May 16, 2019
In honour of our recent celebration of Canadian Mental Health Week, I’d like to share some natural ways to incorporate Mental Health & Wellness into our daily lives.
Mental Illness, Canadians have taken great strides to break the stigma, build awareness and to help people identify what it looks like. Mental illness can manifest itself in a variety of health issues from mild to severe. The first step is getting the help you need from a trusted professional.
What steps can we take to prevent illness and realize mental health and wellness? My advice is to do what feels right for you. We are all so unique, what works for one person may be different for someone else. It can be as simple as getting outdoors, talking to a close friend or relative or stepping out of your comfort zone to better your current situation. Listed below are some additional tips for keeping your mental health in check.
Maintaining Mental Health & Wellness, Naturally
Stay Positive, Even When It’s Hard
We all face challenges in life. It’s how we respond to life’s circumstances that determine whether we allow it to create something new for ourselves, or break us down. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
Resist The Urge To Overextend Yourself
It’s okay to say NO sometimes. Let go of the guilt and learn to create some downtime in your life. You will not only benefit yourself but others in your life as well. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
Getting adequate sleep, 7-8 hours per night, is so important. The body needs this time to recharge itself from all that we throw at it each day. Do yourself a favour, do not take shortcuts in this area.
Create An Exercise Program That Is Right For You
Get up and move your body each day. Whether your preference is in the form of Yoga, strength training, aerobic activity or simply spending time outdoors – find what you like and just do it! Be consistent with it, and you will see the benefits pay off. Exercise releases endorphins which improve your mood.
Learn ways to talk about your feelings and frustrations with someone you trust, a friend or family member. Seeking a professional counsellor is also an option if you are not comfortable talking to a loved one.
Fuel Your Body Well
Make eating right a priority. Invest in proper nutrition – you’re worth it! Eating well today is the best insurance policy for longevity. Aim to eat from the New Basic Four – Vegetables & Fruits, Whole Grains and legumes, Proteins and fats/oils. If you are lacking any of these food groups in your diet, consider supplementing with the necessary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. What we eat has a direct impact on our mental, physical and emotional health.
Be Mindful Of Food Ingredients
Specifically, those found in processed and junk food. Limit your intake of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and food additives like aspartame, commonly found in “diet” foods and beverages. These can affect your mood and energy.
Don’t forget to laugh! Surround yourself with people who make you happy and feel good about yourself. Be mindful of who you keep company with and minimize your time with toxic people.