Articles, Stories and blogs talking about health and happiness

For the longest time, I heard about gratitude and I thought I understood what it was to be grateful. But not once did I sit with it. Not once, did I take 5 minutes out of my day and think about all of the things going on in my life and focus on what awesome things I really do have.

After many dark nights and even darker mornings, I finally decided to stop my every day page turning. I decided to go back and reflect on the why and how I got to where I was and slowly read what chapter I currently was on.

Just then did I finally realize, my book only started. My, Choose Your Own Adventure, was merely just getting to the good part.

But what page do I jump to next?

Here is where Gratitude makes a huge appearance and then, is when my story really felt clear.

How to Sit with Gratitude

1.Journaling – Write, write and write! You’ll read this one almost everywhere. It sounds redundant, but believe me, its the most honest way of understanding your emotions and reflecting on where you were the time you wrote it.

Partly why this site started, was due to my journaling. After MANY days of writing and lots of reflecting. Reading back on what I wrote, even a few days ago, made me appreciate the small or even something substantial growth I achieved. I would have never remembered that feeling I had when I was feeling hurt, sad and lonely, and realized how great I can feel not far after.

We tend to forget how amazing we are, and how powerful we can be. We forget to acknowledge our struggles, for they make us stronger. We forget to reflect on our daily needs, to keep us moving forward. And we forget to appreciate the windy path that leads us to today.

So don’t just write about what your “Grateful” for. Write about your true feelings, physically and mentally. Then, every 2 weeks, open up a random page and read it. You’ll be amazed how much you’ve adapted without even realizing it.

2. Write powerful sayings, words or phrases down. Put these on a bulletin, chalk board, fridge or even download an app to remind yourself. I absolutely love My Affirmations: Live Positive App! You can customize, set, organize and edit. This is a great way when you have that motivation, to dive into the app and put in all of the energy you need, to help push you the days you can’t. Think of it like meal prep for the mind.

3. Be in the moment. I am 100% guilty of not being in the moment. I would always strive for more in every situation I did. Whether it be achieving a goal of mine, hanging out with friends or even travelling. I always felt like the current state could get even better. I never felt fully satisfied. It wasn’t until I started taking a second, looked around, did a body scan of my sensations, feelings and emotional state, that I started to fully accept that I was in that moment of achievement. This was great enough for me.

4.Change your perspective! With social media and tv, we aim to get to that world of perfection that is nearly impossible to get to. We start to filter our mind to believe that things can be always better. Once we start focusing on this, we start comparing. comparing leads to focusing on the negative, which ends up training our mind to never see the true picture.

Think of this, as that Instagram filter you used, because your 2 days before your period and you had an acne break out. You know that filter really does nothing for you, but you see everyone else using it and its fine for them to, so why not you.

Another guilty as charged case. Once I start this path, I find myself comparing, which leads to judgment, which leads to self deprecation. Things I can live without, but things I’ve chosen not to, and why?

5. Reach out and share your true feelings. For many people this is the hardest one. We worry so much about how people will react and what they will say. We worry they won’t feel the same, or believe our emotions are true.

But why hold back your own thoughts and feelings, only to make someone else’s comfort your priority. Being true to who you are and how you feel, will shine brighter than any half assed remark. So be bold, be honest and just be you!

Besides the million other ways to be grateful, in the end, you only know how things make you feel. So start lifting yourself up instead of kicking yourself while you’re down.

Everyone has experienced some type of loneliness in their life. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between depression and loneliness itself, heck its even proven that they have very similar effects, yet one can easily lead to the other.

But how to you acknowledge it and what do you do to cope?

Quite often it is hard to pin-point what exactly is the root cause and why you are feeling this form of isolation. So take a minute and really self reflect on how you are truly feeling, and when do you feel it most. For me, typically this involves me opening up a computer and just letting my fingers go. From there I read over and break down all of my feelings and eventually they turn into articles just like this one.

Sometimes we are searching for that companionship, whether it be with friends or with a significant other. Someone to experience things with together and someone to be there to reach out to.

