Monday, December 9th, 2013
When others seem to be enjoying life, the black dog stands in the way for a lot of people. If you’re wondering WTF I’m talking about, watch the video. And if you recognize any of this, maybe it’s time to think about taking some steps to look after yourself.
The “Depression Dog“ video is from the World Health Organization and well defines the experience of depression.
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
I have an apps fetish. I think it is because I love to get things free or at least cheap. And some I continue to use, like ”Moves.” It tells me where I have gone in a day (by car, train, walking, biking or whatever else) and how many calories I have burned and steps taken. When I get close to 10,000 steps in a day (takes me 2, 1/2 hour walks) I feel especially virtuous and youngish. I double my virtue by taking our 15 year old cocker spaniel.
So this listing of great apps is for ”Counsellor Self-Care,” a title I particularly dislike but the article and apps are worth discovering.
Take a look and let me know if they are interesting to you.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
This paragraph is a blog from my ”other ” work at Carey Theological College where Axel Schoeber is a colleague and professor. I have read about Maaloula and but the need and tragedy went by me too quickly. Axel’s comments have stirred that memory and caused me to think and pray. Perhaps it will you as well.
Aramaic was the language Jesus would commonly have spoken and was the trade language of the nations around Judea in his time. The use of the language has almost died out. One community that is making big efforts to revive Aramaic is the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula. A world heritage site, Maaloula has become the scene of repeated battles in the Syrian Civil War in the past week. Many Christians have fled, though some nuns are staying in order to care for some 20 orphans. There are reports that some of the rebels have killed Christians and attempted forced conversion to Islam. Apparently, control of the city has changed hands several times. Yet it is hard to imagine that this community will be able to return to normal functioning in any case. This historic Christian community is at risk. John Donne wrote, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Similarly I am grieving with our brothers and sisters from Maaloula. (Axel Schoeber)
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Dr. Jen Montgomery is a friend of mine, a registered clinical counsellor and a snow ski lover. She also writes the ski reports for Cypress Mountain. Earlier today, when we should have been consulting about cases, we found ourselves talking about the benefits of being outdoors in the winter (Carole and I have taken up snowshoeing in a big way this year).
Here is a blog Jen wrote for Cypress Mountain. (The words are Jen’s.)
Therapy comes in many forms. One of my favorites is skiing, especially my Wednesday date at Cypress Mountain with my husband. It addresses all of the components of what I recommend to my clients: benefits for mental health, physical health, couple health and even spiritual health.
What I love about skiing is getting out of the dreary weather that the Lower Mainland boasts. Up on the mountain it is generally brighter, dryer and sports spectacular views. Just being outside, which normally we don’t get enough of in our winters, offers freshness to my spirit and clears my mind – not to mention the extra zap of Vitamin D!
Of course exercise is good for all of us. I try and recommend to others to choose a form of exercise that they actually enjoy, not one to endure. For me skiing is not only fun, but also a good workout. It also pushes me in the off season to train in the gym and ensure my body is ready to go for the next season.
I am also a big proponent of couple health. It is not something that just happens, but something that all couples should be intentional about. Whether it is a healthy sex life, having fun together, or simply just time carved out to be together; couple health is extremely important as a foundation for all other areas of our lives. During the ski season, nothing else interferes in our Wednesday date. Even if the snow conditions at Cypress aren’t the best, we still go. It is a nice drive up there from White Rock (after rush hour), do some skiing, and end our date with lunch in the bar. We also plan our return home just ahead of the afternoon rush hour in order to end our day well. This quality time set aside weekly is something we both look forward to.
Spirituality, whatever that means to you, certainly seems to occur in nature’s most beautiful settings. I certainly see the mountains as one of those beautiful settings. The trees, the snow, and fresh air combined with spectacular views of the city and the ocean capture all that is good . . . good for the soul.
Last but not least, we have convinced a good number of our close friends to also purchase a seasons’ pass. Now and again our schedules work out that we can ski together. This is definitely another bonus and adds to everyone’s mental health!!
[Dr. Jennifer Montgomery is a Registered Clinical Counselor, serving the White Rock community in private practice for the past 18 years. She is married and a mother to two young adults.]