An Awesome Article on Medical Alert Devices

photo-1455758190477-ac7265bc8139If your loved one is requiring a medical alert devices, this awesome article will be of use, particularly if they are resisting the process. Susie Slack of Today’s Caregiver provides some helpful advice on the topic of discussing medical alert devices with your parent, though the information can apply to anyone you are caring for. As Susie describes, “Falls are the leading cause of injuries, including fatal ones, for people in the 65-and-above age group.”

She also points out how medical alert devices have been around for 30 years. Nowadays, technology has evolved when it comes to medical alert devices. You can now get devices that look like jewellery or pedometers!

Did this article help you? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section.



Mindful Monday no. 44 – Positive Versus Negative Self-Talk

photo-1451650645557-62193a7bed6a“Words can make you sick. And heavy. And dark.

Words can make you light. And radiant. And energized.”

-Danielle LaPorte

Recently, I came across a blog post by author and inspirational speaker, Danielle LaPorte, about an experiment she conducted at home to teach her child the importance of self-talk. The experiment was simple; she cut an apple in half and for a period of time, her family talked positively to one half, and negatively to the other half. After roughly a month, she said, the apple that they had been talking negatively to was brown and rotting. The other half that they talked positively to was still relatively preserved.


The apple experiment has been conducted by many people with similar results. Inspired by the research of Dr. Masaru Emoto, where he froze different water samples that had been exposed to both positive and negative talk to examine the structural difference in the crystal formations.

Besides these experiments though, the only real proof in the power of positive and negative self-talk is the way you feel.

Negative self-talk can take many forms. For one, negative self-talk could be refusing to acknowledge the positive aspects of an experience you have had, or even viewing things in black and white, rather than the grey area.

Another form is catastrophizing, where a person imagines the worst possible outcome–a common habit for those prone to anxiety.

Negative self-talk is a habit that you can break. When you become aware of your own negative self-talk, start to challenge that behavior by saying the opposite. If you think: “I can’t do this!, challenge that statement by saying: I will find a way to make this happen.”

One easy indicator for how you should talk to yourself is to observe how you encourage, support, and show love to those closest to you.

It is perfectly acceptable to treat yourself in the same way as you do your loved ones.

What do you notice about your own self-talk? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section.


North Shore Health Matters

Health Matters Series Poster (September-November)-page-001On the North Shore, clinics are currently overloaded with patients, making it difficult for most people to get quality time with their doctors and learn more about their health conditions. Recognizing this issue, the West Vancouver Memorial Library—along with North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver District Library, Vancouver Coastal Health, Liberation Fitness and Lions Gate Cardiac Rehab—have developed a partnership in order to provide community members with more access to health experts and reliable information.

With this partnership in place, the North Shore Health Matters Lecture Series was created!  This lecture series, which will be hosted across the three North Shore Libraries, includes free presentations on a variety of topics, including:

  • Mindful Eating
  • Diabetes Management
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Positive Mental Health
  • Child Development

During these health talks, participants will get the chance to speak with local doctors, dietitians, counsellors, and clinical educators, as well as learn more about the health conditions and solutions they are interested in. Also, individuals are highly encouraged to attend these sessions as a way to have informative discussions about different health issues and connect to other people who have similar challenges and interests.

No registration is required for any of these health talks!

See you there,


West Vancouver Memorial Library

Mindful Monday no. 43 – Morning Yoga for Energy


With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”  -Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the best ways to energize in the morning is to move the body. Recently, I started the practice of doing short yoga sequences in my living room. I open my curtains wide to let the light in and I follow along on a short video that I found online.

Yoga is a physical activity that is good for people of all ages and abilities. As long as they are positioned correctly and listen when their body is telling them something does not work, anyone can practice yoga.

Starting the morning off with a few yoga poses ensures that I will make self-care and my health a priority for the day. Even if you can’t fit an hour-long class in the morning, there are tons of videos online that make it easier to incorporate into your busy schedule.

Here are 3 videos to start your morning yoga practice: 

Can you squeeze in 5 minutes? Try the “Wake Up” Yoga for Energy Practice by YogaBody. 