Other times its as simple as missing physical touch. Its amazing how many people are in need of that hug, to provide them that physical comfort that they are acknowledged and going to be okay, just like your parents did when you needed it most. But make sure you aren’t diving into a spontaneous, possibly dangerous sexual encounter, or pressurizing a soon-to-be regrettable relationship.

It can even be just a simple need of someone’s guidance or reassurance that you are doing well and on the right path. You can find this through friends, coworkers, or therapists. I highly recommend reaching out to a therapist, they will hit you with the true facts and really reassure those feelings you knew you needing tweaking.

Sometimes loneliness means wanting to run towards someone else, when in reality we are wanting to run away from ourselves . That feeling of wanting to dive into a relationship, in hopes that it will solve are issues and problems.

But why do we feel lonely in particular situations?

How come someone can feel lonely going to a party alone, an event or even to a restaurant. We feel incomplete and worry too much on what other peoples view of what we are doing. That unfortunate stigma that being alone means something is missing or not right. Give yourself a pep talk, listen to a motivational YouTube Video and step out of your comfort zone! Who knows, you may meet that special someone or a great longtime friend.

Reach out to help someone else!

You’d be amazed how much this can shift your emotional state and attitude towards life, and how you are feeling. Lending out a hand to someone who may need some help will give you that minor self-confidence to maybe get you to go try that climbing class you’ve been meaning to do. Being in that position and feeling those feelings yourself, you have the ability to truly sympathies for that person and being that person for them can shift your energy drastically.

Some practical tips for coping with loneliness

– You can reach out for more human (or other) contact
– You can embrace your alone time to the fullest by doing things you don’t feel like doing when other people are around
– Focus on others instead of yourself – being in touch with your feelings is great, but if it gets overwhelming, some short-term distractions work better.
– Write a journal and let go of some thoughts
– Learn to comfort yourself, find out what you like and need
– Don’t wait until you get overwhelmed and make some plans about coping with loneliness in times when you feel better
– Talk to a therapist or join a support group

The best personal advice I can say is don’t think about what other people think! Who cares what they believe is right or wrong. Make a list of things you’ve wanted to do, you’ve wanted to complete or you’ve wanted to try. Don’t wait to find someone to do them with, do like Nike says, JUST DO IT!

Yes this can be looked at as a distraction, but at least you’ll start feeling self-esteem, self-worth and self accomplishment. Sitting there dwelling on what you miss and need, isn’t going to get you anywhere.

If you or someone you know is going through this, please know that it is common, and we are all here, myself included 🙂

We always think our jobs make us who we are. But we have the ability to change what we do, so we can focus on what we love.

Our job makes us miserable or happy. It makes us stressed or excited. Its something to help just pay the bills, or we use it to showcase or drive and ambition. Our job introduces us to longtime friendships or lifetime enemies. It prevents us from growth or pushes us to strive for greatness.

All of these reasons and outcomes are decided by you. You are the only one who has the ability to change the things that need to be fixed and strive to work to live, not live to work.

For too long we work the same position, saying that it is only temporary. We continually blame the job and never make the change ourselves.

At least this was the case for me.

I worked in the restaurant industry for over 15 years, always knowing and thinking that it was just temporary job with good pay. But the only thing that held me back from really pushing myself to find that career and true happiness, was myself. I was scared about failure and being told I wasn’t good enough.

Every time I complained to my therapist about my life stresses and the surrounding things that were really bugging me, it all boiled down to my job. I was stressed about the toxicity of the environment, my bosses pushing me down not supporting me and pushing me up. The continual battle with coworkers and management, that all pushed me to my unhealthy life choices, which just cause a spiral effect of negativity, stress and emotional upset.

I know I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. The go to work, it pays the bills, come home and complain and stress about how much you dispise it, then go back and do it all again. Restaurant life is definitely a hard one to leave. You’d get those weeks of big spenders and crazy money, and magically your forgetting about the time your manager snapped on you for his fuck up, while he’s a bottle of wine deep.

Realizing it’s time for you to jump out of that unhealthy comfort zone, is the hardest part. But it’s the most crucial and the only way to your overall happiness.

When you’re truly happy at work, it’s amazingly easier to be happy at home.

Those days of upset, anger and stress disappear and you can start focusing on things that make you happy and really start defining your life with whom you are, not what you do.

