The Transition Game – Week 7

Welcome back!

Since last week I have completed the workbook portion of “Who Are You?”, have kept up with my gratitude practice, completing 3 lifts a week plus lots of rollerblading and hiking with my pup, spent as much time in the sun as I can, and have been reaching out to lots of old friends. I am feeling great and have even been able to support a few friends going through hard times which has been very rewarding.

I loved this lesson in the workbook, it was fun to reflect on where I came from, what made me who I am and put pen to paper to lay it all out clearly. In the book it says most people draw a complete blank when you ask who they are, I immediately wrote a page about who I am with no hesitation. That felt great, I can’t wait to see what my facilitator has to say about that and what I wrote. It speaks to how much better I have been feeling, if you asked me that question a couple of months ago I probably would have said “I don’t know, who cares, why are you asking me that?!”

Here is what I wrote:

“I am a hard-nosed Calgary kid who built my own success out of the willingness to do what others would not and the refusal to be intimidated by anyone. I am an animal lover and crazy dog man. I love rap, rock, tattoos, guns, motorcycles, and violent sports but I am highly sensitive and soft on the inside just like the men in my family before me. I am intense but also the biggest goofball man child in the world once you gain my trust. I am an only child but was never lonely, I made my friends my siblings and my Dad always laughed and called me a social butterfly. I am unique, weird, quirky however you want to put it but I have always loved and embraced it with no fear of being judged.”

I’m not sure if I did that right, but either way, it felt good to write, it felt good to remind myself of all these things. After I meet with my facilitator I will likely rewrite it, there is another section at the back for a second draft. I look forward to that as well.

Another task in my homework that had a big impact on me was after some readings I wrote notes about all the ups and downs in my life. Then I had to ask myself “why am I doubting myself, why would I do that”. Which I was already asking myself before getting halfway done with my notes. For starters, my ups list is three times as long as my downs list. Looking at the ups, the times I defied the odds, the way I impacted people around me. When I had a clear picture of who I was and believed in myself, I reached every single goal I set for myself. Yet, here I am after spending 20 years that way, doubting myself every day in every way. Insane. That’s the only way to describe it, it makes no sense. This work has been so eye-opening, it all seems so simple yet I was completely stumped and lost. I guess I just wasn’t asking the right questions or any at all.

The quote at the start of the lesson sums it up best. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for all the support, I hope through sharing my reflections you have been able to do some of your own!

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 6

Welcome back!

What’s new this week? Well, I completed the new Attitude online section, have been way more consistent with my gratitude practice, am feeling better with my workouts and mixing in some new things like collecting road rash while rollerblading. Another plus is I have been much more productive during the week allowing me more free time on the weekends to recharge. The online section of Attitude gave me some of my favourite tools and perspectives yet.

The first thing that impacted me was journaling my daily attitude changes for a week, they went like this:

  1. Training/Workouts – I’m too tired, I don’t have time -> I will make time, it will give me more energy and help me sleep, plus I love it.
  2. Chores – Stupid, annoying, never-ending, better things to do -> Put on some music, have fun with it, get it done and reduce stress in the process.
  3. On day 3 I realized what would have the biggest impact on my life was changing my attitude about myself and doing some positive self-talk in the process, like Muhamad Ali and his poetic trash talking, it wasn’t to talk trash, it was to instill in his mind he was the greatest and so he was. I started with this. I am a fitness junkie, I will stick to my routines and let them drive my success.
  4. I am a smart and capable marketer
  5. The more I learn the more I earn $$$
  6. I am a social person with a good heart which makes for a great salesman
  7. A side hustle I’m passionate about and enjoy would be amazing, no need to worry about the hours it takes, just enjoy it and live!

Not a bad start, I’m sure my facilitator will have some ideas on how to tweak these further and what to focus on next but I’m feeling a lot better about myself and life in general already. The next strategy and the one that has impacted me most was finding three powerful positive words to say in my head when I feel my attitude shift negatively. The words have to create very clear pictures in your mind of times where you had an excellent attitude that created positive emotions and results. It took me some time to work it out and find the pictures in my mind that could snap me out of these negative attitude shifts. I ended up with gains, goals, and gratitude. 

