Herstories-Cogeco TV

A few weeks back I was honored to be a part of the Herstories-yourTV show segment on Cogeco TV with the very lovely Kathleen May.

If you have CogecoTV, the episode is airing 3 more times this weekend and I’ll share the hyperlink for the episode on my website once it’s posted.

This interview was very dear to me; discussing paediatric anxiety, adult anxiety and touching on alcoholism/addiction and mental health from a personal point of view.

We, as parents, educators and society needs to keep talking about mental health especially with our youngest members of society.

Maybe by talking about it with our children starting at a young age, we can plant the seed for self care and the importance that mental health plays in our overall well-being.

Here’s some behind the scenes shots, courtesy of my personal paparazzi and super handsome and supportive husband. 💗

#SweetHoneyKissesForAnAnxiousBear

🍯😘🐻

#supportandadvocacy #childrensbooks #childrensbook #kidsbooks #kidsbook

#childrensmentalhealth #paediatricanxiety #anxiety #mentalhealth

#teachers #classicchildrensbooks #parents #earlychildhoodeducators #resourceteachers #educationalassistants

#ICpublishing #insightfulcommunicationspublishing

#CogecoTV

#herstories

#womenempoweringwomen

Separation anxiety

Sometimes we all could use that little reminder that we are loved, that someone is thinking of us, that someone needs us.

In our home, if one of us (this Mama Bear included) is working through separation anxiety, we draw hearts on our wrists that we can look at throughout our day. 💗

What are some things that you’ve done to help your little ones and even yourself with this?

#SweetHoneyKissesForAnAnxiousBear

#SeperationAnxiety

#supportandadvocacy #childrensbooks #childrensbook #kidsbooks #kidsbook

#childrensmentalhealth #paediatricanxiety #anxiety #mentalhealth

#teachers #classicchildrensbooks #parents #earlychildhoodeducators #resourceteachers #educationalassistants

#ICpublishing #insightfulcommunicationspublishing

Today was an important day!

Today was a good day, a really important day!

🧩💙 📚🍯😘🐻

Today was a special date for two very important reasons…

April 2, 2019 is World Autism Awareness Day, we lit it up blue for (Awesome, Amazing, Astonishing) Autism 🧩💙-did you? 😊

I know so many incredible children with ASD, all of which have taught me so much about how unique and beautiful each and every child is. With the recent changes in Ontario to funding for Autism support and programs, we need to be louder than ever to show our support for the families and children that need it most. #AutismDoesntEndWithFord

April 2, 2019 is also International Children’s Book Day! 📚

Curling up with a good book was something I loved to do as a child. 🤓👩🏻‍🏫 I have so many cherished stories from my childhood that I adore passing on to my children.

I will say though, that my new favourite children’s book is obviously #SweetHoneyKissesForAnAnxiousBear 💁🏻‍♀️😉

My two Little Bears also love this endearing little story.

To purchase your own copy, please visit my website at http://www.christinefishman.com

#internationalchildrensbookday #lightitupblueforautism #autismawareness #supportandadvocacy #childrensbooks #childrensbook #kidsbooks #kidsbook

#sweethoneykissesforananxiousbear #childrensmentalhealth #paediatricanxiety #anxiety #mentalhealth

#teachers #classicchildrensbooks #earlychildhoodeducators #resourceteachers #educationalassistants #ibitherapy

#ICpublishing #insightfulcommunicationspublishing

#Muskokabearwear

Adult Mental Illness

I’ve been focused on advocacy for children’s mental health, but felt it was so important to share a glimpse of my own journey with mental illness.

For those who know me personally, it’s no secret that I have anxiety. I talk openly about it and share my struggles so that hopefully others won’t feel alone.

I share my struggles because I want both of my children to see firsthand that perseverance, bravery, courage, defeat and resiliency all have a place in our lives. I want them to see that it’s ok not be ok and it’s ok to pause and find your breath.

I hope this latest blog post I wrote for Nanny Robina will be relatable to other adults who are struggling with mental illness or supporting a family member or friend through their journey.

