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Top 5 Tips on How to Improve Your Mental Health

M

ental health holds an important place in our lives in today’s scenario. Be it a workplace, home, or any other social space, it’s not hard to find individuals who might be facing challenges in keeping up with their mental health. Sometimes, it’s apparent from the person’s behaviour that they need counselling but other times, it goes unnoticed. It’s important to understand what mental health is to help those who are dealing with mental health issues. 

Mental health is related to an individual’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. It affects the way we feel, think, and act. It is also a factor in determining how you cope with stress, build connections with others, and make decisions. Good mental health is key to leading a healthy and fulfilling life. 

Individuals are hesitant to speak up about their condition because of the stigma attached to it, or due to the lack of awareness about the avenues available to them. First and foremost, they need someone to listen to them and provide solace to calm their minds so they can sail through the tough times. It takes both the individual’s efforts and the counsellor’s guidance to make the ones suffering from mental illness rise again. 

Mental Illness in Canada 

           One in five Canadians is likely to experience a mental illness or mental health issue each year.

According to official statistics, one in five Canadians is likely to experience a mental illness or mental health issue each year, with a perennial need for social connection. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital conducts regular research in this field. Its report portrays that by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, one in two have – or have had – a mental illness. 

Over the years, alarming statistics have been bringing to light the urgency to take this cause seriously. Though there has been an increase in awareness about mental health, with healthcare communities engaging people, much still needs to be done to reach the grassroots level.  

The first week of May has been hosted as Mental Health Week by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) since 1951. This year it was held from May 2-8 across Canada. Mental Health Week is marked to celebrate, promote, and protect mental health with the support of communities, schools, and workplaces. It has a theme to it annually with empathy being highlighted this year. The aim of the campaign was to encourage people to talk about what they feel and express it without any inhibition, so we know what others are going through in reality and build true connections. 

A recent survey conducted jointly by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Canadian Income Survey sheds light on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the prevalence of disability in the workplace. It shows that amongst the employed, there has been a rise of 2.3 percent in proportion with a mental health-related disability, up from 6.4 percent in 2019 to 8.7 percent in 2021. 

How to Improve Your Mental Health 

We’ve distilled the top five tips on how you can improve your mental health and help others to do so. The ways to have good mental health include:   

  1. Speak out
  2. Be physically fit
  3. Prioritize leisure
  4. Be self-aware
  5. Learn about available resources

Let’s take a detailed look at each of these: 

Speak Out 

The irony of the situation is that despite knowing that we are dealing with mental health issues, we do not talk about them due to several reasons. But once you start letting it out by sharing your feelings with someone who listens to you, half of the battle is won there. You can discuss disruptions and emotional changes that you might be witnessing and see it all melting away eventually. When you speak out, others will also reciprocate, and you create a safe space around you to talk about mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, and many other things. It can help build a network of like-minded people, do away with stigma, and keep negative mindsets at bay. It will help you feel less lonely in your experiences and make you connected to others. 

Be Physically Fit

Physical fitness is of utmost importance for good mental health. You should incorporate exercise into your daily regime for a healthy body, which paves the way for a healthy mind. Focus on eating a balanced diet, maintaining an active lifestyle, and performing some physical activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, running, joining a gym, dancing, or more. All these activities tend to have a positive impact on your mindset,  aside from keeping you physically fit. You can also join a few community groups where you get along with other people who are also on the same wavelength as you. 

Prioritize Leisure 

All work no play makes you dull. Don’t let the mind wander into the dark alleys of loneliness or don’t simply bury yourself in work. Make it a priority to plan leisure time for yourself, with your family, and your close friends. Leisure time is necessary to boost your emotional and mental well-being. You should make time to take a break, relax, and just introspect. Focus your attention on happy things in life, no matter how small they are, as they can uplift your mood and make you feel like you’re celebrating life. Keep a journal of your thoughts, where you can keep writing random thoughts that occur to you reflecting on your feelings and emotions. When you recall them, they can create a positive impact on your mental health. Keep socializing so that you don’t let the feeling of loneliness seep in. 

Be Self-aware

Do you do self-talks or check in on yourself every now and then to keep a check on your emotions? Do you vent it out or let it subside? You must take out time to be more aware of your feelings and what is the cause of those feelings. Spend quality time with yourself contemplating your fears, strengths, dreams, weaknesses, and what you intend to do to achieve your dreams. Think about how you connect to the environment and the people around you. When you’re in tune with your inner self, you can conquer mental illness very easily. Try meditating, listening to pleasant music, or getting close to nature. This way you can be in better control of your life and have a better understanding of your wants and needs. 

Learn About Available Resources 

It feels good to know that you are not alone in your journey. Once you are ready to open up and accept your mental health condition, find out more about the resources available in the community, and avail of their services. Connect with your friends who can guide you through the right path. Communities across Canada provide support and optimal care to those in need of a recoup or getting in better mental health. Maintain a list of such places that offer ready guidance so you can reach out when you have to. 

Some of the resources that can be useful are: 

Canadian Mental Health Association, Calgary   
Calgary.ca Mental Health Support 
Kids Help Phone
- Canada’s only 24/7 national helpline to support children and youth 
The Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (CAGP)
- for seniors 

Conclusion

Now that you know different ways to boost your mental health, you must accept your feelings and not struggle through them. If you accept who you are and what you are going through, you can become more confident to learn new things and enhance your self-esteem. 

Another way of keeping your brain healthy and improving your mental health is to learn something new. Invest in education that helps you scale up and get closer to achieving your career goals. 

ABM College offers programs in Health, Business, and Technology, to provide quality education to those looking for a career change or to boost their knowledge levels. 

Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you. 

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