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Ops Notes: Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace (Awakeplace)

A Brief Interruption

I missed writing my blog last month. There just were not enough hours in the day to balance work priorities, and life’s demands. Even with burning the candle at both ends I just wasn’t able to muster up the energy to write something poignant and significant.

A New Fiscal Year with Untraditional Operational Updates

Today, as OCNI has closed on year-end and runs headfirst into the new fiscal year there are plenty of bullet points on the daily task list that get moved to the next day. Each day I end it with a promise of I will get this done…eventually. I know many of you understand this and are probably going through it in your own way as well. Priority lists for work and home are blending as many of us continue to work from home (full or part time). The traditional 9 to 5 has been replaced with from eyes open to eyes shut and yet many of us are still struggling with keeping on top of things (or our own perception that we are struggling to do enough).

COVID-19 Questions Continued...

With the uncertainty of the second wave come so many questions: will it come as hard as the first (Ontario’s modelling data is saying yes)? Will we need to adjust to a new “new normal”? Will I still be able to do my biweekly Sunday brunches at Hemingway’s? How do you find balance when you aren’t a yoga master? Should I get the flu shot? When do we rollback the in-office days of staff? Do I give up carbs or sleep? Will we be able to meet budget targets in a second wave? Do staff feel comfortable with the working conditions? How are they managing through this?

Mental Health & Wellness in The Workplace aka The Awakeplace

“Apart. Not alone.” is the headline on CAMH’s resource page on mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic – and is a good reminder that none of us are alone in how we feel through this and also when we are out of this. We can assess our own physical health based on a symptom check and a long Q-tip up the nose. What can escape assessment in ourselves (and others) is mental health and wellbeing. Personally I check in with staff on a regular and I think I have built that nurturing, if albeit dark humoured, rapport with them where they feel comfortable enough to let me know if they are struggling or just need to take some downtime to re-energize. It’s a strange world we are living in right now, but flexibility and compassion are key to building resilience.

The OCNI team has taken on a lot in the last seven months, including a new process-obsessed Director (me!) and we have an ambitious business plan for our new year that started October 1st. We’ve also come together as a cohesive team to continue to deliver quality programming and services to our members, and I recognize some days are going to be harder than others not just for our team but for you as well. So I leave you with this – one of my favourite comedians, Sarah Millican, as laughter is really the best medicine.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources