Wednesday, January 30th is Bell Let's Talk day. If you are unsure of what this means, "Bell Let’s Talk is a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada". It is a great way to spread information about mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.
"Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter".
"The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is focused on improving access to supports and services for people living with mental illness through local projects and grassroots organizations in communities all around Canada". (all quotes taken from (https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/).
At Douglas College, we are having a large event throughout our New Westminster Campus aiming to help students understand the importance of taking care of their mental health. Some people are unaffected by mental health issues but most know a family, friend or themselves who may be living with an illness.
We are finally in a world where talking about your mental health is not frowned upon. I am extremely thankful and blessed to be living in a generation with like minded individuals who are opening up regarding this topic.
Now, let's look at some Canadian statistics...
(Mental Health Commission of Canada (2013). Making the case for investing in mental health in Canada).
I chose to stop looking up more statistics since they continue to be negative numbers. The bolded statistics are the ones, as of right now, I believe to be very important and should be known to the public. By age 40, 50% of our population will have experienced a mental health issue and most of them will not have gone to their doctor. That one hit hard.
Going to a doctor regarding symptoms of your mental health is NOT EASY. However, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for ensuring you get proper treatment.
Reducing the stigma surrounding mental health is necessary for Canadians (and everyone else around the world) to feel more comfortable talking to a medical professional about the issue.
Everyday should be a day to open up about about our thoughts, feelings and symptoms, especially if they are negatively affecting our lives. Bell Let's Talk day donates to a good cause with every social media hashtag you use. Spread the word and share the news.
If you are experiencing problems with your mental health, here are a few easy tips to increase your mental well-being:
Thank you all for listening to me babble on about mental health. It is a very significant piece of my life right now and I hope to ensure everyone I meet knows they can talk about it openly. There is always someone willing to listen whether it is your family or a mental health hotline.
Please share the importance of Bell Let's Talk Day and help us reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
CLICK THE LINK OR COPY INTO YOUR BROWSER.
All pictures where taken during my walk home last week in the rain.
*This is a brief introduction to the use of crystal healing and how it can benefit the body. This topic can be explained in much more depth so please take it lightly and do your own research if you need more information. The goal of this article is to bring awareness to this topic for my readers.*
The photo above is showing your Chakra Energy System. When I refer to energy in this article, please refer to this photo to lightly learn about each chakra. This information can also be researched more if you need it. Now for the good stuff.
Crystal healing has been a type of pseudoscience alternative therapy used for a variety of conditions known to the human body. Stemming from multiple ancient healing ideas, they offer a chance to rebalance the energy systems (Chakras) while connecting to the chakras of the body.
Throughout the use of these traditional healing practices, I notice many people feel the need to preach to me that they are fake. I don't care what others say to me since I know what works best for my body however this can be quite annoying. If you have something negative to say, please keep it to yourself. Maybe they are only working because of a placebo effect but at least someone is receiving benefits, right?
There is no straight scientific evidence stating that crystals directly heal humans, yet we see many spiritual healers and traditional therapists using this method to treat anxiety, depression, stomach ulcers, kidney function, alcoholism and many more ailments/diseases. Personally, I like to have scientific evidence to back up what I preach on here and there is data showing how crystals can give off and focus our energies. Research is up and coming about this topic, making it exciting to talk about.
I do know that I feel different when I carry or use my crystals throughout the day. I feel safer and more grounded in my energy. Whether this is the placebo effect or not, I will continue to use them as their beauty continues to amaze me.
One of the oldest medicines known to man is within the practice known as Ayurveda (meaning the knowledge of life and longevity). Stemming from Ancient India, this is the type of information I hope to pursue studies in throughout my life to be able to share with others. One of the main concepts is the mind and body are ONE. They are not separated and healing needs to be focussed on helping all dimensions of health.
For more information on Ayurveda, copy this link into your browser.
I began collecting crystals as a child leading to learning about their potential health benefits throughout the years.
You can actually go to a crystal healer to get it performed on you, or do it on your own time. Below I will list a few ways of how you can use crystals.
Ways To Use Crystals:
My personal favourite way of using crystal healing is through practicing yoga and meditation. You can feel your aura being affected by these rocks. It is an amazing practice to include into your daily routine.
Below are some popular crystals and their potential benefits for each.
Common crystals & their healing benefits:
Now, as a reminder, I am not a professional in this area of wellness. I have taken most of this information form www.crystalvaults.com. It is an amazing site that will help you learn about many specific stones. I recommend checking it out.
Also, stones can be represented in multiple ways and colours. This is just an overview of popular stones and what they can be used for. Please do your own research as well!
I am going to include a few photos at the end of my stones around the house. Please share with me if you have any favourite stones and why they help you.
Thank you for reading How To Flourish!
Today I am going to talk about some important information regarding lower back pain. If you or anyone you know struggles with this, please read and share. :)
I can remember, back in early high school, when my back really started to become a problem for me. At first, we thought it was related to my menstrual cycle, however we then realized even when not menstruating, I felt the pain.
After going to the doctor, he said something along the lines of me having very slight scoliosis and also lordosis. I will explain these in an infographic below.
So, as we can see, this photo is a bit exaggerated of what most of us suffer from. Usually, I do not agree with using the word suffer but lower back pain can take over your life at some points. I remember not being able to sit at school for the full 6-8 hours because of the pain.
The main issue with this lower back pain is when it's time to fall asleep. Tossing and turning repeatedly makes it difficult for myself or anyone I am sleeping with to actually fall into a slumber.
