Picture this: a journey, a challenge and a revelation—of mountainous proportions! For a lot of people, a backpacking trip would sound like a dream but, for me, venturing out into unfamiliar territory with a group of professionals that I hadn’t yet met was equal parts exciting and terrifying.
When all was said and done, I found that I’d not only survived (yay!), but that I’d learned a few new skills, formed some great relationships and grown an appreciation for the great outdoors. Reflecting back, I quickly found myself relating my backcountry trip to any new workplace experience—from embarking on a new career to implementing a culture of wellness into your school community, and everything in between. It’s really about being brave and forging ahead on an unknown trail and coming out changed in new and exciting ways on the other side.
Pack it Up
Through my adventure, I realized that, even though this was a new activity for me, I already had the skills to explore the backcountry! It reminded me that creating healthy individuals and healthy workplaces isn’t always about a new intervention, initiative or program; often it’s about simply being aware of and navigating the resources within your environment. So, why not simply start by ‘packing your backpack’ with some of these resources and tools to better equip you for your trip?
- Are you a new teacher? The next time you’re commuting, try tuning in to this podcast from teachresiliency.ca, Beyond Mentoring, which supports new teachers.
- Are you new to the wellness champion gig? Start by taking a look at this handy-dandy infographic that provides you with an overview of why school staff wellness is so important—it’s a fantastic motivator to keep climbing, even when things are tough!
- Is your school community just getting started with wellness? A great resource to use before you get out those trekking poles is the Idea Readiness Tool, which will help you find out how ready your school community is to adopt that ‘Everest-like’ idea you have in your pack. If you’re just starting out, check out this resource from Alberta Health Services on establishing a healthy school policy.
Reaching New Heights
Remember, your passion, skills, knowledge and dedication have gotten you to the start of this new, exciting adventure—now it’s time to take your workplace (or yourself!) to the next hilltop or mountain peak!