In today’s fast-paced world, people face many stresses at work, home or at school which can over time have a negative effect on our mental health.  At times we think of ways to improve our physical health such as exercising more, but how often do we take the time out of our busy day to look after our mental health?  Below are some simple steps to keep mentally fit: 

  1. Connect: It is important to connect with friends and family. Keep the lines of communication open even during times of stress. Sometimes talking to someone who has a positive outlook and who has your best interests at heart can keep you grounded. 
  2. Chill: Take time during the day to relax. This can help you feel calm during stressful times. Try relaxation exercises, meditation, mindfulness or even just doing nothing for five or 10 minutes to help you feel refreshed throughout the day. 
  3. Care for yourself: When you are stressed you may forget to eat properly or lose interest in doing something physical. It is important to have a healthy mind and body, so make sure you do some physical activity such as going to the gym, gardening, dancing, biking or even a walk. 
  4. Challenges: Sometimes trying something new can get you out of a boring routine. Learning a new skill or taking on a new goal can improve your mental fitness and give you a sense of pride in your new accomplishments. 
  5. Cope: Stress is part of life but sometimes you can feel overwhelmed. Learn to cope with your stress in positive ways such as trying Tai Chi, exercise or yoga.    
  6. Contribute:  Contributing to your community can be a great way to feel good about yourself.  Knowing that you make a difference can improve your self-esteem. 
  7. Crosswords: Doing simple activities during the day can help distract you from your stress so even if you do a crossword puzzle, read a newspaper or play with the dog, you can learn to wind-down and enjoy the simple things in life. 
  8. Clubs: Being around a group of people who share similar interests can help improve your mental health. A book club is a great way to meet people and discuss new ideas! 
  9. Curb your cravings: Many people use alcohol, smoking or even food to deal with stress, but sometimes these will only make the problem worse.  If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, try some of the suggestions above instead of reaching for that slice of cheesecake.   
  10. Connect some more: Some, but not all stress can be managed with these simple techniques…but if your stress gets out of hand then get help. Know where you can find a counsellor who can help you when you are overwhelmed. Below are sites where you can get support if you need to speak with a professional: 




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