Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

A new month, a new theme: We’re taking a look at anxiety and depression this month.

Anxiety is an obnoxious beast that I wrestle with from time-to-time. Laying awake at night, pondering worst-case scenarios, that heart-pounding sense of impending doom: I hate it. And with the increased stress from two years of a global pandemic, I know I’m not the only one dealing with anxiety.

Those of us who struggle with anxiety cope in different ways; I’m looking forward to this month’s programs to learn new tools. There are short-term and long-term fixes; things that get me through the moment and things that I can do to change my lifestyle for the better.

I have a friend who is big into the idea that when our minds race, we should chase down those thoughts. Psychologists call this “questioning your thought pattern,” and it has been a helpful discipline for me. As Healthline puts it: “Negative thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can take back control.”

When that doesn’t work in the middle of the night (and sometimes it doesn’t), a little distraction helps: I watch a show about British archaeology, and something about the history and teamwork and gentle British banter helps soothe me.

It’s a start!

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 75 companies and 7,000+ construction professionals better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.