6 Movies For When you Just Need a Break

We all need to take time and relax every now and then. A movie is a great way to do so. If you are having a bad day, bad week, or just need to refresh on the couch, watching a fun movie is a great way to reset your spirits. Keep reading for some great picks to lighten the mood.

Babe and Babe: Pig In The City 

Babe, everyone’s favourite sheep-herding pig will delight the family in this 2 movie combo. In the original film, Babe learns he’s cut out for herding, against his owners wish. The sequel takes babe and a gaggle of animal friends to the big city to help save Arthur Hoggett’s farm. With plenty of light hearted laughs, and adorable characters, these movies are family fun for parents and kids alike.

The Pink Panther Cartoons

The Pink Panther is paws down the world’s grooviest cartoon star. In 1964, this pink-inked feline slinked onto the opening credits of Blake Edwards’ caper film by the same name and threatened to steal the entire show. This digitally remastered Pink Panther cartoon collection is the perfect companion for everything from a few minutes to a few hours of laugh inducing entertainment.

Bad Boys for Life 

Action packed, and full of laughs, the Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett come back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life. A great last hurray for this mid 90’s hit franchise, sure to help you escape reality for 2 hours and 4 minutes.

The Land Before Time

This is another great adventure for the whole family. For some this will remind them of their childhood, for others it might be a whole new discovery. Voyage back in time with Littlefoot, Cera, Spike, Ducky and Petrie – a group of very different young dinosaurs who find themselves thrown together when the world around them quickly changes. With one common dream of making it to the lush, legendary Great Valley, they quickly learn that they’ll need to overcome differences and trust each other in order to survive.

Ocean’s 8 

The latest addition to the Oceans series has Debbie Ocean planning an elaborate heist at the biggest event of the year, the Met Gala. The target, 150 million dollar diamond necklace that’s around the neck of world-famous actress Daphne Kluger who will be center stage at the event. Laugh along as her and the team of specialists she’s recruited, as they try to do the impossible.

Aladdin

Soar away to “a whole new world” in Disney’s animated masterpiece Aladdin. Join the charming street rat Aladdin, the determined Princess Jasmine and the hilarious Genie (voiced by the unforgettable Robin Williams) on a wondrous journey filled with action, laughter and Academy Award-winning music.

We hope whatever your movie taste, we’ve inspired some fun ways to escape for a bit and unwind in the realm of cinema. Remember we have everything you need for your home theater, and a wide selection of Blu-Ray and DVD’s.

4 Mental Health Tips for 2021

Let’s face it, 2020 was a tough year for everyone. If prioritizing your mental health is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we’ve collected some tips that may help you reach your goals and improve your overall wellbeing for 2021.

1. Focus on a Hobby or Goal

Research has shown that regularly doing activities we enjoy is actually beneficial for our mental health. This can be continuing to do something you already enjoy, improving on an existing hobby, or taking up something new that you have always wanted to pursue. Having a goal or a hobby gives one motivation, purpose, and can even improve our self-worth and self-esteem as we develop this new skill. As well, when we are engaged in an activity we enjoy, it is easy to fall into the mental state known as “flow” or “getting into the zone.” This state promotes mindfulness and can help ease stress and anxiety. A hobby is also a great way to help you connect with others. If you love reading, join a book club. If you paint, schedule a virtual painting session with friends who also enjoy painting. If you love running, find someone to run with regularly. Whatever you choose to do, it is important to dedicate time to it, whether it is daily, a few days a week or even just weekly.

2. Limit Your Screen Time

It’s great if you are using technology to connect with family, or access resources that may be beneficial to you. But if you are using it to mindlessly scroll on social media, or compare yourself to others, it may take a toll on your mental health. You don’t have to cut your screen time completely, but know that disconnecting a little can help with your overall wellbeing.

Some ways include creating “tech-free” zones at home, like your bedroom or the family room, where phones are not allowed. You can also dedicate a chunk of time during the day to unplug for a couple hours or even for a whole day. Setting a limit to how many times you pick up your phone can also be helpful to ween off your screen time, as many of us constantly reach for our device multiple times a day without even thinking. Another way is to move apps that eat up most of your time off of your home screen, so you are less likely to to see them and open them up. Lastly, although it may seem counterintuitive, install some apps that may actually help with limiting your screen time. A really fun one is Flora, which helps you to stay off your phone, clear to-do lists, and build positive, life-changing habits by planting “virtual trees.” Whenever you want to make progress toward your goals, your trees grow bigger!

3. Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can be an instant mood booster as you reflect on all the positive things in your life. It is also associated with increased happiness and stronger relationships with loved ones. There are many ways you can practice gratitude. An easy way is to write down at least one thing that you are thankful for every morning. You can also create a list of things you are thankful for and place it in a spot at home where it can be easily seen, as a reminder.

