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Why is everyone preaching about Gratitude?

I’ve been cultivating my gratitude practice for around 5 years now. It’s not one of those practices that makes an immediate difference in your life, it takes times to grow and rewire neurons in your brain, but it does and will happen with time. Donald Hebb, a neuropsychologist once said that “neurons that fire together, wire together” and he was 100% right.

Two major shifts occurred in my life as a result of practicing gratitude. The first was a shift from pessimism to optimism. I was never very good at seeing the glass half full, it was always verging on empty for me. Practicing gratitude made a shift in my thinking, it meant that instead of immediately going to the negative there was a pause, a moment to consider that there were other options. It didn’t happen overnight and there wasn’t a Moses parting the seas moment for me to see the change. It happened very quietly, but it did happen. The first time I recognized it was in a flower shop. It was busy and I thought I had jumped the line, so I turned to apologize to the man beside me and he said “oh don’t worry, I’m still thinking, there’s too much choice in here”. My reply, instantly was “I’m glad this is my hardest choice, which flowers to buy”. I didn’t think anything of it, I got in the car and drove off. Sitting at the traffic light it dawned on me, normally I would have agreed with the man however, instead my brain had searched for a positive.

The second thing that shifted was the ability to recognize the good in my life instead of a focus on what I didn’t have. Some times I think people get this confused with always being able to find a silver lining. In some situations there just aren’t silver linings, no matter how hard we search, this is part of life and learning to practice acceptance of that is for another completely different post. Being able to be grateful for what you have means that tiny voice that points out all thing things you don’t have becomes much quieter.

So how to practice Gratitude?

Set yourself up for success, this is what I always tell my clients, look for ways to be consistent and make your practice sustainable. For me, that means I leave my gratitude notebook beside my bed, visible to me every time I come into my bedroom. I do it at night, before bed. I attach a pen to my notebook so I can never have the excuse “I don’t have something to write with”. Find a time of the day that works for you. Our brains learn through association, with practice your brain will begin to associate that time of day with gratitude and will remind you all on its own.

Don’t get fancy, don’t buy a notebook from Indigo that asks you to write 5 things you’re grateful every day, cause that will be fun for a couple days and then you’ll get bored. Keep it simple. Write the words: “I’m grateful for….” and fill in the blanks, one thing, once a day. On hard days I’ve been grateful for my coffee and a moment of silence, for sunshine or for my body being healthy. Some days are easier than others but there’s always something, big or small.

Be patient and keep at it. It will work, this much I know is true.

If you don’t believe me – maybe you’ll believe those smarty pants at Harvard or Stanford.

Helpful Parenting Resources

Photo Credit: Unsplash

For all Stages of Your Child’s Life!

By: Leslie Campos from WellParents

There are few things more thrilling than meeting your child for the first time. There are also few things that are more terrifying. The responsibility of nurturing this tiny life can be overwhelming. Some days it will even seem like you’re going it alone, but fortunately, you’re not. There are tons of resources that can help you manage every stage of your child’s life. To help, Seasons Therapy Centre has gathered some of the best advice here to give you guidance all the way through. 

Infants and Toddlers

The first few years of your child’s life are your chance to give them a great start. These resources will help you build your child’s foundation.

Your Child’s Development: What to Expect

Keep Your Baby Active with Tummy Time

Reading Tips for Parents of Toddlers

Preschoolers and Children

As your child navigates the first several years of school, they’ll begin to learn who they are. Here’s how you can guide them toward their best selves.

Surviving the First Day at Preschool

How to Help Kids Make Friends: 10 Evidence-Based Tips

What Are Commons Signs That a Child Has Special Needs?

Tweens and Teens

This time signals lots of change, growing independence, and, eventually, the transition into adult life. Support your soon-to-be adult while giving them the space to grow.

Talking with Your Pre-Teen About Puberty and Sexuality

Tips for Surviving — and Thriving — During School Transitions

Advice for Parents When Children Leave Home

Maintaining Routines

Each stage of life comes with its fair share of ups and downs, but to mitigate stress for children, it’s important to stay organized and keep up with routines.


