Shower for the Soul — A podcst hosted by Shane fame Alexander

AuthorShower for the Soul

Chatting with Ryan Vollmar on Shave a Head, Save a Head and mental health counselling

Ryan Vollmar talks about his initiative Shave a Head, Save a Head

 

A  delightful chat this afternoon with Spark Real Estate’s Ryan Vollmar. We spoke about his new initiative, Shave a Head, Save a Head  where he’s challenging those to shave their heads in hopes to raise money for those that need mental health counselling.

I have signed up to shave my own head once the donations reach $2,000. If you would like to help a great cause and watch me shave my head on my social media, you can donate here.

Here’s what it says on their GoFundMe page:

Shave A Head Save a Head needs your help to raise funds for those that need Mental Health support! All donations will be going to provide Direct counselling services to those that need it. We have partnered with Hasu eConuselling that will be providing therapy. We felt this structure was important so we know the funds are going to use and donors can feel good that they are getting people help.

We also need people who are willing to Shave Their Head in support! For every 500.00 increment in donations we have people ready to Shave their Heads and we will post the videos!

Ryan explains more during our chat.

 

Catching up with Ryan Somers talking ASD, Hip Hop and COVID-19

Ryan Somers on his ASD diagnosis, Hip Hop and COVID-19

For those that remember the old In Divine Style on Thursday nights, will for sure know this guy. Was a pleasure reconnecting with the brother Ryan Somers today. We spoke about Autism spectrum disorder, how he has welcomed it in his world and a very frank conversation about mental health awareness. Always refreshing to speak to good people like Ryan.

 

I conquered my goal thanks to the kind universe

I exceeded my goal

Yesterday, I surpassed my goal of $500 for my virtual walk on May 30th. The 6th annual event, championed by Defeat Depression London, raises funds for Daya Counselling and its subsidized counselling program. The program makes counselling affordable for all those seeking support.

Had my doubts I’d hit it

I walked into this knowing how the world is right now. How everyone is penny pinching, saving money, not knowing if or when they’ll be heading back to regular life anytime soon. This is where I had my doubts. It just made me try harder to do everything possible, with the limited resources I had in isolation to get the word out and the donations flowing in. While campaigning for the walk, I took up another inattentive where I have promised to shave my head when they reach $2,000 (you can find more info on that one here.) I got down on myself, frustrated that I wasn’t doing enough to help spread the good word.

But then this happened – I beat the goal of $500

I wrote on how much this walk means to me and how this more than just any other walk. So, when I saw that the donations surpassed my conservative amount, I just had love for humans and the universe. Especially at a time like this, when people are scared and worried, they’re still wonderful souls in the world that have generously helped me reach this goal. And for this, I say thank you. I does mean the whole world to me.

Let’s make a new goal

There’s still time left. You can visit my donation page here. Let’s see if we can make it to $600!. Meanwhile, I’ll keep up my regular vigorous workout schedule and make sure I’m fit enough to do the walk on May 30th.

 

 

If you’re still soldering on through isolation, I’m proud of you

Mornings are my favourite time in isolation

Mornings are good but they’ve always been good for me. I’ve always been a morning person. New day, new opportunities, just thankful to be alive. I turn on my computer, make coffee, check my phone, make sure all the clocks are still ticking and then get the day’s duties done.

I guess it doesn’t hit me until I turn on the news or read the daily COVID meme. This is when I think to myself of what day of the week is it or, better yet, what day are we on. 50? 55? 60? I lost count, like many others, after the first month.

It’s after my morning duties when it sinks in and I realize there’s nowhere to go, no one to see, no bar to check out, no movie to watch at the theatre.

I try my best to solder on through this isolation

I go on with my day like if it were any other day. Isolation or not. But it’s hard. It’s getting harder for all of us. I can’t really be mad. I am lucky. Roof over my head, food, friends, creative outlets. But there’s that one moment during the day where no food, friends, creative outlet can replace or distract the rumbly feeling I get in my stomach. It’s usually followed by a chill that stays for a couple of hours.

Isolation chills

All I want to do is get under my throw and take a nap. Usually happens every day around 6pm.

Nerves? Fear? Not sure what it is exactly, but it’s been a constant. This is when I don’t feel like soldering on anymore. Just feel like sleeping like Billie Joe and waking up when September comes. Or when this is all over – whichever comes first.

