The last year has been challenging for all of us, especially on our mental health. In 2020, PBA recognized the importance of maintaining the mental health of our community which includes our team, strategic partners, investors and tenants by offering the mental wellness app headversity. PBA is proud to be one of the first real estate companies in Canada to form a strategic partnership with a mental health organization, working collaboratively and supporting headversity since their inception. This partnership provides the opportunity for individuals to build resiliency and address specific concerns for their own mental health.

Recently PBA had the privilege of hosting a webinar in partnership with headversity titled ‘Building Back Optimism in the Workforce’ for our tenants, investors, and strategic partners. Dr. Ryan Todd, Founder and CEO of headversity, spoke about the impact the pandemic has had on our mental health and building back optimism in the workforce to improve resilience, morale, and overall productivity in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event in our lifetime. We have yet to determine the far-reaching impact it will have on our society, but all indications are that long-term impacts, including structural changes, will occur in some areas of society and business. We do know that it has had an enormous impact on our workforce mental health due to job insecurity, financial stress, loss of identity, and isolation and loneliness. These are all contributing factors to the current echo pandemic that we are facing with our mental health.

“Unless we act now to address the mental health needs associated with the pandemic, there will be enormous long-term consequences for families, communities, and societies.” – Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

Stigmatization of mental health issues has significantly decreased over the last few years and more so throughout the pandemic. We have learned, especially over the last year, that mental health is not a 1-in-5 issue but a 5-in-5 issue as everyone has mental health and must take care of it. More resources must be put in place to support people’s mental health including embracing technology to gain easier access to mental health supports. Leaders in organizations have also made mental health a priority for their employees. Through implementation of new mental health resources in organizations, new knowledge, applications and exercises have become more widely available to the workforce. As Dr. Todd and other mental health professionals believe, maintaining an optimistic mindset is key to supporting our overall mental health in the face of adversity and there are simple exercises to train our brains.

What is Optimism?

Optimism is the ability to think that something good is about to happen. The myth that has been perpetuated is a person is either a pessimist or an optimist and it is a permanent state. This is s not true. Optimism is a skill that can be trained in everyone. Our natural state is to be pessimistic as human brains were trained to scan for and identify threats in the environment for survival. However, in our modern world we can set ourselves up to train our brains to build our optimism skill. So, how do we train our brains to be more optimistic?

Dr. Todd shared the following exercise with us in our recent webinar. He challenged us to reflect on three good things that happened daily for a week period.  These can be any good things that happened in the last week or day. Once you have written these three good things down then reflect on what contributed to those three things happening. See the below example:

  1. I had a great workout today because I had a great sleep and I was disciplined to wake up early.
  2. My company won a bid this week because we have a great team that worked together to make this goal happen.
  3. I was able to play with my kids last night because I was organized and prioritized family time.

By doing this simple exercise over a week period you can see the impact up to six months later. Once you get into the habit of doing this exercise you will also notice if you fall short repeating it every day as your optimistic thoughts will gradually turn more pessimistic. Dr. Todd shared that by training your brain to be more optimistic you will become more resilient in the face of adversity as you learn to see things more positively instead of negatively.

We challenge you and your team to incorporate this exercise into your daily work routine to build up your optimism skill and build a more resilient workforce!

To learn more about headversity and how their application can help your organization visit their website