This week will see a number of restrictions, put in place due to COVID-19, lifted in communities across Canada. We remain in a time of transition and unknowns. From front-line workers to small business owners, we are all doing our part to support ourselves and each other through this pandemic.
Facing this new phase in the COVID-19 response, and in the wake of Mental Health Week, the PaymentEvolution team wants to underscore the value of workplace wellness. Last week came with an outpouring of love and compassion around mental health. This week, as some begin returning to work, we want to help maintain the momentum so workplace wellness stays top of mind.
Mental Health in 2020
This year’s Mental Health Week was unique. It came on the heels of nearly 2 million lost jobs in April due to COVID-19. Many who have kept their jobs have had to work from home or face the risks of front-line coronavirus exposure. Students have been at home, unable to attend school. Even longstanding retail businesses like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus are facing bankruptcy. In short, whether it’s at home or at work, there are plenty of stressors at play.
Self Care Is Accessible To All
During this pandemic we have had to deal with a backdrop of ongoing closures in parks, beaches & playgrounds across the country. Even with our limited options for getting outdoors, it was still essential to get fresh air and soak up any outdoor time we could. This week, parks in Ontario will reopen and there is no excuse for staying inside.
Did You Know?
Getting outside has many benefits that can improve both your physical health and mental health. Spending time outside can improve symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.
Mental health research and even Ontario Parks say that just a short time (20 mins) in nature can cause a noticeable improvement on stress symptoms like muscle tension, blood pressure and can also reduce cortisol, which is a stress hormone released in the brain.
The Great Outdoors
In addition to getting your vitamin D (a.k.a. ‘the happy vitamin’) from exposure to sunshine, being outside and in nature can also increase endorphin levels and dopamine production, which also promotes happiness.
Building time in your day to get out for a short walk, bike ride, or even step out on your back porch or balcony will not just change your scenery, but your state of mind as well. The research is clear, the great outdoors offers serious benefits to our physical and mental health.
Get Your Mental Health Groove On
Have you noticed that during this period of self-isolation many people are posting or watching social media feeds of themselves or others singing, playing music or dancing? It turns out that there is a good reason for this.
Many mental health experts believe that music has the power to heal. In good times, we use music as a form of celebration, and, when times are not so bright, we seek out music as a form of therapy to help us with whatever we may be experiencing. Music has many benefits, especially in this time of reduced activity and self-isolation. For many, music can:
- Get you moving;
- Get you singing and expressing;
- Lift your spirits;
- Give you the feeling of connection; and
- Improve your sleep.
In 2018, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) introduced a research study called Harnessing the Healing Power of Music. In the study, experts were seeking non-medical ways to treat depression without the use of pharmaceuticals. Since that time, more projects related to music and mental health have been introduced.
Whatever genre or artist you prefer…. Turn it on, turn it up. Jump up, belt it out, and above all, be well!
We’re Social Animals
One of the biggest challenges we are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the missing connection and social interaction that usually consume our normal daily routines.
As a community, we know that social distancing is a weapon we can use to control and mitigate the spread of the virus, but in a time where physical distance and isolation are so important, we find ourselves craving human connection.
Staying connected with your friends and loved ones is one of the most valuable ways to combat the virus’ impact on mental health. There are various forms of technology at hand that will allow you to minimize the distance with a friend, family member or co-worker.
Stay connected with those who are vulnerable during this time:
- Senior citizens
- Individuals living alone
- Individuals with existing mental illnesses
- Individuals who are experiencing financial strain or job loss.
- Those who have experienced a death or the illness of a loved one.
If you or a loved one are feeling isolated:
- Seek support from a positive friend or family member.
- Call, video conference, chat, email or text.
- Reach out to a formal support such as councillor
- Online or telephone counselling
- Crisis Services Canada: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/
Tips for having a meaningful conversation:
- Discuss how you are feeling. Simply discussing the impact of social distancing can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety related to it.
- Listen intently and let them know you hear them and are there for them, even if it’s from a distance.
- Explore other interests together, such as online interactive video games, workouts, classes or a book club.
Together But Apart
Now, more than ever meaningful connections are impactful. Taking a few moments out of your day to connect with the people in your life who are positive influences will help reduce the feeling of loneliness, stress and anxiety for you and your nearest and dearest.
Well Being Starts With Gratitude
We have plenty to be grateful for at PaymentEvolution! In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we are standing together to support our community and service our customers. We’re serious about standing together!
The PE team is blessed to have a strong sense of purpose that motivates us every day. Whether it’s in honour of Mental Health Week, in honour of your general well being, or in response to the additional stresses that many are facing this year with COVID-19, we know that when we practice gratitude, we are choosing a proven way to boost mood and improve mental health!
From all of us at PaymentEvolution, thank you for trusting us with your payroll, benefits and HR business. PaymentEvolution would be nothing without you.
We wish you gratitude for the good things in your life and business. And… From all of us at PaymentEvolution…
- THANK YOU for trusting us with your payroll, benefits and HR business.
- THANK YOU for being a part of our social community.
- THANK YOU for your contribution to the economy and community.
PaymentEvolution would be nothing without you.
At PaymentEvolution, we are so serious about the value and well being of people, that we reinvented HR consulting to better prioritize the “human” element.
If you need ANY support for the people who support your business, our HX experts are ready, willing and able to serve. If you have any questions, our team is standing by. Contact HX at HX@PaymentEvolution.com.
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