By Melissa Lafrance on June 4, 2019
This month, we feature a recap of the 2019 Staff and Faculty Sports Day, which took place on May 3 and brought together UBC employees to take part in fun and collaborative challenges.
It was a record-breaking year for one of UBC’s largest events for faculty and staff. Hosted by UBC Human Resources and UBC Recreation, the annual Staff and Faculty Sports Day saw more than 800 participants from over 130 different departments, units and faculties in Vancouver and the Okanagan being active and having fun. Teams of four to six colleagues competed in a variety of fun recreational challenges and activities that could only be accomplished through collaboration and team spirit.
In Vancouver, the prize winners included:
- UILO So Good (Top Competitive Team Award)
- Team Peeps (Top Team Spirit Award)
In the Okanagan, prize winners included:
- Blue & Gold (Top Points Team)
- The Health Angels (Most Spirited Team)
- The BLUEs Brothers and the GOLDen Girls (Best Dressed Team)
Sports Day Benefits
In a post-Sports Day survey, over 92% of Vancouver participants noted that the event had a positive impact on their sense of community with colleagues at UBC.
One participant said that “the event really helped [them] get to know [their] new colleagues.” Because it was their first year working at UBC, taking part in Sports Day “really makes you feel like a part of a community.” Another participant thought Sports Day was “a great event that brought people in [their] unit together just for fun. It built a great sense of belonging.”
Paul Cyr, captain of UILO So Good, the top competitive team in Vancouver had this to say about this year’s event:
Sports Day provides a fun and social event to help build team spirit while getting a break from the usual workday routine. Having so many participants from all across UBC adds to the experience and sense of community.
Jonathan Easey, captain of Team Peeps which received the UBC Vancouver Top Team Spirit Award shared the following:
Our team had a fantastic time in this year’s Sports Day! This was our second year participating, and after the fun and camaraderie of last year we were eager to participate again. We know that we won’t ever be the fastest or the most competitive team time-wise, so we just like to have fun and cheer each other on as much as we can. We love getting to let loose, wear funky costumes and run around campus having a blast doing different activities, so winning the Spirit Award two years in a row really is such an honour for us. It’s great that the organizers see the value in having fun and supporting one another as a team in addition to competing for the best time.
Relive Sports Day
Hope to see all of this year’s participants – and some new faces – at the 2020 Sports Day. In the meantime, stay active with your colleagues!
Photo Credit: UBC Recreation
By Miranda Massie on March 4, 2019
Ready to celebrate the end of the school term? Be sure to sign up early when Sports Day returns for its ninth year! UBC’s annual Staff & Faculty Sports Day will take place on Friday, May 3, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. An “Apres” Sports Day social and beer garden follows from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Open to UBC faculty, staff and grad students, this free event is an exciting team-building afternoon that encourages inclusivity, accessibility, mental and physical wellbeing, and fun! Participate in what your time allows.
The event sells out every year so mark your calendars for March 18 and be sure to sign up!
Full details available on the Staff & Faculty Sports Day page.
Looking for UBC Okanagan information?
You’re in luck! Staff & Faculty Sports Day is also happening on May 3. Visit the UBCO Sports Day website for more details in the coming weeks.
Photo credit: UBC Recreation
By Miranda Massie on January 8, 2019
Welcome to a new term and a brand new year. By the time some of you are reading this, your work will be well underway. My typical day jumps from one workshop to the next and one project to the next, seldom leaving time for pause, reflection, or celebration.
Before things get too hectic and we really start to feel the pressure, I’d like to take a moment to arrive – where we have the space to take a deep breath, to reflect and to pat ourselves and others on the back for a job well done. Try it with me.
Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
Exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
Exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
If you’re looking to incorporate a moment to arrive into your day, or even your team meetings, follow the instructions below:
- Pause before you begin a meeting, group activity or task.
- Invite everyone to take 1 minute to focus their attention on breathing.
- Allow the body and mind to settle and focus on what you are about to begin.
This month, I encourage you to take a moment to arrive – whether it’s at your desk, for a meeting or to connect your mind and body. Acknowledge the past and allow yourself to start fresh and anew.
