Sometimes life can get so overwhelming and we forget simple accessible tools that are free that we can recall in a flash, just like the way a handy person has a tool belt. This Connects’ Episode will hopefully fill that tool belt with calming techniques.

For Ellen, it’s her Jakey bracelet. When she flicks the bead towards her heart, it is to remind her of Jakey’s lessons – to be positive, to be in the moment, to be appreciative and to be accepting of others. 

We then brought back some spectacular guests from Project Give Back’s past. They were here to guide us through some very quick techniques to help us stay calm and in the moment, especially when life seems to be racing forward.

We began with a stunning song from Cantor and Rabbi Aviva Rajsky to set the mood. She sang a tune that calms her through its message; build a world from love. It reminds us that if we have love and can give love, then we are more likely to receive it.

Our first guest was Judy Librach who is a professional life and meditation coach. She is also the host of Zoomer Radio’s show, ‘Finding Your Bliss’. Judy led us all in a full body scan meditation, which was such a blissful gift!

We then welcomed back Lisa Robinson who was on a previous Episode about grief. Lisa works at Sick Kids Hospital within their oncology division. She explained how these calming activities affect our mindset, by tapping into the part of our brain that is triggered by sensory input. They tell our body to be on alert; causing a fast heart beat, rapid breathing, etc. She then lead us in one of her own calming techniques.

The amazing Leanne Matlow was also back. Leanne is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Counsellor with a private practice specializing in anxiety for children and adolescents.  Leanne has become a mental health advocate, who speaks regularly about anxiety in the classroom to parent and teacher groups. She founded and organizes the annual ‘Mental Health Empowerment Day’ Symposium.

Leanne led us in a similar exercise. She explained that when we get overwhelmed, our brains get over-stimulated. She introduced us to the concept of Grounding, a technique which hits upon all five senses and helps us understand to be in the moment. It’s a form of mindfulness, and a calming mechanism.

Marianne Altschul is a mindful psychotherapist, holistic life coach, a motivational speaker, yoga and meditation teacher. She spoke about tools which help self regulate or provide self care in an emotional emergency. She gave the analogy of being on a surfboard. Suddenly, something happens and you’re in the cold water. How quickly can you get back on your board?

Marianne shared with us another calming breathing technique. She explained that your nostrils act as your heating and cooling system. The left nostril is cooling; it’s calming, and it’s connected to the right hemisphere of your brain. While the right nostril is for heating. Marianne then led us in a practice that she refers to as a ‘breathafier’.

Next up, was Seth Zosky, a triple threat – singer/dancer/actor and now writer and producer. He beautifully performed, ‘I Won’t Give Up’, by Jason Mraz.

The goal from this Episode was to fill our tool kit with techniques to slow us down and focus on all the things we can control. Thank you to our experts for sharing such practical and calming wisdom with us.

Let’s be kind to one another.
Let’s embrace one another.
Let’s learn from one another.