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Health and Wellness Themes

Health & Wellness Themes of the Month are focused on raising awareness about important health topics. The different dimensions of health play a key role in how we thrive and succeed not only in our personal lives, but within our job and career. These themes help create a healthy balance between those dimensions and foster healthy conversation as an organization about how we can improve our quality of life from one day to the next. When we are aware of these dimensions, we can assist in raising awareness to those we serve in helping them to improve their own quality of life. A few topics we cover include: Connecting with nature, STEPtember, diabetes, hydration, de-cluttering and organizing your life, and of course having fun, just to name a few.

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Health and Wellness Themes

  1. 1. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Breaking bad... habitsA habit is an acquired behavior or thought pattern that you have repeated so many times that it has become almost unconscious. As you likely already know, habits can be both helpful and harmful. Habits are beneficial, because they’re automatic. We engage in habits without thinking, which frees our brains up to focus on other things. When we have good habits, like arriving at work on time or being optimistic, we create a positive, ingrained forward motion that we don’t have to think about. We can then use our energy to focus on things that need our special attention. However, the same is true of bad habits. We engage in these behaviors without much thought, and they can damage our personal lives and careers without us being aware of them. 1 Define the word habit? 2 What are some bad habits that can negatively affect us in the work that we do? 3 What is one of your bad habits in a work aspect? “The habits that took years to build, do not take a day to change.” -Susan Powter
  2. 2. Tips to help break that ugly habit Plan Create a concrete plan using the SMART technique (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, and Time- based) to ensure you review your progress regularly and that it is attainable. Self-Discipline and Awareness Write down “why” you are wanting to do this, it has to come from internally. Find ways to remind yourself of your “why” and to catch yourself when you slip-up. Choose an Approach Some people find it effective to quit a behavior all at once, while others have more success limiting the behavior slowly over time. As such, it’s important to find an approach that works well for you. (This will probably depend on the type of habit you’re trying to break.) You also need to avoid the people, places, or situations that trigger the bad habit, if this is appropriate. For instance, imagine that you’re trying to stop gossiping at work. You know that if you engage in the behavior during lunch with a specific group of colleagues, so you resolve to avoid the break room, and, instead, eat lunch outside or at your desk. Positive Attitude, Positive Habits Often, you can break bad habits by replacing them with positive behaviors. Or, imagine that your goal is to stop checking your text messages in trainings. You could replace this by taking notes on what’s being discussed. Reward Yourself To break a bad habit, it’s helpful to reward yourself for engaging in the positive behavior. The reason rewards are important is because when you stop the old behavior you won’t get that all-important dopamine surge; however, the reward will give it instead. Over time, your brain will start to associate this new, positive behavior with the dopamine surge coming from the reward. Engage Others Consider asking people such as your team members, family, and friends to help you break that bad habit. Share your goals with them, and ask them to tell you if you slip back into your old ways. This will provide further accountability, and boost your motivation. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca
  3. 3. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Building Family Family isn’t always blood, but those we care about. As a team, share your answers from the questions below. What is it about you as a person that has created who you are based on some of those family qualities? How does it affect you as a support in regards to being a companion to those you care about and being an effective team member? 1 What is one word you would use to describe your family and why? 2 What qualities are needed to build and create a strong family dynamic? 3 What is one characteristic you feel your family could not function without? “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” -Anonymous creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca
  4. 4. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Connecting with Nature In today’s society, we live a very high-tech lifestyle and our need for nature appears to decrease. In reality, as we become more reliant on technology, we require more nature. It is a human right to have access to natural habitats to allow natural and meaningful connections to our environment. As it would be argued that every person should also have the right to access the internet, they should also have the right to access our natural world - because our connection to our natural environment is part of our humanity. Research shows that after an hour spent outdoors, our “nature neutrons” are nurtured and there’s an increase creativity, memory and attention span. When implementing this into our education and workforce, you would see an increase in productivity and a decrease in sick days. 1 What benefits does nature bring to our lives? Why is an appreciation of nature important? “I’ve been arguing for a while that connection to nature should be thought of as a human right.” -Richard Louv
  5. 5. Being one with nature, allows people to feel more restored. It leads to: • Building stronger relationships with loved ones. • Creating value in one’s community. • Becoming more engaged and generous. Through bonding with nature, you begin to grow and foster new found relationships with family, creating time and activities to be outdoors with one another. 2 Do you think it is important for people to examine their attitudes toward nature? Richard explains that our societal disconnect with nature is affecting today’s children. We now live in an era of indoor suburban living that prohibits outdoor play due to the indoor plugged-in culture. Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a portrayal of the human risks of separation from nature. Damages that occur from consistent isolation from nature shapes adults, families and communities in a negative way. 3 List 3 ways that you plan to become more nature oriented this summer. This can involve just yourself or friends and family as well. How will these outdoor activities support your desire and need to satisfy and decrease your nature deficit disorder? All you have to do is look in your own backyard to find the solution. Get outside! creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca A lack of routine contact with nature may result in stunted academic and developmental growth.” - Richard Louv
  6. 6. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme You create your own path When it doesn’t feel right, make a change Hate is a strong word but widely used when people explain how they feel about their job. Why stay when you “hate” what you do and you know where you may be happier doing something you have a passion for. One main reason is because people have not figured out where they want to be. This way of thinking will get you nowhere because sitting around thinking about it will not help you learn and discover what your ideal career might be. If you are not pleased with where you are then it’s time to make a change. Curiosity leads to Clarity Follow your curiosity and discover your less obvious interests. Individual uniqueness leads to motivations that separate you from others. Pursuing those motivations reveals a new you and your creativity. Often times, these interests do not seem realistic and rather silly, but think of Steve Jobs and Walt Disney who continued on the path of curiosity and later revealed their true potential. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” -Bishop T.D. Jakes
  7. 7. 1 If I could choose one person to trade jobs with, I’d choose ______________, because __________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 2 I’ve always been curious what it would be like to do___________________. It’s intriguing to me because_______________________________________________________________________. 3 If I could go back to school tomorrow, I’d major in______________ because __________________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 4 My teammates and friends always say I’m great at ________________, because ______________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 5 What I love most about my job (supporting) is __________________, because ________________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 6 If my team leader would let me, I’d do more of _____________, because _____________________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 7 If I had to “work” on a free Saturday, I’d choose ____________, because _____________________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 8 When I retire, I want to be remembered for __________________, because __________________ ______________________________________________________________________________. 9 What are some ideas that you could do within the home you support at and team you support with that will highlight your strengths and potential passion for? creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca
  8. 8. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme De-clutter & get organized Evaluation We are the 5 most distressing areas of clutter that you would like to be working on? In these five areas, what do you like about your environment? Vision Thinking of freedom, what would freedom from clutter feel like to you? What systems will you put in place to remain clutter free? Goals What specific goals will you set to create your ideal, clutter-free environment? Purpose What is the most important reason for letting go of clutter? How will letting go of the clutter better serve you and your family? Commitment What are you committed to doing today about your clutter? Blocks to success What has stopped you in the past from letting go of clutter? When moving away from allowing clutter to define who you are as a person, think about what it is that you are holding onto on the inside that is preventing you from eliminating clutter on the outside. Support Think of someone you know that is organized and may be willing to help you begin the process of clearing your clutter. It’s time to get spring cleaning done! Throughout the month, we’ll offer tips for tackling the clutter in your space and learning how to eliminate the stuff that is weighing you down. The idea of living a simplified, de-cluttered life with less sounds appealing to many. The benefits to owning less means less debt, less clutter, less to clean, less to organize, less stress which allows for more money, more energy and more drive to pursue other desires. BUT….where does one start? This is one major step that prevents people from beginning the process. The sense of overwhelming anxiety and defeat around the idea of organization can be profoundly ineffective on your success to de-clutter and de-stress. The goal is not to increase stress throughout the process, but rather the opposite. There is no need for the process to be as painful as some make it out to be. Here you will find a number of ways to mark the journey as enjoyable and creative. “When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and good, orderly direction to enter.” -Julia Cameron
  9. 9. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Helpful tips & tricks! Create a list Begin with the list of places/spaces in your home that you want to focus on. Next prioritize the list form the easiest to the hardest. Give yourself five minutes per task When it comes to smaller papers and filing, open the mail, read it, pay it, file it. Small tasks should only be seen in small amounts of time. Ie. Laundry - In the morning before work, move from bedroom to bedroom and gather dirty laundry and leave it in the laundry room until after work. Fill one trash bag Choose one room to begin your journey, DO NOT move onto the next room until you have completed the room you are in. This bag can be simply filled with items to give away, garage sale items, donations or go to the trash. Don’t bite off more than you can chew Don’t plan to organize your entire house in one day. As the day progresses, you energy level decreases and frustrations run high. You will be more efficient if you set aside a couple hours at a time. Take the 12-12-12 challenge From items in your home, determine 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. Focus on whether the item is a need or want, and if you have used it in the last 6 months. This can be a creative way to involve other family members to help de-clutter more of their own spaces at one time. “Get rid of clutter and you just find it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for.” -Katrina Mayer
  10. 10. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Symptoms of Diabetes: • change in thirst • frequent urination • tingling or numbness in your feet • change in weight • blurred vision • fatigue or lack of energy • cuts and bruises that heal more slowly Tips for the prevention of Diabetes: • maintain or lose weight • lose the couch and gain the shoes to get moving and be active • choose whole grain products vs. highly processed carbohydrates (choose whole wheat bread or white bread and brown rice over white rice) • pass on the sugary drinks and choose water, tea or coffee • choose good fats rather than bad fats. Good fats = polyunsaturated fats and bad fats = trans fats • limit red meat at avoid processed meat, choose nuts, low fat dairy, whole grains, fish and poultry • no smoking • limit or eliminate alcohol consumption “Every human being is the author or his own health or disease.” For more information, visit the Canadian Diabetes Association online at http://www.diabetes.ca/.
