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Tips For Supporting Mental Health

April 13, 2020

When we experience times of increased stress and anxiety, it’s important to reach out for support and take steps to support our mental health. The health care professionals at Save-On-Foods are committed to helping you get the food and medications your family needs to stay healthy.

Did you know 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental health concerns like anxiety and depression? Our pharmacists can help provide advice on medications to treat anxiety and depression, and can identify any drug-to-drug interaction with these medications including over the counter vitamins, supplements and herbs.

Certain supplements, skin care products, and calming scents like lavender can help to boost our mood and encourage relaxation. Some helpful products to consider having on hand for supporting our overall mental and physical health are Multi-Vitamins, Omega 3, B Complex, Vitamin D, Ginseng, Chamomile, Lavender and Lemon Balm.

Be sure to check all vitamins, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure if they’re appropriate for your specific health conditions.

Physical Distancing Doesn’t Have to Mean Feeling Alone

Home is where we are seeking refuge and comfort right now, but communicating with others, maintaining healthy relationships and maintaining a strong social network is more important now than ever, so get creative with ways to stay connected.

Our top tips:

  • Read bedtime storybooks to your grandchildren via face-time and create some beautiful memories.
  • Do a Skype or video call workout with a friend, or challenge them to an online cook-off.
  • Set a regular time for face-time contact with your friends or parents.
  • Play online word games with your niece or nephew.

10 Ways To Feel Better Right Now

Go Outside if You Can

If you have a balcony or backyard, spending some time outside will help to lift your mood. Many people are taking this time to learn about starting some seeds indoors so that they can grow some healthy herbs or veggies in a planter box this year.

Help Someone

Reaching out to help a senior by picking up their groceries along with your own, will make their day as well as yours.

Try a New Recipe

Make it a fun challenge to find a nourishing new recipe that uses ingredients you already have in your fridge/cupboard/freezer. As you take stock of what’s hiding in the back of your cupboards you may even get inspired to organize and label your spices. Bringing order to your cupboards can provide a deep sense of satisfaction and you may find that special serving bowl you’ve forgotten all about.

Start a Self-Care Routine

Do yoga, listen to a podcast, download a meditation app, or put on a cleansing facemask as you relax in a soothing hot bath with calming lavender bath salts. Take some alone-time to relax and refresh yourself, enabling you to be better able to support your loved ones too. Practicing some deep breaths throughout the day can be beneficial.

Keep Moving

Release those feel-good endorphins by getting regular exercise, and there’s lots of ways to keep moving inside your home without breaking something! Yoga or stretching helps to strengthen the body and even vacuuming or decluttering will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Put on your favourite music and dance while you clean, or go up and down the stairs 3 times rather than once.

Give Your Brain a Workout Too

Meditation is easy to do at home and has been used for centuries to help relieve anxiety and depression and promote good health. Download an app and give it a try.

Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption

Excessive caffeine can lead to jitters, increased anxiety and sleep problems, and overuse of alcohol can have a negative impact on mood management too. Try a soothing cup of chamomile tea, or as the weather warms up, brew and chill a pot of chamomile tea and add mint leaves for a refreshing and satisfying beverage as you relax and read a book. Instead of pop, try natural sparkling waters available in a variety of flavours.

Try to Reduce Consumption of Social Media or News TV.

There’s a lot of information that can make us more nervous right now, if we absorb too much of it. Check in on the news just once per day to prevent being overwhelmed or spending too much time dwelling on negative thoughts. Make sure you are getting your information from credible sources such as the WHO, Canadian Health Services and the BCCDC.

The latest information related to the outbreak can be found on these agencies’ websites.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus

Don’t Forget Your Medications

It is important to stay on track with any medications as prescribed by your Doctor to maintain your health in a stable manner.

Start a Gratitude Journal or Mind Map

Many people experience very positive mood benefits and a feeling of great satisfaction by following a daily practice of journaling what they are grateful for. Start each day by writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for, or exercise your creativity by starting a mind map as a fun way to plan and look forward to better times.

Supporting Mental Health with Nutritious Food

You can support your mental health with an overall balanced and nutritious diet too. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean and plant-based proteins can help provide the body with vitamins, minerals and fibre.

  • Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain health.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh.
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds contain magnesium, known to help with calmness and sleep.
  • Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha promote a healthy gut, which can benefit your immune system.
  • Consider a bit of dark chocolate for a treat!

And remember, your pharmacy team at Save-On-Foods is standing by to support you with all the friendly, helpful advice that you need.