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Lifestyle

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

This week I have been thinking about what it means to be in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary lifestyle means: “the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture”. Now that made me think about the word “typical”.  You see no matter where you go, there are many differences in society.  Individuals think, feel and act differently from their neighbours.  Groups usually form based on a common interest or value that might not be shared by others in the same geographic area. Even cultures have differences both within and without. So, today...

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Psychology Uniqueness

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles Reference and Education Reference and Education_Psychology Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

February is Psychology Month in Alberta.   In 2006 I was asked to be a Coordinator and Liaison Worker for the Psychologist’s Association in the province.  That was the first time that my column “All Psyched Up” was published in the Medicine Hat News.  Hard to believe that I have submitted weekly articles for seventeen years!  Time changes things.   The Saskatchewan small-town newspaper where I had written a column in my high school years asked me if they could also publish my column.  This continued until November 2021 when, sadly, the newspaper was handed over to a larger entity.  In the...

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Who is Your Enemy?

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society_And More News and Society_World Pandemic

Things have changed drastically over the past couple of years and this week, once again, another turn in the road has appeared.  I have been surprised as I listen to clients, friends, and family who each have their own idea about who or what has caused the problems in our country.  Who do you blame? The virus – Any illness that can be spread throughout a population is scary! The COVID-19 shut down the whole world!  Now numbers are being released stating that approximately 97% who contract it don’t die from it and less than 1% of Canada’s population have...

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Emergency Measures

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_And More News and Society_World Pandemic

According to the Justice Laws Website of the Government of Canada, the Emergencies Act is: An Act to authorize the taking of special temporary measures to ensure safety and security during national emergencies and to amend other Acts in consequence thereof The Emergencies Act written by the Canadian Parliament received royal assent in 1988 and has never been used until this week.  It differs from the War Measures Act in two ways.  First of all, declaration of an emergency must be reviewed by parliament and secondly, any temporary laws made under the act must consider the Canadian Constitution, Charter of...

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Get Better!

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

I knew there was something wrong on Saturday.  Usually I handle stress really well and am a very contented individual.  But I felt “out of sorts”.  I wasn’t really sick, but everything seemed to bother me, and I was frustrated with the simplest of things.  I thought a nap might help and was shocked when I woke up eleven hours later! By Sunday I had a headache and my body hurt so much that it felt like I had been hit by a truck.  One minute I was burning up and the next minute I had chills.  Everything was confusing...

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A Message of Hope

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Self Improvement Self Improvement_Personal Growth Self Improvement_Positive Attitude

In the 1982 musical “Annie” the star of the show sang a very positive song that started with the following words:  The sun will come outTomorrowBet your bottom dollar that tomorrowThere’ll be sun.Now that’s faith that offers hope to listeners! During the past two years it seems that some people have forgotten that message.  They have been so imprisoned by fear and confusion that they’ve lost their perspective.  Mixed messages combined with inconsistent and changing restrictions have led to questions about who to trust and what to do. It’s been a tough time for everyone.  Some have faced illness, death...

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Get Your House in Order

Justin Walter 17. The Seventeenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock New Articles

Have you ever heard the expression “get your house in order” and wondered what that means?  Well, there are several things that are involved in achieving this.  Firstly, it means that you make sure that your affairs are arranged properly.  It also means that you have dealt with problems appropriately. The third part is to ensure that these things are completed before you even consider thinking about or criticizing others. So, as you know, I believe in breaking tasks down into small steps and watching goals being achieved over time.  Because of this, I have laid out twelve areas in...

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A New Beginning

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock New Articles

Bryan Stevenson graduated from Harvard, and, despite his mother’s concerns, he decided to work in Arkansas with prisoners on death row. His story is chronicled in the book “Just Mercy” which he authored and the movie by the same name. The movie states: “For every 9 people who have been executed in the U.S.one person who has been on death row has been proven innocent and released – a shocking rate of error”. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, many of us hope for new beginnings.   Some are burdened by mistakes made in the past.   You...

