It’s often hard to drift off at night, especially if you’ve had a busy or stressful day. About 1 in 4 adults experiences insomnia at least occasionally. If your regular wind-down routine isn’t doing the trick, try something called guided imagery.
Think of a place where you’ve been before, and mentally trace the route in your mind. If you like to golf, “walk” the course in your mind. Tune in to the warmth of the sun and the smell of the fresh air, and imagine that you’re there. Or take a walk through your childhood home, or through a museum you’ve visited before. You can also retrace the steps of a walking or running route. Directing your attention in this way—taking a mental trip—can help you ease into restful slumber. Challenge yourself to try out guided imagery before you head to bed tonight!
According to a recent study, such slow, meditative music can help your body relax. How?
- Music can affect breathing, heart rate, and even emotions.
- When you turn on the tunes, make the most of them by getting in the right frame of mind.
- Imagine something pleasant or relaxing when you listen. Or think of nothing at all.
This type of quiet reflection may help the troubles of the day melt away.
So today, set aside some time to pick out some meditative music for your next meditation session.
The key to preventing stress is to find ways to reduce the stressors in your life and to counteract stress with activities that provide balance and peace of mind. Try this suggestion today to help you reduce and manage your stress.
At Work: Work on key projects when you’re most productive. If you’re a morning person, do your most challenging work before lunch. Do less stressful tasks, such as returning phone calls and filing, after lunch.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), administered by FEI, provides UW employees and members of their household with confidential resources to address personal and/or work-related concerns. EAP services are offered at no cost to employees.
The 2019 Monthly Webinar Series is open for registration. Click here for webinar information and registration.
August 2019 Webinar: Put Your Compensation to Work
Date and Time: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 – 11:00am to 12:00pm Central Daylight Time
Description: During benefits enrollment, it’s easy to make the same benefit choices as last year – but the easy way might not be the best way. Take full advantage of the employee benefits available to you by uncovering “hidden” compensation opportunities you may not know about.
September 2019 Webinar: The Effects of Loneliness and Social Isolation
Date and Time: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – 11:00am to 12:00pm Central Daylight Time
Description: Did you know that most lonely individuals are married, live with others and are not clinically depressed? Join us to learn how loneliness and social isolation can impact our health and longevity. Using a brain science perspective, we’ll discuss the connection between loneliness and increased health risks including suicide.
Webinar Registration: Registration is required. Click here to register. Follow the individual links on each webinar for registration. Note: Employees must attend a webinar on their own time or consult with their supervisor for approval to attend.
Source: UW System Human Resources
So you’ve decided to get in better shape. That’s great news! Exercising regularly is associated with a slew of health benefits, including reducing your risk for heart disease and many cancers. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves your overall mental health.
If it’s been a while since you were active, though, you may want to modify some exercise moves at first. For example, the pushup is a great exercise for working several body parts at once. But it’s challenging for many people because it requires a lot of upper body and core strength. Instead of trying regular pushups, start with a modified version today: Do the pushups on your hands and knees instead of your hands and toes. As you get stronger, you can move up to traditional pushups. Look for other ways to safely modify moves—it’s better to do a modified exercise than nothing at all.
Making a to-do list before bed every night is a great way to prioritize what you want to accomplish tomorrow. At the same time, it can help you relax and free your mind from thinking about tomorrow’s responsibilities. You can sleep easier knowing you’ll wake up feeling organized and in control of your day. Here’s how to make the most of your to-do list today:
- Don’t overload your list by including more than you can get done in a day. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed before your head hits the pillow. Instead, list a maximum of five things you want to get done, in order of importance.
- Make first things first. Do the first thing on your list as soon as you can in the morning, when you’re most fresh. Distractions are inevitable as the day progresses, so this way you’re sure to accomplish your highest priority item.
- Use your list as a memory extender. Knowing you’ve listed and prioritized tomorrow’s needs gives you permission to forget about them tonight.
Guilty feelings are common. But are they healthy? Sometimes guilt can motivate us to do better. Studies have shown that people who experience guilt are more likely to be proactive in solving a problem. They are also more likely to reassess the problem later, see how they may have contributed to it, and learn from it.
Guilt over something trivial, such as eating an extra dessert, guilt that turns into shame, feeling that you’re not good enough, or blaming yourself for something that’s not your fault can be harmful. Both can diminish self-esteem and lead to depression.
Here are some tips to help you start handling guilt today:
- Learn from what’s making you feel guilty.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can’t be kind and understanding all the time.
- If you’re troubled by chronic feelings of guilt, a counselor may help to sort out the contributing emotions and issues
Looking for a challenge this summer? Check out these 30 day challenges created by Alex Reichenberger, Fitness Coordinator! These are posted on the Wellness website at: https://www.uwgb.edu/wellness-committee/challenges/30-day-challenges/
If you are enrolled in the state health insurance program, here are some other wellness challenges available on the StayWell website:
- Million Steps Challenge
- 21 Day Meditation Challenge
- Sleep Well Challenge
If you haven’t already completed your 2019 Wellness Incentive Well-Being Activity, knock that out this summer! Here is a list of the activity options: https://wellwisconsin.staywell.com/Programs/Activities/All-Webinars.aspx (Deadline is October 11, 2019)
Treat yourself to coffee or tea and a good book today. You read emails. You read text messages. You read the news. But have you read a good book lately? Reading for pleasure can be an escape from the stresses of everyday life, help keep your mind sharp, and even make you more likely to empathize with others.
So set aside a half-hour to curl up with a book. Grab a comforting cup of coffee or tea, too. Drinking black, green, or oolong tea can boost the body’s defense against disease, research says. Tea has also been linked to lower risk for heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and allergy symptoms. And coffee has been associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes. We’ll toast to that!