Some times that voice you are listening to is so familiar that you are lost as to how to adjust what you are telling yourself. It feels like a broken record that keeps repeating the same defeating message over and over again.
Money. Budgets. Finances. Three words that can make almost all of us cringe inside, and most likely clam up. Money is something that we typically don’t talk about, but think about very often. Money has the power to affect our emotional health. Just like anything in our lives, if we avoid talking about money and our concerns around it, it can turn into anxiety and even depression.
It is midway through December. Christmas planning, Christmas shopping, Christmas celebrating and Christmas stressing feels well underway.
The season can be so much about expectations, or what we hoped for…that somehow this year will be different. I won’t spend as much. The family will get along. The kids won’t be bored. Everyone will be grateful, kind and make time for one another. It will be magical.
Read more about how to manage your Christmas expectations and capacity here!
Do you experience anxiety or stress in your life? Meeting with a counsellor can help you find new ways to cope with the feelings that arise as a result of that anxiety. These tools can help with the emotional and mental side of your experience, but it is also important to address the physical side of anxiety as well. Massage can help to manage anxiety as it has been proven to address two of the most significant symptoms of anxiety: sleep issues and muscle tension and pain.
As you probably know, both the body and mind repair and regenerate during sleep. Being deprived of sleep can affect our mental and emotional state. The areas of the brain that control our emotions, decision-making capabilities and social interactions all require sleep to repair and regenerate. When we do not get enough sleep, or do not sleep deep for long enough, we can start to lose our ability to think straight and begin to feel anxiety and depression.
Massage has been shown to improve sleep, and therefore reduce the overall symptoms of anxiety. Massage can reduce stress, and improve the ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep in those who struggle with anxiety.
Let me introduce you to Karin Poller, who runs a home-based massage business called “Me-Time Massage”. I have asked her to share some of her information in case you are looking for a masseuse in the Surrey area.
Massage therapy has been a life-long passion of mine, to help people as part of their personal healing process such as dealing with anxiety. I know from my studies, and my own practice, how good it makes people feel and how helpful massage can be. Me-time massage is all about relaxation and pampering oneself. We create a warm, comfortable and inviting environment that is enhanced with soft music and delightfully fragrant aromas. The focus is on you and your quiet enjoyment.
I came to Canada about 14 years ago, from Colombia, where I had trained to become a physiotherapist. Today I live in Surrey, BC with my husband and two young boys. As a stay-at-home Mom, with my sons full time in school, I decided I wanted to get back to my career. I opened my own small business, as a massage practitioner, to build on my background experience and because I enjoy interacting with and getting to know people.
I also decided I wanted to focus on women only. Knowing myself how stressful life can be, including as a mom and a wife, I wanted to bring the opportunity of deep relaxation, and more personal service, to the women around me, but at an affordable price compared to the bigger spas. Having the spa in my own home allows me to provide these professional services but at a lower cost. We have a private room right beside our front entrance that has been elegantly decorated.
Depending on your specific needs, to address some stiff muscles in a particular area, or just to be spoiled for a moment, I offer:
- 1-hour full body relaxation massage, ideal for pampering
- 1-hour full body hot stone massage, to try something different, or
- 30-minute trigger-point massage, our most popular service, to focus on a problem area or if you have less time.
Whichever massage you choose, it will provide deep relaxation and stress relief – something we all need more in our hectic lives. As mentioned above, we all carry this stress in our bodies – even without knowing it sometimes, as it builds up. Even more so when dealing with anxiety or depression. Massage has many other benefits as well, including:
- creating a calming and comforting effect,
- reducing muscle pain,
- helping with getting proper sleep,
- helping to clear your mind,
- supporting good physical health, and
- providing an opportunity to spoil yourself, or someone you care about.
A recent client had this to say: “Thank you again for the wonderful healing massage yesterday. It was very relaxing, helpful and blessed me so much.” We love hearing such wonderful feedback about me-time massage, knowing that we are helping women be able to forget about the stresses of life, if just for a short while, and enjoying a moment all about them.
Whether you yourself are, or someone you know is an overtired Mom, an over-stressed professional, a wife overdue for some pampering, or all three – consider a me-time massage! Visit me on Facebook or my website www.metimemassage.ca for more information, or book an appointment today by sending me an email at email@example.com.
When it comes to Christmas, a lot of people feel like the season has become commercialized. Some of us feel like there is a pressure to perform, whether it's in how many gifts we give or receive, or how many things we do throughout the season, or how much money we spend. And then there is the pressure to give! Don't be selfish at Christmas1 Give of your time. Give your money to those in need.
A lot of times we want to balance a perceived sense of greed with an attitude of giving, but how do we start??
The Action for Kindness page on Facebook has a few practical solutions! One of them is to use a Kindness Calendar like the one pictured above. This can be used as a prompt of different acts of kindness you can perform each day of December to instill a sense of giving and philanthropy.
Another suggestion that they have is from a BBC article on creating a Reverse Advent Calendar. "People put aside a donation each day of advent, so they have a collection of goods ready to drop off in time for Christmas." People in the Lower Mainland could take the goods to the Food Bank, women's shelters such as Ishtar Transition Society, or a local church that has a donation room. Be sure to contact the charity of your choice early in the month so that the items you are purchasing are acceptable within their scope of practice.
