By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
Quick Tip: If your shadow is shorter than you are, it’s time to find some shade or go inside. If you can’t find shade, create your own. Take along an umbrella – that way you can have shade wherever you need it.
Is there anything better than a gorgeous sunny day? Not many things feel better than warm sunlight on your skin, and when the sun is out, more people spend time doing outdoor activities. However, it is important to be aware that sun exposure has both positive and negative effects. The team at Healthy UBC wants your summertime to be fun, relaxing, energizing, safe and healthy, so with this in mind we’re asking you to take a few minutes to remember the basics of sun safety.
Sun Safety Tips
Before going out to enjoy the good weather, make sure you are aware of the risks associated with prolonged exposure to the sun, and the measures you can take to protect yourself and your family. Here are five ‘must dos’.
- Cover up: Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat made from breathable material. When you buy sunglasses, make sure they provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Limit your time in the sun: Keep out of the sun and heat between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A good rule of thumb is that when your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, such parks with big trees, partial roofs, awnings, umbrellas or gazebo tents. Always take a sun umbrella to the beach.
- Pay attention to the UV Index forecast: Tune into local radio, TV stations or online weather forecasts, to find the UV index forecast in your area. When the UV index is 3 or higher, wear protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of cool liquids (especially water) before you feel thirsty. If sunny days are hot and humid, stay cool and hydrated to avoid heat illness. Dehydration (not having enough fluids in your body) is a dangerous condition, and thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration. Avoid alcoholic beverages, as they tend to dehydrate you, not hydrate.
- Use sunscreen: Wear sunscreen on when the UV index is 3 or higher.
Looking for more information?
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends the following sources for information on sun safety:
Practical information on sun protection, a list of CDA recognized sunscreens in alphabetical order by brand name, and sun safety tips for athletes and spectators.
Health Canada offers information on the harmful effects of overexposure to UV rays and tips on how to avoid sun damage. Learn more about sun safety, how to keep cool during heat waves, how to choose sunglasses and sunscreen, and how to keep your kids safe in the sun.
This resource provides information on UV Index, North American and Caribbean forecasts, sun protection and the UV Index Sun Awareness Program for students.
Understanding your Travel Benefits – June 30 2015 @ 12-1pm
The summer is nearly here and lots of us and getting ready for vacations both at home and abroad. A medical emergency while travelling can be a frightening and costly experience. Join UBC Benefits Analyst Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on Understanding your Sun Life Travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned break is as stress free as possible. This session will also include a Q & A, so feel free to come with questions. For more information or to register, click here.
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
This month we are featuring Social Psychology PhD candidate Ashley Whillans. Ashley was recently recognized as the lead author of a study focusing on how having a “time is money” attitude can be a barrier to acting in environmentally friendly ways. It struck a cord with us at Healthy UBC, and prompted an invitation to become the first Thriving Graduate Student!
Thriving Faculty exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What central challenges do you face in your role as a PhD student?
As a PhD student working in two highly productive research labs, the biggest challenges I face are related to deadlines. In research, there are often many speed-bumps. I am constantly trying to balance multiple deadlines, while keeping enough slack in my schedule to deal with delays and (of course!) to make time for friends, family, and fun (I’m getting married in August, so there has been a lot of fun the last few months!). I am always working on time management – i.e., figuring out how to maximize productivity, while minimizing hours spent at my computer.
Based on your experiences, can you describe the relationship between student mental health, and wellbeing and learning?
I am a first-generation university student. When I graduate with my PhD, I will have three more degrees than anyone in my family! In second year of undergrad, I transferred from Douglas College to UBC. I remember feeling overwhelmed: The classes were huge, the coursework was demanding, and I worked part-time to pay rent. I struggled to feel like I fit in. It wasn’t until I became involved outside of the classroom that I started to excel. Extracurricular involvement made me feel part of the university experience and gave me a place to belong. I can say first-hand that social connection can motivate students not only to learn in class, but also to learn from and explore all of the unique and exciting opportunities that university has to offer.
