Health & Wellness

Physical, emotional and spiritual wellness are all things we need. The Yukon has some amazing ways to achieve some or all of those needs from support groups to athletic clubs and self-care destinations. What’s Up Yukon even has an amazing roster of writer’s who share their secrets on how to find balance in the busy day-to-day lives we all lead.


Loving The Skin You’re In

In parts of Canada, winter will soon slowly begin to make its way out, and spring will make its way in. In other parts of the country…

A shelf with a variety of products


Making so many choices every day can be stressful. Sometimes it causes me to lose track of the big picture.

A sauna

Sauna Season

Saunas have grown a lot in popularity recently. Instagram is filled with pictures of stylish barrel saunas and wood-fired hot tubs.

Honeybees in a hive

The Art Of Slowing Down

Friends who know me may well be wondering why on earth Amanda Mouchet is writing about the art of slowing down.

a group of people warming up before a run

Running For The Cure

George Maratos is excited to organize the annual Terry Fox Run and hopes to see an increase in participants this year.

illustration of a devil

The Beast In Me

The Devil Tarot card says we all have a beast inside of us that can erupt without warning and make us our own worst enemy.

ADHD & The Great Outdoors

The move a southeastern Ontario city to small & isolated Old Crow, Yukon had an unexpected positive change on my ADHD and mental health.

The Big Squeeze

lemonade stands pop up on street corners. It’s The Big Squeeze lemonade-stand fundraiser in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon!

Folding paper cranes

To Fold a Thousand Paper Cranes

It was a few bright spots against white snow that stood out. Upon further inspection, the remains of two slightly ripped square papers appeared. They were adorned with Asian-inspired print on one side and a blanket cover of colour on the other. It was an image from the film Blade Runner that connected the paper’s …

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Long Live the Dandelion

I saw my first dandelion of the season early this month, and it absolutely made my day. I love dandelions.

Welcome to my ADHD Brain

We hear ADD (or ADHD) tossed around, all the time. What does it really mean? When I forget where I put my keys, does it mean I have ADHD?

Are the trees weeping?

I grew up in Canadian Shield country. Rocks were what I noticed and loved. A few kilometres north were remnants of the boreal forest,

Fitness by firewood

A Yukon retiree, 75, has three readily apparent options for a productive summer fitness program: 1. Fishing, 2. Golf or 3. Firewood.

The weight of Firewood

We averaged wood-buying sites. The approximate weights of a cord of Yukon firewood: 4,250 lbs for green and 4,050 lbs for seasoned.

Christmas ornament

Grey Matters: Christmas memories

I’ve just finished “taking down Christmas” for another year. I love the ritual; the small, silent, solitary ceremony of this dismantling.

Grey Matters: Reflections on time

I’m convinced time is speeding up. I remember being told “coming soon! Those things weren’t “soon” Now, at 72, everything comes much sooner

grippers and cutter

Grey Matters: Grip and gripes

I’m coming to grips with how bad my grip is. Some things that have gotten better with time, my ability to tolerate my arthritis has not.

The quilt of many poppies

Joseph Novak is a World War ll veteran and possibly the last in the Yukon who served overseas. Joe moved into Whistle Bend Place early this year and has delighted co-residents and staff with his passionate storytelling, unshakable love of music and gratitude for life. In October of last year, Joe was given a 7×7-foot …

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Ted Tullis

Planes, trains and automobiles

Tullis, 83, likes to build. A retired heavy duty mechanic, the airplane, steam engine & Ford Model T occupied him for the last 30 years.

Through a Dark Wood

Jenifer Davidson, Yukon artist, has been creating art for as long as she can remember. More than a hobby, It’s benefitted her mental health.

Trash Talk with Zero Waste Yukon

Its a day to celebrate recycling: Waste Reduction Week is happening October 18 to 24! Spray champagne, just remember to recycle the bottle.

Loss and the art of letting go?

It probably seems a bit extreme to grieve the loss of mountain biking at age 72. Loss becomes a fact of life as one gets older.

