It feels great to wake up smiling, to think that life is a miracle, and with each passing day the joy just keeps multiplying. This is the feeling of walking your way towards gratitude.
Gratitude Walk is an activity which can be practiced for a minimum of five minutes a day. It can be done on your way to Tim Hortons or for nature-lovers even in Assiniboine park, by the river. All you need to do is be grateful for your achievements and your aspirations. If practiced daily, you start being thankful for what you have, maybe a healthy body, a peaceful mental state or your achievements. Also, be thankful for what you want to have in future and in that way, it will be a visual reminder of your goals.
I have inculcated the Gratitude Walks in my life to get results which once seemed a fantasy. As I embarked upon the journey of Gratitude Walks, I started seeing a change in my personality, I felt happier and imagining what I wanted to achieve in life, etched a strong image in my mind, of life as I wanted it to be. A new faith replaced feelings of uncertainty which also relieved stress. And since then, I have been smitten by the new me and addicted to Gratitude Walks.
Entrepreneurs Mimi Ikonn and Alex Ikonn are firm believers of the Gratitude Walks. Inspired by the Gratitude Walks, they created the “Five Minute Journal,” which is gratefulness in written form.
Advantages of Gratitude Walks:
Live in the Present: You get used to living in the moment and unknowingly train your mind to be in a happy state.
Self-Motivating: You learn to motivate yourself and to pick yourself up even if you are having a difficult day because you are self-sufficient in motivating yourself.
Visual Reminder of Goals: By going for a gratitude walk, you visually remind yourself of what you want to achieve and start matching your actions to your goals.
Become an Optimist: You are so grateful for everything that you forget being negative about anything and become a more positive person.
In the words of Oprah Winfrey “Be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you do not have, you will never ever have enough.”
Congratulations! You’ve made it, and are now ready to begin a new university experience with The University of Winnipeg. Now you need to ask yourself a very important question, where are you going to live? There are many options available: University Housing, renting an apartment or renting a room to live or enrol in a homestay program provided by the University. To make more sense of your options, let’s look at what different options have to offer.
The University of Winnipeg is located in the vibrant downtown area of Winnipeg and has two university accommodation options McFeetors Hall and Balmoral Houses. The good thing about university accommodations is that you will have your own room and access to a lot of social activities without having to travel a lot to get to your lectures.
McFeetors Hall is located at Langside Street which is a 5-minute walk away from the university. McFeetors Hall comes with compulsory a meal plan which can be used in diversity food restaurants inside the University.
Balmoral Houses are renovated houses with shared common areas and a backyard to give students a feeling of being part of the community. Balmoral Houses are located at Balmoral Street, a 10-minute walk from the University.
One thing to remember while applying for student housing is that in both options, the students need to purchase their own internet connection. Check the campus living site for more information
The students can also enrol in the Homestay Program by the University of Winnipeg under which, the students will be placed with an English-speaking local host family. This is a great way to understand the new environment and learn about the Canadian culture. Find more about the homestay program at https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/elp/homestay.html
The students can also look for renting a room or an apartment in Winnipeg for the duration of the studies which is usually a cheaper option for students. This option would give you the most independence, however, it is important to keep in mind the additional responsibilities and costs that come with renting in the private sectors (utility bills, dealing with your landlord). Private rentals may be far from the university, so keep in mind the extra time and cost of travel while deciding. The best areas to rent near the university can be The Forks, Osborne Village and Portage on Downtown. Check out this link for Winnipeg’s top neighbourhoods: https://www.tourismwinnipeg.com/plan/neighbourhoods
If you decide to rent privately some helpful site could be
It has been a month since I started the PACE Program, and the intensity is starting to pick up. This is a far cry from my previous employed life when, at the end of the day, all I had to worry about was giving my child a bath, preparing dinner and reading her a bedtime story. Just thinking about my deadlines makes my stomach churn, and I know it is bound to get worse as the months go by.
