Welcome to My New Mental Health Blog

  • I LOVE to swim…

    August 29, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley I just returned from the pool! Since May, with the exception of vacation time, I’ve been swimming three days a week. I’m a life-long swimmer. I learned how to swim at a very young age, and later… Read more

  • Be Respectful.

    August 1, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy enjoying my summer, taking care of myself and visiting family out west. I’ll write more about this in future posts. I’ve been thinking of writing this post… Read more

  • Be Kind.

    June 20, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley Last weekend, we were so honoured and privileged to be invited to our friends’ “Guest Cottage” near Renfrew, ON, along the Ottawa River. Not only were we invited, but we received red carpet treatment the entire time… Read more

  • Feeling all the Feels…

    April 25, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley In May of 2021, I wrote a blog about emotions. I think it is important to revisit this important topic. I think it is fair to say that with everything going on in the world these past… Read more

  • Tips to Help With an Anxiety Attack…

    March 15, 2022 by

    from Youth Mental Health Canada Look around you: Find five (5) things you can see, Four (4) things you can touch, Three (3) things you can hear, Two (2) things you can smell, And one (1) thing you can taste.… Read more

  • Taking Personal Responsibility.

    March 8, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley Several years ago, I was privileged to participate in a peer led group called  WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). The concepts that I learned from this group, set me up with a strong foundation for my ongoing… Read more

  • Family Day 2022 in Ottawa, Canada

    February 21, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley A lot has happened in our sleepy town since the last time I posted in mid-January. Ottawa, our nation’s capital city, was invaded by what was dubiously named the “Freedom Convoy” and approximately 400 trucks took over… Read more

  • Blue Monday 2022… “Let’s Dance”!

    January 18, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley Today is “Blue Monday”, the third Monday in January. It is called that, as it is thought to be the most depressing day of the year. Newsweek magazine says, “There are claims around this time of year… Read more

  • Choosing HOPE for 2022…

    January 10, 2022 by

    By Anita Manley I’m not going to kid you, this last wave of the “super-spreader” omicron variant of COVID has really been difficult. I’ve been struggling. I’m sure that many others are too, as we welcome the New Year with… Read more

  • Volunteering is like a gift to yourself!

    December 20, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley It is no surprise that volunteering has been the absolute best wellness tool that I have undertaken on my recovery journey. Since I started volunteering a mere 2 months after being discharged from the hospital back in… Read more

  • Saying ‘NO’, in a nice way…

    December 13, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley As the holidays approach, many people become anxious about spending time with family. With COVID, there is the added stress of gathering with more people than you might feel comfortable with, or perhaps you are concerned about… Read more

  • Be Proud for Trying Hard…

    October 25, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley I’ve really been taking note of how incredibly amazing my family members are lately. They have all been showing up everyday, despite obstacles and times when they were feeling very discouraged. My oldest daughter has been working… Read more

  • Thankful for medication…

    October 11, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Yes, that’s right everyone, if you don’t know this by now, I take medications to stay well! I know that there is a feeling out there by a rather large number of people, that taking medication for… Read more

  • When you feel overwhelmed…

    October 5, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley A couple of weeks ago, in preparation for a big week of presentations and a meeting, I felt completely overwhelmed. After a meeting, I had a meltdown. “How was I going to get everything done in such… Read more

  • Children, play and mental health…

    September 20, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley In follow-up to last week’s guest blog about perinatal mental health, I thought I’d provide some tips that I found on children’s mental health, involving play. This is from the Canadian Public Health Association (cpha.ca): 5 Key… Read more

  • Perinatal Mental Health During COVID Times…

    September 13, 2021 by

    GUEST BLOG by Nancy McLaren Kennedy BIO: Firstly, Nancy is my friend and colleague at The Royal. She is also a Peer Specialist/Mental Health Worker in Women’s Mental Health at the Royal. Nancy has a Master’s in Social Work and… Read more

  • Mental Health in the Workplace

    September 6, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley In honour of Labour Day, I thought I’d quote some statistics. – Just 50% of Canadians would tell friends or co-workers that they have a family member with a mental illness, compared to 72% who would discuss… Read more

  • Things my father taught me…

    August 30, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley In follow-up to last week’s blog about “Things my mother taught me…”, I’d be remiss if I did not list all the things my dad taught me. In January of 1995, when I was 4 months pregnant… Read more

  • Things my mother taught me…

    August 23, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley In December 2013, at the age of 87, my mom passed away from cancer. I was 48 years old. I miss her dearly and often wish I could pick up the phone to share some exciting news.… Read more

  • It’s the little things…

    August 9, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Not too long ago, my friend and I were out on a walk and she mentioned to me that she always listens to John Tesh (www.tesh.com), and heard him say that “if you want to maintain a… Read more

  • The Olympics and Mental Health

    August 3, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Who’s watching the Olympics? What an absolute thrill to see so many Canadians winning medals– and I cannot help but mention that 99% of them are women! What incredible heroes– all of the competitors, not just those… Read more

  • A dose of hope…

    June 28, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley I’m tired and stressed out about many things, including taking the elevators in my building. I really dislike being “that person” who says “sorry, no, you cannot get on the elevator.” (Public Health rules state: “one person… Read more

  • Who Knew?

    June 14, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Recently, I had a dentist appointment. I love my dentist, Dr. Chris Granger, and my dental hygienist, Holly. On this visit, I learned some very interesting and important things about oral hygiene. Did you know that by… Read more

  • Delusional Disorder

    June 8, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley This is a difficult topic for me to write about, as it is very personal and will reveal many details of my symptoms and beliefs when I was mentally unwell for about 10 years (a gradually worsening… Read more

  • The road to happiness…

    May 31, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Denmark was marked as second on the list of the world’s happiest countries in 2020 and has been in there for the past few years. Did you know that there is actually a Happiness Research Institute in… Read more

  • This too shall pass…

    May 24, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley How many times have you been in a really dark place, feeling like the pain will never end? Unbearable pain, unacceptable anguish, intolerable emotions. I’ve been there too! Although, with both age and experience on my side,… Read more

  • Naming Emotions

    May 10, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Do you remember the last time you sobbed uncontrollably? How about when waiting for medical results and you felt incredibly anxious? Or the last time you laughed out loud? These are just a few examples of some… Read more

  • “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…”

    May 3, 2021 by

    By Anita Manley Hi folks, I’ve been absent for a few weeks now, trying to manage my anxiety around some important issues that are beyond my control. I don’t know about you, but I’m really not good at this. My… Read more

  • 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

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