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How Our Practitioners are Supporting Their Mental Health Lately

Mental Health is important every month, but May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we wanted to compile a list of resources for you that our practitioners are using to support their mental health. We are all tired and need support in a way that goes beyond self-driven habits such as sleep, diet, exercise, and so on. We encourage you to explore our services and explore service-based appointments that are designed to reduce your stress levels. We offer Acupuncture and IV Vitamin Infusion Therapy that are wonderful supports to mental health and stress management. Our counselling services are a really great resource to support navigating your emotions and feelings in a safe space to support your mental health.

Even though some of the things we normally do are closed or unavailable to us right now, wellness is still so accessible. That being said, we wanted to share some of the ways our practitioners are finding grounding and balance!

Dr. Celine Leduc, ND: Dr. Leduc has been going for walks in the evening! Finding inspiration to workout at home comes in waves, and her favourite workout classes are hard to get into now with new gym restrictions, but evening walks are the perfect way to de-stress and move your body!

A book she recommends to support mental health is How To Do The Work by Nicole Lepera to help support addressing mental and emotional challenges right now.

She's also listening to podcasts. Dr. Leduc recommends this to her patients while they go for a walk because it can be easy to feel uninspired to workout, and this still promotes daily movement, but also fresh air! Some of the episodes she's been sharing are: 

Dr. Emily Freistatter, ND: Dr. Freistatter has been listening to The Mindset Mentor podcast a lot lately. She loves that the episodes are all 30 minutes and under, making it perfect walk podcast! This podcast focusses on how to acknowledge and change your self-limiting beliefs and understanding your vision and goals for yourself!
 
Taking the time to cook nourishing meals is also a form of self care! The act of cooking is both creative and calming, a well-deserved distraction that also provides us with the nutrients we need to be well and stay fuelled. These carrot + parsnip fritters from Emily are perfect.
 
Dr. Jodie Tatlock, ND: Dr. Tatlock has been using Insight Timer, a free meditation app. Her go-to right now is listening to Sarah Blondin's guided meditations before bed, she has such a beautiful voice and way of speaking!
 
During busy days, sometimes the most time you have for yourself is in the evening, and it's so important to capitalize on this time and show yourself some love!
 
Dr. Renee Purdy, ND: Meditation is Dr. Purdy's best self care tool right now. In practice, she's seeing a lot of muscle tension in people who are working from home. To alleviate tension and stress building in our bodies, she recommends:
  • Setting a timer to get up and stretch, or be mindful of tension! We carry tension especially in the shoulders, so being mindful of relaxing them every so often during the day can really help.
  • Taking the time to relax your shoulders, release tension in your jaw, and take a deep, slow breath helps to ground down and relieve stress throughout the day.
  • For practicing gentle yoga at home, Dr. Purdy recommends Yoga with Adrienne! This channel is great because there is movement options aligned with different themes such as Breath, Honour, Ground, Shift, Build and more! She also has series for low pack pain, yoga for uncertain times, for neck tension, and so on!
  • Sarah Beth Yoga is Dr. Purdy's go-to for at home yoga, these videos make a huge difference for tight muscles!
 
Ashlee Hollinger, LCT: Ashlee also loves Insight Timer! She recommends the “Teachers of Colour” playlist - it contains many different kinds of meditations, and she's enjoyed every single one so far!
 
For movement, Ashlee has been loving Yoga with Adrienne’s 30 Day Yoga Challenges on YouTube. The current series she's practicing is called “Breathe”. The practices are 20-40 minutes long, and includes meditations and breath work!
 
She's also been taking walks and trying to be really present in with her surroundings and engaging her senses; sight, smell, sound, touch, taste. This is grounding exercise as well as a mindfulness practice!
 
Shawna Boyce, L.Ac: Shawna's love of nature is so contagious, and we circle back to something she said in the winter often when we need the reminder that nature is such a support to our mental health.
 
"It makes for a much more enjoyable time when you have something to look forward to and you aren't feeling stuck inside the house. On our walk last night in anticipation of a snow storm, we saw an amazing snow sculpture of a shark a couple of streets over from us. We just need to learn to play again!"
 
