Looking to take the first step? Sometimes the road to feeling better can start with a journal entry, or a walk in the sun. Here are a few ideas you might consider to get your journey started.

Get more sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our body. When we’re not sleeping properly, we lack energy and feel drained. How do we get better sleep? Set a sleep schedule and stick to it – even on weekends. (Let your body get into the habit of sleep.) Don’t eat or drink too close to bedtime, avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day, and stay busy. Also... your phone. Blue light interferes with good sleep. Leave your phone in another room and get an old-fashioned clock. You want to create a quiet, restful environment and your phone prevents that.  There are many places you can find great advice when it comes to sleep, including the Mayo Sleep Clinic or the Sleep Foundation.

Nutrition and exercise 

You’ve heard that ‘you are what you eat’? Well, your nutrition is what fuels your brain, too. (And here’s some research to prove it!) Make the healthiest choices you can when it comes to what fuels your body and mind, avoiding processed foods and sugars whenever possible. And be sure to move. Not only is physical movement good for your health, getting out and moving can bring you into nature and the community, so it’s win-win. Movement has been proven to help cut stress, anxiety and low mood, while improving your cognitive function. 


There is power in the written word. When you take time to write down your thoughts, you give them structure. Journaling offers a chance to examine all the things you’re thinking. (Because here’s a little secret: not everything we tell ourselves is true.) Writing things down gives you a chance to really consider what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. It’s a chance to have a discussion with yourself to see if what you’re thinking is helpful to you or not. 

Getting creative 

We can often better express ourselves through art than we can through words. Whether your thing is music, dance, painting or any other form of expression, get to it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or novice, it’s about the process of expressing yourself in whatever medium you choose, tapping into and exploring feelings that might not be explored otherwise. In fact, Sick Kids uses art therapy so that young patients can process emotional conflicts, build self-awareness and increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. 

Help others 

Volunteerism – taking care of others – has been proven to offer a huge boost to our energy and mood. Seeing the difference you can make in someone’s life often shows you the difference you can make in your own life. There are plenty of online resources if you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, or just take a walk through your own community and see where the need is greatest.

Tradition and culture 

There is powerful healing in community and in traditions that bring us together. Each of us comes from a different place, but there is often great wisdom and strength in our communities. Being with our family – whether that is a group we are related to by birth, by choice or by experience – offers us support, understanding, healing and hope. Together, we are stronger. So, remember your community, and know that you are not alone. (Learn more at the National Alliance on Mental Illness or First Nations Health Authority.)

More resources


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