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March 24, 2022

Welcome Back, Connex!

After a year-long hiatus, Connex is back! This version will pick up where the print version left off and will only be available online. Going forward, Connex will focus mainly on pension, benefits, and payroll news.

If you were previously receiving an email about Connex and didn’t see it in your inbox, check your spam folder! If it’s still not there and you would like to receive Connex, please sign up for the latest news and updates on the Newsroom page by filling out the form below.

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Previous issues of Connex can be found on the United Church Commons, under Communications, Publications and Media.

March 2, 2022

Debunking Nutrition Myths

LifeSpeak

There is so much conflicting information on nutrition circulating on the internet, social media in particular, and it is not easy to decipher what is true. For some of us, we end up focusing on the myths that are linked to weight loss, however, eating healthy goes beyond that - it is important for our heart and bone health, and much more. In this month’s video series, LifeSpeak’s expert, Toby Amidor, will talk about debunking nutrition myths.

On March 16 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Nishta Saxena addresses how to incorporate eating well into your lifestyle.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkHealthLife

Did you know that through your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), you can connect with one of Morneau Shepell's Registered Dietitians? Your diet can strongly affect your mood, health and energy levels. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can be a challenge with a hectic schedule and multiple personal and family demands. Fortunately, the Nutrition Support Services can help you achieve your goals. The Nutrition program is provided by Registered Dietitians who promote disease prevention and disease management through diet. You can get started online or by calling 1-844-671-3327.

 

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Expert Blog - Eating for Brain Health

Web chat Transcript - Nutrition that boosts your immunity

WorkHealthLife - Food & Nutrition

February 10, 2022

Preparing for Retirement

LifeSpeak

Are there any secrets for having a successful and peaceful retirement? Retirement has drastically changed these last few years – there is a lot to plan and it can be overwhelming to start, or to help loved ones. However, there are some ways to help you prepare for a happy and fruitful retirement. LifeSpeak’s expert, Jan Cullinane, will share a few of those in this month’s video series.

On February 16 at 12:00 p.m. the Ask the Expert web chat by Shannon Lee Simmons and Bob Gavlak addresses how to better manage money.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkHealthLife

For those a few years away from retirement, it always helps to do some preparation to see what to expect. On the WorkHealthLife site, under financial security, there are 12 articles on retirement. Take the Are you ready for retirement? quiz, or read their article on Planning for your retirement: things to consider. Don’t forget, you can always contact your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) to speak to someone about additional resources for retirement. You can get started online, or call 1-844-671-3327.

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January 17, 2022

Building Better Habits

LifeSpeak

It’s easy to fall into bad habits when our work and lifestyle have been so busy, especially over the holidays. What’s even harder is breaking these bad habits to build better ones. This month, LifeSpeak’s Winter campaign will help you reset your lifestyle this year by Building Better Habits by looking at:

  1. Breaking unwanted habits
  2. Taking good care of yourself
  3. Building new habits
  4. Maximizing resilience

The last couple years have been unlike anything we’ve experienced before. We’ve had so much to manage, it’s no surprise that some of us have slipped into unhealthy habits to cope – but that’s okay! During unprecedented times, we need to be gentle with ourselves, but it’s also good to take a moment to re-evaluate our habits. Which ones are holding us back—and what should we be doing instead?

On January 19 at 12:00 p.m. the Ask the Expert web chat by Tom Toth addresses Finding Time for Fitness.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkHealthLife

As the worldwide situation remains uncertain, taking care of your own health and wellbeing is more important than ever. If you don’t feel like you have the time for self-care, it’s probably a sign that you need it the most! In this microsite, Building your self-care toolkit, explore why self-care should be part of your routine and how to work it into your daily life, no matter the situation.

There are also plenty of articles on the WorkHealthLife site under the Health & Well-being tab, and don’t forget about the different kinds of support you can access under the My Services tab!

 UCRD

On the topic of self-care, the United Church Bookstore has The Healing Oasis and Return to the Healing Oasis, guided meditation resources for everyone that is designed to connect us with our heart, mind, and soul.

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January 1, 2022

Health and Dental Benefits for Active Members: Plan Summary

The plan summary for the Health and Dental Benefits for Active Members, effective January 1, 2022, is now posted on the Group Benefits page, under Life, Health and Dental, Disability Benefits. Please note, this plan summary is subject to a final review by external consultants. If you have any questions, please email benefits@united-church.ca. The General Council Office will reopen on January 4, 2022.

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December 13, 2021

Navigating the Holiday Season

LifeSpeak

As 2021 comes to an end, this holiday season might be difficult as we may not have the energy to reflect and be present with others and ourselves.

The LifeSpeak platform has expert-led videos and blog articles to help you navigate the emotions of compassion fatigue, loneliness, as well as stress and sleep. Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

Also, on December 15 at 12:00 p.m. EST, join the Ask the Expert web chat with Allison Villa who will address managing expectations and stress with your family members during the holidays.

WorkHealthLife

WorkHealthLife has some great articles this season, like simple pleasures to bring you close as a family over the winter holiday season, and healthy hibernation. You can also check out articles on seasonal affective disorder under their Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health section.

