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Showing posts from May, 2014

"Broken Fences & Flowers"

Yesterday I was exhausted. Absolutely worn out. But after work my friend Ben and I went for dinner at a restaurant that I have been wanting to take him to for ages. Although my body was yelling at me to go home and plop down in front of the TV, I ignored it and spent a really wonderful few hours eating delicious food and catching up with my friend. We talked about silly music, serious life stuff, and he made me laugh until I was crying. In short, it was exactly what I needed for my spirit and soul. As we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Week n Canada I want to end it on a really important note: the value of social connection. As I have written many times before, suffering from mental illness can be a very isolating experience. The times that I have experienced a major depressive episode it has been extremely difficult to get out of the house and connect with people. I have spent many a day all alone curled up in my bed with my covers up over my head, wishing for the pain to end. But w…

"Noise & Clutter"

Oops! I said that I would be blogging each day this week and I missed a day. So let's call this a 'teachable moment'.

Something that I have learned in my years of depression is to pull back when I need to. It's been a hectic few weeks and, honestly, I just didn't have it in me to write yesterday. So instead of pushing myself to add one more thing to the must-do list, I took something off of it. I reprioritized, completed what I really did have to do yesterday, and then had some quiet time for myself. And guess what? The world didn't end. It didn't even slow down. But I did.

This little lesson fits in with what I want to talk about today: mindfulness and sleep. So let's start with mindfulness.

Do you listen to your body? If you lifted something heavy and strained your back do you then recognize that the pain means you need to help it heal? What about when you have experienced a stressful event in your life - do you read the messages that your body and…

"Handshake Deal"

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, it's Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada. That means that I'll be blogging each day this week with a different mental health topic. So let's talk about exercise today - not one of of my favourite things, I'll admit. I have often wished that I had that magic gene that would make me bound out of bed each day, eager to go for a run or play tennis or something. Nope - don't have it. But I cannot deny the power of exercise in maintaining mental wellness or in recovery from mental illness.

We all know that exercise releases endorphins which make us feel good. But there are other things that happen when we exercise. It can also boost self confidence. Yesterday I wrote about self esteem and the hit it can take when a person is depressed. When you exercise on a regular basis you start to feel better because you are releasing those feel good chemicals and then you start to look better. And I am not talking necessarily about weight los…

"It Starts With a Week"

I have a question for you. If you were to gather twenty of your friends or colleagues in a room and you were to ask how many of them have had a cold at some point in their life, do you think anyone would hesitate to raise a hand? Probably not. No big deal, right? Just a simple question.

OK, how about this? Take the same twenty people but ask them a different question. This time, ask them to raise a hand if they have ever suffered a mental illness. I would be willing to bet big bucks that you would see a different kind of response.

May 5-11 is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada. It's a week dedicated to talking about mental health issues. As a society we mostly shy away from the hard topics. You know the rules - never discuss your salary, religion or politics. You can add mental illness to that list.

We all have physical health just like we all have mental health. So let's stop pretending that mental health issues don't impact a large percentage of us, because they d…