Avoiding Holiday Burnout

This year we are all about avoiding Holiday burnout! Prioritizing, self-care and gentle reminders can sometimes help bring us back to a place of that holly jolliness. Prioritizing is a huge one for me and something I am continuously working on. It seems the pressure to have a “perfect” Christmas gets bigger every year, as does my to-do list! My biggest advice for cutting down this list, to what matters to YOU is the A-E method.

A- Assemble the list.

B- Break it down! (circle only 2 top list items that bring you JOY)

C- Create a new list with these joyful items

D- Delegate or it is gone! (You are not alone. What friends or family can help with this?)

E- Eliminate all the extra and enjoy your top 2!

It can be easy to get trapped in the idea that everything on the list HAS to get done. This is where prioritizing is really important…what is important to you this Holiday!? What kind of holiday do YOU want to have? Is it really a MUST to have three different types of stuffing? Yes, it might be nice, and you might even get extra brownie points from your mother in law! But what will this cost, time and energy wise? Instead of opening presents with the kids, you might have to spend all morning in the kitchen, you might be exhausted by the time the actual dinner comes around, and not get to enjoy it as much! Prioritizing and keeping your holiday simple to what really matters to you and yours will not only help preserve your energy but will help define for you what the Holiday is really about.

This Holiday season, make sure to pencil in some “me time.” Have you been shopping and decorating all day? A bath might feel wonderful to wind down, or even a session with one of our wonderful Practitioner’s for a massage, acupuncture or an appointment with our Osteopath!

At Evoke, we now offer Clinical Counselling with Karyn Davies, who is passionate about helping people build a self-care routine that honours their needs. We have asked Karyn to share with us some best practices for avoiding burnout this season…

With all of the magic and celebration of the season, it can be challenging to find a healthy balance of doing and being. What could it feel like to experience Christmas with total ease?

I invite you to keep these things in mind when navigating your holiday plans:

You have permission to do less. Consider where your expectations of a fabulous meal are coming from. Does requiring a certain standard of perfection reflect what you value? What matters the most to you, if you dig deep? Try giving yourself permission to simplify how things are being done this Christmas.

Turn up the self-compassion. Think of it as a system reboot! Now is an excellent time to speak to yourself with kindness, especially when you feel worn out, overstretched, or frustrated. Take a compassion shower, mentally- and really soak up the words of care and kindness.

I suggest taking small steps in making changes to your habits and ways of thinking. Small changes allow you to experience something different authentically, and to explore how valuable it is. Have fun celebrating the little successes!

Immune Boostering Tips for Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year again! That’s right, its cold and flu season! With the heavy rain and constant weather changes, it is not surprising that we have many colds and flu going around this year.

 

There are many things you can do for your body that can help boost your immune system and keep healthy! When looking at how to boost the immune system, start by looking at your sleep and food choices. Sometimes called the 3 pillars of health: sleep, food, and movement, all contribute to our overall health and help us to build a strong and durable immune system. It is essential to set ourselves up for success on a daily basis for long-term wellness and to avoid further health concerns.

 

Adding more naturally detoxifying foods to your diet can be a big help. Spices like garlic, turmeric are all great at helping to flush the system. One of the best things we can do this time of year, especially as stress levels start to rise with the holidays coming, is to not fight against what our bodies are trying to tell us, but rather listen and get in tune with what they really want! For example, it is common to crave heartier, and warmer, cozier options as the weather changes. Let’s listen to this! A hearty stew or soup would make an excellent choice here, and your body will thank you!

 

Incorporating Herbal Teas, Mushroom blends, Superfood Blends and Tinctures into your regime can also be helpful during Cold and Flu season. Evoke offers made in-house, Organic Tea Blends and locally sourced, Organic Herbal Tinctures that can help increase your natural defences. We have incorporated all the heavy hitters like, immune boosting Elderberry, Vitamin C rich Rosehip, warming Ginseng and adrenal bolstering Astragalus. So, bring on the Holidays! With a little help, your immune system can take it!

Vitamin D for beating the Winter Blues

As the trees change, the sky becomes darker, and our outer world starts to look gloomy, so can our inside world. It makes us wonder why it seems that some people seem to notice the changes in weather and season more than others? Why do some of us experience dips in our energy and ability to concentrate?

SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can affect around 15% of our population in Canada. Because people who experience SAD, tend to have less Vitamin-D in their systems, making sure we are getting enough can definitely help to brighten things up. During the late fall, it can be enough to grab Vitamin-D from the bits of sunshine we see, but as we head into the rainy season, adding a daily supplement to your routine can significantly impact our overall sense of wellbeing. Since Vitamin-D occurs naturally in the body, it is, therefore, simple for our body to absorb. It is a tasteless, easy-to-take supplement that is often best taken after a meal but can be consumed with or without food. At Evoke, we choose Vitamin-D in a liquid form due to its fast acting benefits and absorption rate.

