A long Covid winter is at our doorstep, and with it comes concerns about mental health. If you’re feeling more stressed, anxious and fearful, you’re not alone.
Research by the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reveals that since the onset of the pandemic, 50% of Canadians report worsening mental health. People are struggling with fear and uncertainty about their own health and their loved ones’ health, and concerns about employment, finances and social isolation. 81% of Canadian workers say the pandemic is negatively impacting their mental health. The health crisis is magnifying or exacerbating mental-health problems.
A colleague and friend recently opened up about his mental illness and how he manages. In his own words, here are some of Howard’s essential habits to keep him mentally fit.
Mood monitor. The most important thing for me is to be able to monitor myself. Like a diabetic has to check their blood sugar, I have to check my emotional state on a regular basis. I monitor my moods closely. I check in and ask myself, "How am I feeling today?"
Maintain medications. For me, medications are my foundation. I stay on top of my meds. If I don't have my mood stabilisers, I can’t do the rest of the things I need to do to stay healthy. That includes maintaining a regular sleep schedule, because that’s a huge thing with mental illness.
Stay on top of bills and financial obligations. I make sure the bills are paid so I don’t have to worry about them. It’s not fun, but once I take care of my bills, I don't have to sit and have anxiety when I'm trying to fall asleep.
Get groomed. It may be underrated, but grooming has become a part of my self-care. After I take a shower, get my haircut, I feel so much better about myself.
Howard speaks openly about bipolar disorder and what he calls his "adventures" with mental illness. Listen to our conversation on the latest episode of More Talent Untapped wherever you get your podcasts.