Latest News | January 2023


2023 The Year of Mental Hygiene

Published: Jan 27, 2023 @ 10:45 AM

We hosted the first guest in our new speaker series this past Tuesday! No need to fret if you missed it here are the resources that were shared for you to check out at your leisure. Thank you to Kristie Pshyk for her time and insights into pursuing wellness in 2023. She shared this quote from Adam Grant which can hopefully guide us all this year “Too many people wait until they're exhausted or depressed to make change or seek help. Mental health isn't something to put on the back burner. We can't keep good habits in storage until we need them. Mental hygiene should be as ingrained in our daily routine as dental hygiene.”

Emily Nagoski (book) 'Burnout; The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle'

Jamie Gruman (book) 'Boost; The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands'

Kelly McGonigal (tedtalk) 'The Upside of Stress'

Mental Health Commission of Canada (mentalhealthcommission.ca)

  • The Working Mind
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • National Standard for Psychological Safety 

Canadian Mental Health Association (cmha.ca)

  • Recovery College 
  • Psychological Health and Safety Training 
  • Not Myself Today Campaign
  • Workplace Mental Health Programs/Training 

Wellness Works Canada (wellnessworkscanada.ca)

  • Workplace Wellness Certificate 
  • Webinars and Resources

 

Thanks again to Kristie for being such a great host and supporting all of us in our journeys!

 

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Time Is Money - Guest Blog

Published: Jan 25, 2023 @ 8:18 AM

Understanding the privilege of having more time

The saying ‘time is money’ has been around for ages. Benjamin Franklin popularized the term in his 18th-century essay “Advice to a Young Tradesmen.” Since then, there has increasingly been a shift in the mindset around time and how to spend it. In general, societal and technological advancements have given us more spare time. The question then becomes: how do we spend it? In the volunteering sector, we can go one step further and consider how one’s spare time compares to others.

Being aware of your privilege

Much of our view on privilege centers around money. Growing up without having to think about money is a privilege. If you grew up without worrying about where your next meal came from, that is a privilege. If you didn’t need to get a job to support your family as soon as you were old enough to work, that is also a privilege. If you can retire and live off a pension, investments, or savings, that is also a privilege. If time is money, we should consider having spare time a privilege.

All the time in the world

How do we gauge this privilege of time? You might get a different answer for every person you ask. But to get a general idea you can look at the American Time Use Study (2022). This study found that 96 percent of people aged 15 and over, spend an average of 5.25 hours a day on leisure activities. This includes things like exercise, watching TV, and socializing. Social media drives a lot of our modern culture. It's no surprise that the Canadians Internet Report (2022) reveals that on average, Canadians spend one hour and fifty-three minutes daily on various social media platforms. The purpose of highlighting these statistics is not to shame anyone — leisure time is important. The purpose is to understand that in general, we have an excess of time for leisure. But that is not true for every person.

Volunteering is a privilege

In 2021, almost one million Canadians held two or more jobs (Statista 2021). The number of single-parent homes in Canada has risen to almost two million (Statista 2022). If you were to survey these families, a common theme you might find would be a lack of time. It's important to understand that when a person volunteers, they do so out of the privilege of having spare time. It is out of this privilege that individuals can give their time to local non-profits, schools their children attend, or religious institutions.

Volunteering with humility and purpose

Too often, volunteering is not only a way of doing good but to be seen as doing good. Volunteering can be a good thing. It can provide invaluable support to communities that lack certain resources, while also providing a sense of purpose or fulfillment to volunteers. What it should not be, is something that elevates your status over others. Specifically, those who do not have the privilege of time to volunteer similar hours, or volunteer at all.

Instead of thinking about how being a volunteer can serve you best, shift your mindset. How could you change your community if you sought out the most practical ways to serve it? How can you champion community initiatives that best support those without the privilege of extra time? Grocery delivery, meal-sharing, and after-school programs are all practical ways of giving people more time. Just something to think about when deciding how and where to serve. And remember — a little awareness and humility go a long way.

Guest Blogger

Nathan Ahamed

"Music, food, and technology each enable us to come together and find a sense of purpose, belonging, and identity. Through the written word and public speaking, it is my desire to build community and foster the deep desire we have to connect with each other."

 

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2023 Speaker Series! - Wellness For Staff & Volunteers

Published: Jan 19, 2023 @ 9:04 AM

VolunteerConnector is super jazzed to announce the launch of our 2023 Speaker Series! Over the course of the year we will gather with four different special guests each with a unique perspectives on volunteer engagement. It is a chance to learn, spend time with people doing similar work and receive insights to apply to yourself or the volunteer program you engage with.

 

First up on Tuesday, January 24 at 11:00 MST we welcome Kristie Pshyk! 

