A message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, Acting Chief Medical Officer
A new season is here, and with it, a chance to start afresh with our health and wellness goals. (No need to wait until the New Year to make resolutions for getting healthier! Why not start looking and feeling better NOW?)
Traditionally, First Nations people travelled to different parts of our territories and villages, changing our lifestyles and diets based on the season. The seasonal cycle was always a new beginning, in a way -- a time to reflect, reset and adapt.
This month, the FNHA is providing you with a fun group opportunity to set or reset your health and wellness journey: the Sober(er) for October Challenge. We encourage you to invite friends, family members or loved ones to join you and support each other – and to share your progress (via photos, posts) with us and other First Nations people in BC on our social media. You and they can be health and wellness influencers!
At the beginning of this month-long challenge, you might want to take some time to reflect and plan exactly how you are going to do it. That is, to think about ways you can reduce or quit drinking alcohol for the 31 days of this month. For example, what healthier alternative activities, tools or resources would you prefer to be using to help you cope with your emotions and circumstances? Perhaps you can plan to go for regular walks and talks with friends, play board games you enjoy, create art with video guidance (see www.melanierivers.ca), or join online workout sessions (see www.lemoncree.com). There are so many possibilities!
If you are someone who feels that their drinking is a problem and that you need professional support, help is available through the First Nations Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatry Service.
You can expect to see and/or feel the following benefits when reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption for 31 days:
These are all good reasons to join us on our Sober(er) for October Challenge! Let's work towards our health and wellness goals for ourselves, our family, friends and loved ones. Together, we can start reducing the risks of chronic diseases, cancer, weakened immune systems, and mental health challenges including depression and anxiety. This is especially important now during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Who knows, doing this challenge for the month may lead to a new long-term habit. You will likely feel so good that you will want to continue reducing or eliminating alcohol as a permanent lifestyle.
I encourage you to join the Sober(er) for October Challenge and become a health and wellness influencer! You can do it!
Download this message in PDF format here.