My Experience with CBT

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, you have likely been told about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. It is a great tool to help you change your thinking and be more able to cope. However, even with my husbands benefits, there is no way I could afford it as an ongoing treatment. That is the problem for a lot of people that suffer from mental illness. Help is too pricey.

My doctor was able to refer me to a therapist at a hospital here in Toronto for the possibility of receiving free CBT therapy. I waited about a month to hear from them, and was brought in for an assessment in July last year(2015). I was told that private CBT would be the best fit for me, but the hospital was only offering group CBT sessions. I was put on a waiting list, and began my 12 week group sessions in Januray 2016.

This CBT group was for anxiety, however, the concepts can be used for depression as well. I could have gotten into a group for depression, but at the time it was my anxiety that was affecting my life the most.

Despite the fact that I would be better off with private sessions, and that is something I want to look into eventually, I found the group very helpful. There was something about hearing other people’s struggles that made me realize I was not as “crazy” as I thought.

As the sessions went on, I became more comfortable speaking to everyone else in the room about my issues. I also found myself offering advice to some of the others. You know how they say the best way to learn something is to teach it? That is so true. I found myself giving advice to another person that I then realized I should use too.With all of us having different things that cause anxiety, we were able to give logical advice about something we weren’t anxious about.

I was the only one who had specific phobias about medical stuff, and general anxiety about fainting whenever I feel overwhelmed. Most of the people in the group had anxieties around social situations, being the center of attention, being judged or making decisions. I have some anxiety with these things, but they weren’t why I needed help. Some had specific anxieties that I would think “why would they be anxious about that?” And I’m sure a lot of them thought the same thing about my anxieties. But it didn’t matter. We were all there for essentially the same thing, and we wanted to support each other.

I definitely recommend that if you are thinking about doing CBT, you should do it! Find a way, either join a group, read CBT books, or find a program online. Do a mixture. And don’t rule out the idea of going on medication. They say that medication along with CBT is the most effective way. But talk to your doctor and do what is best for you.

A book series I recommend is by Jessamy Hibberd and Jo Usmar. They have books titled “This book Will Make you Calm” and “This Book Will Make you Happy” Along with others for confidence, sleeping, and mindfulness. They use CBT techniques and even have homework for you to do. They are easy to read, and not very long, which is perfect if you’re not much of a reader.

On top of that, I would love to offer you my own CBT lessons. I am going to post lessons that go along with what I did during my CBT program at the hospital, and even give you homework! This will be a great way for me to refresh my CBT knowledge and make sure I put it to practice on a regular basis again. I hope that anyone thinking about it will find value in my posts, and they can at least help you get through until you’re able to receive some professional help.

Keep checking back, I will be posting Lesson #1 soon!





The Many Uses for Arbonne’s Renewing Body Gelee

The Renewing Body Gelee is described in the catelogue as a refreshing gel that hydrates for soft, smooth-feeling skin. But it is so much more than that!

Key ingredients include: Sea kelp extract, ivy leaf extract, and Japanese green tea extract.


It is definitely one of my favourite of Arbonne’s products. You get a very large container of it, which is great for how often you can use it! Being from the SeaSource line, the botanical ingredients are mostly from the sea, and in case you haven’t noticed, people who live on or near the ocean have amazing skin!

So if you are thinking about ordering this product, or you have it in your bathroom right now, these are some uses you must know!



Sunburns – We should all be wearing sunscreen when we are out in the sun, but of course we don’t always remember. (Like my husband this past weekend at a golf tournament) This cooling gel helps relieve the pain, as well as heal the burns faster. I would never go on a beach trip without it!

Other Burns – It shouldn’t be shocking that I would also recommend this for other burns as well. I work at a custom design boutique, and I’ve burnt my hand on the iron a few times. This stuff is a lifesaver for those incidents!

Mosquito Bites – Helps relieve the itch of mosquito bites. That being said, I personally recommend using the Seasource Mud Mask to heal themĀ  faster.

Poison Ivy – Also helps to relieve the itch of poison ivy. Luckily I haven’t experienced this myself, but I have been told it works. Good to know in case I ever come across the poisonous plant!

Headaches – Putting a dab of this on the back of your neck, forehead or temples can help give temporary relief from headaches.