Old Boler, older bones

The Boler trailer was built in Manitoba around 1973. It’s not as old as my old bones, for sure, but there are a number of similarities.

Rev your engines!

Ride for Dad’s annual motorcycle rally helps raise money for prostate cancer research and awareness and it’s back for another summer.

Springing forth

Lately there’s been a lot of media coverage about “languishing” and people experiencing stress due to COVID-19 restrictions. I hate to admit it, but I think I have finally succumbed to COVID burnout.

My Dearest 2020 Baby

My Dearest 2020 Baby

A mother’s open letter to her baby born in the midst of the Pandemic.

How shall I then live?

Both my husband and I have received two shots of COVID-19 vaccine. Now what? I think that is a question that many of us are asking and I would like to believe that I might have some thoughts on how to answer it.

Yukon yoga takes a hit

Overall, the pandemic has caused many changes to yoga in the Yukon, what it will be in the future still remains to be seen.

Senior versus Snowmageddon

This is not a “fish tale.” I heard accounts of snowfall beyond normal, but there was “factual” info to confirm the enormity of the situation

Light and reflections

Have you managed to adjust to the shortened daylight hours? In our family, we have our own tradition of a solstice fire on Dec. 21. It is a time to reflect on the past year, burn away the old and make wishes for the new.

Arthritis: Minimize the difficulty

Here we are, much older than we used to be and almost all of us suffer from the discomfort of arthritis in various places.
Even at a moderate level of pain we find ourselves avoiding lifting, bending, and reaching, as all of those movements – and especially something sudden – hurts.

The simple pleasure of hanging laundry

Of all the things I miss each year as the summer spills over into autumn, the one I hang on to the longest, and feel most wistful letting go, is laundry. More specifically, hanging clothes outside in the sun.

Shining Lights

Shine Your Light is a weekly radio show featuring live music, poetry, comedy and conversation, spearheaded by Matthew “Toots” Toothill.

Feeling anxious?

Anxiety can’t be avoided completely, but with the right tools and the right aids, no one needs to live a life destroyed by it.

Getting closer to the end

Let’s face it–being a senior means being closer to the end. That is, we are closer to death. When I was born, life expectancy for a Canadian male was 72 years. Now it’s 80. Medical science is forever making advances that push those boundaries and will challenge the inevitability of death. However, in 2020, to …

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Old dog, new tricks

Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective of Agatha Christie’s novels, said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I was a bit surprised recently, to find that I can indeed learn new things even when I feel like an old dog. When I retired, the little grey cells were feeling stagnant (I’d love to …

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An old skill, relearned

We’ve all been going through the COVID adjustments. I’ve had more time to pursue some of my interests such as writing, painting, gardening, and hiking but also to get back to some old interests – like biking. I used to ride a motorcycle many years ago, but that’s not the kind of biking I’m talking …

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A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” One of the advantages of being both hard-of-hearing and slightly daffy is the luxury of nattering away to oneself when there’s no one else within earshot. I spend the majority of my time alone, which suits me just fine. Why I should I impose …

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April is Autism Awareness Month

Celebrating Neurodiversity – Autism Spectrum Disorder [one_half] Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two people—and no two brains—are alike. What do the following people have in common? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, musician Emily Dickinson, Poet Dan Aykroyd, actor Sir Isaac Newton, scientist Satoshi Tajiri, Pokemon creator Albert Einstein, scientist Daryl Hannah, actor Michelangelo, artist …

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Seeing your own brain

We rely on our brains, but how much do we know about them and their inner workings? Seeing your own brain when a doctor illuminates an X-ray is not an experience one may ever forget, especially if the doctor points to it.

Vision quest

I started to develop cataracts. With all the other eye problems, surgery was the best option. I adjusted to enduring more decline in my eyesight until my spot in line came up, but thanks to a cancellation I got to have the surgery done in both eyes this past month. 

