Her Real View: Meditation For Mental Health {CBT} #Dysthymia #Anxiety #MentalWellness #HealthandWellness

Meditation for mental wellness

Meditation is a practice where the individual focuses the mind on a particular thing {object, thought or activity like breathing}, to help with focus, awareness and to achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state of body and mind.

Of course everyone and their mother has heard about meditation in some form or another and millions of different people from all walks of life around the world practice different forms of meditation. Here in North America meditation is often recommended as part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy {or CBT} for those of us with mental ailments, as it can be simple enough to learn and has health benefits.

These benefits of meditation can include a lowered heart rate, better focus & attention span, stress & anxiety reduction. People have also reported benefits such as helping with addiction, generating kindness and enhancing self-awareness.

Now, I am a newbie When it comes to all of this. I don’t know much about meditation but I am learning and willing to learn more if it’ll help me and anyone else. When we start something new, we have to start from the bottom, right?

I found a useful fitness website that explains a bit more about meditation for beginners like me (and maybe you?). Click here to see the post and become inspired!

My therapist recommended trying meditation; I’ve actually been doing deep breathing with yoga, not the same as what I’m talking about with the therapist but close.

We tried a five minute meditation session focusing on breathing, sounds and sensations. It was an interesting experience which honestly left me in a better mood that afternoon.

My “homework” was to continue once a day 5-10 minutes. I am so busy it’s hard to squeeze in those 5-10minutes but I have to try. I know when something isn’t working for me and what could work. One form of meditation type we did in an earlier session didn’t work and I didn’t like it (repeating a phrase). This time the form we tried felt different; something I would like to continue learning about and weaving it into my life.

One of my favourite apps I’ve mentioned before is my breathe app on my Apple Watch. It begins slowly, giving you a moment to get into the mindset and you breathe following the pulse on the watch. You can set the app to do sessions for minimum one minute to several minutes, depending what you need. I usually do two to three minutes. The app chimes when the your session is complete and even tells you what your heart rate is.

Of course you don’t need a fancy watch to get into meditation. Your smartphone also has meditation and breathing apps if you check out the App Store or google play store for you android users. You could also do without as much technology and stick to light music, candles and a timer can that help you set the atmosphere or you can just do it quietly. That’s why I like these types of exercises, you basically do them as you see fit for you. If you want to sit, stand, lay down or do yoga poses during meditation, it’s all up to you.

Have you ever tried meditation? Let’s chat in the comments below! 🙃

Her Real View: It’s the little things #Summertime

Summer is slipping by faster than we know it. The days of sleeping in a little later still feel longer and the weather has been typical summer; hot and humid, rain and repeat. Perfect days to get out of the house and let ourselves just enjoy.

Before we know it, we’ll be back to the dreaded school routine of early morning, ass dragging to the bus stop fun.

It’s not easy living with chronic pain and a never ending sense of constant dread or mood swings that can ruin an otherwise perfect day. I’ve been taking this summer is small pieces; too much of a good thing is scary for me but I try.

We didn’t plan anything spectacular for our kids this summer other than sending the older two off to sleep-away camp but I know the memories we make together will still be special ones.

Today we took the kids out for a little nature walk to Petrie Island (right in Ottawa), an activity that allowed us to soak in the beauty of being outside and being outside together as a family. Something we don’t often do as the kids get older and our lives don’t slow down. We need to slow it down. It’s those small moments they’ll remember.

Some boats docked along the Ottawa River

The FamJam

Beach #Selfie

Next time, we bring a blanket and a pic-nick.

June is Hip Dysplasia Awareness Month!

June is Hip Dysplasia Awareness month!

5 Quick Facts:

– Hip Dysplasia affects 1 in 1000 babies every year. Thank goodness technology today can detect it early! I wasn’t so lucky back in the 1980’s. I’m currently in treatment for severe bilateral hip dysplasia and arthritis.

