Welcome to My New Mental Health Blog

  • Coping Strategies

    March 29, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley I think we all need a little extra help these days– strategizing on how to cope. Here are some very helpful tips from The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC): Strategies to help you cope: 1. Accept… Read more

  • You are Enough!

    March 8, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Happy International Women’s Day– March 8, 2021 You are enough! Right now, in this moment. You do not need to wait for a partner, a job, a promotion, a wage increase, a child, a pet, a house,… Read more

  • Finances

    March 1, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Finances– it’s an issue that causes a lot of stress and anxiety for many people. Especially when there never seems as though there is enough money to go around. During this pandemic, many people are sadly stretched… Read more

  • Resiliency

    February 22, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley How do you become resilient? Certainly, resiliency is an attribute many people aspire to have, especially during all the struggles with COVID. Dr. Raj Bhatla, Psychiatrist in Chief & Chief of Staff at The Royal, tells us… Read more

  • Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19

    February 15, 2021 by

    Guest Blog by The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre “It’s OK to feel stressed and anxious, especially right now. While many of us are finding solace in another NETFLIX marathon, there are lots of other safe activities we can do… Read more

  • Redefining Success

    February 8, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley If you’d asked me a week ago if I thought I was successful, I would have laughed out loud. Of course I’m not successful: I don’t have a career, a salary, a title. (My career was derailed… Read more

  • HOPE

    February 1, 2021 by

    GUEST BLOG by Glenda O’Hara Glenda is a friend, a peer and fellow volunteer in the Women’s Mental Health program at The Royal. She facilitates a WRAP group for women, where HOPE is a key concept. Glenda is also the… Read more

  • Moving Forward After a Loss

    January 25, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Sadly, many of us have experienced loss in our lifetime. Perhaps it was the breakup of a romantic relationship, moving away and losing a friendship, the death of a parent, a spouse or the tragic and untimely… Read more

  • The Many Benefits of Volunteering

    January 11, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley For me, volunteering is a family value. My Mom volunteered several hours a week at our church and at a home for the disabled, while I was in high school. She was committed to volunteering and helping… Read more

  • Reflections on 2020…

    January 4, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley 2020 started out with extreme hope and optimism for me. A year ago, I received a surprise phone call, just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, from my estranged daughter Nicola. Oh, how delighted I was to… Read more

  • Always have a Plan B!

    December 7, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley I’m not sure if it’s due to my background in sales or just the way I was raised, but I have learned to ALWAYS have a back-up plan and not to be too disappointed if Plan A… Read more

  • Dealing with BIG emotions!

    November 30, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley Everyone has been there–had BIG feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, or even joy! It is how we deal with these feelings that really matters. Today’s blog outlines some coping techniques. Move it out: As Silken Laumann, Olympic… Read more

  • Doctor’s Orders!

    November 16, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley I’m sure many of you are spending several hours a day, or more, attached to your computer screen; attending Zoom meetings, responding to emails, etc. It is so important, now during this pandemic–more than ever–to keep active… Read more

  • Coping techniques during tough times

    November 2, 2020 by

    This week I came across a great Youtube video featuring Dr. Laurie Santos, a Professor at Yale University. You can watch the complete video here. I strongly urge you to watch the complete video, but I will summarize here. Dr.… Read more

  • I’ve got to be ME!

    September 28, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley “Never let anyone else define who you are.” That is what my loyal friend and Lead of Women’s Mental Health at The Royal said to me, on a walk not that long ago. Recently, I was asked… Read more

  • Comparison is the thief of JOY

    September 7, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley I have noticed a commonality among friends, family and acquaintances. Those who compare themselves to others are less joyful, or even miserable as a result. In fact, comparing ourselves to others is something we all tend to… Read more

  • Saying “Yes” more often!

    August 31, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley Just as important as having the ability to say “no”, is the ability to say “yes” more often– to things that feel good and right. These two responses in life are like the ancient chinese philosophy of… Read more

  • Learning to say “NO”

    August 17, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley Setting boundaries and sticking to them is a very important part of mental wellness and recovery. Many of us have been raised to follow orders–do whatever Mom and Dad tell you to do, listen to the boss,… Read more

  • Decluttering for peace of mind.

    July 6, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley   During the first few weeks of COVID-19, while cooped up in our small one-bedroom apartment, it was clear we had one BIG problem. CLUTTER. Clutter had accumulated EVERYWHERE. On my desk in the bedroom, on the… Read more

  • It’s OK to not be OK

    June 27, 2020 by

    by Anita Manley Well folks, after a much needed hiatus, I’m back! I’ve missed you all. Since the beginning of May, I’ve been struggling with all the rules, regulations, isolation, distancing from friends and family (mostly the no-hugs rule) and… Read more

  • Guest Blog – by Pheing Ngo

    June 22, 2020 by

    Pheing started looking into health and mobility at the age of 13. Ever since, he has been constantly increasing his skills and knowledge pertaining to healthcare. He is naturally drawn to how the body and mind can maintain normal function… Read more

  • Keep Moving!