Hot Flashes – The cooling sensation from this gel is great for women experiencing hot flashes. I also found it useful one day that I was at a vendor event showcasing my Arbonne products and the air conditioning didn’t work. I periodically applied it to the back of my neck, and all over my arms and legs.

This is me at the vendor event I mentioned above.

Bruises – Applying this to your bruises can help reduce swelling and speed up healing.

Sore Joints/Muscles – This stuff works wonders on sore joints and muscles. If you have any kind of soreness, this needs to be in your bathroom! Don’t just take my word for it, read this Instagram Post, or thisĀ blog post by a runner who wrote a review of the product.

So that is my list! Let me know if you have any other uses for the Gelee in the comments below!

*Disclaimer, this product was not tested or created for all of these uses, and therefore not guaranteed to work for them. But they are suggested by clients and consultants that have tested it out for themselves.


Giving up Pop

Pop or soda, whatever you call it, it’s delicious. Most people can agree on that, and for a lot of families, it ends up on the shopping list every month without much thought.

When I was a kid, I drank pop probably every day. I loved the fizzy-ness I loved the flavours, and of course, the sugar. And I had the cavities to prove it! I felt bad for my cousins, who’s mom would only allow them to have one pop a day. “How strict!” I thought.

As I got older, I started hearing about the health concerns with pop. But I kept thinking, “whatever, I’m still healthy and thin, and people have been drinking pop forever.” Yes, I was blessed with a great metabolism, and weight gain was not a concern I had when it came to pop, but I failed to think about all the other ways it could be affecting me. My teeth for instance, I had cavities almost every time I went in for my dental checkup. I can also just imagine the affect it was having on my stomach, intestines, kidneys, and heart. Not to mention the caffeine. I always said, “well, I don’t drink coffee, so this is my caffeine source” But I also love my chocolate, so I was getting plenty of caffeine.

soda affects 2

Image source and for more information: Huffingtonpost

I would say I was addicted to pop. I would crave it, I would be irritable if we didn’t have pop when I wanted one, and the relief I felt having that first sip was a great feeling. This was not good.

As I begun to be more aware of my anxiety and depression, and admitting to myself that this is a problem, I started looking into what I can do to help myself. Obviously living a healthy lifestyle is a biggie. I decided to get into yoga, and go for more walks. Little changes so it didn’t feel too overwhelming. I would walk to the subway station instead of taking the bus, and instead of my sugary cereal in the morning, I would make myself a protein shake with berries in the morning.


But I also knew, cutting out caffeine and sugar would make a huge difference, and the best way to do that would be to stop drinking pop. AHH! This was a horrifying thought! There was no way I could see myself being able to do that.

I decided to start slow. I went by my aunt’s “strict” rule of just one pop a day. And with this rule, I found sometimes I would have a day here and there where I wouldn’t have a pop, because I would ask myself, “do you want this pop now, what if you want it later?” and then later I would either forget about it, or decide I may as well leave it for today.

I needed something to substitute the pop with though. I needed something refreshing that had flavour. So I tried drinking more juice. But for some reason that wasn’t enough. The 3 things that I found that helped the most was infusing water with fruit, iced tea (loose leaf tea, steeped, and iced, with no sugar added), and Arbonne’s Fizz Sticks.

The Fizz Sticks are great for giving me that fizzy-ness I miss from pop. They are very versatile as well. You can just mix them with water, or blend them with water and strawberries. There are many things you can mix them with. Maybe I will make a blog post about that one day….

So there I was, drinking a lot more water, and some juice, and a lot less pop. And you know what? I started feeling amazing! I felt like I had more energy, and generally felt healthier. And I eventually got to a point where I wasn’t having my daily pop. Now, I can have one every now and then, as a treat, without suddenly “needing” it again. But I will say, when I do treat myself, I can feel the effects almost right away since I am not used to it anymore. Boy does my stomach get bloated! And I feel the sugar crash, and generally less energetic.

Since quitting pop, I’ve had 3 dental checkups without cavities! (I went to the dentist last week and my record was broken unfortunately, but I wasn’t surprised, when I was home for a few weeks before my wedding, I had a bit more pop than usual, and a lot of sweets. Oops!)


I want to challenge you. Try limiting your pop intake for a week or two. Drink no more than 1 a day, but try to not drink any at all. And see how you feel. Then ask yourself, if feeling this great and knowing what harmful stuff is NOT going into your body, is worth not having pop all the time?

Don’t think you can do it? Neither did I.