Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Team Highlight: CMHA Calgary Energizers

Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Team Highlight: CMHA Calgary Energizers

As Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenges comes to a close, we are highlighting members of our Energize Don’t Hide Team, CMHA Calgary Energizers.

Our team is made up of different departments, but brought together for one collective goal; to spread awareness and destigmatize mental health.

Andrea | Peer School Coordinator

Andrea is super active individually, as well as with her family members. You can find her running in her neighbourhood or climbing the nearest mountain!

How does staying active impact your mental health and well-being?

Staying active is truly the most effective tool in my mental health toolkit. I have long believed that when things get too heavy for the head and the heart, the legs and the lungs know how to pick up the slack. Staying active helps me focus, stay alert, work through my problems, and is a great way to channel some of my energy… I have a LOT of energy to spare.

What tips and tricks have you learned through the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge, that you can share with others to help them improve their mental health and well-being?

My biggest piece of advice is to treat your daily physical activity like it’s an appointment with yourself. It’s self-care at its best – and you can’t give from an empty cup!  Also, remember with physical activity to meet yourself where you are at. Each day might be different in terms of how your body feels; tune in and listen, and give your body what it needs on that day at that time. Give yourself grace and lean into what your body needs, which may be different than what you had originally planned.

How are you going to stay energized over the coming months?

I love exercising, so continuing to incorporate daily movement into my routine goes without saying. Normally I do what I like to call the “Virtual Commute”. I get completely ready for the day, then go for a very brisk 1-hour walk before I start working when normally I would be commuting. This gets me activated and ready for the day, and into the mindset that it’s time to start working. 

The picture here is Jade on top of a lift practicing one of her wellness activities, renovating her home!

Jade | Outcomes Auditing and Training Coordinator

How does staying active impact your mental health and well-being?

Staying active keeps me manage my anxiety. I’m able to redirect my energy and focus on something fun and rewarding.

What tips and tricks have you learned through the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge, that you can share with others to help them improve their mental health and well-being?

My activities can vary depending on my mood. I might take a long walk one day and renovate my house the next day.

How are you going to stay energized over the coming months?

In the upcoming months, I’m going to enjoy the weather and do more things outdoors.

Amy | Communications Manager

How does staying active impact your mental health and well-being?

Since March 2020 all of our lives have changed. For a long time, I was spending too much time inside and not getting outside. I realized pretty quickly that getting into a routine of being outside and doing something active was really important to my mental health and well-being during this pandemic. Getting a new puppy this past year has encouraged me to take breaks and step away from my devices a few times a day. For the past few months, I have consistently reached 10,000 (almost) every day. I’ve realized that the fresh air and physical activity help me focus better while having a refreshed view of the tasks I have to do in front of me.

Amy adopted her four-legged friend Ellie in January 2021 and plans to engage them both in more physical activity throughout the summer.

What tips and tricks have you learned through the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge, that you can share with others to help them improve their mental health and well-being?

I think the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge has taught me that there are communities and groups of people out there who are always willing to support and have fun with you while taking care of your mental health and well-being.

How are you going to stay energized over the coming months?

I’m going to continue talking walks with my new puppy Ellie, hopefully teaching her how to walk more on a loose leash, but also working up to taking her on long walks and hikes throughout the city. I’m also looking forward to connecting again in person with my friends and family more often.

Karen | Director, Philanthropy & Stewardship

With her partner and dog by her side, Karen stays active by walking along the riverside and in her neighbourhood.

How does staying active impact your mental health and well-being?

As someone who lives with depression and ADHD, being active impacts my mental health in numerous ways. The activity of walking calms and soothes my brain, especially when I listen to music. My brain feels more organized and focused. And I sleep SO much better.

What tips and tricks have you learned through the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge, that you can share with others to help them improve their mental health and well-being?

Learning from others, such as the team at CMHA Calgary, I find an extra layer of motivation when I hear other people’s stories. Your experiences become my learning moments. 

How are you going to stay energized over the coming months?

Staying energized is so much easier over the summer. I am hoping that I can carry the momentum of Energize Don’t Hide all summer and that I will feel safe to go back to a pool and practice my swimming and attend a tethered Deep-Water workout again at my local pool!

Nicky | Peer Supporter

Nicky, in warrior pose, likes to practice yoga in her spare time when she’s not working.

How does staying active impact your mental health and well-being?

Staying active keeps the overwhelm at bay, I can manage better.

What tips and tricks have you learned through the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge, that you can share with others to help them improve their mental health and well-being?

One thing I’ve learned during Energize Don’t Hide is discipline, connecting the benefits with the activities helps me stay disciplined, moving my body is part of my self-care, part of managing my mental health. It’s about believing in progress, not perfection. 

How are you going to stay energized over the coming months?

I have created a habit since joining the campaign in May so I will continue with the workouts and walking, focusing on how it helps me feel well and cope with stress

Dara | Community Recreation Coordinator

How does staying active impact your mental health and well-being?

Staying active helps calm my thoughts, let go of difficult things and integrate different parts of my day, week or month. I feel more like myself when I’m outside in the fresh air near trees, water and birds.

What tips and tricks have you learned through the Energize Don’t Hide 2021 Challenge, that you can share with others to help them improve their mental health and well-being?

If I tell myself, I’m just going to walk to a certain landmark and back..next thing you know, my walk turns into a much longer hike and I’m often talking to a few people along the way!

How are you going to stay energized over the coming months?

I’m going to keep walking, hiking, and biking as much as possible!

Thank you to all of our CMHA Calgary Energizers for challenging yourselves and your loved ones to energize this summer!

Our Peer Support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402 or through email at peer@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. We have teamed up with other Calgary agencies to help Calgarians quickly and easily access various counselling and social supports. Visit www.communityconnectyyc.ca, where you can book online for our Suicide Bereavement and Family Support Counselling, and other supports. If you prefer to still book through us, please phone (403-297-1708), or email (counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca).