Charles Benayon

Founder & CEO of Aspiria


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The Need for Resiliency in Your Life

resilience-plantResiliency is a term that has been gaining much traction in the mental health industry over the last couple of years because of its connectedness to improved wellbeing. Like many terms in the mental health industry, we hear it all the time, but what exactly does it mean to you on an every day level?

Simply put, resiliency is an individual’s ability to bounce back from setbacks or challenges in life with confidence and self-esteem in tact by harnessing inner strength. Resiliency is our defense against difficult times in that, as a skill, it allows us to see past the immediate period of hardship and into the future of more hopeful times. Resilient people have the ability to make realistic plans and carry them out while maintaining their self-esteem and a positive view of self and their abilities, even when negative life events challenge their confidence and energy.

Difficult events that challenge an individual’s resiliency could include death of a loved one, loss of a job, a relationship break-up, financial issues, etc. although all life events, large and small, could have an effect on an individual’s ability to cope.

Having a better understanding of the term, do you recognize people who exhibit resiliency in their lives? While it may seem innate or that you’re born with certain defences against life’s challenges, resiliency is actually a skill that is developed and honed as a result of a strong personal support network and experience with manageable challenges that helped build problem-solving skills.

Without a certain level of resiliency, individuals can be more vulnerable to destructive coping habits, such as substance abuse, self-harm and poor self-esteem that can develop into mental illnesses requiring professional support, such as depression and anxiety. As mental health issues become more prevalent in Canadians, particularly Canadian children, the mental health industry recognizes the need for patients to develop coping skills as preventative measures to mental illness. With improved learning and academic achievement, reduced risky behaviour and improved physical health, developing resiliency is a skill that will continue to serve the individual throughout life.

How can YOU practice resiliency in your life, and encourage it in others?

  • Get connected: Resiliency is less about “going it alone” and more about your ability to recognize when you need other people and relying on this support network.
  • Experience emotions: Experience your emotions as you need to heal, but recognize when fully experiencing emotions at all times may inhibit regular functioning and focus on concentrating on your routine.
  • Avoid seeing events as never-ending crises: Find perspective and recognize when things are getting a little better as this will help you retain hope.
  • Learn from experience: Learn to be reflective about your experiences and take note of how you handled things in the past to channel these tactics in the present.
  • Be proactive: Don’t allow things that ARE in your control get out of control, such as bills, chores, errands, etc. Keep a sense of purpose and accomplishment in your life by managing tasks you can handle.

Do you recognize people with resiliency in your life? What tactics do you use to get through difficult life situations? I look forward to your thoughts below.


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How much do you know about Sleep?

sleep-genericA good sleep allows for us to remain alert and functional during the day, as well as perform and maintain concentration at work. Sleep affects our metabolism, our mood and our immune system. Some study shows that only through sleep can our brain cleanse itself of toxins acquired from our environment. Ultimately, we all know that sleep is important, but how much do we actually know about healthy sleep patterns and habits? Do you know the telltale signs of sleep deprivation?

Take our quiz and find out just how much you know about sleep. Hopefully some of these facts will help you understand the impact of some of our unhealthy sleep habits and make better choices when it comes to this vital aspect of a healthy life.

  1. Falling asleep at night right when your head hits the pillow is a sign of a healthy sleep pattern. True/False
  2. On average, how much of our lives do we spend sleeping? a) 33% b) 25% c) 17% d) 10%
  3. How many hours of sleep should an adult get per night? a) 7.5 b) 8 c) 6 d) 9
  4. Watching TV in bed or checking your smartphone before you go to sleep affects your sleep cycle. True/False
  5. On average, the sleepiest time of the work day is: a) 8am b) 10am c) 2pm d) 10pm
  6. Impulsivity is increased when you are sleep deprived. True/False
  7. If you work overnight shift work, your body will eventually adjust to become nocturnal.  True/False
  8. Not sleeping for 16 hours leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to having a blood alcohol level too high to drive. True/False
  9. You are less hungry when you are tired. True/False
  10. Falling asleep upon entering a dark space during daylight hours is a sign of sleep deprivation. True/False

See the answer key to see how many you answered correctly!

Answers:

  1. False: Anything less than 10 minutes to fall asleep could be a sign of sleep deprivation
  2. a) 33%. We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping
  3. b) 8 hours of sleep.
  4. True: The light from your devices the TV can affect the quality of your sleep
  5. c) 2pm: this time is a natural sleepy lull in the day.
  6. True: Sleep deprivation affects the part of the brain associated with decision-making and impulsivity
  7. False: Biologically, humans’ circadian rhythms are set to daylight hours. A human will never be naturally nocturnal
  8. True.
  9. False: The part of the brain associated with appetite and impulse-control is affected by lack of sleep
  10. True.

 

Were any of these sleep facts surprising to you? What are some unhealthy sleep habits you hope to break? I look forward to your thoughts below.