The theme for our blog this month is health and wellbeing. Although December can be “the most wonderful time of the year” for many, it may also bring up many difficult feelings and circumstances. During the holiday season there can be increased stress around finances, family relationships, and feelings of loneliness for those that do not have loved ones to spend this time with. There is no doubt that this year, even more of us will be feeling isolated over the holiday due to the restrictions in place to protect us from COVID-19. For these reasons, we wanted to bring focus to prioritizing our health and wellbeing as we bring this challenging year to a close.

245 days… that’s how long we have all been living in the new normal; a world filled with uncertainty, stress, and adjusting to the many ways our lives have changed.

At CAES, we have made significant efforts to continue to provide our services while keeping everyone safe, supported and connected as best we can. This was no easy effort. There was no “playbook” to follow, and it was by no means a seamless transition. We are proud to say that, despite these unforeseen challenges, some of these adaptations have enriched our service and the experience of those we support.

Really though, the people we support have made huge changes in their lives to adjust to this new way of living. It hasn’t all been positive for everyone, and issues around mental health has increased significantly. Yet, I can’t help but be impressed with the reslilency, grace, and dignity people have displayed during this time.

Reflecting on these past few months, I am reminded of just how often the people we support have experienced huge changes in their lives and have adapted. Changes in policies around funding, in staff support, and switching services occur on a regular basis and are often out of people’s control. Despite these obstacles, they continue to impress me with their positive attitude, steadfastness and stoic drive.

This has been a difficult time and has surely taken a toll on our Mental Health. I will admit that during these times, my mental health is taking a beating and it is those times that I look to our participants for inspiration. It seems that when my positive attitude starts to falter, I hear a story about someone who just obtained employment through a lot of hard work.  I can’t help but be impressed with the resilience, grace, and dignity they have displayed during this time.

I think that if I learned anything from these times, it’s that together we can make a stand by supporting each other.