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Mental health hinges on striking a balance


Maintaining our mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic, and mental.

Reaching a balance is a learning process, and at times you may tip the scales too much in one direction and have to find your footing again.

It is important to take time to think about your emotional well-being and your “mental fitness.” Assess your emotional health regularly.

Consider the particular demands or stresses you are facing and how they are affecting you.

Give yourself permission to take a break from your worries and concerns. Recognize that dedicating even a short time every day to your mental fitness will reap significant benefits in terms of feeling rejuvenated and more confident.

Tips to practice mental fitness:

  • Do one thing at a time

When out for a walk or visiting with friends, turn off your cellphone and stop making that mental “to do” list.

  • Exercise

Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety.

It also can open doors to meet new people who have common interests and decrease loneliness.

  • Enjoy hobbies

Do something that you like to do just because you want to do it. Hobbies also keep your mind active.

Practice your spiritual beliefs

Join a church or prayer group, and learn about your culture.

  • Collect positive emotional moments

Recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence, or other positive emotions.

  • Share humour

Laughter is the best medicine. Share with others. A little humour goes a long way.

  • Treat yourself well

Cook yourself a good meal, just for you. See a movie, have a bath, or phone a friend you haven’t talked with for a while.

There are many things we can do to improve our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and economic health. The goal is to find a balance in all areas.

For more information, contact your local Canadian Mental Health Association at 274-2347 or visit

Editor’s note: May 7-13 in Mental Health Week.

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