Cultivating Calm

Mindfulness has become a popular approach in mental health counselling. Stemming from Eastern philosophies and spirituality, practitioners have adapted and secularized therapeutic aspects of deep focus, stillness, reflective introspection, and purposeful breathing.

The evolution of Mindful practice first began in heart attack recovery, pain management and rehab services, and now in mental health.

A calm lake is priceless imagery.

There are several relaxation videos and recordings that teach mindfulness techniques. In simple terms, you learn to really pay attention to what you are doing every moment of the day.

Mindfulness practices help you to be more aware of what you do and feel each day. It helps to draw you from states of distraction or busyness that can contribute to stress and overwork. It also helps you to connect to activities that cause you stress and what to do differently.

Some people infuse a prayerful element to mindfulness practice, rather than using affirmations or triggering words. There is a lot of evidence that cultivating a sense of calm each day heals the heart and your overall wellness.

Yoga is another simple way to grow your awareness between your movement and breath, as well as stress and any lingering aches and pains in your body. It helps you to notice damage caused by repetitive motions at work, lifting heavy objects, workload issues or emotional problems.

Mindfulness used in mental health counselling is not a spiritual practice. You are not expected to pray or learn a new religion. Instead, mindfulness strategies will help you to be more aware of the way you go about the business of your day and how it impacts you.

Speak up if you feel weird or awkward in your psychotherapy session. Feel confident to express that you have your own spiritual practice or religion and that you are interested in therapeutic mindfulness strategies only.

Mindful eating and now mindful alcohol-use are growing in popularity as harm reducing activities. Are you aware of the amount of beer or wine you are consuming or do you fail to count or notice how many drinks you have had before feeling unwell?

A skilled clinician can help you become more mindful of your habits, words, and behaviours that are automatic to you, yet harmful to your health in the long run. Enjoy the benefits that stem from lower blood pressure, diaphragmatic breathing, and alert mental acuity. This investment to your wellness is guaranteed!

#mindfulness #counselling #wellness #psychotherapy

New Year, New Decade, New You – 2020

Aurora Festival of Lights in Toronto, Ontario

One of the main reasons societies celebrate “endings and beginnings” each year is the hope to begin anew. It is a time when people review the past year and decade reflectively.

You may have lost family members and friends due to illnesses, misunderstandings, divorces, or tragedies. At the same time, your life may have been blessed with family weddings, the birth of children, new degrees, credentials, diplomas, promotions, or a new job or business!

Everyone in society shares in the passing of the old year and the hope of the new year in common. New Year’s day is a statutory holiday for everyone to remember how fortunate you are to begin anew.

You may find yourself wishing you had reacted to something differently. You may also find yourself seeking to make amends with people you may have hurt or offended. The road you take in the New Year is completely up to you.

Starting slowly and honestly to review what aspects of your life you wish to improve, change, sustain, or maintain this year as the foundation to the next decade is an excellent way to move forward in your life.

Some people benefit from making a list of goals, ideas, resolutions, or plans for the next year. You may also expand your list to include a 3-5 year plan. Having an overall structure or framework for you to organize immediate and future goals is healthy and critical to success.

None of us experience success in isolation. Ensuring that you cultivate healthy and happy family relationships is essential to feelings of fulfillment, gratitude, health, and wellness.

In this past decade, North American societies have learned to talk openly about mental illness and the years of silent suffering caused by the social stigma created by misinformation and bias.

Know the signs of mental illness and be there when your friends need you most. Forgive yourself if you have missed the needs of others due to petty distraction or busy-ness.

Gone are the days of historic institutionalization where people lost self-determination and freedom due to episodes of depression, mania, anxiety, or psychosis. Canadians have come a long way due to the bravery of individuals such as Margaret Trudeau, Clara Hughes, Princes William & Harry, and Michael Babcock.

The constitution has also caught up accordingly and people with mental disabilities are protected equally under the law – even in the workplace and academia.

Your mental health and wellness is far too important to be misunderstood or mistreated. More service is needed, so you can find expert support at school or work without barriers.

Connect with a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist today who will truly remind you about your rights to be Well!

#NewYear #Let’sTalk #Heal #Wellness #KnowYourRights

Celebrating Responsibly

Responsibility isn’t boring, it’s maturity!

The holiday season is fast upon us and by now, you are halfway through parties, gatherings, festivities, and celebrations with family and friends.

Many of you are already feeling the physical effects of over-indulging on sweets, chocolates, protein, fats, and alcohol. It often takes a solid FIVE days to feel the real effects of rich foods and alcohol.

For women like me, who are post-menopausal and comfortably adjusting to middle age, there are some effective strategies that work to reduce weight gain and emotional stress during one of the most stressful times of the year.

Some simple strategies include drinking water before and during social events, munching on vegetables between mains at dinner parties, and avoiding junk food sweets and snacks like chips, cookies, and squares altogether. Trying to increase your physical activities during this time is also effective at reducing harm caused by alcohol consumption.

The holiday season is certainly not a time to diet. So, a healthy attitude around eating one or two special treats is always a good thing!

Homemade and traditional recipes are especially important to people with culturally diverse family members. Making efforts to include a variety of foods and something for everyone is bound to make the holiday a memorable one!

The view that celebrating responsibly is boring is inaccurate and worthy of a gentle challenge or rebuttal. The life of the party is often the person who maintains a tempered approach to food and drink.

Maturity is never boring. Instead, it is distinguished, elegant, classy and attractive. So, this New Year’s Eve, celebrate responsibly and mindfully. Balance good food, alcohol, and humor, especially when marking important holidays with colleagues and professional associates.

You will never be sorry for celebrating responsibly with friends and family over the long term. Socially responsible adults are always regarded as the gentle steadfast leaders in communities and the workplace.

Where this reward for responsibility fails to occur, especially in leadership, then it may be time for a radical review or change in employment for you. The New Year always heralds hope for good things yet come.

May all your good efforts be rewarded accordingly and grow in excellence in 2020!

#wellness #character #professional #standards