Monday, September 14, 2020

Book Nook: 7 Keys to Navigating a Crisis: A Practical Guide to Emotionally Dealing with Pandemics & Other Disasters.

Most of us can handle a crisis or two, but now our country is facing four simultaneous crises: Covid-19 that impacts our physical health, an economic recession that impacts our financial security, racial upheaval that impacts our social fabric, and mental health trauma that impacts our emotional well-being. The result of this? Depression, anxiety and stress are up an astounding 800% ̶ and it’s still rising!

Pandemic fatigue is real, and the effects of the trauma are being experienced by men and women of all ages, races, and socio-economic levels around the world. People are naturally looking for simple, practical advice. They’re finding it in 7 Keys to Navigating a Crisis: A Practical Guide to Emotionally Dealing with Pandemics & Other Disasters from Dr. Elia Gourgouris and Konstantinos Apostolopoulos

Drawing from their real-world experiences, the authors explain the following seven keys to navigating any crisis:
1. Start with self-care. Be aware of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
2. Practice awareness. Listen to your intuition or inner wisdom.
3. Choose flexibility so you can adapt, pivot and avoid unnecessary pain.
4. Act now! Preparation is key to your survival.
5. Take initiative by moving into action. Become the navigator in your life’s journey!
6. Cultivate a positive attitude filled with faith and hope.
7. Show kindness to others.

I had a chance to interview Konstantinos Apostolopoulos to learn more.

Why did you write this book?
Our intent in writing the book was to help others emotionally deal with the impact of four(!) compounding crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial crisis, the upheaval from the social/racial injustices, and the growing mental health crisis. Pandemic fatigue is real and the recent reports of stress, anxiety, and depression show an increase of 800% in the first 60 days. It’s important to note that we have both been impacted by crises and significant change in our lives, so we understand firsthand the effect these can have on a person – physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. In addition, our backgrounds in wellness and recovery (for Dr Elia) and change management (for me) helped us draw the important pieces together quickly. It helped that we were already guest writing together for various platforms, so we had a system in place and understanding. We were both so highly motivated to tackle this important work and help the vast majority of people deal with the emotional fallout, which is an area that seemed to be overlooked.

Why is it important to have a positive attitude, even in the midst of unprecedented challenges?
Our attitude will play a big part in how we approach any situation. Whether we believe we can overcome a challenge or not, we are right. Our mind will respond accordingly. As each of us looks at the current environment, we need to differentiate between “danger” and “fear”. Danger is real and we need to address it. Fear is an emotional response that in turn triggers our fight or flight responses. A positive attitude helps counter-act our fears and helps us regain control over our mind and our attitude – the things we can actually control in any situation. Then by taking action individually and with others to address real danger, we gain confidence that we can overcome difficulties. However, if we allow fear to guide our decisions, we will likely make costly mistakes. So, it’s important to separate danger from fear, and approach each challenge with a positive attitude.

What sets this book apart from other books designed to help people through a crisis?
Much has been said and publicized about the Pandemic from the perspective of the medical, statistical, financial, etc. viewpoints but not much about the emotional and mental impact. We wanted to offer answers to people that were struggling with the emotional side of the “forced pause” in their life and the uncertainty of the situation in an easy to read and reference format, with practical how-to’s, so readers could get relief and results quickly. The 7 Keys apply to global events, but also to a person’s individual crisis, like the loss of a loved one or a job. They also apply to individuals and to organizations, as we help leaders cope with the organizational stresses resulting from these and other crises. So, the information is relevant today, but also in any future crisis.

Author Elia Gourgouris, PhD, is the Founder of The Happiness Center, an organization of world-leading experts in the field of positive psychology. Dr. Elia's previous book, 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness, became an Amazon #1 best-seller. He is an international keynote speaker and happiness expert focusing on corporate wellness and leadership training. He holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is a UCLA graduate. Dr. Elia is certified by the American Red Cross in Disaster Mental Health Services, having assisted in the 1994 Los Angeles and 2010 Haiti earthquakes, the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and other crises. He's the co-host of The Kindness Happiness Connection podcast and a Thrive Global contributor. Please visit:, or

Co-author Konstantinos Apostolopoulos is the Founder and CEO of Fresh Biz Solutions, and a performance and change management expert. As an award-winning facilitator and coach, he has successfully delivered hundreds of custom learning events in the US, Canada and Europe for diverse audiences and industries. He is a regular contributor to Thrive Global and other industry publications. As a young man in Greece, he experienced firsthand the devastation left behind by natural and economic disasters. As an adult, he was fortunate to help play a small part in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Today, he helps others navigate the challenges brought by major events in their lives. Please visit: For more information, please visit www.dreliagourgouris.com; or

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