– Hip dysplasia is a painful bone malformation disease that can develop over time or be hereditary.

– There are special surgeries, injections, physiotherapy and other methods to try to slow it down. Walking aids are often suggested and pain killers can be prescribed to help. Surgeons will exhaust every effort before a final decision to replace the entire hip with an artificial part. This could sometimes take years.

– The quality of life of people with hip dysplasia diminishes without proper medical treatment. Not all services are covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) here in Ontario such as physiotherapy which can make it difficult for someone suffering to get the help they need to live a pain free life.

– Mental illness such as anxiety and depression can develop due to disabilities like hip dysplasia.

Visit the International Hip Dysplasia Institute to learn more about hip dysplasia awareness month and how you can help!

Know someone who’s trying to cope with life with hip dysplasia? Buy my ebook Adult Hip Dysplasia: Living a Dysplasic Life available now on your favourite reading platforms!


Mental Health Talk: Be kind, even on the bad days.

I had to pep talk myself through tears this morning, it started out as a bad, bad day.

I won’t get into gritty details but someone close to me hurt me in a way I didn’t think they ever would. They got upset with me over something beyond my control and raised their voice. I snapped back and raised my voice which just added fuel to the fire.

My illness and the fact I take medication thrown in my face. This is the stigma around mental illness that makes me sick to my stomach. When someone is on antidepressants they don’t always become “zombies” and they do have emotions, feelings and everything, JUST LIKE YOU. If not more intense due to their illness.


Yes, my medication helps regulate my moods but they aren’t miracle “happy pills” that change my mood in a snap. I still feel things like everybody else. If I’m upset, I will let it be known. If I’m insulted or hurt, I will defend myself. If I’m amused, I will laugh my ass off. I’m still human, I’m just in the repair shop.

Invisible disabilities are still disabilities. If a loved one is going through some stuff, the first thing they need is your support, not your judgement.

I wrote this on Instagram:

Treatment and recovery through any illness takes time. I will have good days, I will have bad days. I will laugh, I will cry. I will be confident, I will question myself. I will have it together, I will fall apart. Whatever the battle, nobody has the right to throw illness or treatment in anyone’s face. It’s MY life. I’m caring for ME. “Just because I’m having a bad day doesn’t mean I didn’t take my meds.” 😢 #DontJudge #ShowCompassion #Anxiety #GAD #Depression #PDD #ChronicPain #Lifesuckstoday

I am not ashamed of my illnesses. I am fighting every single day to “get better”, I am fighting every day to “find a way” and I’ll be damned if I’ll let someone’s negativity take over my hard work climbing back out of the hole I fell into.

Be kind to each other, you don’t know the other persons story. ❤️

25 1-minute Hip Exercises Routine! #HipDysplasia

Lately the yoga stretches I have been attempting to release tension in my back, strengthen my hips and legs plus relax myself a little before bed, hasn’t been enough.

In my condition, I don’t think it’ll ever be “enough” and when it’s “enough” it’s “too much”; if that makes any sense.

So, back to the drawing board I went (aka Google Search) to look up some different and possibly better (but still easy enough for me) exercises special for hips, legs and backs.

I found an image I thought I would share here (also to keep reference for myself) that shows a routine of 25 easy-enough exercises for hips. I think they are good and am excited to try them out this week.

image via Google

(I = Inhale E = Exhale. Hold each static pose 3-5 breaths.)

Not all of these poses are for everyone; I know I will not be able to do certain ones like Wide Leg Forward Fold or others that require stretching in that angle because my left hip just won’t go that far.

I do these stretches to the best of my ability. I do not overdo it as not to hurt myself further or unnecessarily.

The important part is to stay healthy and do what is best for you! ❤️

Natural Remedies with products from eScential Wellness

Product review on behalf of eScential wellness. Complimentary samples received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are my own.

