Small Gestures, Big Impact #BellLetsTalk

On a day like today, where we celebrate #BellLetsTalk day, it’s one day of the year where we are reminded to share both the good and bad around mental health.

Today is dedicated to sharing our stories, so we’re not alone in the struggles we almost all face daily in keeping a healthy mental health. If we looked at mental health the way we looked at physical health, our world would certainly be a different place.

I wanted to share a story from last week in hopes that today, we can be reminded of the good.. the good stories, good moments, and good human beings that are out there, who help contribute positively to our mental health and well-being.

Two small moments last week that took place in my local Balzacs coffee shop reminded me of just how powerful small gestures can be in leaving a lasting impact... by complete strangers.

When I entered the coffee shop, I wasn’t surprised to see the place was packed.. buzzing with people meeting, writing, studying, reflecting. A mom in front of me in line had, what appeared to be a newborn baby and a young toddler.. and here, there were no tables or seats available for this busy mom to sit down and enjoy her coffee with her fam.

What happened next was a small yet subtle reminder that good people DO still exist. A man kindly stood up and offered to give up his table for the young mom. Thank god, good people really do exist. As a new mom who finds one baby a lot to handle, I was so appreciative for this man and his kind gesture for the mom who had her two hands full.

The second moment in the coffee shop was personal for me - one of the most random yet most powerful moments. A middle aged woman happened to come over to my table as I typed away (I was probably working on the ol’ blog!) and said how she didn’t want to appear weird but that she had noticed my smile, how infectious it was and how it lit up the room when I walked into the coffee shop.

What?

I didn’t know this lady. Hadn’t noticed her in the coffee shop. Nor had I even realized I was smiling?! Maybe I was smiling while I was writing and I didn’t even realize it?! I'll never know. I kindly thanked the lady and said how wonderful it was of her to come over and share something like that with me, as I blushed.

As she left, a wave of emotion came over me (it could be this new-found emotion that has come over me ever since having a baby, not quite sure?!) but I was reminded of just how amazing moments like that can completely transform your day. Just how amazing human beings can be and are.

How complete strangers can remind you of your most random qualities; how a random stranger can transform your mood in an instant; how a small moment or gesture like this can make you feel so connected to a complete stranger; and how your heart can feel so full over something that seems so trivial and small yet something that can be so powerful.

How a complete stranger can remind you, that despite all the negativity that appears to be going on in the world, good and positivity always prevails.

To the man who gave up his table and the lady whose compliment has etched a mark in my heart forever, thank you. Thank you for helping people you didn’t have too. Whose day you transformed. Whose mental health you helped without realizing.

What I hope to do on a day like today is pay it forward. While discussing mental health today, let's share everything - the good, the bad, the ugly - but let's also try and share the positive. Because that is just one of the many ways we can help contribute to this all so important conversation around mental health.

#BellLetsTalk

If you would like to speak to a professional, you can call Ontario's Mental Health Hotline 24/7 at 1-866-531-2600.

[Photo Source]

26 Things to be Grateful for this Holiday

I am writing this as I watch the World Junior Hockey Game, in my Roots track pants, on Boxing day. You can’t get anymore Canadian than that! I hope you had a fun holiday yesterday with your loved ones and took in the special day of the year. I’ve been so overwhelmed (in a good way) for all the small details that I thought I would share some here on Boxing Day - 26 things I’m grateful for this holiday. Maybe some of these small moments will resonate with you as well :)

