Directly Well

Health Insurance Benefits

Accessing personal health insurance benefits as you age is a well-earned privilege that retired professionals enjoy. Commonly used to offset the costs of childhood medical and dental prescriptions, employee based health insurance plans offer options for a range of services proven to grow, rehabilitate, and sustain your wellness.

Gratefully, many companies have recognized the value of mental health in the workplace and it’s links to job satisfaction, productivity, and performance. Increases in funds accessible to employees under prolonged periods of stress is an excellent perk companies commit to the overall health of humanity and to society at large.

As mental health literacy improves, you can trust the best and the brightest upcoming employees to assess company benefits as an important reason to work for and with you. Younger professionals value healthy parental leaves, comprehensive and flexible health benefit plans, and creative options for early-retirement and pension planning.

The field of mental health is changing in exciting and new ways. Service provider options include a variety of professionally accredited allied-health options including family medicine, psychology, nursing, social work, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and counsellors.

As service provider options have improved, so too have mental health and wellness treatments. Individuals, couples, and families may access a number of effective interventions for a variety of illnesses and problems. Interventions may include prescription drugs, and/or blocks of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies designed to treat addictions, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Your personal health benefits allow you to integrate therapeutic massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy, and more into your journey of healing. Regularly accessing services covered by your health benefits will also prevent future injuries and sustain good health over the long-term.

During this post-Covid period, it is truly a time to be grateful for the comprehensive health insurance plans available today.

Everyone benefits when you are well! So, work at keeping your Best self healthy & well by strategising regular treatment visits to your preferred health services covered by insurance plans AND by keeping up with your list of Wellness Activities.

Be bold and direct your own Wellness! Help is available if you do not know where or how to begin. Make the most of what you got, and reap the benefits of feeling healthy and well.

By Lisa Romano-Dwyer PhD, RSW, Owner

Life’s Transitional Flexibility

Life’s Seasonal Changes

For centuries people have used nature’s seasonal changes to understand the developmental stages of human life and aging. Autumn has traditionally been associated with mid-life and mature adulthood. It is a season with reminders about the cycle of life in nature. As the colours of the leaves naturally begin to change and fall to the ground, days are shorter, and temperatures grow colder. The fall reminds us that winter is only months away. It is with a childlike curiosity that most people enjoy the changes of season in Canada. Children and adults alike revel in the beauty of the natural world as it prepares for a lengthy slumber when the earth is at its coldest.

Enjoying periods of walking, hiking, or simply sitting in the outdoors during this season is a wonderful way to practice your mindfulness training. It also provides a naturally abundant reflective space to think about your own life and the changes you experienced surviving Covid. For me, this time represents the softness of mother earth and the way she transitions life with gentle flexibility. Seasonal changes in nature like changes in people are gradual and occur over time. Of course, there are some unexpected tragic events like tropical storms Fiona, and Ian, but for the most part, seasonal changes gradually and gently lull the world and all its creatures into a new season. Climate change continues to threaten life on the planet and continues to test the emergency preparedness of humankind when disasters strike.

Human changes that happen as we age include physical, mental, emotional, and perhaps spiritual transformations over time. Ideally, people experience deepened confidence, knowledge, grounded-ness, stability, security, and patience as they grow older. Life experiences teach people about things, and offer moments of grace to learn more reflectively about the self and the fragility of others. The hope is that as people age, wisdom also deepens. The wisdom to accept those things in life that one might change, and those aspects that might be time to let-go. A soft forward-moving dynamic gently propels people towards and through changes and progress. Persistently unchanging situations over many years are likely to feel stale, unmotivating, or repetitive. For many people, a lack of progress in relationships, income, professional accreditation, or ambition may signify being stuck in a rut.

Autumn is a beautiful season to think about your personal approaches to change albeit radical or gradual. Do you gently consider options and move in directions that encourage your strengths and passions? Or, do you resist and wrestle with changes that at first seem risky, but prove life-building in the end? Allowing your natural environment to teach you more about yourself is an ancient practice of self-reflection and meditation. A measure of of your personal wisdom and growth may in fact be the degree to which you make decisions and life transitions with flexibility. Rigid and unyielding approaches to progress are sure to keep you right where you have always been in your life. What better time then the fall to reflect on your life to date, to practice gratitude, and to open up your self to the possibility of purposeful life change.

