Just before Christmas, I had the chance to accompany a competitive girls basketball team to a tournament in Arizona. In addition to watching some great basketball, my husband Joe and I had the opportunity for a hike up Camelback Ridge, a famous trail in Echo Canyon Park. As we passed the trailhead at 4pm, a park ranger warned us to be back down by 5:25pm. Confident and energetic, we forged ahead, making the steep climb to the peak by 5pm. At the summit, we stood proudly among a gathering of happy people enjoying the spectacular view. A friendly and hard-core looking hiker warned us that the 5:25pm deadline was real, and the park gave out tickets to anyone who is late getting off the mountain. We laughed and took a series of great photos to the warm glow of the setting sun.
Making our way down, we continued to take great photos. We started to be passed by a series of ultra-marathon looking types jogging quickly by. Enough runners passed that I started to think that maybe they knew something we didn’t: either, they were being chased by wild game; or the 5:25pm penalty was real. With a surge of energy, we started to sprint down. My husband laughed at me, as he’s never seen me scamper down a mountain slope with such glee. It had become a game – Belinda versus park ranger. With sixty seconds to spare, we made it across the finish line. I looked around to give the ticketing officer a high-five, but none was to be found. Enquiries with other hikers revealed that ticketing is a practice, but seldom enforced. However, the large number of foolish hikers stranding themselves up on the mountain after dusk with only their cell phones to guide them was real. The emergency response team is frequently called to help pull people out after they injure themselves after dark.
All in all, what could have been a stressful situation ended up being the highlight of my trip. Sometimes when we’re stressed situation, it’s hard to see the silver lining. Only afterwards are we able to reflect on the strength, courage or skill it took to get ourselves out of it.
Although I know the journey that each of you is on might be difficult, we hope that you are able to take time to catch the sunset or beauty that exists within it.
Warm regards from the entire Landing Strong Team,
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych. Founder, Landing Strong
I have a confession to make. I love Christmas, it’s the simple things that make it special really…like the smell of my mother’s traditional shortbread recipe filling the house as we play good tunes and decorate cookies together. Although my mother is gone, the smell reminds me of her love. Or watching cheesy Christmas movies together and participating in family fitness bootcamps. It’s a time when we all take time away from our busy lives to connect. My kids will come home, we’ll cook some good food together, and maybe have a kitchen dance party or two. In this busy life, and despite the many events of the season, for me, it’s a time of reflection and appreciation.
Have you noticed how easy it is to fall into routines in our daily lives that place the needs of others ahead of our own? We form patterns that might not be sustainable, often leaving us discouraged and exhausted. I’m reminded of the importance of taking time to “refill the well” before the supply runs dry. It’s an aspect of our wellbeing that’s often neglected.
If we don’t make a conscious effort to destress at the end of each day, the cumulative effect of what we carry in our lives can become increasingly difficult to hold. That’s why doing something we enjoy each day is so important. We are offering two programs in January, both designed to build resilience and help us stay strong.
For First Responders and Veterans living with PTSD, anxiety or depression, we have the “New Year, New You” workshop on January 11th.
For Caregivers, friends and family of these First Responders and Veterans, we are offering Part 1 of our “Care for the Caregiver” series on January 7th for those who weren’t able to attend the first series.
We hope that you will join us.
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season.
Warm regards from the entire Landing Strong Team, Belinda
As we gear up for the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up with the demands of the season. For many, the extra load can feel somewhat overwhelming. With this in mind, we have created something special for you: 8 Holiday hacks to keep your recovery on track. In this special booklet, we offer tips and strategies for staying sane in a time of increased demand. We’ll also be sending mini versions of these strategies to you through social media channels over the next few weeks.
Want to start the New Year off right? We have some exciting new programs launching in January that we invite you to join. It’s important to call soon so that we can arrange insurance coverage for you to attend.
Care for the Caregiver Part 1: Supporting and Thriving
Learn Strategies to be a stronger, more resilient support for someone you care about who has PTSD or other Operational Stress Injuries
An encore presentation for those who could not get into the first round.
Monday January 7, 2019 10-3 pm
Care for the Caregiver Series Part 2: Effective communication skills
Learn strategies to reconnect in a meaningful way
Friday January 18, 2019 10-3 pm
New Year New You Part 1
This year, set yourself up for success. Regroup, recalibrate and reclaim your life.
A program for military members, veterans and first responders.
Friday January 11, 2019 10-3 pm
Reconnect with yourself
Discover your true potential
Group sizes are limited, book now to avoid disappointment. Call (902) 472-2972 for more information or email us at email@example.com.
It was a cold and windy day as ten brave souls made their way to the first in the series of caregiver workshops. No doubt anxious about coming to a new place a meeting new people, the group quickly formed bonds that transcended differences that existed between them.
What struck me the most was the strength and resiliency exhibited by each individual. We never know what life’s going to throw our way, but ultimately it’s our ability to get back up after we’re knocked down that defines us. I had the honour of witnessing courage, strength, unconditional support, and compassion among the members of the group. This workshop is just the first of many. Keep an eye on your inbox and our social media pages to see what exciting things are in store.
As promised, we have sent our Caregiver PDF to your inbox. Next week, we will be forwarding you additional resources to help you get through the holidays in a safe and healthy manner.
Due to the overwhelming response for Care for the Caregiver Workshop: Supporting & Thriving, we are offering it again on January 7th for those who didn’t make it in the first time around. Contact us to register today.
A special program New Year, New You designed for Military Members, Veterans and First Responders, will be offered on January 11th. Set yourself up for success in 2019. Feel free to call us for more information.
“I just want to be happy,” the woman sitting next to me at the coffee shop exclaims to her friend, “is that too much to ask?”
I’m trying not to listen, but have a hard time tuning her out since she’s speaking so loudly. As I sip my London Fog, I wonder if she is struggling because she’s asking the wrong question.
Everyone is talking about having a happy life. I’m not sure such a thing exists. In true Buddhist tradition, we can’t fully appreciate joy without knowing suffering. Or love, without loneliness. I believe happiness is a byproduct of spending our time in meaningful ways, not a destination in and of itself. It’s really about understanding the impact of the many small choices we make each day. Happiness might come from supporting a friend instead of watching Netflix, or starting that fitness program we’ve been putting off. It’s about choosing to do the hard thing, instead of settling for what’s easy. It’s not always clear how important the struggle is when we’re in the midst of it. The joy of an accomplishment is in direct proportion to the challenge it presents. If it isn’t hard to do, it probably isn’t worth doing.
So instead of asking the question, “why can’t I be happy?”, we should be asking, “how have I challenged myself today?” Ultimately, it’s through meaning and purpose that we find fulfillment.
When stepping onto an airplane, you can expect to hear a short safety presentation from the crew. Passengers are usually instructed that in the case of an emergency, they should put on their own oxygen masks before assisting someone else. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot be there for others. Sometimes, this means prioritizing ourselves even when someone we care about needs us.
This month, our focus has been on caring for those who support others. In many ways, we are all caregivers. Weather it’s in a first responder role or caring for loved ones, we can only continue in these roles to the extent that we take the time to properly nourish ourselves.
On November 30th, we are offering a 1-day program on self-care:
Learn how to improve your health, relationship, and ability to handle future challenges.
Gain clarity on your roles & needs
Master tools for success in all aspects of your life
Identify your strengths and make them work for you
Let us help you get to where you want to be.
We hope you’ll join us. Contact us at (902) 472-3272 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.