MRU Practicum Student, Mental Health Capacity Building (MHCB) in Schools Initiative / Stepping Stones to Mental Health – When you imagine “managing mental health”, what do you see? A psychologist? A hospital ward? Often, we associate mental health with mental illness and needing medical attention in order for it to be properly managed. What if I told you managing our mental health is as easy as talking to a friend, drinking tea or even watching TV?

Self-care is just that simple, but it contributes to significant change. By allowing our minds to relax, recharge and regain balance, we are strengthening our mental health and protecting ourselves from becoming burnt out, overwhelmed or anxious.

Self-care comes in all different shapes and sizes. An example of this is taking care of your physical health, which has direct links to improving your mental health. Taking time to eat well, drink water, or engage in physical activity releases dopamine which leads you to feeling happier and clears your mind of stress and anxiety. In addition, self-care could involve setting time aside to watch your favorite TV show, or being with your friends.

Another form of self-care is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a technique that encourages us to utilize our 5 senses to interpret our world and be in the present moment. Allowing us to calm ourselves and fully enjoy our daily experiences. This can be achieved through meditation or simple activities such as focusing on your 5 senses while drinking a cup of tea.

Mental health is incredibly important to consider as it is something that is present for every individual on the planet every day. In honor of Bell Let’s Talk Day, let us take into consideration how we will manage our mental health and practice self-care on a regular basis, allowing ourselves to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

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