We can all appreciate the value of playing simply from an enjoyment perspective. Most kids count the minutes until recess, after school, the weekend, play dates; any opportunity to get out there and practice some free play with little to no structure. We know they enjoy it, possibly (hopefully) even enjoy it ourselves from time to time, but do we fully appreciate how important free play is and how useful it can be as an intervention? Probably not.
I feel like I am living in a place of duality and I can go from having so much hope and then I instantly question why the world is the way it is, and despair creeps in. We currently live in a world where the pandemic is coming to an end (hopefully) and there is joy and hope for the future. Within this however there is also fear and worry about what this means for us. Summer is bringing the sunshine and the natural benefits of vitamin D and camaraderie.
This weekend on the eve of the Summer Solstive, people in the Elk Valley will be biking from sunrise to sunset... some the entire time. Some doing shorter, family-friendly sections. Others joining friends, remembering those lost to mental illness by riding one of their favourite trails. It all started last year as a fundraiser for the newly formed Elk Valley Suicide Task Force. This year, in collaboration with the Fernie Mountain Bike Club they are raising awareness and working towards ending the stigma around mental illness. We caught up a member of the Task Force, Ev Eijsermans to learn more and here is what she had to say!
May is the “Community” issue of the Fernie Fix and never has the idea of community seemed so topical and essential as it does now. This pandemic has become an ultra marathon and even if we can’t feel the effects of the stress acutely, it is undoubtedly chipping away at our defences and ready to rear its ugly head when we least expect it.
Right now, there is an integral part of our community that needs our support.
The simple combination of walking outdoors while exploring important aspects of our lives intuitively just makes sense. When Tyla conducted her research and wrote a dissertation, she constantly had to defend her inquiry into taking therapy outside of the safety of four walls and a couch and into the great outdoors.
The annual “Green Issue” of the Fernie Fix is such a great opportunity for all of us to check-in with what we have been doing to green-ify our lives and learn more about what we might be doing to promote health in ourselves and for our planet. Why is this important? Well, it is clear that what we absorb from the world around us impacts our health.
During one of the many moments through motherhood when I have felt out of my depth, a good friend told me, “We can do hard things.” That stuck with me and became a bit of a mantra. And through my own experience, and in hearing other women tell their stories, I’ve come to realize just how true those five little words are. Women are warriors. We can do hard things.
In the past few years Dr. Kirsten Neff has become one of my personal legends. In her teachings about the importance of self-compassion I learned that the actions of other people are not a direct evaluation of my worth. Read that again. We crave acknowledgement from others. “Good job,” or “you got this” really can be some of the greatest words we hear in life. When we were young, we were praised for the smallest acts. Cheers and clapping arrived for all of our momentous occasions like smiling, standing, or taking a step.
In these busy times, carving out time for yourself, for anything, really, requires a little creativity. Multi-tasking is not something I typically condone, neither is it something I have ever been any good at! But being a new mom has forced me to dabble in it more than ever before. Sometimes intentionally, often not; sometimes successfully, mostly not.
What are the benefits of art? Well, when it comes to art, there are two aspects to consider: creation and consumption. Most of the health benefits we see come as a result of producing art, regardless of the outcome. Here are the benefits of art in three different populations.