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Mental Health and Safety

It’s Winter. It’s dark. It’s cold. Maybe we like to stay inside and huddle under blankets. That’s awesome. Who doesn’t like blanket forts?

But there is something about the post-holiday season that can be hard to handle. At times, for some, it may feel like it’s going to stay dark forever. Or stay cold forever. But it won’t. I promise.* A good fact to remember is that Saskatchewan is one of the sunniest provinces in Canada.

*Don’t take me up on this promise until at least the end of June.

The sun will come back. It will.We’re hearing a lot of talk about mental health. Workplaces are beginning to acknowledge it. Society is talking more about it. But what does it mean?

Mental health is defined as, “living well and feeling capable despite challenges” and doesn’t mean achieving perfection. Can you handle normal life stressors? Can you adapt and overcome hard times? (Not being able to motivate yourself to get on a treadmill after holiday indulgences does not constitute hard times.)

What does safety have to do with mental health? You wear your personal protective equipment, follow all the rules, and make safe choices every day. Why do you have to think about mental health being tied into safety?

If you are feeling tired, stressed out, on edge, or depressed because life is feeling difficult, you may not make the safest choices. You will probably be distracted by the things running through your head, and either miss a crucial detail or make a careless mistake, perhaps while driving, while operating equipment, or while prepping vegetables. Good mental health equals safe choices.Today it was cold. Tomorrow will be cold. Spring will come soon.

What do you do if you are having a tough time adapting? Ask for help. Talk to someone. if you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911. If not in crisis, here is a list of numbers to call to find the help you need: https://sk.cmha.ca/our-services/finding-help/

Sometimes it may suffice to visit with a loved one or get in some extracurricular activities. Many find that writing helps, time meditating, or finding the right music to lift the spirits. For some, a change of pace is enough to pull them out of a rut.

Regardless of your personal approach, it must be said that the most important thing to realize is that there is always help.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has a list of advice on how to take care of your mental health: https://cmha.ca/documents/mental-health-for-life/

Do you have tips for handling life’s stressors? Please share them.

-Merissa

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