Yes, you can laugh at me for picking gains as my number one, I laugh at myself for being “that guy” all the time but I couldn’t discard it because of the picture it creates in my mind. I’m at the gym, it’s a beautiful summer day, I’m working my ass off to the point my training partners are starting to wonder if I’m a psychopath, my trainer is grinning at the monster he has created. I’m building myself up, I’m ten feet tall and bulletproof, but I’m not just training my body, I’m learning to harness the power of my mind, building mental resilience and discipline. My confidence is unwavering and everyone around me feels my energy when I walk into the room.

Goals, it’s a beautiful summer day again. I’m outside with friends or in my Jeep with the windows down and music blasting, I know exactly where I want to go and how to get there. Everything is coming together in my life and I bring a smile with me everywhere I go. I’m constantly given positive feedback for being so driven and disciplined. “Everyone wants to be like Esty”, I can hear my old trainer say it clear as day as the younger athletes watch me train. My direction and path are clear and in front of me, I visualize my dream with ease and know in my heart I will make it come true.

Gratitude, yeah it’s a beautiful summer day again. I love the sun and I loved the offseason just as much as I loved being in season and playing the game. If I’m being honest, during my five-year college career I loved the offseason training far more than I loved the game. When I think of gratitude I flash to being on my couch after a long training day, 1.5 hours of weights and an hour of cardio in the books plus a solid hour on the ice. Lots of stretching, rolling, and refuelling in between. I can relax now, I’m happy with what I did, I feel great even though I’m sore head to toe and I know I’ll need a forklift to get out of bed the next day and do it all over again. I put on an action movie as the sun starts to go down and I’m completely content, at peace, and happy. I am grateful to be able to live this lifestyle and to have the support and admiration of my friends and family. LIFE IS GOOD!

After doing that exercise I started using the strategy that day and it works. Very well, I’ve used it in various situations now and it snaps me out of my bad attitude very quickly. I highly recommend everyone finds their three powerful positive words and just repeat them over and over and over again. I promise your shitty attitude won’t stand a chance.

Write you next week!

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 5

Welcome back!

Since I last wrote I have had another facilitator meeting, finished “Attitude Determines your Altitude” in my workbook and began some of the homework that comes with the lesson. I have been procrastinating less but still have a long way to go, I’m working out more consistently and have worked my gratitude practice into my warm-ups which puts me in an even better headspace than training alone already did. Using my scheduler remains to be a huge challenge, I always have a plan in my mind and I need to just prioritize putting it down on paper when I first sit down to start my workday. I know it will benefit me and I have to remind myself of that each morning to get it done.

As always, this most recent lesson has been an opportunity to look myself in the mirror, analyze my past, and help shape my future. In my workbook, the first thing that struck me was I was asked to indicate whether my thoughts were positive or negative when it came to school, my sport, myself, and home life. It was hard to have to circle negative on each, but a needed wake-up call. Especially once realizing that the results I am getting or have gotten in those areas are not the results I want. Immediately I flashback to my hockey career and remember the years I had the most success, I would have circled positive for all but school (I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where I would circle positive for school). I was very fortunate to have some great coaches when I first entered the elite levels of hockey, one coach made it mandatory for us to send him positive self-talk emails on game days, if you didn’t, you did not play. Many guys thought this was just plain stupid, they refused and were punished, or they didn’t commit and never saw the full benefits. With a nudge from my parents backed by the fact that the coach had a very successful professional hockey career himself, I committed to it. The impact it had on my on-ice performance and overall confidence blew my 13-year-old mind.