Do you implement any strategies to support student mental health and wellbeing in the classroom/lab?
I work with a lot of undergraduate research assistants: they are our lab superheroes! To support the mental health and well-being of the students that I work with, I try my best to implement two empirically based strategies: (1) Fostering social connection and (2) Discussing challenges.
(1) Social connections are important! Having quality social connections is one of the most important factors in determining well-being. Because lab work can be quite solitary, I try to foster connections by hosting sushi lunches and going out for adventurous meals. These activities help to build a sense of community and friendship. Then, if there is a problem or there is a stressful time of the semester, we all have a “lab family” to turn to. I am a huge fan of the social media site “Humans of New York,” and there was a recent post that very nicely sums up this strategy: “I want [my students] to know that I cared about them before there was a problem.”
(2) We often think that other people are doing better than we are. My own research with UBC Assistant Professor Frances Chen suggests that most students believe that their peers are more socially successful than they are, which negatively impacts belonging and well-being. These beliefs stem in part from the fact that people act happier in public than in private and because people do not readily talk about their negative experiences. In other words, from a distance, everyone’s life seems rosier than it actually is! Many students look up to their graduate student and faculty advisors—it is even easy for me to forget that professors are humans too! Thus, I feel it is my responsibility to let students know I am constantly in a process of trying and failing in all areas of my life— from running studies to trying to fit in a few hours to jog around block. Science and life aren’t always as perfect as they seem from the outside! By being honest, I hope to create an open environment where it is acceptable to talk about both our successes and our failures.
What strategies do you use in your own life, that help you thrive as PhD student?
When I’m stuck and I feel like I’m not making progress, I take a break. I grab a friend and stroll the gardens at UBC, go for coffee, or spend time giggling with colleagues over the latest cute thing on the internet. Small breaks are refreshing, and make “work mountain” easier to climb!
Are they any specific initiatives and/or research you are involved in that promote physical and mental health and wellbeing?
Psychology is a large department and it can sometimes be difficult for students to find their academic home. UBC Professor Michael Souza and I are currently exploring novel ways to increase student engagement among new majors. Specifically, we are assigning new psychology majors to small “cohorts” lead by senior students. These cohorts meet once per month to discuss anything and everything from study habits, to post-grad careers, to managing exam stress. Students also attend events throughout the year, hosted by our department like skill-building workshops, and meet-your-professor events. We are very excited to enroll 200-300 students next year in this program, in hopes of making our large department feel smaller and more connected.
In your role as a PhD Student, please describe your experience balancing work-life commitments. Is there a metaphor that depicts this relationship?
Work-life balance is about being honest with yourself and with those around you. By reaching out, being authentic, building connections and forming learning communities, work becomes less like work, and a lot more like a natural extension of life.
Ashley Whillans completed her BA (Hons.) and her MA at UBC. As a PhD candidate in the Social Psychology program, she works primary with Dr. Elizabeth Dunn & Dr. Frances Chen to study happiness, friendship formation, and health. Read Ashley’s article on UBC News here.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Mental Health, Physical Health, Spot Light, Thriving Faculty | Tagged behaviour, environment, graduate studies, Happiness, money, resilience, skills, Thriving faculty | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
Guest contribution from UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah
Summer vacation plans are right around the corner. Before you leave, there are several things you should know about your health and welfare travel benefits coverage through UBC, including what documentation to take with you, and what to do in the event of a medical emergency. It is important to plan ahead and understand the associated risks when travelling to other parts of the world, so that you can prepare for events that may occur. With this in mind, I’m here to help!
Coverage while travelling outside BC or Canada
Coverage for medical expenses outside BC or Canada depends on the expense.
Medically necessary expenses that are typically covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP), such as services and supplies while in hospital, a semi-private hospital room, and out-patient and physician’s services, are covered only in the event of an emergency , if incurred outside of BC or Canada. These services are not covered in non-emergency situations.
