Today is Bell Let's Talk Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health challenges faced by many Canadians and the supports available to overcome them. In the spirit of mental health awareness, here are some tips on how to take care of your own mental health during the pandemic.
Eating well is important to gain nutrients to keep your body healthy, but is also important to keep your brain functioning well. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to mood changes, and eating a balanced diet can help combat this.
Exercise is essential to promote good mental health. Getting active can stimulate chemicals in your brain that can help put you in a good mood. Any type of exercise helps, but here are a few easy-to-do exercise's that you can take part in:
Lift weights, do situps or pushups
Go for a jog or take a walk or hike
Go for a mountain bike ride in the Simcoe County Forest Trails
Go cross country skiing, skating or snowshoeing
Spending time outdoors is one great way to help improve your mental health. Not only is sunlight a great source of vitamin D, which helps to improve mood, taking a deep breath of fresh air can work wonders for anxiety. Combine that with all of the amazing outdoor recreational amenities our region has to offer, and it's easy to see why getting outside can benefit your mental health.
Connect with others
Having a strong social network can be very positive for your mental health. Call a friend, visit a neighbour or just smile when you pass someone on the street to improve your connection to others.
Relax or try deep breathing
If you are struggling with anxiety, deep breathing exercises can be a big help. Breathing helps to slow down your body and mind and can promote relaxation. You can either set aside dedicated time to just breathe, or just practice deep breathing when your feeling stressed. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, or try square breathing: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breath out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and repeat.
Practice positive thinking
One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to be positive in your thinking. It's easy to get caught up in the negatives of a situation, but being optimistic and finding the positives in difficult situations is a great way to build resilience and promote good mental health. One way to do this is to remove negative influences. Try to avoid negative people and turn off social media if it's making you feel anxious. Listen to your favourite kind of music, eat your favourite food, or watch your favourite TV show to help you stay positive.
These are all good ways to help you manage your mental health, but you don't have to do it alone. If you're struggling, you can reach out to the many organizations in our area that can support you. Call 211 or visit 211ontario.ca for a full list of resources.