How to Optimize Your Home for Healthy, Stress-free Living

A Stress-Free Morning Routine That Works

Making Family Mealtime an Important Tradition

Your job as a parent won’t be over once your child moves out and enters their adult life, but it will change. Take the chance to lean back, take a breath, and relax with the confidence that you’ve given your child the best head start possible.

Toddlers and Self-Isolation – Ideas for small hands

Are you stuck at home with a toddler? We have plenty of experience hanging with these small people – here are some scheduling and art suggestions for trying to maintain your sanity. Babies and toddlers like routine, their world is so unpredictable so providing them with some sort of routine helps them to know what is coming next. If you’ve got a babe between the ages of 18+ months to 3 years try out our daycare schedule for them.

8:30-9:30 free play
Clean up
9:45am circle time – we’re hosting a FREE circle time on Tuesday/Friday if you want to join – send us an email!
10am – snack
10:30 – outdoor play
11:30 – lunch
12-2:30 nap time
3-4pm outdoor play
4pm snack time
4:30pm art
5-5:30 free play.

Art Ideas

A list of materials needed (all can be purchased at your local dollar store, which is currently still open).

        • Paper
        • Markers
        • Watercolour Paint
        • Gluestick
        • Salad Spinner
        • Shaving Cream
        • Food colouring
        • Qtips
        • Paint
        • Bingo Dabber

Letter Art: Toddlers love repetition – we start the week off with a letter and base all our crafts on that letter. In September we started on letter A and have moved through the whole alphabet. Art is a great activity for tots as it helps with fine motor skills and they learn a lot through play. You can print or draw bubble letters and have them glue pieces of paper/tissue paper inside. The scrunch, scrunch stick is a good repetitive action that their little hands can handle. Plus gluing with gluesticks is a fan favorite around here, for us because it doesn’t involve as much mess. A set of watercolour paints (available at the dollar store) is another great way to minimize the mess. Just add a little water to the tray and let them go wild

.toddlers painting letters

Handprints: If you’re going to do handprint painting, have a small bucket of soapy water nearby so you can wash hands quickly. We’ve done a lot of handprint art – sometimes just letting them paint their own hand is enough entertainment for them.handprint art

Salad Spinner Art: have a salad spinner at home? This one is super easy and lots of fun, plus it creates some pretty beautiful masterpieces. Cut a piece of paper the size of the salad spinner and place it at the bottom of the spinner. Then squeeze some different colour paints onto the paper circle, put the lid on the spinner and spin away.

salad spinner art

Shaving Cream Art: all you need is some shaving cream and some food colouring for this one. Spray the shaving cream into a deep dish and then add drops of food colouring. Have your tot use the end of a spoon to stir it around and make a design then take a piece of cardstock and press it into the shaving cream. Then scrape off the extra shaving cream using a straight edge of a piece of cardboard and voila.shaving cream art

Qtip painting: another great painting activity that does not involve as much mess. There are so many things you could paint, we usually go with a tree and have them add the leaves. This is a good activity to learn about the different seasons.qtip painting for toddlers

Counting Art: get yourself a bingo dabber, another great purchase from Dollarama. This is great for art with tots, especially counting art. We usually do an activity where we draw the numbers from 1-10 and have them make the correct number of corresponding dots.

bingo dabber art

#COVID19JEDI

It’s ok to go dark sometimes…it’s totally ok to NOT BE OK right now.

Say this sometimes to yourself, it can be helpful.

“I AM NOT OK RIGHT NOW”.

I took a class recently – on Mindful Self-Compassion and there’s a theory about self-compassion being composed of 3 basic things – mindfulness, self-kindness and common humanity. I took this class with the amazing Dr.Heidi Walk and it uses the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. I’ll break down the 3 parts, if you’re new to this theory. 

Kindness: 

So be “NOT OK” and give yourself a fucking hug. Tell yourself what a friend would tell you. Pretend you live on another planet (which would actually be really cool right now, you wouldn’t have to deal with any of this craziness, there’s no COVID-19 on Mars…or isssss there? Ok sorry…so you’re on Mars and your friend calls you and says, listen to what happened on earth today. Would you believe it? Would you feel like you were listening to a movie plot? Maybe, but either way bet you wouldn’t be so hard on your friend about their insecurities around their future and the world’s future. So try being kind to yourself when you’re not ok..try being a good friend to yourself. 

