It's time we break the stigma and encourage conversations around mental health. With Hockey Talks, we want to create an environment where people feel comfortable talking about mental health, so below are resources we found helpful to keep the conversation going.
Tips to Boost Your Mental Health*
1. Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
2. Work your strengths. Do something you're good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.
3. Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint or try a Pinterest project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.
4. Show some love to someone in your life. Close, quality, relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.
5. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." -Maya Angelou. If you have personal experience with mental illness or recovery, share on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr with #mentalillnessfeelslike.
6. Feeling anxious? Take a trip down memory lane and do some coloring for about 20 minutes to help you clear your mind. Pick a design that's geometric and a little complicated for the best effect.
7. Take time to laugh. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy or check out cute videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
8. Go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions.
9. Dance around while you do your housework. Not only will you get chores done, but dancing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases endorphins (the body's "feel-good" chemicals).
10. Go ahead and yawn. Studies suggest that yawning helps cool the brain and improves alertness and mental efficiency.
11. Has something been bothering you? Let it all out…on paper. Writing about upsetting experiences can reduce symptoms of depression.
12. Spend some time with a furry friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone - cortisol, and boosts oxytocin - which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don't have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter.
13. Work some omega-3 fatty acids into your diet-they are linked to decreased rates of depression and schizophrenia among their many benefits. Fish oil supplements work, but eating your omega-3s in foods like wild salmon, flaxseeds or walnuts also helps build healthy gut bacteria.
14. Practice forgiveness - even if it's just forgiving that person who cut you off during your commute. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.
15. Feeling stressed? Smile. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but smiling can help to lower your heart rate and calm you down.
16. Send a thank you note - not for a material item, but to let someone know why you appreciate them. Written expressions of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.
17. Take 30 minutes to go for a walk in nature - it could be a stroll through a park, or a hike in the woods. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being.
18. Do your best to enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine, and apply sunscreen. Sunlight synthesizes Vitamin D, which experts believe is a mood elevator.
10 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health while Social Distancing
Social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become our new way of life. Though an important practice for protecting our physical health, social distancing can create new challenges for our mental health.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. How you feel emotionally can affect your mind and your body. That's why it's important to pay attention to both your mental health and your physical health.