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Ever heard of amygdala hijacking?

Amygdala hijacking, coined by psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book "Emotional Intelligence "describing a sudden, overwhelming emotional response that bypasses rational thought. The amygdala is a small, almond-shaped structure in the brain in the limbic system that plays a crucial role in processing emotions, particularly fear and pleasure responses. When a person experiences a perceived threat or intense emotional stimulus, the amygdala can initiate a rapid, instinctual reaction before the conscious brain has a chance to fully process the situation.

The concept of amygdala hijacking highlights the brain`s evolutionary design for survival. In threatening or highly emotional situations, the brain prioritizes swift action over careful deliberation. However, in modern society, amygdala hijacking can lead to impulsive or irrational behaviour in response to non-life-threatening situations. For example, a person might react with anger or aggression during a heated argument, even if the disagreement does not pose a physical threat. Similarly, someone might experience overwhelming anxiety before giving a public presentation, triggering the fight-flight-freeze response despite the absence of any real danger.

The phenomenon of amygdala hijacking can underscore the ability to sit with a thought, the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one`s own emotions and those of others. This can lead us to act in ways that upon reflection are often hurtful, and irrational, which makes us feel worse.
Remember, it is not a voluntary process and occurs without your conscious input. But, taking a step back, and reevaluating what is happening in the moment can be very beneficial. Recognizing what the stressor of the situation is, and evaluating its true impact, can allow us a quick moment of clarity when this occurs.

If you find yourself, in a situation like this try to take a step back, and attempt to bring some calm to the storm by practicing mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing techniques, or the 5-4-3-2-1 method! As always, remember to be kind to yourself, as well as others! Happy Tuesday!

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Did you know that sensory overload can affect everyone?

Sensory overload occurs when 1 or more of the 5 senses become overstimulated with information, making it difficult to fully process the information we are receiving. This can result in feelings of overwhelm, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and even physical discomfort.

Being able to identify when we are overstimulated can be challenging, and leave us feeling overwhelmed! Seeing that we are all unique, and have different thresholds of stimulation, it`s important to know yourself and your limits. Overstimulation can feel like…
👉🏻 tension in the head, neck, shoulders, and arms
👉🏻 clenching your teeth
👉🏻 irregular breathing
👉🏻 increased irritability, frustration, or anger
👉🏻 difficulty being able to relax or sleep
👉🏻 difficulty being able to focus

When you`re feeling overstimulated or stressed, whether due to Autism or ADHD, sensory overload, or any other reason, it`s important to take steps to calm your mind and body. Here are some strategies you can try:

Find Part 2 in the comments!
#mentalhealthadvocate #positivequotes #psychotherapy #kitchener #neurodiversity #healthyliving #neurodivergent #positivity #supportgroupadhd #adhdlife #mentalhealth #adhdsupport #kindness #zoom

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The day also encourages allies to show their support for the transgender community. By participating in TDoV activities, sharing educational resources, and advocating for transgender rights, allies contribute to building a more inclusive and affirming environment. This collective effort helps create a world where transgender individuals can live authentically without fear of discrimination, and where visibility leads to acceptance. We highly encourage you to check out local events, including those run by @ok2beme and @spectrumkw.

Trans Resources:
We are wishing all of our trans folk a happy day of visibility! As always, remember to be kind to yourself, and others.

#kitchener #psychotherapy #mentalhealthadvocate #neurodiversity #positivequotes

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As we approach the celebration of Easter, we, at Street Therapy, extend our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones. May this season of renewal and hope bring you abundant happiness, good health, and moments of reflection.

Easter is only a religious celebration, but also a spiritual one for many other cultures. Easter is a time of rebirth, a symbol of new beginnings, and an opportunity to embrace the spirit of renewal in our lives. Just as nature blossoms with the arrival of spring, we encourage you to take this time to nurture your mental and emotional well-being. We believe in the power of self-care, and Easter serves as a beautiful reminder to prioritize your mental health.

In the spirit of this season, we encourage you to reflect on the positive changes you can make in your life. Whether it`s fostering better relationships, practicing self-compassion, or embarking on a journey of personal growth, our dedicated team of therapists is here to support you every step of the way.

