Turns out, “Depressed Monday” might not be so depressing after all. Research dispels the myth that the third Monday in January is the “most depressing day of the year.” However, the challenges we have faced over the past three years and the consequences on our mental health are very real. It has also been proven that nearly a third of the Canadian population has experienced a drop in morale or has difficulty coping with daily life since COVID-19 turned our lives upside down.
Stress, anxiety, fear and even anger are all normal reactions to the consequences and uncertainty that arise from major events, such as the global health and economic crisis that continues to disrupt our lives today. However, if ignored, these feelings can lead to other, more serious emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Our list of the top 10 ways to protect your mental health
As part of our mission to improve the overall well-being of Canadians, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 ways to protect their mental health, based on expert advice from our trusted mental health partners. health care.
1. Maintain healthy habits
Eat healthy. Exercise regularly. Get enough sleep. These are all good habits that can reduce stress and anxiety and prevent minor health problems from getting worse.
2. Keep in touch
Physical isolation must go hand in hand with maintaining social ties. Our mental health and that of others depends on it. Check in with your friends, neighbors and family members regularly. A simple phone call, a FaceTime chat or a text message can go a long way in getting you through a tough time.
3. Find a balance
Staying informed is certainly important, but staying glued to your screens to compulsively follow the latest, often negative, news can really undermine our sanity. Soften up the news and social media and get information from reliable and credible sources.
4. Focus on moderation
Limit the time spent in front of screens to reduce your level of stress and anxiety. Go easy on the caffeine; if you force the dose, especially before going to bed, your heart may race and sleep will be difficult to find.
5. Take care of yourself
If you are caring for other members of your household, your health and well-being should be your priority. Take time to rest and recharge. Explore self-care strategies like mindfulness, yoga, meditation, art, or physical activity to deal with low spirits, stress, and anxiety.
6. Be kind to yourself
Realize that you are not alone in your situation, everyone is struggling with the same difficulties. Times of uncertainty are an opportunity to support each other. Confide in someone you trust. Talking about your feelings will help you put things into perspective and adopt a more positive mindset.
7. Adopt a routine
As much as possible, stick to a regular schedule and maintain a good balance between work and periods of play and relaxation with the family. By structuring your schedule, you will focus your thoughts on daily activities and not on the difficulties you are experiencing, while promoting a sense of normalcy for you and your loved ones.
8. Focus on family
Children always need the love and attention of their parents, but this is especially true during difficult times. Pay more attention to your children. Listen to them and reassure them that the feelings they are feeling are normal under your circumstances.
9. Treat yourself
What activities give you happiness? Reading, listening to music, chatting with a friend, playing an instrument? All the activities that make you happy, as well as the ways that have helped you overcome hardships in the past, can serve as the basis of your coping strategy during difficult times.
10. Go get help
If your anxiety symptoms are difficult to bear or prevent you from carrying out your normal activities, it may be time to see a professional.