Browsing Tag:

mental health

Divorcing or Separating from a High Conflict Spouse

Does My Spouse Have a High Conflict Personality?

  1. Is your spouse rigid and uncompromising?
  2. Does your spouse have difficulty accepting and healing from loss?
  3. Do negative emotions dominate their thinking?
  4. Does your spouse have an inability to reflect on their own behavior?
  5. Does your spouse have difficulty empathizing with others?
  6. Is your spouse preoccupied with blaming others (mostly you)?
  7. Does your spouse avoid any responsibility for the problem or the solution?

If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, then your spouse may have a High Conflict Personality. According to the High Conflict Institute, these are some of the patterns you see in a person with a high conflict personality.

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The Birthday Tradition I Accidentally Started

I used to go BIG for birthdays. That is actually one of the things Box Social Event Planning did when I started the business. We planned parties for parents that wanted that “Pinterest” party but didn’t have time. We would do such elaborate parties that one time we brought 8-foot trees into a play place to create a perfect Woodland Theme.

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Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories

Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories

At the centre of my childhood were simple experiences rich with texture and wrought with meaning.  It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to appreciate the beauty in the simple togetherness my mom wove into the fabric of our family.  Our family didn’t have a lot of money so my mom got creative.  I find myself using many of her ideas with my own children and I enjoy coming up with my own.  Time is the precious gift our children want above all.  Here are some of my favorite memory makers!  I would love to hear about yours.

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7 Simple Ways to Refresh and Rejuvenate This Summer

By Amanda Cook, C.H.N.

Taking time to focus on your needs is neither selfish nor selfless, it’s simply necessary for your mental, emotional and physical health. When mother’s take the time to care for themselves, they’re better able to meet the needs of their family. Have you ever had a bad day and just watch your intimate world fall apart? I have! A mother is typically the centre of the home and when her needs are met, life just flows easier.  

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Mama’s Mental Health – When the Juggling Act Becomes a Larger Problem

By Joann Fox

Mother, mamma, mom, mama, mum, mommy – no matter which way you say it, “mom” means a lot of things.  She is the caregiver, doctor, psychologist, special event planner, cleaner, chore manager, baker, cook, boo-boo kisser, teacher, provider, bedtime cuddler, seamstress, artist, appointment manager,  [insert one of several other mother duties here]. Mamas – if you really sit down and think about all we do for our kids and our families, we are truly amazing individuals.

But what happens when the mother juggle becomes overwhelming?  

Many of us read about all the other moms out there handling their S*!t and strategies they use to keep their juggle going but what if you begin to drop those balls and don’t care about picking them back up even though they are important to you?  What if you spend days or even weeks not being able to focus on any one task and then start to panic about not meeting deadlines? What if you spend multiple weekends in bed just being sad?  What if your significant other or someone else close to you says “I am really worried about you”?

Sometimes it’s not about managing the juggle.  Sometimes it’s about managing your own health.

Your mental health.

I’m not sure when I started to feel the way I did and to be honest, it was probably for quite some time before I really noticed that something wasn’t quite right.  Any little nagging feeling was quickly dispelled by reading about how other moms are struggling with staying home with the kids or with working full-time and managing the home and its people and activities.  I started to normalize the way I was feeling because every other mom on the internet seemed to be going through the same thing.  Every mom I spoke to also had similar stories about the overwhelming number of things she had to get done that day, week or year.  Lots of moms also had offered coping strategies to deal with the chaos – coffee, chocolate, and wine seemed to be the majority favourites.  Of course for many mamas out there, just talking about the hardships of motherhood is a coping strategy (preferably over coffee, chocolate, or wine ;).  I thought that this was just the way life is for a busy mom.  Everything is fine because everyone else seems to be feeling the same way.

But it wasn’t fine.

I was sad – like,  really, really sad.  So sad that there were some weeknights and weekends that I  just didn’t want to get out of bed – I couldn’t get out of bed.

I was so irritable.  A smear of peanut butter left on the counter for me to wipe up would set the tone for the day as I frustratingly rattled off the 100 things that haven’t been done around the house for the last two years.  Although I knew it was ridiculous to be so upset over something so tiny, I couldn’t help it.  The tiniest things would make me so upset although I knew that it was ridiculous to be that upset over them.