The mystery of middle age

[one_half] Don’t be caught off guard by perimenopause My child just went to a sleepover and my husband wondered why all her friends’ parents seemed so much younger than us. “It’s not like we were that old when we had her,” he lamented. I am in my mid-40s. Admitting age is not always popular. My …

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Older, but not out of it

What is it that makes some of my younger olders so reluctant to admit they’re collecting their pension, qualify for the senior discount, or that they’re a member of the Golden Age Society, ElderActive, or Yukon Council on Aging? I think it’s ageism.

Stressed out? Try mindfulness – Part 2

One of the main ingredients of doing mindfulness successfully is to be able to focus so that your brain and body can slow and calm down allowing you to relax.

Stressed out? Try mindfulness – Part 1

More than 35 years ago, I was taught a simple meditation routine. I did not then or now completely understand the mechanics of the routine, but I did it daily for a year or so.

Dementia and getting past the stigma, Part 1

Dr. Andrew Kaegi lives in Whitehorse and he has dementia. Talking with Andrew and his wife, Susan Rae, it became clear that the impact of dementia on a person, as well as how each person initially reacts to the news, can vary greatly from one individual to the next.

In the right sauce, mine could be a corpus delicious

Ken starts talking about pushing up… mushrooms Never, in any previous column, have I considered the need to provide a trigger warning. Regular visitors to Geezerville are generally mature, clear-minded and emotionally stable enough to put up with whatever nonsense I spill into this 450-word frame. Nevertheless, I recognize that certain subjects are sensitive for some …

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Everything is broken, what a great time to be alive

At She/Ze, Vicki Saunders will take attendees on a journey of shifting our mindset with her mantra: “everything’s broken, what a great time to be alive” When all around you it seems that the world is breaking and that there is nothing any of us can do, Vicki Saunders invites you to realize the power …

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Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

Maureen Johnstone is a leadership coach and the founder of Raventree Coaching. She’ll be leading a workshop at the upcoming She/Ze Leads the World Women’s Leadership Summit that will have participants embracing their awkwardness and vulnerability to become better leaders–in their own lives and for those around them. Awkwardness and vulnerability can seem to many …

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Turning seventy

I turned 70 this year. I’m pondering what this means. At 55 and 60, various senior discounts kicked in and it seemed kind of fun. At 65, there is no doubt that one officially becomes a senior with Old Age Security, Pharmacare, Homeowners and Pioneer Utility grants. But what about 70? A compulsory Driver’s Medical? …

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Moving toward age-friendly communities

Face it–the baby boomers are aging. Are Whitehorse and other Yukon communities ready for the growing aging population? Oct. 1 is the International Day of Older Persons, the theme of which is ”The Journey to Age Equality.” This theme reflects the need to support and promote the active participation of older persons in the social, …

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Check-ups for stuffed noses (and arms, legs and bellies)

This year’s Teddy Bear Clinic will feature some new experiences for children and families. Karen Forward, Yukon Hospital Foundation president, said she and the staff at Whitehorse General Hospital (WGH) are looking forward to the event, which enables children to visit the hospital and have a positive experience. “Kids are much happier there than a …

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A Terry Fox story – how a Canadian hero was a common thread in my life

I remember it like it was yesterday–sweaty palms, standing in front of a huge crowd (that was likely only about 50 people) at the Unicity Mall in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I was 10, in grade four, and I had entered a speech contest through my elementary school. The topic of our speeches? Inspirational Canadians. I had …

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Nuts for coconuts

My fondest memory of Mexico is the availability of fresh coconut water. In the mornings, I went out to get a fresh coconut off the tree.

