29 Jun

Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Let’s face it we all have them! With summer holidays in full swing it means barbeques and family get togethers.  We know that not all families are perfect and it is likely that you have at least one family member who can be a bit challenging if not outright difficult.

Live Bold Bloom shared some great strategies that we’d like to expand on.  Believe it or not, our difficult family member is likely unhappy and unsatisfied with things in their own life.  Be kind and show them that you care.  Take a minute to listen and help them find some good in their day.  Modelling positive behaviour and gratitude for life demonstrates there can be good in all situations.  This type of behaviour may help them reframe what is going on for them and help them find that silver lining.  It will also lower your own stress levels.

If positivity fails then we may need to look a bit deeper. Sometimes we need to protect ourselves from negative people and their dark energy.  Creating boundaries can be difficult but gratifying when we set and maintain them.  Limit the time you spend with them and don’t feel you need to make apologies.  Your wellness is important and practicing good self care is important. Set a time limit on how long you can stay at the family birthday and stick to it. Talk to family members you enjoy being with and limit your exposure to others.

While it can be easy to fall into the trap of engaging in their bad habits, be mindful.  If you find yourself gossiping about your 3rd cousin, stop and excuse yourself from the conversation.  Take time to reboot and adjust your attitude.  We all know that nothing good can come from a negative attitude so just hit the re-set button and go back to your positive boundaries and behaviour.

Our last thought is to give yourself permission to let go of the notion that there is such a thing as an “ideal” family.  Embrace the family you have in all its’ quirkiness. Whatever you do just remember that a little humor can always serve you well at that family reunion.


22 May

Strategies To Help When You’re on Leave From Work

We see clients who due to injury or illness need to take some time off work.  It can be difficult but there are some strategies to help get through a challenging time while on leave.

Taking Care of Yourself Is The Most Important Priority

For some people missing work can make them feel like they are letting others down. Treat yourself like you would treat your coworkers if they were in the same situation. People appreciate kindness and thoughtfulness. Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to restore.

Set The Pace

Pushing yourself beyond limits can slow the recovery process.  Listen to your healthcare team and to what your body and mind is telling you.  The pace will change as you recover but start slow and increase as you’re able to. Take your time and rest when you need to. Increase what you do slowly and as directed.

Have a Routine

Being away from work means a change in your routine and schedule.  You may need more time to sleep but you may also be impacted by your household members schedules too. Create a routine to restore and relax. Try to keep a schedule that includes a sleep routine, exercise and social time. Figure out what works and create a new “normal”.

Don’t Isolate

You may find yourself feeling a bit down or low in spirits. Being socially connected can really help in the recovery process.  Say yes if someone offers to drop by if you are feeling up to it.  Take time to chat with people you don’t always have time to talk to.  Perhaps you have a friend who lives far away.  It is a great time to reconnect.  Having connection can help keep you feeling positive and speed up the healing process.

Recognize Opportunity

Being at home without expectation and a jam packed “to do” list is pretty rare for most.  Read the book you’ve been wanting to read.  Take time to start a meditation routine. Find new recipes and enlist others in your household to cook.  This may be a chance to start something new with family members.  We often think they can’t do things without our help but use this opportunity to let them grow and learn.

Remember your goal is the same as your employer. You both want to see you get back to work feeling healthy, strong and regenerated.


19 Jun

Finding the right meditation for you


We are seeing an increase in clients wanting to try meditation as a strategy to implement into their daily life.  Meditation is a great tool because it is portable and can be used anywhere and there are many types available for different purposes.

Sometimes a person might want a meditation to set the intention for their day and start off on a positive note.  Other times they might feel anxious during their day and need something short to help ground themselves.  At night a busy mind might be getting the better of them and perhaps they are looking for something to help with sleep.

Below are a variety of meditations that can be used on your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Most are downloadable or available on You Tube.

Morning Meditation

Guided Morning Meditation ( 10 Minutes to kick start your day)

5 Minute Morning Meditation with Susanne Kempken ( A quick morning meditation designed to give you that extra boost of positive energy to start your day)

10 Minute Guided Morning Sunrise Meditation ( Let go of negative energies and begin your day with a completely clear slate to shape your day the way you intend)

Guided Meditation: Setting a Morning Intention, 6 minutes ( Set the direction of your day)

Louise Hay’s Morning Meditation, (Use this to greet each new day)

Positive Thinking Meditation: Endorphin Meditation with Positive Affirmations 10 minutes

Self Acceptance Meditation

Guided Meditation for Self Acceptance, 16:26 minutes ( During this meditation there is a bit of exposure style therapy asking to bring up a part of yourself you don’t particularly like)

Self-Love Healing Meditation: Self Acceptance, 15:27 minutes ( Shift from a place of rejection to loving acceptance as you meditate with this audio)

Meditation for Self-Love and Acceptance by Deepak Chopra,  2:20 minutes ( A short positive affirmation)


Meditations for Anxiety

The Five Minute Miracle from Beyond Purpose, 5:33 minutes

Blissful Deep Relaxation from The Honest Guys, 18:35 minutes ( gently ease yourself into a state of blissful deep relaxation)

Guided Meditation: Deep Relaxation and Bliss from Live the Life You Love, 14:08 minutes (breath out anxiety and tension)

Meditations for Sleep

Can’t Sleep, Meditation for Insomnia from Jason Stephenson, 61 minutes (Guided voice, gentle music for sleepless nights)

Yoga Nidra for Sleep, 22:21 minutes (Guided sleep meditation)

A Bedtime Meditation to Prepare for Sleep, from Live Sonima, 8:49 minutes (Unwind and shutdown to prepare for sleep)

Guided Meditation Sleep: Go to sleep in 10 minutes, 10:17 minutes (headphones are recommended but not required)

Other Meditations

Chakra Cleansing and Activated from Manifesto Meditations, 22:07 minutes ( cleanse and activate your 7 chakras in 20 minutes leaving you feeling energized and recharged!)