There’s those that aren’t in the best situations and they seem to be doing alright. But I guess, they’re always soldering on so to them, this is just another obstacle in their already crazy maze of a life.

Motivating thoughts only

When I feel the chills are disappearing, I get enough motivation to get up and eat or chat with friends or do something to keep me distracted once more that we’re on what would seem like a three digit number day of self-quarantine. Again, I lost count.

But if you’re one of the ones that have been able to survive this thus far, I’m proud of you. If you’re one of the ones that have been able to survive with your already complicated life, I’m also proud of you. If you manage to smile, laugh, make art, dance, I’m proud of you, also. We’re on day something-or-the-other and we’ll get through this with you as our inspiration.

 

It took me years to realize that I was going to the bar every night with my depression – my pals were just tagging along.

My depression and I were the best (and worst) drinking mates

Today is a pretty momentous occasion. I was finally able to put in words how I felt when I went to bars for seven years.It took me that long but I’ve been able to form it into a sentence. Here it is:

I was going to the bar every night with my depression – my pals were just tagging along.

From 2010 to 2017-ish, I was drinking with the worst company. At the time, I thought I was going out with my friends, but not so. I was really going out with my depression.

While I would spend most of my time with my mates, by 10pm, way before I planned on leaving the pub, I was  having a heart to heart with my depression. And by heart to heart, I mean I was in the corner of the pub crying, ignoring my friends and ready to down three more shots before last call just because the chat I was having with my depression was just too painful.

My depression called me to go out.

It was the one that said I needed to stay longer.

Depression was the one that picked up the tab.

And most importantly, my depression was the one that came home with me from the bar.

Took me a while to stop hanging out with my depression

I thought our weekly date nights ended after getting help, but they didn’t. During this whole time hanging with the bad influence, my friends were always there. Don’t know why exactly but they were still there.

See, while hanging out with my depression, my friends were there to pick up the pieces. But this became a regular thing. I don’t know how they continued to support me during this time as I thought I was just a downer hanging with my depression.

When I noticed how much they cared for me and how much they wanted me to ghost my depression I tired. It wasn’t until I got  some great counselling, I  knew it was time to break free for good.

Finally free from Depression, the Debbie downer date

I can’t lie, I still get depressed. It’s a thing that I now know how to handle and I now know will be there for the rest of my life, most likely. But now when I go out, I am actually going out with friends. I’m in a much better company now. Mind you, my depression still goes to the same pub but instead of sitting with us, it is sitting in the corner, giving me a flirty eye thinking I’d be enticed by its offering of free drinks and great conversation.

There’s treatment for this

The romantic relationship between booze and depression can both be harrowing predicaments. For a person suffering from both conditions, like me, life can be troubling. But since I wasn’t the only one going through this – having weekly date nights with depression – many addiction treatment centres are clinically prepared to treat both disorders at the same time.

If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol abuse and depression, you can reach out to someone. Here’s a list of those willing to help

Here’s a chat I had with The Hive London on my podcast workshop

I spoke about my podcast and shared radio stories

Talking ins and outs of the podcast game with The Hive London

Great time with Jenna from Hive London this morning where we spoke about podcasting, radio, and the workshop I’ll hopefully be heading after all this isolation mess.

Here’s a little about The Hive

We’re all familiar with coworking spots that are usually found in the downtown area of the city Enter The Hive London – tucked away off a country road just outside of the city.

At The Hive, they believe personal development happens when they exist in the same place. It’s the special quality of growth, connection and deep relationship building that evolves. On their site, they say, “people begin to see each other, know each other, support each other and realize that each one of us is a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

It’s a really cool spot for those that want to be out of the downtown core and want to work on a peaceful, rustic farm.

The spot, I believe, is a perfect pad to take up any course, like podcasting. This is why I chose the specific location for my podcast workshops.

After COVID let’s learn more on how to start a podcast

If you want to start a podcast or even a wee bit interested in what exactly goes into creating a podcast, stay tuned. I’ll be letting you know post-COVID-19 isolationist on the course I’ll be running at The Hive London.

The Casey Kasem blooper I mentioned during the chat

During our chat, I made mention of this classic Casey blooper where he had to do a request for a family pet that had passed away. He came out of an upbeat record and it just didn’t work. Madness ensued.

