The Transition Game: Week 9

Welcome back!

I just completed the workbook section titled “A Goal is the Goal: Determining your Direction”. I was excited for this section as I have recognized my lack of direction and goals since hanging up my skates and the issues it has caused me. The times in my life when I had goals, direction, and a plan are the times I felt the happiest, I often felt invincible. I haven’t had much of any of that in the past year and as you can guess, I have been miserable and never felt weaker. The book asks a couple of questions to get you thinking before eventually leading you to create your bucket list. 

Here is what I have so far:

  • A long motorcycle trip with friends (W)
  • Complete the Lava Man with my buddy Tupps (W)
  • Get the sleeve tattoo I have been talking about for years (W)
  • Build a small house in the forest (W)
  • Travel (Iceland, Europe, Canada) (D)
  • More hikes and adventures with Mando (my puppy) (D)
  • Always have two rescued dogs for the rest of my life (starting when I have a yard) (W)
  • Live comfortably while working minimally (D)
  • Learn Muay Thai (D)
  • Dirtbike again (D)
  • Own small gun collection and practice consistently (D)
  • Own a Dodge Challenger Hellcat (W)

I look forward to what my facilitator has to say about my bucket list so far especially, the “D’s and W’s” or Desires and Wants. The next step after writing my list was placing either a D or a W after each item to help focus my attention. This allows me to start building an action plan for those items labelled with a D for desire. Once I finished labelling my list I was tasked with sharing it with someone I trust and they had to ask me why I labelled items as desires. I was able to clearly explain why they were desires and the person I shared with was incredibly supportive and excited for me. I felt on top of the world after writing it all out and sharing it. Being as competitive and willful as I am it helps to share things like this, goals, aspirations, and dreams. Once I tell someone I am going to do something it is easier for me to find a way to make it happen than it is to back down.

This has been a really interesting section for me, I haven’t really thought about anything like this since finishing school and hockey. Even before, my list was only: get a scholarship, play pro, have a family. Sitting down and really thinking about what I want to do with my life after going through all these changes was refreshing, revitalizing, and energizing. My next step is to start setting out five things I can do every day that will get me closer to the desires I listed. Looking at my desires, my five things for today could be: 1) Message Muay Thai trainer about prices/availability 2) spend 10 min online gun shopping 3) spend 10 min looking at hikes/adventures to go on with Mando and choose a weekend 4) Ask Dad if he would want to split costs of a Dirtbike and keep it at our acreage 5) Spend 20 min looking at travel costs and options for bringing Mando along.

I’m nervous but excited to share this list with you because now I can’t back down! 

Write you next week,

Esty

Finding Hope – 10 Tips for Reaching Mental Wellness and Practicing Self Care

We are so happy you chose to join us for our Finding Hope webinar. If you have found your way to this page and did not attend the webinar, you haven’t missed out! Click here and “reserve your seat” to register and receive the recording.

We want to thank you for your support and highlighted some action steps mentioned during the event that you can start taking right away! There are also some additional resources linked at the bottom of the page.

10 Tips for Reaching Mental Wellness and Practicing Self Care

Raeanne Woycenko

 
Self Care by definition is to take action to preserve or improve one’s health.
 
We have been taught and conditioned from a young age to be kind, help others, and be selfless, however, in today’s hectic world we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our loved ones when we don’t take time to care for ourselves first.
 
Think of the safety message we hear each time before we takeoff on a flight. The flight attendant announces, ‘In the event the cabin loses pressure we are to first place our own oxygen mask on before we help others’. This is so that we can in fact help others. This same type of safety message needs to be at the forefront of our minds each day as we go through life. We need to provide self-care to ourselves each day so that in turn we are strong and able to show up for our loved ones as the very best version of ourselves. Help yourself so that you may help others, it’s also an excellent practice to role-model for those around us.
 
When we recognize we aren’t feeling mentally or emotionally healthy, we need to take steps to get ourselves back on track. 
 
Here are some coping strategies and tips that were discussed in our Finding Hope webinar. We hope you will introduce some of them into your daily routine.
 
