January

The history/origin of the question mark - Where did it come from?
                    

Am I OK?         


During the holiday season, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of having some down time and looking forward to the new year, only to come crashing down once we return to our daily routine at home and at work.  That is why it is important to start little habits now that support your mental health so you can keep your battery charged throughout the year. 

Start by treating your mental health as you would your physical health — check in with yourself daily and see where you could adjust your lifestyle to support your journey.

Remember to always consult with your medical professional when necessary or call 911 in case of an emergency.


                                          How Am I Doing?


It is a question most of us have likely asked ourselves, especially during the pandemic.  It has distressed us, upended us, and disconnected us.  Maybe you asked this question when two bad days turned into four, or when you lost something or someone and the grief never abated. Maybe you asked this question when sadness edged toward hopelessness, when you grew tired of "treading water", or when you recognized the face in the mirror but no longer felt like yourself.  People are often reminded to check in with others when they notice someone struggling. "Just reach out",
we say, but what about reaching in?

Mental health experts say everyone should perform regular mental health checks to assess their own well-being. There is a process for determining if you are OK, and it is not any different than what you would do if you were concerned about someone you love. 

        

  Let's learn some tips on how to perform a mental health check

 

 

Find Someplace Quiet


It can be hard to listen to what our brains are telling us when we are working, caring for others or distracted. 
We are so used to multi-tasking that we do not give ourselves space to sit down and reflect. 

Scheduling time for yourself is going to be an important component.


Start with the Big Picture Question


An important measure of well-being is whether you are able to function in daily life.
One of the biggest indicators is whether a person is having real trouble in their day-to-day routines.

Are you able to fulfill your role as a mom/dad, a teacher, a spouse, a daughter/son?  If you are really struggling in areas that you did well before, that is a sign things may be off track.


Look at your Feelings and Behaviors


Experts say no two people have the same baseline normal, so it is important to look for changes in your mood.  Ask yourself--  

How have my behaviors changed?  How have my feelings changed?  Am I avoiding people?  Do I still find joy in the things that once brought me joy?  Am I being irritable or snapping at people?  Am I feeling more down than usual?  Am I catastrophizing more than I usually do?

Consider the duration of your symptoms; everyone has bad days.  From a diagnostic point of view, if you are feeling down for longer than two weeks, it may be cause for concern and time to seek professional help.


Look at Your Body


Our bodies try and communicate with us when our brains are not well. Mental health and physical health are inextricably linked. You should ask yourself:

How am I sleeping?  Am I eating well?  Am I grinding my teeth?  Do I feel muscle tension in my neck or shoulders?  Am I being active the way I usually am? 



An Ambulance Is Parked With It Emergency Lights On At Night High-Res Stock  Video Footage - Getty ImagesDon't Wait Until Things Get BAD


In a perfect world, people would do mental health checkups even when they are not struggling. It is much easier to prevent a crisis then it is to climb out of one. 

The same way we see our physician annually for a physical exam to make sure  everything is still working well, is how we need to approach our emotional well-being too.



For a printable version of January's Safety Share, click here File (637 KB)

 

If you are a University of Regina employee who receives benefits through Homewood Health and would like some advice, counselling or other mental wellness treatments, Homewood Health is there to support you!

Call them anytime 24/7 @ 1-800-663-1142 or check out their website https://homeweb.ca.

 


Rob McCaffrey, Mental Health Advisor
Phone:  306.585.5248         Email:  rob.mccaffrey@uregina.ca
PA 123 – Student Wellness Centre