Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"It's a stressful world; don't let it burn you out"

Apr. 5, 2015 "It's a stressful world; don't let it burn you out": I cut out this article by Rhonda Rabow in the Edmonton Journal on May 2, 2011.  There are some helpful tips to lower stress.  Here's the whole article:

Time-related stress has been rising dramatically since the 1990s. As far back as 1998, the last time Statistics Canada did a survey on the topic, 38 per cent of working mothers said they were "severely time stressed," putting in 74 hours a week of paid and unpaid work.

We can only imagine how much the percentage has increased since then.

Adverse health effects have been linked to long working hours, too, including markedly increased rates of depression, smoking, weight gain and alcohol consumption, and decreased levels of physical activity. This comes from a StatsCan study done in 1999 (again, the most recent information it has). That study showed long work hours carry increased risks of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Those numbers, also, have only increased over time.

With unemployment rising, and an unstable employment market, few of us have the freedom to say "no" to longer hours and increased work duties. But we also must consider the cost or consequences of accepting the demands made on us. What is the tipping point that will send us into burnout?

The average working mother is stressed and overwhelmed at work, and then feels guilty she isn’t doing enough for her family, leaving her feeling discouraged and sometimes depressed. Some of the most frequent problems I encounter in my practice — after couples’ issues — are burnout and depression. It is most often the hard-working women who pride themselves on doing a good job, who have difficulty delegating and saying no, who want to please and do everything perfectly, who end up on this list.

Burnout occurs when a person feels overwhelmed by work and/or social circumstances and is unable to cope due to high levels of stress and emotional and physical exhaustion.

Who is at risk of burnout?

- People who are dealing with a stressful environment on a daily basis, expected to fulfil certain objectives and under pressure because of time limits, financial or employer constraints.

- People whose jobs have become too demanding and who are feeling that they are not being recognized and appreciated for their efforts.

- People who have very high standards. Their belief system holds that anything less than perfection is not acceptable, so you can imagine the pressure and stress it puts upon them to manage life and its challenges.

Know anyone like this?

What are the symptoms of burnout?

- State of mind: Forgetful-ness, lack of concentration, moody, feeling sad, fatigue, poor short-term memory, impatience, feeling rushed, easily frustrated, becoming more aggressive, isolating yourself, negative outlook on life, feeling empty, lack of energy, making more mistakes at work, difficulty getting to work on time.

- Physical symptoms: headaches, pain in back and shoulders, inability to sleep, lowered immunity to colds.

StatsCan reports 43 per cent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Seventy-five to 95 per cent of all doctor visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.

What are effective ways of dealing with stress?

- Know your stress triggers: Keep a feeling and behaviour diary where you can jot down the times you are feeling exhausted, powerless or out of control. This can help you pinpoint patterns of feelings, and then you can find tools to help deal with them before they overwhelm you.

- Monitor your self-talk. The average person thinks 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. How often do you have negative self-talk? Catch yourself and then find outlets and tools to distract yourself from these thoughts, focus on your present and write a list of the things you appreciate in your life today.

- Have a buddy system. Call each other when stress rears its head. You’ll feel less alone, more accepted and it will help you relax if you know you are being supported.

- Work on changing your expectations. Move from perfectionism to "it’s good enough."

- Learn to delegate. Ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of good time management. There are people who are able and willing to help, but sometimes you have to just ask.

- Take a deep breath and count to 10, s-l-o-w-l-y.

- Focus on the solutions, not the problems. We all have stuff to do and there will always be more, and that’s OK. Put your energy into finding the solutions.

- Ask yourself: "How important will this be in five years?"

- Take regular breaks.

- Get counselling. Speak to a solution-focused professional who can teach you the tools you need to manage your specific stress effectively.

- Meditate or listen to guided visualizations.

- Speak to your boss and ask for a clear understanding of your work duties and task priorities.

- Other stress-management techniques include exercise, good diet, sleeping well and social interaction with positive-minded friends.

Does it take time and effort to follow through on these stress management strategies?

Absolutely! See it as an investment in yourself and in your future. You see the dentist and the doctor for prevention, don’t you? Surely, your teeth and body are not more valuable than your mental health? It’s a small cost to pay to avoid burnout, but the choice is always yours.

Rhonda Rabow is a Montreal psychotherapist. For more information, visit her website:

"Take care of yourself first": I cut out this article by Ted Hagen R.N.Judi Light HopsonEmma H. Hopson Ph.D. on Dec. 28, 2010.  Here's the whole article:
Do you have a major problem to fix in the coming year?

