Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cracking Up the Capital

Some say that laughter is truly the best medicine, that your heart smiles when you laugh, that it can relieve even that little bit of stress you've been under.

Do you laugh with your kids?  Your friends?  Family?  Co-workers?

How do you laugh?  Are you the silent laugher?  Are you the one who snorts?  Do you giggle or huff?  Do you do the laugh-cry thing, where tears just roll down your face?

Are you easily amused, or does it take something extraordinarily funny to make you chuckle?

Laughter is one of the easiest ways to perk up your mood.  Watching Youtube videos can decrease your stress level significantly, making what you're facing seemingly better or disappear for an instant.

Here in Ottawa, supporting local mental health organizations, is your chance to laugh it up!

Cracking Up The Capital is an amazing comedy festival put on by a team of individuals who all care about the mental health of our community.  They come from all walks of life, with the same end goal of helping those in need who are dealing with a form of mental health.

From February 6-9th, you can see fantastic comedians preform their best material, all while supporting mental health.

Tickets are priced per event, but are set an amazing prices!

Check out for more information and to buy tickets!

Women of Comedy: An Intimate and Interactive Evening

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Improv Games: Youth Comedy Evening

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aboriginal Comedy Evening

Friday, February 8, 2013

Festival Finale

Saturday, February 9, 2013

We would like to thank the organizers at Cracking Up the Capital for donating tickets to our own volunteers, for the Festival Finale.  They'll appreciate the laughs!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beat the Winter Blues

It's that time after the holiday season when it's dark early at night, it's cold, it's wet, the wind is howling, the snow is falling, and all you want to do is hibernate until Spring.

Don't let the Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder get the best of you.   It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to just stay in bed, or curled up on the couch.  Heck, I'm guilty of it myself sometimes.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can affect anyone.  Those of us in Canada, with long winter nights, are at a greater risk of SAD.  Feelings of hopelessness, appetite changes (increase or decrease) increased sleep & more naps, less energy, sluggish movements, social withdrawl, loss of activities that usually make you happy, irritability and even suicide ideations.

Doctors can't test us for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but your doctor can make a diagnosis by talking to you about your feelings and changes in your behaviour.  You know yourself better than anyone else.  Therapy can provide some relief, by expressing how you are feeling, and we're definitely here 24/7 to talk to you about all of these things at 613-238-3311.

But how can you get through these months, waiting for Spring, warm sunshine, flip flops, swimming and freckles to come your way?

Eat healthy.  Tests have been done that people suffering from SAD, showing that when they ate healthier foods, they felt better about things.  Stick to your four food groups, and everything in moderation.  Bright foods like fruits & veggies are an instant mood improver.

Sleep just the right amount.  8-9 hours is ideal for a good night's sleep. 

If you're on medications, review them with your doctor to make sure you're taking them the right way, at the right time of day.  I recently found out that one of my own doses is better taken in the morning than at night like I was. 

Exercise.  I don't mean run a full marathon in the snow.  Like to snowshoe?  Cross country ski?  Downhill ski?  Simply walk?  Grab a friend, co-worker, loved one, or even the dog and get out for at least 30 minutes a day for fresh air.  It will release endorphins that make you happy, and fill your lungs with clean air.  The Vitamin D from the sunshine is essential.

Avoid alcohol and drugs.  When dealing with depression, these can be a crutch to get you through.  Do your best to steer clear, and try the above tips instead.

Most people live with Seasonal Affective Disorder their entire lives.  It's manageable when you find something that works for you.

If you have thoughts of suicide, please call and talk to one of our Crisis Line Specialists.  We are here to listen, to help and support you.

Stay happy & healthy this Winter season.  Have any other tips?  Share them in the comments section below!