The next few months will be challenging to say the least. It’s difficult enough battling cold Canadian winters, but with the added feelings of uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the pandemic, winter 2021 will be especially tough mental health-wise.
Depression is one of the most common mood disorders which can have serious and long-lasting implications on an individual’s physical and mental health. Fortunately, a local care facility, Homewood Health, is sharing their expertise on combating depression by offering practical tips:
Homewood suggests reflecting on the holidays to keep a positive mindset and identify how you want the year ahead to pan out.
- First, think of what the enjoyable moments were. What were your goals? What did you do? What were you feeling? What went well?
- Then, think about what was important. What can you take away from them? What did you learn about yourself?
- Finally, think about what’s next. What can you do to learn more about them? What could you improve? What could you do differently next time?
- Re-approach your Finances
Set aside a little bit of money each day, or each week. Keep it separate from your everyday spending, so you can see it starting to add up. If you don’t have the cash to spare, but do participate in loyalty programs (such as PC Optimum), and your everyday spending throughout the year might help you get a “reward” when you need it. Save all those points and use them to cover the cost of some of your preparations or on a special gift for next year.
- Find a Reason to Celebrate
Consider starting a new tradition for next year’s celebration. Or, try recording one thing you’re grateful for each day. Share these at a special occasion or event next year.
- Stay Active
Studies show that 20-30 minutes of physical activity a day can help relieve symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Physical activity releases endorphins, a powerful chemical in the brain that energizes and lifts one’s spirits. (YouTube has tons of great at-home workouts).
- Practice Mindfulness
Being mindful of negative thoughts can help to isolate the feelings, and reframe the experience in a constructive manner. By practicing this consistently, individuals may recognize negative thoughts, and work to change the way the experience is perceived, retraining the brain to think more positively over time.
- Get your Zzzzz
Develop a regular sleep schedule to get your body on a regular sleep-rise rhythm. Homewood notes that many people with depression often have symptoms of insomnia, which can impact someone’s ability to fall asleep and often worsens depressive symptoms.
- Give yourself a Boost with Healthy Food
Foods that are high in vitamins and minerals are known to help regulate serotonin levels which may help to reduce symptoms of depression and mood swings. Incorporate some of these foods into your day: B12 and folate (lentils, almonds, spinach, chicken, fish), Omega-3 fatty acids (haddock, salmon, nut oils, algae, cod), Selenium (cod, brazil nuts, walnuts, poultry), Vitamin D (bread, milk, breakfast cereals).
If you or someone you know may be facing extended periods of depression, seek out professional support from a qualified healthcare professional. They will be able to provide you with a range of options from therapies to medications, or lifestyle approaches to alleviate symptoms of chronic depression.
For more information, please contact our Client Services Representatives available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in English or French. All calls are completely confidential. 1-800-663-1142 1-866-398-9505 (Numéro sans frais – en français) 1-888-384-1152 (TTY) 604-689-1717 International (Call Collect)