  11. 11. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Are you at risk? Take the time to answer YES or NO to these statements internally. • I have a family member with Diabetes • I am a member of a high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African descent.) • I have underlying health concerns that are linked with Diabetes • I gave birth to a baby over 9lbs. • I had gestational diabetes (during pregnancy) • I have been informed that I am pre-diabetic (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose) • I have high blood pressure • I have high cholesterol • I am overweight (especially if I carry most in the middle section) • I have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions: • Polycystic ovarian syndrome • Acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin) • Psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep apnea If you answered YES to any of the above wish factors, please DO NOT ignore them. Our health and quality of life are key in leading a meaningful an purposeful life. As we grow and develop over time, we cannot only help ourselves lead healthier lifestyles but can share healthy habits with those around us that we care about. “Leadership is not a position or a title, it is an action and an example.”
  12. 12. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Fit not fat Did you know? 2 out of 3 men are overweight and 1 in 4 people are obese in Canada. Key facts • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. • In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. • Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. • 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. “You are not a product of your circumstances. You are a product of your decisions.” -Anonymous What do being overweight and obesity mean? Both are defined as excessive fat accumulation that may pose a detrimental risk to one’s health. What causes weight gain and obesity? The main cause of obesity is when calories consumed exceeds calories expended. On average we eat energy- dense foods that are too high in fats and live a sedentary lifestyle. What are common health consequences of being overweight and obese? Overweight and obese adults will experience premature death and disability, breathing difficulties, increased risk of broken bones, hypertension, early signs of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.
  13. 13. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca 1 What can COR do as an organization to help promote healthier living lifestyles? 2 What can you do at COR to promote and live a healthier lifestyle? How can obesity be prevented or reduced? Obesity and other health related diseases, are largely preventable. Ensuring the importance of supportive environments and providing ample information is fundamental in influencing people’s choices to choose healthier foods and exercise regularly. It is crucial to have the opportunity for these choices to be accessible, affordable, and available, therefore leading to a decrease or the prevention of obesity. You are you and only you can make the choice to: • Limit calorie intake from foods high in fat and sugar; • Keep track of your weight; • Increase your consumption of healthy foods from all four food groups; • Be aware of portion sizes; • Participate in regular physical activity (150 minutes per week for adults) • Limit the amount of screen time; • Make a point to get active when spending time with friends and family. As an individual you have a responsibility to yourself to give your mind, body and soul what it deserves to thrive. As a caregiver you are responsible to those you support to help give their mind, body and soul what it deserves to thrive. As an organization it is our responsibility to work together and support one another in our mission to promote living a healthier lifestyle that provides the necessities our bodies, minds and souls need to thrive as a whole.
