Wanda Nystoruk is a member of Barriere Emergency Social Services (ESS) where she works with a great team of volunteers, many having been involved with this ESS team for a number of years. The team participate in a variety of training courses on a regular basis to prepare for any emergency (such as floods and wildfires) that may impact the residents of Barriere and the surrounding area.
Nystoruk tells that as part of the ESS team she participated and completed a training course last June in Physiological First Aid (PFA).
PFA training equips learners to develop an understanding of the effects of stress, loss, trauma and grief as it impacts others. The course puts emphasis on self-care and personal protection. Participants are taught a resiliency-building approach to emotional, psychological, and social health on how to support themselves and others who are coping with the effects of various types of stress.
“During these trying times of self isolation, social distancing and not being able to do “normal ” activities amidst this COVID-19 chaos you really need to take care of your well being,” says Nystoruk, “We need to look out for each other, check in with family, reach out if needed, rest, or take time to do something you enjoy.”
She also notes that setting up Facetime or Zoom online conversations with family or friends all help to relieve stress during this time of self isolation.
Asked how she follows her own advice, Nystoruk said, “For me, I take time to enjoy the outdoors and nature with my two blue heeler cattle dogs, Maezi and Tikka. I find someplace secluded, preferably near the water, or around town on dog leash trails in the evening. We always keep safe distances, and we do see a few others taking an outdoor break as well. We are lucky to live in such a great rural town. It’s all about small town friendliness, and all we need is here.”
She also notes that sometimes she walks with her son, or they go fishing to a secluded spot along the river.
Asked what the best therapy is for stress that she has come across, Nystoruk answered, “Therapists with four legs and fur.”