Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
Written by: Heather Gordon

Heather Gordon has been assisting with wellness in the workplace since 2001 and  has contributed significantly to wellness at UHN since she joined a year & a half ago.  Moreover, she continues to work in this area in the community at large. Heather works as a Social Worker in the Red Blood Cell Disorders Program at TGH and she also provided coverage in the Bariatric program at TWH from October 2010 to May 2011.

Heather facilitated stress management workshops at the Wellness Centre in November 2010 and February 2011.  She also facilitated the same workshop for staff at an outpatient clinic at TWH in March 2011.

Heather also spearheaded the running club and is co-leading it with Kevin Majchrzak, UHN Wellness Analyst. The running club meets each Tuesday at 5pm.  For more information or to join, contact Kevin at ext. 4486.

Heather walks to and from work each day and said she has high energy once she arrives at work. She deals with a lot of stressful situations in her role as a social worker and she indicated that  “I always strive for work-life balance and to maintain a positive outlook at all times.”

Using a holistic approach, Heather is very enthusiastic as she incorporates holistic living in her day to day life. She participates in a number of different activities that promotes a healthy lifestyle at UHN.

Heather is passionate about assisting people and organizations within the community.  She has donated both her time and money to assist charities.  For example she donates money to the YMCA where she has been a member since 1999. This donation supports the Health, Fitness and Recreation programs for people with low income.  Furthermore, she has participated in a number of sporting activities that support charities such as the 10K, half marathon run both in Ottawa and Toronto, & most recently the Scotiabank half marathon.

Heather believes that addressing emotional stress, managing finances, staying active, eating and sleeping well are key components of wellness. She has had to face adversities in her younger years but has overcome them through her resiliency and using the resources around her to strive for wellness at all times.

Heather encourages others to use the EAP service available to all staff because it is free and confidential. “Wellness will always be at the forefront of my life and I will always remain committed to self-care, sharing my knowledge, skills & resources and striving for work-life balance,” said Heather.

Heather has some suggestions for everyone to commit to wellness:  go for walks, bring your lunches, walk to work if you can, take your breaks, sign up for a massage or a fitness class, take care of your finances, take advantage of counseling services and maintain healthy relationships. Heather also recommends that everyone “Do their best to eat and sleep well and most importantly let’s keep encouraging one another as a community!”

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About Jav Girl

1) Background: - Originally from Guelph, ONT, - Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University, - Workplace Wellness & Health Promotion (WWHP) Post-Graduate Certificate from Centennial College - Completed my WWHP placement at UHN - Hired at UHN August 2008 2) Passions: - I love to run! Nothing beats a runner's high! =) 3) Achievements: - Competed at the National Track & Field Champions for Javelin [I named my javelin 'Orville' after the Wright brothers who invited the airplane - as I wanted my javelin to 'fly'] 4) "I love what I do because . . . it allows me to help others incorporate aspects of a healthy lifestyle into their lives. I've always wanted to help people get active and live better lives; I just never knew it could be my day job.' 5) Book Recommendation: 'Mindless Eating' by Brian Wansink and 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin

2 responses to “Leading a Healthy Lifestyle”

  1. Peter says :

    What is the EAP system????? I might be able to use it.

  2. Jav Girl says :

    EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program. Shepell FGI is UHN’s EAP provider and offers immediate, confidential help for concerns such as: nutrition, legal advice, career advice, child/elder care, mental health, and more. You can visit Shepell FGI’s website: http://www.shepellfgi.com for more information on their services (inlcuding telephone & online support) or phone them at 1-800-387-4765 for immediate assistance.

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