Just like that slice of pumpkin pie you enjoyed over Thanksgiving we know you’ll love the insights in this newsletter.

Clarity, Simplicity, Wellbeing

These Are The Topics We Cover This Month
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Legislation Changes

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Nutrition and Wellbeing Icon


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Support Local

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Mental Health Icon

Mental Health

Legislation Changes

Minimum wage increases October 1, 2020, from $14 an hour to $14.25 an hour.

The Ontario government has extended the layoff period to prevent permanent terminations until January 2, 2021.

It is now mandatory to ask workers screening questions before they enter the workplace.

It is now mandatory to wear masks in all indoor workplaces.


Let’s face it, quarantine got the best of us and now we have to pick up the slack on all the so-called “rest days” we’ve been taking from exercising. As we get back into the momentum of working out and staying fit, we need to keep in mind our bodies need to adjust as well – this means slowly working our bodies back into the groove of exercising in order to avoid injury. Whether it’s working out at home or heading back to the gym after weeks of hiatus, remember that you cannot hit pause on your progress and get back to where you left off.

Start slow and be strategic in the way you plan your workouts.

Ensure you maintain a good balance between aerobics, strength training, and flexibility.

Don’t forget to visualize yourself exercising and succeeding – this will help to keep you on top of your goals and get back into the habit of self-care.

As you become more comfortable with your exercises, gradually increase the intensity by either increasing weights or repetitions. After all, the goal is to be healthy.


There is no time like the present to work on improving your wellbeing. A healthy diet, staying physically active, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress are all strong factors in maintaining a strong and supported immune system.

Consider this as your daily checklist to begin creating positive change:

Eat a ½ plate of fruits or vegetables, a ¼ plate of grains, and a ¼ plate of protein for each meal.

Drink about 3L of water. Getting a cool water bottle can be a factor that will motivate you to drink water.

Go for a morning walk to warm up the body and light up the brain.

Follow a nighttime routine to unwind and put away the phone.

Allow yourself a treat here and there. Listen to your body and don’t deprive yourself of treats entirely.

Check out this Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
Place the following ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1/2 cup of Pureed Pumpkin, 1 Banana (frozen), 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract, 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice, 1/4 cup Vanilla Protein Powder.


No Pumpkin Pie Spice: Use cinnamon instead.

Toppings: Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or pumpking spice if desired, and top with raw pumpking seeds if you like some crunch.

Warm it Up: To serve this warm, whisk together the almond milk, pureed pumpkin, and vanilla in a small sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer before adding it to the blender with the remaining ingredients.

Support Local

Working together and staying united are the most empowering things we can ask from a community. Shopping local helps support small businesses that deliver natural, fresh, and locally sourced products. This leads to job creation, conservation of energy, and reduced waste from transportation and packaging. Local companies provide a unique delivery of service because they know exactly what their community/customers value and are able to provide the passion and insight that bigger corporations cannot sustain. Visit local farmers markets or select homegrown products from the grocery store. Fresh foods are excellent to include in your diet and consider buying what is in season. Keep an eye out for packaged foods labeled “Product of Canada” – this verifies that at least 98% of the ingredients have been grown in Canada. Take the opportunity to “cook once, eat twice” by purchasing from farmers and preserving the extras for future feedings.


We have introduced a new accessory to our daily style – masks. But the result of these new accessories is “maskne”. Maskne (mask induced acne) is any acne or skin irritation that occurs on a person’s face (especially on and around the nose and chin) from regularly wearing a face mask. Though it isn’t often talked about, this is the reality many of us are having to quite literally face. To keep your skin in tip-top shape, it is important to remember to wash your face and your reusable cloth mask after each day. Be careful that you do not over-cleanse your skin as this will produce more oil. Silk masks are a great alternative to cotton masks because silk allows your pores to breathe, is hypoallergenic which is a bonus for people with sensitive skin, has antibacterial properties, and repels moisture/droplets. If you are exercising with a mask, please be sure to bring another mask for the physical activity. Don’t forget that stress and diet have an impact on your skin as well. Try your best to remain stress-free by taking time to yourself, staying in contact with friends and family (ensuring safety measures are met), and while you’re at it, ensure you drink water and eat healthy, wholesome food.


Mawlid, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years are all upcoming events that typically involve family and friends gathering. Considering the environment we are living in, there are some new adjustments that we can incorporate.


Ordering holiday themed meal kits from a meal kit delivery company (i.e. GoodFood, HelloFresh, Chef’s Plate). They do the recipe planning and preparation and you do the cooking.

Go the extra mile by ordering the same meal kit for someone special. Hop on camera and cook the meal together online.

Create a dinner menu and grocery list. Send it out to your loved ones suggesting that you each cook the same menu on a planned night, together you can chat over a beverage while cooking a delicious dinner menu.


As temperatures drop and the fall season slowly approaches, so does flu season. Naturally, our bodies will begin to adjust and adapt to the changing temperatures which can create vulnerability and ultimately lead to illness. As well as the increase in likelihood to be indoors rather than outdoors. Keeping this in mind, we need to be extra precautions considering we are still living in the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus.

Knowing this information, employers should be proactive and keep employee safety on the forefront. Employers have the duty to protect employees, keep workplaces safe and free from hazards. Employees have the right to refuse unsafe work.

1. Assess the risk of your workplace. And what measures can be put into place.
Questions that you should be asking yourself:

How many people are in the building?

How often do employees come in contact with each other or with the public?

How much movement is in the workplace? Are there people walking around frequently or are most people sticking to their workstation?

