By: Kristen Sohlman, MACP, RP
After having endured a challenging or difficult experience such as grief and loss, trauma, an accident, or a significant change in life such as retirement, major illness, or diagnosis of a degenerative disease, one may begin to question:
What is the purpose and value of my life? Why is this important?
By: Laurie Vance, MSW, RSW, Cert. Forest Guide
Investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good for business!
The data tells us 1 in 5 Adults will experience a diagnosable mental illness in any given year and more than 50% of those will go untreated.
Respecting and treating mental illness on par with other medical illnesses like diabetes or heart disease is the first step to improving employee quality of life, which is the foundation of an effective workplace. As a clinical counsellor, I have worked with a global Employee Assistance Provider (EAP), I know full well the harsh impact of work-related stress and in turn the physical, mental, psychological and financial damage that many people experience.
By: Seija Grant, MEd CP, RP
When I talk about ‘finding a good fit’ I am referring to the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist. One of the most important factors of therapeutic success is having a strong therapeutic alliance. The importance of this is significant, as you (the client) need to be able to trust the therapist enough to share some of the most vulnerable parts of yourself.
By: Kristen Sohlman, MACP, RP
Did you know that gardening helps to support positive mental health? Here is how!
By: Cassandra Nordal
Returning to work after a lay off or leave in general, is difficult. You add a pandemic onto that and well, how do we begin to function properly?
By: Laura Groulx, MSW, RSW
Typically, as a parent, you want the best for your child. You want your child to both survive and thrive. The Western society we live in is individualistic, meaning that success is often viewed from an every-man-for-themselves type of perspective.
Because of this, life can feel competitive at times. For instance, perhaps at one time or another you felt that pressure to make it on that sports team, get into that school, land that perfect job, find that perfect relationship… and have that perfectly-behaved-and-over-achieving-child.
THIS IS A TRAP.
Seija Grant, MEd CP, RP
I have now heard this account from several people, and am one of these people myself. Despite the ongoing trauma, state of chaos and challenges around this pandemic, there are some people who are relieved by the break from normalcy, and in fact maybe really needed the break. If this sounds familiar: don’t worry, you are not alone, nor is there anything wrong with how you’re feeling.
By: Jordan Gross, RN TBRHSC
Right Now I am scared…. I am a Nurse and my job is to face the beast that the rest of the world is hiding from and is informed to avoid at all costs.
By: Kristen Sohlman, MACP, RP
Are you feeling that the world has changed so much? Are you feeling helpless? Are you feeling sad? You may not be just depressed; you may be grieving. The grief response happens when there are significant changes in life, when things will not go back to the way they used to be, when there is a loss of normalcy, a loss of connection, when there is worry or fear, and all of this is hitting us in a short period of time.
By: Kelly Graham, MSW, RSW
You’ve probably been bombarded with articles about how you should use your time in self-isolation to better yourself (learn a language, play an instrument, etc.). However, this can be hard for a lot of people. We are feeling stressed and anxious about what is happening in the world, and for some people that isn't easy to overcome.
By: Cassandra Nordal
This is obviously a scary time for us all. Hour by hour, we are watching our world change so drastically that we are all in a state of constant worry and panic. We have been focusing on the detrimental health risk and factors that this virus is causing, and now, we need to talk about the impact this is having on our mental health.
The idea of surviving isolation with your partner may spur mixed emotions. We are with our partners because we fell in love, so much so, that we have committed ourselves to this other person completely. Well, maybe not completely. Let’s get real: We love our partners, but sometimes too much of a good thing is, as they say, too much. Relationships still require a sense of individuality and independence. We all need our space - space is healthy! However, we may be finding that we have less space from our partner when many of us are spending more time at home. Here are a few ideas on how to cope with increased togetherness:
By: Seija Grant, Med CP, RP
Wow! Things are feeling a little chaotic and overwhelming, and certainly anxiety-provoking out there. I am not immune to that as a therapist, and was thinking about what can be done to ease some of the mental (and physical) tension in our community. One such skill that can be cultivated and applied during these tough times is ‘Mindful Self-Compassion’ (MSC). I realize this may be a new concept for many of you, so I will give a brief overview of what this is and how this may be helpful during this tense time.
One of the leading reasons for anxiety is sleep deprivation.
𝒷𝓎 Krista Harper, Guest Submission
Nothing evokes anxiety more than getting a “tagged photo” notification without prior knowledge of what might be posted.