Expenses incurred outside BC or Canada that are typically covered by UBC’s extended health plan with Sun Life (e.g., prescription drug medical equipment and supplies (out-patient), paramedical services, and vision care benefits) are also covered in the event of a medical emergency and non-emergency, subject to the conditions outlined in your plan. Payment for these expenses will be limited to the reasonable & customary charge within BC, and in Canadian funds. Learn more about your UBC extended health coverage.
Eligible expenses are covered at 100% less the deductible, up to your overall extended health lifetime maximum. Your overall extended health lifetime maximum at any point in time is $1,000,000 less any amount Sun Life has reimbursed since you were enrolled in the plan. To determine the extended health plan balance for you and/or each of your covered dependents, contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334.
You are covered for a period of 365 days of absence per trip. If you are hospitalized during this period as a result of a medical emergency, in-patient services are covered for up to 90 days.
Understanding your Travel Benefits – June 30, 2015, @ 12-1pm
The summer is nearly here, and lots of us are getting ready for vacations both at home and abroad. A medical emergency while travelling can be a frightening and costly experience. Join me, UBC Benefits Analyst Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on Understanding your Sun Life Travel Benefits to ensure that your well-earned break is as stress free as possible. This session will also include a Q & A, so feel free to come with questions. For more information or to register, click here.
Stephanie Mah is a Benefits Specialist with UBC’s Human Resources Department. Her role involves providing support in the management of the UBC benefits programs, with a focus on communications with faculty and staff. Stephanie is committed to providing excellent customer service and a large part of her day is dedicated to answering all questions related to benefits, including eligibility for benefits, what the plans cover and how to make claims. Stephanie has a BA in Economics, and is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and has a Certificate in Peer Counselling through UBC Continuing Studies.
For More Information
For more details on travel benefits at UBC, please visit UBC’s Travel Benefits website. If you have further questions after reviewing the information, please contact Stephanie Mah at 604-822-6823 or email@example.com.
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of FREE activities and events coming up in June. Sign up today for topics including a 3-Part Summer Career Series, Eldercare 101, Ergo Your Office training, Learn to Meditate, UBC Benefits information, breast cancer risk assessments and more!
Take this opportunity to meet our new EFAP provider, Shepell, and learn about how to access the new range of services for UBC staff and their enrolled dependents. Find out about:
- New ways to access counselling services
- New Naturopathic, Elder care and Legal Advisory services
- The extensive new Family Support programming available to you.
Shepell will also be available to answer any questions you may have. For more information, or to register, click here.
UBC Ergonomics strives to have an Office Ergonomics Representative for each department. We provide the training (one three-hour session) and material required for reps to promote, educate and ensure musculoskeletal health for employees in their departments. Office Ergo Reps are trained by UBC Ergonomics Advisor Abigail Overduin in simple computer workstation set-up, how to notice signs and symptoms of injuries from poor ergonomic set-up, and to control strategies to reduce or prevent symptoms. For more information, or to register, click here.
Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in this three-part series to help UBC employees navigate possible career opportunities and create a personalized career development plan. These sessions will provide you with access to thought-provoking questions, links to resources, tools, and web sites within UBC that may support you in your career planning process. For more information click here
Join Breast Cancer Prevention Lifestyle Counselor Bonnie McCoy in this Breast Cancer Prevention & Risk Assessment session with information about how to modify and decrease breast cancer risk via lifestyle changes. For more information, or to register, click here.
Join UBC Ergonomics Advisor Abigail Overduin in this one-hour tutorial combining a presentation and a practical session giving you the skills to optimize your office environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. For more information, or to register, click here
Whether caring for aging parents in the home, or managing elder care plans from a distance, most of us don’t know where to go for reliable answers. Join Home-to Home, seniors advisory and assistance business based in Vancouver, in this one-hour session to learn how to develop an elder care roadmap to plan for your parents’ housing and care needs as they age, and much more. For more information, or to register, click here.
The summer is nearly here and lots of us and getting ready for vacations both at home and abroad. A medical emergency while travelling can be a frightening and costly experience. Join UBC Benefits Analyst Stephanie Mah in this one-hour session on Understanding your Sun Life Travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned break is as stress free as possible. This session will also include a Q & A, so feel free to come with questions. For more information or to register, click here.