How much ventilation is in your office space?

What safety initiatives do you have in place?

Demographics of your employees (depending on the age group, some people may be higher risk).

Also assess how you handled things during the first shut down and what you would do differently.

From a health and safety standpoint, this the hierarchy of making changes:

A) Eliminate – completely removing the hazard:

As much as we all wish this could be done, we cannot easily get rid of the virus.

B) Substitution – substituting the hazard:

Same thing, this cannot be done.

C) Engineering controls – isolating people from the hazard, putting barriers:

Plexiglass barriers between workstations and between customers.

D) Administrative controls – training, policies, posters:

Taping off areas or putting arrows in the workplace to direct the flow of traffic and avoid cross infection.

Making up policies on best practices in the workplace including encouraging hand washing, having people maintain at least a 2-meter distance and limiting room capacities.

Training employees on proper hygiene regimes.

Increasing cleaning levels.

E) Personal Protective Equipment

Providing masks and gloves to employees.

2. Review your policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date and cover all important areas. Distribute another copy to everyone. As well as a safety plan in case of the event that someone in the business does contract COVID-19.

COVID-19 Policy.

COVID-19 Safety Plan.


Joint Health and Safety Committee or Health and Safety Representative.

3. Be proactive and order PPE and other cleaning supplies.

Plan ahead and stay ahead.

4. Communicate as much as possible to keep health top of mind.

Send out emails on any new updates and reminders on how to keep the workplace safe. Remind employees what they should be doing daily and reminding them to stay home if they feel the slightest bit sick. Put up posters in common rooms. Employees value transparency and appreciate knowing what is happening even if there are no changes. Uncertainty creates unnecessary stress and worry.

5. Mental Health

It has been a roller coaster so keep up the support to employees. Some people have a hard time adjusting to change. Please see mental health bubble.

Tips to better your workplace:

Provide a work from home option, if possible.

Disinfect all frequently touched objects and surfaces at least two to three times a day. This includes handles, light switches, railings, workstations, phones, etc.

Increase distance between employees; remind them to maintain at least 2 meters distance from each other when walking, sitting, or standing.

Create room limits (i.e. only 1 person allowed in the kitchen at a time).

Reinforce to workers that they should stay home if they or one of the immediate family members is feeling ill.

Provide supplies to employees including masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant.

Mental Health

Many Canadians are still experiencing anxiety and even worsening mental health symptoms. This is on an incline and there are no signs of this slowing down. The pandemic has increased feelings of isolation, stress due to financial and family issues, and difficulty adjusting to new normal. Not only is the pandemic playing a factor in mental health but so is social media and society that create unrealistic projections of life. Mental health should be considered in all facets of life including with family, friends, and at work.

Here is what you can do to improve your mental health:

Reach out to family and friends and check in on them.

Use your benefits plan and visit a psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, or massage therapist.

Use your company’s Employee Assistance Program.

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing increased feelings of anxiety and depression; they are able to provide treatment, support and provide a referral to a local mental health resource.

Do something that makes you happy or explore new things, i.e. try out different types of physical activity, explore hobbies, etc.

Practice mindfulness: there are many different applications that you can find on the app store.

Ensure you are winding down before bed and getting enough sleep throughout the night.

Other mental health support programs:

ConnexOntario (1-866-531-2600), Ontario’s mental health, addictions, and problem gambling help line, which can provide contact information for local mental health and addictions services and supports, including crisis lines.

Visit Big White Wall, a 24/7 anonymous online education and discussion platform for mental health support.

Visit bouncebackontario.ca to access their guided self-help program using workbooks, with phone coaching support, or ask your primary care provider for a referral.

Children and youth under 18 can locate mental health services through the Ontario.ca and Kids Help Phone websites, or contact the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) or Good2Talk helplines for 24/7 support, if they need someone to talk to.

mindyourmind is a mental health website with interactive tool.


The sudden transition to working from home has unraveled many challenges – and our favorite is technology. Luckily, our smart friends at Infinite IT provided us some insightful advice on the ways to maximize your technology use at home and reduce technical difficulties.

1. Plug your network in rather than solely using WIFI

Something like this can make a huge difference in your wireless experience. Most Wi-Fi routers have the capacity to accommodate 3-5 wireless devices by beyond that point ends up sacrificing speed.

2. Buy additional wireless access points

This includes extenders, antennas, mesh devises, etc. But this does not mean buy 10 for each room to get the fastest connection. Consider what you need and if it is really a necessity. This also does not guarantee amazing an connection as there may be other wavelengths that could interfere.

3. Moderation is key

When working from home, try to dedicate most of your bandwidth to your computer. Even if you bought the highest amount of bandwidth your internet provider offers – think about all the other folks that are also working from home and sharing the same network.

4. Smart Scheduling

Think about your hydro peak hours – this works the same with internet speed. Most people working from home might be rolling out of bed at 9 and getting started on their workday. Odds are that less people are up earlier than that and those are the best times to take advantage of high-speed internet to get all your work done.

5. Smart Configuring WIFI

Most Wi-Fi access points support both 2.4 and 5 GHz spectrums. GHz is a measurement used to determine the speed your wireless router is able to transmit to other wireless devices. 2.4 GHz offers larger area coverage and is better through walls but may be slower. 5GHz covers a smaller area of coverage but has a clearer signal and less interference. Most tier 1 brand name products such as Apple, Microsoft, HP, and Dell have great recognition for being able to switch to which ever spectrum is better.