Emotional Wellness

Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness, or stress; hope, love, joy, and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.

Mindfullness Challenge – Tai Chi Classes!

MindFull

To promote a culture of well-being and help us be more mindful at work, Tai Chi classes will be presented to UWGB employees by Green Bay Tai Chi on the following dates.  Please note that there is a maximum of 10 attendees per class, so pre-registration is required, and will be capped at 10 people.  All classes will be held at 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. in the Mauthe Center.

  • Wednesday, May 3rd
  • Wednesday, May 10th
  • Wednesday, May 17th
  • Wednesday, May 24th
  • Wednesday, May 31st

Please click on this link to register for the classes: http://uwgreenbay.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0TdXqTSM2wXTd3v

The instructor has suggested that attendees wear loose fitting clothing and gym shoes.

A big THANK YOU to the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) for their wellness grant to UWGB to fund the entire cost of these classes, so there is no charge to employees to attend!  Another big THANK YOU to the Richard Mauthe Center for co-sponsoring these classes!

Please contact the Wellness Committee at wellness@uwgb.edu or ext. 2203 if you have any questions.

May Wellness Webinar: Sound Science for Sound Sleep


Sleep

Having trouble getting some ZZZ’s?  This webinar will provide information on things you can do to improve your sleeping habits for a good night’s sleep and better energy for the next day’s activities.

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

Couch to 10K – Bellin Run Lunch ‘n Learn

Running

As spring emerges and the snow melts, we see more people out running and walking. We all know that walking and running are a great way to stay in shape, but it can also enhance your health by helping to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as improve your mood and reduce stress. Nate Vandervest, Running Coach, CSCS, CES, and former Division 1 cross country runner, has a passion for running and will be presenting this Couch to 10K lunch ‘n learn.  He will cover the Bellin Run training plan, as well as common injuries and how to prevent them.  Whether you have run marathons, or are interested in starting walking or running for exercise, please join us for helpful information, encouragement, and motivation!

Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Time: 12:00 to 12:45 p.m.

Location: University Union, 1965 Room

Please RSVP at the following link: http://uwgreenbay.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9EMFUk4VeZGre4J

Mindfulness Classes

MindFull

Did you know stress rates have skyrocketed in the past six to seven years, a timeline that roughtly corresponds to our ability to “hyperconnect” to work via smartphones?* Being mindful in our daily routine can help us reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and control anxiety. When we practice mindfulness at work, we think more clearly. We respond rather than react. We take events less personally. We make better decisions. In short, our brains slow down. We reduce our stress levels while simultaneously increasing our effectiveness.

“Relaxation” – this was a suggestion from a UWGB employee for what topic the Wellness Committee should focus on next.  Two-time NFL MVP and Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers knows the importance of relaxing and being mindful. Practicing mindfulness can improve many aspects of your daily life, and implementing mindful practices in your routine might be easier than you think!  RELAX

To promote a culture of well-being and help us be more mindful at work, the following meditation and Tai Chi classes will be offered to UWGB employees this spring!  A big THANK YOU to the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) for their wellness grant to UWGB to fund the entire cost of these classes, so there is no charge to employees to attend!  Another big THANK YOU to the Richard Mauthe Center for co-sponsoring these classes!  All classes will be held at 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. in the Mauthe Center.

  • Monday, March 13th – Meditation with Aguas Buenas Botanicas
  • Monday, March 20th – Meditation with Aguas Buenas Botanicas
  • Monday, March 27th – Meditation with Aguas Buenas Botanicas
  • Monday, April 3rd – Meditation with Aguas Buenas Botanicas
  • Friday, April 7th – Meditation with Instructor, Reed Hardy
  • Friday, April 14th – Meditation with Instructor, Reed Hardy
  • Friday, April 21st – Meditation with Instructor, Reed Hardy
  • Friday, April 28th – Meditation with Instructor, Reed Hardy

Please click on this link to register for the classes: http://uwgreenbay.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1RDH7wyV8TIaahL

Did you miss the first class or forgot to register?  No problem!  Just show up and join us!

Tai Chi classes are available as well!  Please click on this link for more information: http://blog.uwgb.edu/hr/2017/04/mindfullness-challenge-tai-chi-classes/

We all have stress in our lives.  Regardless of the cause, your body’s reaction to stress can make you more likely to get sick.  So finding ways to de-stress is important to your health.  Mindfulness can be the key to slowing down and enjoying the moment.  Please consider taking advantage of this great opportunity!

* Quote from Scott Eblin, Author of the book Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative

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The Importance of Sleep

Sleep

Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Here is how sleep can put you at an increased risk:

Diabetes

Research shows an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes.  Specifically, sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of level of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular Disease

Persons with sleep apnea have an increased risk of developing hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats.

Obesity

Research has found that short durations of sleep can result in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity.  The association between lack of sleep and excess body weight has been reported in all age groups, especially children as sleep is critical for brain development and optimal functionality.

