Mental Health

Having a Bad Day? Let’s Change That…

Have you ever had one of those days, where everything seemed to go completely wrong?

I started writing this post last week, halfway through what seemed to be the worst day ever. I slept through my alarm… so my morning was off to a great start already. I tried my best to be semi-presentable and rushed to catch my bus. As I left my building, the bus was driving passed me and I ran to catch it… I managed to leap into the largest slush puddle, and got my socks, completely soaked. I missed the bus, and had to walk 15 minutes to the next stop. Finally when I got on my bus, I had the loudest person come sit next to me, blabbing away on their phone. I forgot my headphones back at home, which means it was a torturous commute… Eventually after a 1 hour bus ride, I finally get to work. Of course the first thing on my mind is… COFFEE. I grab a fresh cup, sit at my desk, and I’m sure you can already tell where I’m going with this… I dropped the entire cup on my desk and lap. I remember being stunned and walking away, hiding in the bathroom to let out a few tears. Why is everything going so wrong? Why is this happening to me?

The truth is, and some might disagree, but bad energy brings bad results. Yes, some things are completely out of our control, but what we do have control over is the way we choose to feel about the situation.

If I wasn’t so upset about missing my bus, having to walk, and the fact that my feet were wet and cold, I might not have been so annoyed with the person talking on the phone. And if I wasn’t so upset about all of that I might not have been on edge, and could have avoided spilling my coffee. Listen, I know what I’m saying is easier to accept after the fact. It’s hard to be positive when you’re standing in a cold puddle that’s formed in your boots, or drenched in burning hot coffee. I get it. But sometimes, if we just moved passed those problems, and looked around instead of sulking, we would see all the magic that surrounds us.

Just the other day I was upset because my cellphone died while I was commuting home. As I put my phone away I started to look at the people around me waiting at the bus stop. That’s when I noticed this elderly lady struggle to walk through the mounts of snow with her large grocery bags. These men in suits rushed passed her, I thought to myself “someone should help her… I should help her”… before I could take a step, this young man, maybe 16 years old at the most, stopped her and asked her if she needed help, he grabbed her bags and walked her to the bench inside the bus stop. My eyes filled with water. How lucky I was to witness this moment, how lucky I was that for once, I wasn’t too busy staring at my screen. 

All this to say… I made a list of things to remember, for the next time I accidentally jump in puddles without my rain boots. (Because jumping in puddles can actually be very therapeutic.) 

Accept the Situation

Oh, you spilled your coffee? That really sucks. Are you still alive? Thought so. Clean up, brush it off and make a new cup.

It Could be Worse

Your boss was tough on you today, and you get home all worked up… Move on, you might not always like your job, but at least you have a job.

Force Yourself to Smile

Are you mad? Oh no… You’re furious! You say there’s no way anything can turn your mood around? Really? Please Google “Funny Pugs” and tell me that you don’t feel a little bit better.

This Isn’t Permanent

OKAY FINE. Some days are just so impossible that you can’t move past them… At least find comfort in the fact that no matter how hard it gets, This too Shall Pass (my very wise little sister shared that quote with me).

Superhero Mode

You’re having a really shitty day. Guess what? You’re probably not the only one. Get out of your head, and make someone smile, do something nice. I guarantee it will change your perspective.

 

Amanda Kayla Liberty | Blog | Video Games

Sustainability & Mental Health

Today is a rainy and gloomy day here in Ottawa, but thanks to NZ Wine in Canada, I was gifted a ray of sunshine!

This morning they announced the winners of their Twitter contest – and I was one of the lucky winners! Which means this Sunday, November 1st, I will be participating in the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival. I’m so unbelievably excited to attend!

wineee

Their Twitter contest was to answer the question: what does sustainability mean to you?

My response was: “Sustainability to me means more green space in my city, for better air quality, mental health welfare, etc.”

answer

I could have written a full blog post on the topic of sustainability, but for 145 characters, I think that was a pretty good summary. Although the winners were picked at random, I carefully thought-out my answer.

I live in the central part of my city, which is our downtown core. We have Ottawa’s main University close by, lots of businesses, government buildings, condo buildings and shopping malls. Although I love the urban city lifestyle, I’m fortunate to live near a large park. I’m a firm believer in the importance of green-space for the well-known health benefits, such as air quality.

“Heat from the earth is trapped in the atmosphere due to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases that prohibit it from releasing the heat into space. This creates a phenomenon known today as the “greenhouse effect”. Trees help by removing CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis to form carbohydrates that are used in plan structure/function and return oxygen back into the atmosphere as a byproduct.”Urban Forestry Network

Another benefit that derives from having green space in our cities, is good mental health. Personally, I’m a big fan of nature, when I was younger, any time I would feel anxious I would take a walk in one of the many trails around my childhood home. Being among the giant trees, and walking through the long trails, gave me an incomparable sense of peace. There are now many studies around the world that provide real-time data that support the mental health benefits that stem from nature (pun intended).

“The experience of nature helps to restore the mind from the mental fatigue of work or studies.”Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research, University of Washington

While I’m on the subject of mental health, my good friend Julianne is seeking volunteers in the Ottawa region, to help her raise awareness on overcoming Mental Health Challenges. She will be taking portraits and interviewing people who have dealt with mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, OCD, etc. I think this is a wonderful project and I can’t wait to be involved and see this beautiful project come to life. Please check out her post which describes in more detail her Mental Awareness Project, and please also check out her Website to see some of her past photography work! I’m very proud to have such an amazing and talented friend.

Ottawa