Practicing gratitude can also be done through journaling and writing down all the positive things you experienced during your day. These can be as small as the beautiful sunshine you woke up to, or the delicious cup of coffee you got to enjoy in the morning. Lastly, gratitude meditation is another great way to focus on appreciation, as it allows you to be present and in the moment. Some great apps for meditation include Calm, Headspace and Buddify.

4. Reach Out

Lastly, know that it is ok to reach out and talk to someone or ask for help. Having a friend or family member to talk to can help you feel like you are not alone in your feelings of stress, uncertainty or anxiousness. Even if they don’t have any advice to offer you, having someone to just listen with an open mind can provide a sense of relief.

Mental Health During Isolation

The emergence of the new coronavirus has changed our lives immensely. Differences in our daily routine, the constant buzz of negative media reports, fears about losing our jobs and the economy in general can play havoc with our peace of mind. And to make matters worse, we can’t even meet up with friends for a chat and a comforting hug.

Fortunately, social distancing or isolation does not reach as far as our digital devices and we can catch up with friends and colleagues on our phones, tablets and laptops, if only to share a smiling emoji. Being alone can have a few benefits when we know it won’t last forever. We could, for example, learn a new language, read a book or two in the time we’d normally spend commuting, or take up a new hobby. And if we feel fear amid these activities—or during working hours if we’re working from home­—a few deep breaths or short meditation will help alleviate anxiety.

Practicing meditation at home is a great way to calm and relax the mind.

If you are a parent of little ones, you will naturally have concerns about their wellbeing, and find it challenging if you are also working from home. If elderly parents, or loved ones with compromised immune systems live with you, you may be wondering how best to protect them from the virus when you yourself have been out of the house on a food run, for example.

Perhaps it brings some solace to remember that everyone is in the same place; that all over the world, in universities and private labs, the best scientific minds of our time are working on developing vaccines that will help restore some normalcy to our lives.

Until then, we must try to relax, to seek out reliable online resources that can help us, and share our fears and questions in online groups and forums for those with similar concerns.

Reaching out to friends and family through video calls can help provide comfort during this time.

For children, teens and adults, it is important to maintain as normal a routine as possible, getting up at the same time as usual, eating regular meals, exercising (think stretches, yoga, dancing and getting in your 10,000 steps by walking around the house). Make sure you are getting to bed reasonably early and don’t make it your second job to watch the news on TV. Instead, get caught up once a day then find something positive to focus on. (If you are seriously troubled by what you are hearing, ask a partner or friend to fill you in on anything that is important for you to know.)

Talk openly to those in your care, making sure your language is age-appropriate. Find out their concerns and open them up for discussion. There is truth to the adage A trouble shared is a trouble halved. Above all, however frightening the spread of this virus may seem, remember to breathe and stay calm.

6 Strategies for Starting the Year with a Positive Mindset

Start the year with a positive mindset

We live in a culture that often delights in focusing on the negative: a constant stream of bad news, fear-based headlines, guilt-inducing ads, and social media shaming. It’s no wonder it’s so easy to dwell on everything that’s wrong with the world; but doing so can take a heavy toll.  

Research has shown that your mindset affects your mood, your relationships, and your well-being. Thinking positively rather than focusing on the negative can even mean the difference between success or failure in your endeavours. Cultivating a positive mindset means looking for the bright side in every situation, choosing to see the good in the world, and finding the silver linings no matter what’s going on in your life. Cultivating that optimism is possible with a few solid strategies.

Here are six ways to start the new year with a powerfully positive mindset.

Use a selective focus

Focus on the positive

Consciously focusing your mind onto something positive is a powerful way to change your mindset. For example, choosing to focus on the silver lining in a bad situation, the good in someone you might not get along with, or the learning opportunities in a challenging time turns your view from negative to positive and lets you approach things in a new light.

If you tend to worry about the future or stew in the past, you might also try focusing only on the present and on the things you can control.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude An attitude of gratitude can shift your mindset

Gratitude is a powerful feeling, and an excellent tool to reset your mindset. No matter how dire the circumstances, we can all find something to be grateful for: a good friend or family member, community support, a sunrise, happy memories, the air we breathe. Tapping into the power of gratitude takes your mind off negative scenarios and opens it up to a more positive perspective.

Use a one-word mantra

Choosing a one-word mantra that is motivating, uplifting, or meaningful can help you to refocus your mindset whenever the need arises. For example, if you find yourself getting weighed down by the heaviness of the world, choose a word like “joy” or “goodness”. If you lose steam with your goals and feel like giving up, try a word like “focus” or “forward” to keep you on track.

