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Happier: National Picnic Month - reclaim your lunch break


In this bi-weekly column, the team from EFAP/ Employee Wellness provide short, practical, evidence-based, well-being tips, tools, techniques and/or insights that you can apply to your life today. By practicing small consistent self-care habits, we can continue to build resilience and well-being. Inspired by Dan Harris' book, '10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge...'(Harris, 2014),  our goal is to provide accessible wellness resources that recognize the challenging realities of working in healthcare but also help to make us a little happier. The format is a quick intro to the wellness topic: a short video, podcast, audio download, infographic or article and a practical well-being tool. We will also provide a link to any of your benefits or free resources related to the topic.​

Make the most of your lunch break

Grab your blankets and sunscreen: July is National Picnic Month!

There are so many benefits of enjoying a meal with ones closest to you. Pick one day a week to eat lunch with a colleague… and leave your phone at your desk. Did you know that when we take a break and connect with people, we are actually more efficient afterwards? You can read more about Reclaiming Your Lunch Break in this article written by Vanessa Lam and Nicole Spencer, Child and Youth Public Health Dietitians at VCH.

Picnicking is a perfect way to have fun on the weekend or during lunch at work. Whether it's take-out from your favourite restaurant, leftovers from the night before, or a simple piece of fruit – eating outside is a great way to make the most of your lunch. Enjoy the summer weather with friends, coworkers, or on your own. Getting some fresh air and changing up the scenery can be a great self-care habit. The trickiest part is finding and making dishes that can be eaten outside!    

Try these 30 Easy & Portable Picnic Recipes For Your Woven Wood Basket.

Now that you know what to pack - get out in the sun and enjoy a healthy picnic. Don't forget to share with us online (social media/email) and use the hashtag #VCHSelfcareSummer to be entered in to a draw to win various wellness prizes – you can find some information about the wellness challenge below.

VCHselfcaresummer logo.png​​

This summer - June 21 to Sept 05 - we are hosting a VCH-wide wellness challenge to promote self-care and wellbeing: #VCHSelfcareSummer. It is available to all VCH employees and teams. Share with your team or colleagues that might be interested in practicing self-care, inspiring others to do the same, and winning some great wellness prizes along the way!

The instructions are simple:

   1. Choose a self-care habit

   2. Get support from a buddy/team

   3. Practice it consistently (i.e. daily for a week, every other day for a month, weekly for a month) 

   4. Share to win! 

If you have any questions about the challenge, please reach out to us at or on social media (Facebook​Instagram​Twitter). ​​

The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services.

If you are a VCH staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact Employee Wellness/EFAP toll free at 1-800-505-4929 or 604-872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

Have wellness tips that work for you that you could share? Or has your team developed its own unique wellness initiatives that we can learn from? We'd love to hear from you! Please submit these to and we will connect with you from there. 

SOURCE: Happier: National Picnic Month - reclaim your lunch break ( )
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