The Wave in Muskoka-C.A.R.E. Contributor

A really HUGE thank you for the Common Well Mutual Insurance Group for the nomination and this wonderful write as a C.A.R.E. Contributor for “The Wave in Muskoka” If you want to nominate your own C.A.R.E. Contributor, click the link to follow the steps…


Sometimes when we extend ourselves to help one person, we end up helping several along the way. That’s the ripple effect of kindness. And it’s what happened in the case of our latest C.A.R.E Contributor, Christine Fishman of Bracebridge.

Christine is an early childhood educator with two young children. When her son began junior kindergarten, he started to exhibit behaviours that were abnormal for him – things like agitation, sensitivity to loud noises, and sensory issues. Christine and her husband grew concerned and began to suspect these behaviours were connected to anxiety. Christine has openly struggled anxiety for most of her life so she recognized the signs.

“We wanted to be able to help him cope, so we reached out to doctors, educators, developmental therapists, and children’s counselors and from there we worked collectively as a team to lower his stress level and give him the tools he needed to cope with anxiety,” says Christine.

On this journey to establish support for her son, she discovered a major gap in paediatric anxiety literacy materials, so she put pen to paper and went to work on a labour of love, publishing her first children’s book called Sweet Honey Kisses for an Anxious Bear. It’s an endearing story about a little bear who feels anxious and often afraid of everyday experiences that seem bigger than him. Mama Bear’s love and gentle words encourage Little Bear to be brave enough to take on his day. The story supports conversations about worries and offers different tools that can help children work through anxiety provoking situations. (

Christine hopes that the conversations that evolve from the story will have a meaningful impact at home and in the classroom, and encourage readers to speak openly about children’s mental health for healing and for growth.

“She feels so strongly that we need to be loud about mental illness; by talking about it, we educate others and advocate for those who feel the don’t have a voice; by talking about it, it helps others not feel alone,” says Christine’s husband, Mark Fishman.

Since the book’s release, Christine has been an active advocate for children’s mental health. She spoke to social work students about children’s mental health at Nipising University, and has made other public appearances to spread her message. She makes regular blog contributions to various sites regarding pediatric anxiety and champions certain causes like Bell Let’s Talk.

“It’s been quite a journey,” she says. “It’s really forced me to step out of my comfort zone in order to advocate for something that’s really important to me. We need to get to a place where it’s ok to talk about anxiety on a more open basis and make it less of a taboo,” she says.

For her community of Bracebridge, where everybody knows everybody, Christine says she is incredibly thankful. A team has formed and rallied around her son, making him feel comfortable and supported.

As for Little Bear, Christine says his adventures may not be over yet.

Thank you for the work you do to support our youth Christine. Your community is very lucky to have you!

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Mindfulness of Breathing

A few days ago I received this beautiful handmade gift from a soul sista of mine.
This sweet person understands all too well what anxiety feels like and the grip and restriction that it can sometimes have on your body and your breath.
This mindful breathing necklace helps to refocus your mind and body back to calm and restorative breath while you inhale through your nose and exhale through the necklace tube.
It’s now one of my most used and loved pieces, a tool that I have used daily since receiving it.
Thank you @barefootinmuskoka, Sevenofivegypsy 

If you want to purchase your own or for an #AnxietyWarrior in your life, send a DM to Ursula at
Have a wonderful day and take a moment to breathe in gratitude. 💕

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What’s lurking beneath the surface?

Paediatric anxiety is tricky. It can manifest in so many (unsuspecting) ways.
This is a great visual to help identify the signs that may be misinterpreted as other behavior issues.
Thanks to our friends over at Youth Mental Health Canada for sharing. Head over to their website to show them some love and check out the other insightful, helping and amazing resources that they have collaborated and to support their advocacy for Youth Mental Health. See the link below for their social media platforms.

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Deep Breaths…and let go…

For it is when we let go of the anxiety with a deep breath, it is then when we can open our hearts to our soul’s truth.
-Always remember Little Bears, you can do anything!

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#supportandadvocacy #childrensbooks #childrensbook #kidsbooks#kidsbook
#childrensmentalhealth #paediatricanxiety #anxiety #mentalhealth
#teachers #classicchildrensbooks #parents #earlychildhoodeducators#resourceteachers #educationalassistants
#ICpublishing #insightfulcommunicationspublishing

Gratitude journals in all their glory-according to the Little Bear

One thing we *try* to practice in our house is mindfulness. Being present in the moments, accepting and celebrating each other’s uniqueness and expressing gratitude, especially on those rough days.
So tonight, at bedtime when my biggest little was sharing his rough day with us, and having a hard time settling his thoughts for bed we decided to journal.
I asked him to write 3 things he was thankful for and I’d come back to check on him and discuss.
Less than 5 minutes later, he told me he was finished and to my amazement, he had written down 20(!!) things on his list.
As we read them aloud we shared some great belly laughs and I was yet again amazed by his resilience and tender heart.

During my high anxiety times, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of thoughts in my brain that swallow me with “what if” and negative thoughts.
Since I started doing my own gratitude journal about a year ago, it has significantly helped reduce my anxiety and bring my focus back to all the positives.
Perhaps you may consider adding this to your anxiety tool kit for yourself and/or your little ones. Ive found it to be a fantastic reminder to appreciate the small things that mean the world to me.

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