  14. 14. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Get involvedTo help you get the most from your employee relationships, here are the nine things that ultimately motivate employees to achieve. As you read this, think of how you associate with each of them. Share your story and perspectives and comment about it. Trustworthy Leadership - Leaders that support you and look out for your best interests will gain the trust of their team members who in return will be more motivated to achieve and succeed. Trust is a significant motivational tool and leaders that are more transparent with their supports will find new types of opportunities to develop talent Be relevant - In today’s society people want to be recognized for their work employees are motivated to achieve to remain relevant. As such, employees are in search of new ways to learn, improve their skills and invest in themselves. This is an opportunity for leaders to get involved and understand how to build the depth of their supports skill sets. For example, find ways to promote your supports high-potential for advancement. Helping supports increase their relevancy is important and leaders that participate will help foster increased performance levels and trust. Proving others wrong - This particular motivation to achieve is of recent from younger professionals that seek to prove themselves amongst older generations in the workplace. Employees never want to be stereotyped or marginalized, but for many younger professionals this serves as the trigger to achieve and succeed. As a leader, encourage your employees to not only meet but exceed expectations by taking responsible risks. Embrace diverse thinking and measure one’s ability to innovate. Never underestimate an employee’s ability to perform until you have appropriately assessed and established their abilities and potential. Career advancement - Perhaps the most important aspect on this list is the opportunity to move up. Employees are extremely motivated to achieve if this means that advancement is in sight. This requires supports to be mindful of opportunities that come about. As leaders, allowing doors for opportunity to grow and advance shows a high level of respect and loyalty. It allows supports to see that you do see their future as a priority just as much as your own. No regrets - People only have a few real chances in their careers to reach their ultimate goals. In fact, how many times do you meet people that are more successful than you are and you wonder how they got there? People don’t want to live with any regrets in their career/life and thus are motivated to not disappoint themselves. As a leader, don’t allow your supports to walk around carrying a load of guilt. Share your journey with them, your failures and successes. We must all experience failing forward to truly appreciate success. Help your supports embrace their failures and help them navigate it in a positive and effective manner. Many people are confused in today’s workplace about their future. Motivate them by giving them the perspectives they need to achieve. “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” -Anonymous
  15. 15. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Stable future - People are motivated when they feel secure. Everyone wants a stable future, but you never know when unforeseen circumstances may arise. That’s why we are all in a race against time and motivated to achieve faster than ever before. Remember, faster may not always be better or best. As a leader, be mindful of providing security and stability in how you lead your team. Self-indulgence - This dynamic is intriguing and extremely important to put into proper perspective. People are motivated for selfish reasons to achieve money, attention, fame, etc. Let us be reminded that greed and selfishness does not always contribute to economic growth. Motivation that satisfies our self-indulgence can also be risky. As a leader, be aware of your supports internal and external motivators. It is important they carry balance and are well intentioned. Impact - As mentioned earlier on, today’s employees are motivated to achieve more than ever simply by the opportunity to create impact. As employees reflect on their lives and careers, they want to contribute in ways that measure their achievements based upon the long-term benefits that the organization they serve bears. As a leader, allow your supports to have sustainable impact in the work they perform. Allow them to make a mark toward significance. Create the opportunity for their achievement to leave a lasting impact that rewards the organization they serve and for future generations to learn from. Happiness - In the end, happiness is one of the greatest motivations to achieve. Happiness increases ones self- esteem and gives people hope for a better tomorrow. We are all at fault of taking our work too seriously. Take a moment to be present and enjoy the journey. As a leader, be aware of whether your supports are satisfied in their work and that you are intentional in having this type of conversation with them. Never assume. Employees will smile to save their jobs even if they are not content. Foster that happiness through the natural influence of the previous eight factors and allow your teams to strive. Reflection for oneself: 1 What does this all mean for you in the workplace? 2 Is there something within your job that motivates you? Is there an opportunity to take on more responsibility within the team or take initiative within the house in any aspect that you desire?
  16. 16. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme H20 Did you know? if the amount of water in your body is reduced by 1% you will feel thirsty. Another fun one… Staying hydrated helps to prevent and relieve constipation. “Thousands lived without love, but no one lived without water. ” -W.H. Auden What is dehydration? Dehydration occurs when our bodies lose more fluid than what we have taken in. Our bodies are made up of 70% water and when our bodies do not stay hydrated it can decrease our energy levels, make us dizzy, light headed and fog our ability to think clearly. What causes dehydration? • Stomach flu and fluids leaving the body via vomiting and diarrhea; • Sore throat and difficulties swallowing leads to consuming less liquids; • When you are fevered and lose fluids through sweating or sweating while being physically active; • Being outdoors in the hot weather for longer periods of time and not consuming liquids. Signs of dehydration • Feeling thirsty • Dizzy and lightheaded • Having a dry or sticky mouth • Urinating less • Darker coloured urine If we do not rehydrate our bodies soon enough, our bodies begin to slowly shut down as more and more of our organs become affected.
  17. 17. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Preventing dehydration • Drink plenty of water, especially on hot days and when you are more physically active; • Wear loose fitting clothing so your body can regulate it’s temperature; • Wear a hat when outdoors; • Look are your urine every day, if it is dark begin to drink plenty of fluids, if it’s clear continue drinking fluid to remain hydrated; • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning when you wake up, a glass before each meal, and carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure your sipping water. CAN YOU DO IT? Take the Water Challenge! For many, water can be a struggle on a daily basis, having a physical and visual item to help you keep track of how much you are consuming is an easier way to get your daily intake. I challenge you to try this for two weeks. Get a jug and mark the spots. Day one you may not finish….and that is ok, day two you may push to drink a little more, so on and so forth until you can work to finish the entire jug. Keep in mind and track how you feel on day one as compared to the last day. At your next team meeting go around and share your experience.
