- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Healthy Living
I have always set pretty high standards for myself in all aspects of my life; it’s no surprise that my zodiac sign is ‘Virgo’ AKA the perfectionist. As a result, I am often plagued with unhelpful automatic negative thoughts. I can’t even count the number of times I have been told ‘don’t worry about it’ or ‘don’t worry so much, it will all work out’…truthfully this probably occurs on a weekly basis! While everyone experiences automatic negative thoughts sometimes, the trick is to learn how to counter these thoughts with more positive, neutral and realistic thoughts.
Recently, I have been actively trying to tame my worries through a number of avenues. These include yoga, reflection, and realistic / positive thinking. Typically I like to just move from one task or event to the next. But taking the time to reflect on my day, to identify the nagging thoughts that are bothering me, and to reflect on the positives of the day are really helpful ways for me to identify issues I want to tackle, and to give myself credit for accomplishments or achievements I have made – big or small!
Children and youth can experience stress in their everyday lives just like adults can. Helping kids to develop strategies to deal with stress and worrisome thoughts can allow them to take action when stress starts to negatively affect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Learning healthy strategies to deal with stress at a young age helps kids develop skills that will enable them to deal with stress throughout their lives.
There are many different strategies for managing stress that families can try. For me, taking the time to reflect on my worries and to be more realistic and positive has been really beneficial. Explore different strategies and find out what works best for you! For some great strategies check out the Healthy Living Toolkit for Families – it has an entire module with tips and activities for managing stress.
I am also excited to share that we are currently developing a healthy thinking interactive online resource for children and youth based on the healthy thinking content within the Healthy Living Toolkit for Families. This online activity will allow kids to identify healthy or unhealthy thoughts that are associated with common challenging situations they might face. If they identify an unhealthy or negative thought, they will be prompted to select or write in a healthy, realistic or positive thought. This interactive, skill building activity can be done by kids on their own, or together with friends or family. The interactive resource will be available later this summer on the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre website – we’ll let you know when it’s available!