“We can’t direct the winds but we can adjust our sails”

by Kathy Tomecek, Public Health Nurse

What does it mean to be mentally healthy?  When we are mentally healthy it means we are able to enjoy life. We can manage our lives in ways that help us reach our goals and to cope with stress. It is about having a sense of spiritual and emotional wellbeing.

We all experience times when we feel our mental health is being challenged. We all go through disappointment, loss and change. Troubled relationships, financial problems, health issues, school, and work are just some the common day to day challenges we can face. We can’t insulate ourselves from the world but we can do things to help ourselves be more resilient. Resilience helps us bounce back from adversity and stress.

To help become more resilient during these challenging times you can start by adding just one simple thing into your day. This simple thing can make a huge difference to your mental health. It is something you can start doing at your own pace and best of all, after a short period of time, you will feel more alive, less stressed, and happier. This one simple thing is getting more physically active, and you can start by walking.

Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise.  When we combine it with nature, the changes that happen to our brain and body are even greater. By making time for a walk every day you will become both physically and mentally healthier.

For some, keeping a walking journal helps make this new daily ritual stick. Include in your journal the new things you seen and heard, or friendly interactions you might have had along the way. Whether you use a journal to track your activity or not, the important thing is that you are active and whenever possible this time is spent outdoors.

The next time you are feeling stressed, or if just want to clear your mind and re-energize, take a break from your day and go for a walk outside. Your health is worth it.

For more information contact CK Public Health at 519.352.7270

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