My first camping trip with my new camper!  A beautiful little lake  outside of Grande Prairie.  It actually seems like I am on  the coast as there are gulls and pelicans.  Quite a little find!

Winter was challenging for me – as I am sure it was for most. With Covid-19 restrictions, teaching in a Covid classroom, and living in a new community my physical and mental health was stretched. The forced isolation was not good for someone who will close off when things get hard – as I am sure many of my friends and family experienced from me. Complex grief coupled with a mood disorder did not fair well with isolation and anxiety about where we were going with this pandemic.

Mental health awareness has become front and center as more of the general population is experiencing pandemic anxiety and depression. I would not wish the struggles of mental illness on anyone but the awareness that is happening is one of the (dare I say it?) postive outcomes of Covid-19.

Because of the increase in public health concerns around mental illness, there were more options for care being offered. I was fortunate to participate in a wellness group provided by the BCTF.

What I learned that I was dysfuntionally functional! Little did I know that I have been on the verge of burn out for many years. However, I had coping skills that got me through. My coping skills were not always the most healthy (cheezies and coke zero) but they helped me manage. That being said I have spent the last months finding better ways to manage my moods and health.

Rest is the biggest one for me! As a teacher, I believed that when things get tough in the classroom or in life you just need to work harder and that will fix things. In actual fact that is counterproductive. Gee- do you think? Thirty years as an educator and I am finally realizing this. So, I am finding different ways to rest. And it is helping.

I am embracing my childhood loves – swimming, bicycling, and camping. This has lifted my spirits and I am looking forward to finding many moments such as the one this weekend at this prairie gem of a lake.

As well, my love for writing and expressing myself through my words! Wisemindedliving is important to me for my wn connections with all of my readers and to document my journey as a middle aged woman who is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up!

Please take some time to rest, my friends! We truly have earned it.

Until next time! JO

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