UCRD

Following the WorkHealthLife article on being close with family over the holiday season, the bookstore has Adventures in Faith and Family available in softcover and e-book format. Offering practical, intelligent, loving, and spirit-filled wisdom, this book includes ideas for family holiday activities just in time for the season!

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November 8, 2021

Eating for Optimal Health

A healthy diet throughout life supports normal growth, development and ageing, and reduces the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being. This month, LifeSpeak’s Expert, Toby Amidor, will share her nutrition tips – in six parts – to fully benefit from the food we eat:

Eating for:

  1. A well-balanced diet
  2. Heart health
  3. Cancer prevention
  4. Healthy bones
  5. A healthy gut
  6. Optimal health: FAQ

Also, LifeSpeak is excited to invite you to discover the all new platform! Find all the same great content that is more user friendly and has an even better user experience. Check out your new LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkLifeHealth

WorkLifeHealth has a section on Food & Nutrition under the health & well-being, physical well-being headings. You can read articles on:

  • Health eating for busy families
  • Growing older eating wiser
  • Eating healthy – for you and your budget

They also have a section on Nutrition Support, under My Services. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can be a challenge with a hectic schedule and multiple personal and family demands.  Select the purple “Get started online” button to explore your options.

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September 28, 2021

Mastering Mental Health

Mastering mental health takes work, but working towards becoming resilient and adaptable can help us navigate and manage stressful situations from spiraling out of control. We can use these attributes to weather the highs and lows of normal life, and adjust to the wild extremes of the pandemic. Throughout this pandemic, our mental health has been put to the test. We've been so busy worrying about our family, friends, and work – we haven't always had the energy to take care of ourselves, but it's important that we do.

Find spiritually-minded mental health resources at the United Church Bookstore in their Health and Wellness collection, with books focusing on depression, burnout, loss, and faith-based strategies for healing.

LifeSpeak

Top mental health experts provide you with practical resources, strategies and tools for building a stable, healthy mindset—no matter what life throws your way – with their Mastering Mental Health campaign. It is offered in three parts:

  • Yourself
  • Your Family
  • Your Workplace

Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

Join the Ask the Expert webchat with Janna Comrie, registered psychotherapist, on October 13, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

The French version will be held by Dre. Amélie Seidah, PhD psychologue, le 14 octobre 2021 à midi HE.

 LifeWorks

LifeWorks (formerly, Morneau Shepell) launched a microsite on their Heartbeat Hub earlier in the year to build your self-care toolkit. In this microsite, explore why self-care should be part of your routine and how to work it into your daily life, no matter the situation.

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is also a great resource to use for short-term, solution-focused counselling. Your EFAP is a voluntary, confidential counselling service that allows you and your eligible family members to discuss personal or work-related problems and concerns in an understanding and professional environment. Your EFAP is a support service that can help you take the first step toward change.

WorkHealthLife offers numerous articles on mental health under their Health & Wellbeing tab. There is also a section that provides COVID-19 resources. Enter The United Church of Canada to gain access to the site.

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September 20, 2021

Diversity and Equity in the Workplace

LifeSpeak - an extension of the United Church’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), to help keep you and your family mentally and physically healthy - offers a practical guide to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

This month, LifeSpeak is focusing on diversity and equity in the workplace.

There are two upcoming workshops that may be of interest to you, with LifeSpeak’s Ask the Expert:

The benefits of diversity and equity are endless, which is why it’s important for us all to be engaged in thoughtful dialogue and work towards tangible action and change. All of us can play a role in making our workplace one that is more welcoming for people of all identities.

Through LifeSpeak, you can also find video modules from Michael Bach, Founder and Chair of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, on how to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. While you’re on the LifeSpeak platform, be sure to check out the video modules on racial discrimination, too. Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkHealthLife

WorkHealthLife by LifeWorks has articles and resources dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion under their Health & Wellbeing tab. Everyone has a right to go to work in a safe environment where they can be their full selves, and are valued for their skills, creativity, and work ethic and that honours their racial identity, religion, sexuality, gender identity, age, or physical or cognitive ability. Enter The United Church of Canada to gain access to the site.

Visit UCRD to access a wide range of books on diversity and equity in ministry and communities of faith.

Here are some additional United Church resources that you could engage with.

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August 23, 2021

Achieving Work-Life Balance

This past year has brought a lot of changes in our daily lives. We had to adapt to new situations, from working remotely to home-schooling - keeping a harmony was challenging.

Back to Work and School considerations are moving to the forefront for many of us as September approaches. With kids returning to in-class learning and work places slowly reopening, this is a perfect opportunity to re-invigorate familiar patterns or establish new routines, prioritize self-care to stay grounded, and keep work-life balance in mind. This video series from LifeSpeak will help you meet the demands of home and work in order to feel healthier and strengthen our personal and working relationships. The video series is also offered in French. Log in using the Group Account, password: wellness

UCRD has Spiritual and Mental Health resources to help achieve a work-life balance. 'Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life' and 'Sacred Rest' both describe the benefit of breaking away from the culture of 24/7 productivity to restore our spiritual and mental health. 'The Healthy Living Handbook’ offers easy, practical, real-life ways to live well and live better emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

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