Helping prevent FASD

The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon (FASSY) is marking International Fetal Acohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day on Sept. 9 with a barbecue lunch at Shipyards Parks. The day helps raise awareness about FASD around the world. Sept. 9 was chosen because, as the ninth day of the ninth month, the number represents the …

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Aging with grace

When I accepted the call to become the ordained minister at Whitehorse United Church, I was living in rural New Brunswick. That was 10 years ago, in 2009. It may be a function of my age that it seems, in some ways, like yesterday. All the feelings associated with that decision are still quite fresh …

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Bolstering sisterhood

The Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle has been supporting women for 16 years Well after many of her peers have settled into retirement, Adeline Webber continues to put in long hours volunteering as Vice President of the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, an organization she founded after a friend mentioned that she would need a retirement project. …

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Not just a beautiful aroma

How essential oils are becoming part of people’s lives Essential oils have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic practice, burial rituals, food preparations, the perfume industry and as part of traditional medicine in many cultures. Today, essential oils are once again becoming an important part of people’s lives as a natural tool for therapeutic benefits. …

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Teaching teens about healthy relationships

Would you believe conversations around consent don’t need to be awkward? Shelby Maunder does and she’s sharing the message with youth. Maunder is the executive director of Bringing Youth Towards Equality (BYTE), a for-youth-by-youth organization that’s leading conversations around healthy relationships and consent. Understanding that discomfort and a lack of tools can keep us from having …

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What do the letters “N-U-R-S-E” mean?

In the 86 years since I was born, I’ve been admitted to nine different hospitals from Fredericton to Vancouver and from Whitehorse to Toronto. The causes were hockey, football, boxing, aging and sometimes just stupidity. While spending my 86th birthday at Whitehorse General Hospital, I had time to reflect on the letters “n-u-r-s-e” and just …

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Sparking conversations of consent

Wondering who the friendly people are at every festival handing out condoms, making cool buttons and sometimes dressing up like superheroes? If you’ve been to a big event or festival in Yukon, you’ve probably seen the Consent Crew. Made up of four coordinating members and a team of enthusiastic volunteers, the Consent Crew uses conversations …

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Self-care as a daily practice

Living in today’s world can mean being bombarded by awful news about sexualized assault, microaggressions and violence in many forms. All this negative news can be frustrating, overwhelming and downright exhausting. If you’re starting to feel burnt out, you are not alone. This year, the annual Sexualized Assault Prevention Month campaign is spotlighting the need for …

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Mother’s Day running, biking and walking

Breast cancer is one of the top three diagnosed cancers in the Yukon. One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. These are the staggering realities of breast cancer.

Button up those denims

Every little bit helps. That’s the philosophy behind Yukon Denim Day and the support that Yukoners Cancer Care Fund provides to individuals affected by cancer.

The dreaded ‘P’ word

Yes, that’s right, I’m going to write it. The “P” word.  That’s right. Period. (Not the little dot at the end of a sentence, but the one that affects half the population for most of their lives.) It’s funny how a word can make people cringe, even the sex it impacts directly. Why can’t we …

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The technique of violence

Violence 101 – Part five of six In the last four articles … The last four articles have described the Cycle of Violence, including its sweet honeymoon phase, its three categories (affective, organizational/professional and social), its four forms (psychological, physical, sexual and financial), as well as the five principles of this scourge that is constructed …

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The reluctant senior citizen

When I was first asked if I wanted to join the talented group of writers at What’s Up Yukon and contribute a column that would provide a perspective as a male “senior,” I thought, “I don’t know. I don’t feel like a senior. I don’t even like to admit that I am a senior.” These …

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The escalation of violence

Part three of six In the last two articles of this series, I described the four phases of the Cycle of Violence (accumulation, explosion, honeymoon, justification). The definition of violence highlights the central role of control over the victim(s). Violent behaviour has easily identifiable characteristics: the aggressor ignores the destructive impact and negative emotions felt …

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My Failed Pancreas …

Mikka and others with type 1 diabetes are sharing their stories at the event My Failed Pancreas: Life with Type 1 Diabetes,

Is stress the root of your health concerns?

As a Naturopathic Doctor in Whitehorse with a focus on women’s health, I see a lot of burnout caused by chronic stress. Often my patients don’t realize that their daily pressures are adversely affecting their physical health.

What’s up with foot reflexology

Foot reflexology is an accessible touch therapy where a practitioner uses both light touch and deeper pressure techniques to stimulate points or reflex zones of the foot and lower limb. Reflexologists from all influences base their practice on the belief that our feet and lower limbs contain reflex points that share – or mirror – …

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Healing through Massage

A keen interest in psychology, bodywork and holistic health and wellness: Discovering the profound benefits of massage therapy.