  18. 18. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Healthy holidays! Tis’ the season to spend time with those we love, indulge on the delicious eats to be offered and be filled with guilt after we sit on the couch and cannot move! Here are some tips to beat that overindulgence trigger that is fighting your brain! creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca 1 Let’s be REAL...don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, instead focus on maintaining your current weight. 2 Exercise, set a time to get active, even if it means first thing in the morning when you have the most energy to just go for a walk or do some exercises in your living room. This will help relieve holiday stress and prevent or offset weight gain. 3 Avoid skipping meals. If you are heading out to a party, eat a light snack, like raw vegetables or fruit to curb your appetite. This will help with temptation and over- indulgence at the party. 4 If there is a buffet table of options balance your plate with fruits and vegetables and a few of your favourite “not so healthy” choices. 5 Satisfied not stuffed. Eat until you feel comfortably satisfied vs. cramming it all in. Savor those treats in smaller portions, share with your spouse or significant others. 6 If you just so happen to overeat during your Christmas meal, take it easy on the next meal and eat lighter and choose more of those vegetable and fruits over the mashed potatoes and stuffing. 7 Take the focus off food, maybe you are a baker but this year you can change things up and find your inner DIY with wreaths and other Christmas décor. You can plan fun games and activities for your family and friends like, volunteering in the community, playing card games, or going on a twinkle tour. 8 Take the initiative to bring your spin on a popular holiday dish in a healthier way. 9 Practice healthy holiday cooking. Find healthier alternatives for some of your favorite holiday dishes. 10 Last but not least what is one idea that you can share that may help the team find ways to promote healthier holiday eating?
  19. 19. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Healthy heart, happy you! F Face - is it drooping? A Arms - can you raise them both? S Speech - is it slurred or jumbled? T Time to call 9-1-1 right away! Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off. Within seconds, brain cells are depleted of oxygen and begin to die. Because of this, stroke is a leading cause of disability in Canada. Prevent and you shall prevail, maybe not but if we do the best we can, with what we have then our hope is to live a full, healthy and prosperous life. “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Mahatma Gandhi What is your risk? Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is a leading cause of death, so it is important to understand how to prevent them. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk. When certain risk factors occur together, known as metabolic syndrome, the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes increases. Take a look at the list below for risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  20. 20. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Can’t control vs Control History of stroke or TIA Obesity Age Diet Gender Diabetes Ethnicity Smoking High blood pressure high blood cholesterol Alcohol/Drug consumption Stress Physical inactivity 1 How many risk factors do you have from the list above? 2 What changes would you like to make in regards to those risk factors? 3 Which change would you like to make a priority and focus on first? 4 Are there some individuals that you support who also have some of these risk factors? How can we help them make some healthy lifestyle changes to reduce and prevent their risk of having a stroke? 5 Discuss your answers from number four and as a team decide on one idea that you can begin to put into action together.
  21. 21. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Mental health in the workplace • 20% of Canadians will personally experience mental illness in their lifetime. • The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death. • An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system. Mental illnesses in the workplace Work is important to our well-being. In addition to the income it brings, it can be a big part of our identity, how we understand our skills, and a way to contribute to something bigger. However, a mental illness can have a big impact on the way we work. What are mental illnesses? Mental illnesses are health problems that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with society. They affect our thoughts, feelings, abilities and behaviours. Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses. Mental illnesses are more likely to come up during times of stress or uncertainty, which can be part of many people’s jobs. However, life stress outside of work can also affect mental health, which may then affect a person at work. It’s important to understand that mental illnesses are real illnesses. Like other illnesses, such as diabetes or asthma, most mental illnesses are episodic. That means people have periods when they are well and productive, as well as periods when they are unwell and overall functioning is low.
