Category: Awareness Raising

Self-Care for Everyone

A dark green background. In the center of the image is orange text that reads Self-Care looks Different each day. In the top left corner is a yellow abstract circular shape. On top of the shape is light green squiggly line in the shape of an abstract circle. To the right of the shape overlapping is a collection of purple dots. In the bottom right corner is another yellow abstract circular shape. On top of the shape is a light green squiggly line in the shape of an abstract circle. In the bottom left corner is a light green circle. One top of the circle is the Survivor’s Hope Logo. the logo is a purple line drawing of an iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre.Written by Candice Perry

Self – care is for everyone. It is an act of self – compassion. It is a practice that goes beyond bubble baths and pedicures (although those are terrific ways to relax and feel taken care of!) Everyday self – care involves the routines and habits we develop to take care of ourselves holistically.  Taking time to socialize with friends and family, nourishing ourselves as best we can and taking time for movement and rest are all daily practices that support our physical and mental well – being.

What are the benefits of taking time and making the effort for self – care? There is evidence that daily self – care habits can prevent more serious health problems down the road. For example, daily oral care prevents gum disease, which can contribute to tooth loss and potentially impact our cardiovascular health. Nourishing food helps to boost our immune system, so that we can fend off infection more effectively, as well as making us feel more energetic and can be preventative for more serious illness.

Self – care is holistic. The physical habits we practice contribute to our mental health. For example, daily movement during the day can help us sleep at night, which makes us feel sharper and in a better mood the next day. When we feel better emotionally, we might have more energy to practice those physical habits that make us feel better, so it becomes a positive feedback loop.

The isolation of the COVID – 19 pandemic challenged us individually to get creative in meeting our self care needs. We are now challenged to prepare to re – emerge from isolation while adjusting to make the world around us a more understanding and inclusive place where everyone can have their needs met.

Self- care practice is an ever evolving practice and systemic barriers such as poverty and racism, or experience violence and trauma can make it more difficult to practice self – care.  As we re-emerge and re-build, we can practice self – care to keep us energized and grounded and systems can work to transform to break down barriers that impede self care.

Small acts everyday can help to build a self-care practice. Anything like giving yourself permission to rest, to decide to sit out of specific activities that take your energy without rejuvenating you and doing things or spending time with people who give you joy are all part of self – care.  Everyday self-care practice for everyone.

Self-Care by Everyone for Everyone

A light green background with a sunny yellow circle in the middle. Text in dark green on top of the circle reads Self Care month. An abstract light pink circle overlaps the yellow circle in the bottom right corner. A squiggly circular thin line in dark orange is atop of the pink circle. Another squiggly circular thing line in dark orange is in the top left corner. The Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre logo is in the bottom left. the logo is a purple line drawing of an iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre.Written by Candice Perry

July 24 is International Self-Care Day. An international campaign to encourage everyone to participate in wellness and preventative health practices. Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre is honoring self-care throughout the month of July. We explore the seven pillars of self-care which include Mental Well-being, Movement, Nourishment, Hygiene, Informed Health Decisions, Harm Reduction, and Informed Decisions about self-care products and services. We will also look at ways we can practice self-care, barriers to achieving quality self-care, and how communities and our larger society can recognize and remove barriers and support individuals to practice self-care.

Self-care practice cannot replace quality health care, nor can it prevent all injury or illness. However, self-care practice can empower us within our health and well – being through regular habits that support us to feel better physically, emotionally, mentally, and to feel more fulfilled in our relationships with others close to us and even in our relationships within our communities. Self-care practice is a holistic way of taking care of our whole being and throughout our campaign you will become familiar with each pillar of self-care and how they interact with the others. For example, if we do things that support us physically, like making efforts to eat as healthily as we can most of the time, and regular body movement, this can support us physically, but also mentally. Our sleep can improve, which can also influence how we feel mentally as well as physically. Regular self-care measures support our overall wellness.

Measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID – 19 over the last year and a half turned every piece of health advice on its head. Before the pandemic, doctors were warning us against the dangers of isolating ourselves behind our screens. Throughout the pandemic we have been advised to stay home, not see anyone physically, and interact through virtual contacts. In some cities for periods of time, people were ordered to stay in their homes and were not even allowed to go to parks for periods of time, eliminating the ability to enjoy the outdoors and opportunities for body movement. Many people have experienced the stresses of lack of access to food through restrictions that impacted how and when we can shop, lack of opportunities for body movement, the loneliness of quarantine, and instability and loss of income. It has been a challenge to practice self-care in non-social ways. Now that the world is moving closer to re-opening, we have an opportunity to re-imagine how we can be aware of the barriers that can prevent or get in the way of self-care and take steps to make self-care available to everyone.

