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Tips from Dr. Mary Berge

Dr. Mary Berge Presentation.png

Dr. Mary Berge, a licensed clinical psychologist, was first introduced to Rotary in 2002 when she served as a Group Study Exchange team member to Sweden. She has since has served as District Governor (2008-2009), Zone 29 Rotary Coordinator, Training Leader at the International Assembly in 2019 and 2020 and she has been selected to serve as a President’s Representative on four occasions. She is a frequent speaker and trainer around the Rotary world including having been a panel speaker at the 2013 Rotary International Convention in Portugal and a keynote speaker at the Women in Rotary Conference in Romania. Mary is currently serving as Aide to Rotary International Director Stephanie Urchick and she is the Sgt. At Arms for her home club, the Rotary Club of Johnstown.

Tips on reducing anxiety from Dr. Mary Berge

Dr. Mary Berge joined us on Thursday, January 28th for a virtual lunch and learn. Her presentation on  Staying Sane during COVID was very engaging and informative. 

How to reduce anxiety and while staying home during the pandemic: 

  • Taking regular breaks - schedule regular breaks into your routine. Get up and walk around! 

  • Limit negative news - Dr. Berge only looks at the news once in the morning and once in the evening, but switches off before the late news. Turning it off at least an hour before bed. 

  • Routine – self care

  • Hydration – increase focus and decrease stress


Neurochemistry of Mood

Three chemicals regulate our mood: Serotonin, Oxytocin and Dopamine


  • Serotonin

Walking – sneaking exercise into your day. Instead of one long walk, break your walk up into several short walks during the day. 


  • Oxytocin – "the hug drug"

              Released during intimacy, can be with partner, family or friends. 

              If you are living alone – imagining intimacy can help or using body pillows/stuffed animals

  • Dopamine

              Gratitude – reflecting on gratitude improves dopamine production. Produces snowball effect

              Telling someone else why you are grateful is exponential, it causes the recipient to release dopamine


Turn off Anxiety (amygdala)

              Deep breathing exercises

  • Inhale through nose

  • Hold

  • Exhale through mouth


Sound Healing - BioLateral Sounds

David Grand on Spotify or Youtube.

Close eyes listen to music on one side then the other and your eyes and ears will follow the flow of music. Will create an interesting brain wave. This shuts the amygdala off.

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