Challenging Our ideas

When I meet someone new, I am used to being asked what I do for a living. The answer to that question inevitably leads to deeper discussions about the issue of violence against women. A few months ago I had conversation that sat with me for a long time. It started as a discussion about …

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50 Ways to Leave Your Sugar

We have all been struck with a case of the sugar blues — nagged by those treats hiding in the kitchen or next to the check out counter as we pay for our groceries. Our relationship to sugar can be a balancing act. Sweets are both a treat and a coping mechanism; in our busy …

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Sneeziness

One of my crosses to bear is hay fever, an allergic reaction to pollen that emerges in the early-summer and crescendos to the point where I am a runny-nosed, puffy-eyed mess — unable to conduct the most basic of enterprises without dragging a snotted handkerchief across my chafed-red schnoz. During a hay fever episode, sneezes, …

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An alcohol-free life

May I just say this once and never have to revisit it again? I am not an alcoholic. Just because I don’t drink, it doesn’t mean I have a problem with alcohol … even on religious grounds. I just don’t drink. You would think that anyone would be thrilled to say such a thing. But …

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No Long Weekend for Diabetes

It’s being held on the Sunday of a long weekend, Aug. 15, but Francis McClements hopes Whitehorse’s 1st Annual Freedom Walk for Diabetes will help bring a cure quicker. “I would have picked a different week than a long weekend,” says the “freedom champion” (as organizers are called across Canada). “But I heard that one …

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A Kitchen Cupboard Full of Ways to Fight the Flu

There are many different options out there for relief during the cold season. Here are some dietary and lifestyle options that have worked in our household. High quality foods allow your system to focus on regaining health. Foods such as steamed vegetables, fresh fruit, organic meats and eggs, fresh juice, bone broth soup, lots of …

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Time: Freeze or Flow?

I love this creaky season, the turning of the wheel between one year and the next. The whole concept of measuring time in years is such a Western and imperfect thing (Oops! let’s make a Leap Year to fill in the gaps!). It’s a perfect metaphor for our lack of connection to just being here. …

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Pass the Sugar

The large consumption of refined sugar is a problem for our fast-paced society. You may not realize how much sugar you are consuming. Items such as crackers, salad dressings, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, reduced-fat foods, cereals, bread products, etc., can all be loaded with hidden sugar, with names including fructose, corn sweeteners,sorbitol, malt, saccharin and rice …

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Oil for Your Joints

For some people, their joints do wear out. Most often it’s caused by a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis, or OA. Most people have heard of arthritis. It means inflammation or swelling. There are over 100 different kinds, but osteoarthritis is the most common. It affects an estimated three million Canadians. OA starts when the …

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The Power of a Master Mind

“Power is essential for success…” But what is power? There is a famous little book that you can still pick up for about $12 new, or as little as a penny on (check for yourself). It describes power as “organized knowledge”, the sources of organized knowledge being infinite intelligence, accumulated experience and experimentation and …

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Releasing Through Deep Touch

BY LILLIAN STRAUSS Janelle Hardy jetted half way around the world to Australia to become a licensed Hellerwork practitioner. Her training was intense. In a total immersion setting, students lived, studied and practised together from early morning till late at night. Hardy had condensed her training to 13 months, spread out over three visits. It …

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A Therapeutic Balance of Work and Play-

The smell of lemongrass fills the foyer, while soft music echoes from an adjacent room. The décor is minimalist, yet inviting. Warm and cool tones create a different sensation of relaxation in each space with candles delicately flickering. The undeniable intimate spa atmosphere makes it hard to believe that you’ve walked into the basement of …

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Romancing Your Yoga Practice

In this day of scientific scrutiny, even love can be examined in the lab. The brain hormones such as oxytocin, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine create an emotional chemical stew. This complicated chemical mixture influences our functions that involve memories of care givers, sight, smell and, yes, love. All work together to ultimately decide how we …

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