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Wellness by professionals: Jessica Belyea


Woman practising yoga, sitting cross-legged on grass with her back to the camera. The sun sets in the horizon, over her left shoulder.
Yoga teacher training helped Jessica realize all the breathing and meditation benefits of yoga.

Working in health care often means looking after others, but as health care professionals, how do we look after ourselves? I met with Jessica Belyea, Northern Health’s Initiatives Administrator with Primary and Community Care, to learn how she takes care of herself, both at work and outside of work.

What are your thoughts on wellness?

“I see wellness as your overall health. It includes your emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental health too. I think our society focuses on it being physical.”

How do you incorporate wellness at work and at home?

“For me, wellness started as physical activity – playing hockey and competing in body building. Then, I started doing yoga to help with injuries. I did my yoga teacher training a year ago and realized all the other benefits like breathing and meditation. I do breathing exercises at home when I’m feeling anxious.

“For me, it’s less about physical exercise and more about the mental health part. When I was doing my yoga training, I had to breathe and meditate for hours – I’m the kind of person that has to see it to believe it. Now things come up (at work or at home) and it doesn’t faze me. I thought, wow this whole sitting still thing works!

“My dogs also help me stay well – I’ll do training with them. I have a mastiff-cross and a terrier-cross. Dogs love you so much, and if you cuddle with them, it’s the best thing in the world! My dogs are needy, but they’re the best after a stressful day.”

Two dogs are pictured.
Jessica's mastiff-cross and terrier-cross.

Any other wellness tips?

“Try new things that you’ll love and stick with. Don’t force yourself to go to boot camp at an awful time that you don’t enjoy. If you hate it, don’t do it! There are lots of apps out there and subscriptions for workouts. It’s also important to not be hard on yourself when you fall off the wagon.”

Are you an NH employee with a workplace wellness story?

Email communications@northernhealth.ca.