This four-session series is designed for both beginners and experienced practitioners of mindfulness meditation. It will introduce participants to the basic concepts of meditation and mindfulness techniques and is specifically tuned to the working environment. Sessions will include instruction, discussion, guided meditation and visualization in a non-religious context. Participants will be provided with handouts, homework practice, and follow up emails and access to downloadable recordings. Cost: $35, payable by cash, JV to KPGK, or by cheque to UBC Human Resources. Payment must be received before registration is confirmed. Click here for more information.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Ergonomics, Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health, Physical Health, Spot Light | Tagged awareness, Benefits, breast cancer, career navigation, education, Eldercare, Ergonomics, meditate, Meditation, prevention, travel, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on June 3, 2015
Summer MOGA, Food for Foodies demo, Farm Markets, Canada Day Family Festivals, Bard on the Beach, UBC Opera, Whitecaps FC2 soccer and more! Find out what is happening on and off campus this month!
UBC-based events (Vancouver campus)
Summer Yoga at MOA (MOGA!): Runs May 21-October 16
Enjoy summer yoga classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the beautiful atrium space at MOA! Classes will be led by instructor Samantha Burke.
United Way Secondment Opportunity: Application Deadline June 10
Participate in a truly unique professional development opportunity as a United Way Campaign Associate (previously known as Loaned Representative).
UBC Farm Markets at Point Grey bookstore : Begins June 10, runs through October
The UBC Farm weekly Wednesday markets are back for another season. Find fresh and very local produce for purchase outside of the bookstore.
Whitecaps FC2 Games at Thunderbird Stadium: June 14, 21
Take in a Whitecaps FC2 soccer match this month against LA Galaxy II or Portland Timbers II at Thunderbird stadium.
Wescadia and the UBC Farm, in partnership with the UBC Bookstore, presents a food demo with Chef David Speight, Executive Chef at Wescadia. Recipes, tasty samples and more!
UBC Opera Presents La Traviata: June 20-28
Enjoy the wonderful talent that UBC has to offer while listening (in Italian) to Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata.
Off campus events
Take your pick of a variety of different weekend night markets to visit this summer all across the lower mainland. Enjoy food, drinks, vendors, entertainment and more!
Bard on the Beach-Vancouver: June 4- Sept. 26
Enjoy your choice of four classic and modern Shakespeare productions in one of the most picturesque theatre settings around.
Take part in a number of free workshops to learn about and support healthy aging and active living.
Enjoy a new and improved Highland Games & Scottish Festival, as Simon Fraser University celebrates its 50th anniversary with special events, piping and drumming, an expanded refreshment area and activities for kids and adults.
Fireworks, festivals, family runs, historical activities a salmon festival and more. Take your pick from a wide range of Canada day events and activities for all ages across the Lower Mainland this summer.
Posted in Community Health News, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie, Physical Health, Spot Light | Tagged activities, Bard on the Beach, canada day, events, family, farm market, festival, food, moa, opera, UBC, whitecaps, Yoga | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on June 3, 2015
The Healthy UBC Team has had a fantastically busy few months! Check out some of our out-and-about photos below – you may even spot yourself!
Thrive Committee 2015
Breaking news! UBC has been invited to celebrate Thrive on both the national and international stage this month. Thrive committee members will be presenting at the 2015 Annual CAUBO conference in Saint John and at the 2015 International Conference of Health Promoting Universities in Kelowna. Thrive will be presented as an innovative and collaborative community based model of positive mental health promotion.
Conference organizers wanted a committee group photo – so here’s what they got.
Swings on Main Mall
Have you spotted any of the new additions to Main Mall on UBC’s Vancouver campus that are helping to make us all a bit more relaxed? The installation of three bentwood swings, each one a unique design, are one of the many ways that Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) is helping to create a fun and vibrant public space for the campus community to enjoy. Check out some ‘swing selfies’ that you sent us!
Staff and Faculty Sports Day – May 2015
A big thank you to all who were able to participate in this year’s Staff and Faculty Sports Day! It was a massively enjoyable day with over 400 participant sand 50 departments getting involved! We can’t wait until next year! Check out our photos here.
Woman2Warrior – May 2015
A big shout out to three ‘warriors’ working alongside us at Healthy UBC – Benefits Associate Florence Lum, Ergonomics Advisor Abigail Overduin; and Retirement & Survivor Benefits Associate Janet Poupart raised over $1,200 for the BC Easter Seals Camps by participating in Woman2Warror on May 24. W2W is a 5km obstacle course of trails, track, and grass aimed to push your strength, agility, balance, and sense of adventure to the limit! Check out their photos here.
Bike to Work Week – May, 2015
A big shout out to all the peddlers who participated in the Spring 2015 Bike to Work Week .A special shout out to Healthy UBC’s Janet Poupart who biked to work for the very first time – when asked about the famously difficult ‘hill on 8th’ she replied “It was a breeze!” Check out her photo with peloton partner Miranda Massie here.
Peak your Peak Stair Challenge – May/June2015
The Pick Your Peak Star Challenge 2015 kicked off on May 25 with a bang! If you are one of the 500 who have signed up, congratulations: you are now on your way to a healthier you!! With lots of prizes up for grabs we asked all participants for their stair selfies during week 1. All entries won free passes to Hot Box Yoga in Wesbrook Village for themselves or their team. Check out some of our favourites here.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Spot Light, Thriving Campus | Tagged btww, healthy ubc, out and about, outreach, photos, selfies, sports day, stair challenge, thrive, UBC | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
This month features Pooja Khandelwal, Career Navigation and Transition Consultant, in UBC Human Resources.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences from UBC staff members.
What strategies do you use in your work life to help you thrive?
I have a basket of chocolates at my desk as an open invitation to my office colleagues to stop by during the day. While they enjoy a sweet something, I get to enjoy a quick chat! I have the chance to connect with more members on my HR team than I would ever have simply through my work and know them as individuals.
I plan lunch/coffee with different colleagues across campus about twice a week. This enables me not only to leave my workplace and walk across the beautiful campus, and to visit a variety of eateries the campus offers, but also connect with colleagues I wouldn’t have met in the normal course of my work. I become aware of different roles and unique career success stories!
I attend most of the Staff Hot Lunches hosted at St. John’s College. It is a marvelous way to meet our leaders and hear what inspires them to be a part of UBC, their vision and their personal success story. This event allows me to build connections with other staff members, listen to the incredible work they do and share what my role offers.
I believe we are more than the job we do. Connecting with each other enables us to know we matter; is a powerful step to open us to other career possibilities and use the many opportunities at UBC to express and enhance our professional and personal self.
What strategies do you use in your personal life to help you thrive?
Keeping my body and spirit as active as my mind, gives me balance and helps me be myself both at work and outside of it.
The power boost to my day begins with a 30-minute meditation, followed by a grande mug of chai.
I make a conscious choice to walk to work, which allows me the opportunity to breathe in the beauty of the campus. I use the stairs instead of the elevator and by the time I step into office, I am powered up for a day of partnering with staff to maximize their potential.
After work, a run at Spanish banks helps me to put the day in perspective and is a quick self-debrief.
I also enjoy being part of my professional network and am a Board member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Vancouver Chapter, chairing the Coach-giving portfolio. I get to lead an initiative that increases awareness of coaching amongst non-profit organizations and simultaneously promote credentialing among coaches in Western Canada.
But the single most important aspect of my personal life that makes me thrive is my role as a mother. Being a mom gives me continuous incentive to be a better human being at all levels – body, mind and spirit and is the ‘why’ to what I do.
Pooja Khandelwal is the Career Navigation and Transition Consultant in Human Resources, and joined UBC when this role was created in 2012 as the first full-time internal coach at the university. She has a Master’s in Business Administration and is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation. She has previously volunteered at the YWCA, Battered Women’s Support Services, Fraser Health Senior Home and the Minerva Foundation, and is presently a Board member at the ICF Vancouver Chapter. To learn more about her role at UBC click here .
