Feb 14, 2018
Watching the Olympics never ceases to inspire me. Since I’m a psychologist, not an athlete, I might notice different things than the average sports enthusiast. Although the physicality of the athletes obviously impresses me, it is their mental strength and resilience that I wish to reflect upon in this blog post. One thing I love about the Olympics is watching people fall. I’m not talking about a fall where an athlete gets injured – I don’t like that kind of fall. But I like the “normal” falls. I love seeing the best of the best fall down and get back up again. I love seeing the best of the best fall and still win a gold medal. It is so inspiring, and it’s an excellent reminder to us all. It’s easy to get stuck thinking the world will end if we “fall” – if we fail, if we get rejected, if we lose. If we think that way, we will generally feel anxious about falling. Since feeling anxious is uncomfortable and unpleasant, we may go out of our way to avoid falling. The only problem is that...
Jan 11, 2018
A new year is upon us once again and people are talking about New Year’s resolutions. Some people get excited about the beauty of a new beginning, while others can’t be bothered because they've been burned in the past. Either way, a new year is a good time for a fresh perspective...
Dec 12, 2017
Despite the smiling faces you see across your social media feeds, if you look around in the real world, you may notice that not everyone is feeling merry and jolly this time of year. In a survey on holiday stress, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that people are more likely to report their stress level increases rather than decreases during the holidays. Stress is a common experience that can arise when demands are placed on us. For many people, demands increase leading to the holiday season...
Nov 01, 2017
In a recent conversation with a colleague, he kindly pointed out to me that I am a "Type A personality" and when it comes to my Type A personality, he told me that I’m an A+. I admit, I always did strive for A+ marks in school, but as all great Type A’s know – we are never satisfied, no matter how well we do...
Oct 06, 2017
" The clock is running. Make the m ost of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present." - Alice Morse Earle, 1902 The clock is running and another holiday is upon us. Another opportunity to make the most of today. I love Thanksgiving for many reasons – family, friends, food, and fall - these are just some of my personal favourites. But as a psychologist who helps people with anxiety, I like Thanksgiving for the lessons it has for us - the focus on gratitude and the focus on the present. If there was a holiday to celebrate Anxiety – let’s call it “Anxiety Day” – it would be about the future (not the present) and what things might possibly happen. Rather than focusing on what IS – anxiety likes to zoom in on what could be . And it doesn’t focus on the good things – it goes for the scary things… Disaster. Disease. Dying. Social rejection. Spiders. You get the idea. I don’t know what type of food you would...
Sep 05, 2017
In a previous blog post - Managing an Anxious Child – Where to Start – I wrote about some symptoms of anxiety and my own experience with identifying symptoms in my daughter. Fast-forward a few months later - and it's hard to believe that we are heading back to school, or as most parents call it, the happiest time of the year . I wouldn’t necessarily call back to the school the happiest time for my house; it is, however, the most anxious time. As August comes to an end, the complaints of stomach aches and the case of the what if’s begin – “what if my friends aren’t in my class, what if I don’t know anyone in my new class, what if I don’t like my teacher.” If you have a child who struggles with anxiety, you will understand how stressful the new school year can be.
Aug 03, 2017
I suffer from social anxiety – in the fall, winter, and spring, but I find the summer the most difficult time of year. Each summer, the anticipation of the increased social activity and the fear of missing out on said social activity is a huge source of stress for me – not to mention the dreaded bathing suit…oh yes, the dreaded bathing suit. I’m 23, so beach outings, summer nights spent on patios, camping trips, road trips, barbeques, and just going out more often with friends and family members can rattle the anxiety I experience. In the summer, I find myself in more situations where I must talk to humans, make eye contact, and appear as though I am happy – because as my social media feed proves – everyone else is happy in the summer! And unlike in the winter months, I feel guilty if I stay at home with my Netflix and hide from the world. But this summer I decided that it’s going to be different. Instead of dreading every aspect of the season, I decided that I was going to take...
Jun 15, 2017
Happy Father’s Day! Whether this is your first Father's Day or your 40th, I'm sure it brings with it a wide range of emotions. Before reading this post today, you’ve likely already seen TV commercials, or social media feeds demonstrating how Father’s Day is “supposed” to look like. As a proud father of a five-year-old daughter, I also look like those “Insta” families - some of the time - but, definitely not all of the time.
Jun 12, 2017
Dating can be daunting in general, but if you struggle with social anxiety, it can seem impossible at times. For me, one who struggles with social anxiety, dating can be a difficult process. As a 23-year old female, I’ve dipped my feet into the dating realm via a dating app. I find that meeting a romantic prospect through friends or work has never worked for me and meeting men at bars or clubs never turns into anything. For a socially-anxious person, using a dating app may seem like the natural choice, as it starts with a virtual interaction – vs. a face-to-face interaction; however, it doesn’t make it any easier.
Jun 01, 2017
I’m 23 years old, and I recently completed my undergraduate degree. Fresh out of school I started the transition towards my new life and a new career. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I found this process extremely difficult. After I had finished my undergrad, I left my school, my group of friends, and the life that I grew accustomed to over the past four years in Kelowna, and transitioned from living with a roommate to moving back with my parents in Vancouver. I started my job search with a positive attitude; however, it only took a month before everything hit the fan.