With today’s technology and easy access to career portals, networking sites and easy self promotion. You have the ability to reach out to anyone you want and research any position you may strive for. Why not apply for that job in Europe, you now have the easy ability to reach to more companies and more opportunities, all over the world.

In today’s employment, the job titles are so easily adjusted and constructed and positions are always adapting and changing. Create a position you think your skills can be beneficial for and reach out to that dream company. You’d be amazed how much you can do, if you just send out a confident email explaining why they need you.

So stop stressing about your job and make the effort to make a change. Whether it be a new position within the same company or something completely different. Knuckle down and make yourself happy, you deserve to be happy.

I sit here in my partially empty living room, reflecting on the past year and a half and everything that has happened since I’ve lived in this apartment.

When I moved in, I moved in pretending to be happy, and pretending to be okay. This was my first apartment on my own in quite sometime and moving from my ex’s place, only made it harder.

My break up had me questioning everything I was doing, being and pretending to be. I attached myself to a couple casual relationships in hopes to stop me from thinking about him and what happened. I could not stop feeling guilty. Guilty of not being able to just be so selfless.

-Background story- My ex was diagnosed with Lyme Disease the week I moved in to live with him. My job at the time was serving at one of the nicest restaurants in Vancouver. I worked my ass off and gave my soul to that place. Once done work, I had to come home and clean and help be support for someone I loved. After so long, I began to crumble and turned into an empty blank walking body that was filled with so many mixed emotions I didn’t know how to act. When you give so much to people at work and then come home to do the same, its very hard on your emotions and mental health. Not being able to physically see when your partner is sick, is very difficult, especially when its so up and down. Eventually I started to begin to feel not myself and extremely anxious all the time. I would cry in the car to hide it from everyone. I became very angry with myself, I felt as though I was failing as a partner. I did feel like I failed. Why wasn’t I able to just help him and be more selfless? At that time I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression along with my PTSD from my past, but I couldn’t tell my boyfriend. He was already dealing with so much and even if I tried to, the conversation would lead to an argument how he needed to focus on getting better and I wasn’t helping. Try hearing that from someone you love. Basically he gave me confirmation that yes, I was failing. In the end, we broke up for that exact reason “You need to work on yourself”.

You can see how this caused a spiral of guilt, anger and upset.

Before I moved, I switched my job, because I knew it was the one toxic thing for me that I needed to change.(you can read my other articles to understand why) I started to work for a fishing lodge, at their head office in Vancouver. The hours were crazy, the money was horrible and my social life was gone. But it was experience on my resume and a way to make connections.

The season ended and the job I was supposed to transition to, never happened. I was lost for work and didn’t know what to do. So I went and did what I know I was good at, back to the restaurant industry I went.

From there, the high stressed job triggered the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle. Combined with my ongoing mental health issues, I focused on all the wrong things to get me back to myself again. Casual relationships, too much drinking, and lonely nights at home crying my eyes out.

And then someone mentioned Aprons for Gloves. I decided to sign up, ended up getting a fight and my focus started to shift to a healthier lifestyle. Surrounding myself with people who wanted to better themselves and others around them. I began to look at my life and what I was doing and realized that I got out of the restaurant industry previously because of the toxicity. I needed to do it for good.

My shift slowly developed, but I was still having those boozy nights after a very high stressful shift, only to wake up feeling guilty and upset with myself.

Then someone from an amazing company reached out to me on Linkedin and told me to apply for an opening in their company. I did and got the job! This is where I finally started to truely feel happy. Happy knowing that the only hurtful thing in my life was about to go away. Happy knowing that I’d be surrounded by people who are active, positive about their job and surrounded by people who want to push you to do better. People that don’t have to drink a mickey while they work, just to make it through their shift. People that don’t get jealous at my wins or call me out on my fails. People who don’t tell me “If you don’t like it, then go somewhere else”.

But then my balance got a little off.

After my fight and the new transition with the 9-5 job. I was striving for that social time after work but no one to enjoy it with, all my friends work restaurants and nights. Going from such a high social job and life, to being behind a computer all day and then straight home, your body goes through a bit of a shock. Then the times when I was able to actually meet up with friends I kept feeling like “I have to make the most of it!” So, even though I wasn’t going out much, when I did, I went too hard. I felt like I needed to take advantage of the night, cause they were so few.

Then Sept 17th hit, a couple days after another sad birthday alone. I decided I was going to stop drinking for a while. A while lead to a month, lead to anther month and then to another month, and now to today. I have had a few nights in between where I let myself have some drinks and let loose, and they were definitely fun, but man do I ever hate hangovers and headaches.

I look at myself tonight and look at myself the first night. I’m so proud of this girl today and everything she’s dealt with, learned and achieved. She’s grown so much in just a year and a half, and she deserves the world.

This apartment gave me comfort, was there through the most transitional time in my life, and also gave me hope. I loved this bright, big windowed apartment and am sad to leave. But with growth comes change and life adjustments.

Thank you Kits apartment, for being my rock to talk to, my safe space during difficult times, and for being a 3 story walk up that has kept my butt looking fabulous, Thank you!

If you know me or have read my previous articles, you’d know that I love to see Doctors and Therapists of all types; Massage, Osteopath, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Physiologists, Counsellors and even a Meditation Therapists.

I believe we all deserve the right to learn as much knowledge as we can about ourselves, inside and out. If I’m physically in pain or mentally suffering, I want to speak to all views, all sides and all backgrounds. Fuck, even if I’m not having issues, why not check in to make sure everything is going good. Many of us are lucky to have the option to have extended health with our jobs, so why not use that money and learn about you.

Yes, sometimes I don’t agree, or I don’t feel a positive change. But I know that I have taken the time to listen to my body and seek how to help with the issue I am having or even just to learn about how individually I work.

You need to find someone you are comfortable with, opening up about your issues and someone that doesn’t just ask the direct one sided questions. Understand that your first session may not feel very educating or feel like you’ve done much, these things take time. But do believe in that special feel you have when you do find someone that actually is listening to you and honest about what they see and hear.

My favourite therapists have been the people who ask me, not just about my current state, but about my past, as well as look into all aspects of the situation. They need to be someone you can trust and not be scared to ask stupid questions with, which no question is stupid and someone that would rather know too much, than not enough.

You may not even have serious issues or demanding causes, but I always recommend going continually to help with seeing your triggers and even prevention. You go to the dentist for a check up, why not check on your mind or overall health with your naturopath?

For those of you with extended medical, think of the money you are throwing away month after month. With the cost of living, why not use that money towards bettering yourself. Take advantage of the amazing people around you that are here to listen and help you understand how your body works.

Below are some awesome places I recommend you check out in Vancouver!

Finlandia Health Centre – Supplements, compounding, Naturopaths, IV Therapy and more! One of my favourite places in Vancouver

QI Integrated Health – The one stop shop with everyone you need. From Pilates to Meditation to Osteopathy, this beautifully welcoming environment will leave you wanting to come back for more. Heaven is in Kitsilano

Sana Counselling – Great rates, extended hours and genuinely caring people. With two locations, you cant go wrong.

Alliance Wellness – Chiro, RMT, Physio and Counselling. Another great stop for everything you need to better you. They are busy for a reason, but have enough staff so you don’t have to plan too far ahead.

One of the biggest let downs online dating has shown me, is that everyone wants to feel “go with the flow” and no one likes to make a plan or ask for someone’s time anymore. Its very common for someone to message you at 9pm asking if you want to hang out. Stop answering, stop saying yes. Your time deserves to be planned for and you are worth more than that.

Does anyone know what they want anymore?

Seems like most people are overwhelmed with the amount of dating options online and that “could be better person” is just on the next swipe over. This ends up creating an unfortunate lack of drive to actually learn about the person you are talking to and put effort into seeing where it could go. If you are unsure what exactly you want, respect others and take some time and step back from dating. Lack of communicating how to you feel or what you want is only going to cause turmoil.

Sadly, many woman and even men will lie about what they are looking for, only to seek what they want and not take into consideration the other person feelings. Don’t lie to the other person and don’t lie to yourself. If you aren’t looking for a casual relationship, don’t say you are, in hopes to “change” their mind. This will only set up your expectations for failure and start whatever relationship it is that you have, off unbalanced.

Now moving on to our busy society. Yes we all seem to work more than we play and our hobbies take up a lot of our time, but we need to take a moment and respect those people who are willing to work to start relationships. The unfortunate new fad of “ghosting” has made many daters nervous to even start something and nervous to reach out to see what is going on.

Commitment is scary

With these flip flop feelings and lack of drive, its hard to find anyone who actually is striving for an adult meaningful relationship anymore. Society has now focused on building your career first and family second, so that grey area of where to shift is hard to find. As our careers are always changing and always growing, at what point do you decide to find someone to share those memories with.

Social media ruins it all

Superficial judgments is the key to ruining so many, what could have been, great relationships. We “internet creep or stalk” each other and come up with our own view of who that person is, without actually asking or learning their true stories.

I find this extremely frustrating, that this is a thing. If someone decides to post every day, or post once a month, it doesn’t change how good of a person they are or the outcome of how your relationship could be. So stop creeping someone’s page and using that as a deciding factor on how you view the person. If they decide they don’t want to post on their page, they aren’t always hiding something, so give them a break. Take the time and get to know them first yourself, before you come to any conclusions. When you become the online topic or your personal life is affected, then really this is the only time you have a say in what they can or cannot post.

Neflix and Chill

Since when is it okay to show up at a complete strangers house, all to wear comfie’s and watch a movie (and ya I know what else). This is not a date, this is what you do with someone you’re in a relationship with or someone you should be completely comfortable with. Starting a relationship off this way is only just going to kill the romance from the get go. The first few “hang outs” really set the standard on what your relationship is going to be, and if you want thoughtfulness and treasured memories, then this is not the route for you.

Time to respect each other

Its time that we speak out on what we expect and want out of our relationships from the beginning and stop half-assing and half committing to everything. If you are interested in someone show them respect and let them know. We need to communicate again and stop just assuming what the other person is thinking.

According to the Chinese Horoscope, year 2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat. The rat is the first sign of the twelve animal cycle of the Chinese Astrology. With this in consideration, the year is looked at to bring new beginnings, new opportunities and renewal.

As you take a moment to look back on 2019, first take a second and remember where you were, at this moment, last year. A day before the new year, anticipating what was to come, how you were going to conquer your challenges and what your goals were. Feel that drive for the new year, or those running shoes from the old one. Where you excited to continue strong, or were you excited to start a fresh new year, away from the previous one?

Now look at today, look at the day before next year. Are you wanting to wipe away 2019, start a new slate and make all new goals. Or are you going to look back at the year, what happened that caused you stress, upset or anger, and what you could have done differently to be in a different position that you are right now. Are your feelings different than last year? Are they better or are they worse?

If you need a good motivational video, I HIGHLY recommend this one

Take ownership!

Take a moment to understand, you may not have completed everything you had set out to do, and see why that may have happened. Sometimes our goals just shift a little and our interests change. Do you think it was for better, or do you think you took the easy way and backed out?

Once you have accepted 2019 for all the good, bad and miserable, then you can transition to move into 2020.

We all are too familiar with those end of the year posts saying “is 2019 over yet?” or “That was a tough one”. And yes you may have had unexpected loses or things out of your ability happen, and I am truly sorry for those. But you need to dive deep down and look at how you feel, inside and out. Are you happy? Are you feeling like your life is going up?

When thinking about next year, don’t just make the easy usual goals of, eat healthy, workout and be active. Look at your daily routine now and slowly make small minor adjustments, daily, weekly or monthly. This will be easier to keep a forward motion and to turn them into habits. Schedule 2 days a month where you check in with yourself, see how your doing.

I can’t say enough about how meditation has helped me get to where I am now. Even on days where my brain doesn’t seem to want to shut off, while I’m sitting there, I’m forcing myself to focus on me and only me. How has my energy been, my emotions, how has my back been feeling, or my vertigo?

Look at the end of 2019, as it is only the warm up to your 2020.

You can conquer anything you put your mind to. Stay focused, take ownership, be humble and don’t forget to push yourself. And make today count.

