9 ways to boost your mental health

It may be no surprise to learn that more and more Canadians have dealt with mental health issues over the past couple of years.1 But the good news is more Canadians (53%) feel comfortable discussing their issues with health professionals, family, and on social media.1

While there’s no magic solution to overcoming mental health issues, there are some things you can do to help yourself feel at least a little bit better – and in some cases, a lot better.


  1. Consult your doctor: If you feel like you have signs of anxiety or depression, speak to your doctor. If your doctor diagnoses you with a mental illness, there are medications that can help, and your doctor may advise you to speak to a psychologist or psychiatrist. You can also find online mental health services.
  2. Find ways to connect with people: When you’re feeling down, it’s so important to know that you’re not alone, that there are people out there who want to help you, connect with you, or even who you can help. That could mean something as helpful as a support group. Or, volunteering to help others can make you feel valuable. Joining a club can help you feel a part of something. Even a quick lunch with a friend or family member can make a world of difference.
  3. Get out of the house: Whether you do it alone or with someone special, go to a park, visit the barber or hair salon, go to a movie or play, or visit a museum – whatever feels good to you.
  4. Find a hobby: It’s never too late to learn something new. So, take guitar lessons, learn how to paint landscapes, take up cross-stitching, build model airplanes. Whatever it is, find something that will engage your mind and give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
  5. Laugh: A good laugh can increase, then decrease, your heart rate and blood pressure, giving you a relaxed feeling.2 Put yourself in situations where there’s a strong chance of a good belly laugh. Binge your favourite sitcom, trade jokes with friends, relive funny memories, watch stand-up comedy specials, or google “the funniest books of all time” and read the whole list.
  6. Fall in love with a pet: Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, or maybe a gecko or hamster is more your style, having a pet to care for, talk to, or snuggle with can give you a major mood boost. Walking a dog can even give you a chance to get exercise, fresh air, and meet new people. In a recent survey, an amazing 97% of doctors claimed they saw an improvement in their patients’ mental health when they owned a pet.3
  7. Travel: Fortunately, travel seems to be becoming more of an option once again. Whether you visit a new part of the world or rent a cabin for a weekend, it can feel great to get away from your everyday life and see some new sights.
  8. Treat your body right: Diet and exercise are so important not just to your physical health, but your mental health as well. For exercise, it doesn’t have to be a high-impact workout; even a short walk or tending to your garden can do the trick. As for your diet, minimizing sugar and refined carbs, while adding proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats can all help.
  9. Catch more z’s: Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep if you can. Set yourself up for success with a consistent sleep schedule, a dark, quiet room, and by avoiding alcohol and caffeine, especially at night.
Hopefully these tips will help keep your mental health strong! But if you do one day suffer from mental health issues, Engineers Canada-sponsored Disability Income Replacement Insurance can help you protect your income if you need to take time off work

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