Bicycle Benefits teams up with area businesses to offer discounts for biking around the United States. Purchase a $5 sticker and take advantage of great discounts, including 20% off at The Phoenix Bookstore (see store for details). During June, participates may also play Bike Bingo. Get your card at the store, ride around collecting stamps at area businesses and win great prizes!
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
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:
- 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.
- 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
The fifth and final week of the Arboretum Poker Walk Challenge brings us to the trail near the bay in Bayshore Woods! The kiosk near the parking area will have the tear off sheets for the week of April 30th to May 6th. Check out the trail map at https://www.uwgb.edu/UWGBCMS/media/hr/Wellness%20Items/KioskMap.pdf.
The Wellness Committee decided that any employee who participates in this challenge and gets at least one playing card will be entered in a drawing for prizes, so it’s not too late to get out there and discover the beautiful areas around our campus! Your body and mind will feel better after a brisk walk or run.
After you have gotten your final playing card during week five, turn in all your playing cards at the Human Resources (CL 710) or Kress Events Center front desk by Friday, May 12th to be entered in the drawing. If you collected a card each of the five weeks, we’ll see how your poker hand plays against the other hands, and announce who won the game!
More information about the Arboretum Poker Walk Challenge: https://blog.uwgb.edu/hr/2017/03/arboretum-poker-walk-challenge/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 2203 if you have any questions.
The arboretum trail kiosk near the South Circle Drive entrance from Nicolet Drive will have the tear off sheet for the week of April 23rd to April 29th. Check out the trail map at https://www.uwgb.edu/UWGBCMS/media/hr/Wellness%20Items/KioskMap.pdf. Over 30 employees have walked the trails to start their poker hands so far!
More information about the Arboretum Poker Walk Challenge: https://blog.uwgb.edu/hr/2017/03/arboretum-poker-walk-challenge/
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!
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
Learn about the various health coaching services provided by StayWell as part of the Well Wisconsin Program, so you can feel comfortable knowing where to go to get support and stay motivated to reach your overall health and well-being goals! StayWell’s health coaching programs are available to eligible enrollees in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Programs.
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 710
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
Did you know that UW-Green Bay is part of the Corporate Connections Program at the Kroc Center in Green Bay? That means that UWGB employees can enjoy 15% off monthly membership costs, a free two week trial membership, and a waived registration fee. The Kroc Center offers a fitness center, aquatics center, gym with indoor track, group fitness classes, swim lessons, art and music classes, youth dance lessons, senior classes, youth day camp, and an after school program. Laurel Parins from the Kroc Center will present this Lunch ‘n Learn to not only share information about the Kroc Center, but also provide helpful information about nutrition and fitness!
Nutrition: Nutrition plays a key role in your overall health, including risk reduction and disease prevention. We will learn about:
- Nutrition 101: fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and more
- Eating Out 101: making smart choices away from home
- Reading a food label
- Grocery Shopping for your health
- Healthy substitutions
- Weight loss myths
Fitness: Whether you are just starting a new fitness program or exercise regularly, a well-conceived training program will help you get and stay fit at any age. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. We will learn about:
- How to set appropriate fitness goals
- Fitness on the fly: strategies for working adults
- Types of physical activity
- Calories in vs calories out
Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Time: 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Univeristy Union, 1965 Room
Please mark your calendar to join us! Feel free to bring your lunch too!
Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. The goal is to teach concepts through experiential learning, allowing young people to put their new knowledge and skills into practice.
The local chapter of JA is looking for volunteers to fill 26 vacant classrooms in Brown County for this spring semester. Please contact Laura Belter at email@example.com for more information on available classrooms and get started today!