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Tag Archives for " COVID-19 "

wellness moment self-care

A Serious Conversation About Self-Care

Health Plus Wellness Moment

A Serious Conversation About Self-Care

While we often take a light-hearted approach in these Wellness Moments, the ongoing stress of the pandemic calls for a more serious conversation. 

During COVID-19, even those of us who take pride in our ability to 'keep calm and carry on' have had our resilience tested. In differing degrees, most people have experienced sadness, depression, anxiety, possibly anger at the stress and disruption, and many are dealing with serious loss and chaos. Angus Reid Institute recently reported that nearly half of Canadians said their mental health is suffering and worsened during COVID-19, more than 1-in-10 say 'worsened a lot'. 

Mental health IS health. Along with the physical risks of the pandemic, taking care of our mental and emotional well-being is our number one job. That means doing what we need to do for ourselves to manage stress. Every one of us. Now. Clearly more difficult when you're taking care of others too, but putting on 'your own oxygen mask first' is not selfish. It is Self Care. Essential for you and those who depend on you in your household, neighbourhood, or business.

While attitude and gratitude, exercise and extra sleep can all help, sometimes we need more. There's strength, not shame in looking beyond the usual coping tactics when necessary. If this is a time when you could use support, we recommend a few excellent resources available to all.  

Visit the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and find your local or provincial branch to learn what resources and support programs are available in your region, including crisis and peer support helplines and referral services. 

One such program is BounceBack, a free program from CMHA for ages 15+, offering online tools and coaching to build skills to manage mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. 

In addition to its regular programs, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has developed a resource site specifically to provide information, stress relief and coping tools during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Your local pharmacist is always a good source for health knowledge. In addition, Shoppers Drug Mart is currently providing online resources on meditation, healthy eating and stress relief. 

We encourage you to take a moment to check in with yourself to assess how you're coping and what you need for your health (not what you think you 'should' be able to handle). Stick to the habits you know work for you, use tools you'll find online and please, don't hesitate to call someone if that's what you need. 

When health is at risk it's frightening and sad, certainly no laughing matter, and it's okay to cry. But as we work to regain equilibrium, there is a place for laughter. In fact, experts say it helps heal and protect us. We hope you find something in your day to make you smile, chuckle, or laugh right out loud, even better if you can share the moment with someone who needs the lift too. 

This Wellness Moment is from Health Plus Insurance. From our family to yours, take care and stay safe. If you have a comment on these ideas or more to suggest, send us a note. Always glad to hear from you.  info@healthplusinsurance.ca 

If you're a Health Plus plan member, remember you have access to free, professional Wellness Resources

Support small business

How Everyone Can Support Small Business Today

How Everyone Can Support Small Business Today

The COVID-19 pandemic is a scary time for all of us. We’re concerned about our health and the health of our loved ones. The economy is taking a hit. And the uncertainty of how long this will last or how much worse it will get is making everyone anxious. While the mass shuttering of businesses for the foreseeable future may be the best thing for the health of Canadians it is no doubt an especially harsh reality for small business owners and employees. Small businesses are a huge part of Canada’s economy so we want them not merely to survive but to thrive. Here are some ways we can continue to support small business and independent workers through these tough times 

Shop Local Online

With physical locations closed, many of us are turning to online shopping both for necessities and luxuries to help get us through this time. Many small businesses have already done a great job of transitioning or expanding to serve their communities online. You can find almost everything you need online, groceries, self-care items, virtual business services, art, your favourite band tee, the list goes on.  Before you click the purchase button consider how much money stays in your local community. When possible try to shop local and arrange contactless delivery or pick up.  

Order for Delivery or Pickup

As places where people gather, restaurants and bars have been especially hard hit. If you’ve overestimated your cooking skills the past few weeks or simply want to try something new, consider ordering from one of the local spots that have remained open for take-out or delivery Some restaurants are even offering meal kits if you want to try recreating a favourite recipe at home. For your virtual cocktail hour, consider ordering from a local brewery, winery or distillery. Many are offering free or discounted delivery rates.  

Purchase a Gift Card

It will support small business owners now with immediate cash flow as they’re dealing with closures or reduced sales and feel great to use later. Many businesses even offer virtual gift cards you can purchase and use online. Buy from a favourite restaurant, café, independent shop or practitioner whose services you love or from somewhere you’ve been meaning to try. It will be something to look forward to or make a great gift.

Like, Comment, Share or Subscribe   

We’ve probably all been spending more time than we care to admit on social media in recent weeks. Why not engage in a positive way? Liking, commenting and sharing helps businesses connect with their customers virtually, build credibility, and reach new audiences.  

Write a Review 

Small businesses often rely on word of mouth and positive reviews to get people in the store, making purchases, or signing up for services. If you’ve had a good experience, let people knowIt will help business owners feel appreciated and help new customers to choose local when searching for a similar experience. 

Share Your Digital Skills or Start a Virtual Project

If you have digital or social media skills, consider offering to help a local business owner improve their online presence. Or, reach out to a freelancer or small business to hire and move forward with a digital project yourself. There are a lot of incredibly talented professionals well-versed in working virtually who can help with everything from traditional digital work such as web design or online content, to health coaching or interior design. 

Stay Home

Above all else, follow the advice of Public Health authorities and stay home. Respect physical distancing guidelines and do everything you can to limit the spread of COVID-19. The better job we do right now, the sooner small businesses can resume operations, get back to business, and continue to strengthen our communities.