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Mental Health Awareness Week May 4 - 10
by Regional Health Authority, 4/27/2015 3:15:27 PM

Kristina Lindsay

Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Prairie Mountain Health

 

Self-Care Strategies for the Mind, Body, and Spirit

The busy pace of everyday life and a demanding schedule often means that self -care can move to the bottom of a priority list. People often evaluate their worth by their ability to give back and place the needs of others before themselves. Physical and emotional health can only be sustained when we engage in self-care. The best thing you can do for the people in your life is to take care of you. You will be happier, healthier and ready to present to the world as the best version of yourself! Self- care refers to intentional actions used to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. Below are some suggestions you can use to improve your self- care, today!

 

1)      Eat as best as you can.

Try planning meals ahead of time. This reduces the chances of last minute, rushed fast food purchases. Making food a priority for yourself can help you receive the boost you need to manage a hectic lifestyle and improve your self-esteem.

 

2)      Exercise.

Our bodies are designed to move. Not only does exercise help with weight management, it also helps to combat feelings of sadness and depression and prevents chronic health problems.  Choose an activity you love (yoga/walking/biking) and try challenge yourself with that activity for at least thirty minutes five times a week.

 

3)      Sleep.

 Sleep is essential to your body being well. Sleep helps repair damaged tissue and organs as well as metabolizes hormones our body no longer needs. Our brain uses this time to organize our thoughts and experiences so we can prepare for the challenge of the upcoming day. Most people need seven to ten hours of sleep per night. If you have chronic problems with falling asleep and/or remaining asleep, please seek assistance from a physician.

 

4)      Take time to do the things you enjoy.

Whatever activity you choose, don’t feel guilty about taking the time to do it. Doing things you enjoy feeds your soul and increases your joy. Be aware of activities that take time but don’t support your self- care. Watching too much television or surfing the web can be relaxing but if done in excess can contribute to social isolation. Try taking a bath and epsom salts, getting out enjoying nature or starting a community garden.

 

5)      Get outside.

Time in nature is restorative. Balancing our bodies and minds often requires placing our feet on the earth or in the water and breathing in the fresh air. Try taking on the 30x30 challenge in May by David Suzuki! 30 minutes for 30 days outside with nature to help bring balance and peace to your mental health.

 

6)      Develop a gratitude practice.

Start and end your day with gratitude. Write down three things you are grateful for on this present day and reflect on why they are meaningful to you. Think about the things that brought you joy and what you appreciated.

 

7)      Be proactive.

Don’t try to wish your problems away. Focus on how you feel. Gauge whether your feelings can be improved by self- care alone or if more attention is needed to them. Seek help when it is affecting your work, relationships, and day-to-day living. To open the conversation on mental health problems and the reality of them, please seek help from a professional. Asking for help is a step in the right direction.

 

If you are over the age of 18 and have symptoms of a mental health concern, please contact Prairie Mountain Health’s Adult Community Mental Health at 204-578-2400. You can make an appointment to speak with an intake worker where they will help you problem solve and help you find the best services for your needs.

 

If you are under the age of 18 and have concerns related to mental health, please contact Prairie Mountain Health’s Child and Adolescent Treatment Centre at 204-578-2700. Here you will make an appointment to see an intake worker who will help you problem solve and assist you in finding the services best suited for you.

 

These are not crisis services. If you are in a state of crisis and need immediate assistance, please contact The Mobile Crisis Unit or visit the closest emergency room. The Mobile Crisis Unit is available by phone 24hrs a day at 1-888-379-7699 or 204-725-4411.  Here they will assist you in sorting out your problems and to help you determine what you can do, and what assistance you need to help you on your journey.

 

Resources:

Winnipeg regional health authority – www.wrha.mb.ca
Canadian psychological association – www.cpa.ca

 


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