Winter can often feel like the cold will never end, and it can be hard to find energy in this season. As we move forward from the holiday season, the sadness often starts settling in, and we start feeling the impact of the short days and cold weather.
CEO of Eden Health Care, Brad Unger, has suggestions for people struggling with mental health.
There are a number of strategies he recommends for people trying to improve their energy. One of the things he suggests is trying a new activity or spending more time with loved ones.
“Listening to a new type of music or artist, going outside, going for walks with friends, going skating this time of year, or trying to get to sleep earlier.”
On the other hand, he says it might be better for some people to take away an activity, as it can feel less overwhelming.
“There are times where adding something in or trying something new just feels like one more thing you have to try and squeeze into your already busy schedule,” he says. “So at times, it's helpful to think of the things you can just subtract, and that's often going to be a way to give yourself a boost.”
He notes having a little less screen time or less social media time can help.
“Or that one less episode before bedtime so you can get to sleep a little earlier.”
Paying more attention to your diet can help as well.
“Put a little less sugar in the coffee. Try to pay attention to your diet and your health. Eat certain foods a little bit less.”
When things are tough and you are struggling with your mental health, it’s always suggested to reach out to friends, family, or someone you trust.
“Also reach out to counseling therapists or your doctor if you're having some struggles with your mental health. Don't do it alone and get some support.”
On the other hand, if you're feeling good during this time of year, remember to reach out to somebody.
Even just a simple ‘hello, how are you doing’ can make somebody's day.
“You never know how just a simple message reaching out can make such a great impact.”
Unger notes that in the last few years, the stigma around mental health has decreased as more people are talking about it.
As there is less stigma, there has been more discussion that comes up in the news and social media.
“So there's a growing sense of comfort and awareness in talking about it. It's okay that we don't always feel okay. Mental health is a part of our health.”
Unger says that we seek support in health for our physical health issues, so let's do likewise when it comes to mental health issues.
“It's encouraging that it's becoming more common, and we're seeing that as folks are reaching out to the resources that we have to offer at Eden Mental Health Services.”
He notes there are a lot of celebrities that are mental health advocates who help decrease the stigma.
“If it's a certain athlete that can spark conversations in our families, amongst our friend groups, that then helps us become leaders to spark those conversations and to check in with folks.”
Unger is looking forward to continuing discussions around mental health and is glad they can provide the many services that they do at Eden Health Care.
This is Pembina Valley Mental Health Week, supported by Loadline, Morden Fire & Rescue and the City of Winkler. Through Friday, special guests will be joining the Country88 and Eagle 93.5FM Morning Shows to discuss mental health and wellness from a variety of angles.
With files from Dave Anthony