Kristie Pshyk is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Organizational Well-being Professional. She has worked in the Corporate Wellness field for over 7 years and will cover:  

  • How to manage change and uncertainty in this "post" covid world
  • Practical tools to manage stress for yourself and your teams​
  • How to introduce the topic of mental health and the importance of psychological safety to your organization​
  • What is burnout and how do we prevent it? 
  • The loneliness epidemic and how to set up your support network​​

This interactive session will leave you inspired to take charge of your mental health and prioritize your wellbeing in 2023. 

Click here to register: 2023 Speaker Series - Registration

If you can't make this one, the next session will be April 26 at 11 MST 'Engaging the Post Secondary Student Volunteer' so mark that one in your calendar. Stay tuned for additional details!

 

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Be Kind To One Another

Published: Jan 11, 2023 @ 12:54 PM

The following is a true story that reminds us to Walk a Mile in another's shoes in order to eliminate judgement. 

The ladies worked their way through the racks of clothing, one looking for the perfect outfits, the other hanging back unsure. They chatted about colours and styles, and with her arms full, the gregarious one coordinated the outfits on the racks in the dressing room.

“We are ready”, she chimed. “I have put together the outfits and when you try them on I will help you determine how you can mix and match. Are you ready?”

“Before you judge my life, my past or my character. Walk in my shoes, walk the path I have traveled, live my sorrow, my doubts, my fear, my pain and my laughter. Remember everyone has a story. “ Susan R. Sharma

A smile crossed the quiet ladies face, and she looked at her new friend.

“ I guess I am ready”, she said. “ I am not so sure about the dresses. I really don’t look so great in dresses.”

“That is because you haven’t tried the right ones on. Just wait and see.”

“I think we have some perfect ones, and if that doesn’t turn out to be, then I will definitely find the right one. Don’t you worry, we have a lot to choose from”.

And with that she went into the dressing room to start trying things on. She came out with the first dress.

“Now look at that, it fits like a glove. “ said her gregarious new friend. “Have a look in the mirror”.

She stood in front of the mirror, and a smile started to spread across her face.

“Here, I have grabbed a gorgeous pair of shoes that would really work”. Not sure if they are your size, but give them a try.

She slipped the shoes on, and as her friend placed a necklace gently around her neck. She looked in the mirror again, and this time it was hard to contain the smile.

“I haven’t looked like this or felt this pretty in a long time”.

“Well sometimes you just need to see yourself through another’s eyes”. “Next outfit, this one is a keeper don’t you think?”

A small chuckle could be heard coming from the dressing room as she went to try the next outfit.

She tried on outfit after outfit, and each time she came out her shoulders were held a little steadier. Her eyes a little brighter, and the strain on her face a little less pronounced.

When they were done with all the work clothing, her new friend handed her a fancy dress. “Try this one on she exclaimed, it looks like it was made for you.”

“Oh but I have nowhere to wear that. “

“Don’t you worry, a girl needs a fancy dress in her closet for when the opportunity presents itself. “ “Just try it on, and you will see”.

The dress was elegant, the silky black material hung gracefully from the bodice. It flowed beautifully and ended just above the knee.

Her friend placed her in front of the mirror, see now how could you possibly live without this dress? It is perfect on you, as she placed a necklace on her.

“Wow, I must admit it is pretty beautiful, and not half bad on me, she chuckled.” She twirled a little on the way to the dressing room, perhaps it would be great for dancing”.

With that they both had a laugh. “Well I will package up all your things, when you have changed have a look at the handbags and I will meet you up front”.

She came back with a handbag of her choosing, and smiled at her new friend. “I seriously cannot thank you all enough, this is the nicest thing that has happened to me in a very long time. I had no idea how I was going to get the clothing for work”.

She was met with a hug, and well wishes. “You are going to look the part for your next interview that is for sure”.

“Can I help you out to your car?”

They grabbed the bags, and headed out to the car. Once the bags were placed in the trunk, she looked up with her eyes a little strained and said to her new friend. “I need you to know that I was you – once”. “I too had a family, I volunteered helping others and had a life”. “And then I went through a bitter divorce, and this is me now”. “I am so very grateful for your help”.

Their eyes locked, and the volunteer nodded. Then she grabbed her in an embrace, and said “good luck to you my friend.” Tears streamed down her face, as she watched her drive away.

As she walked back in the door, with tears in her eyes she was met with a hug and “Are you Okay?”

“I am more than okay, she said. This is why I come here, to remember that everyone has a story.” “It’s been a good day”.

 

Be Kind to one another. Remember to walk a mile in another's shoes. 

This is a true story that occurred at Making Changes – Dress for Success

Guest Blog by

Jacquie McCarroll 

 

 

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