  22. 22. How do mental illnesses impact supports and workplaces? People who experience a mental illness may doubt their abilities or appear less confident. A person may have a hard time concentrating, learning, and making decisions. Symptoms of a mental illness may feed much bigger thoughts. For example, someone who cannot concentrate may then also think that they cannot do their job well or worry about losing their job. It’s easy to see how these changes affect work performance. Mental illnesses can also have a big effect on relationships. People who experience a mental illness may withdraw from others, act in unexpected ways, take a lot of time off, or appear less productive than usual. This can strain relationships with the team leader and fellow team members. Mental illnesses cost Canadian employers billions of dollars in absenteeism or sick days, “presenteeism” (coming to work, even when the employee can’t work well), disability and other benefits, and lost productivity. What can I do about it? The good news is that mental illnesses are treatable. Early recognition of mental health problems, referrals to the right resources (such as Employee and Family Assistance Plans), and adequate treatment can help people get on the path to recovery and go back to their usual work quickly. Employees can and do reach their full potential when they have the right supports in their life, including those at their workplace. Some mental health problems in the workplace can also be prevented when organizations take steps to create mentally healthy workplaces for all employees. Telling a member of leadership or management about a diagnosis of any health problem is called disclosure. In Canada, the law says that you don’t have to tell your employers what is causing a disability. You do need to say that you’re experiencing health challenges and you have to describe what you need to work well. Your employer may need information from your health care provider around your abilities and difficulties, but they don’t need your diagnosis. There are risks and benefits to disclosing your experience of a mental illness. If you do disclose, you and your team leader may figure out strategies that help you stay at work. For example, you may change the way you complete tasks or change the tasks you do. These strategies are also called accommodations. By law, workplaces have to try to look at reasonable accommodations for anyone who experiences a disability, including a mental illness. Disclosing may help other people in your workplace understand any changes or difficulties that they’ve noticed. On the other hand, disclosing can lead to stigma or discrimination. Unfortunately, being open about a mental illness can impact a person’s position at a workplace or their ability to find a new job. There are laws to prevent this kind of discrimination, but it can still happen. Workplaces have different attitudes and cultures, so everyone will have different experiences. However, it’s best to think through all the options before you make a decision. Decisions around staying at work or taking time off are influenced by many different factors, including the nature and severity of the illness and how the illness affects your abilities to work. Ultimately, the choice should be between you, your care team and your employer. Some people benefit from time off with a gradual return to work. Others may decide to work fewer hours. Some may stay at their current working hours. Staying connected to work can be helpful during recovery. It can be a place to contribute your skills, build social connections, contribute to something bigger, and earn a pay cheque. A job can be part of how you see yourself. Talk with your care team for ideas and strategies that support your work goals. Remember to take advantage of services through your employee benefits. Employee and Family Assistance Plans and your health plan can help you find and access services in your community.
  23. 23. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca How can I help a co-worker? Different mental illnesses have different symptoms, and people experience the same mental illness in very different ways. Some people may hide their symptoms, and some people may work well despite symptoms. If you’ve noticed changes and are concerned about a co-worker, it’s best to express concern without making assumptions. If a co-worker is experiencing a mental illness, it’s best to let them decide what and how much they tell others in the workplace. However, you can still offer support. Let your teammate know that you’re there to listen without judgement, and make your teammate feel like they’re still part of the team. Here are more tips for supporting a co- worker: • Ask how you can help and respect your teammate’s wishes. • Continue to include your teammate in the workplace’s usual activities. • Depending on your relationship, you can still keep in touch with a teammate who takes time off. • When a team member returns to work after time off due to a mental illness, make them feel welcome and appreciated. Saying nothing because you’re worried about saying the wrong thing can make your teammate feel worse. • Advocate for healthy workplaces. Many wellness strategies are low-cost or no-cost, but they can still improve everyone’s well-being and build inclusive spaces. • Visit the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Works resource at www.mentalhealthworks.ca for ideas and strategies. -Canadian Mental Health Association “Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When “I” is replaced with “we”, illness becomes wellness.” -Shannon L. Alder
  24. 24. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme MovemberThe state of men’s health is in a crisis: • On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women. • Moreover, poor mental health affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. • The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide. (Statistics from Movember Foundation website - https://ca.movember.com/programs/cause) The reasons for the poor state of men’s health are numerous and complex and include: • Lack of awareness and understanding of the health issues men face • Men not openly discussing their health and how they’re feeling • Reluctance to take action when men don’t feel physically or mentally well • Men engaging in risky activities that threaten their health • Stigmas surrounding mental health As a global men’s health movement, the Movember Foundation has the ambition to contribute to improving the lives of men around the world, through programs they fund in the areas of – Awareness & Education, Living with Cancer, Research and Mental Health. They aim to change this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, the idea is to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to learn and talk about their health and take action when needed. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca 1 As an organization creating a culture of gentleness, how can we better support men’s health as a whole? 2 How can we bring more awareness within COR about the issues surrounding men’s health?
