Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning.

Summer Yoga Challenge Wraps Up

This summer, 12 employees completed the Yoga Challenge by attending free yoga classes at the Kress Events Center over the lunch hour. Thank you to Alex Reichenberger, Fitness Coordinator (and excellent Yoga Instructor!) at the Kress, for coordinating this challenge!  The employees who completed this challenge will select an incentive prize, compliments of the Department of Employee Trust Funds wellness grant!

Do you have any ideas for another Wellness Challenge?  Please email wellness@uwgb.edu with your ideas or comments.

Yoga

Tense up to relax today

Stress is often written all over your body: Your brow is furrowed, your lips are pursed, your shoulders are up by your ears, and your back is hunched. Using a method called progressive relaxation helps release tension throughout your body, inducing a more relaxed state. You can practice this technique by tensing one muscle group at a time for ten seconds and then letting it go. If you’re pressed for time, try this quickie version that tackles all muscle groups at once today:

  • Sit or lie comfortably.
  • Clench both fists, bend both arms, tense your biceps and legs, close your eyes, scrunch your face, bring your shoulders up to your ears and tense your stomach muscles.
  • Hold for about five seconds and then release, letting go of the tension and allowing all of your muscles to go limp.

As you do this, keep the idea of relaxation in the forefront of your mind.

Rely on friends. Make sure you have a strong support system of friends and family who can help you when you’re stressed. Talking with someone you trust about your stress can help you work through it. Without the support of others, stress can be even worse.

Remember, you can’t tackle everything at once. If you take things one task at a time, one day at a time, you’ll see progress and feel less stress.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Talking

Take a moment to look around and be inspired

LeavesMany of us spend a good amount of time on autopilot. If you’ve ever driven somewhere only to realize you don’t remember much of your trip, you know that it’s easy to “space out.” Making an effort to become more mindful can help you focus on what you’re experiencing in the moment.

The next time you feel overwhelmed or distracted today, take a few minutes to look around and notice things that inspire you. Maybe you’ll see a bush that’s fully in bloom, or a bright red cardinal against the leafy green of a tree. Maybe you’ll notice someone holding the door for a stranger or spot a person with a colorful or quirky fashion sense. Even your workplace has something you may find inspiring—a screensaver of a beautiful waterfall or the smile of a co-worker. A little inspiration can go a long way.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

 

Start Small with Self-Care Today

LaughTeaIf time is holding you back from self-care, start small. Schedule 20 minutes today for meditation, a mind-body practice that promotes calmness. All you need is a quiet location, a comfortable posture, your focused attention, and an open attitude. Once there, ask your body what it needs. An intense workout? A good laugh? Find the revitalization methods that work for you. Start by trying one of these techniques:

  • Write a gratitude list. Write down at least one thing each day that was good. Even if it’s as simple as getting out of work 20 minutes early, document it as something that enhanced your outlook.
  • Sing in the shower. Research suggests that singing promotes self-expression, stress reduction, better mental health, spirituality, and feelings of empowerment.
  • Schedule a phone date with a friend. Friends near and far make life more enjoyable and provide support in times of need. And just as you may need a friend to talk to, it can be equally rewarding to lend an ear.
  • Try laughter yoga. Laughter yoga combines yoga breathing exercises with laughter, which increases the level of oxygen in the brain and body. Participants report enhanced feelings of self-belief, positive energy, and distraction from negative thoughts.
  • Have herbal tea for dessert. A mug of unsweetened tea every night after dinner may be a nice way to unwind and relax without adding extra calories and sugar.
  • Breathe in essential oils. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to make you feel better physically and emotionally. Try peppermint or rosemary to boost your energy, chamomile to help you sleep, or lavender to reduce anxiety.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Power down electronics early today

Why wake up your brain before you go to sleep? Most experts recommend turning off your phone, computer, tablet, and television one to two hours before bedtime. In today’s hyper-engaged age, it’s tempting to unwind by snuggling into bed with Facebook or a favorite TV show in your hands. But the mental activity involved in playing games or catching up on email keeps your brain awake. Plus, while your phone’s screen is certainly smaller than the sun or an overhead light, even small electronic devices emit enough light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. The light restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle, which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Tonight, ban the gadgets from your bedroom and unwind with a warm bath or a good old-fashioned book instead!

