By Miranda Massie on July 4, 2018
Emotional intelligence is something that’s been garnering attention in recent years. Magazine articles, research papers and leadership courses continue to emerge, touting the benefits of high EQ (your emotional intelligence score) on work performance, happiness, leadership capabilities and even love .
So what are the key components to emotional intelligence and how might we harness this information to positively impact our relationships with others?
Emotional Intelligence is the “ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” It is made up of the following components:
- Self-awareness: an in-depth knowledge of oneself (tendencies, emotions, behaviours)
- Self-regulation: our ability to manage ourselves (feelings, triggers, reactions)
- Motivation: how and why we reach our goals (values, setting intention, building resilience)
- Empathy: recognizing and understanding emotions in others (as separate from our own)
- Social skills: how we communicate and interact with others 
With this information, how can we build up these skills in ways that enable us to have healthy and satisfying relationships with others? Personally, I feel that it’s a bit of a “chicken or the egg” scenario. What comes first: successful relationships that lead to higher emotional intelligence or increased emotional intelligence that creates healthier relationships? Perhaps it is both.
Knowing ourselves, regulating our emotions, understanding what drives us, acknowledging and validating others’ feelings, and engaging in optimal communication are all ways that emotional intelligence can support us in building relationships with others. Sustaining these positive behaviours through healthy habits over time can help raise our EQ.
This month, I encourage you to try and be present in your interactions with others. Experiment with the different components of emotional intelligence to discover what resonates best with you. Hopefully your relationship IQ will get a boost in the process.
All my best,
Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
 Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (Salovey and Mayer, 1990)
 Emotional intelligence: Why it can Matter more than IQ (Daniel Goleman)
Posted in Editorial, Miranda Massie | Tagged communication, editorial, emotional intelligence, emotions, EQ, expectation, healthy relationships, IQ, judgement, Miranda Massie, relationships, UBC | 1 Response
By Miranda Massie on July 4, 2018
Impact vs. Intention
As human beings we love to make assumptions. It’s one of the ways our brains make sense of the world around us. Unfortunately, this can lead to conflict in our interpersonal relationships. Words are easy to misinterpret and we fill in the blanks by assuming we know the true intention of others – and often we get it wrong.
Try this mindfulness micro-practice from the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute as a way to reframe your interactions with others and decipher the impact on you from the intention of others.
Use this mindfulness tool during difficult conversations – if you notice feelings of strong judgment or criticisms toward someone, or when you feel frustrated in communicating with others.
- Notice when you feel irritated or frustrated by the words or behaviours of someone.
- Pause and ask yourself: “Does the impact it is having on me match their intention?”
- Say to yourself: “Impact is not intention” as a reminder to consider the content, feelings and purpose that might be driving the other person’s behaviour.
In January 2018, UBC HR offered a Search Inside Yourself (SIY) training program for UBC Vancouver faculty and staff. For more information about the SIY leadership program, visit the Search Inside Yourself website.
Photo: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on May 3, 2018
Consent does not begin in the bedroom, it starts with how we listen, how we speak and how we live & work. Our personal culture of conversation can tell us a lot about how we respect and ask for consent. Consent is more than a question, more than a statement of boundaries: it is the entire terrain of communication. Listening is the foundation of how we communicate. Sometimes, we can fall into a pattern where conversation flows in a manner that suggests that neither party is listening. Instead of simply learning how to ask for consent, I think it’s worth being mindful of how we listen for it.
The 3 checks of consent:
The Interruption Check
If you notice that your conversations are filled with “Yeah, but…” or “Me too, and…” you are interrupting. If you are anxious to respond before the other person finishes speaking, you are interrupting. To notice when someone states their boundaries, you need to genuinely hear what they say. There needs to be space between where their thoughts end, and yours begin. Interrupting indicates that you are listening to respond, rather than to understand. You can only respect someone’s boundaries if you understand what the other person has said about them. When in doubt, take a moment to breathe in, then out, before saying anything in any conversation.
The Constant Chatter Check
Uncomfortable silence is called so for a reason. Sometimes, light conversation can be exactly what is needed, but sometimes it is not. Habitually filling space by chatting is a sign that you are preoccupied with your own experience. In an attempt to create comfort for yourself, you may be missing some non-verbal signals from others. Silence is not consent for conversation. Look for other clues that may indicate what type of conversation the other person is looking for. Notice your breathing when you experience an uncomfortable silence. If you can slow your breathing, you are more likely to be able to “read the room”.
