Social Wellness

Social Wellness is the ability to relate and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness

Healthy Potluck

Please join us for the annual healthy potluck on Friday, October 6th!  Bring your favorite healthy dish to pass and your recipe to share, and we’ll enjoy a healthy lunch together!  Tableware and water will be provided.

When: Friday, October 6, 2017 at Noon

Where: Room 125, University Union

Please click here to RSVP by Thursday, October 5th.

Sponsored by the Wellness Committee.

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9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

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IMG_3642 IMG_3631 IMG_3633IMG_3638 IMG_3639IMG_3629Thanks to all who helped and participated in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Monday, September 11th.  About 50 people walked the stairs from the 2nd to 8th floor of the Cofrin Library, including members of the military, Public Safety, Green Bay Metro Fire Rescue, UWGB Swim & Dive Team, firefighters, employees and students.  Members of Vets 4 Vets and Public Safety were on hand and had a table of items displayed, as well as refreshments for walkers, and Wellness Committee members handed out flag pins and provided encouragement to walkers.

September Wellness Webinar: Make Mealtime Family Time

MealtimeSometimes it’s hard to gather for a sit-down meal. But family meals can teach your kids health lessons that will stick with them for years to come. And, if you don’t have kids, it can help strengthen your relationship with your spouse/partner or another friend. This webinar will provide you with tips and ideas for making mealtime fun and even help persuade those picky eaters.

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 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.

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

 

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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.

Bicycle Benefits

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!

What is Mindfulness and What Does it Mean?

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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

Arboretum Poker Walk Challenge – Week Five

WkFiveThe 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/

Mindfullness Challenge – Tai Chi Classes!

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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.