New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Easier with Benefits

Let’s toast 2022 with a fresh start in healthy living. If you really want to make progress on your New Year’s resolutions, Chambers Plan’s holistic approach to physical and mental health can make all the difference.

Resolution 1: Eat better. Are your clothes feeling a little tight or has your doctor told you to make changes in your diet for health reasons? Check my-benefits health® for free tools like a Health Risk Assessment and calorie counter. There are all kinds of articles on nutrition, like how to shop smart at the grocery store, eat locally, and adopt healthy habits at the workplace. And m embers whose Plan includes an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) have access to nutrition counselling. Additionally, Canada’s Food Guide offers tips on healthy eating and even recipes for when you’re bored of the same-old meals.

Resolution 2: Exercise regularly. Whether it’s the cold, the channel surfing, or the goal to bake 12 kinds of cookies in a month, we could probably all get more exercise at this time of year. But making it happen in a busy schedule can be tricky. Members with Chambers Plan can find curated exercise articles on my- benefits health for some ideas. Another resource is Participaction, which offers 15-minute videos for at-home exercise breaks, including fun retro-style exercise routines from past decades: Jazzercise! Tae Bo!

Resolution 3: Sleep more. A third of Canadians sleep fewer hours per night than what’s recommended, which can have both short-term effects (fatigue and irritability) and long-term effects (higher blood pressure, increased anxiety, burn-out and depression). Following these steps to reduce stress before bedtime can help. Plus, if you have Chambers Plan, another resource is tips for better sleep found on my-benefits health.

Resolution 4: Check your mental health. The pandemic has led to a higher proportion of Canadians dealing with depression, anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Just as you might call a plumber for a dripping sink or an accountant for your taxes, so it makes sense to seek a pro to help with your mental health. One starting point for help is your family doctor. If you have access to an EAP through your Plan, there are professional counsellors ready to help you work through everything from family challenges, work-related difficulties, personal challenges, alcohol or drug dependency, elder care, and more.

Resolution 5: Be more socially connected. If you just need a little nudge to get more socially active, you might set a goal to call a friend a certain number of times per month (or per week). If something more serious is holding you back, the Hugr Authentic Connections app is a great way to work on feeling more socially connected. (The premium version of Hugr comes free with Chambers Plan.) Hugr can help you to refocus on your emotional state, open you up to better social connections, and it also lets the people you care about (and who care about you) know how you’re feeling.

Resolution 6: Focus on taking care of yourself . A lot has happened over the past two years, with medical office closures, lockdown restrictions, transportation problems, the difficulty of getting a referral, cost, and services unavailable in the area. For 2022, make yourself a priority and schedule that medical checkup, pursue that appointment with a specialist, see the dentist, or go to the optometrist. If your Chambers Plan coverage includes Dental or Extended Health, this may be more affordable than you think.

Resolution 7: Deal with your money troubles. From debt concerns, to living paycheque to paycheque, money worries are the greatest source of stress for many Canadians. Financial stress can lead to lost sleep, heart disease, high blood pressure and mental health impacts. If you're having trouble paying back debt or keeping up with payments, you may want to talk to a credit counsellor— these tips can help you find a reputable one. And if your Chambers Plan coverage includes EAP, you have access to professional financial counselling to help you figure it all out.

Resolution 8: Take a trip. While it’s impossible to know what 2022 will bring in terms of the pandemic, we understand some have the urge to travel. If your Chambers Plan includes Extended Health, it comes with Travel Health Insurance, or you can add it in through the Personal Benefits program. You can take some of the risk out of travel so you can really feel the full benefit of getting away for a while.

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