1. Books: I highly recommend "Broken Open," by Elizabeth Lesser. In this book Lesser bravely explores the "Phoenix Process," or positive life change that can emerge from very difficult life events. I also would recommend "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was," by Barbara Sher. In this less intimidating version of What Color is Your Parachute, Sher reveals how to "recapture long lost goals, overcome the blocks that inhibit your success, decide what you want to be, and live your dreams." It is the perfect book for anyone trying to make a fresh start in any area of their life and needs inspiration to do so.
2. Intuitive Healer: Last May, my friend Kacey Goodman Siskind suggested I go see an intuitive healer named Tara Antler. She rents space out of Spynga, a yoga and cycling studio in Toronto run by Sari Nisker and Casey Soer. The session consists of a healing massage where she reads your energy and instills light and guidance in you. Every time I go to her I come out feeling like a million bucks, with restored faith and a great energy.
3. Fish Oil and 5HTP: Before two weeks ago I was popping a mixture of atavan and chlonazapan in the same way one would devour a large layered butter popcorn at the movies. My panic and anxiety have been so out of control the past few months that those were my only saving graces. However, after a conversation with my wonderful naturopathic doctor, Dr. Regan Tessis, she suggested I try a mixture of fish oil and a supplement called 5HTP. Both help to combat anxiety and have dozens of other health benefits to them. I am proud to say I am now two weeks drug free of my anxiety meds, and am definitely noticing a change with these supplements. I do suggest you go and see a naturopath doctor before starting on any supplements, to make sure you get the right ones for your body.
4. Exercise: I mean it's a no-brainer right? As Reese Witherspoon said in Legally Blonde "Exercise gives you endorphins-- endorphins make you happy and happy people just don't shoot their husbands...they just don't." Everyone has their own thing they like to do. Mine happens to be swimming and most recently yoga. I try to do both as much as possible, but here is a tip....if you are suffering from anxiety, do NOT do Hot yoga. I made this mistake when I went to a class with my good friend Elise. I ended up puking my guts out after. The two do not mix well, unless you are also looking for a get-skinny-quick regime.
5. Talk to the Right People: In other words choose a few people that a) you feel comfortable talking to about whatever has happened and/or b) people who have gone through what you are going through. For the latter, these are the people that understand. They can assure you everything will be okay and share their own experiences and give advice. Let's face it, there's never the right thing to say and always the wrong thing. Since my Dad died, I have heard it all from...."It must be extra hard to be going through this when you don't even have a husband." to.....(freaking out) "OH MY GOD, I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE IT HAPPENING TO ME." ....um, yeah, so when you have come to the fork in your road, try and stick with people who can sort of keep it together and offer a stable shoulder to cry on.
6. The Russel Hill Chiropractic Clinic: When I hurt my lower back while skating, back during the Christmas Break, I was referred to Dr. Michelle Fagen, an old friend of mine who owns The Russel Hill Chiropractic Clinic. I have always been skeptical about doing icky things like having my back cracked, but I can assure you that I have barely felt pain since my series of sessions with Michelle. I highly recommend her. After telling her about what has been going on in my life, she referred me to Lisa Quaning for accupuncture, who also works at the clinic. The few sessions I have had with Lisa have been very therapeutic and if you have a fear of needles, take note that you can barely feel them. Go see Michelle and Lisa. Run!