As we roll into March 2021, I think we are all having a little PTSD of what March 2020 was like exactly one year ago. It has been one entire year of navigating an evolving, dynamic, and taxing pandemic. With it bringing an emotional upheaval for many individuals who previously perceived the world to be a safe and predictable place and resulting in negative impacts on mental health.

The resulting mental health issues arising from COVID-19 have created a second pandemic–one of which has yet to be fully recognized. In fact, rather than an increase in mental health supports, the need to distance and isolate has resulted in the amalgamation or closure of amenities and has resulted in fewer or less accessible mental health services in an already underserviced and stigmatized sector. Lucky for us Fox Creek residents, there are plenty of mental health resources at our local Community Resource Centre, and of course at the hospital.

Sometimes, it can improve mental health/focus to set reasonable, attainable goals for yourself or your family. Think of the things that are within your control and will contribute to your overall wellness.

This upcoming year I want to…
• Learn a new skill/hobby (cooking?! crochet?!)
• Spend quality time with my family (Friday night family movie nights?!)
• Reach out to friends/family more often (FaceTime an old friend once a month?!)
• Start journaling (start the day by writing down one thing you’re grateful for?!)
• Improve my health (hire a personal trainer to help you get started

I personally believe that KEEPING BUSY and KEEPING MOVING is key to feeling good and feeling fulfilled. Obviously, self-care and downtime are very important too… but too much downtime can leave a person feeling sad/lonely/anxious/etc.

Now, let’s talk about how we achieve these goals we have…
Set aside a certain time each day to work on your hobby, skill, health, etc. and MAKE it fit into your daily routine. If you’ve never been a morning person, maybe setting a new goal and setting an earlier alarm simultaneously isn’t going to set you up for success. Fit it into the time you already have.

Be kind to yourself on days that you are not be able to achieve your goal. Try again tomorrow.

Tell someone close to you about your goal or ask them to join you in doing the same… it helps if it’s something you’re interested in!

Now that it is starting to warm up, don’t forget about the things you can do right here in Fox Creek… getting outdoors and staying physically active improves mental health significantly (not that you really needed me to tell you that!).

If you haven’t been following Manny along on the Fox Creek Greenview Multiplex Facebook and Instagram page, I’ll remind you of all the great activities right here in town that will boost your mental health!

• Explore the Fox Creek trail system- walking or snowshoeing.
• Cross country skiing at the golf course.
• Go for a skate at one of our local lakes.
• Explore one of the seven playgrounds around town.
• Walk a few laps around Oasis Park.

The key to getting anywhere in life is simply getting started. What are you going to start TODAY that is going to improve your overall health and wellbeing tomorrow?