Healthy UBC Summer Career Series- June 18, July 16 & Aug. 20, 2015 @12-1pm
Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in this three-part series to help UBC employees navigate possible career opportunities and create a personalized career development plan. These sessions will provide you with access to thought-provoking questions, links to resources, tools, and web sites within UBC that may support you in your career planning process. For more information click here.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Mental Health, Physical Health, Spot Light, Thriving Campus | Tagged career at ubc, careers, coaching, Pooja Khandelwal, thrive, thriving campus, Walking, work | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
This month we have a very special edition of the Healthy UBC Recipe Series for you. We still have delicious recipes but we also have a little bit more information for you about Stephanie Dang, the amazing person delivering these tasty options each month. We are calling it…..
The Face Behind the Healthy UBC Recipes
Stephanie, tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was brought up in a great family of myself, my younger brother, and our parents. Coming out of high school, I knew that dietetics was the right career path for me, and my friends and family have been extremely supportive. As my fourth year at UBC comes to an end, I can reflect upon what a great experience it has been, and I am excited to begin a new journey as a dietetic intern at Vancouver Coastal Health in September.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend a lot of my free time being physically active, whether it is hiking, playing soccer, or at the gym. I also enjoy travelling, especially booking short spontaneous trips by myself! Being in the dietetics program, I am quite the foodie, and love going to different restaurants in Vancouver. Vancouver has such a diverse range of cuisines, and there’s always something new for you to try.
How would your best friend describe you?
My best friend would probably describe me much like how I would describe her – positive, motivated, hard-working, and easygoing! Although I am quite relaxed, I work hard and am very persistent about things I am passionate about. I enjoy a challenge, and am not one to give up when things get tough.
For more information about Stephanie, her studies; and her career to date click here.
• The Best Green Smoothie – click here to view
• Salmon and Spinach Rice Bowl- click here to view
• Strawberry Cheesecake Pops – click here to view
• Tilapia Tacos – click here to view
Stephanie Dang is a fourth-year dietetics student at the University of British Columbia. When she is not busy studying, Stephanie volunteers at the eating disorder clinic at Children’s Hospital, works at a local bar, and plays soccer. Stephanie believes that living “healthy” means enjoying everything in moderation, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Staying physically active and satisfying your body’s nutritional needs shouldn’t be considered a burden, and if it is, seeing a dietitian is a great way to get advice on how to enjoy healthy living!
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
Welcome to Fitting in Fitness, a series for staff and faculty that shares tips and hints on how to increase physical activity levels. This series is brought to us by Courtney Chan, a third-year student in UBC’s School of Kinesiology.
Here are Courtney’s tips for June!
About Courtney: Courtney is a third-year kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia. When not studying or working at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Courtney enjoys running and curling, and has a secret passion for line dancing. To her, the most important part of fitness is feeling good about yourself and having fun!
To keep informed of all new fitness tips and additional health and wellbeing offerings, subscribe to the Healthy UBC Monthly Newsletter or become a UBC Health Contact.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Fitting In Fitness, Guest Contributor, Physical Health, Spot Light | Tagged active health, Courtney Chan, exercises, fitting in fitness, KIN, physical activity, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on April 8, 2015
My partner and I recently met with a financial advisor. We are currently in the midst of planning for our future, feeling caught between student loan debt and an uncertain job market, while looking ahead to home ownership and starting a family.
In a city like Vancouver, the financial prognosis is grim and we have often put off facing our finances due to the stress and overwhelmingly gloomy outlook that comes with it. We have met with advisors at our banks in the past, but often left feeling as though we had sat through a sales pitch instead of a counselling session. Denial was our financial strategy of choice, but that can only work for so long.
