By Miranda Massie on April 3, 2018
We live in a demanding world, one that keeps moving and often leaves us feeling as if we are struggling to keep up. This can be compounded by tasks we might avoid or feel less inclined to do such as budgeting and finances.
Try this mindfulness micro-practice from the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute as a way of becoming more present and focused, for yourself and your team.
Use this mindfulness tool before you start a new task, whether you’re alone or with others. You can even try it before you begin a work meeting.
- Pause before you begin a financial activity or task such as budgeting or taxes.
- Take 1 minute (in silence) to focus on breath and breathing.
- Allow the body and mind to settle and focus on what you are about to begin.
For more information about the Search Inside Yourself leadership program at UBC, click here.
Photo Credit: Melissa Lafrance
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2016
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! November marks the start of UBC Thrive on campus (the eighth year to be exact) and the culmination of six months of planning for our small-but-mighty Thrive Committee.
The goal of Thrive is to encourage staff, faculty and students to find small and manageable ways to build positive mental health skills every day. It can be challenging to stay resilient in the face of life’s challenges but we all have the ability to improve our mental health. Thrive’s events and activities aim to help everyone build skills and learn about resources that promote mental health.
You can find a full list of the week’s events here but I wanted to highlight some key ways that you can get involved:
Attend the Thrive Kick-Off Celebration: Drop by the square outside the bookstore on October 31 from 8:30am-11:30am for free drinks, stress balls, snacks, live music and more.
*Special highlight* Join Professor Ono at 9:45am as UBC becomes one of the first universities in the world to formally commit to university-wide health and wellbeing by signing the Okanagan Charter.
UBC’s Largest Zumba Class: Join us on Nov. 4 for this free lunch-hour fitness class hosted by UBC Recreation. Short Zumba sessions will be running every 15 minutes along with other activities, snacks and more!
Take the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge: Unable to make one of the events? Participate in the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge from anywhere by posting the ways that you thrive each day of the week. Click here for full challenge details.
Ultimately, building positive mental health is about supporting those around us in making small changes, working to reduce stigma around mental illness and by trying something new for your mental health today.
Here are some other ideas that you can try right now!
5 Ways To Beat Stress This Week
1) Watch this 3 minute TED talk: “Try something new for 30 days”
2) Take 5: Take a deep breath in through your nose as you count to five. Release the breath through your mouth as you count to five. Repeat this exercise five times to re-focus, calm nerves or for a short mental break.
3) Make a quick gratitude list: Grab a post it and make a list of 4-6 things or people for which you are grateful. Expressing gratitude and thanks can produce a wealth of health benefits.
4) Take a free online resilience course: com has a wealth of online learning modules, including topics like managing stress, mindfulness and resilience. Try watching one lesson each day and you will be done in no time!
5) Get up and stretch: Take a 30 second stretch break or try one of the following stretches to get your blood flowing and to give your eyes a rest.
This month I encourage you to try one new thing to beat stress and boost your ability to take on new challenges.
All my best,
Posted in Editorial, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged breath, challenge, events, gratitude, Happiness, mental health, stress management, stretching, thrive, Thrive week, UBC | 1 Response
By Guest Contributor on October 6, 2015
Life feels so fast and busy. How do you cope?
Does this sound familiar?
- “My life is just so busy, I don’t have time for anything!”
- “There’s not enough hours in the day to do everything.”
- “I know I put this onto myself. It’s me who creates the pressure to do everything, but…”
- “I’m exhausted.”
Sometimes we have control over our life’s workload, and sometimes we don’t. When we do not have the luxury of reducing our workload, there are some very simple techniques that can really make a big difference to shift the feeling of being overwhelmed. After all, it’s our perception that can change how the world looks to us.
Here are some tips that you can practice at any time, at work or at home:
1.Take a breath. This might sound silly, but your breath is always available to you, even on the busiest of days. Pause and take some slow, conscious breaths. This will help you ground yourself in the present moment and give you a mental break from your busy day. It feels so good to just stop and feel your body breathe. Tune in to how your body is moving and feeling the breaths. This only needs a few seconds or minute.
It’s easy to grab opportunities during your work day, such as while you’re waiting for people to arrive to a meeting, waiting for your computer to reboot, standing at the elevator, or washing your hands.
2. Adopt the attitude of “There is exactly enough time to do what’s important in my life.” When you change your perspective and take on a different attitude towards your life, your experience of life changes. Repeat the phrase quietly to yourself several times, then see how you feel.
3. Take a mindful approach using Tara Brach’s RAIN.
- Recognize what’s going on
- Allowing: Taking a Life-Giving Pause
- Investigating with Kindness
- Natural Loving Awareness
Through the conscious choice to practice self-awareness and taking mindful moments to pause, you can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. Think of life as a series of moments, and take each moment one at a time.
Life is about the present moment, and ensuring we don’t let these moments pass by unnoticed because we are too busy trying to get somewhere else.
Wendy Quan is a certified organizational change manager who has created an innovative way to build personal and organizational change resiliency through meditation and mindfulness. Wendy has a top winning, published paper on this subject with the worldwide Association of Change Management Professionals, speaks at conferences, and has been interviewed a number of times on her success. Wendy is a leader in the change management community and founded the Vancouver Change Management Practitioner’s community of practice. Her career has also included management in human resources, organizational development, leadership coaching and information technology.
Through her change management experience and successful journey through cancer, Wendy delivers results in a practical, open manner that has broad appeal and evidence-based benefits to all levels and roles in organizations.