Have 20 minutes? Try the Gentle Morning Sequence: by Yoga with Adriene.

Do you have the luxury of an hour? Try the Energizing Yoga Sequence by Yoga with Adriene.



Foodie Friday: Balsamic Melon Salad


“Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment.”

Elizabeth David, food writer (1913-1992)

Balsamic Melon Salad is a refreshing recipe for the hot evenings of summer. The seasonal varieties of juicy honey dew and canteloupe, accompanied by more savoury ingredients like red onion, cucumber, and prosciutto, is perfectly balanced in this dish. It is the perfect recipe for a garden party or for dining alfresco.

How to make Balsamic Melon Salad: 

This recipe for Balsamic Melon Salad was adapted from the one featured on The First Mess.


1 Honeydew melon, balled

1  Canteloupe melon, balled

1 Long English cucumber, finely sliced

1 Cup of red onion, finely sliced

Salt & pepper to taste

3-4 Tbsps. of balsamic vinegar

Optional ingredients: prosciutto, fresh basil, fresh mint, cherry tomatoes, watermelon.



  1. Pour the 3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar evenly along the bottom of your serving dish. This will ensure even distribution of the dressing when serving.
  2. Combine melon, cucumber, red onion, and any optional ingredients in the dish.
  3. Add salt & pepper. Tip: Salt any melon before serving as it brings out its sweetness.
  4. Place any fresh herbs over the top.
  5. Serve immediately.

What are your favourite summer salads? We’d love to hear about them in our comment section.


De-Stress and Energize with Reflexology

I love that look of calmness that comes over people after giving them a 5-10 minute reflexology session. Whether it is for tension in the muscles, headaches, stress, anxiety or numerous other conditions the outcome is always the same.

       WOW!! they say.

My headache’s gone, I don’t feel as tense, I can breathe more easily and best of all,


“Gosh, I never knew that by doing this on my hands I had the power to prevent or alleviate my symptoms”.

Hand Reflexology works because reflexes in the hand correspond to all parts of the body and mind via the nervous system. Hands go everywhere with you and are easily accessible, so you can work on them night or day.

Spritz!! AAAHH!!


What nicer way to enhance that experience than with a spritz of aromatherapy essential oils? Something to add to your feeling of calmness with Stress Release from Saje aromatherapy; a blend of Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium, Clary Saje and Vetiver. Or, for something more energizing and awakening, try Energy or Refresh with Spearmint, Lavender and Eucalyptus.

The choice is endless!!

I love to share so join me on August 22nd  in a fun interactive evening of Hand Reflexology and Aromatherapy. Just bring yourself, your hands and a small cushion.
See you there.

Shirley Gibbons, Reflexologist

Mindful Monday no. 42 – Sleep Rituals

photo-1450776598040-e0dbb5665213.jpgGoodnight stars. Goodnight air.  Good night noises everywhere.”

-Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon

How do you signal your body that it is time to rest? Sleep rituals allow us to follow a routine to ensure that we fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.

Some of the many benefits of better sleep is increased energy, uplifted mood, better focus and memory, and other health improvements. To improve your sleep, start implementing some sleep rituals in a bedtime routine.


Here are 10 ideas for sleep rituals to iProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetmprove your sleep: 

  1. Ensure your bed is comfortable with enough pillows a
    nd blankets, a good mattress for your back, and clean sheets.
  2. Make your bed every morning so that  you want to get under the covers when it comes time to sleep.
  3. Do some gentle stretches before bed to loosen the body and initiate relaxation.
  4. Have a hot bath before bed to unwind.
  5. If you often stay up with ruminating thoughts, journal before bed so you can process those thoughts before the lights go out.
  6. Listen to an audio book with your eyes closed to fall into a relaxed state.
  7. Add the scent of lavender for a stress-free space. I place few springs of lavender in a vase on my bedside table and every once in a while, I smell their therapeutic scent. Or, I spritz my sheets with some lavender pillow spray.
  8. Make your bedroom an electronics-free zone. The light of electronics trick our minds into being more alert and awake.
  9. Pick up a paperback and allow yourself some downtime to read before you plan to turn off the lights.
  10. Meditate. Read our post, Meditating for Better Sleepfor an easy exercise you can do in bed.

