By Alyssa Wong, Anika Ng and Sarassa Katayama
Throughout our process of writing this blog, each of us were able to reflect on the healthy habits we personally use in our daily lives. This project not only educated us regarding our own mental health, but likewise brought attention to aspects in our lives we often did not pay attention to. We were able to broaden our perspectives and learn new healthy coping mechanisms.
Importance of Mental Health
Why fixate your mind on the negative sides of life, when you can focus on the positive aspects. As students, ensuring your mental health and wellbeing is important because it is directly linked to all aspects of your life, including academic performance. The impacts of mental illnesses can affect a student’s ability to concentrate, learn and feel motivated. Approximately 20% of Canadians struggle from a mental illness. In Canada, youth experience higher rates of mental illnesses in comparison to older age groups, and due to the pandemic, these statistics have substantially increased.
Shifting Your Perspective
Not having enough sleep can have severe consequences on your health and overall performance. Children aged 6-12 years should be sleeping 9-12 hours and teenagers aged 13-18 years should be sleeping 8-10 hours. Be sure to get enough sleep every day!
Relaxing and having fun!
Relaxation and allotting personal time can help you to feel calmer, giving you time to think through any worries that may be on your mind. Taking time out of your day allows you to destress and take a break from any tensions. You can spend your time doing activities you enjoy, such as journaling or even taking a nap!
Connecting with others
Connecting with family or friends improves your mental health. Studies show that having good social connections improve both your physiological and physical well-being. Social connections offer support for stressors you deal with on day to day tasks. Often, when voicing your issues family or friends can offer healthy methods to work through them.
Meditation is an excellent method of promoting good mental health, boosting your mental capacity, and enhancing your focus. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with our daily tasks, often it is difficult to take a break and step back. With meditation, you are able to breathe and take a break from stressful tasks, with this method your overall mental health is improved.
Daily exercise can improve your mental health as it targets common issues such as anxiety, depression, and even cognitive functions. Whether you are simply taking a leisure walk around the park or playing your favourite sport, it is essential to receive moderate physical activity every day! Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day!
Healthy diets are necessary to obtain good health and nutrition. Consuming healthy foods prevents mood fluctuations, improves your ability to focus, and overall improves your happiness! Many studies have shown that eating healthy foods can help with symptoms of depression as well as anxiety. Focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and eating food from the five main food groups: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein Foods, and Dairy. Avoid processed meats, fried foods, and products that contain high contents of sugar. But with that being said, remember it is as important to treat yourself and nourish yourself with a healthy balanced diet.
Practicing healthy thinking
Practice overcoming negative self-talk, thinking positively for many, can approach unpleasant feelings and situations in a more calm and accepting way. Having a positive outlook can allow you to cope better with stressful situations, which correlate to being open and encouraging yourself. Practicing healthy thoughts often will enable you to be grateful for the outcomes of your life, leading you to evaluate situations rationally and respond with a more beneficial approach. It’s normal to have negative thoughts when unpleasant problems occur. By validating your feelings, you can look at life in a balanced way and help manage these difficult thoughts.
Reaching out for help
Recognizing that you are having difficulties and reaching out for help is one of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy. There are plenty of resources available to suit your needs, so there is no shame in asking someone for support if you’re feeling low. Receiving help, especially through counselling or even talking to a trusted individual, is an excellent opportunity for personal growth and betterment.
If you are looking for help, check out our compilation of mental health resources by clicking here.
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