Guided Healing Meditation on Forgiveness, 13:08 minutes (release guilt, let go and free your mind and life)

Meditation: Living Presence- with body scan by Tara Brach, 17:08 minutes ( guiding you through a body scan and focusing on breath)

Reflection: The Power of Inquiry-Untangling Emotional Tangles by Tara Brach, 10:30 minutes (A short meditation to help us get emotionally unstuck)

Guided Meditation- “The Seat” from The Honest Guys, 16:46 minutes ( headphones recommended but not required)


20 Feb

Anxiety, there’s an app for that!


I remember going to a mindfulness workshop and hearing the presenter say that we can never get rid of a client’s anxiety.   The truth is that we all live with a healthy level of anxiety that keeps us on our toes.  The presenter explained that if a bear were chasing us we should feel somewhat anxious.  That makes sense, of course I would be anxious and fearful and that can help us in situations where the response is warranted.  However, at some point we may have a time where anxiety is a big part of our daily life.

In truth anxiety is likely the number one reason people come to see a counsellor. People come in feeling tired, overwhelmed and want immediate relief.  Of course as counsellors we are happy to help but unfortunately we don’t have super powers. To  reduce anxiety means a commitment to yourself.  That includes practicing strategies and doing a bit of homework between sessions.

There’s An App for That

We may not all be techno savvy but if you carry a smart phone and have access to the internet using these tools can be fun, easy and very beneficial.   There are apps for your iPhone or Android device that help you take your strategies to go. These apps are particularly helpful if you are working with a counsellor and want to practice strategies between sessions. Podcasts are another fantastic way to increase your learning, implement strategies and maybe even relax for a 10 or 15  minutes while you listen.


Suggested Apps:

MindShift– A collaborative project from Anxiety BC, BC Children’s Hospital, RBC Children’s Mental Health, Provincial Health Services Authority.  This app is geared to teens and young adults and includes strategies and tools to tackle things such as perfectionism, test anxiety, worry, conflict and social anxiety.  (Free)

Headspace- Treat Your Head Right.  They consider themselves a gym membership for the mind.  There is a free app and foundation course but to access additional courses and their series on things such as health and relationships there is monthly subscription fee.  ($7.95-$12.95 per month)   If you like this site then take a look at Andy Puddicome’s Ted Talk, All it takes is 10 mindful minutes.

Worry Box- Anxiety Self Help- For Android (Free) Write down your worries and put them in a worry box.  Apple in iTunes (Free)

If you are looking to be a bit more mindful then an article by Mindful give us a list of Free Mindfulness Apps Worthy of Your Attention

If meditation is what you are looking for then take a look at Healthline for The Best Meditation iPhone and Android Apps of the Year.


Anxiety Slayer– they provide a weekly podcast to your inbox. The podcast topics include When we fear our repetitive thoughts, Tips for working for a mental health care professional and 5 Quick and easy ways to calm down when you feel anxious.

Anxiety Guru– There are a number of free podcasts available like You Are Not Alone  and there is also a paid membership available if you want access to additional materials

A Quiet Mind by Robert Jackson, podcasts and apps to promote happiness, peace and well being.

Motivation to Move by Scott Smith, A very energetic, motivational speaker who has one of the most popular daily motivation program.   His podcasts are about staying positive, reducing stress and focusing on how to get what makes you happy. Examples of his podcast topics are Are You Too Busy To Live Your Life and Good Stress. Bad Stress.

23 Jul

Shift Work


According to Stats Can in 2005 approximately 4.1 million Canadians worked shift work.  As counsellors we know there are many side effects that can impact shift workers.

Shift work can impact your social life and your relationships. In How to Deal when you and your spouse are on Opposite Shifts they suggest communicating in other ways.  Technology has made it a bit easier to communicate through text messaging and emails. Take a minute during lunch to stay in touch.  It can be difficult to feel connected when you are passing each other in the hallway. Make the most of the time you do have together.  Plan a date, see some friends, do something you have both been wanting to do.  Make the time you do have count.

Sleep deprivation is another concern for shift workers and  can have negative impacts on worker job performance, safety and quality of life.  In the article 10 sleep tips for shift workers they suggest transitioning your sleep schedule over a three day period when you have a significant shift change. Sticking to water instead of caffeinated, sugary or alcoholic beverages can also help set the stage for better sleep.

The importance of diet for shift workers cannot be stressed enough.   According to Eat Right Ontario, Nutrition for Shift Workers,  the worker can experience digestion problems, sleep difficulties and changes in appetite and weight.  Eating healthy and remembering snacks count too!  Going to bed on an empty stomach can lead to poor sleep.  If you are hungry eat something light before going to bed.  They suggest healthy choices like whole grain cereals or whole grain toast with peanut butter.  Drink lots of water while you’re working .  Try infusing water with fruit, it will taste great and encourage you to drink more.

We have created a new Lidkea Stob Pinterest board, Shift Work.  On this board we have shared sleep tips for shift workers, water infusion recipes, healthy eating ideas and other information about working shifts.  We will continue to add to this board creating a resource that can easily be accessed and with a click of a mouse you can start your own Pinterest board to store the things that interest you.





WordPress Help