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Amy Sky talks music and hope: ‘We like to be each other’s cheerleaders’

By Cece M. Scott Amy Sky has a knack for being where the action is. Her talent for singing and songwriting was recognized early and she has collaborated with some of music’s biggest names, including international artists such as Olivia Newton-John and Ann Wilson of Heart, and fellow Canadians Anne Murray and Ronnie Hawkins. She is also a dramatic actress with a flair for difficult roles. Amy Sky is also a humanitarian whose success has been matched by her fair share of tough times. She has experienced grief and depression and is a passionate advocate for mental health and continues to champion that cause in everyday lives. It’s a combination we can all learn from. “Music is the portal to spirituality for me,” she says. The next episode of Creative Aging Books & Ideas hosts Amy Sky on February 23, at 2 p.m. EST. During the show, Amy will discuss

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Featured

How omega-3-fats benefit the brain and mind

Omega-3-fats and Fish oil Supplements are mentioned often these days, but few understand what they are and why we may need them. They often are mentioned in the context of inflammation, but few understand what they are and how to reap the many possible benefits of omega-3s. Low omega-3 levels are associated with a multitude of health issues such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, eye disease, depression, ADHD and much more. Much has been written about the benefits of omega-3s for heart health, but their benefits for brain health and mental health are less well known. What Are Omega-3-Fats? Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods, such as fish and flaxseed, and  dietary supplements, such as krill oil and fish oil. The three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are major building blocks for membranes, cell structures that are

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Featured

How empathy can fight burnout from work

  According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), over one-third of working Canadians experience burnout. The MHCC quotes American psychologist, Herbert J. Freudenburger in defining burnout; in 1980, he called it, “someone in a state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward”. The Covid-19 pandemic has only highlighted the issues causing us to burn out. When we feel burnout, we lack motivation and energy. At work, it can feel like you’ve just run a marathon, except there’s no one cheering you on at the finish line. Your performance starts to slip because you’ve already given it all you have. This year’s Mental Health Week theme by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is empathy. Empathy is a skill — and it takes practice. To be empathetic is to be able to put

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Fitness

Post-Pandemic Anxiety & Yoga Therapy

We’ve longed to be out and about, but for many post-pandemic anxiety is taking the joy out of life. Therapeutic yoga can help. After the intensity of two years waiting out this global pandemic and months of praying, begging and pleading to the powers that be to ease restrictions, a brand-new fear arose.  What will it be like to step back out into the world again? Most of us expected that once openings were announced, all our anxieties would slip away. Yet for many, it only made them increase. After living so long under stay-at-home-orders, social distancing and no group gatherings, including with our loved ones, we’ve become like prisoners tasting freedom for the first time, grateful, overwhelmed, and maybe even afraid all at the same time. This is exactly how I felt and I was surprised. Where being out and about amid the hustle of people all around was

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Featured

Madness and power

Look back in history: bad guys like Caligula and Hitler, mixed-up guys like Alexander the Great, good guys like President Lincoln, brilliant but vindictive scientists like Isaac Newton. On the modern scene: President Clinton hardly slept as they stayed up late studying policy arcana, while Trump skipped all that and instead manipulated public opinion by mastering the twitterverse. Is this behaviour mad – at least some of it? Depends on who you ask. What is madness? Who is mad and who is not? These are not simple questions. For one thing, some seemingly mad people can be effective in their own spheres of influence – at least for a while. Sometimes, madness seems to be a benefit. It can help people focus and push on when others would give up. Combined with charisma, it can add a sense of drama and excitement to any leadership role. Humans love a good
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Longevity

Love is blind: the story of Ruth Vallis

This excerpt is from a memoir which commences with my birth and concludes with the death of my mother whom I called Peach. Blind since before the age of three, I will take you on a journey through two years in a residential school for the blind, becoming a pioneer of integration of blind children into the public school system in Canada, to studying physiotherapy in England, back home to try and land a job before employment equity, taking a Master of Science degree online before accessible technology is legislated, training with my first guide dog, and more. You may laugh and cry. In the end, I hope you are glad you read it.  Residential School for the Blind When I was growing up in Toronto in the 1950s, we always had some sort of dessert with dinner, although there was little in the way of treats. When my father

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