Maybe one of your New Year’s Resolutions it to find a job. Or, have you vowed to get over a painful divorce and start dating?

Large goals such as these might seem daunting, especially if you’ve tried to chisel them down to size with no luck.

Most of us get angry with ourselves when we can’t lick a formidable problem. We beat ourselves up because we pride ourselves on getting things done.

“One of the biggest reasons my clients are depressed during the holidays,” says a psychologist we’ll call Paula, “is that they didn’t clear up their most irksome problems over the year.”

Paula goes on to say that relationship issues worry her patients a lot. Some feel very unhappy because they aren’t married yet. Others, on the other hand, feel trapped in a bad relationship.

“I tell my patients to start taking steps to focus healthier attention on themselves,” says Paula. “When we do something great for ourselves, everything around us will start to change.”

Paula believes discouraged people who take steps to feel their best will get control of their lives. They will make better choices.

“When you feel good about yourself, you will attract good people and better opportunities into your life,” she insists.

Here are some of her tips:

Work on your personal appearance. Making small changes every week will add up. Take time to put together nice clothes or go to the gym.

Keep a balanced schedule to lower stress. Plan appropriate work, exercise and fun. Write out a daily schedule and stick to it.

Find-tune your finances. Figure out how to spend more wisely and save money to pay down debt. When you control money issues, you will definitely have more control over your life.

A man we’ll call Michael lost his job and house in recent months. He agrees with Paula that self-care is a great starting point to recovery.

“My financial world came crashing down,” says Michael. “This past year was a nightmare year for me. I lost my job in January, and my house was in foreclosure by November.”

Michael’s problems began when he helped his grown son in numerous ways financially.

“I bailed my son out of a shaky business venture,” Michael told us. “He saved his business, but it wiped out my life savings.”

One of Michael’s goals is to get his emotional health back. At 54, he has no retirement savings and a host of other problems.

We sat down with Michael to advise him to practice good self-care over the coming months. He is slowly putting together a financial recovery plan, and he’s found a good job.

One of his first goals is to visit the gym every day. Michael says a gym membership is a significant expense, but it’s important for his emotional wellness.

“I want to get in shape physically, so I’ll feel like giving 100 percent every day,” he says.

Michael doesn’t want to waste time feeling sorry for himself. His goal is to move forward with a brand new life plan.

“I think any setback should make us think about good changes,” says Michael. “I was not that happy with the large mortgage and big house I lost. I want to live in a more nonmaterialistic way and look after my overall well-being.”

Michael sums up his philosophy for the coming months this way: “If I stop beating myself up for my losses, I’ll have all that energy to use more productively. If I take care of me, I’ll feel strong enough to meet any challenge head on.”

My week:

This week has been crazy busy at my restaurant.  It was the Family Day long weekend and the Garth Brooks concerts have been bringing in tourists.

Sat. Feb. 18: Busy.
Sun. Feb. 19: Busy.  At least I didn't have to work the afternoon.
Mon. Feb. 20: Busy.  We were only open in the morning.  I knew there was a high chance my manager G was going to call me to work on Tues. and she did.

Tues. Feb. 21: Busy.
Wed. Feb. 22: Busy. I didn't look for a job for the last 4 days so I put an hr into my job search.
Thurs. Feb. 23: Not as busy as yesterday. I only worked in the morning.

Fri. Feb. 24: My day off. 

I have worked so much, that it cut down my internet time.  I also haven't read the business section of the newspaper from Mon.-Thurs.

Lindsay Lohan racially profiled: I never thought I would say this, but Lohan has something important to say about religion:

Lindsay Lohan has claimed she was “racially profiled” at London Heathrow airport while wearing a headscarf.

The actor said security ordered her to remove her scarf while queuing up for a flight to New York, having recently returned from Turkey.

The 30-year-old said the airport worker apologised as soon as she saw the name “Lindsay Lohan” in her passport.

“I was wearing a headscarf and I got stopped at the airport and racially profiled for the first time in my life,” she said on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday.

“She opened my passport and saw ‘Lindsay Lohan’ and started immediately apologising but then said, ‘Please take off your head scarf.’”

“And I did. I mean, it's okay,” she continued. “But what scared me was, is that moment, how would another woman who doesn't feel comfortable taking off her headscarf feel? That was really interesting to me. I mean, I was kind of in shock.”