I tried to find the old emails but had no luck. From what I remember they went something like this:

“I am a physically dominant shut down defenseman, I am a solid skater and excellent positional player. I am a leader and will not allow my teammates to be intimated or taken advantage of.” We then would set goals for that specific game, mine were usually something like this. “I will have 20 hits with impact, 5 hard shots on net with potential for tips or rebounds, 5 blocked shots, and will be a +2 with 1 assist”. I was amazed to see that when I consistently did this, I not only truly began to believe it, but I reached those goals more times than not and it took me from barely making the team to being a sought after defenseman every year that routinely wore a letter on my jersey.

Somewhere along the line, I forgot about all of this, and by the time I achieved my dream of earning a hockey scholarship I had allowed it to be completely washed away thanks to my ego. I did not have the success in college I had dreamt of for the previous 8 years and thanks to my hindsight 20-20 vision I realize that was largely due to an unchecked negative shift in my attitude.

For my homework, I have to journal my daily changes in attitude for 1 week. Thus far I have gone from “I’m too tired to train today, I don’t have time” to “I will make time, working out will increase my overall energy and help improve my sleep”. Today I added “chores are stupid, annoying, never-ending, I have better things to do” and changed it to “Put on some music, have some fun with it, get it done and reduce my overall stress in the process”.

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with this blog, I’m truly enjoying writing it and It’s helping me more than you know!

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 4

Welcome back!

Good news, since last week I have completed both the book and online lessons for Habits, got back on the workout train, have been much more productive, and have made progress in changing my bad habit of procrastinating tasks I dislike. My facilitator made it very clear to only focus on one habit at a time and I felt changing this one first would have the greatest impact on how I feel day to day. My gratitude practice is still really lacking and I need many reminders to do it daily, now that I am back to working out I have put a notepad and pen on my dumbbell rack and will incorporate my gratitude practice into my warmup ritual. Using my scheduler is another big challenge for me that I have yet to consistently integrate into my daily and weekly routines. I love having a plan, I hate having things planned down to the minute and that is my character strength score of 1 – which means I am very flexible as opposed to traditional. Often, I find myself completely disregarding everything I planned on paper which in turn causes me to think “well why the hell am I wasting time on this, I got way more done when I just winged it”. That is NOT a growth mindset and I will continue to work at using my scheduler consistently AND STICKING TO THE PLAN.

The Habits section of the Success Strategies program has been a great challenge but also my biggest opportunity for growth yet. I have realized how many poor habits I have which makes it difficult for me to not beat myself up. I have to constantly fight my utter disappointment in myself with each bad habit I recognize in my homework as well as when they pop up throughout my days. This is going to take years of hard work and dedication to break all these bad habits and replace them with good ones. I am very familiar with years of hard work and dedication however; I am not so used to it being on the mental side of things. Going back to the first blog post I wrote I talked about how during my Hockey career “I was the athlete equivalent of a Formula 1 racecar being driven by a gorilla”. This has rung true yet again, after writing down all of my habits both good and bad, all the good ones were physical (eating healthy, drinking lots of water, staying in great shape, staying very active even when working out is a challenge) and the bad ones were mental (stressful thinking, negative self-talk and self-doubt, mistrust of people, skepticism of all things society, procrastinating tasks I dislike or think are stupid, pushing my feelings down, putting up emotional walls).

I truly cannot wait to rid myself of the “gorilla” but I have to stay patient, focused, and increase my dedication to this work. Through the work that I have done so far here is what I’m noticing (on days I stay on top of it):

  • Decreased symptoms and feelings of depression
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Increased motivation
  • Better sleep (less dependant on cannabis)
  • Less autopilot and more present in the moment
  • Exhausted… but from the work, workouts, and mindfulness not for seemingly no reason
  • I’m starting to get excited about doing things again (rollerblading, walking, outdoor hangouts)
  • Looking for new hobbies instead of just letting myself rot, though this has been hard due to covid, at least I want to find something, I’m interested in trying Muay Thai and can’t wait for things to open up and to get vaccinated so I can dive in.

There is much work to be done, but for the first time in a while, that doesn’t bother me or stress me out.

Thanks for checking in, write you next week!

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 3

Welcome back!