Shawna's self care to support her mental health is getting outside, and in the winter that means enjoying the snow! She loves being active and getting outside, there is so much beauty in nature and with warmer weather coming there are many more opportunities to get outside. Shawna's embracing the fun of nature is inspiring - let's all embrace play a little bit more!
 
Ashley Maltais, LCT: Another lover of Insight Timer, it's been very helpful with sleep for Ashley. She practices deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to helps reduce stress, calm body and assist with sleep. 
 
During COVID, a big piece is still trying to remain connected in such a disconnected society – making video calls or at least text messages with friends a priority helps support our mental health in a very powerful way. Humans are social creatures, after all! It's all about finding ways to nourish this part of us while abiding by government guidelines.
 
Karen Ulmanis, Holistic Medical Aesthetician: Karen has been loving using this time to learn more about gut health! She's listening to podcasts right now, and learning lots from Dr. Freistatter about the role our gut health plays in our overall health! After all, what we eat shows up on our skin!
 
Karen recommends this very informative and interesting TED Talk about the relationship between blood glucose levels, our gut health, and fad diets!
 
Lauren Myers, RHN, ND Candidate: Movement is Lauren's go-to to get out of her head and into her body. For a good sweat, she's loving Rachael's Good Eats workouts. They're free on her IGTV channel on instagram and perfect to do at home. Workouts range from 30-60 minutes and have various focuses! For more gentle movement to release tension, Lauren also loves Sarah Beth Yoga and outdoor walks.
 
She also loves a good acupuncture session to de-stress and maintain balance, and IV Drips to keep nutrient levels adequate during stressful times! Taking time for yourself to dedicate to your health and well-being is such important mental health support.
 
Reading and cooking are also big supports. These help calm her mind, consume running thoughts and are great ways to engage without the use of technology!
We love these plant based poke bowls from Lauren!
One of her all-time favourite books for mental health support + growth is When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön. Other great reads right now are:
  • Pretty Things by Janelle Brown - loving psychological thrillers lately. They feel like reading Netflix in the best way.
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney - her writing is incredible, you become so invested in following the characters' stories!
  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall - speaks to what solidarity is, and how to move forward; to be willing to listen, negotiate, compromise, and simply recognize our places in conversations.
  • What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer - beautiful poetry that explores womanhood and inspires through reflection, introspection, and reframing the world.
Kimberly Dixon, L.Ac Candidate: After sitting all day and being in front of her computer during long school days, Kim has been going for walks to get fresh air and movement; they also bring relaxation and stress relief, not to mention it helps with headaches that come from long days in front of a screen! 
She's also been loving the Calyx CBD spray to balance stress and anxiety in a subtle way, and relieve headache pain! Read more about why we're loving CBD here!
 
Ashley Shea, ND Graduate: In practice, Ashley has a special interest in children’s health and paediatric care, and her goal is to work with children and their families to support and optimize proper growth and development. Engaging with children about mental health and supporting their mental health in growth and development is very important! Ashley recommends practicing breathing exercises with children to help them navigate their new and changing emotions.
 
She recommends the book Sitting Still Like A Frog by Eline Snel for a calming read filled with mindfulness exercises to do with your little(s)!
 
Lauren Holden, ND Graduate: Lauren suggests doing something that you love every day to help make the most of each day and offer something to look forward to! This can be going for a 15 minute walk, reading a chapter of a book, a workout, a bath, eating a nourishing meal, and chatting with a friend are all great options that help make the most of our days. Acupuncture sessions and relaxing essential oils are also her go-to's!
 
Eckhart Tolle's work is something she circles back to often. The Power of Now is such a profound read about living in the present moment and is a great resource!
 
An exercise she recommends is making a Gratitude List - what are you grateful for? This prompt is great on busy days when you're feeling overwhelmed or losing touch. It helps to improve your overall mood and outlook on the day when you focus on what you have at this moment!

We hope you found inspiration and options within this post, our practitioners are so passionate about supporting your well-being and finding ways to be creative during these very different times. We understand the importance of mental health and its connection to our physical well being, and we encourage you to reach out to us as supports in your healthcare journey - we're here for you and want to listen.
 
With love, 
 
The EASTND Team

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