Feb. 25, 2017 Jimmy Fallon donates money to old school:

NEW YORK -- Jimmy Fallon has donated $100,000 to help fund the art program at the high school he attended, with some of the money going toward the school's TV studio.

The host of NBC's "Tonight Show" is a 1992 graduate of Saugerties High School in upstate New York. Fallon tells The Associated Press in a statement that he's glad to be able to give something back. He adds: "And if anyone there wants to return the favour with a statue of me or something, I'm totally cool with that, too."

While there's no word on a statue, district Superintendent Seth Turner thanked Fallon for the gift and joked that he's willing to completely eliminate Fallon's disciplinary record in return.

TV shows: The highlights of my week, besides work.  I don't know if you guys notice this, but I hardly ever write about TV shows for the last couple of months.

Timeless: I saw the season finale.  It was really good.  There are 16 episodes.  I heard it got 13 episodes and got a 3 episode extension.  The finale solved all the problems and storylines, but there was still an opening for next season. 

If there is a season 2, I would watch it.  It's like "edu- tainment."  It's educational and entertaining.  I learned about history and it's entertaining with the action, drama, and comedy.

When the show first came out, I thought I was only going to watch the pilot and never watch it again.  However, I decided to watch the 2nd episode to see if I should watch the rest of the season.  It was good.  I decided to then record all the episodes.  You should watch the pilot to see if you would like it or not.

"An unlikely trio travel through time in order to battle unknown criminals and protect history as we know it."

Cardinal: This is a Canadian TV show on CTV.  It's only 6 episodes and I have been watching it every week.  This is a crime drama.

"Cardinal struggles to right past wrongs that could derail his investigation and end his career, as the case grows more violent and twisted, and the clock ticks down on the killer's next victim."

Mary Kills People: This is a Canadian TV show on Global.  There are 6 episodes and I only watched the pilot. I recorded the other episodes and will watch it all in one week.

"A single mother Mary Harris, an ER doctor by day, but by night, she and her partner, a former plastic surgeon, moonlight as underground angels of death and help terminally ill patients slip away on their own terms."

Pure: This is a Canadian TV show on CBC.  There are 6 episodes and I only watched the pilot. I recorded the other episodes and will watch it all in one week.

"PURE tells the story of Noah Funk, a newly-elected Mennonite pastor, who is determined to rid his community of drug traffickers by betraying a fellow Mennonite to the police."

Bellevue: I saw the pilot.  It was good and all, but I don't want to watch it again:

Thrilling and eerie, Bellevue is a mystery set in a small blue-collar town with a lot of 'good people' who 'live right' and take it upon themselves to make sure the neighbours do too. Driving the series is Detective Annie Ryder (Anna Paquin), a cop whose intense and brazen personality has always been at odds with her hometown. When a transgender teen goes missing, Annie dives in to unravel the disappearance that suggests foul play, despite finding herself in a difficult position as she must cast suspicion on people she has known all her life. As the case pulls her further away from her family, she is also confronted by a mysterious person from her past with disturbing answers and a terrifying need to get inside her head. -

Written by Muse Entertainment &; Back Alley Film Productions

This is how you make Canadian TV shows succeed:

1. Put them in mid- season (Jan. or Feb)

Or spring (Mar. or Apr.)

Or summer (May or June).

2. Only make a small number of episodes like 6.

Some shows make like 10-13 episodes.

The Blacklist: Redemption: I watched the pilot today.  It was good, but I won't watch it again.

I have watched The Blacklist pilot before and wrote a review about it on my blog.  I never watched the show again.

The Blacklist TV show review

"Covert operative Tom Keen joins forces with Susan "Scottie" Hargrave, the brilliant and cunning chief of a covert mercenary organization that solves problems that are too dangerous for the government."

Feb. 26, 2017 Bill Paxton's death: I saw him on the show Big Love (1st season) and then I did watch the Training Day pilot.  I liked the pilot, but not enough to watch another episode.

I was shocked when I learned he died at 61 due to complications from surgery:

Paxton’s son was recently tapped to join the actor in his new CBS drama.

“I was thrilled to have my son guest-star on the eighth episode of Training Day,” Paxton told PEOPLE earlier this month. “He plays the son in a father-son robbery team, and my character, whose dad was also a criminal, tells him, ‘We’re both our father’s sons, but that doesn’t have to define us.’ It was surreal saying that to him.”


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