What’s your mental state like today? The majority of Canadians report positive mental health, which is excellent, but in turn a third of us will be affected by a mental illness at some point during our lifetime.
Unlike many chronic diseases with more obvious symptoms, mental health issues are not always so easily recognised or diagnosed. This often means that those suffering with poor mental health remain undiagnosed and untreated.
As the Canadian Mental Health Association says:
“Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.”
It’s not just adults either: it is estimated that up to 20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental disorder or illness.
The really good news is that once depression is diagnosed, 80% of people who receive professional help can resume their usual life afterwards.
7 tips towards a healthy mind
Our mental health impacts every aspect of our lives, including relationships, education and work. So, it’s important to take a step back, re-evaluate and ‘re-balance’ every once in a while. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your mental health on an even keel:
1. Seek help
Mental illnesses can be treated very effectively with the right help. Start by sharing your feelings with a close friend or family member, and have the courage to consult your doctor. Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never spoken to a doctor about their problem. Seeking help is a sign of strength and an important first step.
2. Healthy body, healthy mind
Studies suggest that a healthy lifestyle helps mental fitness, so eat healthily, avoid cigarettes and keep alcohol consumption low. Take regular exercise outside in the fresh air where possible, and try to maintain a good work/life balance.
3. Get enough sleep
Latest research suggests that a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on mental health and vice versa. Sleep is vital to everyone’s health, well-being and mental agility, whatever their age. It’s one of the reasons that our senior living community, The Manor Village, have a sleep expert on hand to help residents if needed.
4. Value yourself
Treat yourself with kindness and respect and avoid self-criticism. Ensure you make time for yourself and your hobbies. Try to break the monotony of everyday routine and habits – a change of pace can add excitement to life! These changes don’t have to be huge; try a different jogging route into work, or a new restaurant for dinner, or book that long-awaited vacation.
Seek out activities where you can meet new people. It’s never too late to learn to dance, play an instrument or become fluent in another language. You can exercise your mind and make friends at the same time! Alternatively, why not do some volunteering work? Helping others in need is truly rewarding and great for shifting the focus away from your own problems.
6. Set realistic life goals
Decide what you want to achieve in life both professionally and personally. Write down the steps and milestones to achieving your goals. Remember: it’s good to aim high, but be realistic. You should be able to celebrate small successes regularly. As you progress towards your ultimate goal, you’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
7. Exploit the tools
Everyone deals with stress in different ways, so find a coping tool that works best for you. Then, use it every day. There are all kinds of things you can try:
- writing a daily journal
- one-minute stress strategies
- meditation, yoga or Tai Chi
- crafts such as quilting, painting or knitting
- singing or playing a musical instrument
Whatever you do, always make time to laugh. Research shows that laughter genuinely relaxes your body and improves your mood.
How can AMG help?
At AMG we care about the mental health of all our patients. If you think you might be suffering from anxiety or depression, make an appointment with your doctor. Some patients may be referred to an AMG psychologist for counselling.
Remember, if you simply want to lift your mood, you can:
- Consult our Fitness Center. Our team of fitness professionals will customize a workout and nutrition program to make you look and feel better.
- Book a relaxing treatment at the ReJuv Spa.
- Join an exercise class and meet new friends.
- Enjoy lunch with family or friends at the Apple A Day bistro!
For full details, call us at 519 873 1700.