At A Loss

Over the last few weeks or months, depending on where you live in this great big world you have experienced loss. Loss is an inevitable part of one’s life, but we now find ourselves having to deal with so many different types of loss all at once and as we all know, healing from loss can be the most difficult time in someone’s life. 

We are all grieving from our losses right now and it will take time to heal when many of us begin to move through the grieving process. Many people have lost loved ones during this Pandemic, but loss of a loved one is not the only reason we need to grieve. 
Think about how much you have lost already in such a short time.

We collectively have lost our freedom to leave our homes, many have lost their jobs and financial stability, we have lost the ability to hug our loved ones or go to the park with our kids or meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks and children have lost the right to go to school and learn.

Many of our sudden and very painful losses has left the world in chaos and panic and of course in grief and with grief comes an array of emotions. Fear, sadness, irritability, anger, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, remorse, a lack of security, a lack of motivation, guilt, frustration and an overwhelming numbness just to name a few. 

And just so you know, it’s more than okay to feel these emotions and many others too. It’s also okay to allow yourself to take your time when you begin your healing process and to allow yourself to feel your emotions, allow yourself to ask for help, allow yourself to take care of you and most importantly allow yourself to grieve in whatever way you need.

Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve, or judge you for how you choose to grieve or for how long it takes you to heal. We will all go through the stages of grief in our own way and in our own time but no one can tell you when you should “accept” (final stage of the grieving process) your grief except you and only you.

#loss #grief #grieving #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence #itsoktonotbeok #ichooseme #yourmentalhealthmatters #covid19 #coronavirus #selfcare #togetherapart #flattenthecurve #unitedasone #twentytwentysucks

Food Glorious Food

Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?

During the last week my girls have been occupying their time by baking lots of delicious treats for us to enjoy and one night this week Rich also spoiled us with a big pot of his yummy chicken soup with Matzah balls as well. Food not only sustains us and nourishes us, but it can also bring great support and comfort to us too. Sometimes food may trigger happy memories or even be able to connect us to our past. Food can also be a perfect opportunity to express our love for each other.

Food may have now become our central focus and possibly the most integral part of our daily lives since social distancing began and I only hope that no matter how many cookies you’ve already lost count of eating by now or how many bowls of chicken soup you’ve enjoyed so far that with each delicious bite or scrumptious spoonful it has given you a sense of security, a feeling of love and provided you some much needed comfort as you move about your day.

What is your favorite comfort food?

#foodandnutrition #newnormal #comfortfood #baking #withlove #chickensoupforthesoul #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalillness #togetherapart  #covid19 #flattenthecurve #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca

From A Distance

Bette Midler is one of my all time favorite performers and song writers. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform and if you were to ask Rich what my favorite movie or song is, he would probably say Beaches/Wind Beneath My Wings. But right now her song “From A Distance” is stuck in my head and its lyrics are so meaningful. I have a difficult time listening to music as it makes me quite emotional, but this song is worth every tear right now; after all we are one world now, fighting the same war; “From A Distance”. 

What song inspires you?

#togetherapart #windbeneathmywings #beaches  #fromadistance #wereinthistogether #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #music #divinemissm @BetteMidler

From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flightFrom a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the voice of hope
It’s the voice of peace
It’s the voice of every manFrom a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease
No hungry mouths to feedFrom a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope
Playing songs of peace
They are the songs of every manFrom a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
What all this fightings for
From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
And it’s the hope of hopes
It’s the love of loves
It’s the heart of every man
God is watching us
God is watching us
God is watching us from a distance

Me Time

Many (and I emphasize the word “many”) of us are struggling with our mental health more than ever before right now which is why we need to remind ourselves to make sure that each day includes “Me Time”.  Is it selfish? No F#*king way. Is it essential and non-negotiable? You better f#*king believe it is.  We all need to hit the pause button more than ever. There are 24 hours in a day (don’t know how we would fill any more than that right now), so tell me which hour of the day do you prefer to spend your “Me Time”? And more importantly what are some of the ways you like to spend it?

#selfcare #ichooseme #loveyourself #mentalillness  #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #depression #anxiety #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #togetherapart #selfcareisselfless #metime #selfdiscovery

Creating A Vision

Creating a Vision Board is something I’ve wanted to do and more importantly it’s something I’ve needed to do for quite some time now as part of my healing but it’s definitely not just a great activity for healing your mind. 

Visualization is probably one of the most powerful things though that you can do to exercise your mind and now more than ever it seems like the perfect time for a creative and welcomed distraction. Now seems like the perfect time and best way to bring some clarity into our lives during these uncertain times. Now seems like the perfect time to focus our attention on something positive and purposeful.

