Mindful Monday no. 5: “5 Quick and Easy Mindfulness Exercises You Can Do In the Office”

Como el río de mi infancia / As The River of My Childhood

Although you may be silent and seated while working in an office environment, it can often be a place where practicing mindfulness gets forgotten. Between the hustle of co-workers, overhearing other conversations, flashing screens, ringing phones, printers and copiers… it can be hard to feel calm.

Fast Company offers some great, simple, and fast tips for practicing mindfulness in the office. Read them here! 


Review of excellent book on Boundaries

This is a review of the book: “Boundaries: When to say yes, How to say No To Take Control of Your Life” available at the Caregiver’s Library, North Shore Community Resources office.

The authors begin by defining boundaries: a sense of knowing when I end and you begin.  They use the metaphor of house property: what is inside your “property” is yours, and what is outside your property remains outside.

The book is written from a Christian perspective, with Bible quotes throughout.

Authors Cloud and Townsend quote the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Finally the authors quote the Golden Rule : “Love your neighbour as yourself” as being a central part of boundary setting.

Would you like to learn more about boundaries? Try this Wikipedia article

A good read, even if you are not religious.

Happy reading!

Calm Pond

Mindful Monday no. 4: Saying No


Someone told me today that saying, “No,” can be an act of mindfulness.

When someone needs help, or when you’re presented with exciting plans or a new opportunity, people often respond with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” without thinking about it too much. You want to help the person that needs you, you want to be included in the plans, and you don’t want to pass up a new opportunity. Opening yourself up to a new task, plan, or opportunity can be extremely gratifying and rewarding if you have the time and energy to truly commit and enjoy what you are doing. However, if you are stretched thin and not taking care of yourself in the best way you can, these extra tasks and opportunities could add a great deal of stress to your life.

The next time you are asked for help, presented with plans or a new opportunity, try taking some time before making a decision. Let the person know that you need to check your calendar first or simply ask for a day to get back to them. This extra time will give you a chance to really look at your day/week/month/life and ask yourself if you truly have the time and energy to commit to what’s being asked of you. If you’re having trouble deciding, here are some questions you can ask yourself that might give you some clarity.

How have I been feeling on a day to day basis? Stressed? Frustrated? Tired? 

Have I been taking the time to exercise, eat well, and cook?

Have I been taking time in my life to do the things I love?

Have I had time to enjoy being with friends and family?

If the answers to many of these questions is yes, you might want to consider saying no to taking on something else. Perhaps this is a good time to look at your schedule and see how you can adjust things so you can take better care of yourself and enjoy your days more. Remember, “Take care of yourself first or you will have nothing left to give others.”

Fantastic Friday no. 7


The 55+ BC Games are happening August 25th – 29th!

Alive Inside is a fantastic documentary about the power of music to “reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.”

Some tips for caring for a loved one in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s.

On Saturday, August 22nd, Lower Lonsdale will be shut down for Car Free Day and Slide the City – a giant water slide running down the whole street! Stop by to watch people slide, listen to live music and maybe get a bite to eat.

For the love of soup

Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup
Since it’s been  scorching HOT  in the Vancouver area, what better idea than to cool down with a delicious bowl of cold soup? I am looking forward to making this recipe very soon :)-     –K Davies


  • 2  avocados
  • 3 cups plain almond milk
  • 2 hot house cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh horseradish
  • thinly slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
  • fresh dill, for garnish


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond milk, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, horseradish salt, and pepper.
  2. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Or use an immersion blender.
  3. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the lemon, and fresh dill.

The Original Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chilled-cucumber-soup-with-shrimp-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Recipe sourced from www.soupmistress.com   -Shannon Yelland

Fantastic Friday: Free Tours of Burrard Dry Dock Shipyard


The North Vancouver Museum and Archives is offering free walking tours of the historical Burrard Dry Dock shipyard and Lower Lonsdale waterfront this summer! Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30PM.

Could you use a few extra hands? Try Lotsa Helping Hands! This amazing website provides calendars for people to fill in and let family members or friends see where they could use some extra help. You can ask for rides to appointments, meals, or even just best times to visit. Lotsa will help users coordinate assistance so nothing gets missed! This seems like a wonderful tool for family caregivers.

