Mental health is MORE than the absence of mental health problems. As human beings we need to be mentally and emotionally healthy in order to function properly.
Here are some tips and calming strategies to adopt into your daily life to help improve your mood, enjoy life more, and become resilient:
1. Light smudge and say a prayer. The smell alone helps calm you and makes you feel grounded. Aim to smudge daily.
2. Surround yourself with people whom you have positive connections with and who uplifts you.
Remember to be a person to others the way you would want someone to be for you. Uplift others, listen to them in times of need, and help them when you can.
3. Be physically active once daily. Physical activity releases endorphins which helps relieve stress, improves memory, and helps you sleep better.
Try the following and tailor it to your liking:
• Work out – you do not need equipment or a fancy gym to work out
o Click here for a no equipment workout: https://www.self.com/gallery/20-minute-no-equipment-total-body-workout
• Go for a walk or run
• Dance to your favourite music
• Dance pow-wow
• Yoga – here is a link for beginner yoga: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/beginner-yoga
• Go biking or any activity that requires leg work
4. Learn how to keep your stress levels in check:
• Talk to someone – venting helps minimize the weight of stress
• Make leisure time a priority
• Make time for contemplation and appreciation of what you do have
• Try positive self-talk
• Practice deep breathing or muscle relaxation techniques
5. Eat a healthy diet to support strong mental health.
Try foods such as:
• Vegetables – dark green, orange, and leafy are best
• Fruits – especially berries
• Grains such as bread, bannok, oatmeal, cereal, pasta, and rice
• Dairy such as milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs
• Beans such as black/red beans, and chickpeas.
• Meat such as moose, deer, rabbit, chicken, and beef.
• Fish and shellfish
• Other foods such as peanut butter, orange juice, oil and butter’s to cook food with.
Click here for a complete Food Guide made for Indigenous needs: https://foodsecurecanada.org/sites/foodsecurecanada.org/files/2007_fnim-pnim_food-guide-aliment_e.pdf
You can also talk to a doctor about supplementing vitamins and minerals to help you feel your best!
For example, say you do not have access to fish, or you just don’t like the taste, ask your family doctor about prescribing you a supplemental intake of fish oils which provides Omega-3’s important for brain health among other benefits.
Not getting enough sun exposure? Add vitamin D into your diet.
6. Do not stay up late or skip out on sleep. Create a bedtime routine to help your mind and body unwind after a long day.
Try the following:
• Shut off any screens 2 hours prior to bedtime
• Drink warm decaffeinated tea such as chamomile
• Take a relaxing bath
• Listen to soothing music
• Stick to a regular sleep schedule daily
• Make sure your room is dark, cool, and quiet or add white noise such as a fan or sleep music – whichever you prefer
7. Practice safe and positive online activity:
• Do not engage in arguments on social media posts instead ignore and continue on with your day
• Report, delete, or block individuals who are being negative towards you
• Participate in content such as websites and videos that are positive!
8. Be creative.
• Learn how to sew or bead.
• Learn how to do quillwork
• Learn how to make moccasins or dream-catchers
• Paint, draw, or doodle
• Bake or cook a meal
Here is a list of Apps that can help with resilience, mental health, and life:
1. MoodKit – based off Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps boost your mood using activities like thought checking and journaling.
2. Breath2Relax – learn diaphragmatic breathing skills that will help with mood, anxiety, and anger.
3. Pacifica – specifically for helping with anxiety.
4. Calm – calm has been found useful in coaching mediation and helping with sleep.
5. BoosterBuddy – Manage your personal wellness journey and earn achievements as your sidekick guides you through a series of daily quests designed to establish and sustain positive habits.
For more apps click here: