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.

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

 

911

Join local firefighters, students, faculty and staff in memory of the brave souls who lost their lives the day of the attack.  Share your thoughts and memories of the day we swore as a nation to never forget as we climb the stairs of the Cofrin Library in respect to the fallen.

When: Monday, September 11, 2017 at 11 am – 1 pm

Where: Cofrin Library – 2nd to 8th floor stairwell

Vets 4 Vets and Public Safety representatives will be on hand, and there will be military, firefighter, and police related items/memorabilia on display at the plaza area of the library’s second floor.  Representatives from the Wellness Committee will be handing out flag pins to the first 50 people who climb to the 8th floor.

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? Join the conversation on the Vets 4 Vets UW-Green Bay Facebook page and share your thoughts and memories.

Event presented by UW-Green Bay Vets 4 Vets Student Club, Public Safety and the Wellness Committee.

How much do you know about Mindfulness?

 

Take this Mindfulness Quiz from StayWell to find out!

A. Mindfulness is:ManStanding

  1. A cultural belief that is only practiced by certain groups of people
  2. A practice that cannot be learned or taught
  3. Analyzing thoughts in order to change them
  4. A medically approved practice that enables individuals to systematically reduce and manage stress

B. Which of these statements is false?

  1. Job stress alone is estimated to cost US industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, medical, legal, and insurance costs.
  2. 80% of people who have taken mindfulness programs are unsuccessful.
  3. Stress is the causative factor of illness underlying more than 70% of all visits to the family doctor.
  4. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety and depression-related symptoms by 60-70%.

C. Some benefits of mindfulness are:

  1. Strengthens immune system
  2. Improves cardiovascular health
  3. Builds resiliency
  4. All of the above

D. People who participate in mindfulness programs:

  1. Must eat a specific diet
  2. Wear special clothes
  3. Are business professionals, hospital employees, military personnel, schoolchildren, and athletes
  4. Have to be perfectly serene and peaceful

E. What are some experiences a person may have when practicing formal mindfulness?

  1. Fall asleep
  2. Have lots of thoughts
  3. Experience restfulness
  4. All of the above

F. The ability to pay attention correlates to a person’s performance and effectiveness.  Mindfulness teaches us to pay attention to:

  1. Only the things that matter to us
  2. Our aches and pains
  3. The moment-to-moment daily activities with nonjudgment
  4. Thoughts about the past and future

G. The benefits of mindfulness are shown physically, mentally, and emotionally. Which one is NOT a benefit of mindfulness?

  1. Improved brain functionPortal
  2. Ability to rehash the past and rehearse for the future
  3. Greater concentration and focus
  4. Gives more meaning and purpose to our lives

H. To begin a home mindfulness practice, it is suggested to:

  1. Sit quietly for 5-20 minutes while focusing on the breath
  2. Sit in a perfect cross-legged yoga position
  3. Light candles all over the room
  4. Play devotional chanting music

Answers: A – 4; B – 2; C – 4; D – 3; E – 4; F – 3; G – 2; H – 1

How did you do?  Are you interested in learning more about mindfulness?  There are some great resources on the StayWell portal!  To access the StayWell 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. To check out the mindfulness resources on the StayWell portal, please click on “Programs” after logging in, then scroll down to “Mindfulness Collection” and click on “Learn More” (image at right).  You will see the 21-day Meditation Experience with helpful videos to watch each day to improve your mindfulness!

Quiz from The StayWell Company, LLC

What is Mindfulness and What Does it Mean?

Stones

Mindfulness is defined as being present in the moment in a nonjudgmental way. Becoming mindful in our lives expresses itself in multiple ways:

  • Being aware and accepting of present experience
  • Bringing focus, awareness and attention to the present moment
  • “Single-tasking” rather than multi-tasking
  • Being wholeheartedly present here and now
  • Appreciating the present moment rather than wishing it away
  • Being attentive to what you are doing rather than operating automatically
  • Nurturing attitudes of acceptance and non-judgment, which adds warmth, friendliness and compassion

You can practice mindfulness in almost everything you do.