Amidst the festivities and gatherings, it`s essential to acknowledge the importance of mental health. Holidays can sometimes bring about various emotions, and if you find yourself in need of support, our therapists are here to provide a safe and understanding space for you to explore and navigate your feelings.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Easter filled with moments of joy, reflection, and the warmth of those you hold dear. May this spring season be a reminder to nurture your mental health, embrace positivity, and embark on a journey of self-discovery. From all of us at Street Therapy, may your Easter be as bright and promising as the springtime sun.

#neurodiversity #positivequotes #psychotherapy #kitchener #mentalhealthadvocate #easter #easterweekend #longweekend #longweekendjoy #longweekendfun

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Happy Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 18th-24th)!

Neurodiversity Celebration Week serves as a significant and inclusive observance aimed at recognizing and embracing the diversity of neurological conditions and cognitive differences within the human population.

The importance of Neurodiversity Celebration Week lies in fostering understanding, acceptance, and inclusivity for individuals with conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological differences. Rather than viewing these differences as deficits, the #neurodiversity movement advocates for recognizing them as natural variations of the human brain. This shift in perspective challenges stereotypes and promotes a more inclusive and supportive environment for #neurodivergent individuals.

By dedicating a week to celebrate neurodiversity, society acknowledges the richness of human cognitive diversity and challenges stigma and discrimination often associated with neurological conditions. It provides a platform for raising awareness about the unique strengths and talents that neurodivergent individuals bring to various fields, including arts, sciences, technology, and more.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week is an opportunity to engage in conversations about creating accessible and accommodating spaces in education, workplaces, and communities. It encourages the development of inclusive policies that support the needs of neurodivergent individuals and promote their full participation in all aspects of life. If you’re interested in contributing to some of the conversations you can a list of events happening this week here →

Ultimately, the celebration of neurodiversity fosters a culture of acceptance, respect, and appreciation for the diversity of human minds. It encourages collaboration and understanding, helping to build a world where everyone, regardless of their differences, can thrive and contribute to the betterment of society. As awareness grows, the potential for meaningful inclusion and support for neurodivergent individuals increases, leading to a more compassionate and diverse global community.

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Good Morning! Hope everyone is having a great day! We just wanted to pop on and remind everyone of the services we offer here at Street Therapy! Our commitment to fostering healthy relationships and promoting personal growth is reflected in the diverse array of options we offer.

🌟Individual Counselling: Our individual sessions are tailored to address the unique needs and challenges that each person may be facing. Our experienced and empathetic clinicians create a safe and confidential space for clients to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. We are dedicated to guiding individuals towards a more fulfilling and balanced life.
🌟Couples Counselling: Relationships require nurturing and understanding, and our couples counselling services are designed to strengthen the bonds between partners. Our therapists work with couples to navigate communication issues, conflict resolution, and intimacy challenges. By fostering mediated open and honest dialogue, we help couples build a foundation of trust and mutual support.
🌟Family Therapy: We understand family dynamics can be complex, and our family therapy sessions provide a space for open communication and resolution of conflicts. Our therapists work collaboratively with families to improve communication, set healthy boundaries, and address underlying issues that may be impacting the family unit.
🌟Neurodivergence Focus: Recognizing the unique needs of neurodivergent individuals, our services cater to those seeking support for autism, ADHD, and other neurodivergent traits. Our therapists are trained to provide personalized guidance, help individuals embrace their strengths, and navigate the challenges associated with neurodivergence.
🌟Psychiatric Joint Consultation: In collaboration with experienced psychiatrists, we offer psychiatric joint consultations for those who may benefit from a combined approach of counselling and medication management.

Our services reflect our dedication to providing personalized support for individuals, couples, and families, our team is here to guide you on your path to healing and personal growth.

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It’s time to spring forward! If you’re feeling like today it seems harder to get up, that could be due to the time change that occurred yesterday! On Sunday March 10th, the clocks spring forward meaning that we lost an hour of sleep.

You may find it difficult to control your sleeping patterns for the time being, but that’s okay— it’s normal. With the clocks changing, you may find yourself oversleeping more than normal. That’s because our body was in routine, and now that routine has been disrupted!