“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” By Bil Keane
Have you ever heard this quote? It is a wise statement that talks about the importance of being able to enjoy the current moment, the here and now. But do you ever find it hard to enjoy the present? Does your mind focus on worrying about various things beyond your control? What if I burn dinner? What if my boss is unhappy with me? What if I can’t get everything done? What if she does not recover? What if...? What if…? What if…? Have others told you that you worry too much? Has someone called you a Worry Wart? No, you are not crazy.
Worrying is a pattern of thinking that our brain can get wrapped up in. Worry is the process of thinking about possible future outcomes, usually negative or fearful in nature, that can cause distress. It is normal to worry from time to time. It becomes a problem when it is negatively interfering with your ability to enjoy your life – to relax when you finally have the time, to sleep, or if you are avoiding the situations that you worry about. Although worrying can be useful, such as when we are planning to be prepared for something that is likely to happen…too much of it can make it hard to relax and enjoy our day.
Have you tried deep breathing, meditation or distractions to try and ease your worrying - but nothing seems to be working? Feeling frustrated? If you are finding that your worries just won’t let up, it might be that you actually need to allow the worry, but in a constructive way. Worrying is just the brain’s way of trying to problem solve possible future scenarios, and sometimes the brain can get stuck along the path to problem solving and enter in an unhelpful pattern of excessive worrying.
Here are 4 steps to improve your mental health by easing your mind of worry so that you can enjoy the here and now.
Bourne, E. (2015). The Anxiety and Phobia Workbood: Sixth Ed.
Linehan, M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Ed. The Guilford Press. Pg. 2013-220, 439.
“I realize that sometimes I may come off as angry, aloof, quiet, unapproachable and difficult to talk to, but there is more to me than what others may realize. I have anxiety!”
Having anxiety means that one may come off as a bad friend, a coworker that doesn’t care, or even somewhat antisocial to others, but this is hardly the case. The actuality is that people who are struggling to cope with their anxiety care and they care a lot! Fear is a big component of anxiety and keeps those that struggle with it from having meaningful conversations with others, from texting friends whom they really want to spend time with, and fear that they may be a nuisance if they build up the nerve to pick up the phone or to actually have that conversation. People who are struggling to cope with their anxiety are overwhelmed, may feel like crying, and may even get angry if the thought of breaking down crying in front of others would be just too embarrassing. Anxiety is the reason why they may not make good eye contact, that they may be quiet in groups of people, and it is not because they are distracted, don’t care, or are quietly judging others.
People with anxiety are not just quiet! While they may present as quiet on the outside at times, there is often an internal turmoil boiling over inside. Inside they may be struggling with trying to minimize the symptoms of their anxiety that others might see on the outside, they may be trying not bring attention to themselves, they may be going over and over again in their mind trying to figure out what is next or how to say what they really want to say out loud. People with anxiety are not a$$holes, they are people who want to be accepted and liked by others, like anyone else!
I wish people knew how much control they have over how they feel. Life is not about what happens to us, but about how we perceive our experiences. Our story is created in the way we define it, and this story is about how to take control of the thoughts that hold us back.
I’ve always wanted to do something important. As a kid, I dreamt of singing in front of thousands of people, writing books, and inspiring and motivating others to create a better world. But I didn’t. At least, I haven’t yet (fingers crossed!). When given opportunities, I let my pounding heart and shortness of breath convince me that it was safer to pass rather than speak up.
I used to tell myself that if I wanted to lead people, I had to be about 50 pounds lighter first, with better hair and clothes. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough. I was worried about alienating people who didn’t agree with what I had to say. When it came to the really important moments, there was too much risk, and in the end, I was convinced I wouldn’t make a difference anyway. It sounds cynical, but it was purely a fear of rejection.
Your greatest foe and most powerful advocate is your own mind. I realize now that the greatest obstacle is the battle within. What if that nagging voice had been rooting for me instead of tearing me down? What if I had told myself that the worst-case scenarios weren’t really all that bad? Imagine how many incredible things I could have done if I had been willing to make mistakes. When you are conditioned to criticize yourself, it doesn’t seem possible to change the tone of the conversation. But it is.
What is fear of success?
A fear of success is a fear that you will accomplish all that you set out to, but that you still will not feel happy, content, or satisfied once you reach your goal. It is a belief that you are undeserving of all the good things and recognition that come your way as a result of your accomplishments and successes. It is the opposite of a fear of failure, in that fear of failure is the fear of making mistakes and losing approval. Fear of success is the fear of accomplishment and being recognized and honoured. A fear of success is a lack of belief in your own ability to sustain your progress in your life, and the fear that your progress can self-destruct at any time. A fear of success can result in a lack of effort to achieve goals you have set for yourself, can result in self-destructive behaviour, may affect your ability to make healthy decisions, may result in a lack of motivation to grow, achieve, and to succeed.
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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