1.  Give thanks. It is important to express gratitude for even the smallest of life’s wonders. Even something we may normally take for granted, “like a tiny snowflake landing on your cheek” suggested Registered Nurse Gerri Harris, during the webinar.
   
Gratitude also helps us to recognize that we are part of something larger in life.
 
2.  Try new things. Find joy in learning about something new. Perhaps take up a new hobby, craft, or activity like snowshoeing where you can learn to appreciate and find joy in a season many of us dread. Trying something new allows us to focus for a period of time on something present rather than dwelling on something in the past or worrying about something in the future.
 
3.  Move your body. Start with a short walk around your block and add half a block each time you go out. If that sounds too daunting, even adding a few steps and walking to your kitchen from your bedroom, and then maybe to your living room the next day, and to the mailbox at your front door the day after. Each step doesn’t have to be large, it just needs to be forward motion, a little progress made each time. Not only does the sense of accomplishment feel good, but as you move your body you will get stronger, reduce stress hormones and produce endorphins – the feel-good neurotransmitters.
 
4.  Grounding Exercise shared by IGM Mental Health Clinician, Shawn O’Grady 
When you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, slow down and ground yourself by using this 5-4-3-2-1 method. Place your hands on your thighs or rub your hands together, now look around you and notice 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Share this technique with a trusted friend or family member so they can help you when they notice you are stressed or anxious. They can help by saying “I think it would be a good idea to do some grounding. Describe the top you’re wearing to me, tell me about what I’m wearing, what is the texture of the chair you’re sitting on?”
 
5.  “Don’t do it alone” was the piece of advice offered by Kelly Hrudey. Speak with a trusted friend or relative. Have those connections. Share your feelings. When you share with someone it helps you to feel mental and emotional relief. 
 
If you have a difficult time sharing with those close to you, schedule a time to meet with a mental health professional. “Unload your backpack” or “Drop your pack!” as IGM facilitator and former US Marine Derek Hines described it. “Talk about it and then let it go”.
 
6.  “Pick your hard” as I Got Mind’s Caitlyn Watters suggested. “Is it harder to do the work (to better your mental health), or is it harder to stay where you are?” Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. I Got Mind can help to connect you with a Professional through our partners at Hull Services.
 
7.  Keep a consistent routine and don’t over-schedule yourself. When we are running from task to task or activity to activity it causes us overload and stress. Slow down, allow extra time to alleviate the stress of running behind and keep balance in your life through offsetting some of your ‘busy’ activities with calmness from reading positive affirmations, meditating, or going for a walk.
 
Try to go to sleep and wake at a regular time each day, and do your best to get up, shower and dress. You will feel better.
 
8.  Breathing exercises help us to regulate our breathing rhythm. When we are stressed and anxious we tend to take quick, shallow breaths that come from our chests. This chest breathing can cause us to feel more stressed and anxious as it causes an upset in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our body which results in feeling dizzy, having tension in our muscles, and an increased heart rate. When this happens our blood is not receiving proper oxygen and can cause a stress response that contributes to anxiety.
 
9.  Learn to love yourself! Practice self-care daily. Remember, as stated above; before you can give more to others, you have to give more to yourself first. Schedule some ‘me’ time into your day. Investing in your wellness is the best investment you can make.
 
10.  Be Proactive. Seek out information about how to stay ahead of the mental health curve. Learn about why we feel the way we do, what we can do to change things, learn new skills and develop healthy habits.
 
We are here to help! At I Got Mind we offer affordable and accessible online courses for individuals (you, your family), sport organizations, business, and schools.
 
Whether the need is big or small, we have solutions for you.

Resources and Learning Opportunities

IGM Mental Health Checklist

I Got Mind Professional Counselling Services. In house psychologists, individual or group sessions. Please contact [email protected]

I Got Mind Referral for Hull ServicesPlease contact [email protected]

Distress Centre – CALL 403.266.HELP(4357) If you need immediate help.

Centre for Suicide Prevention

IGM Introducing Stress Course – Gain a deeper understanding of the thing that can both destroy and create.

IGM Preparing to Adapt Course – Created to aid people during the first Covid 19 lockdown.

IGM Success Strategies Program – The signature program for clients, this WILL change your life.