How to combat the side effect of daylight savings:

🌕 Improve your sleep habits— make sleep a priority, ensure you’re getting a full 8 hours! Try not to over sleep, but don’t be hard on yourself if you do.
🌕 Enjoy the sun— during the day take advantage of the sunshine, and go for a brisk walk, open your blinds, or simply embrace the vitamin D.
🌕 Keep moving— exercise is great for regulating our hormones and neurotransmitters! It can also play a very valuable role in routines.
🌕 Stick to your schedule— plan to need a bit of extra time to get ready and really wake up in the morning!
🌕 Change and check all of your clocks— this includes all clocks in the house, car, or our watches. Sometimes our brain plays tricks on us when the time change occurs!

While this change may be a bit frustrating at first, it ultimately means more sunlight for us now, and we’re one step closer to summer! Remember if you need a bit more time to get ready in the morning, or find it difficult to sleep/ wake up on time that’s okay, it’s important to be compassionate with ourselves! But take the extra needed time into consideration when planning your days out so you’re not early or late with your appointments or commitments! Hope you all have a great day!

#mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthadvocate #positivity #kw #positivequotes #psychotherapy #womenownedbusiness #kitchener #streettherapyca #healthyliving #daylightsavings #daylightsaving #daylight

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March 8 is International Women`s Day. It’s a global day to recognize and celebrate women’s and girls’ social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It’s also a time to raise awareness of the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the work remaining to be done.

The beginnings of International Women`s Day can be traced back to the early twentieth century. It emerged from the activities of labour movements in North America and Europe and reflected a growing call for women’s equal participation in society. The United Nations recognized 1975 as International Women`s Year and began celebrating March 8 as International Women`s Day!

Historically, women have had to fight their way through everything to get even the slightest bit of recognition. As times have changed, so have the challenges faced by women.The Government of Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 is Inspire Inclusion. When we inspire others to understand and value women`s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there`s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

On this international women’s day, we urge you to recognize the women in your life and reach out to let them know you appreciate them!

We highly recommend you checkout some of the local events happening to celebrate this day on sites like eventbrite, facebook and more! One last thing to note, is when women have other women supporting them, they feel more empowered which is inline with this years theme of inclusion. In today’s world it’s so easy to connect and reach out to like minded individuals- joining groups on instagram and facebook that are focused on connecting you with others such as girlssocial, truly twenties, etc. Can make the world’s a difference when it comes to support!
Street Therapy wishes you a Happy International Women`s day!

#women #womenempowerment #IWD #womensday2024 #psychotherapy #positivequotes #mentalhealthadvocate #positivity #mentalhealthmatters #kw #femaleempowerment #womenownedbusiness

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Emotional regulation is the ability to manage and modulate one`s emotional responses to various stimuli. It involves recognizing, understanding, and effectively responding to emotions in a way that promotes healthy communication, and well-being. While all emotions are valid, it is essential to navigate them in a manner that prevents them from controlling our actions or causing harm to ourselves or others.

Emotions are complex, and sometimes it can be difficult recognizing what it is we are feeling exactly. Which is why one of the best ways to work through emotions are to acknowledge them, and identify what led to those feelings. Journaling, brain dumping, and talking to someone can be a great way to do this!

When you bring awareness to how you are feeling, and what you are thinking, you are able to better track your triggers, and reactions. When working through your emotions it’s important to first name that emotion. For example saying to yourself things like “I am feeling ___” or “This feeling makes me want to ___”.

From there you can identify why it is you are feeling that way by asking questions like what happened? Where was I? What did I notice? Who was I with? From this point you are able to ask yourself questions that may help explain why you`re feeling a certain way, and in turn challenge the emotion!

Challenging emotions does not mean you are devaluing them. It is meant to help bring clarity. By asking questions like “Was my reaction appropriate to the situation?” or “Seeing that the situation is out of my control, what boundary can I set? Or what action can I take?”.

Being able to understand your emotions, provides you with clarity, can foster better communication, and relationships, relieve anxiety, and aid in alleviating social pressures. The journey towards emotional regulation begins with understanding. By recognizing, accepting, and comprehending our emotions, we equip ourselves with the tools needed to navigate sudden change, and our reactions. We hope you have a great day!

