ZEN ZONE: Part 5!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we have taken time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Some of the questions we’ve looked at this month were:

As we’ve been exploring our own stress management strategies this month, we can check in on how things went.

Did you use The Stress Management Society’s 30 Day Challenge resources to find strategies that worked for you? Did you track the activities you did for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing? Which tips and tricks worked best for you? Did you learn something new about managing stress this month?

At the end of the day, we are all different – and our best stress management strategies will all be different too!

Making the Zen Zone part of our health and safety month this year has been about exploring new ways to look at stress, trying new ways to manage stress, and (hopefully!) feeling the difference that managing stress proactively can make in our daily lives. Let us know how it went in the comments!

ZEN ZONE: Part 4!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Last week we looked at how to respond to stress in the moment by using tactical breathing. This week, we’re asking another question: how does stress cause damage?

Knowing about the long-term effects of stress over time helps us understand the damage it can cause — check out the Stress Management Society video below that explains more about stress and pressure by imagining a bridge. You can use a color grid, like this one from the CMA website, to check in on where you are currently and see how often you leave the “Green” zone:

One of the stress management strategies from the Canadian Medical Association website is to pace yourself by understanding that we all have physical and emotional limits. It’s important to be intentional with what you’re setting out to achieve in order to support healthy limits. Consider trying out a planner, like this one offered through the Stress Management Society website.

There are many resources online that offer strategies you can use to manage stress – get curious, explore, and find a strategy that works for you. Check out the Mayo Clinic’s “The 4 A’s of Stress Relief” here and read about 5 tips to manage stress here.

Seasonal Safety

Hey everyone, welcome to Health & Safety Month 2022! Today, we’re looking at how to be safe in the coming season.

Seasonal hazards happen more often at specific times of year, like with flooding in the Spring and with wildfires in the Summer. Planning what to do when there’s a hazard (like an air or water quality advisory) or an emergency (like a wildfire) can be scary. To lighten up the planning, take a page out of the Province’s book and pretend to plan for a Zombie Apocalypse! If you’re prepared for Zombies, you’re prepared for an emergency. (Who says Health & Safety can’t be fun?!)

While it’s always good to be prepared for “big” emergencies, like the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s also important to be prepared for “everyday” hazards, like water and air quality problems and heat waves, that can affect your health.

OUR WATER:

Changes to our drinking water quality can happen for many reasons. Extra material in our water (like from flooding) or breakdowns to facilities and equipment that make water safe can result in warnings about water quality. It’s important to pay attention to news about water quality, like a Boil Water Advisory, in your area. You can find out more about the three kinds of water quality notifications, what triggers them, and what actions to take here. You can also find a drinking water advisory map for Interior Health region here.

OUR AIR:

Changes to our air quality can also affect our health. Like with water quality, there are many things that can change the quality of the air, like extra material (from smoke and fires) and different types of particles (like ozone). Pay attention to news about air quality in your area the same way you would for water quality. You can find out more about the Air Quality Health Index, which is how good the air quality is at any time, here. You can also find out what air quality alerts are issued here.

SUMMER HEAT:

ZEN ZONE: Part 3!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Last week we looked at sources of stress, and how wellness supports like focusing on slowing down the flow of information helps keep stress from being unhelpful. This week, we’re following up with another question: how can we best respond to stress in the moment?

A key component to responding to stress is to recognize how it affects the body physically — check out the BBC video below that explains more.

One of the stress management strategies from the Canadian Medical Association website is a breathing exercise developed by the Canadian Armed Forces (tactical breathing):

  • Breathe in slowly for a count of four, visualizing each number as you count.
  • Pause and hold your breath for a count of four.
  • Exhale slowly for a count of four.
  • Repeat four times.

Consider adding this breathing exercise in to your daily wellbeing practices. You can also have a peek at the wellbeing suggestions for the 30 Day Challenge and add new ideas to your calendar for this week!

Safety at Home: Part 2!

Hey everyone, welcome to Health & Safety Month 2022! Today, we’re looking at how to be safe at home.

Each summer we look forward to sunshine and hot weather – but with hot weather comes dry conditions, and the risk of wildfires increases with the temperatures.

As the weather heats up, it’s important to make sure your home fire extinguishers are in good condition, and to know how to use your home fire extinguisher using P-A-S-S to put out small fires to stop them from spreading. Check it out:

There are also ways to plan proactively to minimize risks from wildfires at your home. Check out the information below from the Kelowna Fire Department:

ZEN ZONE: Part 2!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Last week we looked at basic information about what stress is, and resources to integrate wellness supports into our daily lives. This week, we’re following up with another question: where does stress come from?

The short answer is, stress can come from different sources, and we all experience it differently. According to the Canadian Medical Association, this includes:

Physical conditions: fatigue, exhaustion, insomnia, pain, illness, substance use

Psychology and emotions: anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness/lack of control

Personal circumstances: financial, relationship, family needs and/or disruptions

School and work: schedules, workload, complaints

We can see from the list above that sources of stress are common. The key is to stop stress from crossing from “helpful” into “unhelpful” — check out the CMHA video below about keeping stress in check.

You can also have a peek at the wellbeing suggestions for the 30 Day Challenge and add new ideas to your calendar for this week! One of the wellbeing suggestions is also a strategy from the Canadian Medical Association website: manage stress by increasing FOCUS, which means slowing down the flow of information. It can be helpful to identify times where you’re not consuming social media or news. If you’re interested in doing a digital detox, you can use this assessment at the start and at the end to see if things change for you!

Safety at Home

Hey everyone, welcome to Health & Safety Month 2022! Today, we’re looking at how to be safe at home.

Cooking meals at home is a fun and creative activity most of us do often! But, if we aren’t careful, we can cause a fire by accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking caused the most reports of home fires and home fire injuries between 2015-2019.

With some tips and some proactive planning, we can be safer while we cook. Here’s a video that helps show how to be safe in the kitchen:

ZEN ZONE!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

So let’s start at the beginning: what is stress?

Stress is “the body’s response to a real or perceived threat” and it’s meant to “get people ready for some kind of action to get them out of danger” — and, it can be either helpful, or unhelpful. We’re going to focus on dealing with unhelpful stress. Over the coming month we will have a look at the strategies found in the brochure below, under “what can I do about it” — and we’ll try to find ways to make those strategies something we can do each day.

As we’re exploring our own stress management strategies this month, we can use The Stress Management Society’s 30 Day Challenge resources to get started — check out their calendar to help track the activities you want to do for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for 30 days, and their tips and tricks for choosing activities to try!

April 2022: Health and Safety month!

Hey everyone, we are launching our annual Health and Safety month today for April 2022! *And no, this is not an April Fools joke (though we posted a Friday Funny earlier – check it out here!)

Each year we take time in April to focus in on promoting health and safety for everyone we support, caregivers, and employees. We are going to be including a very special focus this year on stress management, which we thought would be helpful as we all continue to cope with COVID-19 in our communities.

You can expect to see weekly posts on Mondays covering different health and safety topics, from Healthy Habits to Home Safety. You can also expect to see weekly posts on Fridays zooming in on stress management strategies. We’ll be including information and sharing resources from our teams during the week, too.

Got a great safety resource or an interesting piece of health info? Don’t be shy – sharing is caring! Drop it in a comment below or send it over in an email!