What can I do to improve my overall mental health?
Good mental health helps us to achieve balance and cope with stressful times.
1. Build confidence
Identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them build on them and do the best with what you have.
2. Eat right, keep fit
A balanced diet, exercise and rest can help you to reduce stress and enjoy life.
3. Make time for family and friends
These relationships need to be nurtured; if taken for granted they will not be there to share life’s joys and sorrows.
4. Give and accept support
Friends and family relationships thrive when they are “put to the test”
5. Create a meaningful budget
Financial problems cause stress. Over-spending on our “wants” instead of our “needs” is often the culprit.
Being involved in community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot.
7. Manage stress
We all have stressors in our lives but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will maintain our mental health.
8. Find strength in numbers
Sharing a problem with others who have had similar experiences may help you find a solution and will make you feel less isolated.
9. Identify and deal with moods
We all need to find safe and constructive ways to express our feelings of anger, sadness, joy and fear.
10. Learn to be at peace with yourself
Get to know who you are, what makes you really happy, and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.
Other mental fitness tips include:
- Give yourself permission to take a break from your worries and concerns. Recognize that dedicating even a short time every day to your mental fitness will reap significant benefits in terms of feeling rejuvenated and more confident.
- “Collect” positive emotional moments – Make a point of recalling times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence or other positive things.
- Do one thing at a time – Be “present” in the moment, whether out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and your mental “to do” list.
- Enjoy hobbies – Hobbies can bring balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it.
- Set personal goals – Goals don’t have to be ambitious. They could be as simple as finishing a book, walking around the block every day, learning to play bridge, or calling your friends instead of waiting by the phone. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.
- Express yourself – Whether in a journal or talking to a wall, expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension, and boost your body’s resistance to illness.
- Laugh – Laughter often really is the best medicine. Even better is sharing something that makes you smile or laugh with someone you know.
- Treat yourself well – Take some “you” time – whether it’s cooking a good meal, having a bubble bath or seeing a movie, do something that brings you joy.
Do you need more help?
Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area.
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in hundreds of neighbourhoods across every province, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.