We accomplished a lot last year and many of you took the time to share your feedback and tell us how Healthy UBC supports your wellbeing. Here are some of my (and your) favourite articles from 2018:
- Five Secrets to a Healthier Heart: Ways to improve the physical and emotional health of your heart
- Learn How to “Heart Your Parts!”: A quick guide of sexual and reproductive health tips
- What Your EQ Can Do for Your Relationship IQ: Harnessing emotional intelligence to positively impact relationships
- Clear Space to Be Well: Ways to enhance your space for better wellbeing
- Self-compassion: The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Finding ways to be kind to ourselves
Thank you for your kind words, your support for our efforts in workplace wellbeing and for your brave examples of hard work and commitment to lift up the people of UBC.
All the best for 2019!
Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (“Minute to arrive”)
Photo credit: Miranda Massie
By Melissa Lafrance on December 5, 2018
In December, we are highlighting winter produce, feeding yourself when you’ve caught a bug, and rethinking holiday eating. You won’t find your typical guide to healthy holiday eating here. We are all unique and some of us celebrate in different ways, so it’s important to savour those special moments, especially if your festivities revolve around food.
Follow along below and discover weekly new ways for nourishment and enjoyable holiday eating.
If you’ve caught a cold or flu virus, it’s important to hydrate and get proper nutrition – even with a reduced appetite. Passing over food or skipping meals isn’t recommended because when you’re fighting a cold or flu virus, you need extra calories to support a higher metabolic rate.
Here are some tips and recipes to help you combat the bug:
- Hydrate! Learn about WebMD’s best (and worst) drinks to have when battling a cold.
- Check out this classic chicken soup from Eating Well.
- Try making Cooking Light’s flavourful quick chicken pho.
- When you have more energy to cook, consider Jamie Oliver’s collection of winter soup recipes. Freeze in batches so you have a quick dose of goodness when you need it most.
We are lucky to be able to enjoy great foods and flavourful ingredients – even through the chilly winter season.
Here are some recipes and tips for using in-season produce:
- Check out Eating Well’s five healthy foods you can enjoy this winter.
- To find local foods grown in December, check out FarmFolk CityFolk’s seasonal food chart.
- Try Ina Garten’s simple roasted vegetable recipe. If you want, sprinkle some goat cheese on your finished dish.
- Buy what might be an odd-looking squash and inspire yourself to do something with it. “Ugly vegetables” are not just ornamental; you can actually eat them. Check out The Spruce’s website to see the many winter squash and pumpkin varieties. You’ll also find great recipes if you scroll all the way down the page.
Week 3 and 4:
This holiday season, leave the guilt aside and mindfully enjoy meals that not only nourish your body, but also feed your soul. It is perfectly okay to eat foods that are sweeter and richer (oilier or creamier), with a reminder to always check in with your doctor if you are on a special or restrictive diet for health reasons
Check out some of my favourite go-to festive recipes:
- Spinach dip is a great potluck dish. Try Cookspiration’s version with pumpernickel bread and a variety of veggies.
- Another winner is Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli slaw. (I usually omit the buttermilk and mayo, and use Vegenaise instead.)
- Check out Vegetarian Times’ rosemary whole-wheat stuffing with figs and hazelnuts. (I usually add finely chopped carrots and celery, a bit of allspice, and replace the port with extra broth.)
If you choose to indulge a little, here are some tips on how to do it well and mindfully:
- Have a strategy to help with self-control. Check out Self’s 13 holiday healthy-eating tips from a registered dietitian.
- Check out Harvard Health’s 10 mindful eating tips.
- Read Psychology Today’s take on enjoying holiday eating.
For more recipes and tips, visit our online nutrition archive.
By Marlene Dong on October 3, 2018
Congratulations to Derick Chan, Liz Hudson, Harmony Johnson, and Alexa Love (UBC Press) and Kathy Manson (School of Kinesiology) on being the inaugural recipients of the 2018 President’s Staff Award for Wellbeing. On October 18, they received their awards at a special reception held at Norman McKenzie House.
Recognizing the important role faculty and staff play in promoting workplace health, a new wellbeing category was added to the President’s Staff Awards for 2018. The award recognizes individuals and teams that create opportunities for others to thrive at UBC: from leading activities and initiatives that promote social, physical and/or mental health and wellbeing, to inspiring community members to care for themselves and each other.