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Did you know that proper nutrition can play a role in managing ADHD? Although it is important to note that it is not a replacement for other forms of treatment such as medication, psychotherapy, etc.

Individuals with ADHD often produce less dopamine compared to neurotypicals, and as a result they may experience poor attention, impulsiveness, distractibility, and hyperactivity (1). When we have higher levels of dopamine we are more motivated to do tasks, have better attention, and are not as easily distracted!

How can we naturally increase dopamine production in the brain? Dopamine production can benefit from balanced nutrition, sunlight, exercise, music, and mindfulness. When it comes to ADHD and diet, there are a few considerations:

Protein: It is important to pay attention to your protein intake. Protein provides the body with amino acids, which are used to make neurotransmitters. These include things like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (2). Foods high in protein:
🍽Nuts and seeds
🍽Beans and lentils
🍽Soy products like tofu
🍽Dairy products
🍽Meat like poultry, beef and pork
🍽Fish/ Shellfish

Folates: Folate plays an important role in the body’s synthesis of dopamine and other neurotransmitters (3). Additionally, studies have shown that individuals with low folate had significantly reduced memory function (4). Foods high in folate:
🍽Sunflower Seeds
🍽Fresh fruit/ juice

We hope that you enjoy this food for thought, and please remember that ADHD is not caused by diet and diet cannot cure ADHD! Being aware of how your body processes the foods you eat, can help ensure you are fueling yourself in a productive, and delicious way!! If you wish to learn more about nutrition we recommend speaking to a qualified professional, or your doctor to ensure that food selections will not produce adverse reactions, allergies, etc.


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Did you know that March is Brain Health Awareness Month?

Brain health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, influencing cognitive function, emotional stability, and daily functioning. The brain, a highly intricate organ, requires proper care and attention to maintain optimal performance. This month let’s focus on how we can take care of our brains!

Improving brain health involves adopting lifestyle practices that support cognitive function. What can increase cognitive function you may ask?
🧠Regular physical exercise has been linked to improved memory, attention, and overall brain health.
🧠Exercise promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, stimulating the growth of new neurons and enhancing neural connections.
🧠 Engaging in activities that challenge the brain, such as puzzles, learning new skills, or playing musical instruments, can also contribute to cognitive vitality.
🧠Sufficient sleep is a cornerstone of maintaining a healthy brain. During sleep, the brain undergoes vital processes such as memory consolidation and detoxification. Chronic sleep deprivation can negatively impact mood, memory, and decision-making.

Additionally, nutrition plays a huge role in brain health, with certain foods providing essential nutrients that support cognitive function.
🧠Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, and vitamins like B-complex vitamins are known to positively impact brain health.
🧠Adequate hydration is crucial, as even mild dehydration can impair cognitive abilities.

The state of our mental health is closely tied to brain health. Neurotransmitters, hormones, and neural pathways all contribute to our emotional well-being. An imbalance or dysfunction in these aspects can lead to conditions such as anxiety, depression, or mood swings. Conversely, a healthy and well-functioning brain contributes to emotional resilience, stress management, and an overall positive outlook on life. As always we hope you have a great day, and remember to be kind to yourself, your brain and others!

#positivity #mentalhealthadvocate #psychotherapy #kitchener #healthtips #bigbrain #healthyliving #streettherapyca #positivequotes

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Happy Monday!

Hope that you are having a great start to this week! With the nice weather and sunlight that is being forecasted this week, we just wanted to give a reminder of how important it is to get outside!

We know that life can be busy, and it can be difficult to manage doing so many things in one day! But studies show that getting outside for at least 20-30 minutes a day can be greatly beneficial to our health! According to the National Parks and Recreation Association spending as little as 20 minutes a day spent outdoors helps reduce stress, anxiety, promote creativity, and improve heart health!

The importance of getting outside and enjoying the sun extends beyond the pleasure of basking in warmth and natural light; it plays a crucial role in overall well-being.