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Gifts

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas iStock New Articles

Is there a particular gift that you have secretly been wanting This year, more than ever, I have been hearing people talk about how difficult it is to buy gifts for loved ones.   Some say that they don’t know what the other person might want or need.  The size, colour or style is usually a matter of personal preference and often we don’t know these details.  Also, we might not know what the person already has or will be receiving from others. Over the years I have given gifts that were met with comments such as “I just bought myself...

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Christmas Choices

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas iStock New Articles

I have fond memories of Christmas when I was a child.  Besides the concerts and thoughts of school break we had the expectations of what would happen in the upcoming days. On Christmas Eve, my mom, dad, sister and I would stay home and have a nice meal followed by opening of the gifts.  I don’t know if this was primarily because of our maternal Scandinavian roots, lack of patience, or anticipation of a very busy Christmas day but we always loved to not have to wait until the twenty-fifth for the presents.  Then we would go across the street...

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Success in the Work World

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Business Business_And More Business_Productivity Business_Small Business Business_Solo Professionals iStock New Articles

My first “job” was in the 1960s as a part-time waitress in my hometown while I was in high school.  I earned one dollar an hour and thought I had it made!   Since then, I have worked in government, private and public organizations as well as building my own professional private practice. Throughout the decades I have learned from watching others and making mistakes.  Following are some tips that will help those in the workplace who are employees, partners or owners of businesses: You are the business – No matter what you do, you are the one who brings value...

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Time Marches On

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Goal Setting Self Improvement_Personal Growth Self Improvement_Success

When I was in high school in the 1960s, I was the newspaper correspondent for the Indian Head News.  I remember entering the news office for the first time and being quite impressed by all the equipment necessary for printing as well as the strong smell of ink.  My responsibilities were to report the “goings on” at the school for each weekly publication.  I was paid by the inch and so my columns were fairly long!  😊 After graduation, I moved away and have not lived in Indian Head since then. In 2006 I was appointed as the Medicine Hat...

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Stress Test

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Stress Management

Have you ever been booked for a stress test?  The procedure involves doing exercise in a way that your heart pumps harder and harder while medical personnel monitor your breathing, blood pressure and heart rhythm.  This is an accepted scientific method that will help to assess any heart problems that may need to be treated. Stress tests for psychological issues unfortunately, usually require an individual’s self-awareness or observation by others who are close to them.  There might be significant problems coping with daily life, unhealthy habits, overwhelm or lack of strategies to revolve problems and improve Have you ever removed...

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Liar Liar

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Personal Growth

Sometimes I ask my grandchildren the question “What do I love more than you?”  Immediately they answer, “The truth”.  I have taught them that if a person doesn’t tell the truth, you don’t really know who they are, and you can’t trust them. Everyone has been lied to at some point but not all lies are given for the same reason. In fact, there are many reasons why a person might lie including the following: To avoid consequences – Children don’t lie to get into trouble. They lie to get out of trouble.  It’s the same with some adults.  When...

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What Price?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Remembrance Day iStock New Articles

November is a special time for me as it focusses my thoughts on remembrance and the price of freedom that was paid for me.   Even though I was born after World War II, I was strongly impacted by the stories that my mother told me about sacrifices everyone made during the war years.  We sometimes forget that the fighting lasted for almost six years! Young men joined ranks and left their homes for unknown locations and secrecy.  Their training involved doing things that would help them in battle but haunt them afterwards.  They were conditioned to sleep lightly, respond with...

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Change Changes Us

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock News and Society News and Society_Weather Pandemic Self Improvement Self Improvement_Stress Management

It is amazing how quickly summer left us, and fall moved in.  We all knew it was coming but the transition seemed to occur so quickly.  One day our air conditioners were humming, and we were enjoying the outdoors in light clothing and before we knew it, the air cooled to the point that we now need warm jackets. My patio has been transformed from a comfortable garden lounge to an area devoid of plants, umbrellas and brightly-coloured cushions. And now we are waiting for yet another seasonal change – winter Some changes occur so often and repetitively that we...

