Positive Mental Health

Positive Mental Health

Connect with Others

An important part of positive mental health is connecting with others.
Spending time with family and friends, enjoying time together and practicing gratitude for those relationships will contribute positively to our well-being. Phone calls, texts or virtual visits such as dinners together and birthday parties using video calling platforms are all ways we can maintain connections with family and friends that we can’t see in person.

Engage in Frequent Physical Activity

There is a growing body of evidence that physical activity and healthy brains go hand in hand and that kids who are physically active are better able to focus and learn, have  stronger self-esteem, better memories and even an improved ability to cope with anxiety and depression.

Children and youth should aim for 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. This can be done all at once or broken up into bouts of 10-15 minutes. 


Practice Gratitude


Take time to notice the things you and your family are thankful for in your life and the things you feel optimistic about for the future.  Research has shown that when practiced weekly, over several weeks, activities to boost optimism and gratitude have been found to boost mood, increase happiness and satisfaction with life and decrease symptoms of depression, compared with people who did not take part in these practices. Improved mood can affect motivation/ability to take part in physical activity and to make healthy food choices. 

Be Kind to Yourself

It is also important to our well-being to be kind to ourselves. Appreciate the good things about yourself and all that you are doing to support your family’s health. Being kind to yourself can change your brain and boost your health and well-being. Encourage your child to practice self-kindness when they are being self-critical or having a hard time. Talk with your child about challenging situations they are facing and help them come up with positive ways to handle them. 

Ensure Your Family Gets Enough Sleep

When children get sufficient restful sleep at night, they are also better able to make healthy choices during the day. Healthy sleep patterns can promote a positive mood, body image and overall health.  Healthy sleep patterns can also help improve grades, sports performance, concentration for driving, as well as the ability to handle stress and avoid injury.

Eat Together at Home

Studies show that the more meals a family eats together, the more likely the children are to eat fruit, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich food and beverages. Children and youth who eat at home are also more likely to feel connected to their family. They do better in school and are half as likely to run into problems with substance abuse as teenagers. Keep in mind that the benefits of eating together are greatest if you don’t eat in front of the TV or any other screens. Aim to eat at least four meals together each week. Breakfast counts.