Don’t get me wrong, PACE is wonderful in the sense that it gives Gen-Xers like me a new lease on life when it comes to career advancement. It provides a big window of opportunity for me to develop new knowledge and skills to take on a more promising career in a shorter period compared to other post-graduate programs. However, a shorter period means a more intensive program that can be very difficult especially for parents of young children like me.
So, is it possible to be a parent and a PACE student at the same time? Of course! I dare not say I have all the answers, but my family of three is trying to make it work with these strategies. It’s working so far, and they might work for you, too.
Communicate to your spouse/partner. There will be times you need to stay up late to study and you will need a lot of support. Lay out your deadlines for the week or month and request that they pick up your child at daycare/grab some groceries/prepare supper/clean up on those days at least. Make them realize that you enrolled in this program not just for yourself, but to make the family’s situation better. They must know that they have some accountability in your success. Unless they don’t want a better life for themselves and your child/ren, the little guilt trip will likely work.
Let your child “work” beside you. Does your young child insist on sitting on your lap while you are in the middle of writing an assignment? If it is impossible to peel them off from your side, just give in. Over the last 10 years as a teacher, I learned that children like to imitate what their parents do, and you should let them because they are trying to make sense of their environment and it’s the basis for language and literacy development. Provide some materials such as blank paper to draw or scribble on, puzzles they can complete on their own, a toy computer or calculator that they can “type” with just like you.
Prepare some activities beforehand. My child loves to play with slime, playdough, kinetic sand and other sensory materials, and she gives me around an hour of peace every time I bring some out. That’s a good amount of time for a mom with a full load at school. There are lots of safe (and sometimes edible) recipes online for sensory activities and perhaps the most simple would be a good mix of cornstarch and water to make goop. They are very cool but can be very messy, so I would recommend you cover the floor with newspapers, let them wear an old shirt or apron, and let them use a big basin instead.
Highlight parent-child “dates”. When your partner realizes how important their role is in your success as a student, they would be more than happy to get out of your hair. Convince them that taking your child out for fun stuff (like getting ice cream, playing at the park, etc.) is healthy bonding time that may never come around again if they let it pass them by. Two or three hours is a pretty good leeway to get a lot of those assignments done, but it could also be sad that you’re missing out on the fun (it’s only temporary, though).
Find time to reconnect, uninterrupted. Put down your phone and close your laptop. Actively listen to you child talk about what happened at daycare, or your partner about their day. Even if it’s just for an hour, make sure you give them 100% of your attention. Play with your child, cuddle or watch an episode on Netflix with your partner. These are the moments that could energize you after a long day, as they reinforce the reason why you are in school to begin with. Make your family feel that you are always thinking about them and wishing you could spend more time with them, but you are in the middle of something important too, and that all your hard work will be for everyone’s benefit.
Nobody’s life is perfect, and we just have to make do with the cards we are dealt with. As PACE students, we need to be aware that it is an uphill battle, and we will need help most, if not, all the time. I wish you luck on striking that balance between student life and parenthood, and I would love to hear other strategies from fellow parents, too!
As a student at PACE you work a rigorous schedule in the same building everyday. As great as the facility may be, sometimes finding a fresh new environment is just what you need to recharge your mind. International students are primarily here to study, but many are here to experience the Canadian culture as well. Unfortunately, many International students stick within the confines of our school and their homes, due to the lack of knowledge and exposure from our fine city.
Winnipeg can tend to be somewhat of a members club where you need to know a local to uncover many of its hidden secrets. Luckily Winnipeg is also located in a province otherwise known as “Friendly Manitoba”, and as a new friend, I will provide you with the following compilation, of great places to study outside the University, to get you feeling like part of the community.
Just a 15 minute walk away from The University of Winnipeg is the Millennium library. This beautiful building is filled with tons of natural light, a coffee shop to fill your caffeine fix, and free WiFi. The aesthetics of this beautiful building will be sure to open your mind to the world around you, just like the floor to ceiling windows available.