So what’s new? Well since I last wrote I completed the online portion of “Defining your Role”, had another meeting with my facilitator, and completely went off the rails with all my new self-care habits.

The online portion was great, it helped me solidify the lessons I learned in the book and allowed me to add more to my strengths and weaknesses as a family member. An area that I have struggled to define my role and find my identity within. The facilitator meeting was a highlight as always, these meetings bring so much clarity, direction, and energy. I’m always ready to run through a wall by the time I complete my course work and have that discussion. It has kept me far more accountable than anything else I have ever tried.

Why did I completely go off the rails with my self-care? I thought about omitting this, but the whole point is that I’m real with what I experience and how I feel. We had to say goodbye to a dear family member, Trooper. Those of you that are close with me know all about Troops and what he meant to our family and those that know me at all know I’m a crazy dog person. Those of you who were lucky enough to know Troops, well you know why his name was Trooper. From being dumped in someone’s back yard with a massive gash across his face and eye, multiple eye surgeries, knee surgeries, and cancer. Troops went through a lot in his 13 years, and man did he ever live up to his name.

The loss rocked me, you’re never ready for that kind of thing, but I really wasn’t ready. I don’t know if it’s just that I have been very lucky and not suffered much loss in my life. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, Trooper was the closest thing I ever had to a brother. Maybe I am just a crazy dog person, whatever it is dogs are the key to my heart, whether it’s filling it or breaking it. All this made me realize I hate the word pet, I don’t know about you but “pet” sells every relationship I have ever had with a dog so incredibly short. In my crazy dog person opinion, there is only one word worthy of the unconditional love and joy we get from dogs… FAMILY. So needless to say I have been a bit of a mess. It has been cry, then work, then eat, then cry and repeat, nothing else. Should I have kept working out? Yep! Should I have continued to practice gratitude? YEP!! Should I have pushed extra hard to use my scheduler? For sure! I did none of it, not even one of them one time. From the time I got the news that he was starting to go until a week after he was gone, I didn’t even try to do any of these things. All I wanted to do, all I still want to do is sit, process, cry, and remember. I let it cripple me, and honestly, it wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized the best way I can honour him is to be a trooper myself.

I’m ready to get back to my new routines and I’ll remember this the next time life squeezes a lemon in my eyes. During those hard times is when I need to put in an extra effort to stick to my workouts, gratitude, and scheduling. Have I been told that before? Yes, of course! My facilitator even gave me plenty of reminders but I have a bad habit of learning things the hard way which is another item on my long self-improvement list. Funny enough, my next lesson is “Habits – Why Do You Do What You Do” which I am quite enthusiastic about as I am such a creature of habit. Whether they are healthy or unhealthy, I’m notorious for my habits and looking forward to finding out why and better yet finding out how to break those unhealthy ones!

Write you next week! Till’ then, keep on being a Trooper!

Esty

The Breakdown – Shari

The Breakdown
I was 49 years old and was ready to head back to school (I am a teacher at a K-12 school). I went to work and I couldn’t breathe. I was dizzy. My heart was skipping beats (which it did for years and I didn’t know why). I was nauseated. I was afraid. I felt like someone was choking me only allowing me to breathe enough to stay alive. I went home that day and in the middle of the night I had a severe panic attack. I was suicidal. I wanted the pain to stop. My mind was racing. I wanted everything to STOP – just stop even for a minute so I could get my shit together. JUST STOP! I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again to the pain. I called my sister and my uncle for help. My sister came and got me in the middle of the night. The next year was the most difficult of my life. For the first few months I was immobilized. I couldn’t drive, watch TV (too much stimulation), be alone (loneliness) because it brought on panic attacks. I wanted it to just stop so I could catch my breath.

The Diagnosis
I had been diagnosed with Bipolar II five years previous to the breakdown. I was put on Lamotrigine but at the age of 35 the doctor had put me on Celexa, then Effexor, then Wellbutrin, then back on Effexor. I had tried many types of meds, as most of us do, but none worked. Lamotrigine worked but only scratched the surface of my mental health issues.