What seemed important to us just weeks ago (shit at this point it’s more like days or hours ago), what we thought we needed in our life just weeks ago, what we envisioned for ourselves just weeks ago, what we hoped and dreamed for our future just weeks ago, what we thought was a priority in our life just weeks ago may all of the sudden have so much less value and may not even matter anymore all together when we can finally begin to heal from this tragedy.

Vision Boards can include images, words or phrases that affirm our intentions and help us stay focused on our goals. I decided it was finally the right time for me to create my Vision Board yesterday as my anxiety was causing me severe heart palpitations, numbness and uncontrollable shaking and a much needed creative distraction was in order. 

Through my Vision Board I know that I need to continue to write, to continue to blog, to continue to share my journey, to continue to help others by sharing my children’s book, to continue to advocate for change, to continue to show empathy, to continue to listen to others who need to be heard, to continue starting important conversations and to continue to find a way to heal.

Creating a Vision Board doesn’t have to be an activity you do alone and you don’t need to be creative; you can even do them online with an App called Canva. But no matter how you choose to create your Vision Board, it’s a relaxing way to help nurture your mind and even a fun activity to try with the whole family, maybe even try doing a Zoom Vision Board Party with friends!

If you have ever created a Vision Board before I’d love to see them in the comments or come back here when you’re all done.

#vision #visionboard #showmeyourvisions #youareenough #selfcare #goals #dreams #priorities #ichooseme #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #flattenthecurve #togetherapart #socialdistancing #quarantine #create #covid19 #coronavirus #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #zoom

The Kids Will Be Okay; But Will You?

There is still so much uncertainty right now pertaining to the rest of the current school year and for 2 of my kids this isn’t really an issue given that my son is done school already and one daughter is just completing her last few weeks of her 3rd year of University which is now being done all online, but then there is my youngest daughter who is just a few short months away from her High School Graduation and it’s beyond heartbreaking to think that she could miss out on the best and most defining moments of her High School career.

March Break is now officially over for us Ontarions and early this morning my daughter should have been returning home from her Graduation trip to Punta Cana with her friends, but instead she is at home unable to return to school for another 2 weeks, but whose kidding who, it’s going to be much longer than that and there has been quite a bit of buzz over the last few days that school could actually be cancelled for the remainder of the year.

As of right now there has not been any concrete plan put into place for this very possible and very devastating scenario, the one where my daughter doesn’t get to go to her High School Prom or attend her Graduation Ceremony but ya at least she has the accessibility to finish up her school year online if need be. 
But not every child can do so, in fact many children and their families don’t have computer or internet access in their home and have always relied on the available and free resources from our schools and libraries.

And right now many parents are panicking and rightfully so, but can we just take a step back for a moment (we have nothing better to do right now anyways). We as parents are under a tremendous amount of stress, overwhelm and anxiety about how they are going to be able to “homeschool” their children when the reality is, we aren’t meant to homeschool our kids unless that was the path you had already chosen for them. And an even bigger reality right now is that if school is to be cancelled for the remainder of the school year we honestly have so much more to be worried about than learning fractions or Shakespeare (he needs to be scraped from the curriculum all together!).

I really don’t think I need to tell you what it means if this pandemic continues right through to the summer. Right now we need to support each other as parents and remember that many parents may be doing this parenting and social distancing thing alone or maybe they are coping with the stressors that come along with having a child with special needs or maybe they are new to Canada and haven’t yet grasped the English language or maybe they are dealing with some physical or emotional issues. 

Whatever it is that someone else may be going through we need to stop judging each other. Whatever way you are able to get through today and tomorrow and the day after that, remember that you are a good parent and doing the best you can to survive these unprecedented times. 

So for now while we wait for what’s to come in the next few weeks try to focus on some kind of routine, but one which allows room for lots of flexibility and lots of outdoor recess and naptime. Now is as good a time as ever to slow down because we ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. Also let’s remember that our main objective as parents and human beings right now is to keep you and your family safe as best you can.

There will be so many opportunities for teachable moments throughout the day and maybe it will happen while you’re baking cookies, laughing at a TV show or taking a walk outside or maybe while you’re playing a game or painting a picture. Homeschooling needs to be about self-care which as I said above is much more important right now than fractions (and for sure Shakespeare; sorry to my Shakespeare fans). 

So considering my illness feels like it’s hit an iceberg and is causing me to suffer with daily headaches to boot, I will continue to try my best to be the best parent I know how by ensuring that my kids all get an A+ for doing their part in watching way too much Netflix while they help to flatten the curve.

