Helping the Heart Stay Fond: Tips for a Long Distance Relationship

heart locks

My husband is from Newfoundland and, through the years, many people we know from that province have experienced a long-distance relationship. Often this meant one partner was working shifts off-shore, in the field, or in Fort McMurray while the other partner was located in a city or town far away. I have always been curious about what helped these couples maintain healthy relationships while managing the challenges that long-distance can bring. A time came in my own life when my husband had to work out of town and even though…

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The Habits of Happy People

happiness

As a psychologist, I am excited for the opportunity to write about happiness. I mean, what better topic for a mental health professional to write about than being happy, right? It’s strange, though, because in writing about happiness, I have realized that this is probably one of the most difficult topics to succinctly discuss. Why? Well, simply put, happiness is complicated. And humans are not wired to be happy–we’re programmed to survive. This means our brains are programmed to look for problems so that they can be addressed. So what…

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Men are Superheroes on our Screens, but Don’t Have to Be in Real Life

eastwood-stoic-large

First, a disclaimer: I want to state that I will be making several generalizations about men and women in this article. Not every man is defined by these generalizations and not every woman is exempt from them either. Everyone is different, and so each person should be treated as an individual and respected for what is true for them. Messages We Receive About Men and Emotions We live in a world where we receive messages about what is appropriate and acceptable for a man and what is appropriate and acceptable…

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Women, Mothers, and Balance: What does “Having it All” Really Look Like?

balancing life

Compared to other times in history, we as women currently have many more choices available to us. Under the law and within society, there are many more “acceptable” ways we can work, marry, raise children, etc. Women in my mother’s generation often talk about the privileges women in my generation are privy to that they never were. And for all of this, I am grateful. Growing up in the 80s, I often heard the phrase that women were now able to “have it all” (e.g. work, families, social lives). Those…

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Relationship Inflammation: When Couples Fight

couple fight

Believe it or not, verbal disagreements in relationships are not only normal but can be healthy. We all are individual people with our own values, our own opinions and priorities – and they do not always line up with those of our partner. So when we become aware of these differences, we may fight. And if we are not fighting, this might mean we are simply avoiding the conflict which can lead to many other issues. HEALTHY vs. UNHEALTHY: It’s all in how you do it So what is the…

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The Perks of the Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

There are many stereotypes that exist around the potential risks of Stampede time in Calgary, and many of them are realistic. For example, the risk of high alcohol consumption can lead to many not-so-great experiences. However, sometimes it’s useful to look at the benefits of these kinds of events as they are less often discussed. It can be easy to complain about the challenging things that the Stampede brings (e.g. traffic disturbances associated with the parade, lowered productivity in businesses, increased risky behaviour, etc.), but let’s take a moment to…

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Children and Traumatic Life Experiences

traumatic-emotions

It is difficult to think about traumatic experiences happening to our children. Unfortunately, negative and traumatic events do happen to children and their families. Often, people think that children may not remember the event, or those that do will “bounce back”, or even that children do not fully understand what has happened. In some cases, this may very well be true. However, children often absorb what they experience during traumatic events. Each child is different and may or may not exhibit signs of distress for an extended period of time…

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Parenting Stress in a Busy World

social support team

Parenting is hard. Parenting can take you to your emotional and physical limits. There tends to be very few breaks associated with being a parent. And despite the wealth of books and courses available to many people, I would argue that it is difficult to prepare for or prevent some of the stressors that parenthood brings. However, there are some ways to prevent these stressors from becoming too overwhelming. 1. Manage Expectations (of Yourself and your Children) I think by now most of us know that how people represent their…

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