Dr. Shimi Kang’s Five Tips for Managing Stress and Loneliness
With stress and loneliness on the rise across Canada, Dr. Shimi Kang joined CTV’s Your Morning for Bell Let’s Talk Day to share five tips for improving our mental health.
An award-winning medical doctor and researcher with 20 years of clinical experience, Shimi is often a featured expert for media outlets around the world. She provides science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home.
Here are the five tips and coping strategies for managing sadness and depression that Shimi shared with Your Morning:
1) Sunlight or Sun Lamp
Early morning sunlight, whether outdoors or with a sun lamp, automatically lifts our mood.
Most Canadians are chronically sleep-deprived, Shimi said. Adults need 7-9 hours per night, and young people need 9-12 hours. With sleep being such a crucial resource for us, Shimi said, if you are unable to get a full night of sleep, it makes these other steps even more important.
Research shows that 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (getting your heart rate up to a point where talking is difficult) is just as effective as medication for mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, Shimi said. This is a target to aim for if you are feeling sad or down. Ideally, we would be getting an hour of exercise per day, she continued, but at least 20 minutes, three times a week, will enhance your mood.
4) Social Bonding
This is different from socializing or social media, Shimi said. It’s about having meaningful conversations, being vulnerable with others, and having a good laugh. This produces oxytocin in our bodies, which is a powerful anti-depressant that we get from meaningful connection with others.
5) Healthy Tech
Tech is like air to us now, Shimi said, so healthy tech use goes beyond screen time. You have to look at the quality of the tech you are consuming and avoid toxic tech, which is any tech related to stress, cortisol, sleep deprivation, bullying, hate, etc. This is junk tech that Shimi equates to sugar. A little video gaming, mindless YouTube watching or social media scrolling won’t kill you, she said, but just like dessert, too much can be harmful.
You want to consume more healthy tech, Shimi said, tech that leads to self-care, mindfulness, sleep, etc. She suggested apps like Sparky for kids, or calm and headspace for adults. This kind of tech sparks connection, creativity, and learning.
“When we use tech that way, now we’re using it for our health, happiness, and connection, and not the other way around.”
See more from Shimi in the video below:
An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on the neuroscience of innovation, leadership, and motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang provides practical tools to cultivate the key 21st century skills of resilience, connection, creativity, and more.
Interested in learning more about Shimi and what she can bring to your next event as a keynote speaker? Email us at [email protected].