Our People priority was established as part of Providence’s Mission: Forward strategic plan to inspire people and teams, so that we can attract the best and brightest and support them to flourish. The Working Well series aims to profile PHC staff and medical staff who are living wellness at work. By sharing how your colleagues embrace wellness at work, we hope that this series is just one of the ways you feel supported to flourish at Providence. If you are looking for wellness resources currently available, please refer to this one-pager. Because the better we feel at work, the better we are able to care for others.

Today we are profiling Leah Baird, Clinical Support Clerk, 10A.

What does wellness mean to you?

  • Wellness seems, at times, a fragile balance but I see it as a holistic endeavour that involves mind, body and spirit. From time to time, in order to achieve it, I need to pare down the time I put into some of my commitments. Going to work and being productive at work is essential for me at this point in my life. Calling in sick is sometimes inevitable, like once or twice per year. But for me, anything more means things are derailing, and I need to get back on track.

What is one of your wellness goals?

  • One of my wellness goals is to avoid the cardiovascular disease and diabetes that runs in my family. This means dealing with stress, exercising regularly, and eating and sleeping well.  Adequate sleep is fundamental to all aspects of wellness.
  • Another one of my wellness goals is fitness. It’s difficult to achieve working 12 hours and having a four-hour commute on top (two-hours each way). I don’t overdue it on days off. I will sleep in, go for long, long runs, or a long cycle through the country at a comfortable pace. I don’t clock my pace. I feel it’s very relaxing and closer to what I would call a moving meditation. If I haven’t slept well, I’ll do a long walk instead. Most of my friends and family walk, and love to walk long distances with me.

What do you do during your work day (and at home) to achieve wellness?

  • During my work day I have trained myself to drink more water and less coffee. I also try very hard to drop the available carbs (donuts, chocolates, etc.). I get up and walk more. I go outside at lunch. I add more walk and less bus-ride time into my commute on nice days. On those walks I connect with family and friends on my phone or by text. My long commute is spent reading, dosing, or listening to audiobooks. By the time I get home I am quite relaxed, which is why I don’t drive to work.
  • The other thing I do at home for wellness is paint. I have a painting studio in my house; I love to paint. This is extremely relaxing. One thing I did to relieve stress was stop taking painting commissions as that was taking the enjoyment away.

Do you have a wellness tips for staff/your colleagues?

  • I am sometimes amazed at how my coworkers can “run on empty” with little to no sleep and whatever they can grab to eat. Many have small children and have almost no uninterrupted sleep. In all honesty, all I can say is to do the best with the things you CAN control. When those days off come along and you are exhausted, limit yourself to essential commitments and look after yourself.

Providing the best care to the people we serve is dependent on our own health and wellness. We are working to deliver a comprehensive Staff and Medical Staff Wellness Action Plan, to help us create a healthy and safe work environment where everyone can flourish. If you have a wellness idea that could make a big difference to you and your colleagues, please send it to Ideas: Forward. If you have questions about this plan or feedback on wellness at PHC, please be in touch: missionforward@providencehealth.bc.ca.​