Home PSP Health Promotion Maintaining Your Mental Fitness

Maintaining Your Mental Fitness

These long and dark winter days can certainly have an impact on our mood.

In fact, a small percentage of Canadians suffer from a clinical condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is characterized by serious symptoms of depression caused by the winter season. Many other Canadians also suffer milder symptoms such as sadness and unhappiness during the winter season, which is more commonly referred to as “the winter blues”.

Blue Monday, which is the third Monday of the New Year, is commonly thought of as the saddest day of the year. This may be caused not only by the seasonal weather, but also by such things as post-holiday blues, the arrival of the holiday bills, and even the failure to stick to New Year’s resolutions. 

With all this in mind here are a few tips to help improve or maintain your mental fitness:

  • Daydream – Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dream location. Breathe slowly and deeply. Whether it’s a beach, a mountaintop, a forest or a favorite room from your past, let the comforting environment wrap you in a sense of peace and tranquility.
  • Exercise – Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness, since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.
  • Enjoy hobbies – Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.
  • Treat yourself well – Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Whatever it is, do it just for you.

Healthy habits and lifestyle changes may not be enough to overcome “the winter blues” or SAD.  Here are a short list of resources that can be used for additional support:

For additional support and resources, come check out the kiosk that will be hosted by the Borden Family Violence Advisory Team (FVAT).  The kiosk will be in the CANEX lobby from 23 to 27 January. The kiosk will only be manned from 1200 to 1300 daily throughout the week. 

Bell Let’s Talk is a wide-reaching national campaign. Please join us for Borden’s annual Bell Let’s Talk presentation.  Meet us at the Terra Theatre on 25 January at 10:00am for a conversation about mental health and reduce the stigma attached.

Information provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

By: Nathaniel Smith, Health Promotion Specialist at CFB Borden