The Royal Mental Hygiene Challenge

What is Mental Hygiene?

Daily habits to support your mental health and wellness for as little as 10 minutes per day. Check out this infographic or watch the video below to learn more. 

The term “mental hygiene” refers to daily activities that support and maintain mental health. Public health guidelines tell us that we need to do small tasks daily to maintain our physical and dental hygiene, like showering and brushing our teeth. We are now extending the same concept to mental health. Just like going to the gym is about building up our strength, mental hygiene is about building up that mental muscle. It’s an important way to maintain good mental health and build the resilience we need to help face challenges in the future.

What are some examples of mental hygiene practices?

Experts at The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group have developed a list of 16 research-based mental hygiene practices that can help boost your overall sense of wellness when practiced daily. Some of these include deep breathing, journaling, guided meditation, gratitude exercises, self-compassion, mindfulness, and spending time in nature, to just name a few. Check out our full list of exercises with instructions, how-to videos, and printable worksheets by visiting The Royal Mental Hygiene Challenge participant toolkit.

How long do I need to spend on mental hygiene practices? Do I need to do them daily?

Just like we brush our teeth every day for our dental health, we also need to do something every day for our mental health. Research shows that spending at least 10 minutes every day doing certain research-based mental hygiene practices has real and measurable benefits.

What is The Royal Mental Hygiene Challenge?

To spread the word and get people excited about mental hygiene, we decided to turn the concept into an annual public challenge! It’s easy – just pledge to incorporate 10 minutes of mental hygiene practices into your day for 31 days. You can use some of the resources developed at The Royal to help you throughout this journey to building healthy habits.

Participating in this challenge may help motivate people to prioritize their mental hygiene and help turn these daily practices into lifelong habits that contribute to overall wellness. 

All challenge-related materials have been developed in both English and French, and it is entirely free to participate.

Take the Challenge!

Challenge yourself and others to practice at least 10 minutes of mental hygiene for 31 days. Kick-start some healthy habits for your mental wellness!

Step one: Visit our participant toolkit for the full list of mental hygiene practices, instructions, and links to how-to videos, as well as some tips for success and an FAQ.

Step 2: Review our list of expert-approved mental hygiene practices and decide which ones you want to try out. 

Step 3: Need some help choosing some practices that may work for you? Check out our mental hygiene blueprints.

Step 4: Choose a calendar design - there is no wrong answer here!

Step 5: Spend at least 10 minutes daily from for 31 days on one of our mental hygiene practices (these 10 minutes can be done all at once or in shorter intervals - it's up to you!). 

Do you want to promote mental hygiene to your audiences?

We encourage other organizations to promote the mental hygiene framework as a wellness tool for their audiences! If you're interested in learning more and gaining access to our marketing toolkit, send an email to

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Disclaimer: The content of this website, such as text, graphics, videos, images, and other material, is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need advice regarding your mental health or substance use, please consult a qualified professional. Any action in response to the information provided in this website or related social media networks is at your own risk.