It’s the start of a new year, and many often feel optimistic about a fresh new start! Although the holidays are over, this also means that the holiday cheer has also passed for some. Now that many are transitioning out of the festive spirit, the bleak new start of January can often be a challenging obstacle.
From the cold winter temperatures to the short hours of daylight, the month of January is often depressing for some. As a matter of fact, seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as seasonal depression, is often at its peak during the months of January and February for those who experience this type of depression.
January also has the most depressing day of the year, which occurs during the third week of the month. This observed day is referred to as Blue Monday, and while some may feel skeptical about its validity, it can be detrimental for others. In an article by the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), experts noted that Blue Monday can actually have an adverse impact on the psyche of people, to the point where they could trigger themselves into actually feeling depressed.
For many, 2020 has been an overwhelming year. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many Canadians. In an Ipsos poll conducted last October, it found that 42 percent of Canadians feel more stressed compared to five years ago. In addition, the poll also found that 51 percent of Canadians agree that they are more cynical about things than they originally used to be.
With the growing amount of stress harping on Canadians, there is some evidence that suggests that chronic stress could lead to depression according to an expert from Mayo Clinic. In a survey conducted by CAMH, it found that 21 percent of Canadians reported feeling depressed occasionally or most of the time.
Turning Stress into Positivity
Despite the increasing amount of stress that Canadians are experiencing, stress is a normal component to life. Although stress is often associated as being negative, there actually is an opportunity for individuals to use stress and turn it into something productive. The Canadian Mental Health Association indicates that stress is necessary in our lives, but what matters the most is how we respond to stress which often determines if it will have a positive or negative outcome in the livelihoods of individuals.
For some, when they experience stress, they may turn away to negative habits such as overeating or substance abuse. This is an unhealthy way of coping with stress, but there certainly is a way to handle stress that would actually be beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
At Well Street, we have a specialized seminar titled “A Resilient Mindset: How Stress Can Be Good For You” which teaches individuals healthy habits when it comes to managing their stress. One of the most important principles of this seminar is understanding the importance of having a positive mindset. By conditioning yourself to see stress as an opportunity to improve yourself, you can ultimately feel better about yourself while using stress as the catalyst.
Although it may sound unorthodox for some that stress can be converted into something useful, consider the points below which go over how stress can result in a better output in your life.
Challenge yourself. Stress can often come from a variety of different things. One way to look at stress is as a challenge to test your determination and perseverance. This is not to say that you should use stress to overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion, but you can use stress to push yourself to be better at something. For example, starting a new job can certainly be stressful, but if you use this stress as a motivator to challenge your work capabilities, this can be beneficial for your own satisfaction and career.
Encourage growth. In life, one of the most valuable lessons you can gain is through lived experiences. Most of the time, some of the goals that you set for yourself may not always be an easy feat to achieve. But if you do push yourself to reach those desired goals, you may probably experience a bit of stress mounting as you work towards your goals. By keeping your eyes set on the finish line, you can use stress as an opportunity to keep you motivated in reaching your goals, but to also allow yourself to flourish with growth by forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Promote self-satisfaction. For some people, they see stress as something that hinders their capacity to move forward. One way to look at stress is to think of it as a byproduct of your hard work and ambition. Given how stress is often inevitable, some refer to the experience of stress as being like an adrenaline rush as a result of working hard. This can feel satisfactory for some, but it is important to navigate this on the side of caution as you do not want to burn yourself out.
Why Resilience Matters
Perhaps you have heard of the common expression: “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” Essentially, the purpose of this saying is to make the best use out of something that may not always be easy to work with. This is where the importance of resilience comes into play. Resilience is defined by the American Psychology Association as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity.
With stress, not only can you use this to fuel your development as a person, it can also make you resilient in tough situations, which makes it easier to cope when you are facing challenges in life. As CAMH noted, part of being resilient is having a good mental health, which can be supported when individuals have a positive mindset.
One way to imagine stress and resilience is to view them as having a positive relationship with one another. When you are faced with stress, you can use this stress to further strengthen your resilience. With Well Street’s seminar on resilience, we can help individuals channel their stress into something productive and meaningful.
About Well Street
At Well Street, we are founded on the principles of introducing healthy practices to the workplace, which encompasses both mental and physical health. Comprised of medical professionals who have a background in naturopathy, we aim to help organizations foster a healthy corporate environment in order to boost productivity and morale.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help you or your company, consider contacting us to find out more. We are happy to provide you with guidelines and approaches to support the wellbeing of your team members through virtual seminars and programs.