In last month’s editorial, I wrote about embarking on an emotional cleanse and getting rid of the negative impact that bottling up emotions can have on our health. I think that this same idea applies to finances. We (as a society) tend to not talk about money. We have been socialized to keep financial matters to ourselves, as well as dealing with the myriad of emotions that come along with them. Keeping all of this stress and uncertainty to ourselves can take a toll on our mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing.
What I discovered is that it feels great to talk about money out loud, especially with someone who knows their stuff. Our discussions with the financial advisor were calm, frank and filled with humour and even prompted discussions with friends on the subject. The advice was invaluable, as well-sensitive and honest.
This month, I invite you to talk about money. Say the words out loud, either to yourself, a loved one or a financial professional. Letting someone else in, especially on this topic, can alleviate some of the inevitable financial crunch that we feel we are under.
5 fun facts I learned from financial planning
It’s ok to dream and to say what you want out loud. Do not apologise for lofty goals. You will only have a chance to achieve them if you are realistic in planning for them.
You find out where you are. Knowing where you stand, whether positive or negative will always set you up in a better position for success than not knowing at all.
Financial advisors are not all sales people. I used to fear going into see a financial advisor because I always felt like I was being pushed towards something I didn’t really need. Find someone you trust and stick with them.
It feels great to have a plan. The benefit of seeing professional advice is that you no longer have to guess at whether you are doing the right thing or making the right financial move. The decisions are still yours accompanied with guidance from a professional.
We don’t need it all now. Of course we have dreams and plans for the future but waiting for them is okay. Taking the time to plan and save now will ensure that our goals are all met in the long run.
Looking for free or affordable financial advice?
Financial Support Services from UBC’s EFAP provider Shepell.
Know Your Financial Advisor-online search tool
Posted in Editorial, EFAP, Mental Health, Miranda Massie, Spot Light | Tagged editorial, facts, financial health, fun, mental health, money, money management, planning, resources, Support | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on April 8, 2015
More than six million Canadians—35% of the Canadian workforce—provides informal care to a family member or friend. The recipients of care are primarily seniors, and most caregivers are 45 or older. 44% of caregivers are ages 45 to 64, ‘sandwiched’ between caregiving and child rearing.
Canada’s aging population means that these pressures and their consequences will only increase. According to the Employment and Social Development Canada Report from the Employer Panel for Caregivers, by 2031 the number of people over the age of 80 requiring care is projected to double. At the same time, older workers will account for an increasing share of the Canadian workforce.
At UBC, we recognize that many demands exist outside of the workplace for staff and faculty, particularly when it comes to looking after our elders. The following resources are available to assist you and your family in navigating elder care and caregiver support.
Senior Care and Caregiving Support Resources
Senior Care Support
Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, has a service to help you conduct your own customized search for elder care resources. You can search for providers who offer homecare assessments, long-term facilities, assistive care facilities, and facilities geared toward specific health care needs or cultural and language preferences of your family member. For a full list or to access services, click here and search under the Health & Wellbeing tab.
Senior Care Specialist
Faculty and staff can speak to an Elder Care Specialist through Shepells Life Events service. The Eldercare Specialist can point you in the right direction for housing, qualified care and any other questions you may have. Click here for more information.
Senior Care Support Resources
For a range of informative senior care articles, click here. Topics range from: Slowing Down to Help Aging Parents, Nutrition and healthy well-being for elders in your life, Having an older relative move in: making the transition a smooth one; and many more.
Caregiving Support – Counselling
Balancing elder care and/or family care with career responsibilities can feel overwhelming and extremely stressful. Be sure to take care of your own physical, emotional and social needs. Confidential counselling services are available through Shepell. To make an appointment, call 1-800-387-4765.
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits Team has also compiled a list of available suggested resources (including leave information) to assist you and your family in navigating elder care and caregiver support.
Eldercare 101 – What You Need to Know to Care for Your Aging Parents
Whether you care for aging parents in your own home, or manage elder care plans from a distance, most of us don’t know where to go for reliable answers. Join Home-to Home, a seniors advisory and assistance business based in Vancouver in this one-hour session and learn all you need to know to care for your aging parents: . Click here for more information or to register.