*Do the best you can, because you’re doing great!*

https://nannyrobina.com/2019/02/adult-mental-illness/

To my fellow Mama Bears (and our incredible Papa Bears too)…

Let’s chat…
My son was 4 years old when we noticed a shift in his behaviour. He went from our quiet little observer to having major meltdowns over small things-like the wrong fork at dinner or a change in our plans. He had difficulty with transitions. Leaving home became a daunting task and for a few months, we rarely went out because it was very overwhelming for all of us.
Here I was, as an Early Childhood Educator with many years working with children, and a first time Mom to this beautiful little boy and it was my kid laying “star-fished” on the floor of Walmart crying because I had deviated from the plan that he had in his head to make a quick stop for dinner items; his source of comfort was predictability.
Below are some common signs of paediatric anxiety, does any of this sound familiar?
Excessive clinging, crying, meltdowns/tantrums
Excessive shyness
Sensitivity to sensory stimulants (loud noises, foul smells, bright lights, chewing on clothing or objects/biting nails)
Complaining of frequent stomach-aches and/or headaches *This was and still is a really common occurrence for our child. Now that he’s older and better able to articulate his emotions and the way they make his body feel, he still gets a “nervous tummy”, it’s his way of telling us that he’s anxious.
Difficulty with transitions or diversions to a plan or an activity
Needing constant reassurance for everyday activities
Constant worry about everyday things (separation from parents, losing toys, social situations)
If you have answered yes to any of these, your child could be experiencing paediatric anxiety. I encourage you to reach out and speak with your doctor, a friend, an educator or a counsellor. The comforting thing for me was as soon as I started talking about our son’s behaviour and really acknowledged our struggles out loud to friends, fellow educators and medical professionals, it became clear to me that he was showing signs of paediatric anxiety. Conversations with our parents who connected with our stories and situations began to flow and our “village” of support grew. It was a relief to know that we weren’t alone.
As a Mama Bear and an Early Childhood Educator, I felt compelled to do something that would help others who may be faced with paediatric anxiety. I wrote and published a children’s picture book, called Sweet Honey Kisses for an Anxious Bear, in hopes that it will be enjoyed by families, caregivers and educators at home and in the classroom. This book helps to support conversations about worries and offers different tools that may help children work through anxiety provoking situations and overcome adversity. You can find more information on how to purchase my children’s book, on my website at www.christinefishman.com or on my Facebook at Christine Fishman-Author.

45379007_10155683274536389_5046228488491630592_n

Paediatric Anxiety, blog post for Parenting expert-Nanny Robina

I was honored and jumped at the opportunity when parenting expert, Nanny Robina from the daytime show Cityline asked me to do a guest blog post for her website regarding paediatric anxiety.

Do you have a child that consistently has a sore tummy, or doesn’t want to go to school? How about a child who is overly sensitive to loud noises, smells, bright lights or the way food tastes? If you answered yes to any of those signs, your little one could be suffering from paediatric anxiety.

“My tummy hurts” he said as he chewed his fingernails, looking around wide-eyed. My son was almost 4 when we started to notice that he was experiencing paediatric anxiety. For the most part, he had been an easy infant, toddler and preschooler. He was quieter, observant and kind. He had a laugh that came right from his toes, and that chin dimple when he smiled was enough to make anyone’s heart melt….

Click here to read the full blog post.

Heart pic

Bell, Let’s Talk!

Dear Bell, Let’s Talk!
Thank you for creating a day, a platform, a community that’s focused around mental health; mental illness and advocating to end the stigma.
Thank you for allowing open and honest communication about the issues that affect so many of us.
Did you know 1 in 4 adults and 1 out of 5 children suffer from some kind of mental illness?…many in silence.
So, it’s time to be loud about It.

I am a proud anxiety warrior. But I don’t let it define me. I push myself past self doubt, I grow with the uncomfortable, but I know what my boundaries are. I’m learning that it’s ok to say no. It’s ok, not to be ok. It’s ok to take a breath and it’s ok to knock down the walls that someone or something else has placed with judgement around you.

Did you know that you can be genetically predisposed to mental illness? Did you know that you can develop a mental illness at any point in your life, especially after a profound life event? Did you know that mental illness is not your fault?

It’s my hope, my mission if you will, to be one of the voices that pushes for awareness, change, acceptance and advocacy for children’s mental health.

It is my hope that by teaching and supporting these youngest members of our society about mental illness and giving them tools, resources and the language to use to define their own thoughts and emotions that maybe…just maybe, we would see a decrease in mental health issues and harmful self medicating and suicides in teens and adults in the future.

I’ve been told so many times “you’re brave for talking about it, you’re brave for being open about your own anxiety.” Bravery, to me, doesn’t come with being open and honest about my own issues. Bravery doesn’t come when I’m trying to help others and be a voice for children who suffer. Bravery and courage, to me, does come each and every day when I leap out of my own comfort zone to grow and learn more about myself and not be afraid of the resistance and that comes with the stigma of mental illness. So, I don’t feel that bravery accurately defines speaking out about something that means so much to me, while fearing judgement and scrutiny. I feel that I’m courageous and the difference is nestled between between the lines of looking fear and resistance in the eyes, being kind and still pushing forward.

So be a friend. Be kind. Talk openly about mental health, so those who suffer in silence feel comfortable to (hopefully) open up and help us all end the stigma.

Along with the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, there’s another Canadian foundation that I’ve learned about, that means a lot to me and in the mental health realm. A Dollar A Day foundation is an organization that helps to provide funding for mental health organizations and initiatives across Canada. (Click here to learn more about A Dollar A day Foundation) So, if you’re inclined, every dollar counts and supports a great cause. Consider donating, because together we can all make a difference. Click here to donate now.

This is a face of mental illness-anxiety. This is also the face of a Mom, doing her utmost best to be part of the change for our next generation.

pic for adult blog post

#BellLetsTalk
#MentalIllnessDoesntDefineMe
#SweetHoneyKissesForAnAnxiousBear