5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues this Season

The christmas season may seem warm, cozy and even full of cheer. But for an increasing number of Canadians and others in the northern hemisphere seasonal depression may begin to strike in these winter months.

With significant pressure to be spending time with our families and loved ones, the season of giving can be an extremely stressful time for anyone who experiences social anxiety or depression.

This doesn’t even begin to get into the financial struggles that come along with this time of year, the increasingly dark and dreary weather (lack of vitamin D is proven to cause mood issues) and the possible relationship or familial tensions which are exaggerated when we put pressure on ourselves to “have it all together”.

So how can we make the most of the season, whatever it may bring, and overcome those winter blues? Well, as a therapist who has worked with seasonal depression for years and also suffered myself with some of the symptoms experienced alongside the lack of sunshine…. I have come up with my top 5 list of tips for positive mental health throughout the winter season:

  1. Get active – it sounds cheesy and repetitive but people are at their most sedentary in the winter months and simply going out for a walk, doing that lunchtime yoga session or walking on a treadmill may be just the boost you need to get out of your winter funk.
  2. Socialize – when we experience stress our bodies have natural mechanisms that produce more oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and we crave the comfort of social interactions. Sometimes sharing your time with someone you care about can truly ease the burden of the winter blues.
  3. Ditch the Junk Food – When we are cold our bodies naturally want to pack on the pounds and keep us warm. It can also seem easier to grab something from the drive thru or eat that cake at the office christmas potluck….but by doing this we are actually affecting our blood sugars, moods and causing ourselves to feel lethargic – all of which contribute to the winter blues.
  4. Engage in Seasonal Mindfulness – With the season of consumerism and chaos we can forget about our normal routines and it is easy to neglect living in the present moment.
  5. Take your Vitamins – Ensuring that you get proper nutrients can be challenging in the winter months, one example alone is that we will get naturally less vitamin D as it gets darker and colder.

So what are you waiting for? Take care of yourself this season…and make the most of all of the amazing things that winter brings along with it!

Your friend and Therapist,

Jordan!

Why Low Self-Esteem ISN’T Permanent!

Why Low Self-Esteem ISN’T Permanent

I am writing this blog because I talk to a lot of people who have social anxiety. For me, social anxiety is primarily a diagnosis of self-esteem and a highly treatable disorder in this sense. Self esteem although it causes mental health symptoms, is often a disorder of thinking… in that it is controlled by the thoughts we have about ourselves.

If you have downloaded or read my free introduction to anxiety you will know that low self esteem is a build up of negative self experiences, negative experiences with others and beliefs about how we “should” be/look/behave etc. Some of us, like myself born with a facial deformity, have innate insecurities that over time can become even bigger when people make continued comments about this particular feature.

If you struggle with low self esteem a really great place to start can be to understand that thoughts you have about yourself are not always facts. Our minds are often flooded with opinions about things we like, do not like or find okay. If you start to understand how you value yourself….you will begin to see that it is subjective. You may value yourself really low on the subjective scale of value and worth, but others view you extremely high.

In fact, maybe you think of others in positive ways who have very low thoughts about themselves. This is often because their experience of the world has been one that has judged or demeaned them…over time this becomes their truth and builds up into low self esteem.

So where do we start on the road to changing this?

1) Start complimenting people … how often do we truly share our positive views of others with them? Do you more often share complaints or concerns than affirmations? In starting to share compliments and positive feedback you will begin to reframe negative thinking, you will help boost the confidence of others and ultimately you engage in a process of self esteem BUILDING in your community of friends, family, colleagues etc.

2) Notice what you like about yourself. Instead of being so hard on yourself start to notice some of the positives even close to as much as you notice the negatives. If you need more tips with this check out my video on self-care and self esteem tips.

3) Make yourself accountable for facts vs opinions. Start acknowledging when your thoughts contain objective facts or if they are actually just opinions you hold about yourself. Then notice if they are actually negative opinions! REMEMBER: WHEN YOU START BEING ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS YOU GAIN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget
Love. Your. Life

Your friend and Therapist,
Jordan!

Reviews on our Product “Becoming Zen”

We’ve been getting some great reviews on our latest product “Becoming Zen: A 21-Day Mind Detox for Anxiety” and we thought you might want to check them out for yourself here:

Supplement Police Review
James Stewart Review
Tamy Smith Review

We have already helped so many people to reduce anxiety and overcome stress in their lives ….and we don’t want you to miss out! If you haven’t heard… this course was written by me, a therapist, and is designed to help people to learn about the most important thing in their lives – accepting themselves and learning the tools to reduce stress and anxiety. Becoming Zen truly helps people improve self-esteem and relationships, but understanding that negative thinking can affect anyone and is very easy to change.

Remember if you haven’t got your copy yet…they are still available for an amazing price of only $9.99 for a limited time at right here

Remember,
LOVE.YOUR.LIFE <3

The three detrimental effects of Negative Self Talk!

WHY WE SHOULDN’T APOLOGIZE FOR OURSELVES: The THREE Detrimental Effects of Negative Self Talk!

As a therapist I deal with a lot of issues of low self-esteem and I hear negative self talk* regularly dropped in sessions. Women, men and even children in our culture have become so used to negative self talk as part of “conversation” that it just slips out “I obviously wouldn’t know what i’m talking about”, “as an ugly person i have just accepted that…”, “I’m not worth your time anyway”.

In a culture where no one wants to be seen as too arrogant, self absorbed or overly “confident” this is what we are reduced to. Minimizing ourselves in conversation to either make others feel better, so as not to seem arrogant or because we have only learned the negative traits of ourselves.

The problem is when we live apologizing for who we are it goes beyond a conversational level. If we are constantly apologizing and trying to belittle our positives, or play down our achievements – eventually we begin to believe this as a “truth”. The self-talk becomes not only conversational, but it becomes part of our daily practice.

We then begin to talk to ourselves like that ALL of the time. I discuss this topic in my course on Mindfulness “Becoming Zen” because I believe that this type of self talk is the equivalent of being in an abusive relationship on our self esteem. If we walk around all day putting ourselves down, the result is that we are basically mentally and emotionally abusing ourselves. I created my course to help men and women who struggle with self-talk and show them ways to develop a positive self image.

There are three main effects I see when negative self-talk becomes the “norm” in a person’s life and these are:

  1. Hopelessness – hopelessness becomes a baseline and the negative self talk becomes the persons sense of agency/ ability. If all they are exposed to is their own negative thoughts about themselves, then it creates a hopelessness and ruins their ability to cope.
  2. Goals are Lowered – The person experiencing the negative self talk will set their goals lower and feel less able to achieve what they want to out of life.
  3. Affect on friends and family – When negative self talk is the normal in a household or group of friends, it has a shared effect. Children also model the negative self talk about themselves and learn that this is the way to communicate.

But it doesn’t have to be hopeless – Negative self talk can be changed and I focus on this on my youtube channel as well “You Counselling” with weekly videos on agency and positive self esteem. One great way to begin your journey to positive self esteem is to begin journalling about one thing you appreciate or like about yourself each day.

You can sign up here for my free e-book and you will also be sent free gratitude journal templates to get started on your practice!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to LOVE. YOUR. LIFE.

Your friend and therapist,

Jordan!