Mental Health

4 Ways to Bolster Your Self-Esteem

 Sometimes we all have those days where we just don’t feel okay- but an important thing to remember is that when you fall seven times- you can always stand up eight. That’s when you make progress: when you are able to open yourself up to feelings of vulnerability, worthiness, and self-acceptance. However, it doesn’t always come easy, which is why we’ve compiled a short list of tips that you can use as self-esteem boosters when you’re having a day that’s blue.

    1. Quit playing the comparison game

Playing the comparison game takes a serious toll on your self-esteem.  In such a visual world, it can be tricky to drown out the feeling of “keeping up with the Jones’.” But once you stop caring about at what others have, how far ahead they are and what they look like- you’ll start to love your story for what it is… uniquely yours!

    2. Give yourself permission to feel your worth

Often we try not to be conceded and are downgrading our potential and worthiness as a false attempt at humbleness. But knowing your worth does not mean that you think you are better than anyone else, it means you respect for self and what you have to offer the world. By giving yourself permission to feel just how wonderful you are, you might just see a dramatic shift in your self esteem over the next little while.

    3. Create a healthy environment

Toxicity is a huge contributor to low self-esteem and feeling worthless. Rid those poisonous people and circumstances out of your life that do not serve you in a positive way. When you surround yourself with a positive environment, constructive to who you are, you will be able to grow stronger and healthier in both body and mind. Remember, no one is capable of growing a plant when it’s left in the dark.

    4. Know it’s ok to not be ok

We have this preconceived notion that we for some reason always have to be “on”. We are told to be smiling and happy; thinking that life is a bowl of cherries. But truth is- it’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes the best thing is to just accept our circumstances for what they are and learn to love the way things can be at our worst, before we can appreciate them at our best.

These tips are not only about bolstering self-esteem, but how to be vulnerable. It takes time, courage and practice to become vulnerable and allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling- but it makes all the difference. In fact, the well-respected Dr. Brené Brown (research and NY Times Bestseller) has dedicated thirteen years of her life studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. She has many books just for you that are devoted to helping you over come those hopeless times and turn them into something magnificent. If you’d like a good read when you need encouragement, please check out her New York Times Bestsellers: Rising StrongDaring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection


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10 Steps to Making Change

10 Steps to Making Change

Change is nothing more than the formation of a series of habits. Look at your life as it is right now. Most of what you do, what you think, and how you behave is habitual.

Yes, there are small differences in your routine, but rarely do you insert some sustained, on-going activity or new way of doing something.

You have developed the patterns of your daily habits over many years. Some you carried from childhood, and others you picked up along the way. But most of your daily habits have been repeated enough times that your brain circuitry is entrenched in these behaviors.

To change the behaviors, you must rewire your brain. And rewiring your brain takes practice, patience, and the knowledge of how to do it.

The Fight Against Depression


Depression effects everyone, especially in relationships. When one person in a marriage or relationship is depressed or suffering mentally it can take a toll on both parties and the relationship itself will suffer.

Over the years I have dealt with many clients who fall into this category and I always stress the importance of a partner’s support.

A recent article published in the Science daily website, presents a study from the University of Alberta, demonstrating how important love and emotional support are when your partner is feeling depressed or suffering mental health issues.

Even though love and support may be difficult when your partner feels withdrawn both mentally and physically, it is very important they receive support in order to recover and to prevent the situation from getting worse.  Even though it may not seem so at first the depressed person gets a better feeling of self-worth when their partner supports them. The extra boost in self-esteem actually helps both parties since the partner providing the extra support subsequently feels better about themselves overall as well.

There are so many ways this support can manifest itself both directly and indirectly.

  • Start by listening or being empathetic
  • helping out with extra housework
  • taking care of the children
  • running extra errands
  • providing the emotional and physical support

This can be difficult especially when the recipient is uncooperative or lashing out. As long as the giving partner fully understands the situation and is willing to cope, the extra efforts will pay off in the long run.

Furthermore, this effect can be carried on beyond primary relationship. Love and support given to parents, siblings or close friends can have a similar effect and will go a long way helping the depressed person recover or get better sooner.

Recovery takes time, patience and perseverance, but is possible by working with a professional therapist and with the support of a loving partner.

Seeking professional help from a certified therapist specializing in depression is one of the first steps to take control of depression.

Written by: Sonia Panchysyn


Navigating the Organizational Impact of Legalization

In April of 2017 the Canadian Federal government proposed new legislation that will establish a legal framework for the production, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana/cannabis. Marijuana use will become legal for adults, with provinces left to determine the appropriate means for sale (likely through a regulated retailer). While there is much work to be done, the effective date of the legislation is expected to be Summer 2018.

As this groundbreaking legislation unfolds, employers need to consider the impact on the workplace. While employers should continue to expect that employees perform work duties unimpaired, they need to proactively review drug and alcohol related policies to be prepared. Given the increased complexity of this issue around legal responsibility to accommodate disabilities, organizations should consider legal consultation to ensure they are on the right side of employment and human rights legislations where there is prescribed medical use of cannabis for treatment purposes. 

Organizations will need to re-examine how they provide support for employees with drug and alcohol addiction. The consequences of legalization on addiction is not well understood but fairly debated, however at HumanaCare we are seeing a significant increase in addiction within our employer health services cases.  Through the first 5 months of 2017, there was a 40% increase in addiction related Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) cases compared with 2016. Of particular concern is the increased incidence of addiction cases for employees located in more remote and isolated communities. Many cases involving mental health have a cause and effect relationship, where substance abuse will exacerbate a situation, adding more complexity and severity (calls related to suicide increased 165% over the same period, with many having co-morbid addictions). Employers need to empower managers, supervisors and health and safety staff with knowledge and resources to effectively deal with employees that are impaired on the job and to address absenteeism due to addiction related issues. 

Employers need to take action now to review their health benefits and people strategies to identify any gaps/opportunities to ensure best-in-class support for managers and employees. Additionally, employers should look to organizational policy and procedure best practices to mitigate risk where workplace safety is a critical element to the organization.  

EFAP, Disability Support Services and education play an important role in an organization’s response to productivity, safety and employee health matters. These valuable services formulate a strategic response, allowing companies to proactively manage through challenging circumstances. Organizations must seek a partner who provides strategic guidance to lift the veil on areas of concern and build a value-driven roadmap to success.


About HumanaCare

HumanaCare is an integrated mental and physical wellness service provider because a compassionate, holistic, employee centered care model is a prerequisite to more improved, long lasting outcomes. Employees are subsequently less absent, more engaged and productive at work, generating a significant return on investment for their company. For our clients, we deliver improved outcomes through our Employee and Family Assistance Programs, Disability Support Services, Medical Second Opinion Services, Chronic Disease Management and Eldercare Support programs. HumanaCare has more than 38 years of Canadian healthcare experience.