☀️Sunlight exposure is a primary source of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that contributes to various aspects of physical and mental health. Such as maintaining bone health by aiding calcium absorption. Beyond its skeletal benefits, vitamin D is associated with a range of health benefits, including a strengthened immune system, reduced inflammation, and lower risks of certain chronic diseases.
☀️Spending time outdoors under the sun has a profound impact on mental health. Sunlight exposure triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood regulation and the alleviation of symptoms associated with conditions like depression and anxiety.
☀️Natural light also helps regulate the body`s circadian rhythm, promoting better sleep and overall sleep quality.

If you’re looking for some things to do this week we highly recommend checking out the following:

This week, try to take advantage of the nice weather, whether it`s a walk in the park, a hike, or a group sport, getting outside for a few minutes can make a difference in your day! As always we hope you have a great week, and remember to be kind to yourself and others!

#mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthadvocate #psychotherapy #positivity #kitchener #kw

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Happy Family Day!

We hope that you are all enjoying your time this weekend, and have found a moment to relax.

Family Day is a perfect day to reflect the values of family and the home. This being said, today is an important day to understand that not all families are perfect. Not everyone may have the best relationship with their family, and that’s what it is important to remember that family is much more than blood.

Whoever you chose to spend this weekend with, don’t forget to let them know that you appreciate them, and that you’re grateful to have them in your life. If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, checkout some of the local events below:

😁Checkout Chicopee Tube Park: Timed passes can be booked online: and if you work up an appetite, there are outdoor options available for BBQ food, as well as take & go food/beverage items.
😁Visit the Winter House at Langdon Hall for the heated dining space with warm cocktails, tapas-style plates and more. Winter House is an outdoor experience so make sure to dress for the weather!
😁Follow the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market Chocolate Trail- Saturday, Feb. 18, Follow the chocolate trail to find vendors selling chocolate and chocolate pastries. Pick up a Chocolate Trail Map at the main entrances to each of the Farmers’ Market buildings.
😁Critter Corner at Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, and warm up in Cambridge Butterfly’s tropical garden and experience up-close encounters with live insects at their Critter Corner. Regular admission required.
😁Checkout Family Day at the Kitchener Market- Monday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your family and enjoy a day full of activities, both inside and out, including a board game café, hosted trivia sessions, artisans, delicious food, and curling rinks! There will also be two special sessions of a Kids in the Kitchen – pre-register and drop-ins accepted.
😁Join in on the KWAG Family Day Activities- Monday, Feb. 20 from 1-4 p.m. Spend Family Day immersed in art and creativity at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery. From hands-on art activities to tours of our current exhibitions.

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Happy Valentine`s Day!

Today is typically associated with expressions of love, and can also serve as a powerful reminder to prioritize self-love and mental health. Valentine`s day can bring up different emotions for different people. For some, today can be a day of romance, and celebration with their loved ones and/or friends, whereas it can be a day of loneliness for others.

This being said, a key theme of Valentine`s day that should always be remembered and celebrated is self love. Being able to show yourself compassion, acceptance, and a positive self image goes far beyond the materialistic aspects of the day. Rather than viewing Valentine`s Day solely through the lens of external relationships, we can use the day as an occasion to celebrate individual journeys of self-discovery and growth.
Engaging in self-care activities, practicing mindfulness, and expressing gratitude for personal accomplishments can transform Valentine`s Day into a celebration of self-love.

Check out some of the self love activities that may inspire you today:

🩷 Start a New Book: Choose a book that inspires self-love and personal growth. Whether it`s a motivational book, a novel that resonates with your experiences, or a self-help guide, reading can be a fulfilling and enriching solo activity.
🩷 Journal About Yourself: Spend some time reflecting on what self-love means to you. Write down positive affirmations, list things you love about yourself, and jot down your aspirations.
🩷 Consider a Digital Detox: Consider taking a break from social media and other digital platforms for the day. Disconnecting from the online world allows you to focus on the present moment and reduces the pressure of external expectations.
🩷 Try Out a New Recipe:Treat yourself to a delicious homemade meal. Whether it`s a favorite dish or something new and exciting, the act of cooking for yourself can be both rewarding and enjoyable.

