The Positive Side of Video Games
By: Kelly Graham, MSW, RSW
Often, you’ll hear how bad video games are for society. Many people are quick to blame them for increased violence and other social problems.
Not many people look at the positive side of video games except those that enjoy them the most, but I think it’s important that we take a moment to acknowledge their worth.
I have always loved spending time outdoors in nature.
As a child I have fond memories of catching tadpoles in buckets, and noticing ones that had started to develop tiny little legs and the ones that hadn’t. A few years later I recall building a “girls only” fort in the trees behind my family home and running and playing in the forest with child-like wonder and natural curiosity.
By Kelly Graham, MSW, RS
When you think of tattoos, you may not relate them to mental health. Tattoos can improve a person’s mental health by providing an outlet, making meaning for them, and helping them to process difficult feelings and thoughts.
People with tattoos get them for a variety of different reasons. Some feel that they make you love your body more because the outside better reflects who you are on the inside. They reflect your memories and experiences because you chose them and decided what you want represented on your skin.
By: Laura Groulx, MSW, RSW
Typically, as a parent, you want the best for your child. You want your child to both survive and thrive. The Western society we live in is individualistic, meaning that success is often viewed from an every-man-for-themselves type of perspective.
Because of this, life can feel competitive at times. For instance, perhaps at one time or another you felt that pressure to make it on that sports team, get into that school, land that perfect job, find that perfect relationship… and have that perfectly-behaved-and-over-achieving-child.
THIS IS A TRAP.
By: Cassandra Nordal
This is obviously a scary time for us all. Hour by hour, we are watching our world change so drastically that we are all in a state of constant worry and panic. We have been focusing on the detrimental health risk and factors that this virus is causing, and now, we need to talk about the impact this is having on our mental health.
Dog sledding is a unique and amazing experience that helps you challenge and better yourself both physically and mentally.
"You'll regret not having children."
Actually, no, you won’t if you don’t want them.
Experiences, opportunities, resources, supports and values as well as your own self-awareness are important factors in being able to confidently know what career is a good fit for you.
Nothing evokes anxiety more than getting a “tagged photo” notification without prior knowledge of what might be posted.
If you’re having a negative reaction to someone else’s food choices, try to take a step back and see what it would be like to be in their shoes.
Tidying Up: Why Marie Kondo's Method of Tidying Up Could Help Improve Your Mental Health
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, according to Netflix, it is series of home makeovers in which world-renowned tidying expert, author and parent Marie Kondo helps clients clear out the clutter—and choose joy.
Yoga is not only beneficial for physical health, it also has many qualities that can help encourage positive mental health too.
I bet by reading this title, an individual’s name came to your mind. We spend a lot of hours at work, surrounded by people that we didn’t choose. Nobody gets along with everybody, as we all have different personalities, bad habits, and varying thresholds for bull$%&#. On one hand, working with individuals that we would not have otherwise known can be great fun! Personally, I have formed deep friendships with colleagues I have encountered throughout my life, rooted in commonalities, respect, and shared humour.
However, on the other hand, a disliked colleague can be a source of much stress and irritation. I have spoken with many clients that are feeling overwhelmed with stress due to the behavior of a colleague. It’s important to remember: there’s no need to give another person this much power over you. No one is responsible for our emotions but us, so let’s take back that power! Easier said than done, I know, but here are a few things to try, because simply venting/gossiping to other colleagues won’t change a thing:
Five Mood-Boosting Foods
Are you feeling run down, irritable, or just a little blah? Don’t reach for a tub of ice cream or a big bag of chips. There’s growing evidence that you can boost your mood by simply incorporating select foods into your diet. Diet decisions that improve the rest of the body, also improve the brain’s mental health. Try adding these five mood-boosting foods to your everyday diet.
Salmon - Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse full of omega-3 fatty acids, a key nutrient that our bodies don't produce on their own. Research has shown that consuming fish like salmon with omega-3 fatty acids can even help ease depression.
How to Have a Happy Winter
Although the official first day of spring is tomorrow (March 20th), living in Northern Ontario we are well aware that whether we like it or not, winter typically does not stick to a schedule.
It is no secret that winter is cold, dark and snowy. It is often a chance for people to hibernate, stay in and wait for warmer weather. However, intentionally making an effort to engage in healthy leisure activities and practicing positive self-care can help you enjoy winter and can also help boost your mood during these dreary months.
