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Many of us are focussing on our physical health and fitness after the holidays. We forget that mental wellness is also important to help avoid or manage mental illness. Did you know that:

  • about 1 in 5 people experience mental illness at some point in their lives?
  • depression is the most prevalent of all mental illnesses?
  • depression is expected to become the 2nd most disabling illness by the year 2020? 

You can maintain mental wellness by recognizing symptoms you may be experiencing, including:

* A feeling of depression lasting longer than a couple of weeks

* Confused thoughts or delusions

* Irrational anxiety or fears

* Lack of motivation for an extended period of time

* Extreme mood swings

* Overly reckless behaviour

* Difficulty concentrating

* Sudden irritability

* Talks or thoughts of suicide

Going Outside

Evidence from a study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology shows that getting outside for as little as five minutes a day can give you a mental boost. So if you have a job that requires you to spend a majority of time indoors, make sure to get outside for a breath fresh air.

Becoming Connected

An element of maintaining mental wellness is making sure to surround yourself with a strong support system. This can be done by nuturing existing relationships, as well as connecting with new social interactions.

Getting Organized

The old saying 'a cluttered house is a cluttered mind' is relevant when it comes to maintaining mental health. Disorganization promotes stress and can tax your mental wellness. To get organized, there are a number of things that you can do. Start by writing a 'To Do' list and prioritizing the tasks. Sometimes visualizing tasks as completed can help you with prioritization.

Being Assertive

If something is bothering you either at home or work, it is important for you to express how you are feeling. Being assertive is important to your mental wellness as you are protecting your boundaries, and not being taken advantage of. Feeling taken advantage of leads to low self-esteem. Tips for being assertive include maintaining eye contact, upright posture, voice control (tone, volume) and listening to a person's response to your point. Be sure to appear calm when asserting yourself.

Being Mindful

Dispel distractions by being mindful. This can be done by living in the moment, and not focussing on the past or future. Instead, by concentrating on the present, you learn to experience joy and to cope with psychological and physical challenges. Practice by being aware of your breathing, your body and your environment for a few moments each day.

Committing to a Plant or Pet

Looking after a plant or pet can help you achieve a sense of accomplishment. Owning a plant can not only purify the air you breathe, but also help you feel happier or more opportunistic, according to  Dr. Bruno Cortis, MD, Chicago cardiologist. Owning a pet provides an avenue for unconditional love; pets intuitively sense when you need support and comfort.

For more information, check out our newsletters on topics  like- Depression in the Workplace, Wishful Thinking, Suicide Prevention, Treatment of Depression, and many more!

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