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At the Heart of the Matter

  • Health Information
Feb. 1, 2021

We know that there are many dimensions of wellness, and that goes for what’s happening in our minds and bodies too. 

Let’s paint a picture: you’re probably juggling a lot right now. You may be back in school, managing the added measures to keep you and your students safe—or navigating an online environment. Your mind is racing in many directions at once. You’re not sleeping well. Your diet is off because of the strange routine you and your family are in and you find there’s little time for exercise in these weeks. Not to mention, you may be supporting your own children as they navigate school in a pandemic or an aging parent who needs extra assistance right now too. That’s a lot to mentally sift through, let alone navigate all of the dimensions of your personal wellness too. 

Let’s Get to the Heart of It
February is Heart Month, and we’d like you to take a moment to pause. Breathe in deeply. And exhale to center you in your present moment. The link between our mental and physical health is quite incredible. And if our bodies aren’t physically healthy, that could impact our mental health too. Helping you honour Heart Month, we’d like to provide some tips and information to find some small ways to make big impacts in your health and well-being.

If you’re in a state of stress or anxiety, this can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, and lead to depression and anxiety, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. 

And heart health and stress management really come into play with diabetes too. When it comes to prediabetes, the phrase ‘it’s all connected’ makes all the difference in how you balance your health and well-being. It’s important to ensure our minds are in a healthy, supportive place, just as we focus on our bodies in order to ebb and flow with whatever life sends our way. 

Start Small 
Think about taking action on a small scale first. Little wins make a big impact when it comes to lifelong health and wellness. Are there small things you can change up or modify in your week to support a healthier you?  

  • Check in on your emotions and feelings. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has some great resources to mindfully check in on what your feelings may be telling you. You can also use Diabetes Canada’s Steps to Stress Management tool to help you identify and manage stressful moments throughout your days.
  • Be strategic. The Canadian Mental Health Association has a beneficial article to help you identify and action strategies to help you thrive in your environment. 
  • Identify stressors in your life. Pinpointing those moments that bring on added stress is a great place to start your reflection. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has great tips to help you identify what you may be experiencing and feeling so you can address these concerns or make different choices for yourself in small ways.
  • Eat well. Prepare your snacks and meals ahead of time, ensuring your fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy snacks and easy-to-prepare meals. Not only is this important for managing stress, and those with prediabetes, it’s also important for good heart health too. 
  • Test it out. You can pulse-check your risk for prediabetes on the Diabetes Canada site and while you’re looking for more information, learn about how the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP) can support you if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

Let’s stay focused on our hearts, maintaining small, healthy acts that boost overall well-being. Today is the day...lean on your village—including #ThinkShareHeal and #YourASEBP—for support, connection and hope to help you reset and care for yourself. Visit our mental health page for more information.