When you begin to do the work and take ownership over your life, you start to realize the power of time management, control and autonomy. You live life on your terms this way. It truly is the only way.

Christopher D. Connors

I’ve never been much of a dater, started from when I was in highschool. From day one of dating boys I bounced around, but always was wanting to be that “high school sweetheart couple”. I continually wanted to be loved by the opposite sex but wasn’t looked at as the relationship girl. I eventually convinced myself and played along with everyone else that, that was what I was wanting. But come end of the day, or morning after (sorry mom and dad) when I got home, I hurt. I put my heart out there many times, and hoped that one of those guys would understand me and my ways. But I’ve always been that drinkin’ buddy or casual thing.

From my past many small relationships of being cheated on, ghosted, to an unexpected pregnancy where he houdini’d and ran away, leaving me to deal with it on my own at 20. Going to a hospital to get an abortion alone is a very hard experience. You are to jump from room to room to do tests, with other girls who are doing the same. When you are the only one by yourself and everyone else has their significant other, you can see how hard this would be. When the doctor asks you about the father, and you lie to not have to deal with anything, that hurts even more. In the end, all of these experiences aren’t uncommon for many woman.

Naturally as women we strive to start families, we search for that someone to be beside us, take care of us and support us. But after years of failing and years of being hurt from putting your heart out there, to years of pretending you want that casual thing, it affects all future relationships you have.

The first love of my life, broke my heart. I saw texts from a girl he knew for a while right near the end of our relationship, that they were seeing each other around me. It crushed me, it convinced me that I wasn’t good enough or deserved to be loved. Why would I put my heart out there, only to get hurt every time. They’re now married with kids.

The second guy I loved was different, we used each other for comfort, cheap rent and friendships. Over time, clearly we were both in different places. I believe this is where I realized I self sabbatoge my relationships.

After that one, I took years to even start to date. I really believed I didn’t deserve to be loved or in a relationship. My confidence, my self respect and my want to be respected, depleted.

Then my biggest love of all and most recent relationship. Just when I felt I had given up, it happened out of the blue. He showed me respect and that I did deserve to be loved, but I couldn’t fully dive in. I was scared, I knew I’d sabotage, not show my true self, hide and be embarrassed to open up about any past I had. I was ashamed of my relationships, my lack of love and my lack of self respect. He was smart, honest, open and supportive and I had no idea how to deal with that.

When you’ve only been treated like an object, a crutch or a casual fling, its hard to fully let go and enjoy the moments. Then when you do, you still always have those questions in your head. Eventually those questions turned to anxiety, self sabotage and deep down voice that repetitively tell you, you don’t deserve love.

Lets just say, if you could think of a relationships with hurdles, this was the Olympic final. Add a very difficult sickness, an unhappy work environment and my own mental health and you get an end to a relationship.

After the end of this one I basically went to ground zero. I took it out on myself and really believed that love is just not meant for me. But this time, instead of going back to my regular habits, I started to really listen to my heart, body and mind.

I took a step back from looking for love and searched for loving myself. From lots of counseling, to getting more active and to changing my surroundings, I took focus on what I’ve been needing to do this whole time. Love myself. To often do we hope we find someone to help fix our problems, when we need to focus on fixing ourselves first.

You can’t fully give your heart to someone, if your heart isn’t fully there, to give.

I may not be dating anyone know, but I do know that I’ve finally come to terms with my past, understand my habits and love myself. I have taken ownership for my mistakes, I have forgiven those who’ve hurt me and I’ve come to terms with my past.

I realize we all have paths and we learn from each relationships, even if it ripped your heart out. Your hearts a muscle, and if you use it enough, it’ll grow to be shared with that right person, someday.

We all want to be with someone that makes you want to be a better person, but how much pushing is too much.

We’ve all had those relationships where you feel like “if only they didn’t __ ” or “I think I can change ___”. We need to stop feeling like we can “fix” someone and start thinking of how we can support and show them just how powerful they are. Sure, we always learn from our partners and are there to support and encourage. But you shouldn’t want to change someone’s ways, to fit your own. You should want to grow together, work together and develop healthy patterns together.

