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 Good morning, COR family!

As the calendar turns to a new month, it's important to reflect on our tools and resources to help get us through this difficult time. Considering the level of uncertainty and the very real health and economic risks of the pandemic, it’s normal to feel anxious – It’s okay not to be okay! Remember to seek support from the various resources COR has available – from our Employee & Family Assistance Program, health and wellness benefit plan, mental health and counseling support, to the numerous online resources to support financial literacy and wellbeing. It's important to reach out and access the help you need. More importantly, if you see someone who might be struggling, offer support.

During this time it's necessary to practice self-care and stress management – getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercise are key for mental health. Our 100 Acts of Kindness Campaign may be over, but now is the time for each of us to be even more intentional in practicing gratitude and showing appreciation for those around us; better yet, perform a random act of kindness! Practicing positivity improves mental health (and it’s contagious!).

Together, we must continue to strengthen our community and social connections – social connection and belonging are fundamental to one's well-being. Be sure to share photos and stories with the COR community on Facebook and Instagram using our hashtag: #ItTakesCourageToCare. How about joining us live when we stream workout sessions, yoga and various other creative activities via Facebook Live – we'd love the virtual companionship!

Remember, we are here for you!

Instructional Video (featuring Mandy):
How to use COR's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Note: COR has secured adequate PPE for the next 2-4 weeks; we continue to procure additional supplies to ensure we are well stocked for an additional 4-8 weeks (Although securing PPE has become a national challenge, COR has been successful with the support of our network of community partners -- THANK YOU!)

COR's PPE supplies include: eye wear, gloves, masks (cloth, surgical & KN95), gowns, shoe covers, disinfectant wipes, thermometers and hand sanitizer).
What You Need to Know About Handwashing

Mental Health and COVID-19

Join the conversation with Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief of Research, Workplace Productivity, Conference Board of Canada

Click to Watch!

Tips to Manage Anxiety about Coronavirus

  1. Educate yourself. On what the virus is, what the signs and symptoms are and the preventative measures.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t inflate the risk. When something’s new and there are unknowns about it, it can seem very scary. This is our brain’s normal reaction to a threat (our fight or flight response) and considering the amount of attention a new threat like this gets, it’s easy for the risk to be inflated. Take the time to consider the actual risk to you.
  4. Take precautions. Once you’ve determined what the recommended precautions are, incorporate those into your regular routine. Right now, the recommendations are typical flu protocols:
    • wash your hands regularly with soap and water;
    • stay home if you feel sick;
    • avoid those who are presenting with flu-like symptoms; and,
    • maintain regular health routines like sleeping enough, eating healthy and exercising.
  5. Stay connected. Having a support network of people to talk to when you’re feeling anxious can help to keep you grounded and remind you to keep the perspective you need.
  6. Use your coping skills. If you experience anxiety in other areas of your life remember to engage in the practices that help manage your anxiety levels, for example, engaging in regular mindfulness practice.
  7. Seek extra help. If you’re still struggling with your anxiety or experiencing panic that is affecting your ability to maintain your regular activities, you may consider seeking additional support.

7 Tips to Manage Anxiety about Coronavirus

HH: Managing Stress & Anxiety
HH: Managing Stress & Anxiety

‘Social distancing’ is a misnomer:
we should be physically distancing, but remain as social as ever


Health authorities are calling on Canadians to practise “social distancing,” a way to mitigate transmission of the novel coronavirus. This is a term widely used in infection control, and refers to approaches for minimizing close physical contact at the individual level by keeping a two-metre distance, and at the community level through closures of public and private spaces as well as cancellations of events where large numbers of people might gather.

But while this is the right public-health approach, it has the wrong name.

The implication of the phrase “social distancing” is that we should be putting space between us socially – but we only need to be distancing ourselves physically. In other words, we should be social and participating in the community at large – just so long as it doesn’t require physical proximity.

Indeed, what people need most right now is social connection, because real connection is essential to our mental health. Studies have shown that social networks – which provide emotional support, companionship and opportunities for meaningful social engagement – have a beneficial effect on mental-health outcomes, stress reactions, psychological well-being and self-esteem. People with weak or few social connections, on the other hand, are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, anti-social behaviour and suicidal behaviours. In fact, the World Health Organization, which has been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, has identified social inclusion and integration as important protective factors for mental health. Loneliness is bad for our health.

This was already the case before the coronavirus pandemic prompted an isolating response. In recent years, Western societies have been grappling with crises of loneliness, and in Canada, more people are living alone than ever before. Practically speaking, losing social connection can make it easy to also lose the motivation to eat healthy, be active or take one’s medication and research has found that loneliness can heighten risks to physical health, such as heart attacks, Alzheimer’s disease and the spread of cancer. The issue also touches lives across the age and cultural spectrum: A 2017 Vancouver Foundation survey found that nearly a third of people aged 18-24 in the bustling city said that they felt lonely, while a June poll by Angus Reid noted how loneliness was more keenly felt by people who belonged to a visible minority, who are Indigenous, who have mobility challenges, and who are LGBTQ-identifying.

Health authorities have acknowledged these consequences of social distancing, advising people to go outside to avoid this mental toll. But according to research from the Lancet, people under quarantine can experience confusion, anger and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and that isolation coupled with the broad misnomer of “social distancing” may only increase the need for mental-health services. That’s troubling, since the supply of non-primary medical services such as therapy and support groups has become even scarcer lately as community agencies cancel or reduce programs, or work through less accessible virtual means.

If you’re in quarantine or self-isolation, it is important that you stay feeling connected. Follow the “buddy up” advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada, especially if you live alone; your “buddy” is someone who can check on you and do errands for you. Stay in close touch with your support network. The phone call may have gone out of fashion, but maybe it’s time to bring it back. If you have access to video, via FaceTime, Skype or other video technologies, you may want to turn on that camera. If you’re working remotely, hold a video conference instead of a standard conference call.

For those experiencing heightened anxiety and depression in this time of stress, online and telephone-based mental health supports can keep you connected to the help you need to cope.

This pandemic may very well be a time to reflect on how loneliness has itself become epidemic in our society. And, just as with COVID-19, we can take real action to prevent it from spreading.

So, while we go about maintaining the two-metre physical distance between ourselves and others, let’s also remember that social distancing isn’t quite the right phrase: It is only a directive to cut ourselves off in physical terms. We actually need each other more than ever, even – or especially – when we’re asked to extend the space between us.

Margaret Eaton, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association
View the Globe and Mail article here.
Reduce the Spread of Covid-19

A virtual health consultation tool that connects Saskatchewan patients to physicians for free.

Copyright © 2020 COR, All rights reserved.

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