Mindfulness:

Today I was watching Clone Wars with my son…it’s a Star Wars spin-off, it’s on Disney, maybe not entirely age-appropriate but seriously, if you judge me on that you’re missing the whole point here, anyway….in the intro of the episode we were watching, it talks about how the Jedi have been sent to live far below the surface, cause of some Dark force guy and the similarity to our actual world…well that thought alone sent me into dark mode. You know, shaky feel, heart flutters..uncertainty at the end of every thought. But about halfway down the scary rabbit hole, I pulled myself out and that there, folks is mindfulness…being aware of the moment you’re in. Just the moment…catching yourself in your negative thought patterns. 

Common Humanity:

Maybe some of the people in your life will go dark too…let them have their space. Don’t let anyone go dark for too long though, have an accountability partner.

If you live alone…have an accountability partner.

If you live with people but feel like you live alone….have an accountability partner.

If you live with people who you like 90% of the time (be grateful) and also have a damn accountability partner.

You get the point?

So here’s what I suggest on how we’re going to be a #COVID19Jedi and not let the dark force win. 

Be mindful of when you go dark. Be kind to yourself in that moment and then find a fellow Jedi and be stronger together…be accountable for someone and to someone. 

One day at a time people….one moment…through each step of darkness, we’ll rise to be Guardians of Justice and Peace in the Universe, for people and especially for the Universe.

ps. Just so you know I’m not some huge Star Wars fan…don’t get me wrong I like it and all, but seriously who hasn’t wanted to be some form of a Jedi at some point in their life? Look up the definition of Jedi on google…the second part of the first sentence and then go find your inner Jedi, especially when the dark is lurking around any corner. 

Online Therapy

If you’re struggling at the moment to keep your mental health in a good state, you’re not alone. We’re offering online virtual therapy sessions! Seasons offer therapy for children, adolescents and adults. We also help families navigate some of the challenges of parenting through workshops.
Nikki Goldman Stroh is a Registered Psychotherapist with over 16 years of experience providing therapy to children and adults. Nikki started working with children and adolescents using Art and Play therapy. She now works mostly with adults dealing with anxiety and depression. Nikki began her training at Fanshawe College where she completed a diploma in photography. Later she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Western Ontario, and then a post-graduate diploma in Art therapy from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Over the years Nikki has taken additional training in psychology, counseling techniques and play therapy at the George Brown College and the Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health (formally Hincks-Delcrest). Nikki is a strong believer in using mindfulness and meditation with her clients. She has specialty training in CBT, counseling skills and both Art and Play Therapy. In a creative and caring environment, she helps people explore difficult issues and develop skills to stay calm while growing their self-worth and positive regard. Nikki has assisted people of all ages to work through transitions, anxiety, depression, OCD, selective mutism, divorce, adoption and socialization issues. Being creative is both professionally and personally relevant to Nikki. 
Individual Online Therapy Nikki provides therapy to those in need using a sliding scale for individual sessions. Sessions are available through a variety of mediums and can be claimed with a variety of insurance companies. Please contact us for more information. Or book your own Free 15-minute virtual Meet and Greet or a 50-minute psychotherapy session.
Registered Psychotherapist Nikki Goldman-Stroh

Santa at Seasons!

November 24th – 3:00 – 5:00PM

Avoid the line-ups at the mall and have an enjoyable Santa experience! This year we will have a small holiday market featuring products from Raluca Skincare and Epicure as well as baked goods from our very own kitchen (free and for purchase as gifts). Plus we will have My Kindness Calendar’s available for purchase. Tickets are $25 (plus HST) and include 1(4×6) photo, treats and crafts. Additional images are available for purchase. Join us at Pictonat for an afternoon of holiday fun!

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

Seasons Annual Haunted House

Join us for our annual Haunted House! This year we’re back, bigger and better than ever before! We have partnered with Kids Can Academy and proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to this amazing charitable organization! If you’re not into being scared, we’ve got crafts, games and treats for you! Or take a family photo in our pumpkin patch! Tickets are $25 (valid for a family of 4) and includes haunted house tour, treats, games and crafts – additional tickets are $8 each. Buy your tickets online at Eventbrite!