Take Care

Message from the CAO

Carey HerdThe challenges of the past year have impacted us all.  Everyone is tired and has changed their routines significantly – from the way we work to how we live.  We continue to adapt to an evolving situation and as your CAO I want to provide reassurance and guidance, but unfortunately, I don’t begin to have all the answers.

To support the health and well-being of you and your loved ones, I have initiated a platform called “Take Care”.  It is designed to help you find and access additional support you may need as we navigate these complicated times together. This information is available to all staff on our external website and is completely mobile friendly if you would like to access it from your cell phone. 

One size doesn’t fit all, each of you may be looking for something different, but I want to ensure that your concerns are addressed in a meaningful way.  

Taking care of your physical and mental health needs to be a priority.  Supporting our employees and their families during this stressful and uncertain time will benefit everyone for years to come.

New information will be added as it becomes available, if you are aware of something that we haven’t included and think it would be a useful resource for others, please contact People Services at peopleservices@caledon.ca.

In addition to these new resources, please remember that all employees and their families have access to the Town of Caledon’s confidential Employee Assistance Program (EFAP). 

Maintaining well-being is different for everyone.  I believe by increasing access to wellness resources, it is a step towards a more inclusive and equitable workplace.  I believe this is an opportunity to support our staff and remind you that you matter.

I hope you find this information helpful – please take care.

Carey

Carey Herd  (she/her)
Chief Administrative Officer

 

Take Care

Resources

 Articles

ComPsych Corporation is the pioneer and worldwide leader in GuidanceResources, including employee assistance programs (EAPs), behavioral health, work-life, wellness, crisis intervention services and outsourced HR solutions.

We offer a variety of services to our client companies, including: EAP services, critical incident stress debriefings (CISDs), workshop/training sessions and substance-abuse specialty services.

ComPsych is committed to the delivery of high-quality services to both our customers and our clients. Our network of providers is essential to the delivery of this care.

 

Prospective providers are encouraged to complete the Prospective Provider Interest Form to apply for network participation. For more information, please visit our Credentialing section.

Providers who participate in ComPsych's provider network, will be able to access the system to:

  • Log claims
  • Check the status of claims
  • Provide client discharge information
  • Request extensions of referral "end dates"
  • Complete "Outpatient Treatment Review" forms
  • Update provider profile information                             
 Websites

In the event of an emergency or if you are in crisis, you should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

 Podcasts

More podcasts

Apps
  • WellCAN has excellent COVID-19 health and wellness resources
  • Fit Radio streams DJ music mixes with a consistent beat to help with your fitness workout
  • Sworkit has guided exercise routines that last 5-60 minutes.
  • To track your habits and keep you motivated, try apps like MyFitnessPal or Habitica.
  • COVID-Alert: the official government app that alerts you if you've been exposed.

For the latest local information on case numbers, vaccines and restrictions, visit peelregion.ca/coronavirus.

Videos

 Building resilience
 How to "have that talk" about mental health
 Caring for YOU, the caregiver
How to be kind to yourself
 7 tips to manage anxiety
How to cope with social distancing and isolation

More videos

Mental health resources for Town of Caledon staff

Coping with stress

Stress is a fact of daily life and is the result of both the good and bad things that happen to us. Too much negative stress can cause serious health concerns, but there are many ways of dealing with the stress you may be feeling right now to reduce your risk.

Measure your stress

Take the Canadian Mental Health Association’s questionnaire regularly to monitor shifts in your stress levels and take action as needed. 

Take the stress test

Create a plan

If your stress levels concern you, build a stress management action plan. With this online tool from the Psychology Foundation of Canada, identify and address the source of your stress.

Build an action plan

Self-care and resilience

When life gets busy and our sense of well-being and balance is affected, we often forget to take care of ourselves or we look for quick fixes or solutions to problems.

Building self-care into your daily or weekly routine can greatly improve resilience and prevent burnout. 

Create a plan

Use this worksheet from Mental Health First Aid Canada to map out how and when to use these self-care practices and resilience building strategies.

Download the template (pdf)

 

Self-care Toolkit

We've put together some resources to help you create your own self-care toolkit. 