Once you’ve got your word, repeat it often. Post it on your fridge or keep it in your phone and reflect on it whenever you feel the need for a boost of positivity.

Nurture your sense of humour

Strategies for cultivating a positive mindset

Nurturing your sense of humour is a great way to cope with stress and negativity. The physical act of smiling and laughing has been shown to actually make you feel happier. So watching a comedy, telling a joke, or just thinking back to a positive memory that brings a smile to your face can turn a grumpy mindset around.

Surround yourself with positive influences

Surround yourself with positive people

They say we become like those we hang out with, so choose your companions carefully. There’s nothing more uplifting than happy people who view life through rose-coloured glasses. Surrounding yourself with positive people will undoubtedly have a positive influence on your own mindset. Can’t find anyone positive around you? Read positive books or watch positive shows.

Choose healthy habits

Healthy habits help to cultivate a positive mindset

Ever tried to be positive when you feel sick, exhausted, or in pain? It’s tough. Your physical body affects the state of your mind, so building healthy practices into your life can completely change your state of mind. Exercise, for example, increases serotonin in the brain, which boosts your mood and well-being. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough rest also have a huge impact on your outlook.

Looking for more healthy habits inspiration and support? Come talk to an expert at the LD Pharmacy anytime.

 

How to Cope With Travel Anxiety on Your Next Vacation

How to Deal with Travel Anxiety London Drugs Blog

Travel offers a host of health benefits for your mind, body, and soul. It relieves stress, boosts happiness, strengthens mental resilience, and increases cognitive flexibility. Vacations break the cycle of stress which permeates our daily lives, allowing us some time out from usual routines—and it allows us to gain a new perspective on our problems. After a successful trip, we feel energized and refreshed, ready to take on the world again.

Travel can also lead to an improved connection to ourselves and others. Research shows that when we go beyond our social comfort zone and immerse ourselves into different cultures, we strengthen our personal identity and increase our confidence.  Vacations also promote “shared experience” with others by fostering connections. Shared memories and time spent together, outside of usual mundane routines, help to promote these positive ties with family and friends.

Dealing with Travel Anxiety London Drugs Blog

All that said, when leaving your usual routine and surroundings, challenges might come up. One challenge is that traveling may cause symptoms of a mental health condition to flare. Regardless of whatever idyllic and peaceful location you are headed to, most people experience some level of stress both before and/or during any trip.

Research has found that the most common stressful travel experiences are related to pre-travel issues such as planning, financial concerns, packing, making travel arrangements, and developing the itinerary. But some people also have stressful experiences during the trip, such as coping with weather conditions, traffic jams, flight delays, conflict with travel partners, and transportation.

The good news, however, is that in many cases, there are ways to prevent travel anxiety from ruining our vacations!

Plan ahead:

  • Research your destination, especially if you might experience cultural and linguistic differences
  • Learn a few common phrases to help you get by in the local language, if needed
  • Find out where to exchange currency for the best rate
  • Know what kind of electrical outlets people use so you can recharge your phone, tablet or use your curling irons!

Be organized:

  • Ensure that your passport is current and you have the necessary visas
  • Book your hotel before you arrive and keep a copy of your confirmation with you
  • Check in for your flight online the day before and leave extra time at the airport to get through security

Be prepared for emergencies:

  • Look up the local emergency number so that you have it, just in case
  • Don’t leave home without travel insurance!

Know the rules when it comes to medications:

If you are travelling with prescription medication for a mental health condition, it’s important to research your destination country’s drug importation laws to see if your medication is regulated. Many medications for treating mental health conditions are highly regulated and countries impose restrictions on the amount and type of medication that can be imported.

  • Know whether you can travel with it to your destination
  • Carry your medications in their original containers
  • Bring a letter from the prescribing physician indicating that the medicines have been prescribed for medical reasons (including health condition, and the dosage prescribed)

Coping with Travel Stress and Anxiety on Vacation London Drugs Blog

Try to relax and don’t feel guilty:

  • Do remember that you are not indispensable to your workplace—they will manage without you
  • Don’t check work emails
  • Do remember that recharging is just as important as working
  • Remind yourself that you deserve this time off
  • If you’re a caregiver and feel guilty leaving your charge with someone else, try to focus on the reality vs. your anxieties and worst case scenarios

Be mindful of how you’re feeling:

  • Don’t be afraid to take a break from your planned activities if you need to relax and recharge
  • Keep up routines that make you feel stable
  • Pack a few items to help you relax at the end of a challenging day, such as a journal, music or your running shoes
  • Music is great for reducing anxiety when travel becomes stressful—listening to your favourite songs can have a huge difference on your mood

Stay healthy:


Written by Lorna Allen, CMHA BC

6 Ways Exercise Benefits Your Mental Health

We all know the physical benefits of exercise. It helps keep excess pounds at bay, increases stamina, strengthens our heart, keeps arteries clear, and wards off illness. But did you know that exercise can improve the structure and functionality of our brains, as well as improving our overall mental health?

There’s no denying exercise should be a key part of any strategy to combat depression, anxiety, and the general stress of daily life, but “green exercise” in particular, such as cycling, brings with it added psychological health benefits compared to exercising in synthetic environments such as gyms!

Recent studies suggest that exercising in nature gives a quick and significant boost to our mental health. Researchers analyzed studies encompassing more than 1,200 participants involved in outdoor activities such as cycling, walking, horseback riding, and fishing. They found that outdoor exercise improved mood and self-esteem significantly, with the biggest effects coming within just five minutes. The study also found that the trials also showed an improvement in mental well-being.

Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments is associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and enjoyment, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression. Here are six interesting ways exercise can positively affect our brains.

1. Improves cognitive functioning

The overlooked cousin of “grey matter,” white matter is comprised of millions of bundles of nerve fibers acting as the computer cables that connect various parts of the brain. Research has shown than exercise enhances white matter integrity and improves conductivity resulting in better cognitive functioning.

2. Promotes brain health

Intense exercise results in elevated levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) – an important protein that that promotes brain health and memory. BDNF prevents the death of existing brain cells and supports cognitive function. Low levels of BDNF have been linked to obesity, depression and even schizophrenia. Therefore maintaining satisfactory levels of BDNF results in optimal neurotransmission and potentially prevents a myriad of physical as well as mental diseases.

3. Improves memory and reasoning

Exercise acts directly on the body by stimulating physiological changes such as reductions in insulin resistance and inflammation and by encouraging production of chemicals that affect the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and the overall health of new brain cells. Studies show that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who exercise than in people who don’t. Exercise also boosts memory and thinking indirectly by improving mood and sleep.

4. Reduces anxiety and stress

Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It produced endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Physical activity helps to relax muscles and relieve tension in the body and also improves the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

5. Acts as a natural antidepressant

Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side-effects.  It promotes changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also increases blood flow to the brain, releases endorphins and other neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which makes you feel good.

6. Increases self-esteem

Regular activity is an investment in YOU. When it becomes habit, it increases feelings of self-worth, achievement and make you feel stronger. It also helps you feel more confident in your physical appearance too!

And if you still aren’t convinced that getting outside is worth the effort then consider this: Science also suggests that mental health may be an even stronger predictor of life expectancy than physical health or even heavy smoking. If we’ve got you motivated, throw on some shoes and head outside this summer!


Written by Lorna Allen, CMHA BC

Support Youth in Need with Kids Help Phone

There are times when a child or teenager needs a safe space to talk about what is happening in their lives. Whether it’s dealing with anxiety or depression, coping with tragedy, or facing cyberbullying, kids can come up against several hardships at a young age—and it’s important to let them know that they are not alone.

Kids Help Phone London Drugs Blog

This May, London Drugs is supporting Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only 24/7 national service offering professional counselling, information, and referrals to young people across Canada. Customers will be invited to donate $3 at checkout when shopping at London Drugs, starting May 14 until May 31, and all proceeds raised will go directly to Kids Help Phone to help them always be there to support youth in need.

The impact of Kids Help Phone in Canada

Kids Help Phone is a Canadian leader, known for their expertise and continuous innovation as Canada’s only 24/7, bilingual (English and French) professional counselling, information and volunteer support service for young people.

Since 1989, they have offered kids, teens, and young adults a critical lifeline of hope and support through their free, anonymous service, which research shows significantly improves youth mental health. Young people reach out to Kids Help Phone from every corner of the country via phone, Live Chat, an internationally-recognized website, and through a confidential volunteer-led texting service (available nationwide by the end of 2018) in addition to having access to a database of local youth-serving programs.

Kids Help Phone Donate London Drugs in May

Kids Help Phone speaks with young people every day—often acting as the only mental health and well-being support available to vulnerable and at-risk youth across the country. In 2017, Kids Help Phone provided over 59,000 counselling sessions in total across Canada, and youth reached out to Kids Help Phone an average of 530 times per day for counselling, information or referrals.

Kids Help Phone is a registered Canadian charity, and the majority of their revenue is raised from individuals, foundations, corporations, and community fundraising. It takes courage for a young person to reach out to Kids Help Phone and it takes courage for the community to stand behind and support them. With the support of supporters like London Drugs and its customers, Kids Help Phone can work to achieve their vision of a future where every young person in Canada will access the support they need, in the way they need it most. 


To learn more about Kids Help Phone, please visit kidshelpphone.ca.

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