Saskatchewan·CREATOR NETWORK VIDEO

6 easy and affordable self-care tips to start the new year on a positive note

Author and filmmaker Nicole Mae shares her go-to mood boosters to help others get through the post-holiday letdown and pandemic-plagued winter.

I suggest starting gradually and trying to incorporate other tips as you see fit

Author and filmmaker Nicole Mae shares her go-to mood boosters and self-care tips. (Submitted by Nicole Mae)

This piece is written by Nicole Mae, a poet and filmmaker from Treaty 4 territory, for CBC Saskatchewan's Creator Network. 


I'm a 23-year-old author and filmmaker living on Treaty 4 territory, and I have clinical depression. I've had it my whole life due to genetics and early childhood trauma.

When I was younger, happiness was a rare feeling for me. I knew I was capable of it, but it felt unreachable. This manifested into mood swings, self-hatred, self-harm and, eventually, a suicide attempt.

I hit a breaking point. My mental health was as low as it could be, and I recognized that I needed to find ways to bring myself out of that place.

WATCH| 6 easy and affordable self-care tips to start the new year on a positive note

6 easy and affordable self-care tips to start the new year on a positive note

6 months ago
Duration 4:25
Author and filmmaker Nicole Mae shares her go-to mood boosters to help others get through the post-holiday letdown and pandemic-plagued winter.

It took years of trial and error, but with time, my mind became healthier. Not only did I curate an effective self-care routine, but I incorporated preventative measures into my life that aided my mental health before it got bad.

I'm not a medical professional, but I have talked to a variety of them over the years. I've also attended therapy in my adult life, so everything I am sharing in the video comes from a combination of their opinions and my personal experience.

Some of the tips are also proven to have measurable health benefits.

Nicole Mae says one self-care tip would be doing a childhood hobby such as painting, collecting rocks, making sock puppets, photography, astronomy discoveries or a fun game. (Submitted by Nicole Mae)

Many self-care columns talk about bubble baths, splurging on your favourite meal and spending time with animals. I was never in a position to do these things.

I didn't have time to take a bath every day, I didn't have enough money to eat out, and I didn't own any pets (I wasn't going to snuggle a stranger's dog on the sidewalk). Not only that, doing these things wouldn't actually improve my mental health.

At most, I would feel a brief moment of joy and go back to being miserable. 

This time of year can be tough for many people, because winter is setting in and the holiday season can be particularly stressful.

With COVID-19 still around, I believe it's so important for all of us to check our mental health. Research has shown that by the time Canadians reach the age of 40, half of them will be living with a mental illness or have had one previously. Many of them are not receiving the help they need.

That's why it was so important to me that everything in this video is accessible, cost-efficient and not time-consuming. 

Another self-care tip from Nicole Mae includes talking to the sun. Whether you are outside in nature or in your car, start by talking about how your day has been and how you feel about the people around you. (Submitted by Nicole Mae)

All of these things help me improve my mood and mental health. I hope they will help you too, whether you're looking to buff up a pre-existing self-care routine or are completely new to it.

I recommend following the order of the video, but if you feel daunted or skeptical, just pick one. Start gradually, and try to incorporate the others as you see fit. 

If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, help is available. For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911.

You can also contact the Saskatchewan suicide prevention line, toll-free and 24/7, by calling 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645 or chatting online.

You can contact the Regina mobile crisis services suicide line at 306-525-5333 or the Saskatoon mobile crisis line at 306-933-6200.

You can also text CONNECT to 686868 and get immediate support from a crisis responder through the Crisis Text Line, powered by Kids Help Phone.

Kids Help Phone can also be reached at 1-800-668-6868, or you can access live chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca.


CBC's Creator Network is looking for emerging content creators to make short videos (5 minutes and under) for an 18 to 30-year-old audience. Content creators can be writers, filmmakers, vloggers, photographers, journalists, artists, animators, foodies or anyone else with a compelling idea and visual plan for bright and bold content.

Learn how to pitch your idea here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Mae (she/they) is an author and filmmaker from Treaty Four Territory. Currently, they have two poetry books published and an archive of videos on their YouTube channel. Nicole's works regard themes of nostalgia, longing, and identity.

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