Depression

Although the relationship between sleep and depression is still under study, recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep has been restored.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Although individual sleep needs can vary, below are the recommended daily sleep guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Age & Recommended Amount of Sleep:

  • Newborns = 16-18 hours a day
  • Preschool-aged children = 11-12 hours a day
  • School-aged children = At least 10 hours a day
  • Teens = 9-10 hours a day
  • Adults (including the elderly) = 7-8 hours a day

Healthy Sleep Habit Tips

Here are a few healthy sleep habits from the National Sleep Foundation you should incorporate into your daily routine.

  1. Go to bed each night at the same time and rise at the same time each morning.
  2. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.
  3. Use your bedroom for sleeping only. Do not use electronic devices in the bedroom.
  4. Avoid large meals before bedtime.

For more information visit the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.htm

Article by Sam Ahrens, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Stress Management Lunch ‘n Learn

 

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Almost 30 employees attended the Stress Management Lunch ‘n Learn on Thursday, November 3rd and learned about positive and negative stress, three types of stress (physical, chemical and emotional), and the ‘snowball’ effect of changing one behavior for the better.  For example, eating healthier can lead to having more energy, which can lead to exercising more and sleeping better at night, which can lead to a healthier body which can handle stress better and has less dependence on prescription drugs.

The doctor also promoted the benefits of drinking plenty of water.  Did you know that we should drink half our body weight in ounces?  So, if your body weight is 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day.  Assuming you have 16 waking hours per day, that is just 5 ounces per hour.  If we only drink when our body tells us it is thirsty, our body would be in a persistent state of near dehydration, which doesn’t lead to a healthy body.

We also learned that drinking one alcoholic drink per day can be beneficial, and our emotional stress depends on how we percieve a situation and respond to it.  Everyone has a go-to destressor, such as relaxing with a glass of wine or a beer, going for a run, reading a book, watching a movie, browsing Pinterest, etc. It is important that we know what our destressor is, and use it when our body is maxed out.

Thank you to Dr. Logan Andera, D.C. of Cornerstone Chiropractic and Kendall Howard of Wellness Champions for the interesting, helpful and funny presentation, as well as buying us lunch!

 

Annual Benefits & Wellness Fair

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Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual Benefits & Wellness Fair on Friday, October 21st.  Over 30 vendors were on hand to answer questions and provide information.

October is Brain Health Month

One in four people suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. That person may be a close friend, relative, acquaintance, or maybe you are the one suffering from anxiety or depression. The important thing to know is that you, or your friend, are not alone.

The month of October is an awareness month for many things, including breast cancer, SIDS, domestic violence, etc. The first week, however, is dedicated to Mental Illness Awareness. Mental illness affects millions of individuals which in turn can affect their families and friends.

What exactly is mental illness? It encompasses a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behaviors. These conditions include anxiety, depression, dementia, Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, PTSD, OCD, and others. It can lead to difficulty functioning during social, work or family activities.

How can you help? The short answer…be aware that those suffering from a disorder need understanding and care, not judgement. Long term elevated stress is detrimental to most of us, but can be negatively life changing for those suffering from a mental illness. Individuals may feel hopeless and alone; provide them with empathy and consideration or referral to a professional, when appropriate.

What can you do? There are some things you can do for your own mental well-being.

  • Exercise.  Exercise has been shown to raise endorphin levels which contribute to a feeling of happiness. Endorphins are hormones in your body that make it function properly. After moderate to rigorous exercise they are able to activate opiate receptors, giving you that amazing, healthy feeling.
  • Relaxation. Engaging in relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, reading, etc. contributes to coping skills when dealing with stress. Without those coping skills your stress hormones and blood pressure stays elevated, your muscles stay tense and can contribute to pain, and you experience fatigue.
  • Nutrition. There are some foods that have been known to help.
    • Cold-water fish. Consuming higher amounts omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in cold water fish (like salmon, sardines and herring), seaweed, flaxseed and walnuts has been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies have shown that certain parts of the world, like Iceland, have very low rates of depression and seasonal affective disorder even though it is gray and gloomy often.  Residents of Iceland tend to eat higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and engage in physical activity.
    • Limiting alcohol intake
    • Nuts and seeds. So many to choose from: pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin, sesame, and more! They are a good source of magnesium, fiber, and omega 3 fats.

Other dietary habits that may help prevent depression and similar disorders are avoiding excessive alcohol intake, staying hydrated, eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (oats, barley, rice, etc). Black coffee and dark chocolate, in moderation, have also been shown to decrease risk for depression. Try to avoid foods that are fried, highly refined and full of added sugar. These cause extra stress and oxidation in the body.

In closing, it is important to know that just like some physical ailments require a visit to a professional, so do mental ailments.  If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health issue, be kind and supportive. You can do your part by fighting the stigma that is attached to mental illness and provide hope.

For more information please visit: http://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Illness-Awareness-Week

Article by Cathleen Malone, UWGB Dietetic Intern