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BCTF Advantage
Teacher Magazine Volume 30, Number 2
November/December 2017

Monitoring your own mental health

By Allan Lee, BCTF Health And Wellness Co-ordinator

Monitoring your own mental health is a critical component of your overall health and well-being. When you are feeling overwhelmed, you might notice some of the following:

Changes in your appetite and sleep-When individuals are stressed, the first signs might be physical ones. These include large, unexpected changes in one's appetite and sleep patterns.

Fatigue or low energy-Signs of overwhelming stress include a significant decrease in energy levels. If you are physically or emotionally exhausted by the end of the day, this might be the first sign of burnout.

Reduced concentration-Decreased ability to concentrate is a sign that you might be taking on more than you can manage. If you feel pulled in many different directions and can't seem to focus, it's time to evaluate your own stress levels.

Unexpected mood changes-Our mood changes throughout the day and is a normal part of our body's emotional regulation system. If you experience very high or very low moods that are unexpected or out of the ordinary, it's time to look at accessing additional supports.

Less social engagement-When we are overwhelmed or stressed, we may lose interest in activities we previously enjoyed, avoiding social activities that could enhance our emotional and spiritual well-being.

Help is one click away
-free online tools to support mental health
Starling mental fitness challenges
-Many of us get so caught up in the fast pace of life that our day-to-day level of stress can feel overwhelming. Sign up for the Starling Program at starlingminds.com and learn more about the online mental fitness challenges available to teachers. The focus is on making small changes that will lead to big differences in your level of stress.

Canadian mental health meter-This online questionnaire helps you reflect on your individual strengths and identify areas that need attention. It is a quick way to self-reflect on your current status and identify the parts of your life that may need additional exploration. https://cmha.ca/mental-health-meter

Kelty Mental Health resources-The Kelty Pinwheel Education Series includes free, monthly mental health education events open to anyone in BC. Past education events can be accessed through online recordings. www.KeltyMentalHealth.ca/pinwheel

Confident Parents: Thriving Kids-Telephone-based family-focused coaching to help with mild to moderate behavioural problems. Promotes healthy child development in children ages 3-12. www.cmha.bc.ca/how-we-can-help/children-families/confident-parents

MindShift app-MindShift is an app that helps individuals cope with anxiety. This portable coach can help you work through challenging situations in any part of your life. www.anxietybc.com/resources/mindshift-app

Living through loss-Advice on self-care, strategies to manage grief and loss, and links to articles and books. livingthroughloss.ca/resources/

From grief to action-A coping kit to address questions, issues, and practical problems faced by parents or guardians affected by substance use. www.fromgrieftoaction.com/.


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