  1. Waking up without an alarm clock
  2. The smell of coffee as it begins to brew (and knowing its acceptable to put Baileys in it because heck, its the holidays!)
  3. Volunteering before Christmas and seeing how you’re helping to make a difference
  4. Getting your emails done to a 0 inbox!
  5. Crossing off all of your to-do’s for the day
  6. Finishing a big project at work and then celebrating with colleagues
  7. Saying Merry Christmas to a random stranger on an elevator
  8. Holding the door open at the local coffee shop for someone... and then getting your coffee bought by the person in line ahead of you
  9. The feeling you get as soon as you walk into Chapters #HappilyOverwhelmed
  10. Finding the best deal at Winners for a Christmas gift #StarttheCar
  11. That feeling of success after finishing a baking recipe that took way too long but you're hoping is oh so yummy
  12. Cracking a new bottle of wine.. yum!
  13. Biting into the freshest, squeakiest piece of cheese… and knowing there is an entire plate left to eat
  14. Singing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs as if you're the best singer... for some reason Blake loves the 'I Want a Hippopotamus' song.
  15. Seeing friends after so long and catching up like nothing ever changed
  16. The smell of wood burning as you walk outdoors in the nighttime cold air
  17. Sitting down to the best homemade meal you helped to make
  18. Eating a salad you made for lunch and feeling so good about yourself afterwards for (finally) eating healthy!
  19.  Starting to watch a series on Netflix you’ve heard people rave about #TheCrown
  20. Watching the World Junior Hockey games.. its a national Canadian pastime at Christmas
  21. Sitting around with family on Christmas Eve and watching Christmas Vacation, so many good laughs (even though we've already seen the movie like a thousand times!)
  22. Playing games with your siblings and laughing so hard
  23. Knowing its acceptable to wear track pants the entire holiday season
  24. Sitting in the darkness with only candles flickering while you dive into a new read or magazine
  25. Watching your son open up his first Christmas present and knowing he has no idea what all of it means
  26. Knowing you can chase your dreams, following your passions, raise a family, love hard… and feel so damn good about it all.
[Photo Source]

A Week in Reflection

+ One of the greatest controls I realize we can have in modern day times is knowing when to unplug from social media and take breaks when you need them most. This is something I did this week. Not worrying about taking pictures in the moment and just capturing those moments in your mind to cherish, is needed more often than I think we realize.

+ One of those moments this week, was watching Blake turn two months. The smiles and giggles that are coming from him more and more everyday are so much fun.

+ There is nothing better for the soul than walks outdoors in beautiful summer sun, especially when its with your best friend (and her baby!) or husband and a good cup of coffee.

+ Another thing that feeds the soul? A good book like Erin Loechnre's 'Chasing Slow' which I have completely consumed this week. The way in which Erin writes is truly incredible - its as if she can read my mind.

+ You can make chocolate chip cookies a hundred times and still make a batch that is a #BakingFail.

+ Visits from friends during the day, mid-week for a quick coffee and chat are the best.

+ There truly is no way to know what Donald Trump will get up too next and what his tweets may result in by the end of the week #FacePalmEmoji

+ Sometimes, you just need those deep-fried pickles you are craving. And so deserve (that's what I keep telling myself anyways).

+ Fresh cut flowers in the house brighten up everyone's mood.

+When you search out some awesome finds at the local antique market in Aberfoyle and negotiate the price too!

+ That feeling of accomplishment when you get through your weekend to do list (almost all of it anyways)

My Kind of Saturday

My Kind of Saturday

I always enjoy Saturday mornings back at home on my family's farm. I have always loved the 'routine' that accompanies a dairy farming lifestyle because you always knew you had to be at home in the morning and at night time to milk the cows and do chores (can you tell I like routine?!) Weekends including Saturday mornings are no different. I always love getting up to help with chores, knowing that once chores are done, we still have an entire day to ourselves to do whatever our heart desires. And to top that, you feel SO productive knowing that by 9am you've did all of that work to get the cows milked, fed and feeling comfortable... and the day is just starting!

One of my other favourite Saturday morning routines when I am home for the weekend is visiting our local, hometown coffee shop and settling in for a great coffee, a good read and sometimes, some computer work and blogging (they have free wifi, what an enticing service offered by a rural, small-town business!) There is nothing better than feeling so inspired & productive while enjoying the best cup of jo (better than Timmies dare I say!) and seeing people from your hometown at the same time.

THIS is my kind of Saturday.... there really is nothing better.

What does your 'best version of Saturday' look like?!

Happy Easter weekend!