If you’re reading this, you’re probably no stranger to the benefits of online education.
It’s self-directed, and you can study anytime and anywhere. But all of that self-determination needs to be balanced with self-care. We are committed to supporting the mental health needs of our students and teachers.
Today is Bell Let’s Talk day, a day dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada through awareness and action. We want to share some ideas to improve your mental health, and tell you about the health and wellness services we offer.
Always remember there’s a team of real people at the VHS office, and we are determined to help you succeed!
7 ideas to improve your mental health
- Express gratitude. The practice of focusing on what you have instead of what you lack is consistently associated with greater contentment and happiness (Harvard Health Publishing).
- Meditate. Researchers from John Hopkins University collated 19,000 meditation studies and suggested that mindful meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain. Short meditation breaks are all you need! You could try an app like Calm, or have a look at the free resources here.
- Eat well. They say you are what you eat, and there is an emerging link between food and mental health. Your body and brain need a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy.
- Take a walk. Walking alone or with friends improves your mood, the quality of your sleep, your memory, your energy levels, and your overall health and sense of well-being.
- Take a nap. Short naps are a great way to recharge. They have been found to increase mental alertness and improve your immune system, memory, and ability to absorb new information.
- Laugh. Laughter was your first language. As babies, we laugh long before we ever speak. Hang out with your hilarious friend, google “funny cat videos“—whatever it takes to get yourself lol-ing.
- Exercise. Exercising improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods. It’s also been found to alleviate symptoms such as social withdrawal and low self-esteem. Regular exercise (30 mins, 5 times per week) can lead to better sleep, stress relief, improvements in mood, more energy and stamina, reduced tiredness, and increased mental alertness. You don’t have to start running marathons or lifting weights. A daily walk is exercise too.
VHS works with Kids Help Phone to support our Canadian students. If you ever need to talk to someone, you can reach out anonymously. No matter what you want to talk about, a professional counsellor will listen without judgment. Just know that it’s totally private, and that this support is available 24/7.
- Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Free Texting Service: Text CONNECT to 686868
- Live Chat: www.kidshelpphone.ca (select “Chat” at bottom of screen)
- Always There App: available for iOS or Android, in English or French
Are you an international student? Please visit Child Helpline International to find a helpline near you.