According to codependency and relationship expert, Ross Rosenberg, this pattern is common and couples often stay in highly dysfunctional relationships to their own detriment. Rosenberg notes, “The inherently dysfunctional “codependency dance” requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners: the pleaser/fixer (codependent) and the taker/controller (narcissist).”

When you focus on challenging someone, you allow their wounds to fester. Remember you are on the same team. Accept that people do the best they can and try to be more understanding. This doesn’t mean that you accept your partner’s hurtful actions. You simply come to a more realistic view and give them less power over you.

Trying to change you partner can lead to an end in your relationship.

Communication is key, and how you communicate is even more important. Its how to say your worries or upsets, that will change the patterns of making the person feel attacked verses cared for.

I’ve been on both sides of this, but mainly on the side of feeling attacked. Yes, I’ve done some stupid things and yes I have flaws, but so did they. Quite often as a woman we hormonally strive to start families, which cause us to want to make our partner happy, to move towards this goal. Often, we don’t even realize we are doing it, when we do. Many women have been in relationships where they felt forced to adjust and adapt to their partners ways, all to make them happy, only to making themselves more upset.

Focusing on changing your partner doesn’t allow you to be vulnerable. 

While self-sufficiency can help you with life, it can also rob you of true intimacy. For a relationship to be balanced, partners must be able to depend on one another and feel that they are needed and appreciated for the support they give. Trying to change your partner can prevent you from influencing each other and achieving true intimacy. Resentment and anger can build and cause more problems down the road.

Additionally, compromise is an essential tool to preserving love that will last a lifetime. Discussing concerns that arise in a timely and respectful way will help you become better at repair skills. If you embrace the notion that conflict is an inevitable part of an intimate relationship, and that not all problems have to be resolved, you’ll bounce back from disagreements faster and build a successful long-lasting relationship.

Lastly, if you are feeling like you continually are wanting to discuss concerns, or are being talked to by your partner, maybe its time to reconsider the relationship. Sadly, sometimes we have to accept that yes we love this person, but no, our views will never be the same. Respect that we all grow at different speeds and times, and each relationship makes us learn more about who we are and what we need to be happy.

I’m sure everyone who has worked in the restaurant industry has heard a handful of times from their management, to leave their outside life at the door.

Yes, in this industry it is very difficult to have a “bad day” and go be outgoing and happy to every guest they talk to. Unfortunately, customers don’t care about how you feel, or what’s going on in your life, you need to buckle down, put a smile on and act like everything is amazing.

Not only is this expectation coming from your customers, but definitely pushed from your management. If you have an “off day” and make a couple mistakes while your smile isn’t as big as normal, you can be worried that you will get pulled aside from management, telling you to stop fucking up and put a bigger smile on.

Not only is this hard, but the most difficult part is trying to talk to a manager about your mental health and well being. Restaurants are so tight on staff, that flexibility can be an issue. At least this is the current case in Vancouver. With so many new restaurants opening up, they are finding it hard to find and keep good employees and most staff are pushed to work overtime or more than 5 shifts a week, to make up for it. With money being the true addiction, employees find it hard to say no, but in turn this affects their mental and physical health.

Quite often, if an employee goes to a management and explains they are not doing well with their mental health and need to take time off. Management will think that they are undependable, which can hugely affect their upcoming schedule and section, which will in turn affect their wage and tips. You can see how this can snowball and how the pressure to be always on point can make someone worried to ask for help or time away.

It is time for restaurants to take responsibility and acknowledge the mental health issues and over worked employees.

Treating your staff with proper respect and scheduling what is legally acceptable, will create that work life balance and allow your employees to not burn out and work harder while they are there.

For everyone else, please understand that your server is human and can have a bad day from time to time. Unlike a lot of other industries, they are not able to work a “half day” or go home. You never know what they’re going through, and although yes, their job is to make you have a great evening and enjoy your dinner, from time to time it may be a little harder than normal for them to make that smile extra big. You’d be amazed how many times I went to work having a bad day and then had that one table that was so friendly, nice and understanding, that made me remember why I did love serving people.

Let’s all remember that we are all human and all just want to be accepted, understood and appreciated.