The Dismissive Check
If you think you know what someone else is thinking, you are already not listening. By making assumptions in a conversation, you put on metaphorical earmuffs. This can lead you to view the other person’s statement as irrelevant, unimportant or incorrect. By dismissing, undervaluing or correcting someone’s statements, you are effectively shutting down a conversation. You may be missing what they are trying to communicate. If you choose to assume and dismiss, you’ve lost the opportunity to listen. Dive in when your impulse is to dismiss.
The way we converse may seem innocuous at first, but the downstream impact of our daily habits can end up leading us away from meaningful interactions. Our culture of conversation determines how we understand consent. Self-awareness consent checks are meant to show us our habits from the other person’s perspective. Make listening the foundation of your conversations, and you will gain more than you expected.
By Melissa Lafrance on January 11, 2018
“In stressful situations, mindfulness has helped me manage my own emotions and I am now open to resolving challenges differently.” — UBC Mindfulness Challenge Participant
“When I was in an emotionally charged meeting, I was able to notice, acknowledge and manage my own emotions more effectively as a result of the practice.” — UBC Mindfulness Challenge Participant
Since it was first offered in February 2016, more than 700 UBC employees have participated in our Mindfulness Challenges. Registration is now open at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses for the 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge. The Vancouver campus is also offering a six-week, in-person Mindfulness@Work program to educate and bring the benefits of mindfulness to UBC staff and faculty.
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge (February 19 – March 20, 2018)
Could your department benefit from a team-building activity? Join the many individuals and teams who have collectively taken part in the Challenge and found it to be a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness alongside their colleagues. Participants reported being healthier, more productive and better able to problem-solve and work in a team. Check out UBC Sauder’s Development & Alumni Engagement team’s experience with the Challenge.
This innovative and evidence-based training is aimed at UBC staff and faculty looking to incorporate mindfulness into the workplace and in their everyday lives. Content is delivered via any device, and focuses on simple yet powerful and achievable learning objectives.
You can expect:
- 10 minutes per day of mindfulness training for 30 days
- Expert-led and evidence-based programming
- Online platform that can be used anywhere
- Free to join and includes participation of a buddy or colleague of your choice
- Open to all staff and faculty (Vancouver & Okanagan campuses)
- No cost – this is a free program
Find out more:
- View the MindWellU orientation webinar
- Take a look at the orientation video of the online dashboard
- Learn more about the 30-Day Challenge at the Vancouver campus
30-Day Challenge Registration:
UBC staff and faculty can register now for the 30-Day Online Challenge.
“While lecturing, I encountered some technical difficulties and by using mindfulness, I was able to remain calm and resolve the issues to resume the lecture.” — UBC Mindfulness Challenge Participant
Mindfulness@Work Program (April 5 – May 10, 2018)
The six-week, in-person Mindfulness@Work training program runs in the spring of 2018. If you are looking for more in-depth mindfulness training, Mindfulness@Work specifically focuses on integrating the practice of mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork and communication.
Spring 2018 Program at the Diamond Health Care Centre
Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
April 5, 12, 19, 26 and May 3, 10
Retreat (mandatory): Saturday, April 28
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
About the program:
- Delivers expert-led and evidence-based programming
- Content is delivered and classes are led by a mindfulness expert
- Learn and practice meditation and core Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
How it works:
- Six-week, in-person training in a group/class setting
- Must attend all classes including the one-day weekend retreat
- Practice daily home assignments for 15-30 minutes a day
- $100 per person (may be eligible for professional development funding)
Key impact areas:
- Reduces stress and improves resiliency
- Cultivates physical and mental health
- Promotes effectiveness, teamwork, and communication
- Develop a meditation practice
- Register online using this UBC Vancouver staff and faculty link.
- Submit the $100 registration fee (cash or cheque payable to UBC Human Resources, or journal voucher to KPGK) to:
Health & Wellbeing Associate
UBC Human Resources
600 – 6190 Agronomy Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
- Most staff and faculty members have the option to access one of UBC’s professional development funding programs. Find out more about the reimbursement procedures.
