Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) has stepped up our activities to help support you through these stressful times. We are inviting all Canadians to participate in the #defeatdepressionchallenge by supporting mental health through social media in a manner, which is safe, fun, and helps maintain everyone’s mental wellness. Join the challenge, post your photos and follow activities across the country over the coming weeks, and stay connected through to May 30th!
What is #defeatdepressionchallenge? Especially in today’s COVID-19 environment, taking care of your mental health is extremely important. This challenge is a way for all of us to come together and take part in activities as a community, share with each other, encourage each other, and support each other’s wellness through this time. Engage in a virtual activity like those mentioned below or create your own and post it to social media using the hashtag #defeatdepressionchallenge. Be sure to mention/tag us in your post on: Twitter @DefDepression, Facebook @DefeatDepression.ca, Instagram @defeatdepressionca and mention MDSC’s Instagram account @MoodDisordersSocietyCanada.
Then, on May 30th (Defeat Depression Day), join Canadians online and enjoy a live streaming event where we will have guest presenters, lived experience testimonials, a mental health presentations, and musicians performing original songs that focus on mental health, as well as other special guests.
Please take care of yourself and your family’s mental wellness. We look forward to having you join the challenge over the next few weeks!
Examples of virtual challenge activities that you can do, or create your own!
Share with everyone and make this time less stressful!
Together we are stronger!
Exercise (based on your level of acceptable physical activity)
- Walk / jog outside your home: practicing social distancing around your block, local running track, or around the perimeter of your property with your family;
- Hike a nature trail with your children and have them identify the birds they see, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy dining in the fresh air, bring birdseed & peanuts to feed birds, squirrels, chipmunks;
- Enjoy a family bike ride around the neighborhood, local bike trail or waterfront, challenge each other to make note of the variety of birds, squirrels, etc. to see who can spot the most
- Check out YouTube for an exercise video that is consistent with your level of ability and the type of physical activity that you want to do – example aerobics;
- Exercise equipment – if you have exercise equipment use it — such as a treadmill, an exercise ball, home weights;
- Have family challenges by creating a fun, safe obstacle courses in your backyard or home, issue a fitness challenge ie. Run on the spot for 30 sec., do 30 sit ups, do 30 pushups, jump rope for 30 seconds, do 30 jumping jacks…repeat course 2 times set up rules to determine criteria for bragging rights of course! Be creative if doing it outdoors.
- Dance – put on your favourite music and dance with your family, break out the dance party video (or YouTube), and have fun. Play a game of musical chairs: winner gets to pick a family movie to watch;
- Chair exercise – sit in a chair and exercise your upper body;
- Walk inside your home: take a walk inside your home for a pre-determined time on a schedule that you establish – up and down stairs and through your hall-ways;
- Skip – pick up a skipping rope and see how long you can go;
- Play a game such as a board game or cards, implement little challenges, (who has to do some little form of pre-determined exercise or household chore?), play charades;
- Zumba fitness cardio workout if you want to have fun with Zumba, dance to the best beats with a nonstop workout;
- Morning yoga – A 15-minute yoga workout aimed to strengthen and to stretch your body. Perfect morning yoga to wake up your body but also great anytime and anywhere;
- HIIT workout – High-Intensity Interval Training, involves a short workout and quick bursts of energy with quick resting periods. (Most HIIT workouts are not more than 30 minutes).
- Strength building workout – assists with flexibility, mobility and improved performance.
- Family cooking – engage your family in a fun event such as making individual pizza topped with cheese and veggies, cupcake making is always fun;
- Bake a batch of cookies;
- Have the family create incredible meals together;
Sleep and Downtime/Relaxation
- Breathe, slow down, enjoy a 5-minute break to just relax through the day to recharge;
- Find time to do some gentle stretching and deep breathing, take a bubble bath, enjoy a cup of lovely, relaxing herbal tea;
- Create a new routine established by you to place your technology out of the bedroom allowing for a restful sleep –place your phones / laptops and other devices in a safe place nightly after cleaning them
- Commit to creating a calm space in your home to gather your thoughts and commit to going there on a pre-determined schedule;
- Enjoy a good book;
- Make hand-washing fun by singing a song with your family and establishing times to wash;
- Play cards and old-fashion board games…where the winner is recognized as ‘exempt from house-hold chores’ for the day!
- Hold a reading-bee and establish a schedule to read to your kids, or read as adults;
- Get back to basics and enjoy the simple things, watching a family movie with popcorn, put together a family album of favorite photos, create a family montage for your rec room, play an old fashioned game of bingo, host your own family idol singing completion…have fun!!!
- Do a family project such as making a small planter garden, each person picks something to grow and starts with seeds to start their planter, herbs, vegetables or flowers…they get to pick and maintain throughout the growing season.
About the Mood Disorders Society of Canada:
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada was launched in 2001 to provide people with mood disorders, their families and caregivers a strong, cohesive voice at the national level on issues relating to mental health and mental illness. With particular regard to depression, bipolar disorder and other associated mood disorders, the MDSC aims to improve access to treatment, inform research, shape program development and government policy to improve the quality of life for people affected by mood disorders.
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) has evolved to become one of Canada’s best-connected mental health NGOs with a demonstrated track record for forging and maintaining meaningful and sustained partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors throughout Canada.
Mental Health Resources: