Friday, February 2, 2018

Getting Ready For a New Baby, When You Have Disability


4 Ways to Get Ready for a New Baby (And Prioritize Self-Care) When You Have a Disability

Getting ready to bring a child into the world is amazing and beautiful. It also means a laundry list of things that have to be done to get ready. For expectant parents who have a disability, that list of to-dos includes figuring out how to make baby gear work for your home and your unique needs. 

#1 Get Your Home Ready

If you have a disability, you most likely already have a routine at home that fits your needs. Now you have to take into consideration a baby’s needs and the best way of meeting those needs that works for you. Start with a good guide, like this checklist from, and use it as a tool to think about how you plan on parenting and how any gear or adaptations will meet your needs. For example, many parents choose to use a bassinet in the beginning to keep their baby close at night, and one popular option is a bassinet co-sleeper that attaches to your bed. This might be a great option to keep your baby within arm’s reach so you don’t have to worry about mobility in the wee hours of the morning. 

#2 Get YOU Ready

All your attention may be focused on the your little one’s arrival, but moms and dads both need to think about their own needs too. For moms who plan on breastfeeding, stock up on nursing bras and nursing pads. Just as you want to have everything ready for your baby, planning ahead for your needs means you don’t have to worry about extra trips to the store after your child’s arrival. Another way you can plan ahead for your own needs is to make some meals you can freeze that will be ready to pop in the oven when you need them.

Even with the best preparation, adjusting to parenthood can be stressful. That’s entirely normal, but when stress rises, take a look at what you’re doing for yourself and see how you can make self-care a priority. Whatever you like to do to relieve stress now, whether it’s exercising, taking a relaxing bath, or chatting with friends, plan on scheduling time for that after your baby is born. Self-care is about more than basic needs and time for yourself, though. Create a habit of checking in with yourself and how you’re feeling throughout the day. Start doing that now so you’re in the habit of making yourself and your own needs a priority when your baby comes.

#3 Arrange Care

If you have close friends and family who can help, talk with them now about how they can help because that social support is especially crucial in the early days. Many new parents like to set up websites that let loved ones coordinate bringing you a meal. Whatever your abilities or limitations may be, parenting a newborn is a round-the-clock job, and having help makes a huge difference in how you feel. If you’re planning on hiring a babysitter or nanny, asking friends for referrals is the best way to find someone who is the right fit for your family.

#4 Reach Out

Along the same lines as reaching out to friends and family for help, start connecting with other parents and researching resources that will help on your parenting journey. The U.S. Department for Child Welfare has an excellent list of resources for parents who have a disability. You can start using these now to reach out to other parents who are in your situation. Parents who have been through it already can give tips and be a valuable support system.

Reaching out for support and prioritizing self-care are two of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. The adjustment to parenthood can be exhausting and stressful, but it’s also a time to bond with your baby and enjoy the sweet moments of his or her first days and weeks. When you prepare as much as you can ahead of time, it’s easier to be in the moment when the time comes. 

By: Ashley Taylor

Photo credit: Unsplash

Friday, January 19, 2018

CTE: slaps to the head & face, not concussions, behind neurodegenerative disease

CTE: Repeated hits, not concussions, behind neurodegenerative

new study shows that repeated head injuries can cause CTE – the degenerative brain disease that's been found in a lot of former football players. People used to think that concussions were the main thing causing CTE, but more and more evidence shows that even hitting your head hard without getting a concussion could cause it. This study is the most definitive find so far that, yes, it's super effing dangerous to get smacked repeatedly in the noggin. Facepalm.

Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor 
Grief Recovery Specialist - Clinical Hypnotherapist 
Tel: 613.774.4389

Monday, January 15, 2018

Fighting Senior Loneliness with 5 Fun Hobbies


Fight Senior Loneliness With These 5 Fun Hobbies
Loneliness is one of the worst things that can happen to senior citizens. According to a report from AARP, seniors who are socially isolated get sicker, experience greater cognitive impairment, and die sooner. In fact, loneliness is frequently cited as being as dangerous as smoking and obesity.

The impact of loneliness isn’t limited to physical health. Reduced social interaction is also bad for mental health. People who are socially isolated are more likely to be depressed and have substance abuse disorders. And since these problems in turn promote isolation, seniors can easily descend into an unhealthy spiral. 

Moving an elderly family member in with you isn’t always an option, but what else can concerned family members do to fight senior loneliness? suggests hobbies as a way to stay social. In their words, “One of the hardest parts of being in recovery is feeling like you’re alone, or feeling uncomfortable around others while you’re in a fragile emotional state. Having a hobby can help you set the tone of your social encounters as well as keep them short and sweet; make a date with a friend to go for a swim or head to a DIY pottery class together.” Whether the senior in your life is struggling with an addiction related to his or her social isolation or just needs a gentle re-introduction to being socially active, the same advice can help.