“[I] participated with a colleague in my office and it was really helpful. We kept each other accountable and understood the impact of the Take 5 practice and chatted about the key learnings.” — UBC Mindfulness Challenge Participant
About UBC Mindfulness Programs:
Studies show that our minds wander 46.5% of the time.* There has been a tremendous amount of research over the past 20 years that demonstrates the benefits of mindfulness for physical and mental wellbeing.
Mindfulness is mental exercise for disrupting the wandering or day-dreaming mind and bringing it back to the present, something that becomes stronger with practice. When we dwell on the past and worry about the future, we become more reactive. When we remain in the present moment, we can make decisions clearly and be more attentive. By learning to be more mindful, we can pay attention with a sense of openness and non-judgment.
Benefits of Mindfulness **
|Physical Health||Mental Health||Workplace Benefits|
|Improves overall health and wellbeing||Increases sense of joy and contentment||Improves focus concentration|
|Improves sleep||Reduces and lessens symptoms of depression||Enhances performance|
|Reduces chronic pain||Reduces substance abuse||Elevates collaboration and creativity|
|Lowers blood pressure||Reduces stress and anxiety||Reduces conflict|
After completing a UBC Mindfulness Challenge, past participants were more confident in their ability to manage stress in the workplace, spring back from setbacks, and resolve interpersonal conflicts in the workplace. The top three most common achievements were learned new skills, increased ability to manage emotions, and reduced stress levels.
UBC was also involved in a research collaboration to study the effectiveness of the Mindfulness Challenge. Find out more about a larger study on mindfulness intervention in the workplace.
“[I] developed resilience skills and the ability to be less judgmental with colleagues with difficult personalities.” — UBC Mindfulness Challenge Participant
“I had multiple competing tasks and my mind was racing and unfocused. Taking a mindful approach, I efficiently focused on one task at a time through to completion.” — UBC Mindfulness Challenge Participant
Photo credit: Melissa Lafrance
* Killingsworth MA, Gilbert DT. A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind. Science 12 November 2010: Vol. 330. no. 6006, p. 932
** Aikens, K. A., et al. (2014). Mindfulness goes to work: Impact of an online workplace intervention. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 56(7), 721-731.
Dane, E., & Brummel, B. J. (2014). Examining workplace mindfulness and its relations to job performance and turnover intention. Human Relations, 67(1), 105-128.
Glomb, T. M. (2011). Null: Research in personnel and human resources management mindfulness at work, 115.
Good, D. J., et al. (2016). Contemplating mindfulness at work: An integrative review. Journal of Management, 42(1), 114-142.
Posted in Mental Health | Tagged communication, conflict, education, learning, mental health, Mindfulness, Mindfulness @ work, mindfulness challenge, personal development, professional development, relationships, resilience, thriving | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on July 1, 2017
Guest contribution from Megan Pinfield, Senior Advisor, Workplace Mental Health
I’ve been a clinical counsellor since 2004 and in that time, I’ve worked with many couples and individuals struggling with relationship issues. One common theme I have seen over and over again is conflict due to unmanaged or uncommunicated expectations.
Dr. John Gottman, a relationship researcher and author of several books on the subject states that 70% of all conflict in relationships is actually unsolvable  and that conflict will exist no matter what.
Why is conflict inevitable?
The answer to this question is that we all have certain expectations about relationships that many of us do not acknowledge to ourselves, let alone our unsuspecting partners . Our expectations come from how we were raised, the society in which we grew up, the types of books and TV shows we watched, how we were treated by the people in our social worlds and many other factors.
For example, from our family of origin we learned how to show and receive affection, how to negotiate for things we want, how to communicate our needs and feelings so others will listen, and what to expect from the people who love us.
Each of us has developed a unique set of expectations for relationships based on our life experiences. In addition to giving and receiving love, we all have expectations around the following:
- Relationship longevity (how long we expect relationships to last)
- Sexual fidelity (whether we expect our partners to be faithful or not)
- Sex (frequency, style, etc.)
- Romance (what it “should” look like)
- Children (whether we should have them, how many, what sexes, etc.)
- Work, careers and money (how ambitious our partner “should” be, how hard we should work, etc.)
- Communication (how much, what about, what’s taboo, etc.)