    May 4, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley It has long been known that exercise improves your mental health.* Exercise causes your body to release chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel good. The feeling is commonly known as a “runners high”. Regular exercise has… Read more

  • Communication during COVID-19

    April 13, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley I am married to a wonderful man, who happens to be over the age of 70, putting him at a higher risk of not recovering if he were to get COVID-19. Therefore, we have been self-isolating (me… Read more

  • Knitting as a Wellness Tool

    April 6, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley For those who know me well, you know that I am an avid knitter. In fact, this year, all my family received knitted items for Christmas. I enjoy knitting immensely and find that it helps to calm… Read more

  • A Journey Towards Forgiveness

    March 31, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley I have learned a great deal about forgiveness over the years. Having struggled with a severe and persistent mental illness for most of my adult life, I have learned how to forgive and how to ask for… Read more

  • Mental Health and COVID- 19

    March 16, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley The times are changing quickly, and we know now to self-isolate and only go out when absolutely necessary, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, don’t touch your face (especially nose, mouth and eyes), cough or… Read more

  • How Winterlude helps beat Winter Blues

    February 10, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley Every year in Ottawa, ever since I can remember (I lived here as early as 1986), there has been an urban winter celebration in Canada’s Capital Region. It is called Winterlude. This year, people from far and… Read more

  • My Jasmine Plant

    January 27, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley I have finally come to accept that winter is not my friend. Once the sun starts setting in the late afternoon and the weather gets cold and grey here in Ottawa, I turn into a couch potato… Read more

  • Therapy Fish at The Royal

    January 24, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley Let me tell you a story about Billy and Bella – the Betta Fish. For approximately two years, Billy the Betta, Volunteer Therapy Fish, swam around in his comfortable bowl on the counter of the Winter Garden… Read more

  • Living a Life with Purpose

    January 14, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley We recently lost a good friend named Gillian. She passed away suddenly at the age of 75. Her celebration of life was the best I’ve ever attended and many others agreed. People were laughing and some dancing.… Read more

  • Reflections on the past decade

    January 2, 2020 by

    By Anita Manley For me, 2010 began being totally estranged from all my family and friends (including my two teen-aged daughters) and living in a women’s emergency homeless shelter. I was sad, lonely and angry that my life had turned… Read more

  • My New Happy Lamp!

    December 16, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley Years ago, around 2005, when I was younger, working full time and was a half-time parent, my psychiatrist suggested to me that I purchase a S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp. I had all the symptoms. Once the… Read more

  • Be Kind.

    December 2, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley When I say Be Kind, I am not talking about only being kind to others, but also, Be Kind to yourself. It is so true that we do not know what goes on in other peoples lives… Read more

  • Let it go!

    November 25, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley Perhaps you are now envisioning me breaking out into the Frozen theme song! And, I’m OK with that. A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking with a good friend and colleague about some things that happened… Read more

  • Suicide Intervention

    November 18, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley A couple of weekends ago, I took an intensive and emotionally exhausting training session for suicide intervention called ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. I am now certified. I did not write a post last Monday,… Read more

  • Surround Yourself With Positive People!

    November 3, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley Along my road to recovery, I have found that surrounding myself with positive people has really helped improve my state of mind. Firstly, like attracts like. Positive people are fun to be around, and they always point… Read more

  • The Importance of Setting Goals!

    October 28, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley Setting goals and accomplishing them, has been a very important part of my recovery, and still is. There is nothing like putting a check mark next to something on your goal list and thinking – next! What… Read more

  • Why Women’s Mental Health?

    October 21, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley I volunteer as a peer facilitator in the Women’s Mental Health Program at The Royal in Ottawa, ON, Canada. I am always amazed by people, even women, who ask: “What is so different about women’s mental health?”… Read more

  • Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

    October 14, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley I’ll be spending the day with family. Singing, jamming and eating. I am cooking a turkey, making stuffing, mashed potatoes and garlic buttery beans and cherry tomatoes with apple pie and ice cream for dessert. We have… Read more

  • The Importance of Sleep!

    October 6, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley I have always needed a lot of sleep — more than my peers, it always seemed. When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness back in 1997 (at the age of 32), and was prescribed medication… Read more

  • Book Recommendation – The Four Agreements

    September 23, 2019 by

    By Anita Manley The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a small but hugely insightful self-help book. This book provided me with four simple guidelines to personal freedom. Yes, they are simply laid out and very clear, but these… Read more

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