Get creative! Pick up a hobby that you’ve been wanting to do. A project that may consume thoughts so one can refocus their energy on something more positive.
As a part of my series about the the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Anna Guanche, a board-certified dermatologist, celebrity beauty expert, author and founder of Bella Skin Institute located in Calabasas, California. Dr. Guanche specializes in cosmetic dermatology, antiaging and beauty enhancements utilizing state-of-the-art skin rejuvenation procedures, laser surgery and injectables.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Well I was going to be an orthopedic surgeon and do hand micrographic surgery, and on my radiology rotation, I met a woman who told me I should do dermatology. Her husband quit orthopedics to go into dermatology because his twin brother was loving it so much. After a lot of persuasion, she set up a 2-week rotation in dermatology for me (which was very hard to get!). I went straight from hand orthopedic rotation to dermatology and in the first morning we did a very large skin cancer removal, a laser resurfacing treatment and a lip filler procedure. I fell in love before lunch time and I’ve never looked back! I am convinced that woman was an angel who redirected me onto my path.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book really resonated with me because in my younger years I was a pure scientist and had no interest in anything that could not be scientifically proven. I feel that this book started me on a spiritual journey that has enhanced my life both professionally and personally.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
First, I identify with all of these feeling and definitely have moments of fear and uncertainty and then I have other moments of hope and positivity. It is heartening to see how people adapt to such a drastic change in their everyday lives. People are coming up with creative ways to socialize, such as Zoom, FaceTime, group chats, and funny memes to try and lighten the heaviness of the situation. Additionally, society has come together to try and solve arising issues such as lack of food to elders is an amazing example of how we are all coming together as a community. There has been an astonishing unification of the country and the world. The virus has made us aware of the fact that we are all one, and we are all facing the problem at the same time. It is an opportunity to reflect, to hear more silence, to see bluer skies, and to spend extended periods of time with loved ones in a way that we may not have previously done. It is like a giant pause button has been pressed. Not only that, but we will learn a lot of what we are able to do, for example, working from home, schooling from home and functioning in a different way. After time, I feel that we will be permanently changed for the better.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
1. Call, talk and listen to each other’s concerns. Focus on the positive as much as possible. By letting others talk, they may feel that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings. Ask them what project they’ve been wanting to do and hold them accountable to do something positive and constructive with their free time.
2. Laugh! Find ways to find joy, happiness and laughter every day! This helps to elevate endorphins, AKA the feel-good hormone!
3. Get creative! Pick up a hobby that you’ve been wanting to do. A project that may consume thoughts so one can refocus their energy on something more positive.
4. Reach out to the elderly. This is the population that really needs the help right now. This will take the focus away from your own personal concerns and make you feel better about helping out those in need.
5. Facetime workouts/ dance parties with music that you love. Music and moving your body can really help change the mood to more uplifting and make you feel better!
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
1. Take over the counter supplements such as magnesium or melatonin to help with sleep.
2. Reduce your caffeine intake. This can heighten anxiety.
3. Exercise, stretch, walk, during the day.
4. Yoga and meditation.
5. Try and create a schedule… wake time, activity time, eating. Create consistency.
6. Help lines are available even by text!
7. If symptoms of depression are getting severe, reach out to your primary care doctor to discuss medications.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Never, never, never give up” by Winston Churchill.
I’m living it right now! Throughout my life, I’ve had significant challenges. I was emancipated by age 16, worked 3 jobs to sustain and put myself through medical school. This quote helped me to persevere through all my hardships!
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Although this wouldn’t be my movement, I’ve always thought the kindness movement that touches people lives every day is the best way to create a better world. Smile, be friendly, be caring, and offer compliments. It doesn’t cost anything, and it can really improve someone’s day!
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
FB: Bella Skin Institute