A helpful article: How to Deal with Opinionated Family When It Comes to Caregiving

From the archives: “Finding Balance and Serenity”

Respite Care on the North Shore

If you read anything about the nature of caregiving for someone close to you, it is guaranteed that it will include assertions on the importance of regular breaks for the caregiver. Take good care for yourself, be compassionate towards yourself, sleep well and eat well, exercise……all great advice that often seems far removed from your day to day reality. The physical, emotional and financial roller coaster of caring for someone you love is exhausting and there are times when you simply need a complete break from it all.

Respite beds are a community resource, subsidized by Vancouver Coastal Health. These beds provide primary carers with the opportunity to take a rest, go on holiday or maybe go for their own surgery and recovery, while their loved one is looked after by trained nurses and Registered Care Aides in a comfortable residential facility. Our rooms at Cedarview Lodge are private, bright and overlook pretty gardens which are easily accessible.   If you are looking after your spouse, parent, close friend or relative and are feeling drained, then respite is definitely worth considering. You may be desperate to see someone out of town, or be wanting to escape on your own for a while. Having a break of several days or more can provide you with the extra boost to be able to continue doing the important care work that you do for a bit longer – until the next planned break. Many of the carers who bring their family member or friend into respite say that they could not keep going if they didn’t know that they had this break to look forward to. The break helps them re-charge their own batteries and to take care of things that are important to them.

 “Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be” – Eckhart Tolle

The thought of relinquishing care and responsibilities to someone else can be very anxiety provoking – for both the carer and the one receiving care. As with many things in life, the more information you have ahead of time the more prepared and confident you feel about what you are doing. Even if you don’t think that you are quite ready to use the respite service, but think that maybe it will be relevant in a few months or next year, then arrange a tour. Come and visit us to see what the facility and the care is like. Tours information is below. Bring a friend or relative along with you so that you have someone to discuss it with afterwards. If you think it is beneficial then bring your loved one along too. If you are not sure whether this is a good idea you can discuss this with your Case Manager or call me (Jessica) at Cedarview Lodge for some advice.

Many of our respite residents return, in fact we have some very familiar respite residents who have stayed with us on numerous occasions. We love to have people back here and find that the transition for them and their families gets easier.  One wife of a respite resident told me that she finds the staff very friendly and accommodating towards her husband. She has been able to go on one holiday and is now planning another, and she recommends doing a tour beforehand in order to know what to expect and dispel fears. Her husband agreed that the staff are very kind. He said that the first time he came it was hard venturing into the unknown but that it worked out well for him, and that now that he ‘knows the drill’ it is a lot easier. Another respite resident noted that it is helpful to bring in a few items from home to help her feel more ‘at home’ and that she feels extremely well looked after here and enjoys the activities that are offered.

Many of us have a lot of negative images and thoughts about residential care, and coming into a facility – even just for a tour – can be a scary prospect with many mixed emotions. It is a good idea to acknowledge those feelings, even discuss them with your family, friends or case manager. I believe that you will feel much more confident about using respite care after seeing our facility and meeting with staff.  Respite residential care at Cedarview Lodge is an affordable resource. The daily rate of around $32 is for full board in a private room and includes all housekeeping, laundry, daily care and nursing. If you are thinking that long term care may be something you will have to consider in the future then respite care can be a great way for everyone involved to ‘test the water’ and begin that journey of finding out a bit more about what it is like to live elsewhere. Some families have seen that, for their family member, spending time with more people and with regular programs on offer can provide the positive stimulation that is sometimes hard to find at home. Given this, respite care can offer some individuals a new lease of life.

Cedarview Lodge is the only facility on the North Shore that offers subsidized respite care. We have 6 respite beds in single rooms at a cost of $32.50 a day. Respite is available for up to 30 days a year, with a minimum 7 day stay at a time. Tours are on Wednesdays at 1.30pm and need to be booked in advance. Please call Jessica at 604 904 6421 to book a tour.  http://www.vch.ca/locations-and-services/find-health-services/residential-care/north-and-west-vancouver-residential-care/cedarview-lodge/

Respite bookings are arranged through your Case Manager. If you would like to request a Case Manager please call 604 986 7111.

Jessica Rosenfeld, Cedarview Lodge Social Worker