The past year has been exhausting and emotional. From health concerns to social isolation to financial stress, there’s been a lot to adapt to. And for communicators, rapidly changing conditions have made our jobs especially challenging.
If you’ve been feeling down, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, 38% of Canadians say their mental health has declined due to COVID-19. Whether you’re struggling or simply recognize the need for some self care, we’ve put together a list of resources to help you improve your mental health.
Why we like it: The popular meditation app is a game-changer for those looking to take a quiet moment to observe their thoughts and feelings. With meditations as short as 3 minutes, it’s easy to fit into your schedule no matter how busy you are. Plus, meditation has numerous benefits including reduced anxiety and depression, increased mental resilience, and increased satisfaction with life. The app also has tools to help you sleep, focus, and exercise.
Bonus: At the time of this writing, Headspace is offering 30% off an annual membership.
Why we like it: The website offers a spectrum of free support options, from self-help resources to peer support to one-on-one counselling. How is it able to offer free services? Wellness Together Canada receives funding from the Government of Canada, and was created in response to the rise in mental health and substance use concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re unsure where to start, the resource selector on their homepage can help.
Bonus: By creating an account, you can get personalized recommendations and track your progress towards your wellness goals.
3. Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Why we like it: The CMHA has specific tips for coping with financial uncertainty, managing anxiety, and taking care of yourself. It also offers free wellness programs such as BounceBack, which is designed to help youth and adults manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, or worry. The results speak for themselves—90% of BounceBack participants would recommend the program to family or friends.
Bonus: The COVID-19 mental health check in gives you a chance to reflect on how you’re feeling, and recommends personalized resources based on your responses.
Why we like it: This website is a one-stop shop to learn more about substance abuse and mental illnesses. It provides a definition, as well as helpful articles for managing mental health and substance abuse problems in everyday life. Not only that, you also have the opportunity to learn from others experiencing similar issues in the “stories” section.
Bonus: The Q&A section is answered by experts in mental health and substance abuse. It’s full of answers to real-life questions, from how to find a healthcare provider to how to support someone else.
5. Various good news outlets
Why we like it: If you’re not ready or don’t feel the need for specific mental health support, there’s still great ways to boost your mood. Escape the negative news cycle by purposely injecting some positivity into your feed. Here are some of our favourite instagram accounts:
Bonus: Help boost the mood of others by sharing positivity and things you’re grateful for—even if they’re small.
We hope these resources will help you on your journey towards improved mental health. Of course, these are just a starting point and we encourage you to find the resources that best meet your needs!
If you are in crisis, distress, or are having thoughts of suicide, please contact The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
Visit the IABC/BC Blog for more stories around mental health this week.