Be compassionate with yourself and others and remind yourself, “I’m doing the best I can.”

 Top 6 Tips 
A little bit of anxiety is not a bad thing as it makes us conscious about the decisions we’re making when it comes to our health. It also encourages us to be prepared.
  1. Keep perspective.
    Though it is important to stay informed it is also important to keep perspective. Do not spend too much time checking the news channels. Remember to also spend time on other important and positive things in your life.
  2. Take precautions.
    Once you’ve determined what the recommended precautions are, incorporate those into your regular routine – regular handwashing, wearing a cloth mask and following the physical distance guidelines are key.
  3. Stay connected.
    Have a support network of people you talk to when you’re feeling anxious. This can help keep you grounded and remind you to keep the perspective you need.
  4. Use your coping skills.
    If you experience anxiety in other areas of your life remember to engage in the practices that you may have already learned to help manage your anxiety levels. For example, engaging in regular mindfulness, taking a few deep breaths, getting outdoors, getting enough rest, eating healthy and listening to music.
  5. Seek extra help.
    If you’re still struggling with your anxiety or experiencing panic that is affecting your ability to maintain your regular activities, consider seeking additional support, as many others do.
  6. Practice self-care.
    Self-care and resiliency are critically important during these challenging times, as worries can escalate if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Resilience is the ability to roll with the punches. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, you may still experience normal emotions such as anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to keep functioning.
 Manage isolation

What used to be a normal day with comfortable routines, instead has become another long day for you, especially if you are in a work from home/remote work arrangement. These times can be challenging, so now is the time to focus on you and your mental wellness.

Try some of these ideas to keep you “even keel” and bring some normalcy to each day. 

  1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that’s varied and includes time for work as well as time for self-care.
  2. Dress for the day, everyday! Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a facial or try that new charcoal mask. Put on some bright colours. It’s amazing how we dress can impact our mood.
  3. Get outside at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you’re concerned about contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets. If you’re high risk or living with those who are, open the windows and blast the fan. It’s amazing how much fresh air can do for your spirit!
  4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!
  5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek out and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well.
  6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well. We often find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
  7. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It’s important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
  8. Focus on safety and attachment. We’re going to be living for a bit with the unprecedented demand of meeting work deadlines, homeschooling children, running a sterile household, and making a whole lot of entertainment in confinement. We can get wrapped up in meeting expectations in all domains, but we must remember these are scary and unpredictable times for children. Focus on strengthening the connection through time spent following their lead, through physical touch, through play, and via verbal reassurances that you will be there for them in this time.
  9. Lower expectations and practice radical self-acceptance.
  10. This idea is connected with #8. We are doing too many things in this moment, under fear and stress. This does not make a formula for excellence. Instead, give yourself what psychologists call “radical self-acceptance”: accepting everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this—there’s no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an impossible situation.
  11. Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.

Source: Excerpts from MyWorkplaceHealth, Dr. Joti Samra

 Children | School

 

As a family, making decisions about the health, safety and well-being of your children may cause certain emotions to surface, such as fear, stress and anxiety. This is normal. Our children will also be experiencing many different emotions during this time of uncertainty; so patience and understanding is a virtue you will need plenty of.

Talk with your child about how the school environment may look different this year (e.g., desks far apart from each other, teachers maintaining physical distance, possibility of staying in the classroom for lunch or virtual learning and new routines at home) and have open, age appropriate and honest conversations with your children about how they are feeling. 

Anticipate behavior changes in your child. Watch for changes like excessive crying or irritation, excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, difficulty concentrating, which may be signs that your child is struggling with stress and anxiety.

As a family, staying informed and connected with your child’s school may reduce your feelings of anxiety and provide a way for you to express any concerns you may have about your child’s school year.

