World Mental Health Day 2018

​It’s World Mental Health Day, and around the office we’ve had lots of discussion about how people can work to improve their mental health and well-being, and some points that we find are important to add to the discussion!

Mental Health ≠ Mental Illness

Mental health: a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.

Mental illness: health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

While both are important and both need attention, it is important to note the difference between the two. Mental Illness needs attention in the same way that physical illness does—we need to care for the person who is ill with therapy, medication, or other methods of treatment (often a combination of things). Mental health, on the other hand, just refers to what state that aspect of your health is. Just as you can be “in shape” physically, you can be “in shape” mentally.

Working on your mental health is a preventative measure—you build strength in your mind by doing things regularly that improve your health in the same way that you do physical exercise to prepare your body for activity. This will make it easier to manage if you do happen to have a mental illness or if you deal with stress etc. Remember: Mental Health is for EVERYONE.

Mental Health Is Just As Important As Physical Health

In the same way that heading out for a walk and some fresh air is good for your body, things like meditation and mindfulness are good for your mind. When we create a preventative lifestyle, the likelihood that we will be affected by poor mental health goes down. Spend some time thinking about what you could do to work on your mental health and build your resiliency! There are some great ideas here:

Mental Health Is Not A "One-Size-Fits-All" Approach

When we work on our physical health, there are many different approaches—do you enjoy CrossFit or Zumba? Weightlifting or running? Chances are you have a preference when it comes to exercise, and it took some trial and error to figure out what you enjoy and what you don’t. Spend some time trying different things and see how you feel about them. While some people love a seated meditation in silence, others like guided meditation sessions or even meditative walks. Some people love visiting a therapist to discuss their life, while others would prefer a coffee with a close friend. Find things that feel good to you and you’ll be more likely do (and enjoy!) them regularly to improve your ability to cope with stress.

On this awareness day, spend some time thinking about your needs and how you can fit something for your own mental well being into your schedule. And remember, if you’re struggling or would like some further insight into how you can improve your mental health you can always reach out and book an appointment with us at 780-842-3112. 


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