Located in the heart of the exchange district is Forth. Grab yourself a Flat white, an Avocado toast and get your study on with free WiFi in an industrial, exposed brick setting. This coffee shop has tons of study room in the back, a rooftop patio, and a little private area just down the stairs. Did I mention they also have a cocktail bar?
Enjoy the outdoors but hate the snow? Get lost in this lodge-like coffee-house inspired by the Canadian Rockies. Enjoy a cup of fair trade coffee or grab a “Caramel Snow cap” while you study with free WiFi.
Right in the heart of Osborne village is Kawaii Crepe. A Nutella lovers dream, with Japanese style crepes filled with all sorts of treats. Sweet tooth? Savoury? they have you covered. Great lighting and free WiFi make this upbeat environment a great spot for your next study destination.
Just a few steps away from the Buhler building is Thom Bargen. With amazing lattes, delicious pastries, and friendly baristas, this place is sure to satisfy. You can stay connected while you study with free WiFi in a clean enviroment that’s light and airy. It also doesn’t hurt that they carry mouth-watering donuts from Oh Doughnuts.
Stress is that keyword from which we all want to get rid of. But I will suggest to go for STRESS.
Stress is an outcome of a deviation of the reality from the expectations of a person. It is generally caused by external materialistic forces. The only way to fight with stress is to accept the situation and analyze it in the light of various perceptions and angles. Being diagnostic is a pre-requisite to be able to handle a stressful situation in the right way.
The STRESS technique to overcome stress emphasizes on a positive effort to realize the possible causes of stress, be expressive, not in loud but a gentle manner and be able to reach a simple solution to curb stress. Mere getting frustrated or escaping the very situation would never eliminate stress, rather it would add to it further in future. Therefore, the need is to be pragmatic and calm, do away with stress and focus on a better future for a happy living.
One of the best technique to control and reduce stress level is to Take Deep and Long Breaths. Researchers at American Institute of Stress have verified the fact that deep breathing has many benefits like the following:
Brings oxygen to the brain
Decreases Blood Pressure
Steps down the Metabolism
Sit calm, close the eyes and feel the breath. The very feeling of being alive gives inner joy and pleasure. It helps us to calm down and creates the ability to sort problems out that are significant and avoid the insignificant issues that bother us.
2. Pen Down the Pain
If something is really annoying us and we want to vanish it, then, WRITE everything we feel, on a piece of paper. Let the emotions flow till our thought process becomes clear and streamlined.
Writing down is a great remedy to stress as it drains out all the negative thoughts crowding inside us. Often, we also get a solution to our problem while we are writing it down and undoubtedly, it gives a sense of satisfaction to us. Also, more and more writing would improve our skills and we will be able to express ourselves better as a writer!
3. Entertain Yourself
The best technique to disappear the stress is to perform activities that we like the most. It could be dancing, singing, photography, traveling, writing, playing or listening to musical instruments, playing our favorite sport or game, etc. It develops confidence, joy and a lot of positive energy in us.
It is essential to take time out for oneself as we understand ourselves the best and we know not just the cause but also the best solution to our problems. Doing what we like burns out the stress. These activities drive our concentration towards them as they are so joyful that they rejuvenate us.
4. Go for a Walk
Get connected with the natural environment. Human beings, by default, are a part of nature and are best connected to things that are natural. These days, people are so much engrossed into gadgets and technology that have distanced them from the reality of life. This is a major reason for stress and frustration among people. It kills our efficiency to think compositely and unnecessarily makes us gloomy.
A walk close to nature without any gadgets along, even without a verbal communication required, gives us a sense o connection with nature and all the creations of God. It fills our heart with peace and joy. Also, a silent walk gets to our memory things that we mostly avoid, memories that make us smile and several creative ideas come up. With a calm mindset, we try to find easy solutions to many of our problems. But, remember one thumb rule, Go for a walk to think nothing, only then it is helpful. Our mind is a magical tool which needs space to work perfectly. The more we set it free, the more it functions efficiently.