It is common that individuals notice a decrease in their mood and energy levels during the winter months and this is due to the lack of daylight, colder temperatures and other lifestyle changes like eating habits and decreased socialization. A decrease in mood and energy levels can have a big impact on our day to day lives, how we interact with others, and how we feel about ourselves.
The change in seasons can impact an individual’s mental health. In more serious cases, people can develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is characterized by symptoms similar to depression and commonly presents during fall and winter due to the limited amount of sun exposure and the colder temperatures.
Whether or not you experience changes to your mood based on the change of seasons, it is so important to take the necessary steps to maintain your well-being, especially during the darkest (and coldest) of months.
Handling Fear of Success
What is fear of success?
A fear of success is a fear that you will accomplish all that you set out to, but that you still will not feel happy, content, or satisfied once you reach your goal. It is a belief that you are undeserving of all the good things and recognition that come your way as a result of your accomplishments and successes. It is the opposite of a fear of failure, in that fear of failure is the fear of making mistakes and losing approval. Fear of success is the fear of accomplishment and being recognized and honoured. A fear of success is a lack of belief in your own ability to sustain your progress in your life, and the fear that your progress can self-destruct at any time. A fear of success can result in a lack of effort to achieve goals you have set for yourself, can result in self-destructive behaviour, may affect your ability to make healthy decisions, may result in a lack of motivation to grow, achieve, and to succeed.
Mental Health & Photography
We all experience and cope with mental or emotional struggles at one time or another throughout our lives. This can include stress from school or work, anxiety, depression, or grief and loss. Sometimes it can help to take the time to refocus ourselves and gain perspective on what is happening within our lives. There may be one useful tool in your pocket right now…a camera!
There is much evidence-based research that forms of creativity and art therapy can be valuable tools for emotional wellbeing. Photography is a tool that you can try without being professionally trained, and for some, they find it so rewarding that they continue to develop their skills. Today there are many options for photography including the internal camera on cellphones, automatic point and shoot cameras, digital SLRs, and the like. It is easier than ever to take photos, and through the simple of action of taking a photo, you are taking a moment to stop and be present in the moment and to look at the environment through a new lens or perspective. It is during this moment that can result in changing your day from a negative one to a positive one, or at least, momentarily distracting and calming you from whatever stresses you may be experiencing within your life.
Here are some simple ideas that may help get your creativity flowing:
Photos by Kristen Sohlman
How to Survive Life Transitions
Have you just moved to a new city or community? Have you just started working after having been in school for years? Are you expecting a new baby or getting married? Have you recently lost a beloved family member, friend, or pet?
There are many types of life transitions, and we all experience at least a few of these during our lifetime. I have realized that we often underestimate just how difficult it can be to cope with these changes in our lives, be it a major change or smaller adjustment. Some of these changes can be positive, but still come with many stresses that need to be overcome. While others are a challenge to cope with mentally, and make it difficult for us to find a silver lining.
If you have not yet experienced one of these transitions but are thinking that you will soon, here are some things to be expected:
Work Life Balance
In life, we have many different roles and responsibilities related to work, physical health, a career, family, friends, and time. It is no wonder that sometimes we find ourselves feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It is important to remember that small amounts of stress are healthy and necessary as they help us to be motivated, efficient, helps with good mental focus, and helps us to feel more content and happy within our lives. Whereas having too much stress for a long time results in feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, overloaded, burnt out, and exhausted.
Work life balance does not mean that we are making our priorities between work and other aspects of our lives equal, and instead, that we are meeting our own individual needs in order to perform optimally at work, as well as in the other aspects of our lives.
Steps to Achieve Work Life Balance
Yeah, I’m absolutely one of those jerks on Facebook who is always posting about my wonderful life. You secretly hate me. Admit it.
I post about going running, playing with my dogs, having fun with my kid who always seems to have a great sense of humour, oh, and gratuitous memes.
What you don’t know is that these posts are deliberate. And no, they are not meant to make you feel bad about yourself. In fact, I hope that some of the things I share actually help you along your way, because it is important to me that the newsfeed you see every day is filled with a few more things that make you laugh, make you reflect, or make you feel like you know me well enough to reach out and connect without fearing that I would reject you.
Because I won’t.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, lifestyle, and pandemic support. Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
In support of @kellymentalhealthfndn
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