Get active May 20th and help me raise money for Daya Counselling Centre

Join me May 30th to help raise funds for Daya Counselling

Ten years ago next month, I lost a very dear friend. She chose to leave the earth on her own terms. It’s how she lived her life and it’s the way she left the many that loved her dearly. We all still miss her and I think of her constantly. This is why I thought it was a sign from the universe – and her – to take part in this virtual event May 30th, 2020. It’ll be just less than 2 weeks after the 10 year anniversary of Mercedes’ passing. Defeat Depression London was originally going to do a walk and talk event in support of Daya Counselling. But, life made an audible and we’re now isolated in our homes and not able to take in group activities.

I’m heading up my own team in the 6th Annual Walk & Talk for Mental Health. On May 30th, I’ll be walking for Mercedes and for those that suffer from depression and are in need of counselling but might not be able to afford it. Of course, since it’s virtual, you can really do anything you want on that day. Walk, run, yoga, let out those cooped up frustrations with a boxing working. Anything, as long as it’s active.

Here’s a bit about Daya:

The proceeds from London’s 6th annual Walk & Talk for Mental Health Defeat Depression event are going to Daya Counselling Centre’s subsidized counselling program, which offers counselling to individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Daya Counselling offers thousands of hours of counselling to hundreds of individuals, couples, and families each year, and the organization approaches counselling with compassion – based on a relationship of understanding and respect. The service is staffed by professional psychotherapists and registered social workers.

Join my team

Please consider donating for the person in your Mercedes or your own that couldn’t hold on anymore or is barely hanging on. They’re not alone and on May 30th, we should remind them of this. You can join my team and/or donate here. 

Thank you and I’ll see you on the virtual pavement May 30th!

 

If the COVID outbreak is giving you weird dreams, you’re not alone

COVID isolation is playing with our subconscious

I’m the worst sleeper. I think it’s from my younger years when I spent a couple years doing overnight radio and then later, a flyer monkey for a Toronto concert company. But I don’t get unusual dreams – till COVID happened.

See, our brains process stress, anxiety and other feelings we have when we’re awake. “If every day you’re watching the news, and it’s making you scared or uncomfortable or worried about your relatives or yourself, and this goes on ad nauseam for months, it will impact your dreams,” registered psychotherapist, Jupiter Vaughan told Global News.

It’s like if COVID is running wild in our brain while we sleep

Vaughn explains that he has several `folders’ for the things we have going on in our lives. One folder is for our family, another for our work and hobbies, there’s another for our worries and fears and so on.

“When you sleep, the subconscious can just run freely and pick something totally random [from any of those folders],” Vaughan said.

“It can be an ex [partner] from eight years ago or something that’s really present, like the coronavirus.”

The important thing here is that we can’t stress over the occasional nightmare, as everyone experiences disruptions in their sleep from time to time.

Pandemic dreams are normal, unless you’re getting them nightly

“A poor night sleep is something that your natural sleep cycles are designed to accommodate by increasing ‘sleep pressure’ in your nervous system resulting in enhanced deep non-REM sleep the following night,” Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, a leader in sleep health care and the chief medical officer of Nox Health, told Fox News.

It’s time to worry when sleep disruption is happening every night, which can put us at risk for a few health issues – including heart disease, arrhythmias, weight gain, diabetes and depression.

“When sleep disruptions occur night after night, your natural ability to ‘respond’ is diminished and your body and brain immediately suffer the loss of sleep in numerous ways,” he said. “Initially, your mood, memory and other higher cortical functions become impaired, but in addition we now know that sleep-dependent physiological processes like removing toxic metabolites from the brain, managing blood glucose, regulating appetite hormones, resetting insulin receptor sensitivity, controlling blood pressure and immune function begin to fail.”

Talk about it

Let’s talk about it. Sharing our dreams on social media under a specific hashtag can help defuse the situation. It will also up our chances of getting a restful night’s sleep. Finally.

“Remember, our ‘new experiences’ activate our emotional and memory systems, which is natural and normal,” he said. “By reducing the emotional impact of new information on our thoughts, we improve the chances of parasomnias from occurring.”

See a specialist

Or, how about speaking to a health care physician that specializes in sleep medication.

“Treating the underlying cause of parasomnia and not the symptoms of parasomnia is essential to resolving the situation,” Durmer said. “This is why ‘trying’ over the counter medications or even prescription medications before understanding the cause can be very detrimental. Many people who have recurring sleep-related problems like parasomnias benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy where the underlying fear-evoking issue is explored and new strategies developed to deal with the thoughts and/or behavioral response to [a] specific fear.”