How to Stop Pulling Yourself Apart

I’ve lived my entire life with a compulsive need to pull myself apart - literally. I have a rare condition called trichotillomania. In English terms, I pull my hair out.

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The Best Medicine

Getting your news through comedians isn’t about laughing things off or accepting the state of things, it's about being reminded that what is going on IS absurd, that it ISN’T normal.

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Breaking Down Coffee Breaks

I was kind of worried that it would be awkward initiating conversation with strangers, but it turned out to be really easy.

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Get Down to the Nitty Gritty

Grit is all about passion and perseverance for meaningful goals, and you can develop it yourself with, well, grit.

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My OCD Story, or How I Climbed back up the Staircase

When I was 13, it occurred to me that it was completely and terrifyingly possible for me to grab a knife and stab a random person if I wanted to, a thought I would obsess over for years.

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The Light Side of Social Media

Social media is a big part of our daily lives. We’ve all heard about the negative side-effects of social media on our mental health and well-being. But how can we use social media in a positive way to enhance our lives?

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Men and Mental Health

Men are less likely to put up their hands and ask for help than women, and it's affecting their mental and physical health.

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Self-Care Lessons from a Puppy

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush around us that we forget to include time for personal care. Don’t forget to bring it back every now and then with these reminders from a puppy!

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Did You Hear...?

Everybody gossips. Everybody has derived some delight from sharing or hearing news about someone else. It’s human nature. But how is it impacting ourselves and others?

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What's a Habit Between Friends?

Sometimes they can help and sometimes they can hinder, but ultimately, having social support can make the difficulties of building new habits much more bearable. If nothing else, it can serve as a reminder that we aren’t alone.

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A Second Coming Out

There are stigmas around being in the LGBTQ+ community. And there are stigmas around having mental health issues. What if you fall into both categories?

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Finding Happy Mediums

Compromise is something we have to do constantly in all kinds of relationships, and it can be crucial to developing closer connections with people.

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Does Growing Up Mean Growing Apart?

Allowing yourself to grow is one of the most rewarding endeavours you can undertake, but many of us avoid personal development because they worry it will change their relationships.

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Finding Your Tribe

I consider myself an outgoing person so I thought making friends would be a walk in the park! Unfortunately, it wasn't so simple.

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Summer Blues

While warm weather, longer days, and more vacation time can make some people feel euphoric and free, it can make others feel agitated, guilty, tired, and jealous.

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Power in Vulnerability

Most of us know real connections are important, but research is finding more and more that many of us are lacking those exact types of meaningful relationships.

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Vent Over Tea ... in Calgary!

VENT OVER TEA IS HEADING WEST: June 1st marks the official launch date of the Calgary chapter of Vent Over Tea!

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Support System and Success

How often do you set a goal, create a plan, and then…bow out early rather than hold out for the long-term success? When it comes to achieving our goals, some of us are better than others at sticking to our plans, especially when the payoff seems far away.

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Don't Walk Through Grief Alone

Hearing other people’s stories gave me hope that the sting of my mom’s absence would ease. That’s why I decided to share my story.

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Mentally Healing from Physical Injury

Getting injured sucks. So how do you keep the feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, isolation, and lack of motivation at bay while you recover?

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Warming Up to Working Out

Exercise is a fantastic tool to have in your mental health tool kit, but if we think of it as an intimidating production, we may not use it. Instead start small, and take it day by day

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Creature comforts

Whether you're a self-proclaimed adorer of little critters or not, spending time around friendly animals can help reduce stress and feelings of loneliness as well as improve your self esteem and outlook on life. Plus, they're cute!

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Crashing to a HALT

HALT is a self-care technique where you check in with yourself to see if you’re feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired - and then try to fix the problem in a deliberate, healthy way.

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Coffee Break February 7th - Event Recap

On the evening of the seventh of February, there was a snowstorm in Montreal. This was not an unusual occurrence. However, as the chunky snowflakes tumbled their way down from the sky, veiling themselves over the snug streets of Saint-Henri, magic was happening at a beloved local joint, Cafe Joe.

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Better Self-Care Together

It’s often easier to provide care than it is to ask for it, but when we’re feeling down, overwhelmed, or stressed, we should have someone in our life to turn to for comfort.

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The Time to Talk is Now

The stigma surrounding mental illness is one of the leading reasons that people avoid seeking help, which is only made worse when leaders in society link mental illness to gun violence

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Calling All Pals!

Palentine's Day is about celebrating great relationships with the great people who are in our lives, and it might just be the perfect antidote to Valentine's day

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Being Heard

As a venter, I learned that sometimes what helps lessen the burden is talking to someone who will listen completely when you admit, “I’m hurting. Can I tell you my story?”

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Let's Talk. And Listen. And Volunteer.

Whether or not you suffer from mental illness, understanding mental health issues - what they are, how they affect people, how you can help - is important for everyone

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State of the Art Therapy

Art therapy is the encouragement of free self-expression through different art mediums. In clinical practice, it has been used as a therapeutic tool to help with a variety of issues.

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Grateful for Gratitude 1

Grateful for Gratitude

Showing gratitude can have so many benefits. When you tell the important people in your life how they've helped you become the person you are, you can deepen your relationships and make them feel good.

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New Rules for New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions in particular have become a sort of cultural expectation. I get that the external hurrah surrounding New Year’s resolutions and the sense of community that comes with it provides a boost of motivation to achieve them, but, are they actually working?

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Presence for the People

People who spend their days on city streets, particularly those who are begging for money, get ignored by hundreds of people every day.

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Tender Loving Care

What is self-care? Admittedly, a smart ass such as myself would reply to that question with the confidence of a thousand horses saying, “It is the act of caring for oneself!” which, although not an incorrect description, doesn’t fully encapsulate all it means.

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Write About It

The act of writing is cathartic. It allows you to process your thoughts and view them with more clarity. It is also a way to tangibly place your thoughts in another space where they can be distanced from you and your identity.

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Feeling Under the Weather

With the world getting darker earlier and the sky sending it’s evil little white things down to us, this is the most common time of the year for people to get sad. Seasonal Affective Disorder, abbreviated as SAD, is a type of depression that relates to the changes of the seasons.

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Stop Resisting A Rest

Our nights are the indicators of how our days are going to go. When we rest well, we can face things more head on, think critically about our problems that ‘tired us’ would struggle with.

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Curiouser and Curiouser

Being interesting is a pretty typical social goal to have, but have you tried being interested?

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Why Cyclist Safety in Montreal is a Community Problem

These incidents are indicative of a problem that extends beyond reckless lane changes and forgotten blind spots.

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Run Stranger Run

There is a reason that people choose to sign up for races that you cannot fully understand until you sign up for one yourself. It’s only at an event that you get the adrenaline rush, the excitement, and the feeling that you are a part of an enormous community.

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Get What You Need

Communicating your needs can be tricky because oftentimes you’re worried that you might offend someone, hurt their feelings, or seem presumptuous.

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Falling for Fall

There are still lots of ways to make new connections before the weather turns cold and we all want to stay bundled inside our apartments with a few choice people

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Help Wanted

Being self aware enough to recognize that you need help and then knowing how to ask for it is no simple feat, and at times it’s a necessary one.

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Changing Minds

This blog often talks about the power of conversation and all the wonders communication can bring, and I believe in every word that’s been written, but I’ve also been overwhelmed recently by how little impact conversations can have when it comes to changing people’s minds.

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The New Friend Zone

Once you’ve left school, it dawns on you how difficult it is to make new friends. There’s a vulnerability to it, and sitting in the comfort of our homes typing on our phones or computers lessens that vulnerability a bit.

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Talking to Yourself About It

Despite the negative connotations that go along with ‘talking’ to yourself, checking in with yourself, being aware of how you’re feeling, knowing how to express your thoughts and emotions, and encouraging or regulating yourself are all positive things.

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Lessons from an Original Hippie Commune

Many of the communes that began in the 60’s have since died out - largely due to an inability to support themselves financially. Twin Oaks has been successfully supporting itself since 1967 through production of hammocks, furniture, and most recently tofu.

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Reality

Reality is in itself an agreed upon fabrication of our collective consciousness, making the emotions caused by a dream – or a perceived reality – just as real as any other emotion.

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Emotion Palette

As humans, we have the unique ability to experience a colourful palette of complex, rich emotions: we can be green with envy, sometimes we have the blues and other times our faces are tinged red with embarrassment or rage.

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Talking To Strangers

It may seem counterintuitive, but in certain contexts, you can feel more secure sharing a secret with a stranger than with someone close to you.

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Updates and Reflections - July 2017

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Tiny Screens

Since the first brick hit the market, our phones have gotten smaller and smaller in the hopes of making our world feel a little smaller too, and while phones have made long distances feel small, they’ve also made small ones much bigger.

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One Size Does Not Fit All

The problem with using clichés as a way of understanding and giving meaning to someone’s current situation is that, although they are not necessarily false, they are incomplete and simultaneously oversimplify and minimize people’s experiences

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What to Expect When You're Venting

What is Vent Over Tea? What happens during a vent session? And, what happens after? The short answer is that this is different for everyone; the long answer is that the concept of our vent sessions depends on two imperative elements: a sense of intimacy and no prior relationship or necessary follow-up.

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Listen Between the Lines

Listening is the first step to being able to communicate with someone, but there’s more to it than simply hearing the words the other person says. We say so much with our tone, facial expressions, and body language that often our words and what we mean to communicate are completely different.

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Tech Talk

Sometimes, you know that you need to talk, you want to have a heartfelt conversation with someone about what you’re going through or what they’re going through, but there’s a barrier - distance.

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Coffee Talk

Imagine walking into a coffee shop and everyone who was working on their laptop or looking at their phone was instead talking to another customer.

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Escaping Escapism

Whether the stories are fantastical, realistic, silly, or dark, there’s a freedom that comes with allowing yourself to be engrossed in a fictional world. Sometimes we abuse this ability to avoid our own world.

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Small Talk for a Big City

It’s strange how you can be pressed up against another person in a metro car during rush hour and yet feel completely alone.

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Talk About It

... there are some things that are tough to talk about. Talk about them anyway.

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Chatter

I’ve been in therapy for my mental health issues twice. On both occasions, the second question I was asked was, “Have you talked to anyone about this?”

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The Loveliness of the Winter Blues

The cold wind sends shivers up your spine and puts a heaviness in your heart that wasn’t there before.

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