Self-care for Mental Health

self-care for mental health

We need to talk about mental welness.

Mental health has a lot to do with our mission. How so? Having access to furniture provides comfort and security and turns an empty house into a home for the families we serve. How would you feel if you did not have a chair to sit on or a bed to sleep in at night?

We at Furniture Bank provide furniture to marginalized and displaced individuals and families escaping furniture poverty. Our clients include:

    • Women and children leaving shelters
    • People transitioning out of homelessness
    • Refugees and newcomers to Canada

If you have ever faced displacement or gone through hard times, you know that this is a highly stressful, emotionally charged time, and securing housing and then trying to gain access to furniture, puts a strain on your mental well being.

Mental Health is Health.

Following the World Health Organization’s definition: “{mental health} [is]… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (who. int, 2018). According to the U.K. Surgeon Journal (1999), mental health is the successful performance of the mental function resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and providing the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity (Wikipedia).

This means that we all sit somewhere in between two separate continuums. Optimal mental health vs poor mental health, and serious mental illness vs no symptoms of mental illness. “Ultimately, this means that someone can be mentally healthy with a mental illness and that someone can have poor mental health without a mental illness” (

And this means that we all need to take care of our mental well-being, and we cannot stress enough that we need to take great care now more than ever.

Mental Health 101

But how- you may ask?

Let’s get back to basics:

  1. Eat, sleep, move – eat to fuel your body, sleep to regenerate and have energy, and move to boost endorphins and feel better overall!
  2. Take care of your hygiene- something as simple as a shower can go a very long way in setting the tone for your day.
  3. Stay in touch with your friends and family-studies show that loneliness can negatively affect mental health and even increase the risk of early mortality.
  4. Do things you enjoy doing! Don’t worry about achieving huge milestones- do what you love and take it one step at a time.
  5. Find ways to manage your stress levels – meditate, try out some breathing techniques, try some stretches, or go for a light walk.

The catch here is you need to be consistent. It’s all about creating a daily routine you will be able to follow for months (or years, depending on your needs). Sometimes when life is changing significantly, you need to adjust your routine to the current situation. Nevertheless, what works for some will not work for others. If you feel you are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. While it may feel overwhelming and lonely – you are not alone. We are all dealing with mental health in different ways, and accepting it is the first step.

self-care for mental health

Here’s a short list of organizations you can reach out to:
Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals
Canadian Mental Health Association
Bounce Back Ontario
Community Mental Health Programs Toronto

And how can you help people you care about?

Here’s a great article from Shift Collab


Stay warm, stay safe and self-care!

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