Vitamin-D deficiencies occur regularly in areas of higher pollution. We also know that a lack of this vital nutrient, along with calcium, can eventually lead to things like bone issues, osteoporosis and degenerative diseases. Supplementing with Vitamin-D can help decrease your chances of heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and even the flu! It is easy to test for deficiencies, and you can request to have your levels checked through your Family Doctor or pay for private blood work through your Naturopathic Doctor.

Symptoms of Vitamin-D deficiency can include general fatigue and trouble finding energy, depression, muscle and joint pain. While asking your Doctor if supplementing is right for you, you can also jumpstart your progress by making small changes in your diet and lifestyle to help with these symptoms. Incorporating the following foods into your diet can naturally increase your levels of Vitamin-D: orange juice, cereals, bread, some dairy products like cheese, egg yolks and fattier-fish. Including a daily supplement may seem too inconsequential to impact symptoms, but sometimes it is the most minor change that can make the most significant difference in getting us back to a natural and healthier state of being. Before adding Vitamin-D to your routine, please make sure you talk to either your Naturopathic Doctor or Family Practitioner.

Claiming your power

Thirst for Thriving

A regular post by Karyn, RCC 💛

"Self-care is how you take your power back."

– Lalah Delia

Have you considered making Counselling a part of your self-care practice?

As we approach the end of 2018, now is an excellent time to fully use your extended health benefits. Many plans cover Counselling with a Registered Clinical Counsellor or Social Worker.

Some common motivators to attend therapy are: Feeling overwhelmed by life's demands, anxiety that affects everyday life and feels uncomfortable, or readiness to work through some lingering disappointment or fear around close relationships.

Living powerfully opens up new doors.

Claim your power by sharing your truth in a safe environment. Let your voice be heard as you share emotions that may not have been fully expressed. Explore what has been challenging, and name the successes in your life. Therapy gives you the opportunity to relieve any tension or resentment that may be keeping you from feeling empowered in the way you live everyday.

What personal power are you being invited to explore?

Karyn Davies, Registered Clinical Counsellor 

Karyn empowers clients to live with passion, authenticity, and trust. Her support enhances self-esteem and promotes a regular self-care practice, while celebrating client progress in feeling more grounded, capable, and present to life's joys and challenges. 

http://www.refreshcounsellingvancouver.com

https://www.evokemedicine.com/karyn-davies-rcc

Having a wind-down routine is essential

THIRST FOR THRIVING

A regular post by Karyn 💛

At the end of a demanding day it might be tempting to simply crash into bed without giving yourself space to unwind. While this is okay to do sometimes, I am a huge advocate for how helpful it is to create a bedtime routine that lets you decompress from the day. It's a way of saying thank you and goodbye to whatever has happened… A letting go that honours both the amazing and the hard things about your day.

Why be intentional about unwinding? 

Rhythms and routines relax the mind.

Once you start setting aside at least 20-30 minutes to unwind at night, your brain will begin to anticipate going into relaxation mode in the evening. You are training the mind to slow down and feel at ease. One of my favourite authors is Psychologist Rick Hanson, who speaks wonderfully about neuroscience and the benefits of relaxing, and offers simple meditations to "activate the “rest-and-digest” parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and its neural, hormonal, and cardiovascular allies; they calm down the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system". https://www.rickhanson.net/relax-your-body/

You are worth it.

Whether you're immersed in your career, parenting, or studies, your presence in the world makes others' lives richer in many ways. Simply because you exist and are uniquely YOU is reason enough to treat yourself with kindness, consideration and respect.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

– LeoBuscaglia


3 relaxing routines to try:

Dial down.

1 hour before bedtime, turn off all screens and electronic devices. Put on a cozy light and enjoy a delicious cup of  herbal tea and some light reading. Stretch your legs out and breathe mindfully in between sips as you savor the quiet time.

Re-connect.

30 minutes before bed, take your journal or iPad and write down 3 successes from your day. What made you smile? When did you feel capable? Loved?

Give yourself a big hug once you're done:)

Stretch it out.

20 minutes before bedtime, do a few stretches. See where you're holding tension, and focus on 1-2 areas. Opening up the hips can feel wonderful; and often the neck is holding stress. Then spend  5 minutes breathing in a relaxed way. Lie down and imagine that you are drawing breath in through holes in your feet. Fill your whole body up with a slow breath, all the way up to your head. Breathe out fully, to the count of 7.

