Episode 101: Mental Health for Moms with Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND

In this episode, Dr. Toni talks with naturopathic doctor and author Dr. Christina Bjorndal about her personal experience addressing mental health struggles growing up and into motherhood. This conversation includes discussion of Dr. Chris’s experience with an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, as well as the role of naturopathic medicine and self-love in her ability to move from denying to owning her truth.

Christina Bjorndal is a licensed naturopathic doctor and established keynote speaker on how to regain your mental health using a naturopathic approach. She is the co-founder of Natural Terrain, a naturopathic clinic in Edmonton, and author of the books “Beyond The Label: 10 Steps To Improve Your Mental Health With Naturopathic Medicine” and “The Essential Diet: Eating for Mental Health”.

Her books, courses and workshops can teach you how you can regain your mental health using a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approach to health, especially if you have been recently diagnosed with a mental illness or if you are struggling in your life. 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How everything between mania and suicide fits in the range of human experience and is not necessarily a problem
  • Your 3 macro-systems involved in your mental health on a physical level
    • Neurotransmitters
    • Endocrine or hormonal
    • Detoxification organs and immune system
  • The importance of nutrition for mental health: amino acids tryptophan for serotonin production and phenylalanine for dopamine production
  • How learning how to say no and sleep are critical for your mental health as a mom, while a huge challenge for new moms
    • Ask yourself the reason behind saying yes to what you put on your plate in life, especially if you have the tendency to be a people pleaser
    • Resentment is a cue or red flag that you are not managing your boundaries properly
  • Some common myths around mental illness
    • You should not have children if you have a mental illness because it’s genetic
      • The scientific study of epigenetics shows that genes load the gun, while lifestyle pulls the trigger
    • You cannot manage mental illness without medication
    • You create mental health issues with “poor mental hygiene” and bad psychological habits
      • Learning to navigate your inner critic and manage your mind and thoughts so you’re not at the mercy of them is a key step for mental health (and can take time)
      • The scientific field of psychoneuroimmunology shows that your thoughts create neuropeptides that affect the hormones produced in your body and how you feel
      • Negative thoughts push you into a sympathetic stress mode
      • Steps can include recognizing your thoughts, refraining from following your thoughts by relaxing into your breath
      • We all form beliefs, judgements and opinions based on what happens to us but sometimes they are not correct – it’s important to critically examine these pieces
    • Your mental health issues are completely negative, there is no gift in them
      • Depression can be calling you home to you

For more information on the impact of nutrition on your health, see Episode 85

You can connect with Dr. Chris at https://drchristinabjorndal.com/

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Chris believes that every mom needs to cultivate and practice good boundaries.

Dr. Toni is a big fan of Dr. Chris’s book Beyond The Label, and loves to get outside for a walk to shift her emotional state, even if it’s just around her neighbourhood to experience nature in the city.

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 77: Dealing With Your Kids’ Feelings Using Gentle Mindful Parenting with Amen Kaur

In this episode, Dr. Toni is joined by author and mindful parenting advocate Amen Kaur to discuss how mindfulness practices can help our kids to decrease anxiety and develop emotional regulation and intelligence. Parenting can be hard and being a kid can be hard, especially during a pandemic. Having tools to manage anxiety in both ourselves and our kids are essential, now more than ever.

Amen Kaur has a BA in psychology and is a certified mindfulness facilitator, as well as an author and mindful parenting advocate. After several years of continued meditation, mindfulness, and self-healing practices, Amen was inspired by her son to write her book Dealing With My Feelings: An Essential Guide to a Child’s Well-Being and Prosperity during the 2020 pandemic period and co-founded POM Life Products, a brand focused on creating products serving Peace Of Mind. She is passionate about cultivating emotional intelligence and is committed to unlearning harmful generational patterns, while continuously working on healing so the next generation can do even better. 

In today’s episode, we cover:

  • How her personal experience with bullying lead Amen to her healing journey with meditation and mindfulness
  • The impact of the pandemic and the inspiration Amen experienced to compile resources for helping kids to manage emotions
  • The importance of being able to name your emotions, as well as having tools to help your kids manage their emotions
  • How mindfulness exercises can be used to help reduce anxiety and bring your child back to the present, instead of worrying about the past or the future
  • The importance of modeling self-compassion and emotional regulation to your kids
  • How mindfulness practices can help highly sensitive and empathetic kids become aware of the emotions of others and help them distinguish between the feelings of others and themselves
  • The importance of engaging your senses to shift your focus to the present and reduce anxiety
  • The ability to rewire your thinking and behaviour, no matter what your experience was growing up with your parents and family of origin 
  • How to deal with family members questioning your parenting style, especially when using gentle mindful parenting techniques

You can find Amen’s book at https://www.amenkaurbooks.com/ and connect with her on Instagram @mindfulgentlemama and by email at info@amenkaurbooks.com

Today’s Mama Must Have: 

Dr. Toni loves books that help foster her child’s emotional well-being like Amen Kaur’s book Dealing With My Feelings, which includes a number of actions kids can take to manage their emtions and meditations to practice together as a family.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening on June 21. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!