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. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're a Health Plus plan member, remember you have access to free, professional Wellness Resources.