Do you have a nighttime routine that makes you feel great? I would love to hear about it!

Karyn Davies, Registered Clinical Counsellor 

Karyn empowers clients to live with passion, authenticity, and trust. Her support enhances self-esteem and promotes a regular self-care practice, while celebrating client progress in feeling more grounded, capable, and present to life's joys and challenges. 

http://www.refreshcounsellingvancouver.com

https://www.evokemedicine.com/karyn-davies-rcc







Growth that Engages Heart + Mind

Are you a growth-oriented person? Do you thrive knowing you're facing the personal challenges and cultivating your good qualities? 

Being a lifelong learner means you're intentionally curious. There is more understanding and awareness to be found; new discoveries about how you function as a person and how you move in the world. You welcome this kind of learning. Even during times of happiness and stability, you are receptive to exploring what motivates and inspires your mind and heart. Ongoing self-reflection or taking stock of the inner life is important to you.

It can be reinvigorating to look at how you've grown over these last months, and to consciously acknowledge how you've been skillful or brave in tackling the challenges... and embracing the joys. Autumn is a marvelous season for cozying up with your favourite tea or coffee, and slowing down to reflect. Let yourself breathe easy and see what comes to mind with these questions. Have a journal or iPad nearby so you can write your thoughts down. Happy pondering!

Consider:

How has your mind grown recently? (Maybe you're more organized; can see a variety of perspectives; or have honed a skill like healthy cooking). Pause and be proud of yourself! Enjoy the feeling of success.

How has your heart expanded? (Maybe you have more space to love yourself; greater patience with changed plans; or newfound compassion for a difficult person in your life).

Now it's time to find a way of celebrating this growth that's been named. Do something simple and enjoyable, like telling your best friend or dancing to some uplifting music.

Continuing the conversation

 If you are needing support to build some new skills that allow you to live in a more grounded and courageous way, I'm glad to be of help. In our sessions together, we will also dive deeply into what you're doing well, because there are DEFINITELY things on that list!

Karyn empowers clients to live with passion, authenticity, and trust. Her support enhances self-esteem and promotes a regular self-care practice, while celebrating client progress in feeling more grounded, capable, and present to life's joys and challenges. 

http://www.refreshcounsellingvancouver.com

https://www.evokemedicine.com/karyn-davies-rcc

Counselling is now available at Evoke!

Counselling is now available at Evoke

My name is Karyn and I'm a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC. I am thrilled to be joining the team at Evoke Integrative Medicine!  It's marvelous that there is access to several wellness services under the same roof, at a clinic that is so welcoming.

Whether you've attended Counselling before or this form of support is new for you, taking the first step is key. From there you have a safe environment in which to share the questions or struggles that are presenting themselves in your life.

You may want to connect on a deeper level with your partner, to feel more confident in your abilities as a person, or to process a difficult loss in your life. Some people are thriving in their career and have wonderful people in their lives, yet are feeling anxious, low energy, or unsettled. Counselling is an opportunity to get curious about what may be keeping you from enjoying life fully, and to learn about yourself along the way. It will be a pleasure to work with you, and to support your personal growth journey. 

Book a meet and greet! I'm available for a  15-minute complimentary consultation, if you have specific questions or want to ensure it is the best fit for you. The meet can be done in-person or over the phone.

Warm wishes for an inspired transition into autumn, and all the possibilities it holds. 

Loving yourself does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.  ― Margo Anand

Karyn Davies, RCC // Registered Clinical Counsellor

Stress 3/3: Building Resilience to Stress

Stress 3/3: Building Resilience to Stress

In part 3 of our stress series, it's about time we talked about what to do about stress, and how to develop resilience to stress.  By nurturing our ability to hone these tools to maximize resilience, we can create the world we want to live in - personally, professionally, and also at the corporate level.

Imagery Training 2: Imagery is Not Just for Athletes

Imagery Training 2:  Imagery is Not Just for Athletes

"Fight every battle everywhere all the time always... In your mind, Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend; Every possible series of events is happening all at once; Live that way and nothing will surprise you; Everything that happens will be something you've seen before” -- Petyr Baelish, Game of Thrones

Imagery Training: This is NOT Meditation

Imagery Training: This is NOT Meditation

Fight every battle every where all the time always.  In your mind, every one is your enemy, everyone is your friend; every possible series of events is happening all at once.  Live that way and nothing will surprise you.  Everything that happens will be something you've seen before.  --Petyr Baelish "Little Finger", HBO's Game of Thrones