In a world that often emphasizes external relationships, taking time to cultivate a strong and positive relationship with oneself is crucial. This Valentine`s Day, let`s remember to be kind to ourselves, and those in our lives. We hope you have a great day!

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Happy Chinese New Year!

The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the lunar calendar year based on the cycles of the moon. Observed by many cultures including Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Tibetan, this Sunday will be the first day of Lunar New Year 2024.

This year is the year of the Dragon! The Year of the Dragon, an auspicious cycle in the Chinese zodiac, is steeped in mythical significance. Representing strength, courage, and good fortune, individuals born under this celestial sign are believed to possess exceptional qualities. Dragons, revered creatures in Chinese culture, symbolize power and prosperity. Each twelfth year in the Chinese lunar calendar brings with it the dragon`s dynamic energy, inspiring awe and optimism. Celebrations during this period are vibrant and spirited, marked by dragon dances, traditional rituals, and a collective belief in the dragon`s benevolent influence. The Year of the Dragon is a time of ambition, innovation, and the pursuit of dreams.
For those celebrating make sure to check out the events below:

🏮Laurier International`s Lunar New Year Celebration-
🏮 Join Nibble & Nosh for a festive fun time where you get to experience the joy of Chinese New Year with delightful bites & cultural festivity!
🏮UWaterloo’s Lunar New Year-

Once again, Happy Lunar New Year! We wish you nothing but peace and prosperity! As always be kind to yourself, and others!

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TW// Eating Disorders
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Eating Disorder Awareness Week serves as a vital annual event, shedding light on the complex and often misunderstood challenges faced by individuals struggling with eating disorders. Running from February 1st to 7th, this week is dedicated to fostering understanding, empathy, and support for those affected by these mental health conditions. The importance of this week extends beyond merely acknowledging the existence of eating disorders; it is a call to action to dismantle stigmas, promote education, and emphasize the critical need for accessible resources.

One of the primary goals of this week is to break down the stigma associated with eating disorders. Stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help, as they may feel shame or judgment. By raising awareness and fostering empathy, we create an environment where those affected feel more comfortable reaching out for support and treatment.

Understanding the early signs and risk factors allows for timely intervention and prevention. Schools, communities, and workplaces can use this week as an opportunity to implement educational programs that address body image issues, societal pressures, and the importance of a healthy relationship with food.
Eating disorders affect approximately 9% of the total population worldwide.

The important thing to remember is that eating disorders do not discriminate, and can affect everyone regardless of gender, age, size, and status. Not everyone with an eating disorder may fit the stereotypical image of what is portrayed of eating disorders. This being said, it’s crucial to remember the comments that you make about other people`s bodies, weight loss, or gain.

This year, NEDIC is hoping to spread public awareness and education about three main messages:

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Having a community, and safe space that allows you to share your experiences, frustrations, and progress can be crucial for positive change!

In adulthood, it can be difficult to surround yourself with people who truly understand what it is you’re going through. Especially for neurodivergent adults! Which is why we want to remind our neurodivergent friends about our focus foragers group!

Focus Foragers is an adult ADHD Support Group, which will be taking place this Saturday (February 3rd at 12p.m). The cost of this hour and 15 minute session is $25. This week we will be talking about working memory. Working memory plays a crucial role in the learning process, and understanding its benefits can provide insights into how to optimize learning strategies, and productivity!

If you are interested in joining this week`s session, feel free to book on our website, give us a call, or reach out over email! Happy Thursday! Hope you all have an amazing day!

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Did you know that February is Black History Month?

Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of Black Canadians in the workforce, community, education, arts, and much more. In 1979, Toronto became the first municipality to proclaim Black History Month, and in 1995, the commemorative month was recognized all over Canada.

