• Helpful Hints

    Creating a Cope Ahead Plan

    Cope ahead plans have been extremely useful for me. It’s a tool I learned in therapy. Essentially, it’s preparing yourself for stress, anxiety, and panic. Preparing for it will help mitigate how difficult the situation is when it arrives. It helps you create a plan of how to deal with triggers when you know that they will be present in your life. It’s exactly what it sounds like. So how do you create one? Here’s how: Identify the trigger This goes beyond identifying the situation that’s causing stress. It aims to discover what about the situation is causing you to panic. This will help you target that specific anxiety and…

  • Helpful Hints

    Ways To Practice Self Compassion

    Self compassion is a journey. I would say I’ve come quite a long way from where I used to be. Sometimes, I need a reminder though. There are great ways to start practicing self compassion in daily life. These are ones that I practice daily, let me know if they help you! Saying No If someone is exhausting you, set boundaries! This is a great way to practice compassion. Often, we feel like we need to be constantly available to people 24/7. We can set our boundaries and respect what our body and mind needs. This is a way to show love, respect, and kindness to yourself.  Affirmations Affirmations are…

  • Helpful Hints,  My Experience

    Reconnecting With Your Space

    I have been completely overwhelmed lately. My classes started. I have had multiple mini allergy attacks, and medical appointments that were challenging. When I feel overwhelmed, my OCD starts to become more intense. I feel lucky and grateful that I have the awareness that these thoughts and feelings are a result of OCD. That being said, it’s still challenging. How do I deal with this? In the short term, I use grounding techniques. In the long term, I find things that I can control. Often, what I can control is the space that I live in. With the pandemic, I have spent an excessive amount of time at home. Not…

  • Helpful Hints

    How to Establish Priorities

    If you’re anything like me, your priorities are everything. Your goals and ambitions are your guiding light. So when it comes to making difficult choices, you evaluate your priorities. How does this align with the values in my life? That makes difficult decisions a little easier. As someone who is extremely indecisive, I like making choices easier. If you don’t know what your priorities are, that’s okay! Not all of us were taught how to prioritize. So let me give you a tutorial on how to establish priorities: Look at Your Behavior When we look at our behavior, we can identify what emotions or experiences led to our decision. If…

  • My Experience

    The Future

    My plans for the future have been completely uprooted by covid. At the start of 2020, I had every intention of applying to four or five programs in Canada for graduate school. During the fall, I made the extremely difficult decision to take a step back. My life has been turbulent in the past few years. It no longer made sense to challenge myself in that way. I still wanted to go to graduate school. Instead of applying to multiple programs, I decided to apply to only one. This choice came with a lot of heartache and grief. Now, the world is starting to look different once again. I am…

  • Helpful Hints

    How to Stay Creative in 2021

    It’s a new year! Whoop Whoop! Although it’s a new year, I think we’re all still burnt out from 2020. I realize this week how significant creativity releases tension for me. This led me to the thought, “How do I stay creative in 2021?” After feeling so emotionally exhausted from 2020, how do I keep energy to be creative? Here’s what I am going to do: Utilize Coloring Books I have a few coloring books and I ABSOLUTELY love them. They are great for when I need to be creative but my brain is in overdrive. For me, once I get some of that energy out, I can start writing…

  • My Experience

    Chronic Illness Grief and Being Chosen

    The other day I was struggling with chronic illness grief. It’s something I’ve dealt with since getting sick. Everyone goes through it when they get sick, it just comes with different labels. I was experiencing loss. Loss of freedom, loss of innocence, and loss of who I used to be. As we change over time, we will always experience emotions towards who we were before we grew. Whether they’re happy, sad, angry, or all of the above is completely unique to you. During this grief, I started thinking about how spontaneous I could be before. Not that spontaneity is really my thing but I used to be able to do…

  • Helpful Hints,  My Experience

    It's Not All or Nothing

    Too often, I get stuck in the mindset of all or nothing. I’m going to do a hard workout or no workout at all. I’m going to get everything on my checklist done or procrastinate everything. The reality is, life doesn’t work like that. As much as my brain tells me it does, life is not all or nothing. This is a stumbling block for me. I associate productivity and happiness with accomplishing all of my goals. I may not be able to do that on a daily basis and that creates anger. Once again, I’m back to acceptance. We must accept what we cannot change and focus on what…

  • Helpful Hints

    Learning to be Mindful

    Mindfulness is a term that has become well known. It’s good for everything. Mental, physical and emotional health can all be improved by being mindful. What is mindfulness? Living in the moment is a great theory but in practice it can be quite difficult. I’ve talked before about radical acceptance and how it can improve your life. Mindfulness can come with radical acceptance. It often comes hand and hand with many different mental health strategies. In pain prevention or response, mindfulness can be utilized to endure. It’s possibilities are endless, so where do we start? Right here…. Take a deep breath When anxious or in pain, we often start to…