August 13, 2021
My name is Meghan Sarna. I am a certified Family Nurse Practitioner at a local employee health and wellness clinic in Traverse City, Michigan. I work directly with employees of a large concrete/construction company that employs over 500 employees and their families.
My favorite stress relieving activity is actually also what I do for fun, so I get dual gratification! In the summer, this includes riding single track on my mountain bike, paddling rivers on my stand up paddle board, touring the Leelanau County or Old Mission Peninsula on my road bike, camping weekends with my van (who I named Pearl) or hiking off the side of my boyfriends NACRA 18ft Catamaran on Lake Michigan. In the winter my favorite activities are Nordic ski adventures, down hill skiing and playing pond hockey with friends. When I'm not outside, you can find me in the kitchen with my significant other, James, cooking up a storm or journaling about all the adventures and hardships I'm enduring.
I discovered my passion for preventative health and employee wellness during the pandemic while witnessing the unveiling phenomenon of workplace burnout amongst nurses, allied health professionals, and in reality - - - every profession. Occupational health and wellness allows practitioners to bridge the gap between the clinic and workplace setting to help with the prevention of modifiable risk factors (WHO, 2020). I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with a company that hits close to home. I grew up with a family of excavators and contractors, so I know first hand what this population of workers deals with in terms of stress, time management and lack of access to healthcare and mental healthcare due to shift work.
I would say to listen to your body. If you're not feeling well, figure out why and trust in health professionals to guide you to better health. There are an abundance of resources in communities, it just takes time and effort to figure out which route best suits your needs and abilities.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of stress management in regards to mental health. Figuring out a plan and healthy coping mechanisms is by far the most important aspect for maintaining optimal mental and physical health. Between counselors, support groups, supplements, nutrition and sometimes medication, it's important to have a TEAM if you feel that you are struggling. You are never alone, you just have to ask for help.
I am SO excited for summer! I do enjoy all the seasons and the changes that come with it. If I were to leave with some unsolicited health advice, it would be to be sure to grow some healthy herbs in your garden this summer. They're pretty much impossible to kill once planted and can provide great flavors for dishes and numerous health benefits! These are just some suggestions: basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, lavender, sage, oregano and thyme!
Have a great summer and remember to GET OUTSIDE!
Explore opportunities to strengthen your employees' physical health and wellbeing. Northstar now offers expanded services that focus on the whole body, mind and lifestyle. Options for Workplace Wellness packages, are available to add to any EAP package.