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 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:
Video resources outlining strategies and facts
Apps aimed at calming the mind and relaxing the body
- 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.
Books and/or blogs to gain additional insight
- Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to sleep your way to a better body, better health, and bigger success. By Shawn Stevenson
- Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day: A doctor’s guide to solving your sleep problems. By Robert Rosenberg DO FCCP
- https://thesleepdoctor.com/blog/ -Michael J Breus. PHDis a clinical psychologist and both a diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Movement and nutrition
Health Canada provides a wealth of resources including:
- Eating on a budget
- Meal planning
- Canada’s Food Guide- and tasty recipes. Here are few samples of the variety:
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:
- Participate in a physical activity that you enjoy! This may require exploring a few options before finding one that you resonate with and enjoy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The brain-changing benefits of exercise, Ted Talk video: Wendy Suzuki shares scientific fact on how working out boost your mood and memory. Wendy’s presentation style is inviting and may leave you feeling the desire to exercise right now!
- 24HR Movement Guidelines for Canadians
- 7M Fitness: a free fitness app offering 7 minutes workouts to get you moving and feeling great.
- PartipACTION: a free app is designed to get Canadians moving and to reward them with awesome prizes.
- Fitness and Recreation (saskpolytech.ca): offer weekly ZOOM yoga and workouts classes, virtual wellness challenges and more.
Stay connected with the Saskatchewan Polytechnic community.
- Saskatchewan Polytech Fitness on Demand- YouTube
- 24HR Movement Guideline: Canada has developed 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, providing guidance on the optimal amount of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep – and the best combination of these behaviors – for Canadians of all ages.
- Participaction.com encourages Canadians to get active. It an interactive webpage with a fun navigation system to explore the many benefits of movement.
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.
Increase you calm and resilience
Videos and Podcast
- Mindful Breathing Meditation (5 Minutes)
- Resilience: Saskatchewan Polytechnic, department of ILDC, discusses resilience and presents strategies to implement today.
- Stretching and Chasing (podcast): Hear from experts, Brené Brown with Scott Sonenshein, about being scrappy and finding joy, meaning and success in our lives.
- The power of vulnerability by Brene Brown
Websites and readings
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
- Just As I Am Online : A guide to help you reduce feelings of low self-worth.
- The Power of Moments: Why certain experiences have extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Self-Compassion Exercises from Kristin Neff
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
- Calm : free app to download and includes a collection of meditations, sleep stories, mindfulness tools, nature scenes and music for focus, relaxation, and sleep.
- Daily Habits to Prevent Depression During Stressful Times- Coronavirus Covid-19 Depression #WithMe
- 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.
- Live Happy Now: podcast on ideas and research on how to live a happier and more meaningful life.
- MoodMission: an app shown to be effective at decreasing depression and increasing mental well-being. The purpose is to make evidence-based methods easily accessible.
- Products | Thriveport : iOS app, that can track your mood and help improve your thinking habits.
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.
- Relaxation Breathing: enjoy Calm animation of relaxation breathing.
- 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.
Videos, podcasts and apps
- Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute videos addressing COVID 19
- Feminist Survival Project created by identical twins with a gift for honest dialogue and for making science-based information easy to understand. The first two podcasts offer insight into stress versus stressors and completing the stress cycle. They offer a feminist perspective that is helpful to all.
- Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
- Stress Release (Fast)- Anxiety Reduction Technique (Anxiety Skills #19)
- BURNOUT: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
- Mental Health and COVID-19
- The Upside of Stress: Why stress is good for you and how to get good at it by Kelly McGonigal
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.
Sask Polytech supports and services
Consider the following questions as an opportunity to self-reflect:
- What values and beliefs are important to me?
- Consider your profession and/or educational path to profession, why did you decide on that path?
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?
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 and executive producer and host of the podcast: Together Apart.
Words of gratitude and acts of kindness
- Random Act of Kindness foundation focuses on offering free resources and engagement to #MakekindessTheNorm.
- Loving Kindness Meditation: Strengthen feelings of kindness and connection with others is 15-minute meditation focusing one can incorporate daily
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