Although hobbies are an excellent way to keep seniors engaged, the hobbies that interest a 30-something aren’t always suitable for a 70-year-old. Here are five hobbies that most seniors can enjoy:
1. Swimming
Swimming is amazing exercise for older adults. Its low-impact nature alleviates arthritis pain while improving physical fitness, and it’s also great for mental health. According to the CDC, swimming improves moods and decreases depression. Seniors can pair up with a partner for an afternoon of swimming laps or join a water fitness class for more social interaction.  
2. Cooking Classes
Whether it’s a widower who never learned to cook or a single elderly woman on a fixed income, old age comes with its own unique nutrition challenges. Add to that the changing dietary needs of older adults, and it’s not hard to see why malnutrition is such a widespread issue. Cooking classes teach seniors kitchen skills, help them learn how to eat on a budget, and make mealtime fun again by returning it to a shared activity.
3. Gardening
Is there any better complement to culinary skills than your own kitchen garden? Gardening is revered for its gentle physical activity and power to reduce stress, and it’s also a perfect way to bring nutritious produce right to a senior’s back door. And with Master Gardener programs and community plots, it’s easy to turn this hobby into a social activity.
4. Pottery
For the senior with an artistic streak, ceramics classes are a great way to go. Simultaneously gentle and strengthening to the hands, wrists, and arms, crafting pottery is perfect for seniors suffering from arthritis. Since it requires focus, it’s an effective distraction from negative thoughts, and it’s a quiet way to socialize without feeling pressured into constant conversation.
5. Dancing Classes
When they’re ready for more intense socialization, why not try dancing? Not all dancing styles are doable for the average senior citizen, but gentle styles like ballroom dancing, line dancing, and ballet offer a mix of fun and approachability. Not only is dancing great exercise, it’s also a fun way for a single senior to meet new friends.

The right hobby for a senior ultimately depends on tastes, but there are a few criteria to look for. The best elder-friendly hobbies get seniors out of the house and social while still being affordable. It’s also wise to choose hobbies they can access using public transportation. Since community centers and YMCAs are often on transit routes, they’re a good place to start looking. Finally, don’t be disappointed if loved ones don’t enjoy themselves right away. It takes time to rebuild social confidence, but getting out there is the best way to start.

By: Julie Morris

Image via Pixabay

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy New Year Jazz for 2018

A bit of New Year jazz music to warm your heart in this 'freezy' beginning of 2018


Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor 
Grief Recovery Specialist - Clinical Hypnotherapist 
Tel: 613.774.4389

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Power Up Your Life & Make Stress Work 4 You: excerpt # 14

Relaxation method focused on heartbeats

Comfortably sit or lye down, close your eyes and direct your attention to the sound and noises around you without trying to identify any of them.  Repeat the following suggestion: "As of now, and throughout this relaxation, I will remain aware of everything that is going on around me, and this will help me to deepen my relaxation/  Furthermore, any sounds or noises that could arise suddenly will nt make me jump, but will instead help me to relax even more."

Now, focus your attention on your heartbeat.  Once you've locates a strong heartbeat (it could be anywhere in your body), make a conscious effort to redirect the feeling of this heartbeat towards different parts of your body, beginning with your feet.  Once you feel the beat in your feet, repeat mentally over and over the following suggestion: "from now on and more an more with each heart beat, my feet are becoming calm and relax".  Do not forget as you do this, to imagine a comfortable growing feeling of heaviness as you relax your body parts.  Repeat the same with all the other areas of your body, ie: calves, thighs, buttocks, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, head, etc, making sure of course to adjust the suggestions accordingly: "from now on and more and more with each heartbeat, my calves - thighs - legs, etc, are becoming calm and relax".


In a sitting or lying position, close your eyes and focus your attention on your external environment      while mentally suggesting to yourself that all the sounds and the noises you hear will help you relax.

Direct your attention on your heartbeats until you feel them strongly

Direct your attention to the different parts of your body in order to again locate a strong heartbeat and repeat the following suggestion: "From now on and more and more with each heartbeat, my feet or  my hands or my legs, etc, become calm and relaxed."

 Once you've gone through every parts of your body, open your eyes, take two or three deep breaths, stretch and get up slowly.

Practice this exercise for about 15 minutes as a follow up to one of the breathing techniques recommended in this program.


Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor 
Grief Recovery Specialist - Clinical Hypnotherapist
Tel: 613.774.4389

Sunday, December 24, 2017