5. Make a Planner
Usually, as a student, we certainly have lots of assignments, exams, extracurricular activities, volunteering, managing expenses and endless reasons for stress. I would suggest rather than getting overburdened, take this positively.
Make a Plannerwith priority tasks and this is how it becomes so easy to manage everything. A feasible schedule is a key to getting things done on time and in the best possible fashion. It also helps us to spare time for our leisure and pursue our hobbies. Doing this can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed.
Sometimes the best pill to overcome the pressure is to have a healthy conversation with the most influential people we know. They may be our family, friends, professors, or mentors. We just need to spend some time with them. It may not even be necessary to discuss the exact problems and seek solutions to them from people. But, conversations with people we value gives us a sense of relief and helps us keep our calm. While we communicate, we may understand things that we have been ignoring and we may get ways to come out of the stress we go through. All the problems will disappear and we will have a new angle towards life.
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Our lives become more meaningful when we start making efforts to put a smile on someone’s face. What could be a better day than Valentine’s day to make people smile? With an intention to spread love in the community, PACE in collaboration with Warmtoes brings the third annual, ‘The Warmtoes Potluck Luncheon’ on February 14, 2017.
“Warmtoes has been a way to give back to the community.”
Warmtoes is a micro-charity that raises money to purchase socks for refugee immigrant families, homeless, and families struggling to make ends meet. It was launched in Winnipeg in 2011. The organization revolves around a simple concept of warming hearts by warming toes.
What makes this partnership of Warmtoes with PACE so special is that Warmtoes was launched by a PACE alumni, Rod Salm along with his family. Rod and his wife wanted to do some charitable work that their kids could be a part of. It was their daughter who initially came up with the idea of Warmtoes of reading Lily and the Paper Man by Rebecca Upjohn. “Warmtoes has been a way to give back to the community and us as parents teach our kids the importance of that.”, he says.
Rod Salm with his kids
Rod was taking the Public Relations and Marketing Management Diploma at PACE in 2014 when during a class project, the class and their PR instructor, Heather Plett, came up with the idea of collaborating PACE with this micro-charity. The PACE students participate by bringing in a home-cooked dish along with a pair of new socks. In the first Warmtoes Potluck, about 900 pairs of socks were collected.
Mekala Wickramasinghe, the student life coordinator at PACE says, “The purpose of the event is to give an opportunity to all the PACE students and staff to give back to our community, and the students love it! The fact that the first event was a student initiative and that we are continuing it makes this event a meaningful tradition and its initiators really proud. The creative ideas of the students in the planning committee makes this event unique and different every year.”
Certainly, this event holds a special place in hearts of the students and staff of PACE. Once again, this Valentine’s Day Warmtoes did warm hearts.
Time and money are valuable when you are at school. Especially when you are enrolled in a full-time post-graduate program and you live away from home, where parents usually provide support with laundry, food or household bills and tasks. You may think that healthy snacks are boring or require a lot of preparation time and money, but… you may be surprised! Just keep reading because there are some easy snacks that are low in sugar and fat, contain a high source of nutrients, and can save you from spending too much money.
Boost Your Health by Eating Snacks That Don’t require Cooking
Eating snacks during school breaks bring important benefits to your body. First, they help to maintain a good glycemic level in the blood, which keeps your energy up during the day and prevents serious illness such as diabetes. Secondly, this healthy habit reduces anxiety and controls appetite. Lastly, eating natural and sugar free snacks offers a good opportunity to incorporate essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins to your daily diet.