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The Simple Life

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles Travel and Leisure

Several years ago, I became a member of a family tree software program.  I was surprised to learn that in the mid-1700s some of my ancestors lived in Pennsylvania and appeared to have Amish roots.  As a child I had heard family talk about my maternal grandfather being Pennsylvania Dutch but, at the time, didn’t connect this with the Amish.  So, a few years ago I decided to visit Bird In Hand, Pennsylvania to learn about the people.   What an interesting experience. Since my trip I have been fascinated with the Amish ways.  Don’t get me wrong – I won’t...

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Grief and Loss

Justin Walter Home and Family Home and Family_Death Dying Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Thanksgiving iStock New Articles

Throughout life we experience many losses which cause mental suffering.  Some involve death while others involve significant losses such as relationships, jobs or even material things.  Many believe that the most difficult to face is the loss of a dream.  When a child dies, for example, the parents lose their dream of seeing that child graduate, marry and grow. Because of the drastic changes that have accompanied the pandemic I thought it would be important to review the stages of grief and loss.   These were outlined in a book written by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross who watched people and their...

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What Stage are you In?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

To state that the last few months have been unusual would be a severe understatement.   The world has never, as a whole, experienced the challenges caused by the pandemic. I have noticed that people are in different stages and tend to move from one to another.   Here are some of the categories that you might find your loved ones or yourself in: Fear – When we first heard about the pandemic and the catastrophic consequences that it could bring, everyone was fearful! Part of the problem was the “unknown”.   We didn’t know if or how it would affect us at...

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Dealing with Tigers

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Personal Growth Self Improvement_Techniques

Pretend you are sitting quietly and all of a sudden, the door opens and in comes a fierce tiger from the jungle.   What would you do? Would you: Run away as fast as your legs would carry you?  Perhaps you would try to hide behind an object with the hope that the tiger won’t get you. Try to defend yourself by picking up the closest object and either using it as a shield or as a weapon? Pretend that you are like opossums who just hang from their tails and look dead? The answer that you choose is an indication...

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Respect

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World

The word “respect” has different meanings and can be used in different ways.  Some refer to respect as admiration for a person because of their skills, qualities or achievements   Others use the word when describing relationship and how individuals treat each other.  The bottom line, I believe is that respect is about accepting others for who they are and what they believe even if you don’t agree.  Now this doesn’t mean that you have to move into agreement or put up with repeated messages that wear you down and kill your spirit. Having mutual respect always requires healthy boundaries. I...

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Are You Worried?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Over the past months there has been a great deal of fear and confusion associated with the COVID-19 and how legislators are dealing with it.  Some parts of the world are completely locked down by government officials while others have had very few restrictions.  Mixed messages abound regarding the importance of wearing masks and taking shots.  Some medical officials state these are vital while others claim they are experimental and even dangerous The media is quick to offer statistics and also to threaten consequences for those who do not comply with recommendations.  “Talking heads” who dominate twenty-four-hour television often speculate...

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Let's Sing Along!

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved music!  My dad had a beautiful bass voice and sang not only in the church choir and the barbershop chorus but also in the car and around home.  We always knew he was in the area because we could hear his cheery whistling as he came up the walk or worked in the yard.

Dad came from a family who loved music.  Most of us played the piano and there was never a family gathering when we didn’t end the evening with a good old fashioned singsong.  And each song usually ended in laugher.   Such good fun!

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Navigating the Journey

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles

One of the things that I was NOT looking forward to during my move to Calgary was driving in the big city.   You see, Medicine Hat spoiled me by the fact that I could go pretty well anywhere in ten minutes without facing several lanes of speeding traffic. So, after a couple of days in my new condo I was invited for an evening at the home of my daughter in Okotoks.  Could I manage that?   It might seem like a very trivial concern to the seasoned Calgarian but for me, it was a serious adventure. There were several things...

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Life's Surprises

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles

When I moved to Medicine Hat twenty-five years ago, I had no idea that I would love this city so much.   Over the years, I have been able to build good relationships with wonderful people and build a business.   My first two residential purchases ever were made here.   How I have loved the view of the river from my condo and the fact that I could travel to pretty much any destination in ten minutes.  I usually describe Medicine Hat to others as “It’s just a big town”. I never ever considered that I would leave Medicine Hat, but sometimes...

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