After that doctor's visit, I was referred to a registered massage therapist in Fruitvale. Her techniques were very strong and healing. After about 2-3 years of massages (not continually), her and I both could not figure out why this pain was still occurring. One tip she gave me that really made a difference as to sleep with a large pillow, rolled up towel or blanket in between my legs. So now, I have a large body pillow on both sides of me when I am sleeping. This really takes the pressure off of my lower back but did not completely take the pain away.
I then enrolled into a Strength and Conditioning class at Okanagan College for my Human Kinetics Diploma to learn about the spine in various ways. This is where I really started to notice a difference in making my back feel better.
My professor's description was perfect. Think of your pelvis as a bowl, otherwise known as your pelvic bowl. Now, this bowl is full of water, if it is unbalanced either forward or back, the water will spill. So the aim is to keep your bowl balanced.
Now with having Lordosis, this meant my bowl as continually tipping forward, towards my feet. I would visualize the bowl, tuck my hips under and learned that this was the best posture for my body to hold.
Posture plays a significant role in any back pain. Remember being a kid when your mother would say, "Sit up straight!", well she was right. We need to fix our posture. In more scientific terms, we can refer to this pelvic bowl as anterior and posterior pelvic tilts.
We as humans, have evolved to have a neutral pelvis but through many conditions we develop an anterior or posterior tilt. Relating back to the bowl, a neutral pelvis is a balanced pelvic bowl. Try this at home. Imagine tilting your bowl, or your pelvis forward, backward and then find neutral. It may feel weird at first if your back isn't used to this position but it makes a HUGE difference.
Once discovering this, I finally found proper posture and was working out the most I ever have so focusing on strengthening my core was a number 1 priority. After all of this, I would still at times feel some pain, which lead me to embrace the world of stretching.
If I could sum up everything I learned at O.C. in this article, I would, but it is too much detail to get into and some of you would get bored. Long story short, when we want to strengthen a muscle we bring its 2 points of attachment together. When we want to stretch a muscle, we take the attachments further apart. Think about this with your core. To strengthen, we crunch, to stretch, we expand our bellies.
Why do you have lower back pain?
There are many reasons why you have accumulated this pain. It could be a spinal abnormality that was addressed above or maybe it is more muscle related. Along with the abnormalities, muscle tightness has contributed largely to this reoccurring pain. Through trial and error, and learning about the human body, I realize the pain is deeply connected to my overall hamstring tightness. I believe my tightness is from sitting often, exercising the legs often and not stretching enough.
It has been a year of consistent yoga and I have noticed a massive difference in my lower back pain and hamstring tightness. There are some photos below that include stretches to help with this. Along with hamstrings, having tight hip flexors, Quadratus Lumborum and Psoas muscles can contribute to this pain as well.
Stretching and strengthening these muscles can make a difference in your lower back pain. My best recommendation is to see your doctor, physiotherapist or massage therapist to get a proper diagnosis of what muscle imbalances you have. If you are super keen and interested in learning about your body, testing yourself out and finding the main issues, then go ahead with researching more about this topic.
Throughout the years of knowledge and experience, I can contribute my lower back pain to many different things. Each of us may be experiencing different abnormalities or imbalances. We are individual and this if an overview of my personal experience with back pain. I am going to go over some tips for helping these issues and I hope some of them can help you as well. If you have any ideas that I should include in my lifestyle, please let me know.
Tips for relieving lower back pain:
Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas for me to try, I am always open to suggestions. Thank you for supporting How To Flourish.
Enjoy your day!
This is a post about tea. Whether you drink it or not, I have faith in it's ways of healing the body, mind and soul. Tea has always been one of my favourite preparations to drink, mainly because it is extracted from nature.
This post is going to contain my favourite kinds of tea and how they heal my body. Personally, I drink between 1-4 cups per day. I can thank tea for getting me through long school days over the years. Before I get into it, here is a brief history.
The History Of Tea
Tea drinkers have been around the globe for centuries, originating in China as early as 2000 BCE. It can be consumed for it's taste, nutritional benefits or traditional ritual purposes. Tea can be known for it's excellent source of antioxidants. Some tea offers the benefits of improved circulation, weight loss and may even prevent cancer (According to PhD Allison Hahn). There are a variety of teas in the world including green, black, red and oolong. The diversity around the world allows for tea to be prepared in a large amount of ways. This can include the boiling process or what each of us puts into the tea for flavour. Personally, I enjoy most of my tea black, but many countries add honey, sugar or milk.
These herbal creations are a staple in my lifestyle, I am unsure what I would do without them. Each tea has a different benefit which I will get into below...
My Favourite Types Of Tea
Tea, in general, according to the Tea Association Of The United States, can be known for it's great job in reducing free radicals. Free radicals are can cause damage to our bodies in differing ways. Antioxidants #1 job is to reduce the oxidation of free radicals, benefiting our health in multiple ways.
When drinking tea, be aware of the caffeine content. Herbal teas are usually naturally, caffeine free while oolong and black teas have the highest amount of this substance. You don't want to have black tea before bed, or chamomile in the morning.
Tea has always been something that makes me happy and it will continue to do so throughout my years. If you have any suggestions of tea for me to try, please let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading How To Flourish and following me through this journey of self healing and love.
Don't forget to smile today.
*Most of the information in this article is cited from "Tea (beverage). By: Hahn, Allison, PhD, Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2018" or WedMD.com*