Pronouns Matter

A light green background with a dark orange half circle in the top left corner and half circle in the bottom right corner. A purple line goes through both circles. A header at the top of the image in purple reads Pronouns. Text in dark green below reads they/them, she/they, ze/zir, he/him, he/they, she/her. The Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre logo is in the bottom left. the logo is a purple line drawing of a iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre. Pronouns are used in everyday speech and writing to take the place of a person’s name. Once we know someone’s pronouns, it is important that we always use them. When we are meeting people for the first time when must take the time to ensure we know their pronouns so we can show our respect to those in our life.

What are pronouns?

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. In the context of gender, pronouns are used to identify someone’s gender in the third person. Pronouns allow us to interact with one another while expressing ourselves. We may use the same pronouns throughout our life, our pronouns may change throughout our life or they may change throughout the day, day to day, or situation.

Some examples of pronouns include she/her/hers, he/him/his, ze/hir/hirs, they/them/theirs, she/they, him/they. However, there are many, many more pronouns that people may use.

Why do pronouns matter?

Our pronouns directly link to our gender identity and how our gender identity is expressed. When we use pronouns to refer to others, we affirm their gender identity. When we use pronouns to refer to someone that are incorrect it can make that person feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, invisible, and unsafe. Using the wrong pronouns by mistake or on purpose is called misgendering.

So how do I respond when I misgender someone? 

If you are having a conversation with someone and they let you know you are not using their correct pronoun:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Rephrase
  3. Carry on

Example: My apologies thanks, yes, they like ice cream.  

If you are having a conversation with someone and you realize you are not using their correct pronoun:

  1. Rephrase
  2. Carry on

Ex. He plays guitar in a band, I mean she pays guitar in a band.

Mistake and slip ups happen, there is no need to profusely apologize or draw more attention to the error. Drawn out apologies could make everyone feel awkward.

How do you ask someone their pronouns?

We of course cannot know someone’s pronouns by looking at them or hearing them talk. We need to either ask someone their pronouns and/or listen when someone tells us their pronouns.

Ways to share your pronouns.

  • When you introduce yourself (in person and virtually)
    Hello, my name is Elisabeth, I use ae/aer pronouns.
  • Next to your name in email signatures, online video platforms, social media bios, gaming platforms, business cards, name tags etc.

Why might someone not share their pronouns?

We must recognize that sometimes people might choose not to share their pronouns. Or the pronouns they ask people to use might change depending on the situation. Someone might not feel comfortable sharing their pronouns in a particular space or they might feel unsafe because of transphobia and other acts of discrimination. They might not share their pronouns when introducing themselves or they might share pronouns that do not represent them but are used to protect one’s safety.

The most important lesson to remember is to use the pronouns any individual asks you to use.

Jokes about Sexual Violence Cannot be Tolerated in Online Spaces and Everyday Life

The way we communicate with our friends and family, coworkers and the rest of the world has drastically changed. We often rely on online spaces including apps, social media, email, and video chat services to connect. These spaces bring great benefits, but they also can provide space for hate, harassment, and abuse.

Recent social media posts have made light of sexual violence and subsequent claimed to have been jokes. Sexual assault is a traumatic and severe emotional and physical violation and jokes of rape, sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence cannot be tolerated whether online, in the workplace or in everyday life. Jokes about sexual violence reinforces and normalizes sexual violence and further perpetrates gender-based inequalities. Jokes about sexual violence can also further traumatize and trigger survivors of violence.

We all have a role to play in creating a safe online world. Leaders of online spaces including dating apps and social media platforms must take steps to ensure that they have effective policies and moderators in place to ensure harassment and abuse are not tolerated, and that perpetrators are held accountable, and their abusive content is removed from their platform. Individuals can become active bystanders and call out harassment and abuse. Individuals can report inappropriate content on the social media platform it appears on. We can also reach out to those that have been a target of online harassment and abuse to let them know we are available to chat, provide support or help them seek resources to support them.

How to report harassment and abuse on social media platforms

Guides are available for information on privacy settings and reporting tools on the following platforms Tiktok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and Youtube. (click on the platform to open the guide).

How to report Non-Consensual Distribution of an Intimate Image

In Canada it is illegal for a person to distribute an intimate image of another person without that person’s consent.

Cybertip.ca receives and addresses reports of non-consensual distribution of intimate images of individuals under 18 years of age. To report child sexual abuse content including the sharing of images or video without consent see: cybertip.ca/app/en/report.

For more support for teens see: needhelpnow.ca/app/en/

For information regarding the non-consensual distribution of an intimate images of folks over 18 years of age see: cybertip.ca/pdfs/Ctip_SharingSexualPictures_en.pdf