#flattenthecurve #homeschooling #supporteachother #parenting #family #familymatters #youarenotalone #youareenough #covid19 #coronavirus #selfcare #togetherapart #pandemic #wewillneverbethesame #quarantine #netflixandchill #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca

Welcome To My World

I haven’t slept much all week (it’s well after 3 am as I write this) but it’s not like that’s really out of the ordinary for me anyways (I write some of my best shit at 3 am). Life has been anything but ordinary this week for any of us as we try to collectively navigate our way  through our new way of life and learn a whole new lingo while we’re at it. 

I mean it’s not every day that the only words we hear on the street, on the news or on Facebook are words like State of Emergency, Lockdown, Quarantine, Self Isolation and Social Distancing. It actually feels quite ironic to me because as someone who suffers with Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal  thoughts these words have pretty much defined my life for the last 6 years already.
My illness makes me react to everything like I’m in a State of Emergency, it’s left me in Lockdown too many times to count, it’s paralyzed me with fear to the point that I’ve needed to quarantine, I’ve felt the need to self isolate when others make me feel like I am contagious and of course whenever I’m in a big crowd (like over 10 people) I am left begging for some much needed social distancing.

Suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to be held in captivity, suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like when you feel you have no control over anything, suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to have crazy, f#*ked up thoughts day and night, suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to feel helpless and sad every single day while trying to make others understand that none of us chose or would ever willingly choose to live this way. Suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to suffer with Anxiety and Depression every day. And now imagine navigating through all that lingo for 6 very long years or even more. 

I have found myself writing a lot more than normal over the past week or so and posting way more than I ordinarily do but as I said above, these are far from ordinary times. I find writing is the only thing that’s keeping me going right now. My mind is so fricken cluttered with negative thoughts and writing is the best way to let my creativity explode and let that negative thinking explode  too. I’m feeling extremely closed in (which I’m sure most of you are) and I’ve shed more tears this week than I thought was possible but writing and sharing help give me some clarity. 

Sometimes I write in the hope of making you laugh, sometimes I write in the hope of distracting you, sometimes I write in the hope of engaging you in conversation, sometimes I write in hope of making you feel less alone, sometimes I write in hope of keeping you grounded or mindful and often I write just because it’s the only way of socially distancing myself from the State of Emergency going down in my head!

#depressionkills #anxietyisreal #suicide #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #writing #blogger #blogging #togetherapart #covid19 #coronavirus #checkonyourlovedones #socialdistancing #stateofemergency #pandemic #overwhelm 

Look Up At The Sky

If you’re feeling lonely, vulnerable, isolated, anxious or afraid (or maybe all of them) right now then take a step outside for a moment and look up at the sky above you (wherever you are day or night) and know that no matter where you are in the world that we all share the same beautiful sky. So reach your hands up in the air as high up as you can, close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine for a moment the whole world united by that same beautiful sky.

#whatdoesyourskylooklike #mindfulness #wereallinthistogether #covid19 #coronavirus #selflove #youareenough #socialdistancing #youarenotalone #bekindtoyourself #checkonyourlovedones #anxiety #depression #family #friendship #dontsufferinsilence #yourmentalhealthmatters #unitedasone

Essential Service Workers

Ok so I’ve debated this for years (mostly with myself 🤔 ) but it still counts I think) but now I need a good honest answer more than ever! Why is it that our Professional Athletes, our Hollywood Actors and all other Elite Performers get paid so much f*#king money and are put high above society on a pedestal, idolized for their skillset and recognized for their efforts all in a far greater manner than those of us in society (and by us I don’t mean me) who put their lives at risk every single day for us, who risk the health and welfare of their loved ones for us and who sacrifice their safety and wellbeing for us. And now even more than ever in these unprecedented times.

But don’t get me wrong, I do miss seeing my Maple Leafs in action and I had just started to gear up for the start of the upcoming Baseball season to support my crumby Blue Jays, and ya I am probably one of the most “Starstruck” people you will ever meet in your lifetime and of course who doesn’t like to unwind sometimes to your favorite music after a long day but the true heros, the ones who deserve to be idolized and put high atop that pedestal, the ones who should be paid way too much f*#king money for their skillset and greatness for all that they do to make our lives better are the Essential Service Workers. So feel free to tag/ honour a special Essential Service Worker in your life, or give them a virtual hug today! 

#letshonourthetrueheros #thankyou #essentialservices  #spreadkindnessandlove #covid19 #coronavirus #checkonyourlovedones #bekind #youareenough

A Beautiful “Pick Me Up”

A beautiful “pick me up” email I received today on what feels otherwise very sombering. I always love receiving emails from Amazon informing me that I’ve just sold a book, but when I see that one person/organization bought 5 at one time makes my heart overflow with joy.

#wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #author #youareenough #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #blogger #advocate #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #family

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