Mental Heath Solutions(Part 2)
In my last Blog, I focused on some strategies I personally use to keep myself myself mentally well and remain in a positive state of mind. If you missed my last blog on 7 Strategies For Mental Well Being, you can access it here:https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/how-are-you-coping-7-strategies-for-mental-well-being/
Since May is Mental Health Awareness month, I thought it would be appropriate to once again focus on Mental Health and Well Being. My message this week is quite simple – reach out for help or assistance if you need it. There are so many great resources out there for us to reach out to a professional when we need it and in today’s world this can be done virtually through video consults.
As we continue this battle against Covid, I have seen some very disturbing studies when it comes to Mental Health and well being. Levels of clinical depression have quadrupled since the beginning of Covid and 82% of people have experienced increased anxiety levels.
Last week I focused on the mental strategies that have helped me stay mentally and emotionally well over the last year in particular. I had a number of my readers send me emails and notes thanking me for prompting them toward new behaviours or a friendly reminder of the things they should be practicing on a daily basis. I also had a couple of comments on two areas that I missed as part of my suggestions so thought I would include these today. Namely, the other areas that my readers suggested helped them were the importance of Social Interaction as well as Sleep on our Mental Well Being.
We all know the importance of staying social and surrounding ourselves with a strong social network. I know that personally it has been super important to reach out to family and friends in order to stay connected. In fact Barb recently celebrated her birthday so we had a 4 hour family birthday party (virtual for all parties of course). I have made a concerted effort this past year to reach out and stay connected to friends as much as possible. I personally have felt that this has helped me as typically we are getting together with friends for dinner, going on trips, going to sporting events such as football games or simply meeting to watch sports. As we all know, these have clearly been off the table this past year so from my perspective, the next best thing has been to connect by phone or virtually. Like you, I can’t wait to get together socially with friend’s again, go to sporting events, go for dinner, go to concerts however right now I am doing what I can to stay connected – virtually.
In my recent book release, I outline the importance of keeping our Wheels Of Health in balance – namely Nutrition, Movement, Mindfulness and Sleep. I had a reader last week suggest that one of the area’s they have tried to focus on during this difficult time to stay mentally well has been to focus on sleep. I could not agree more. Sleep is when our body regenerates and heals – both mentally and physically.
I recently read an amazing book from Matthew Walker entitled Why We Sleep. This book just reinforced the importance of sleep for our overall well being, healing and Mental Health. I know personally that when I have a good restful sleep it keeps my other “Wheels” in balance as I have the energy to have my workout, I eat healthier foods and feel less stress.
Measure Your Sleep for your Mental Health
One of the things I have done over the past year is really pay attention to my sleep patterns and how much sleep I am getting. There are a number of different tech tools available that help us measure the quantity and quality of our sleep such as Apple watch, Aura ring or Whoop. I have personally used Whoop over the past few years and it opened my eyes in terms of how I am sleeping as well as what negatively affects my sleep.
One of the “eye openers” for me was that I actually “sleep” about 1 hour less than I am in bed due to me waking, falling to sleep, or tossing and turning. Prior to measuring my sleep, if I went to bed at 11:00 and woke at 7:00 a.m., I was under the false impression that I had slept for 8 hours. Since measuring my sleep results, it became apparent that using this same example, I actually sleep an hour less so was only getting 7 hours of actual sleep. Once realizing this, I have tried to make it a habit to get to bed one hour earlier so that I am actually getting closer to the 8 hours sleep that I feel I need for optimal performance. Therefore I would encourage you to look at any sleep measuring device to help you measure your sleep or put into practice what I have personally done and get to get bed an hour earlier than regular if you feel your sleep is compromised.
Reach Out To Professionals
Although Mental Wellness techniques that I discuss above plus in my last blog help our Mental Health, there are many circumstances where it is super important to reach out for help. I have personally had close friends and family members experience serious Mental Health issues and there is no replacement for reaching out to professionals for help.
At Advica Health, we introduced a Mental Health Navigation service in Feb 2020 which was when Covid was taking hold of the world. The service avoids long wait times and connects our members with Mental Health professionals on a timely basis. I am sad to say that this has been one of the most utilized services that is offered under the Advica umbrella of services so there is obviously a real need for the service. On the other hand, I am so pleased that we are able to help so many of our members and their families deal with the Mental Health issues through 0ur navigation nurses connecting them with the appropriate professionals to help them get the right treatment at the right time.
Many Other Resources Available – Please Share
There are many other Mental Health resources that are available to people and I wanted to share these so that you, your family or your co workers know that there are resources available. I ask that you kindly share this valuable connection information with anyone that you feel could benefit by this information. I have included this list of resources available at the bottom of this blog.
You Are Not Alone – Reach Out
You are not alone if you are experiencing an increase in anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. As I mentioned earlier, 82% of Canadians have experienced an increase in stress or anxiety since the beginning of Covid. Additionally, levels of depression have more than quadrupled from 2% to 10% over the past year.
If you, your family members, employees or co workers are experiencing any mental health issues, I ask that you please reach out to all the resources that are available.
2.Pay Attention To Your Sleep
3.Reach Out To Resources When Needed
Wishing you and your family all the best in Health and Happiness,
Mental Health Resources Available