As part of my journey to better self care and overall better health, I have been open to trying new and different things to help my overall wellness.

eScential Wellness offers natural, science-based, small batch, vegan, toxin and cruelty free first aid and self care products for a variety of life’s everyday ailments. The best part: they work!

Headaches are something I get quite often and I don’t usually take anything for them. I have a fear of anything counteracting my anxiety meds so I try other methods like hot or cold compress, cold rub on temples or sleeping it off to no avail.

Headache Help gives me fast, effective relief from most headache pain. It’s a blend of science-backed essential oils, applies easy with a roller bottle and dries fast with a toxin free base. Just a few dabs on the temples, behind the ears and nape of the neck can conquer a headache within a few minutes with a tingly sensation and nice relaxing smell.

Ingredients: Ethanol, water, glycerin, aloe Vera extract, plant cellulose and essential oils of Peppermint, Spike and Eucalyptus.

Having anxiety over something stressful is no fun; especially when it hits when I least expect it. Those heart pumping moments when I need to be calm just seem to disappear as I search for control over my breathing.

Quick Calm has helped. 3-10 deep inhales (depending the severity of anxiety) and exhales of the inhaler quickly reduces the stress even just for a moment. It’s made with a blend of essential oils in a handy inhaler. A must have for your “first aid kit” or “medicine bag”.

Ingredients: Essential oils of Bergamot, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Geranium, and Spearmint.

For minor skin cuts, nicks, bug bites and abrasions, Skin Rescue Ointment is one I highly recommend. The therapeutic oil base and essential oils sooth, cleanse, protect and accelerate the return to smooth skin. Applying a small amount on a blemish helps heal it faster. For someone who nervously scratches when anxious, this is a godsend for my skin plus it smells nice.

Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, Pracaxi oil, Andiroba oil, Black seed oil, Candellila wax, Vitamin E. Essential oils of: Bergamot, Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, and Yarrow.

All products by eScential Wellness are toxin free with no phthalates, parabens, or surfaces, free of artificial fragrances, colourants and synthetic chemicals. Science based formulations with pure, minimal ingredients. Small batch made in Canada, vegan and cruelty free.

I definitely recommend checking these and other wellness products that eScential wellness has to offer!

Too young to be replaced: My (continuing) fight with Hip Dysplasia.

For the past four months I have been seeing doctors, specialists, and councillors in treatment for my health.

The latest was a new orthopaedic surgeon this past week; I hadn’t gone to one in quite some time. After an anxious almost two hours in the hospital registering, getting X-rays and waiting, I finally spoke to someone who could maybe help me.

She asked me a few questions and broke the bad news. I’m very messed up down there. Aside from my hip dysplasia, arthritis has made itself at home in my bones. My pelvis is malformed. They can’t replace my hip because the bone, muscle etc is “too young” despite my hip and pelvis being very malformed.

So, I definitely do need a THR but not for a few more years. I don’t know if my hip will last that long but this would be my millionth medical opinion; I’m going to listen to the pros this time.

My first step is to get hip injections (cortisone shots). I’ve never done this before and I’m terrified of the negative “what if’s” that have been going through my mind but I have to try. She reassured me of the procedure (my file notes my anxiety disorder as something to take into consideration). She offered me an Ativan for before the procedure if needed and she wants to follow up four months afterward to see if the injection works or not and what our next steps will be.

On a good note the orthopaedic surgeon was impressed when I said when I’m not in too much pain I do practice simple yoga stretches for my legs and back; she said to continue them and also continue actively using my cane and not just on the really bad days.

My journey isn’t over and I refuse to let these disabilities take over my life. This won’t pass but I will manage it and not have it manage me.

Things may seem worse than they are. I have to keep reminding myself that for the first time in my life I have a medical team that’s behind me and trying to help me instead of brush me off and make me feel like I don’t matter.

I do matter and that’s why I continue to fight the fight. Good days and bad days; I matter no matter what.

I’ll keep you all posted ❤️