  25. 25. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme New Year, new you...right?Does your New Year’s resolution fall into one of these Top 10 ranks? Lose weight Get organized Spend less, save more Enjoy life to the fullest Stay fit and healthy Learn something exciting Quit smoking Help others in their dreams Fall in love Spend more time with family A We all set out with these big plans every time a New Year rolls around, but what is stopping us from following through with them? B What is one of your biggest struggles when faced with setting your resolution? C Do you find yourself to be more successful in following through and succeeding in your goals when you set them at different times of the year?
  26. 26. 3. Given a moment to reflect, take the time to set yourself either a professional or personal resolution. Remember to use the SMART tools when creating this goal. List three steps you plan to put into action today. JUST DO IT is a great motto from Nike! Motivation is not something that just happens at the flick of a switch. When you set out to change a habit, reach a goal, or just to follow through with anything you have to JUST DO IT, overtime internal motivation is what will keep you going. It is also important to set REALISTIC goals. Many people set out to achieve unrealistic goals and this is why we see such a high failure rate in the New Year. You need to make an action plan and set out to have SMART goals, (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). Psychology professor Peter Herman explains, when you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self- worth. Change does not happen overnight. You have to train your brain to see progress as progress and feel good about moving forward in any aspect. View it as a puzzle, each piece you put together slowly builds that puzzle into your final picture of what you are hoping to achieve. Each piece is either a part of that success or that setback, you can still move forward even if you encounter setbacks but it is up to you to take accountability to continue building the puzzle. Having said that, if you feel compelled to make New Year’s resolutions, here are some tips to help you make them work: • Focus on one resolution, set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be; • Don’t wait till New Year’s Eve to make resolutions. Make it a year long process, every day; • Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too overwhelming requiring too much effort and action all at once; • Have an accountability partner, someone you trust to whom you can keep in touch with not only about your successes but most importantly your struggles; • Celebrate each success along the way, remember those smaller, realistic goals are the building blocks to your final destination. Don’t wait to reach your destination to celebrate; • Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to train your brain to change habits; • Focus on the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal? • Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment-by-moment, rather than living in the past or future. Given a moment to reflect, take the time to set yourself either a professional or personal resolution. Remember to use the SMART tools when creating this goal. List three steps you plan to put into action today. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca
  27. 27. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Overeating at holiday meetings Tis’ the season to spend time with those we love, indulge on the delicious eats to be offered and be filled with guilt after we sit on the couch and cannot move! Here are some tips to beat that overindulgence trigger that is fighting your brain! creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca 1 Let’s be REAL...don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, instead focus on maintaining your current weight. 2 Exercise, set a time to get active, even if it means first thing in the morning when you have the most energy to just go for a walk or do some exercises in your living room. This will help relieve holiday stress and prevent or offset weight gain. 3 Avoid skipping meals. If you are heading out to a party, eat a light snack, like raw vegetables or fruit to curb your appetite. This will help with temptation and over- indulgence at the party. 4 If there is a buffet table of options balance your plate with fruits and vegetables and a few of your favourite “not so healthy” choices. 5 Satisfied not stuffed. Eat until you feel comfortably satisfied vs. cramming it all in. Savor those treats in smaller portions, share with your spouse or significant others. 6 If you just so happen to overeat during your Christmas meal, take it easy on the next meal and eat lighter and choose more of those vegetable and fruits over the mashed potatoes and stuffing. 7 Take the focus off food, maybe you are a baker but this year you can change things up and find your inner DIY with wreaths and other Christmas décor. You can plan fun games and activities for your family and friends like, volunteering in the community, playing card games, or going on a twinkle tour. 8 Take the initiative to bring your spin on a popular holiday dish in a healthier way. 9 Practice healthy holiday cooking. Find healthier alternatives for some of your favorite holiday dishes. 10 Last but not least what is one idea that you can share that may help the team find ways to promote healthier holiday eating?
  28. 28. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Everyone needs a little R & R Loneliness is not something to aim for, but being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely. In fact, spending more time with ourselves, without being surrounded by people, and without virtually surrounding ourselves via all those social networking platforms, we can find solace in the company that matters most: the relationship we have with ourselves. The number one reason for having stress and fatigue is poor work-life balance. • 120 hours for working • 5 hours for sleep • 20 hours for coffee, etc. SOUND FAMILIAR? “Relaxing means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being.” - Donald Curtis
  29. 29. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca 1 What is holding you back from creating a deeper relationship within yourself? 2 Why do you think it is important to have that connection with one’s self? 3 In what ways can we immerse this with Gentle Teaching? There is no wrong answer. 4 Today, commit to three ways you plan to make yourself a priority and implement some purposeful R & R into your life. 5 What are some signs for you personally when you have become overloaded and overwhelmed with stress and work? Do you know how to consciously recognize those and intervene before it becomes too much? 6 How can your fellow supports help you through some of those crazy, chaotic times?