Informal Practice – involves reminding ourselves throughout the day to focus our attention on whatever is happening in the moment, which increases our ability to respond effectively. A simple example is becoming more mindful of our movement, which may lead to taking the stairs instead of the elevator or bicycling instead of driving.  Practicing mindfulness in this way involves experiences like:

  • noticing the sensations of walking when we walk
  • noticing the taste of our food when we eat
  • noticing the clouds and the trees as we pass them
  • noticing the feel of soapy water on our hands when washing dishes
  • focusing our attention on our friends and family when we’re with them

Opportunities for informal mindfulness practice are infinite.  At every moment, when it’s not necessary to be planning or thinking, we can simply bring our attention to what is happening in our sensory awareness.

Formal Practice – involves setting aside time to go to the mental “gym.”  Unlike informal practice, in which we’re accomplishing another task while practicing mindfulness, formal practice means dedicating a period of time entirely to cultivating mindfulness per se.  Mindfulness meditation is a formal practice that has been studied scientifically.  This practice involves choosing an object of attention such as the breath or another sensation and returning our attention to that object each time the mind wanders. Through this formal practice we develop a degree of concentration that allows us to focus closer attention to any physical or emotional sensation, such as an itch, ache, sound or feeling. Regardless of the object of attention, we practice being aware of the present experience with acceptance.

Why Practice Mindfulness?

Do you ever find yourself worrying about the future, feeling angry or sad, feeling guilty or ashamed, getting upset about physical pain, or just feeling bored or stressed?  Sometimes the feeling is more subtle and you may just feel “out of sorts.”  There may be times when you get taken over by anxiety, depression, addictions, pain or other stress-related symptoms that make it difficult to function.  Emotional suffering comes in all forms.  Mindfulness is a way of relating to life that holds the promise of both alleviating our suffering and making our lives richer and more meaningful.

The point of being mindful is to develop a close relationship with your own mind. You become more familiar with what you are thinking and feeling, and less reactive to the thoughts, emotions and cravings you have.  Mindfulness is a practical way to develop our ability to see the world around us more clearly and understand ourselves and others better, so that we might live a more joyful and fulfilling life.

Mindfulness practices have been around for thousands of years.  Research in the past twenty-five years has proven that mindfulness can help people with a vast range of emotional and physical disorders, which has led many people from all walks of life to be more open to the practice including hospitals, businesses, governments, athletes, schools and the military.

Stress has been cited as a cause of more than 70% of all family doctor visits for illness and 66% of Americans report having trouble focusing at work because of stress.  Job stress costs U.S. industries more than $300 billion per year.  These costs include missed work, employee turnover, decreased productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs. Mindfulness programs have been shown to help reduce many stress-related symptoms and improve overall health, including outcomes such as the following:

  • 80% fewer hospitalizations for heart disease
  • 83% improvement in decision making skills
  • 60-70% fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression

Benefits of Mindfulness

Meditation practice can yield all of the following benefits:

  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Balanced hormones
  • Improved digestion
  • Help maintain weight
  • Increased ability to relax
  • Reduced fatigue and anxiety
  • Increased energy
  • New coping skills
  • Better brain function
  • Sense of calm
  • Decreased depression
  • Help with relationships
  • Enhanced listening skills
  • Focus on goals and meaning
  • Resiliency

Just how can the simple practice of mindfulness provide all of these positive benefits?  Paying attention to the present moment can improve the functioning of the body and brain in two specific ways. Mindfulness:

  1. Helps You Be Less Reactive – When you slow the mind, you think more clearly.  You respond thoughtfully instead of simply reacting.  Many people use the same coping mechanism over and over, repeatedly reacting the same way without thinking.  Although this coping mechanism may be a healthy one, such as choosing walking or jogging rather than food or alcohol when frustrated, being mindful allows you to be intentional about healthy choices.  Being mindful also helps you be more aware of how you unconsciously and consciously react to stress so you can find new ways to deal with the situation.
  2. Helps Relax Your Body – Short-term effects of mindfulness on the body are similar to the benefits of relaxation. When you are in a mindful state, you experience a decrease in perspiration, a slower heart rate, and changes in alpha waves in your brain.  These physiological changes are evidence that your body is going into relaxation mode. Your body can’t be relaxed and stressed at the same time so, when you are relaxed, you think more clearly and tend to make wiser decisions.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

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.