Taking Responsibility for
Our Mental Health
Putting the client in the driver’s seat
Choosing the passengers in the vehicle
• Our Mental Health needs to be part of what we
attend to everyday
• Just like taking care of our physical health requires
us to engage in a number of activities to support
optimum functioning so does our mental health.
• Taking care of our physical health is also a part of taking
care of our mental health
• Eating properly, getting exercise, sleeping well and
attending to physical symptoms by seeking medical help or
having a regular medical check-up are all important
elements of both physical and mental health.
• We are responsible for how we take care of ourselves.
When we don’t take care of ourselves we risk sickness.
• Stress is a big part of the world we live in and stress
contributes to the worsening of mental health symptoms.
• This then necessitates finding activities that we can
implement on a regular basis to reduce stress. The best
way to avoid becoming stressed is to participate in regular
activities that are stress reducing.
• What things do you find enjoyable and relaxing? Can you
bring these into your daily life?
• Examples :
• Running, reading, writing, dancing, singing, sports, working out,
watching a good show or movie, spending time with a good
friend, going out for a meal, listening to music, playing a musical
instrument, taking pictures, going for a walk, going to a
museum, drawing a picture, knitting, beading, putting a model
together, playing with a child, talking on the phone to a good
friend, going to a support group, playing a game and the list can
go on almost indefinitely.
• Enjoying one’s life will contribute to feeling better.
• Some people have difficulty with winter and so we need to
ask ourselves, what can we do in the winter that can help
us cope better with this season.
• Find indoor activities that you enjoy. Many of the above
activities can be done indoors. Go to the library and look
at photo books of nature. Watch a nature film on TV. Find
a room that gets a lot of light and sit there reading or
doing another activity. If you don’t have this at home go
somewhere else in the community and sit near a window,
you can do this in libraries, coffee shops, a shopping mall
• Plan your week. If you plan for enjoyment and relaxation
you are more likely to follow through. Learn meditation,
relaxation techniques, guided imagery, yoga, or Tai chi and
include these activities in your week. Many of these
activities can be learned from books and these can be
borrowed from libraries. Remember that libraries also
have activities that are free of charge. If you’re trying
something new ask a friend if they would like to try it with
• If budgeting doesn’t seem to allow for much remember
that most museums have a free day, you can borrow books
and films from the library and many activities do not
require that you buy expensive items.
• Take advantage of the dollar stores purchasing items each
month that give you the items you need to work on
something creative. The only thing that prevents us from
engaging in activities that will help us to feel better is us.
• If we engage in regular helpful activity every day we will
have a much better chance of maintaining better mental
• Journaling can be an immensely helpful tool. We can
keep track of our moods, our thoughts what we are
struggling with, what we are learning about ourselves,
our achievements, our dreams and our ideas.
• Scrap booking can be a form of journaling. We can use
pictures, drawing or colour to portray what we are
feeling and where we would like to go. The only
limitations lie in our own minds and although our
minds may be struggling we are still capable of being
Take control of your mental health and become part of your
own treatment plan. Enjoy your recovery!
A Great Resource:
Covers: Emotional Intelligence Self-Help Toolkit
• Mental and Emotional Health
• Healthy Lifestyles
• Children and Family
• After 50