Continuing to live your life without the freedom to gently change your relationships, professional business, romantic partner, level of income, religion, or hobbies is antithetical to healthy self-actualization and wellness. Long-term partners in marriage grow together, and the gentle forward-moving dynamic of change resists turning to others for self-fulfillment, entertainment, or fun. We seem to live in a time where honesty and open dialogue is coveted in relationships. Younger committed partners are expected to share views on monogamy, sexual preferences, and arousal at the onset of dating exclusively, so the need for subversion and the element of tragic surprise is no longer relevant in modern marriage. The hope is that this renewed modern practice of intimate-transparency will reduce the divorce rate and increase the level of love and fun with one another over a lifetime together.

Enjoy!

Lisa Romano-Dwyer, PhD, Owner

Healing Rest

Nature Heals

As therapist, I am reminded of the healing benefits of a restful vacation this summer. After years under lockdown, you are probably venturing back into the great outdoors to enjoy the mostly fresh air. High heat and humidity often exacerbates allergies and asthma, so leaving the city to rest is a healthy solution.

August is traditionally the vacation month in Ontario. The lakes have warmed enough for pleasant swimming and the weather is mainly sunny and hot! There are so many lakes, rivers, creeks, and bends for you to enjoy safely and freely. Campsites are also scattered across provincial and federal parks as well.

Most smaller towns offer affordable stays and the booming cottage rental options provide safe family fun as well. Deciding to stay closer to home for vacation this summer is an excellent idea from an economic and social perspective. Regaining your bearings in the familiar will increase your confidence to travel farther away next summer.

A gentle return to your life post-Covid is sensible and wise. There is no rush to resume the mad-dash, intense traffic, and long days of your former ways. Like no other time in recent history, are you offered a chance to reflect on what you want, need, and deserve on a daily basis.

Many families suffered in the recent past where men and women spent more time with colleagues than with spouses and children. The collateral damage caused by workplace harassment, sexual infidelity, and neglect is far too large to measure and perhaps best understood anecdotally.

You all witnessed the “me too” movement and corporations continue to problem solve their roles in mediating human sexuality in the workplace. Most young people who do decide to marry today seem to prefer a civil union – even those children from previously religious homes. The view of marriage as sacrament has in part been eroded by the poor examples of our generation. Younger adults appear to be calling us on the obvious hypocrisy of monogamy and commitment.

There are probably many more reasons why young people are moving away from marriage as sacred and bonded by God, which will slowly reveal over the next few decades. The issue of being viewed as “too-judgey” on these sorts of matters makes me chuckle. Learning to make healthy decisions for yourself and family requires a thoughtful and intelligent mode of discernment. It is important to make judgements about the world, and yes at times about people as well.

The explosion of hook-up apps has also transformed the dating scene and traditional rituals around sex and sexuality. It is truly a confusing new world where views related to chastity, intimacy, friendship and respect seem foreign. Many people are deciding to opt out and wonder how to meet likeminded people without techno-mediation.

The view that “we are no longer in Kansas” is a real one. There are people who do not hold the same value system as you do and as such you need to decide whether you “are in or out” when it comes to certain activities that run contrary to your personal beliefs.

I think adolescents confuse “being judgey” with “gossip”. The youthful mind fails to see that you may discern that something is not right for you and hold this privately and without disdain for another person’s position or behaviour. Adults who remain confused about this difference worry me as I wonder about their lack of maturity in understanding the role of healthy judgement in their own life.

People have a right to personal values and actually require the freedom to live their best life without prejudice or threat to wellbeing. Individuals made to live or work in environments that run contrary to personal values may result in mental anguish and breakdown due to conditions of prolonged stress created by unnecessary harm caused by an imposition of civil standards that excludes or oppresses individuals based on creed or religious beliefs.

Going to the waters has greatly revived my spirits after months of restricted living. The healing powers of nature reminds humanity of our interconnectedness with Mother Earth and the essence of freedom. i wish that you have an opportunity to rest this summer. Allowing your mind to float to what you need, want and deserve will foster a clarity and confidence required to get back into the “rat-race” of life.

Enjoy! I will be back in my office next week!!!

Lisa Romano-Dwyer PhD, Owner