“A great inspiration”
At UBC Press, Derick Chan (Finance Assistant), Liz Hudson (Inventory Manager), Harmony Johnson (Academic Sales Manager), and Alexa Love (Advertising and Promotions Manager) go above and beyond to promote social, physical and mental health and wellbeing for staff – from leading their local health and safety committee to encouraging colleagues to participate in the 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge and Sports Day.
Derick, Liz, Harmony and Alexa are also community builders and champions, organizing presentations to increase awareness of health and wellbeing resources at UBC, such as the Employee and Family Assistance Program, Ergonomics program, and Risk Management Services. They organize healthy potluck lunches – not only to encourage others to recognize that healthy options are achievable, but also to build community and connections across the three units within UBC Press. Recently, the group secured a grant for an office bike to encourage on-campus active transportation and exercise. To ensure the initiative was inclusive for riders of all skill levels, the group provided a workshop on road safety and basic bike mechanics.
“They are a great inspiration to the staff at UBC Press,” says Kerry Kilmartin, Publicist and Events Manager at UBC Press. “They have worked together to provide interesting opportunities to learn about health and they have promoted the existing UBC wellness activities already available to their colleagues. Above all though, they have worked to make the UBC Press a great and healthy place to work.”
“She enriches the UBC experience for all”
In the School of Kinesiology (KIN), Kathy Manson is the Executive Coordinator & Program Administrator, but to the students, faculty and staff she interacts with every day, Kathy is a role model, a “coach”, the “head and heart” for many in the department.
As the ‘go-to’ person in KIN, Kathy helps others overcome obstacles with empathy and compassion. Whether advocating for diverse faculty voices to be heard or providing encouragement to students, Kathy’s collaborative approach inspires others to care for themselves and each other in the workplace.
“Navigating through graduate school and postdoctoral fellowships can be like a modern pentathlon,” notes Sarah Koch, Erica Bennett and Anne Lasinsky, members of the team that nominated Kathy for the Wellbeing Award. “In Kinesiology research, we often examine the ways in which coaches guide athletes to their maximal athletic capacities. Just like a coach, Kathy assists all of us to achieve our best performances when it counts the most… Kathy not only embodies the mission and vision of KIN, but also exemplifies many of the qualities that UBC aims to impart on its university family.”
Kathy is seen as a role model for how she integrates physical activity throughout her work day, her participation in the School’s outreach programs (BodyWorks Fitness Centre), and her involvement in community-based activities. Kathy invites all students, faculty and staff to participate with her, regardless of their skill or fitness level.
“On a daily basis, Kathy embodies the head and the heart of the School of Kinesiology,” says Patricia Vertinsky, Distinguished University Scholar & Professor in KIN. “From the moment she arrives on her bicycle after riding across town through rain, snow or sun, to the end of the day…she lends an intelligent and supportive hand with a smile and constant encouragement. That’s the kind of dynamic and gracious leadership that enhances the UBC experience, all the time, and for all of us in the School of Kinesiology.”
Tell us how you thrive
Photos: Paul Joseph
By Miranda Massie on April 5, 2017
Celebrate the end of another school year with some fun! Register now for UBC’s seventh annual Staff and Faculty Sports Day on Friday, May 5, 2017.
Open to UBC faculty, staff and grad students, this free event is an exciting team-building day that encourages inclusivity, accessibility, mental and physical wellbeing, and fun!
Why take part?
Make connections: 90% of survey respondents from last year’s event reported that it positively impacted their sense of belonging within their team.
Improve your health: Last year’s participants reported positive increases in mental health (90%) and physical wellbeing (84%) after participating in Sports Day.
2017 Highlights include:
- New spaces and places: Events will take place in Brock Hall, War Memorial Gym, the Student Recreation Centre, the UBC Alumni Centre and more!
- A Recognition Wall: Help recognize the personal and professional achievements of your colleagues. Submissions can be made in three ways:
- Special guests: VPs Lisa Castle (HR) and Louise Cowin (VPS) will be in attendance to present trophies and prizes at the Awards Ceremony.