 Mask tips for little ones
  1. Label their masks clearly so that they are not confused with those of other children.
  2. Ask your child to practice putting on and taking off the mask without touching the cloth.
  3. Talk to your child about other people who may not be able to wear masks.
  4. Be positive and a good role model when wearing masks, especially when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or impossible.
    1. Praise your child for wearing a mask correctly.
    2. Put a mask on stuffed animals.
    3. Draw a mask on a favorite book character.
    4. Show images of other children wearing masks.
 Sending your child to school
  1.  Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness. Not well = no school.
  2. Develop a plan with your Supervisor/Manager for when your child is ill and stays home.
  3. Be familiar with your school’s communication plan if a positive COVID case is identified.
  4. If your school uses a cohort model, consider limiting your child’s in-person out-of-school interactions to children in the same cohort or to activities where physical distancing can be maintained.
 Remote learning with your child at home
  1. Create a schedule with your child and make a commitment to stick with it. A family calendar or other visuals could be useful for keeping track of deadlines and assignments.
  2. Reach out to your child’s teacher and other relevant school staff if you have concerns about their coping and -ability to keep up with assignments or activities.
  3. Ask if the school will offer virtual options to add physical activity to your child’s routine.
  4. Find a space that’s free of distractions, noise, and clutter for learning and homework.
  5. Identify opportunities for your child to connect with peers and be social—either virtually or in person, while maintaining physical distance.
  6. Ask if there will be regular opportunities for staff and student check-ins and peer-to-peer learning.
 You can take time to learn, too!
  1. Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga libraries - eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers and more.
  2. Class Central – Discover thousands of free online courses from top universities around the world like MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.
  3. Coursera - Build skills with free courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies.
  4. Ted and TedX – watch global and community-based talks and performances.
  5. LinkedIn Learning – courses for every step of your career and more (free trial, after which fees may apply).
 Finances

As the impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve beyond physical illness, many are faced with economic challenges. As a result, many people are concerned about their financial situation and what options may be available at this point in time.

The following are a few items for consideration as you manage your financial health through the pandemic.

  1. Review your financial plan.
    If you don’t have a plan this is a great time to work on developing one.
  2. Review your budget or conduct a spending analysis.
    Look for non-essential expenditures that you can eliminate so that funds can be allocated to other areas in your budget.
  3. Prioritize your spending on necessities like shelter and food.
    Consider occupational requirements including connection speeds, as phone and internet access may be additional priorities.
  4. Deal with debt.
    List your debts and determine what the minimum monthly payments are to keep debt in good standing. What is the interest rate on each debt? Use this list to help prioritize who gets paid first. Remember the necessities first. If you think you may need to miss some payments, speak with the creditor prior to missing a payment.
  5. Review your investments.
    If you are holding your investments, consider if they are suitable given your circumstances. Can you reposition your investments for a potential rebound in the equity markets? If you are early in your career, time is on your side. If you are in the middle of your career, think about the types of investments that are most suitable for you and your risk tolerance as well as the returns needed to reach your goals. If you are later in your career, some hard decisions may be considered about the suitability of your investments and what the market environment means to you and your financial goals.
  6. Consult.
    Talk with a skilled financial professional about your situation to gain insight and determine the options for you and your family.
  7. Educate yourself.
    Take this time to learn a few things about personal money management. Attend webinars, read books, talk with professionals to educate yourself.

In closing

When we are overwhelmed by bad-news stories, it is hard not to feel discouraged. Cultivating and developing a sense of worth, well-being, joy and deep happiness amidst the difficulties of life is still possible.  We must aim for compassion, caring, and calmness; every one of us can make choices to stay emotionally healthy.

Gratitude Kindness Laughter

Gratitude

When a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine releases, thus making a connection between the behavior and feeling good.

The more a person practices gratitude, the more often dopamine releases. Regardless of the role we each play during these challenging times; the health benefits of gratitude are undeniable.

Kindness

Kindness is intentional.

Stress is often what gets in the way of being kind. It’s harder to tap into our sense of caring when mentally we are in survival mode.

During these uncertain times where we have little control over what is happening around us in the world, let’s increase our levels of happiness by being kind to others and ourselves. Kindness does us good.

Laughter

We know that laughter is a powerful force. When we laugh our body releases endorphins and dopamine, nature’s feel good chemicals.

The result?

We can better cope with stress, find hope, and see problems in new ways. During the most difficult of times, a laugh, or even simply a smile, can go a long way toward making you feel better.

Laughter is contagious. Just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun. Laughter really is the best medicine! 

Contact

We're here to help.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact People Services.