Mental health and well-being: Building a more resilient you
Resilience, which is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Week (May 7-11, 2018), is a coping skill. It is the art of being able to recover from difficulties or change, to function as well as before and then move forward in life.
Developing mental health coping strategies when life’s challenges hit you hard is a key factor to building resilience. Practicing meditation and gratitude are two ways to improve your thinking and can be used to build your resilience. Be positive. Keeping an optimistic outlook can help you build confidence to not give up and help you learn how to find solutions to life problems.
When life gets challenging and your emotions have you feeling overwhelmed, seek out help from others, such as friends, family and/or a mental health practitioner. Talk about what is bothering you and do not suffer in silence. Sometimes getting an outlook from someone who is outside of your situation can help to provide a different perspective on the issue at hand.
Maintaining your physical health is another way to tackle challenges to your mental health. It can increase and improve your resilience. Research shows that taking care of your physical self can help you cope with stress and challenging life situations both at work and at home.
- Exercise can help relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, improve blood flow and flood your body with feel-good chemicals. Exercising doesn’t mean running a marathon; it can be as simple as taking a walk or playing with your kids.
- Eat well. Make healthy food choices. Limit caffeine and drink alcohol in moderation.
- Get enough sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene to help you get the adequate sleep that your body needs.
The Defence Team’s Mental Health Services (Intranet access only) intranet page is an excellent resource to learn more about mental health. On this site, there are many resources such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), LifeSpeak, the Mental Health Continuum, the Road Map to Optimal Mental Health, training and Not Myself Today. These bilingual mental health resources have been developed in collaboration with mental health experts and are easy to use when dealing with professional or personal issues that are effecting your well-being and/or work performance.
There are many ways to build your resilience. Taking charge of your mental health is the first step to helping you deal with set-backs and challenges, allowing you to achieve better mental health and well-being in your life.
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