I couldn’t focus.  Tasks and assignments that should have taken me a few hours to complete were taking me days to finish and starting any new project or task was terrifying.  My mind wandered endlessly between tasks and lists and projects both at work and at home that I would spend all of my time worrying about them instead of completing them.

I was forgetful.  I have always been able to keep pretty good tabs on what I needed to get done but I started forgetting things after only a few minutes had passed.  There were several times when I was in the shower and honestly couldn’t remember if I shampooed my hair.  

I was exhausted.  Even though I was getting 7-8 hours of sleep, there were more days than I could count that I would come home and didn’t have enough energy to make dinner.  I was just so tired.  My body was aching mentally and physically and all I wanted to do was sleep.

I didn’t care.  I didn’t care if my friends invited me to go out or not.  I didn’t care about baking or cooking (things I normally enjoy doing), I didn’t care about my birthday or celebrating anything or anyone.  I didn’t care about me.  This feeling alone (as well as my husband’s voiced concern about me) was the reason I finally decided that I needed to see my family doctor.  

As I walked into my family doctor’s office, I was greeted by his friendly,  cheerful smile.  I immediately broke down into tears.  I was so overwhelmed by all of the feelings I had been having but also ashamed.  I wasn’t ashamed that I was there trying to get help but I was ashamed that it took me so long to do it.  As I explained what I was feeling, he didn’t seem surprised at what I was telling him.  He told me that a lot of 30-something moms come into his office on a regular basis describing the same feelings.  Was it normal?  No, it wasn’t normal – but I was the classic, textbook presentation of anxiety and depression.  Some people in my situation might have been shocked with the diagnosis.  

I was relieved.  

I was so relieved that the feelings I was having had names.  I was even more relieved to discuss treatment options with my doctor.  I am extremely lucky to have such a great family doctor who took a generous amount of time to answer all my questions, address all my concerns, and  explain different treatment options for me .  We both decided on a treatment that sounded like a good start and some further appointments so he could check on my progress.

After only a couple of weeks of treatment, I could already notice a difference – subtle differences.  I was getting more done and was more focused.  That peanut butter smear didn’t bother me the next time it happened.  I was happier and much more pleasant to be around (says my husband).  I wanted to go out and be more social.  I finally started my blog.  I wasn’t sweating the small stuff so much.

It has since been three months since I went to see my doctor for help.  I feel great.  Actually, I feel better than I have ever felt for as long as I can remember.  At one of my follow-up appointments I told my doctor that even though the changes are subtle, I felt as though I could have benefited from treatment years ago (like – even before kids).  He surprised me by saying that quite a few people that undergo treatment for anxiety and depression tell him that.  In my case, I think I was so used to feeling the way I was feeling for much of my life, I just thought it was normal – until of course my feelings became overwhelmingly debilitating.  

What is my point and why am I sharing my story with you?  

Because I see tons of posts about needing a venti Americano, a Snickers, or a nice big glass of malbec  to cap off that awful day or week a mama has had and not as many posts about needing a mental assessment by a doctor when those awful days and weeks turn into months and years.

Because although I certainly don’t want a pity party from my friends and family (most of who will have no idea that I am being treated for anxiety and depression unless they read this post), I do want to bring more attention to mama’s mental health.  Moms always seem to put themselves last and when we think about taking care of ourselves, it’s usually thought of in a physical sense.  Although it is true that we should be making our physical health a priority, our mental health should be a priority too.

Because you deserve to be the best “you”.  If you feel that something is wrong and you are really having trouble juggling day-to-day life and coping with your feelings, get help.  Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.  He or she can help you figure out if your feelings are normal or if there is an imbalance that needs to be corrected.

Not all bad and sad feelings need a prescription.  It’s not about living a life free from trials and tribulations.  It’s about living your best life and being able to cope and adapt with whatever life throws your way.  Many of us don’t need help with that.  Some of us do – and there is absolutely no shame in that.

Take care of yourselves mamas. 

About Me

Joann is a full-time working proud mama of two.  She spends most of her weekends at the rink watching her son play hockey or taking her daughter to dance and gymnastics classes.  On her spare time (what’s that?), Joann loves to cook and believes most of life’s problems melt away with a good bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.  She is passionate about her life as a mom and shares her stories at themotherjuggle.comFacebook


It’s Christmas! Why aren’t I “Merry & Bright”?

By Katherin C.

As much as Christmas brings joy, happiness, and family to many, it can also be a really hard time of year for others.

It could be the first Christmas without someone you lost this past year.

It could be that financially the past year has been tough, you’re exhausted & stressed just getting by and then on top of that you’re faced with “making spirits bright” for your family.

It could be that this time of year makes you think about not just the family you see often, but maybe those you’re estranged from. Or maybe even never met.

I try to focus on all the good around Christmas but it does bring up a strange feeling for me around that word “family”. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my dad but he’s actually my stepdad. And he did a damn good job let me tell you, I’ve never felt like I am not his. But, I haven’t ever met my biological father either. For a stint in my 20’s, I found him and communicated with him and his wife over email. We swapped photos, and around Christmas time we got to wish each other Merry Christmas for the first time. I have to admit there was a bit of a novelty to it.

He lived very far away and neither of us made any plans to travel the distance and meet each other. I was raising a family so there was no way I could go but I got the impression he didn’t really have any interest in meeting me, or my kids. I think once that realization came around (and he had told me previously that he had never wanted kids in the first place) I stopped reaching out. I have to admit it was a bit of a test, which needless to say didn’t go well. I never heard from him again.

I’ve come to peace with the fact that he is missing out on a lot and that isn’t on me, but I still think of him at Christmas and it tinges my happiness with a bit of sad. I wonder if he’s doing ok.  I wonder if he ever thinks about what it would have been like to see MY face Christmas morning when I was little? I can’t imagine missing that – that is what makes this an amazing time of year to me.

Now my story is not as sad as some others. Maybe you’ve lost someone over the past year. Maybe you’re just struggling to get that Christmas spirit going and you’re not even sure why your sad.

This time of year can be really, really hard but you should know you’re not alone and it’s ok to ask for help. I did. Sharing how you’re feeling with others can be weight lifting.

Alberta Health Services has great resources and programming if you need it. They’ll help you find a program in your area and can take stock of your symptoms.  Call 811 or visit

You’re not alone. You’re doing ok. And you’re worth every bit of magic that finds it’s way to you on Christmas morning.

Katherin C is a mom of 3 kids from a small town in Southern Alberta. She enjoys making snow angels with them and just basking in the warmth of being a mom. 

How does she do it?

You’ve seen those headlines, leading into the blog post about an awesome and capable mompreneur on the scene who juggles it all: the carpool, the snack bar, the home (or away) job, the kids, the husband or the single parenting, the downtime, the self-care, the manicures, the crafts, the pets. Maybe she even shares the tears, the wine, or the softness of falling apart in the shower where no one can see you…

People have been asking me how I do it all, in awe and wonder how I do it all, painting me as that person. But I’m here to tell you, I am nothing to be inspired by. I am nothing to aspire to.

Doing it all nearly killed me. Read more

The Struggle of an Introverted Extrovert During the Holidays.

I’m a self proclaimed introverted extrovert. Yes it is a thing. I think. But if it isn’t we need to make it a thing. I love being around people. My whole job as an event planner is to be cheerful, happy, and be good at working with large crowds and I love what I do. I thrive off of planning and executing events for the public.

But it is work.

I get home after an event or social gathering and crash. I cocoon and try to hide out from the world even shutting off my phone and going off social media *gasp*. I am thankful to my husband who after 10 years of being married to me will see the look in my eyes and just pass me a beer and a bag of chips and sit quietly watching bad reality TV with me all evening when I get overwhelmed.

The holidays make it harder. I want to go and do all the things. I will say yes to everything (work and personal) in September and October because writing it down in the calendar at that time looks like it is doable. But then things start piling up. Kid’s get busier with school activities, concerts and field-trips. Work gets busier this time of year with Christmas events. Friends and family invite you over for holiday parties. It adds up fast.

So What’s an Introverted extrovert To Do?

Over the years I have found some tricks that work to help create some down time when things start piling up and I start feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Schedule alone time – It sounds silly but if I don’t clear times throughout the week to do nothing I feel too full. It could be an hour after the kids go to school to just sit and drink a coffee. Or as soon as your partner gets home from work one day pass them the kids and say you’ll be back in an hour and go for a walk or go sit in a coffee shop with a holiday latte. If those aren’t options take an hour after the kids go to bed for yourself. No cleaning or making lists. Do a face mask and have a glass of wine and breathe.
  2. Really be alone – This means turning off my phone and getting rid of distractions so I can enjoy being by myself. I often use driving as my alone time throughout the week. Nothing is better than being able to choose the music, cranking it up, and singing along. Yes I am that girl in traffic belting out Spice Girls and Meatloaf. (and yes that is a weird music combination but it is magical for a bad mood. Try it. You won’t regret it)
  3. Say no – This is a hard one for a lot of us. I want to be a part of everything and go to all the parties and events but saying no is OK when I’m feeling too full. A burn out right before the holidays isn’t fun for anyone.
  4. Diet – I hate this one because I would love to eat like crap and survive off of black coffee all day but I know better. When I drink lots of water and eat a fruit or vegetable every once in a while throughout the day I am able to cope better.
  5. Hang out with people closest to me one on one – Nothing is better than having a chill night with a good friend. Nothing that is work, drama, or high expectations. Just low key and easy fun.

These are just what I have found work for me. I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you love the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Or do you struggle trying to do all the things?

Box Social Event Planning



You Are Not Alone! Suicide Prevention Week

Though sometimes you may feel like it, you are not alone. Every single day, your presence on this earth matters. In tough times it can be so so hard to see the light through the darkness, but believe me, there is hope. This week is World Suicide Prevention Week and we felt it was important to open the space on this very important topic.

According to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention:

  • Approximately 11 people in Canada will end their life by suicide today.
  • Approximately 210 others will attempt to take their own lives today.
  • For each death by suicide. It has been estimated that the lives of 7-10 bereaved ‘Survivors” are profoundly affected.

We believe that these numbers reflect a serious issue in our country, but there is hope.

Know the warning signs of suicide:

  • Suicide threats
  • Statements revealing a desire to die
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Sudden changes in behaviour (withdrawal, apathy, moodiness)
  • Depression (crying, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, hopelessness)
  • Final arrangements (such as giving away personal possessions)

If you are in crisis now please call 911 or the nearest Crisis Centre in Alberta: THE LIST IS HERE

Prevention is the only solution to suicide. If you are supporting someone who is expressing thoughts of suicide, there are many ways that you can help. Open the dialogue and let the person talk freely about their problems. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help.

How to be Helpful When Someone is Suicidal:

  • Take all threats or attempts seriously
  • Be aware and learn warning signs of suicide
  • Be direct and ask if the person is thinking of suicide.  If the answer is yes, ask if the person has a plan and what the time line is.
  • Be non-judgmental and empathic
  • Do not minimize the feelings expressed by the person
  • Do not be sworn to secrecy …seek out the support of appropriate professionals
  • Ask if there is anything you can do
  • Draw on resources in the person’s network
  • Do not use clichés or try to debate with the person
  • In an acute crisis take the person to an emergency room or walk in clinic or call a mobile crisis service if one is available
  • Do not leave them alone until help is provided
  • Remove any obvious means e.g. firearms, drugs or sharp objects) from the immediate vicinity

(from the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention)

Educate Yourself

There are many resources available to Albertans, from online information and webinars to in person trainings and community gatherings. Stronger communities where individuals are connected and more people who are educated in preventing suicide will go a long way in working towards to goal of saving precious lives.

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention “CASP’s ultimate purpose is to reduce the suicide rate in Canada and to minimize the consequences of suicidal behaviour.”

Canadian Mental Health Association (Alberta) “Mental health for all.”

Survivor Support Services in Alberta

Distress Centre “Provide compassionate, accessible crisis support that enhances the health, well-being and resiliency of individuals in distress.”

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts A resource for yourself or others

Your Life Counts “Helping youth & families nurture, protect & sustain their will to live…”

Whether you are trying to cope with your own suicidal thoughts, support someone who is suicidal or grieving a life lost to suicide there is help and hope. Please don’t face this alone.

With Love,

Every Day Girl