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.

Social Media Sabotage

BoardGame

Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, help meet your need to connect and communicate. Plus, posting a flattering photo or positive update may give you a quick ego boost. But online friends are no substitute for the off-line kind. If you’re already feeling lonely and blue, spending endless hours with only a screen for company may make the problem worse.

What you can do:

  • Put face time first. Make a rule: no phones, tablets, or TV at meals. Plus, look for other opportunities to enjoy gadget-free time with family and friends. Start a conversation, play with your kids, or invite a coworker to lunch.
  • Find new off-line friends by taking a class, volunteering for a cause, or joining a support group. Like so many things, gadgets are healthiest when used in moderation

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Why is mindfulness important?

Mindfulness

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.

What can mindfulness do for me? 

  • lower stress levels
  • reduce blood pressure
  • help you sleep better
  • improve depression and anxiety symptoms
  • enjoy food more and maintain your weight
  • reduce fatigue and increase energy
  • improve your health
  • better brain function
  • sense of calm

Mindfulness involves paying deliberate attention to the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. By becoming more aware of the present, you can recognize anxious thoughts and free yourself from their grip. When we practice mindfulness at work, we think more clearly.  We respond rather than react.  We take events less personally.

How can I become more mindful?

  • Attend mindfulness sessions on campus led by an expert in this field (click here for details and to sign up to attend one, some, or all 5 sessions being held this spring)
  • Take the 21 day meditation challenge on the StayWell website (click on Programs > Well-Being Activities > 21 Day Meditation Experience)
  • Learn about meditation through videos, articles and quizzes on the StayWell website (click on Programs > The Best Possible You)

The latest research shows you can gain mindfulness benefits anytime by just stretching or taking deep breaths.  Once you learn these techniques, you can practice them on your own to continue reaping the benefits of mindfulness.

Article contents from the StayWell Company, LLC