No matter the mental health concern, there are good mental health support for you online or in-person, such as:
You can also think about building a self-care plan if you are facing stress related to a traumatic life event.
Looking after your health and staying healthy is important! Getting enough, good quality sleep; being active and reducing the amount you sit; and eating healthy, all matter and will...
- Enhance your quality of life, mood, and ability to think
- Improve your bone health and physical function
- Lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, several cancers, anxiety, depression, dementia, falls, and injuries from falls
Are you getting enough sleep?
- When we sleep, we are letting our minds and bodies rest and restore. This is important for overall health, including mental health.
- The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines provides guidance on how much sleep is you need.
- Adults and Seniors 65+
- 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep on a regular basis
- Children and youth (aged 5–17 years)
- Consistent sleep 9 to 11 hours per night for 5- to 13-year-olds
- Consistent sleep 8 to 10 hours per night for 14- to 17- year-olds
- 0 to 4 years of age need a lot more sleep, see the guidelines.
Tips for a good sleep
- Avoid or reduce caffeine after 2PM
- Relax and aim to have a dark bedroom setting
- Avoid screens 30-60 min before bed
- Have the same sleep and wake times daily
Are you active and reducing the amount of time you are sitting and being inactive? Being active the whole day counts!
- Physical health and mental health are closely linked.
- Being physically active can help you to feel good, reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk for illness.
- Pick an activity that you enjoy and think about asking a friend or neighbour to join you!
- The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines provides guidance for every age. Some key things for
Adults and Seniors 65+
- Move more by taking part in moderate to brisk activity that breaks a sweat, gets your heart pumping, and adds up to at least 150 minutes per week (or at least 2 ½ hours per week).
- Moderate activity breaks a sweat, and you are breathing a bit harder (e.g., a brisk walk, jogging, skating, downhill skiing, vacuuming)
- Brisk activity breaks a sweat, you breathe harder, and it may be hard for you to talk (e.g., running, soccer, biking, squash, wheelchair sports)
- Try activities that will strengthen your muscles at least twice a week.
- Try climbing stairs, digging in the garden, lifting weights, push-ups, curl-ups, squats
- For 65+ (but every person can benefit) include activities that test balance
- Yoga, tai-chi, standing on one leg, getting up and down from a chair without using arms
- Reduce the amount of time you are sitting and are inactive to less than 8 hours a day.
- Aim to have no more than 3 hours of screen time.
- Avoid sitting for too long and get up and move more often.
- Have several hours of light physical activities (e.g., strolling, cooking), including standing (getting up from your chair more often; or standing to watch something rather than sitting)
Children and youth (aged 5–17 years)
- Move more by taking part in moderate to brisk activity that breaks a sweat and gets your heart pumping and adds up to at least 60 minutes per day (or at least 1 hour per day).
- Try activities that will strengthen muscles and bones at least 3 days per week.
- Also include several hours of all kinds of planned and unplanned light physical activities
Infant and Toddlers (0 to 4 years)
Are you mindful about where, when, why, how and what you eat? Mental health is complex, and diet can help with depression, mood disorders, and anxiety as shown in the article about Mental Health and Nutrition.
The first area of guidance from Canada’s Food Guide is more than the types of foods you eat which can lead to better mental health and mood. Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. It is also about where, when why and how you eat.
Also read, Let’s Improve our Mood with Food, packed full of information about our food choices, and the impact they have on how we feel.
Below is the second key area from Canada’s Food Guide to guide you in WHAT to eat for physical health to help reduce diet related illness (e.g., some cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.). Any diet related illness can also impact your mental health.
- Spending time with others, in person or in another way, will lead to connecting more with others.
- We are social beings and connecting and staying connected to people is good for our mental health.
- Social connection can reduce stress and give one a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging. Even short, positive contacts can be helpful!
Read more about how social connection is the cure to loneliness.
How can you start connecting with other people?
- Volunteer or do something thoughtful or kind for another person. Helping others can have a positive impact on you too.
- Spend more quality time with family and friends.
- Join a group, club, or class related to an interest or hobby (books, art, sports).
- Spend time with others in nature.
- Go for a walk with another person (a neighbour, co-worker, friend, family member).
- Express gratitude to others (e.g., write a note or card and send it or give someone a call)
- Volunteer with an organization or local group.
- Get involved in your community (e.g., the food bank, school or library reading program, etc.)
- Provide social support to others (e.g., listening to a friend dealing with a problem).
- Get to know your neighbors.
- Invite a neighbour or friend for a tea/coffee or cold drink.
- If you cannot be with others in person, connect by phone or texting or FaceTime/ video call.
If you are not feeling like yourself, it can be helpful to talk to another person about that. Check out this video on how to talk about your mental health. Remember that having social support is a protective factor for positive mental health!
Check out our Mental Health Support page for more information and resources.