Do you have other ways that you give back to the community in December? Share them below!
I am excited to share that I now have a second office space available. This space allows me to be more accessible to people that live and work in Surrey.
I am now available on Tuesdays at #300-15240 Highway 10 as of December 4, 2017.
If you, or someone you know would like to book an appointment, please contact me at 778-549-6334 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Connection. That word has many different meanings and connotations. It can mean that we have connected to wifi so we can use our devices. It also means that we are looking to bond with another human being.
As I meet with people, I hear the cry of their heart to want to matter to someone. We want to have a connection with family members, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a husband or wife, even just one single friend. Connection means that I matter. In a world where we are striving to connect through social media, where it feels like we matter when we get a certain amount of “likes”, what I hear is a yearning for someone to think that we are worth their time, effort and attention.
In the book, Created for Connection, Sue Johnson shares four behaviors that are key to feeling connected or attached to another person. They are: “that we monitor and maintain emotional and physical closeness with our beloved; that we reach out for this person when we are unsure, upset, or feeling down; that we miss this person when we are apart; and that we count on this person to be there for us when we go out into the world and explore” (Johnson, 2016).
In another relationship expert, John Gottman’s language, this means that we turn towards another person. We know that the majority of the time that we turn towards our partner or friend or family member, they will respond in a way that is affirming and available. Gottam notes, “each time partners (or friends) turn toward each other, they are funding…their emotional bank account” (2015).
Practically these moments would happen when, for example, we find something interesting on social media and share it with our partner. The hope is that they will turn towards us, that they will respond that they heard us. When we come home from a particularly productive or frustrating day at work, we want to feel heard by our partner by them expressing excitement or consolation accordingly.
It also means that when we are walking through our deepest and darkest moments and it feels like there is no hope at all, the people that we are connected with can sit with us in those moments. They might not have words to say, but we know that they are there and caring for us through a hug, holding our hand or reading our texts.
Some of you will read this and struggle because it feels like there is nobody in your life that fits the definition of “connection.” How do you get through that? One way is to try counselling.
While it may feel like it is a construed relationship because you are paying for services, it often is a healing relationship. If it is done right, counselling provides a safe, accepting environment, where there is no judgement and you are accepted just the way you are.
The goal of a counsellor is, strangely enough, to work themselves out of a job because you find healing and strength to move forward. They can help you learn more about yourself and what types of connection you are looking for.
If you are interested in exploring more about what connection looks like for you, or just want to have a space to be yourself, please contact me at email@example.com, 604-359-4470 or book an appointment through www.canvascounselling.com/appointments. I really look forward to connecting with you!
Gottman, J.M. (2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. New York, NY: Harmony Books, p. 88.
Johnson, S. (2016). Created for Connection. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company Hachette Book Group, p. 25.
Isn’t this a beautiful tomato plant? I grew it myself!!! This has not been my most stellar year in the garden, and this tomato plant is just one victim of my lack of attention to my plants this summer. As I looked at it today, though, I was struck by the fact that there are a number of healthy tomatoes on what otherwise appears to be a neglected, and dried up plant. (And yes, they were supposed to be cherry and not beefsteak tomatoes!)
I feel like this is a great metaphor for women who have survived abuse, either in their childhood or in adult relationships. If you have survived an abusive relationship, you know that there are many parts of you that feel dry, brittle and thirsty. This can leave you feeling that you do not have any strengths or healthy fruit in your life. But they are there, and one of the tiny steps that you can take towards healing is to start to try to identify them. They may seem small to you right now, but if you dig deep you may be able to identify some of your strengths.
What are your skills, talents and abilities? Were you able to graduate from high school? What got you through your classes? What is one thing that you are able to do that gives you pride? That may be something as small as making your bed each morning, or having neat printing, but if you are able to start with some of the small things you may be able to start noticing some of your other talents as well.
What are some of the resources you have been able to implement in your life? What coping mechanisms did you use to survive the abusive relationship and keep yourself alive? Perhaps you were able to go to a safe place in your mind while being yelled at. Maybe you developed a friend at work that listened to you, even if it was just about small stuff. Maybe you have found a way to identify when someone else is hurting, even though they don’t say a word, and find yourself caring for them. Maybe you developed a sense of humor to cope with the pain, but it has now developed into something that makes others laugh and feel comfortable around you.
How can you identify with the tomatoes on my plant even just a little bit? Those tomatoes were resilient, and stubbornly clung to life and health even though I did not provide for them properly. They dug deep to find water and nourishment. They drank in the water that was provided through myself and the very little rain that we had this summer, and they rationed it out in order to cling to life. As you look back, how have you been able to find even just drops of nourishment and water in your parched experiences of life? As you move forward, maybe there are ways that you can receive drops of water through reflecting on your own strength and resilience.
I want to assure you that I do not feel that just looking at some of the positives in your life will heal all of your pain. However, when you are starting out on a road of healing, it is the small things that are important. As you begin to build safety and strength within yourself you will be able to take bigger steps that may include reaching out to someone else whether that is a friend or a professional to help you in your healing process.
Haskell, L. (2003). First stage trauma treatment: A guide for mental health professionals working with women. Canada: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health