Friday, October 31, 2014

Falling Back

The leaves are almost gone from the trees.  There's a permanent chill in the air.  There's frost on your car in the early hours of the morning, and let's be honest, there are more Christmas decorations in stores already than there were Hallowe'en.

Welcome to the time of the Autumn season where we "Fall Back" an hour.  Tomorrow night before bed (November 1st) we turn our clocks back, which means an extra hour of sleep (yay!) but less daylight (boo).

When you're getting up in the dark, and you're getting home in the dark, it's hard on your body & mind.  It's easy to fall into the routine of being in your workplace during the day, and staying indoors in the evening.  We turn to comfort food (hello, Mac & Cheese!) and fall victim to prime time television.  

While this all sounds like it isn't too big of a deal, our bodies & minds crave & need the daylight.  Without daylight, we become sluggish, our minds become slower, and our metabolism slows down.  Some people will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D), and some will become depressed and deal with anxiety.  

So how can you deal with the time change?  Here are some tips!

1) Maximize your exposure to daylight.  It may be something as simple as a walk on your lunch hour.  If it's cold, bundle up, grab some mittens, and a coworker or pet, and take a 20-30 minute walk.  While you're walking, breathe in the air, and soak in the daylight.  Studies show that 30 minutes of daylight will energize your body & mind for the rest of the day.

2) Participate in outdoor activities you enjoy!  Do you enjoy going for hikes?  Take a trip up to the Gatineau Hills.  Like to ski?  There are amazing ski hills just 30 minutes away.  More of a "walk with a friend" kind of person?  Get some friends together for a morning walk before work, or start a Learn to Run group.

3) Practice healthy habits.  Eat well.  Sleep well.  Exercise. These three activities will be your best friends throughout the Fall/Winter months.

4) Follow your schedule. If you are taking medications, continue to take them at their appropriate times, and talk to your doctor if you think you need any adjustments.  If you are able to, under the advice of your doctor, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement as well, to boost your daily intake.

5) Watch for signs of S.A.D.  If you are feeling depression, anxious, stressed, and you aren't entirely sure why, you could be suffering from S.A.D.  Reach out to your doctor, and our 24/7 phone lines to talk about what you are feeling.  

You know how great the sunshine feels, so when Mr.Sun is out during the day, consider going out to say hello to the sun, and smile while his warm rays shine down on you!

As always, we are here for you anytime you need us.  613-238-3311.  Visit us online as well at 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dealing with Tragedy & Traumatic Events

Today, Ottawa has lost its innocence of being a city where nothing happens.

Upon arriving to work today, I hear of a shooting at the Canadian War Memorial.  Followed closely by another shooting outside the Peace Tower.

My first thoughts were with my spouse, my sister in law, and my brother in law, who all were downtown today for work and school.  My thoughts went there, and then to "What is going on in Ottawa?!"

There is nothing that can prepare us for a tragedy and traumatic event such as what we are experiencing today.






These are all emotions that we can expect to feel as these events unfold.  We are all glued to reports, radio & television, waiting to hear that it's over and that the shooters have been caught, or taken down.

These emotions are not something to be ashamed of, or something to hide.  These are normal feelings and taking time to acknowledge how you feel will help with the healing process.

Shock is another feeling that many will experience.  Ottawa is known as an otherwise sleepy, political city, and the thought "Things like this do not happen here" are being spoken repeatedly.  Shock symptoms can include:

  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Heart fluttering
  • Confusion
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Rapid & shallow breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Lightheadedness

Be sure to alert someone if you are feeling any of these symptoms.

Many parents are posing the question "How do I explain this to my children?"  It's not going to be easy, and each parent will do this in their own way.  There is no "best way" to explain to your children that there was multiple shootings today, but with these tips, you may find your own way to explain:

  • Sit your child down in a spot where they are comfortable
  • Let them know that you & your family are safe
  • Allow your child/ren to ask questions when they need to
  • Stay clear of unnecessary details
  • Explain that it's okay to feel different emotions
  • Encourage them to talk to you when they are feeling something

We are all in this together, and leaning on each other in tough times is key.

There is something to be said on how a tragedy can bring a community closer together, and we can know that Ottawa bands together in this tragic time.

Please know that we are here for you 24/7, no matter what.

Call us. 613-238-3311