Caring for you during COVID-19

We recognize the hard work and long hours you are all putting in during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to make it easier for you to focus on providing the exceptional care that you do and support you in the demands of daily living as much as possible. 

This week’s staff supports feature: establishing healthy habits

Employee Wellness (EFAP): Health Coaching

Why is it so hard to form new, healthy, habits?  According to behavioural scientists, many of us try to create healthy habits the wrong way – we declare bold resolutions without taking the steps necessary to set ourselves up for success. Tara Parker-Pope, founding editor of Well, The New York Times’ award-winning consumer health site, has compiled a list of tips, backed by research, for forming new, healthy, habits:

Stack your habits. The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit, experts say. Look for patterns in your day and think about how you can use existing habits to create new, positive ones.

Start small. Big behavior changes require a high level of motivation that often can’t be sustained – try starting with small changes to make the new habit as easy as possible in the beginning. Taking a daily short walk, for example, could be the beginning of an exercise habit.

Do it every day. A British study showed that the amount of time it takes to form a habit ranges from 18 to 254 days, the median time being 66 days. The same study found that habits form faster when we do them more often, so start with something that’s easy to do every day.

Make it easy. Habit researchers know we are more likely to form new habits when we clear away the obstacles that stand in our way. Packing your gym bag and leaving it by the door is one example of this.

Reward yourself. Rewards are an important part of habit formation but some take longer to see, so it helps to build in some immediate rewards to help you form the habit. For example, listening to audiobooks while running can help reinforce an exercise habit.


So, are you ready to make some healthy lifestyle changes? Our certified Health Coaches can provide you with the motivation and support necessary to help you form new, healthy, habits. In order to establish behavioural changes, our Health Coaches teach you to hold yourself accountable, empowering you to make healthier choices. If negative beliefs are preventing you from making progress towards your health goals, our Health Coaches are here to help shift these attitudes to create lasting change. Contact us at 1-800-505-4929 to begin accessing our proven, personalized Health Coaching program.

Visit VCH’s Staff Supports Intranet page for the latest updates, information and offers that support caring for you during COVID-19. Thank you for your hard work and long hours you are all putting in during the COVID-19 pandemic!

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