  30. 30. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. The Government of Canada adopted four themes that are consistently high priorities of the Canadian public: 1. Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; 2. Maintaining Water Quality and Availability; 3. Protecting Nature; and 4. Shrinking the Environmental Footprint. As the government takes the LEAD strategy, so should we: L Lead by example- create and participate in activities that will have a direct impact on the individuals we support, our team members we support with and our surrounding community that we care for; E Enabling capacity- management and leadership build capacity for others to take action, create a strategic plan in support of government goals and targets; A Advancing knowledge and communications- activities related to gaining knowledge and sharing information; and D Demanding performance- ensure that laws and regulations are followed to effectively change our habits. “When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.” -David Orr
  31. 31. Strategic Action Plan As a team, create an action plan that you can implement at the house. Be sure to create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented). It may be a great idea to start with a brainstorming session and throw out thoughts about where you can start. After, you can narrow it down to 3-5 of your top areas to focus on as a team. Use the space below. Create opportunity for certain people to take initiative to get the ball rolling but it is important to all take initiative as a team. Find ways to get those you support involved with becoming more eco-conscious. Be creative and construct your strategic action plan into something visual, anything you want! Have it visible in the house as a fun reminder as to why we are doing this. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca
  32. 32. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme STEPtember COR on the move - let’s make every step count! Are you looking for a way to increase your fitness levels, develop new healthy habits and enjoy spending time with family and friends doing it? The options are endless as to how you can walk, run, roll, swim or dance to get your 10,000 daily step count in. 1 What are some of your favourite activities that you participate in that involves being active? 2 In what ways can we share our favourite ways to be active with those that we support? What benefit would this have to you and the individual? 3 We talk about being intentional in our ways and doing things with purpose. How can you become more intentional in your ways to “make every step count” not only with yourself but with the people you support?
  33. 33. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Monthly Team Challenge On a large monthly calendar track your team’s physical activity levels for one month. On the calendar write the activity, the time spent and the name of the individuals that participated! For example: • Running laps 30 minutes • Playing basketball 1 hour • Dancing 2 hours • Walking around Wascana Lake 1 hour ENCOURAGE the people you support to be just as involved. Think about creating ways to be intentional in preventing and reducing our risk of becoming overweight. At the end of the month, tally up your team’s total number of physical activity hours. The team with the most hours will win a prize! “Take small steps each day. You might not get there today, but you’ll be closer than yesterday.” -Fyrefly
  34. 34. COR’s Monthly Health & Wellness Theme STEPtember COR on the move - let’s make every step count! Are you looking for a way to increase your fitness levels, develop new healthy habits and enjoy spending time with family and friends doing it? The options are endless as to how you can walk, run, dance, do yoga, swim or kick box to get your 10,000 daily step count in. WARNING: Exercise has been to known to cause health and happiness. 1 What are some of your favourite activities that you participate in that involves being active? 2 What is one activity that you have never tried but would like to? Set a time as to when you will try this new activity so you can share your experience with your team. 3 In what ways are you encouraging individuals you support to be active? What benefit would this have to you and the individual? 4 What is one of your biggest struggles about being physically active? What is one thing you can start today to begin breaking down that struggle?
  35. 35. creativeoptionsregina.ca 4to40.ca Monthly Team Challenge On a large monthly calendar track your team’s physical activity levels for one month. On the calendar write the activity, the time spent and the name of the individuals that participated! For example: • Running laps 30 minutes • Playing basketball 1 hour • Dancing 2 hours • Walking around Wascana Lake 1 hour ENCOURAGE the people you support to be just as involved. Think back to August’s theme of the month about obesity and creating ways to be intentional in preventing and reducing our risk of becoming overweight. At the end of the month, tally up your team’s total number of physical activity hours. The team with the most hours will win a prize! There’s no better time than now to make it count, so let’s do this!

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  • JaikumarVelayudham

    Oct. 1, 2020

Health & Wellness Themes of the Month are focused on raising awareness about important health topics. The different dimensions of health play a key role in how we thrive and succeed not only in our personal lives, but within our job and career. These themes help create a healthy balance between those dimensions and foster healthy conversation as an organization about how we can improve our quality of life from one day to the next. When we are aware of these dimensions, we can assist in raising awareness to those we serve in helping them to improve their own quality of life. A few topics we cover include: Connecting with nature, STEPtember, diabetes, hydration, de-cluttering and organizing your life, and of course having fun, just to name a few.

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