IT FELT SOOTHING TO MY MIND AND BODY.

Looking Back
Throughout the year of my breakdown I began Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I was put on Seroquel to help me sleep. As the therapy progressed I began to realize that I had been suffering from mental health issues as far back as 10 years old. I was brought up in a home where there was a great deal of physical and emotional abuse. My father would beat my mother and threaten to kill us kids. So of course I suffered from PTSD as well. I was suicidal most of my life and I always knew something was wrong with me. I started playing basketball at the age of 10. I became very good at it and I put all of my time and energy into the game. At the same time I discovered alcohol. Mom was 16 and dad was 18 when they had my older sister. I was born when they were 18 and 20. They would party and drink a lot so I would go around and taste all of the left over drinks. I liked the feeling I got when I drank it. It felt soothing to my mind and body.

My basketball career began to take off. I was playing up with the senior high school team when I was in junior high. I started representing my province at nationals when I was 15. I moved from my small town to a bigger centre in grade 11 to play. I played university basketball for 5 years as well. My goal was to make the Canadian National Team. I accumulated many MVP, Player of the Game and Hustler awards. Everyone thought I was on top of the world but I was suffering horribly. I put a mask on every day and went out to face the world. Throughout my basketball career I would have episodes of anger, explosiveness and crying spells. I was having panic attacks before practice, before games and during games. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. The only relief I found was when I drank alcohol and partied on weekends. I didn’t drink much during the week because of the training schedule I was on.

After my basketball career ended I got married and had two beautiful daughters. I started coaching at the high school I taught at. I couldn’t shake the suicidal thoughts so I drank. My high and low cycles ended up killing my marriage and it made it extremely difficult for my kids.

I AM ABLE TO REGULATE MY MIND AND BODY NOW.

I Got Better
I have been a single mom for 18 years. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been. I take my meds every day and continue with my therapy. Through exercise, guided imagery, yoga, diet, and continued reading and learning about the brain I am able to live a more balanced life. I still struggle with the manic highs and the depression but I am able to regulate my mind and body now. I have started speaking to young people about my struggles and how suffering in silence is not the way to go. I talk about the stigma surrounding mental health and how we need to work together to get rid of it and educate people.

The more I share, the better I feel.

 

 

Check out the original article here: https://www.sicknotweak.com/2016/06/1735/

The Transition Game – Week 2

Welcome back!

Since last Thursday I have received my PES (Profile Evaluation System) results, had my kickoff meeting with my facilitator, and completed lesson 1 in my workbook. Let’s start with my PES results, this is the most accurate and insightful personality evaluation I have ever done. Some of the results caught me off guard but after reading the explanations and having a discussion with my facilitator things started to make sense. Going through the results with my facilitator was awesome, it helped me see where these things pop up in my life and what they can cause me. We highlighted a few scores that I need to be mindful of which helped me connect the dots to some of my past experiences. I was very nervous before we started but as soon as we started discussing it, I found myself having fun, laughing and telling stories. My facilitator got to know and understand me on a much deeper level while I gained a clearer picture of who I truly am.

The scores that surprised me at first were in dominance and competitiveness. On a 1-9 scale I scored a 9 assertive in dominance (the opposite end of the spectrum is 1 cooperative), and 8 winning oriented competitiveness (the opposite end of the spectrum is 1 team oriented). These threw me off as I always thought of myself as a team-first guy who was very cooperative. After digging into it, I realized that what was going on in my head was this: “Hockey is a team game, I want to win, so we need to play as a team”. I’m not team oriented, I’m winning oriented, but I need the team to achieve the win. Here is where my 9 assertive dominance score kicks in “if you aren’t being a team player, you don’t care about winning, so f*** you why are you even here?” which explains all of the conflicts I had with my teammates. I only see one way to get the win and anyone who isn’t thinking the same way pisses me off. Another example of these scores shining through in my career is my “practice how you play” mentality. I believed this with my entire being, and I was a very physical player. For me, that meant never letting a teammate off the hook in practice because I would never let an opponent off the hook in a game. If I had a chance to throw a hit, I was throwing it, as hard as I could. That was my job, that’s what I needed to do so we could win. More hits in practice, for me, meant more hits in games. Yes, this often made it difficult to make friends but I didn’t care, I wasn’t there to make friends, I was there to win. My friends were typically guys who thought the same way as me, we’d laugh about running each other in practice, we loved the battle and to us, it was just iron sharpening iron. To all my former teammates that hated me or just hated when I ran them in practice, sorry man, I just wanted us to win.

Lesson 1 Defining your Role was interesting and a bit frustrating for me. it exposed some insecurities and honestly really made it clear that I don’t have a solid identity when it comes to my family or work life. I was asked to list my strengths and weaknesses as an athlete, student/employee, and family member. It is further broken down into the categories leadership, mental strength, communication, and habits. I rattled off my answers as an athlete with no problems. As a student/employee, it was a bit of a challenge. As a family member, I was completely stumped and I’m still trying to put some answers down. Makes sense why I feel so lost since I hung up the skates, at least now I know I need to find my identity and focus on defining those roles for myself and it will make a huge difference in how I feel day to day. I’m really looking forward to my next facilitator meeting and finding even more clarity. The workbook helped me to draw some parallels between how I felt in certain roles on certain teams and how I feel in certain roles in my life today which is what clued me in. The moral of the story, define your roles! ALL OF THEM, or you’re going to have a bad time. If someone gives you a role, have a deep and meaningful conversation about it. Maybe you are a little nervous to have that kind of conversation with that specific person, but trust me just do it. What you’ll feel if you don’t is far worse than the anxiousness before the conversation.

Thanks for the support!

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 1

Welcome back and thanks for being here!

So what’s new since last week? Well, I just went through the Profile Evaluation System which essentially builds a psychological profile that will help me and my facilitator identify my strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. This is the first step in the Success Strategies Program.

How’d it go? Well, my incredible lack of basic math skills shone through in the beginning and got me sweating. I didn’t realize the kind of questions I’d be asked in the various sections and oh man it was embarrassing even though I was alone in my office. I ran out of time on the first few sections (even with leaving many of the math questions blank) so that made me even more anxious. Once I made it through to the vocabulary and more personal behaviour-related questions I relaxed and it was a breeze. I’m excited to see my results and I will share them with you once I have them. Although I think of myself as someone who is very self-aware I’m hoping it brings some new things to light that will help me shift my perspective.

My Success Strategies workbook has arrived so next week I’ll detail how the first lesson and facilitator meeting go! I’m excited to have some tough conversations and take a hard look in the mirror. In the meantime, I have still been trying to solidify a new workout routine, 30-45 minutes of dumbbell work weekday mornings as soon as my alarm goes off at 6 am followed by shoulder rehab until 7 am. I’m now consistently getting that done 4 out of 5 days and striving for 5 high-intensity efficient lifts per week. I am eating way healthier and more consistently, I signed up for Hello Fresh to help which has turned out to be a great investment. Those two things combined have made a huge difference in my overall mood. However, I have had days where I didn’t stick to these routines and paid the price in terms of mood and energy. My biggest struggle of late is focus and motivation. I have struggled to use my scheduler and notebook effectively, I seem to spend way too much time planning only to not stick to the plan or I forget about the planning entirely and spend a day shooting from the hip. Oddly enough I have been getting way more done when “shooting from the hip” for some reason those days I can focus on individual tasks better. I’m not giving up on it though, I think these are just growing pains.

I am still trying to practice gratitude as well but have been very inconsistent. My new plan is to work it into some positive self-talk during my morning lifts. I will put a sticky note on my weight rack as a reminder. This should help with the self-doubt and my tendency to disassociate and live in a fantasy world in my head. Focusing on the great life I have instead of daydreaming about a different one is my goal with the gratitude practice.

Thanks for checking in, write you next week!

Esty

Unemployment: New Beginnings

By David Torrealba, a Venezuelan journalist, illustrator, and SEO writer. He has been creating content for blogs, social media, newspapers, and websites since 2016.

The year 2020 shook us all to the core, with the pandemic disrupting our way of life. Unfortunately, many lost their jobs amid the economic recession, even some people who felt very secure in their work positions. Nothing in this world is certain, but don’t let that get you down.

Whatever the reason for your unemployment, surely the situation has rocked your world in more ways than financial stability. However, focus on this very encouraging fact: losing your job is not final. Yes, it’s a rough time, but you need to get moving again, and soon enough you will be back on your feet. Here are some aspects to consider.

Why It Happened

This does not mean blaming yourself or wondering what you could have done to prevent the situation. What you need to define is the motive for your employer’s decision. Is the company going through a rough patch? If so, is this due to their particular circumstances, or is it an industry thing? Has your specific work position been affected by the current world situation? Why did your job become disposable and not somebody else’s?

Once again, this is not for you to dwell on your mistakes. These questions will help you understand the state of your industry within the pandemic, and thus give you a realistic perspective in your job search.

What Needs To Change

After having analyzed the logic behind losing your job, turn that information into concrete facts. Then use that information to trace your new career path, adapted to the times we are living in.

Let’s say, for example, that you lost your job because your place of work did not survive the blows of the pandemic. This happened to a lot of people in the restaurant industry, for example. What is this telling you? You need to move on to an industry that survived the pandemic.

The safest bet right now is tech. It doesn’t matter if you want to join the team of one of the big players in the game or combine your current skills with the tools of the future. Acquiring tech skills is going to guarantee you work in the future.

Reconsider Everything

If you’re looking for a new position, this is the time to consider where your career is headed. It’s now that you must consider whether you liked your old job if you saw opportunities to grow. Ask the hard questions, and something good will come out of this terrible situation.

Take this time also to think about what exactly you are looking for in a job, besides a good salary and fulfilling work. Perhaps you are looking for a position that leaves you with more time for yourself so that you can spend time with friends and family or explore a new hobby. Maybe you want a job that doesn’t involve the same stress levels as the previous one. Whatever the case may be, this is the best time to decide what your next job must look like

While you might feel a sense of urgency in finding a new job, there’s no point in finding something that will make you miserable. Allow yourself to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Besides, in the current state of things, it’s more than likely that you will have to be flexible to find a position. So, get ahead of the game and define what else you can do.

Stay Open to Opportunities

It may take you a couple of months to find the type of job you’re looking for. In the meantime, you must reach out to your network, and let everybody know that you’re on the hunt for a new position.

When you tell people about your situation, make sure to highlight your skills, assets, and expectations. Do not focus on what position you held before. By doing this, you might find occasional odd jobs to work from home or online. Don’t close yourself up to those opportunities. Besides adding to your income, this will allow you to explore other career paths. Stay open-minded.

Self-care

Now you have the time to do all that important personal work that you were ignoring because you lacked the time. Use this time to develop healthy habits that will help you cope with your current situation and thrive once you find a job and resume a normal life. Do you have a good morning routine? If not, now is the time to develop it. This morning routine can include meditation, reading an inspiring book, and writing in a journal.

Developing healthy habits won’t just benefit you at a personal level. Employers are looking for individuals with positive habits because they tend to be more stable and productive and improve the office environment. We recommend that you come up with a list of the habits that you want to develop and that you start practicing right away. Trust us; you’ll feel the difference.

Conclusion

Losing your job is not easy. It’s a forced change in the delicate balance of life, on top of all the things Covid-19 has made us deal with. But it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. You need to hold on to your confidence, work on your patience, and get moving. Keep calm and learn the lessons you need from these situations. Eventually, when you least expect it, what you need will come along. Your task now is to be ready to receive it. We don’t control what happens to us, but we do control how we handle it. There lies your power.

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.