The boundaries between the personal time we take for ourselves and the time we give away to others are becoming more and more ill-defined. We feel guilty or ashamed for not being able to cope with it all and keep a smile on our face.
In this issue (May 2019), we are not suggesting that having a cup of coffee or taking up yoga will cure mental illness nor will it protect you from ever becoming mentally ill. We are hoping to empower you to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you are feeling and to also remind you that it is okay to take time and to use resources to care for yourself before not feeling okay becomes too much for you to handle.
We encourage you to find simple ways to take care of yourself and do them. Often. The most important thing you can do is to frequently check in and be aware of how you are feeling. Make it an absolute priority to take care of yourself, even when you are feeling fine. An ounce of prevention, as they say. Be well and take care of yourself
– Kiersty Kelly
Get it out. Let it go.
More and more counsellors and mental health experts are prescribing “journaling” as a component to achieving and maintaining positive mental health. It can be quite freeing to dump your negative thoughts at the end of a stressful day, even if none of it make sense to anyone else. It is for you and you alone.
You can keep a journal and look back at your entries at a later date in order to try and find patterns or triggers of what is causing you distress. What may not be an apparent trigger to you in a moment of discomfort, might become clearer to you when you reflect on it a day, a week or a month later. Or perhaps you just get it all out and destroy the evidence immediately. Whatever works for you, it’s
thought to be very healing to just get it out.
Journal and Pen provided by Spector & Co.
You're allowed to take a break
In today’s culture of constant busyness and stressful workloads combined with the pressure to be highly productive and always available, it is very easy to become overwhelmed.
It is in these times that it is of the utmost importance to take a step back and make sure we are caring for ourselves appropriately. Take a
breath. Take a break. Take time to find joy in little pleasures. Breathe in the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Feel the comforting
warmth of a cup of tea. Indulge in the sweetness of a hot chocolate as a treat
Things like these are small rituals in the bigger practice of self-care. Something we should all prioritize into our everyday living.
Coffee mug provided by Dezine Corp.
Peace of mind and body
The journey to healing from mental illness or the effort to maintain good mental health is a multi-layered, multi-dimensional process. There is no one thing that will do the trick. Nourishing your body and participating in physical activity is almost always on the list of remedies to improve mental health.
For some people this is working out their frustrations on a long run or bike ride. It could be as arduous as taking up kickboxing or doing a power lifting session at the gym. However, if you are already feeling tired and drained from a fragile state of mental health, yoga is a great
way to get your blood flowing in a more gentle and tranquil way. Even the most basic of yoga classes will encourage you to be mindful and
grateful and to meditate, in whatever way makes the most sense to you.
There is no right or wrong way so long as you are attempting to quiet your mind, even if for only two or three minutes at a time.
Shirt and yoga pants supplied by Stormtech Performance Apparel
Tune in and find yourself
Music has long been a source of relaxation and a way to quickly change your emotional state. Music soothes the soul and can help distract you just long enough to insert some space between you and a situation that is causing you to feel overwhelmed.
Binaural beats are also a way to literally change the wavelengths in your brain to help you become calmer, more focused or relaxed, depending on what you need in the moment, but they only work with the use of headphones or ear buds. Take the time to shut out the
world around you when you need to and enjoy some auditory therapy.