- Free lunch and social: All participants are invited to socialize and celebrate while grabbing a free lunch. Check out the booths, watch the awards ceremony and add to the recognition wall.
Last year’s event sold out and spots are already filling up fast, so teams are encouraged to register as early as possible to secure a space. Registration is first come, first served and closes on April 26.
Posted in Events, Information Update, Physical Health | Tagged celebration, challenge, event, fitness, fun, games, lunch, puzzles, sports day, staff and faculty, team-building, UBC, year end | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on June 8, 2016
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff.
First time UBC dads on how they Thrive
This month we are celebrating first time dads at UBC in a special Father’s Day feature. We asked new dads from across campus to share some tips on how they thrive while being parents to some pretty adorable kids!
Ali Mojdehi, Operations Manager in Campus Security
“When you become a parent, you become aware of feelings that you always knew you had but never fully felt them until that moment. Those feelings help me to thrive and develop as a father.”
Eli Puterman, Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology
“Daily, my husband and I take a long walk with Zev in his stroller along the seawall. Not only are we taking care of our health (I am a health psychologist!), but we get the chance to be together, talk about our dreams, and show Zev every puppy, bird, and tree along the way.”
Jarrad Wiens, Admin and HR Manager, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
“Try out a few different baby carriers and find one that’s comfortable. Going out with your baby and having your hands free is very liberating. Our friends were shocked to see us out for a drink just a few days after coming home from the hospital, thanks to our trusty carrier.”
Matt Dolf, Director, Strategic Support, Wellbeing at UBC
“I remind myself to be completely present with our daughter when I spend time with her. No phones, no tv, no distracted thoughts… just really focus on her expressions and engage fully in whatever we are doing together.”
On June 19, be sure to say a big thank you in recognition of all of the dads, parents and father figures out there!
By Miranda Massie on October 29, 2014
Nov. 3-7, 2014, marks the 6th annual Thrive week held at UBC Vancouver.
Thrive is about celebrating our collective mental health and working together as a community to build skills, increase resiliency and help each another to cope effectively with challenges.
I believe Thrive is a celebration.
The intention behind this initiative is not to detract from the seriousness of mental illness. The prevalence of mental illness, paired often with a lack of adequate social support, is a serious issue facing not only those in our communities and our country, but individuals around the world. The prospect of improving mental health support systems and statistics is daunting, to say the least, and I feel quite powerless to effect any sustainable change.
What I do have to power and capacity to do, especially in my job at UBC, is to empower, encourage, educate and support others in understanding that mental health is a universal concept. We all have mental health and we do have some control over how we face the day and how it impacts our lives. This is the message I would like to share with you this month:
UBC Thrive is a celebration.
It is a celebration of our diverse campus communities.
It is a celebration of the collective mental health that unites us.
It is a celebration of our efforts to cope effectively with life’s challenges.
It is a celebration of our small victories on the road to success.
It is a celebration of our (very human) stumbles and setbacks along the way.
It is a celebration of those who work to ensure that we can teach, work and learn in an informed and supportive environment.
It is a celebration of those who struggle to find balance each day, but keep trying.
It is a celebration the resources that exist that we can reach out to for support.
It is a celebration of those who have reached out to get help for themselves or others.
It is a celebration of the thriving campus community that we are working to build and achieve.
Did you know…
Thrive, as a positive mental health movement, is spreading across the country. This year, 10 other Universities across Canada have adopted and adapted “Thrive” on their campuses, using UBC’s collaborative model to promote positive mental health!
This month, I invite you to celebrate with me. Attend a Thrive event, be inspired by stories of others, talk about mental health or reach out if you or someone you know is in need. Highlights include UBC’s Largest Zumba class on Friday, Nov. 7 at 12pm at the Student Recreation Centre (SRC). See full event listings here.
Let’s celebrate our mental health and let’s keep thriving!
All my best,
*Remember: No matter who you are or your role on campus, help is out there – for you and for those you might be concerned about. Learn more about the mental health resources that exist on campus for faculty, staff, managers, deans and HR professionals.
Posted in Editorial, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged celebration, editorial, mental health, Miranda Massie, reach out, resilience, success, Support, thrive, Thrive 2014, UBC | Leave a response