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Balance and Self-Care in the Workplace

A thank you note from a Workplace Health Planning Consultant

Full disclosure — I love to write thank you notes — handwritten, digital, on social and snail mail. We are super grateful to the BCDevExchange for broadcasting an interactive webinar on Balance and Self-Care in the Workplace…. so this an unreserved thank you for proliferating the importance of the relationship between well-being and the workplace.

I was particularly struck by the candour and vulnerability modeled by the panelists:

  • Shea Stewart — Partner at Arctiq Inc.
  • Stephanie Bacon — Director of Platform Services
  • Tolu Aniemena-Osauwa — Scrum Master
  • Ari Hershberg — Community Practice Lead

Don’t worry if you missed the webinar as you can watch it here.

Thank you to the 137 active users that made the conversation about Balance and Self-Care in the Workplace richer. To express our gratitude for showing up, offering great comments, asking lots of questions and sharing your insight, we are offering a few resources and ideas.

What are some techniques available for managing burnout when taking time off is not an option?

Check out this article available through our Employee and Family Assistance provider and some ideas from HelpGuide. Most importantly, who can you talk to or ask for help?

Any suggestions for LWS (Leading Workplace Strategies) workers?

Yes. I have a colleague I have never met face-to-face and we have weekly scheduled chats — not a meeting but a chance to connect via video. My other tips and tricks include sharing your location on Skype/Outlook calendar, making sure I go outside in the middle of the day when I work from home, using video often (even if it means PJs on the bottom and collared shirt on top) and we often all Skype in for meetings (even if most of us are at the office). At first, you may have to be deliberate about these connection points and then it becomes “business as usual”.

For anyone to answer — How do you draw boundaries when your work is meeting all your needs but you’re overcommitting?

This will be a life long journey for me though I have a much healthier approach now. One concept that continues to resonate with me is essentialism. It can also be interesting to reflect on how this fits into the eight dimensions of health.

Self-care practices tend to be less accessible to people who are tight on money. How can we ensure all employees avoid burnout regardless of income level?

As a starting place, note that EFAS and other resources are available to you as a BCPS employee. On a personal note, many of my most effective self-care strategies are very accessible — time in “near-by nature”, consuming positive content (i.e. library books, TED talks, LifeSpeak videos, etc.), connecting friends or family, choosing a healthy, home-cooked meal over fast food, walking mediation, drinking more water and moving my body. One of the downsides of social media in my estimation is the monetizing of self-care.

Community?

So many great comments and questions about community. The need for belonging is a core human experience and can take so many forms (especially on the introvert-extrovert continuum). Finding community can take place in the digital world…. and in real life. Perhaps consider volunteering, asking a colleague to go for a walk at lunch, joining a Meet Up, join a club, switch one of your solo runs to a run with running store group, sign for a new course (you should see my collection of beginner pottery pieces) or invite a neighbour over for tea. You can join the conversation on @Work: Health Where You Work and Health-Bent.

Sleep?

Eep — seems like lots of people are not getting adequate sleep. I have made four significant changes that have dramatically improved my sleep — no cell phones in the bedroom, disconnect from all screens by 9:30 pm, blackout blinds and bought myself a lovely alarm clock that wakes me with light before sound. Sleep is crucial to well-being and figuring what works best for you can be a key strategy to optimal health and performance (** note you will have to log in as a BCPS employee). Admittedly I have become quite protective of my sleep.

Resilience and psychological safety?

My first suggestion is to check out the Health & Well-being Workshops available through the Learning Centre, plus this free online resource and resource list with fantastic mental health resources. Alternately, please reach out to the BCPSA Health Promotion team!

While I have a lifelong passion for well-being and have recently joined the BCPSA Health Promotion team, I will always consider myself a student on the health journey much like our panelists. We look forward to continuing this dialogue and would love to hear from others on their individual and collective well-being journeys.

Thank you again to the BCDevExchange, the panelists and the incredible audience. You have inspired me to be open and vulnerable about my own well-being and to that end I am declaring that I will embrace nutrition month with more vegetables!

With gratitude,

Jenn

* Disclaimer: Some of the links in the article are for BC Public Service only. The information on this site is provided as a general information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical

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