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

reading-book-at-night

Self-Defense Workshop Held April 23rd

Group

Herb Blue’s Total Self Defense LLC presented another great self-defense workshop to employees on Monday, April 23rd.  Instructors Herb, Betsy, and Aaron demonstrated self-defense techniques and shared valuable information about how to protect and empower ourselves.  Thank you to Herb Blue’s Total Self Defense LLC and to the 28 employees who attended the workshops!

 

 

 

Increase Water Intake for Brain Health

MintWaterDid you know your brain is composed of about 75 percent water? So one of the first rules of brain nutrition is to make sure you drink enough water to hydrate your brain. Research shows even slight dehydration can impair your brain function. Too little water in your system can cause impaired mood and concentration, headaches, and memory problems. Head off those troubles by drinking at least 84 ounces of water a day. Can you get 84 ounces of water in today?

For some variety, try this cool cucumber, lime, and mint-infused water:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced, seedless cucumber (about 1 medium cucumber), reserving 8 slices for garnish
  • 3 limes, sliced, reserving 1 sliced lime for garnish
  • 1 small bunch of mint, reserving 8 small sprigs for garnish
  • 8 cups cold or room-temperature water
  • Ice

Directions

Wash cucumber, mint, and limes in fresh water. Place ½ cup cucumber slices (about 8 to 10 slices), 2 sliced limes, and the small bunch of mint in a pitcher. Pour 8 cups of water over the cucumber, lime, and mint. Refrigerate for four hours. To serve, pour 1 cup of water over ice in a glass. Garnish each glass with 1 cucumber slice, 1 lime slice, and 1 sprig of mint. Serves eight.

Nutrition information per serving: Serves eight; serving size is 1 cup. Each serving provides: about 4 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.5 mg sodium, 1.5 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g sugar, 0.07 g fiber, 0.07 g protein.

Article and recipe from the StayWell Company, LLC

Look Away From Your Computer Screen

PCMan

If you think you’ve got to bend your legs like a pretzel or sit on a yoga mat for hours to achieve mindfulness, think again. In fact, mindfulness can—and should—be practiced in the office as well as at home. After all, you spend a large chunk of your day at work.

Mindfulness can get us back to center. When we practice mindfulness at work, we think more clearly. We respond rather than react. We take events less personally. We make better decisions. Our brains slow down. We reduce our stress levels while increasing our effectiveness.

As you work today, take a short break every 2 hours to look at an object 20 feet away. Do this for at least 20 seconds. As you perform this exercise, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and clear your head. Following this rule not only refreshes your mind but gives your gaze a needed break from screen-work, helping to prevent eyestrain.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Self-Defense Workshop Offered on April 23rd

Betsy1

  • “Amazing. Can it be a monthly series – 3 times a semester?”
  • “LOVED this so much!  Excellent, useful instructions!”
  • “They did a great job”
  • “It was really helpful and easy”
  • “This session was great – have it again if possible!”
  • “Great event!  I may even send my daughter to the youth course they offer.”
  • “Great job. Helped me feel comfortable to learn”

After the February Self-Defense Workshop, we sent out a survey to get feedback from attendees, and above are their responses.  Also, 100% responded that they would recommend this workshop to a co-worker!

As requested, Herb Blue’s Total Self Defense LLC will be back to present another Self-Defense Workshop to UW-Green Bay employees.  This is a beginner level workshop open to all employees, and there is no charge to employees to attend, thanks to a wellness grant from the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)!

Date: Monday, April 23rd

Time: Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Location: University Union Room 103

RSVP: http://uwgreenbay.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01AoaCoOZXbmxhz 

Each workshop is limited to 30 employees, so please RSVP soon to sign-up (first come, first serve).  Herb Blue’s Total Self Defense LLC will have each participant sign a waiver to participate in the workshop.  It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing, but your work clothes are fine – no need to change for the workshop.

Please contact wellness@uwgb.edu or ext. 2203 with any questions.