Mental Health is an important element in establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Taking care of our mental health allows one to cope with stressors of day-to-day life.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic compiled resources and tools to support mental health wellness. Consider choosing a category as a starting point. Allow time to explore and process the information.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is the set of habits and practices we incorporate into our daily routine to encourage a good night sleep. A good night sleep supports our mental and physical health, including quality of life. Canada’s Physical Health Guidelines say adults age 18-64 should get between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep (pdf) on a regular basis, with consistent bed and wake-up times. Sleep can improve when healthy habits and practices are incorporated during the day and before you go to bed.

Explore the following resources to learn more and implements some strategies to get you started:

  • Importance of Sleep: Saskatchewan Polytechnic, department of ILDC, discusses the important of sleep and presents strategies to implement today to improve this important element of our wellness.
  • Sleeping with Science: TED series, uncovering facts and practices to a better night sleep.
  • Insight Timer : The #1 free app for sleep, anxiety and stress. Offers thousands of meditations, music tracks, talks and recently added yoga classes and live events.
  • Calm : free to download and includes a collection of meditations, sleep stories, mindfulness tools, nature scenes and music for focus, relaxation and sleep.

Movement and nutrition

Good nutrition fuels our body and provides what we need to function efficiently.  Adequate good nutrition is a key component to fuel your exercise performance. Beyond physical health, adequate nutrition promotes clarify of mind, and concentration. Pair together, it can positively impact our mental well-being.

Health Canada provides a wealth of resources including:
The “health living” section of, shares a meal planning toolkit to make it easier to enjoy home-cooked, healthy meals among main other tips on healthy eating and tasty recipes.
Water helps to carry both nutrients and oxygen to our cells, which in turn, enables our bodies to function efficiently.  Lack of adequate hydration can drain your energy and make you tired. “Making healthy drink choices is as important as your food choices.” says Public Health of Canada.  Check out a variety of ways to make water your drink of choice.   
Physical activity plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Canada’s Physical Health Guidelines say adults age 18-64 need 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can be broken in to 10 minutes intervals or greater.

Regular physical activity, in all forms, is something that research has proven to be beneficial both physically and mentally. 

The key to engaging in physical activity is to:

  1. Participate in a physical activity that you enjoy! This may require exploring a few options before finding one that you resonate with and enjoy.
  2. Create a routine and track your progress! Consider setting a daily reminder to prioritize your time. Dedicate a time that works for you to add uninterrupted movement in your day. A tracking app can be great motivator to track and reflect on your progress.
  3. Join a community of like-minded individuals.  Wellness challenges, team sports, and clubs are great ways to make new friends (even virtually) and have fun stay active.
  4. Reduce Sedentary time: Sedentary behaviour is basically sitting for a long period of time.  Every step counts! Instead of opting of TV time, take a stroll/roll through the park and enjoy some fresh air. 
To learn more about the benefits of movement and mental health, explore these resources to get you started.

Video resources:
Apps and Social Media offering free fitness and exercise programs:
Reading resources:
  • encourages Canadians to get active.  It an interactive webpage with a fun navigation system to explore the many benefits of movement.

Mental health

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is committed to your mental health. Here is a fluid list of resources to support you. If looking for information on a particular topic, try one of the following resources.

  • Resource list highlighting various mental health topics
  • TherapyinaNutshell videos: A licensed therapist whose goal it is to make mental health information easy to understand and accessible. She has created dozens of short videos on topics such as anxiety, trauma, depress, our self-talk, sleep and more.
Resiliency consists of the ability to apply resources, strategies, and skills to continue personal wellness and adapt to changing situations. By consistently applying self-care tools, calm and resilience can be improved.

Videos and Podcast

Websites and readings
Depression can be confusing and scary but is not an uncommon experience. In a 2016 survey of Canadian post-secondary students, 21% of respondents said that depression negatively affected their academics.  Depression is highly treatable.

What is Depression? is a Ted Talk by Helen Farrell outlining an explanation on the difference between clinical depression and feelings of depression, examining symptoms and treatments as well as ways to help a friend or yourself.

Videos, Podcasts, and Apps
Websites and readings
Everyone has feelings of anxiety throughout their lives. As an example, you may feel worried and anxious about an exam or having a medical test or job interview.

If your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, consider connecting with Saskatchewan Polytechnic Counselling Services.

Videos, Podcasts, and Apps
  • Calm : free to download and includes a collection of meditations, sleep stories, mindfulness tools, nature scenes and music for focus, relaxation and sleep.
  • Insight Timer : The #1 free app for meditation and stress. Offers thousands of meditations, music tracks, talks and recently added yoga classes and live events.
  • Mindshift CBT : a free Canadian based app that uses scientifically proven strategies to help manage anxiety.
  • Simple Strategies to Cope with Anxiety Disorder
  • What is the Cycle of Anxiety? User-friendly, easily understandable introduction to the way that anxiety can spiral.
Websites and readings
Stress is a part of everyday life and is not necessarily negative. Some stress, eustress, can aid in completing tasks and carrying out goals. Distress, however, is when stress has become problematic, or maladaptive, causing personal strain and affecting overall wellness. 

Videos, podcasts and apps Websites and readings
Crisis Services Canada is available by phone at 1-833-456-4566 and text 45645 or dial 911 for immediate support.

Connecting with others

Community is a fellowship, a sense of belonging, connection and support. It is the connection we have with others. These aspects support our mental well-being. Saskatchewan Polytechnic is a community. We connect with each other through education, supports and social engagement. 

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is a community. We connect with each other through education, supports and social engagement. Many services and supports offer unique ways to connect and support our well-being.  Have you explored?
Self-reflection can be a valuable exercise in identifying communities you currently connect with and explore new opportunities.

Consider the following questions as an opportunity to self-reflect:
  • What values and beliefs are important to me?
Personal values are important to us, motivate us and guide our decisions.  Our values help create the future we want to experience.  When values are shared, a community exists. Similar with our beliefs, perhaps a spiritual connection or political cause can connect you with community of like-minded beliefs.   
  • Consider your profession and/or educational path to profession, why did you decide on that path?
For example: Do you value health, adventure, justice, precision, compassion, success?

Someone who values Kindness, for example, may be generous and want share time and resource to help others.  Volunteering and fundraising communities may resonate. Pairing kindness with other values and beliefs may guide you towards a path of communities.
  • What areas of interest excite me?
The possibilities are endless. Perhaps you are interested in reading, explore a book club. Or you always wanted to learn how to paint, join a virtual community of based in the arts.  Similarly, do you have fitness and sporting interest?  Consider joining a club of like-minded individuals within your geographic location.

Human being, by nature, crave connection.  The key is to engage in meaningful connections.

Priya Parker is the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters.
Words of gratitude and acts of kindness are another approach to feeling connected.

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