Do you have any other ideas for sleep rituals? We’d love to hear about them in our comment section.


Book Review: “Mental Resilience: The Power of Clarity” by Kamal Sarma

41yEOJraUwL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Author Kamal Sarma offers a 21-day mental resilience program in his book Mental Resilience: The Power of Clarity (how to develop the focus of a warrior with the peace of a monk) (New World Library, 2008). Meditation CD included.

Sarma gives the reader straightforward practice, no hype.  His audience seems to be particularly busy executives or people with very busy lives for whom stress causes all sorts of problems, such as lack of sleep, tension, or headaches.

Apparently the left prefrontal cortex has been associated with happy thoughts.  Meditation helps people develop this area of the brain, leading to greater mental well-being.  In addition, studies have shown that meditation helps slow the process of aging, particularly in the brain.  Meditation helps the individual develop equanimity, the realization that everything changes.

Sarma offers several easy ways to practice mindfulness, such as:

  • mindful eating: notice the appearance of food, tastes, textures, and sounds of eating
  • mindful showering: notice the smell of the soap or shampoo, the temperature of the water and your body
  • mindful walking: sense the feelings in your feet, notice your rhythm and posture
  • mindfulness at traffic lights: notice your breathing, be absolutely present until the light turns green

Stay tuned for a review of Richard Davidson’s The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Mindfully yours,

Calm Pond


Mindful Monday no. 41 – Purge Your Day Planner

How have you been doing lately? 

If your first instinct is to say you’ve been busy, I encourage you to purge your day planner. For some of us the days are slipping by as we busy ourselves with tasks and errands and over-scheduling. When we plan out too much in our day, we are bound to exhausted, demanded of, and even out of touch with ourselves.

Busy has become a mantra for modern living, but we don’t have to follow along.

We keep busy for all different reasons. People might keep busy to avoid loneliness, to numb strong feelings, to distract themselves from pressing issues, to feel they have purpose. At the same time, people miss out on connecting with others, themselves, and with the things that they spend their time doing when they aim to fill every waking minute with something.


Before you begin purging your day planner, take time to reflect on how you are feeling, the reasons for and against keeping busy, how you dream of spending your time, and what responsibilities you cannot pass on. Once you are aware of what your feelings are on a situation, you can make positive and productive changes.

Consider the following 7 tips when purging your day planner: 

  1. Automatically purge your calendar of all the obligations that no longer fuel you. If you’ve been bringing the cookies to your book club for the past three years and it has become a burden, stop. Someone else may be wishing they could try out a new recipe. 
  2. Recognize that there are some things in life we cannot say no too. As caregivers, we know there are many times that are difficult and we wish that we didn’t have to. If there is no other option, the best thing that you can do is to tack on some self-care. For instance, if you will be spending time in a doctor’s waiting room, indulge in that book you’ve been meaning to start or buy yourself a new magazine.
  3. Be wary of the obligations that you enjoy enough to say yes in the moment but regret soon after. I once agreed to host a book club which I enjoyed at the meeting but the amount of preparation and the dread I felt cancelled it out.
  4. With your limited time, spend it with people who have a positive impact on your life. If you are tired of your friend going on and on without listening to a word you have to say, don’t schedule it.
  5. Don’t get rid of your commitments that challenge you. Even if they feel negative in the moment that you are doing them, the feeling of accomplishment afterwards will boost your self-esteem and are opportunities for your own personal growth.
  6. Delay your decisions. If you are being asked to commit to something and you don’t have an immediate yes or no response, ask for a time delay. Let them know when and how they will hear from you, and allow yourself to consider it.
  7. What have you always wished you had the time for? When you have purged your day planner, the number of obligations on your calendar that you respond with a strong yes offers an opportunity to reflect on what you would like to be spending your time on.

Did you gain any insights onto how you spend your time? We would love to hear about it in the comment section.