This month is a time to celebrate black excellence, the successes, and perseverance of the black community. This month, is about education and exposure of the systems that continuously create the pursuit of equality a long haul. Let’s take a look at the pan- african flag:

Did you know that Each colour in the Pan-African flag has a meaning?
❤️the red stripe represents the blood that has been shed because of slavery and oppression that unites all black people
🖤the middle black stripe represents Black people’s skin colour and is symbolic of the strength of their community
💚the bottom green stripe represents the fertile lands of the African continent

The combination of these three colours signifies the spirit of the black community, a people who are striving to create a society free of oppression. Educating yourself on past and current issues, black figures, and contributions, supporting black owned businesses, donating to charities and societies that support equality and anti racism, are all great ways to get involved in your community this month. Another great way to get involved is checking out local events:

❤️Checkout the Ken Seiling Museum! This FREE in-person event celebrates the rich history and contributions of the Black community. Get ready for a day filled with informative exhibits, engaging discussions, and captivating performances.
🖤On February 29, city council will be joining more than 50 Black youth from schools across Kitchener to celebrate their achievements and have a panel discussion on mental health barriers they face in their schools, communities and homes.
💚 Visit Bring on the Sunshine, happening at Kitchener City Hall on February 18.
❤️Checkout the GBHS Open House, February 24th, 2024 from 1-3pm! This event is a great opportunity to learn information about what GBHS has been up to.

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Social Media was created to be a tool. It allows us to stay connected, fosters community, professional development, and much more. As of 2022, it has been reported that users spend an average of two hours and 27 minutes per day on social media platforms. However, many of us may find ourselves overwhelmed with what we see on social media. Whether this be devastating news content, unrealistic lifestyles or body images, social media can be harmful to our health and well-being.

Being aware of the effects that social media has, and when to step away is a skill we should all keep in our mental health toolbox. Stepping away doesn’t mean getting rid of your phone, or never going on social media again. But it does mean limiting triggering content, screen time, and holding yourself accountable.

If one of your goals this year is to reduce screen time, or you need a break from social media we suggest you set yourself a SMART goal (outlined in our last post). For example: I want 10 hours of screen time maximum this week, or I want to step away from instagram for the next two weeks. Then, recognize when you are using your phone the most. Is it when you’re stressed? Tired? Bored? Think of what you can do instead of scrolling through your phone. Being realistic, and breaking down the goal in a way that is more manageable can help you limit how much you’re reaching for your phone.

If you find yourself seeing upsetting content and need to regroup we suggest closing whichever app you’re on and practicing mindfulness. Whether this be deep breathing exercises, a guided meditation, or using the STOP technique (Stop, Take a moment, Observe what it is you’re feeling, seeing, etc., and Proceed). There is nothing wrong with setting boundaries with what you see on social media.

Finally, it’s important to know that social media triggers the production of dopamine, and is designed to be addictive with elements like infinite scrolling, auto-play videos, notifications, sounds, bright colors, and other appealing features. If you’re looking to step away, be prepared that you may feel a bit of FOMO, but in the grand scheme of things, if the price is your mental health it’s not worth it!

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With the New Year having just happened, you may find that you are having more conversations surrounding resolutions and goals for 2024. The thought of setting new goals for this year may be overwhelming, which is why we wanted to share some tips for effective goal setting today!

Goal setting is a powerful process that enables us to focus efforts on achieving specific objectives, motivate us, and track progress. Effective goals are often known as SMART goals:

⭐S: specific (what is it exactly that you want to achieve?)
⭐M: measurable (how can you track progress? How do you know when the goal is met?)
⭐A: achievable (is the goal realistic, and obtainable?)
⭐R: relevant (how does this goal help you?)
⭐T: time-bound (when do you want to accomplish this goal?)

These 5 factors help to make goals more manageable, and clear. By incorporating the SMART criteria, you can enhance the chances of success and maintain a sense of direction in both your personal and professional lives.

While this may seem rather simple, goal setting can sometimes lead to self-criticism and unrealistic expectations. Practicing self-compassion is crucial in this process. Being compassionate towards oneself, practicing mindfulness, acknowledging imperfections, recognizing that setbacks are a natural part of the journey, and treating oneself with kindness are key to successful goals.

We hope that this reminder is helpful in your goal setting of the year! As always we hope you have a great day and remember to be kind to yourself, and others.

#adhdsupport #adhd #positivity #kindnessmatters #kitchener #streettherapyca #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #zoom #mentalhealthadvocate #supportgroup #psychotherapy #kindnessiscool #kindness

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