CMHA Mental Health Week

Hey everyone, we’re taking some time during our emergency preparedness week to talk about mental health.

It’s the Canadian Mental Health Association’s annual Mental Health Week this week — and here are some key strategies you can put to use right away!

  • Listen hard when someone wants to talk.
  • Don’t jump in or judge.
  • Before you weigh in, tune in. 

Start here with The Power of Empathy.

Emergency Preparedness Week: READY FOR ANYTHING!

Hey everyone, it’s Emergency Preparedness Week and we’re posting some great resources to help you stay prepared for emergencies!

This year’s campaign is all about being ready for anything — and you can share how you’re preparing (and help others in the process!) by participating in the Government of Canada social media campaign in support of Emergency Preparedness Week! Get creative, have fun, and get ready for anything:

Participate in our tag challenge or enter to win an emergency kit.

Be a positive influence within your networks by participating in our tag challenge. Show us your best emergency preparedness tip in a video or photo, and tag 3 or your friends or family and ask them to share their tip.

You can also win an emergency preparedness kit. Simply tell us how how you’re helping to make you and your family better prepared to cope during an emergency, and use the hashtag #ReadyforAnything.

It can be as simple as making an emergency kit with items found around your home, creating a family emergency plan, or becoming more informed about the hazards in your area. Get creative and post those messages, photos, or videos!

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #EPWeek2022 and #ReadyforAnything.

https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/ep-wk/index-en.aspx

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!

Safely active springtime!

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

It’s springtime – and the days are getting longer, the temperatures are getting higher, and the plants are getting bigger! For many of us, springtime brings sports, hiking, picnics, gardening, and just generally getting outside more often.

Being outside can also mean sports injuries, insect bites, allergies, sun exposure, storms. HealthLinkBC has a great page full of resources to help you be prepared as you venture out to enjoy spring, including:

  • Common Sports Injuries and First Aid (bruises, elbow injuries, hand/finger/wrist injuries, leg injuries, head injuries)
  • Insect Bites and Stings (allergies and toxic reactions to bites, home remedies, insect vs spider bites, insect repellant and DEET, tick bites)
  • Plants and Wildlife (rodents, moths, wilderness and wildlife risks, poison ivy, oak, sumac)
  • Seasonal Allergies (allergy triggers, allergy shots, medications, hay fever)
  • Sun Safety (heat protection, ultraviolet radiation, sun safety)

Most importantly, the website can help you learn about the benefits of physical activity, how to add more physical activity to your life, how to set physical activity goals, and how to stay safe while being physically active.

So let’s get out there and enjoy springtime – safely!

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!

Driver safety!

Hey everyone, ICBC has a new hazard perception training application available called Street Sense — check it out here to improve your safe driving skills! We’ve also posted a link permanently here.