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Becoming Your Best Self

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Written by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

A word that we hear quite often these days is wellness. This idea of being your best self and not just free from disease involves a conscious effort to make choices that support a healthy and fulfilling life.


Maintaining wellness means living a higher quality of life. Everything we do and every emotion we feel impacts our well-being and our well-being in turn has a direct impact on how we act and feel.


The concept of wellness includes a number of different factors. The obvious ones include eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep, but true wellness includes so much more. Participating in activities you enjoy, making time for your family and friends and of course making time for yourself is true wellness.


It’s about finding enjoyment in life and living well. It is important to not only invest in your physical health but also your social and mental well-being.

Here are a few tips that you can use as we become more mindful about our whole being.


Stretching is important to increase flexibility, improve movement and reduce injury.


At work, stretching is beneficial. Being in the same posture for long periods contribute to the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, lower back and neck strain).

Take short stretch breaks throughout the day! It relieves stress, tension and re-energizes you!


Eyestrain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading or working at a computer. Using a computer for long periods is one of the most common causes of eyestrain. This type of eyestrain is called computer vision syndrome. Although annoying, it usually isn't serious and goes away once you rest your eyes.

Eyestrain Symptoms:

  • • Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
  • • Watery or dry eyes
  • • Headaches
  • • Blurred or double vision
  • • Neck, shoulder, back discomfort
  • • Fatigue
  • • Shoulder pain
  • • Increased sensitivity to light

Prevent and Relieve Eyestrain

Take eye breaks. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your computer and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Blink often to refresh your eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and lubricate your eyes.

Practice relaxation. Place your elbows on your desk and let your head rest in your hands. Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose; hold it for four seconds then exhale; continue for 15 to 30 seconds several times daily.

Massage your eyelids and muscles over your brow, temple and upper cheek once or twice daily. Gently massage your around your brow bone and lower bone under eye for about 10 seconds throughout the day. 

Stress is part of our daily life. It is a necessary response to fight or take flight. Stress can result from good and bad things that happen. Good stress, such as winning a game or going on vacation, can make you feel more involved and energized. Bad stress results from losing/failing, being overworked, and being unable to cope. Stress becomes a problem when it is chronic and constant.


How to Cope With Stress

Set boundaries. Learn to say "no" to extra tasks that push your workload over the edge.

Ask for help. By accepting the help of others, you'll not only unload some of your workload, but also come to appreciate the skills and new perspectives that your co-workers have to offer.

Break work into manageable chunks. While it's important to know the big picture, setting and concentrating on smaller, attainable goals along the way can help you stay on track and stop you from feeling overwhelmed.

Clean your surroundings. Re-organize your office to make information and resources more accessible and free up additional space in your work area.

Get active. Studies show that exercise boosts your brain's production of natural mood lifters and spurs the release of neurotransmitters, which help you keep your mental and physical cool.

Accept change. Acknowledge that your workday may not unfold as you imagined. Uncertainties and change are not necessarily a negative part of your day; they simply require the application of different strategies.

Learn to focus on the present. View problems as opportunities to be creative and apply your skills and knowledge. This will allow you to not only tackle on-the-job stress, but also harness this energy to motivate.


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