Please be aware you are able to make changes. Feel free to contact Elvira if you want a review of your plan design. Being part of a bigger pool, the UBCM Group Benefits Plan allows us to offer better customized plans at a lower cost. Email Elvira today!
Holiday Cheer during the Pandemic

The Winter Holidays are, for many of us, the time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones. As we're nearing the end of the 2nd year of the pandemic, many of us have found ways to safely meet (whether in-person, or virtually). Some examples include virtual staff retreats, outdoor meals with friends (with some heaters blasting some warmth into the group!), video messages sent over through the many available instant messaging platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, Viber, and more.

There may be more challenges when it comes to involving young children, or even when it comes to meeting with loved ones after time apart, who may need more support in celebrating safely during the holidays. According to this article, one way is to "Discuss rules in advance." Having very clear expectations prior to the occasion can help alleviate some concerns, as well as set unambiguous boundaries.

We've seen such creative avenues of professing joy and togetherness, and each one is almost certainly enjoyed by their designated recipients. In a world that is mostly connected online, the possibilities are limitless!

We wish you all the best during the holidays, and a safe transition into the New Year!
Mental Health and Physical Well-being: Hand-in-Hand

We've heard that mental health and physical health are intertwined. For example, The American Psychological Association indicates that exercise potentially helps boost mental health. We can take big goals and break them into small, manageable steps to enhance our overall health and wellness.

The concept of big goals, little steps can be utilized not only on the individual level, but also on an organizational feat. The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) provides an example on how to promote fitness among their employees, using the program through ParticipACTION. It's a great way to engage in exercise. Moreover, it's a truly innovative way of promoting camaraderie and healthy competition among staff. As mentioned in the article, being healthy can foster positivity as well. With all the benefits involved, we can see why RDEK staff are reaping the benefits of this initiative!

For some more tips on how to promote wellness, you can also refer to the Homewood Blog, which is hosted by our EFAP provider, Homewood Health.

Here's to you, and your health!
Flu Season in the time of the Pandemic

With all the festivities happening during the holidays, we also have to keep in mind that we are also in the midst of flu season. Each year, different platforms will remind us on preventative measures (including this article from our provider, Pacific Blue Cross): wash your hands, stay home when you feel unwell, and so much more. Each one is trusted advice, and gentle reminders as we go through flu season are very helpful!

Hygiene and cleanliness have been beamed into oblivion in light of the pandemic. Businesses, for one thing, have made an active effort to let their customers know about how their spaces meet the pandemic standards of cleanliness. For example, most (if not all) businesses have a hand sanitizing station located by their entrances.

In the spirit of fun and creativity, we also want to share an interesting thoughts on how to keep safe and clean during flu season, pandemic, and beyond. This idea is connected to how we've heard some folks do the "keys, wallet, phone" check before leaving home. The addition of the 4th necessity, "mask", has inspired memes, products, and jokes all over the internet. Creating good habits enables us to safely navigate the outside world!

Another example is this article, which lists songs that some sing during this 20-second hand washing. In fact, there is a hand-washing playlist, which is fantastic!

Even the most sterile of activities can have a bit of excitement involved! Go forth with clean hands!
COVID-19 Booster Shot

In BC, all individuals who are 18 years and older will be eligible to receive a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. The roll-out will prioritize the people who are most at risk. This has been featured in the media quite a bit, in light of the first case of the Omicron variant in BC.

For more information, please refer to the BC website.
Devastating Floods Across BC

It has been a treacherous time for many of us who have had to battle against the devastating floods, mudslides, and disasters in BC. With so much unimaginable loss, ours thoughts are with you. For detailed information on financial assistance, safety and preparations, and other related details, refer to the BC Website directly for the most up-to-date information.

As we rebuild together, we can also help one another through the sources listed in the BC Website. One way is to volunteer, which we acknowledge that during the time of the pandemic isn't accessible for some of us.

Another simple way is to follow the golden motto of Dr. Bonnie Henry: Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe. We've heard about supply chain disruptions, which is particularly alarming during the holidays. We can do our part by being patient, purchasing only what we need, and being kind to one another as we hum along through each day.

Helping one another goes a long way in bringing us back to recovery.

Take care, and stay safe.
Contact us at:
Elvira Khismatullina
UBCM Group Benefits Administrator

Union of BC Municipalities
Phone: 604-270-8226 extension 111

For the list of the UBCM and Pacific Blue Cross Contacts click here