Cold bugs aren’t the only thing we should be thinking about keeping at bay; our mental immune system can use a boost. CMHA BC offers four common-sense tips for protecting your mental well-being this fall:
- Embrace routines – For many of us, getting back to the grind of work and school can be challenging but our routines can actually be very healthy for us, says Hamid-Balma, and especially for kids. “If you build healthy habits now—including regular slots for exercise, clubs or social outings—you’re less likely to drop them when it gets cold and dark,” she says.
- Build some outside time in – As daylight changes begin to really sink in, people can find themselves commuting both ways to school or work in the dark, and retired people may find themselves not leaving the house much. Finding small ways to take breaks and get outside during the day is a good idea, even more so if you’re prone to winter blues. Add a quick brisk walk with a friend and you’ve added two more mental health boosters: exercise and social support.
- Get more face-time with people – Social media, texting, and video-calling can be great ways to stay in touch with loved ones or make new friends. Use them to enhance rather than replace face-to-face interactions. Make a date to talk to someone in real life at a regular time each week or month. If you don’t have a close friend or relative nearby, see if there’s a local Meetup group or club you’d like to join, walk your dog with a neighbour, or try tai chi at the mall.
- Little more water, little less caffeine – Water replenishes brain cells and helps you concentrate and feel less tired. Most of us don’t drink enough of it. While you’re drinking more water, try to also limit caffeinated drinks because they can dehydrate you, make you anxious or reduce the quality (and quantity) of your sleep. Try more often to have herbal tea, decaffeinated black tea, or smaller cups of coffee.
For more tips and strategies, visit a local Beyond the Blues event.
Beyond the Blues is an annual awareness day to engage people to learn more about mental well-being and mental health problems. There are at least 70 events set up across BC through October and November.
Beyond the Blues has helped over 102,000 people across BC since 1995. Read more about our history, successes and reach in our Final Report.