardiologist, “Why do you think I asked to be tested for endocarditis? There was really no logical reason for me to do that.” He said, “I think somebody up there is looking out for you.” My intuition told me that it was my late father, who had died the year before.

This is what I find on YouTube when I search for “intuition.”

My intuition tells me I will get some great comments on this post.

Thanks to all who have good intuition, including YOU.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3300: Favorite Wastes of Time

Twitter is one of my favorite wastes of time, so I asked this question last night:

Some replies pointed out that doing something you enjoy is never a waste of time, and I agree! I explained that I was thinking about this great song by Marshall Crenshaw, “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time.”

Another one of my favorite “wastes of time” these days is the TV show Ted Lasso.

When I saw my Primary Care Doctor recently, she told me she’s watched both seasons of Ted Lasso many times and how that’s been helping her get through the pandemic. I completely trust my doctor, so I’m taking that TV Rx and I’m loving it.

What’s NOT a favorite waste of time is believing old, unhelpful and judgmental labels.

Another favorite “waste of time” for me is sharing images with you every day.

What’s your favorite waste of time?

Thanks to all who choose to waste some time with me here, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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