I’m especially thankful for my family. We have been through a lot together and we have had (and still have) more than our share of hardships, but those hardships have bonded us together like glue, and not just any ordinary glue—it’s a Crazy Glue kind of bond. There is very little that can separate us—we’ve already been through the fire and survived.
A little more than three weeks ago, I had a panic attack as the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic pressed down on me. Prior to this, I hadn’t given the pandemic much thought. The lockdowns haven’t inconvenienced me all that much since I’d already been working from home when businesses started closing down. On top of that, I’m an introvert, so staying at home for extended periods of time doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, being ordered to stay home has taken off all the pressure of feeling like I need to get out and be social. This is an introvert’s dream come true!
However, the reality of the pandemic hit me fully when I joined an online discussion about the impacts of the pandemic in people’s lives. I started listing my own concerns and worries about how the pandemic is affecting my family and friends, people in my community, and small businesses in my city. Up until this point, I had been maintaining a positive outlook on the situation, but then fear took hold of me, dragging me beneath its black waves.
I started to panic. It wasn’t a full-on panic attack like I’d had in the past, but my heart rate increased, my breathing became heavy, my muscles tensed and I started to cry. I became paralyzed with fear much like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. I spent the next three days grappling with my fear, disappointed with myself for opening the door a crack and letting fear get a foothold. I knew from prior experience that once fear sticks its foot in the door, it’s nearly impossible to shut it out again.
J.P. Morgan once said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” As I write this blog entry, I have finally decided to not stay where I’ve been for the past twelve years of my life.
Over the past several years, I have been asking myself the same questions over and over again: Is this it? Is this all there is to life? Work, sleep, prepare for work, eat, and cram the rest of my life and relationships into the one or two hours left of the evening and on the weekends? Is this really the meaning of life? If it is, why do I have this nagging feeling like I’m missing something?
Reflections on Systematic Racism and Oppression in Canada
Have you heard the phrase “looking through rose-coloured glasses?” It is an idiom that has been used since the 1840’s to describe a way of looking at life with optimism and cheerfulness. According to Grammarist, a person who looks at things through rose-coloured glasses “looks on the bright side, sees the glass half full and looks for a silver lining in all things.” This type of person sees the world as a good place, is upbeat and hopeful, brimming with optimism and positive thinking…
When my social media newsfeed began filling up with posts about racism and systematic injustice and oppression about a month ago, I commented on several of these posts expressing my shock that racism against the black community still happens in the world today.
I had several conversations with family members on this subject and made the claim that racism against the black community doesn’t happen here at home in Canada.
My father-in-law graciously pointed out that, while I may not have seen racism happening against the black community at home, it is very evident against the indigenous community in our country.
Last week I shared an article about what self-care is and what it is not (see blog post here) and the week before I shared a story of my own self-care journey (see blog post here). Today, I want to provide self-care ideas that you can adapt to your own self-care journey to living a better, healthier life.
I mentioned in last week’s blog post that all aspects of our well-being are dependent on how we feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If any one of these areas is not functioning properly, then the other areas will start working harder to compensate for the part of us that’s not working well. If this continues on for a prolonged period of time, another area might breakdown and then another until we have a complete breakdown and stop working altogether.
This is why it’s so important to take care of all aspects of our life and not just focus on one area or another. In order to live the best life we possibly can live, we need to maintain our health in these four key areas…
Last week I shared a story about my own struggles with self-care and how I fell prey to the lie that productivity is the key to success (see blog post here). Today, I want to explain what self-care is and what it is not, as well as how you can develop healthy self-care habits to improve your own life.
Let’s start with what self-care is not…
I’m terrible at self-care and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I never really understood what self-care is. I’ve always had this impression of self-care as “girly-girl” activities, such as manicures, pedicures, facials, spas, hair dos, body sugaring, etc…
Somewhere along the way, however, I began to subscribe to the lie that productivity is the key to success. I don’t know exactly when this idea took root in my life. Perhaps the seeds were planted in university when I spent all my free time studying and writing essays, or perhaps it started in my first professional job.
Slowly, I began to stop doing the activities I loved, the activities that made me happy, and replaced them with “productive” habits…
Mother’s Day during a pandemic is new territory for many of us, although the absence of our mothers may be familiar territory for a few of us. Some of us have the opportunity to live in the same house with our mothers during this pandemic, while some of us live apart from our mothers—short or long distances—and will not be able to spend Mother’s Day in close contact with our mothers because of the pandemic.
For those of us who can’t be with our mothers this Mother’s Day, whether it’s because of the pandemic or because she is no longer with us on this earth, we may have feelings of grief or loss. We may miss being in her presence, hearing her voice or being wrapped up in a tender embrace. We may feel sad that we’re apart, perhaps even angry because our lives are on hold for an indefinite period of time.
Mothers, who are missing their children due to social distancing regulations or for other reasons, may also be feeling loss this Mother’s Day.
For me, Mother’s Day will be bittersweet this year…