But don’t worry, these top 10 healthy snacks for school are easy to prepare, enjoy and are more affordable than you may think. You just need to open your mind and play with various combinations of your favorite ingredients, be conscious about sugar and fat added on products, and put aside one hour to setup all your snacks for a full week. Remember that setting a new habit requires some planning and organization, that’s why it is a good idea to make a budget and a list of ingredients before your weekend grocery shop. That simple!
1. Nuts and Seeds. An easily portable snack container can be filled with all type of nuts and seeds. Flower or flax seeds, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans macadamia, and pistachios are some of the favorite options in North America and can be easily found in almost all grocery stores, where you can find mix and match options. Nuts and seeds offer very high nutritive values and a good variety of textures and flavours, but make sure you select unsalted options.
2. Dried Fruits and Veggies. Some examples of dried fruits are apples, raisins, cranberries, bananas, figs, mangoes, etc. There are also some dehydrated vegetables that can be included in this category such as tomatoes, green peas, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Berries are very popular and abundant in Canada, and are incredibly high in protein and fiber. Once a month you can easily make dried veggies and fruits at home to avoid added sugar and conservatives. There are lots of tutorials in YouTube that can guide you in this process.
3. Fresh Veggies. This is another easy, natural and excellent option for snacks that can be cut, packed, and stored into the fridge in little bags or containers once or twice a week . A small portion of dressing, pepper or salt should enhance their flavour. Keep in mind that fresh veggies are not only low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You may include in your grocery list some tomatoes, carrots, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery.
4. Fresh Fruits. This is the easiest idea for a healthy, delicious, and nutritious snack. Before going to school, just pick a fruit that grabs your attention when opening the fridge. Bananas, apples, plums, grapes, oranges, kiwi, pears, and pomegranates are some fruits that you can easily find in local supermarkets, specially in spring and summer. Street or organic markets offers exotic fruits from different countries such as passion fruit, papaya, star fruit, kumquats, persimmons, rambutan, dragon fruit, etc. Eating the pulp and peel adds extra fiber and vitamins to your diet.
5.Crackers and Toppings. There are a wide variety of crackers that can be combined with peanut butter, jelly or Hazelnut spread. If you prefer, you can also use unsweetened toppings such as feta, goat, mozzarella, or cream cheese, hummus, avocado, or peanut butter. Crackers can also be paired with slices of fruit, veggies, capers, or olives. Create your own combination.
6. Tortilla Chips and Toppings. Corn tortilla chips are a very versatile and nutritive snack since they can be used as a base for almost any salty topping or steamed veggie. Buy whole grain and baked chips to avoid added fat and obtain extra fiber. Use beans, cheese, avocado, sour cream, salsa, and rice to pair with chips.
7. Granola Bars. There are a big variety of cereal bars, but not all of them can be considered healthy. Check the label to avoid extra sugar and unnecessary calories. Instead, homemade bars are good, easy and low- budget snack options for school. They can be customized with your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Wrap them in plastic and store them in a dried place.
8. Cheese and Fruit or Veggies. Grapes, cranberries, strawberries, pears, apples, celery, carrots, beets are some delicious options to be combined with almost any kind of cheese (goat, mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, cheddar, etc.). Use what you have in the fridge and make an easy and balanced snack combining one third of cheese and two thirds of fresh veggies or fruit. Try different mixes.
generally is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium and have a high number of microorganisms that help the digestive system to work better. Greek yogurt contains twice the protein of a regular yogurt. If you prefer flavored yogurt check the ingredient list to see if sugar or a substitute appears at the end. Mix it with fresh or frozen fruit and your favorite seeds.
10. Sandwich Squares. Two slides of bread and any kind of filling inside can be considered a sandwich,. As snacks, they are good for bigger eaters, just avoid sweetened jellies, artificial spreads, dressings, ham or bacon. Instead, you should combine natural ingredients such as vegetables, cheese, and fruits. Don’t limit your imagination and create exotic sandwiches with fillings that you have in hand; simply add your personal touch and enjoy a delicious snack. Bonn appetite!