Few things fill someone’s heart like the knowledge that someone cares about how they are feeling and doing.
But often our stress and anxiety intensify during the holiday season. Some Canadians have experienced loss that is magnified this time of year or come to this season exhausted or dreading the busyness ahead.
During this time of often added pressure, how can we guard our own mental health, while looking out for others?
Here are 5 suggestions:
Find the right support. 211 is the Government of Canada’s twenty-four-seven hotline that provides free access to a mental health professional. It can also connect you with resources in your community.
Confide in someone. Trust a friend, neighbour, coworker or family member with how you are doing. Let them know you would welcome an invite for coffee or a chat on Zoom, on the phone, or in person.
Get your steps in. While exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing, just 15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a profound effect on your mood.
Help others. Relating to others and providing a gift of mental health support, like for children struggling in conflict zones or after climate disasters, can help us feel part of a larger world family and that we are making a purposeful difference.
Lean into gratitude. Even in the darkest times, we can find things and people to be thankful for. As Canadians, we can pause to appreciate peace and the freedoms and opportunities we have. Bringing loved ones and thanking them for kind gestures can improve mental health and wellbeing.