- Degree of emotional dependency (how much to rely on a partner for emotional support)
- Power and control (who has it, how much, when and in what situations)
- Housework (who does what and when)
- Friendships outside a relationship (how often do we see friends or opposite sex friends, etc.)
- Religious and spiritual beliefs (do partners have to share beliefs)
Sometimes in my counselling practice, I meet couples who openly discuss these topics before marriage. But more often than not, couples never even consider these ideas much less discuss them with each other. Every one of them has their unique set of expectations for each category – even if they are not aware of it.
Conflict happens when one person’s expectations are not met by the other party. For example, A and B are in a relationship and A has the expectation that B will show their love by buying A small gifts and setting up romantic getaways for the two of them. But B grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money, and B learned that showing love means doing chores for the other person without being asked. So B washes the cars and cleans the house and picks up the dry cleaning for A. Unfortunately, A doesn’t recognize B’s efforts as love and B feels unappreciated by A. So neither person is happy in the relationship.
If this goes on for five to 10 years, A and B can build up a lot of resentment and anger towards each other that lead to arguments and tears. The solution is for A and B to have an honest discussion about their individual expectations for the relationship (ideally A and B should talk about what each of them expects from the other in all the categories).
Sometimes it is helpful to have these discussions in the presence of a therapist, especially if there is a history of resentment and frustration in the relationship. A good therapist can help teach each individual how to communicate his/her needs and expectations in a respectful and non-threatening way so their partner can hear them.
Obviously, some expectations cannot and should not be met by your partner; a good therapist will help you and your partner learn to accept differences and make compromises.
If you are experiencing conflict in your relationships, take a moment to consider what your expectations are. Ask yourself, “what did I assume about this situation that is upsetting me?”
If you need more help, contact a counsellor in your area or UBC’s Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Shepell.
 (Gottman, 2012, Why Marriages Succeed and Fail)
 (Markman, H., Stanley, S & Blumberg, S. 2001, Fighting For Your Marriage.)
By Miranda Massie on July 1, 2017
Guest contribution by Dr. Thara Vayali
Listening can be hard, especially in difficult conversations or discussions with people we spend a lot of time with.
To listen like you mean it is to honestly hear the whole statement of the person who is speaking in order to have a meaningful conversation. Most of us speak so that we can be heard and have someone reflect back that they have understood us.
Yet most of us listen so that we can speak, often interrupting a speaker with our agreement or disagreement.
And round and round we go.
In all this speaking to one another, we often forget that the act of conversation is a gift. It is an invitation to witness their expressions and to be present as a valued contributor. When someone wants your attention, it is important to recognize this gift and listen. Stop what you are doing, or if you need time to wrap up what you are doing before you listen, say so. When you engage with your full attention, the interaction will thrive.
To be able to be present and listen like you mean it, you must develop two trusts:
- Trust yourself. Trust that you will not forget what you have to say. You may change it based on what you hear, but trust that if something is important to you, it will not disappear.
- Trust the other person. Trust that they are doing their best to express themselves. They may end up using language that makes you defensive or causes you to digress, but what they really want is for their experience to be understood.
Once you can employ these two trusts, you can begin the practice of listening.
It’s not about what you do; it’s how you do what you do.
The five steps to honest listening are always based in the two trusts:
- Say (to yourself), “This is not about me”. Even if the words are directed at you or the phrases include you, remember that for the most part, the speaker wants to be heard by you. The details can be hashed out later.
- Pausing makes all the difference; it takes a reactive statement and gives it some breathing room, a moment to assess if now is the time to speak. It shows the speaker that you have the capacity to process what was said.
- Assume that what is being said is true – from the speaker’s point of view. You may not agree, but suspend your disagreement for a moment and reflect on, “What if it was true?”
- Assume you have misunderstood. Each person is a world of definitions, connotations, nuances and histories. Even though we use similar words, we often mean very different things.
- Become curious about them and their situation by asking:
- “Tell me more about X; I’m not sure I understand it.”
- “It sounds like…am I getting it?”
- “I’m so interested in this part of what you said; what is it all about?”
- “What were your previous experiences with this like?”
- “I’ve never felt that; what is it like?”
The key to becoming curious is actually feeling curious, not just repeating these questions or paraphrasing someone’s expression. Listen so that you can find something you are interested in learning more about. In conversation, authentic curiosity is refreshing and automatically engages the listener’s mind.
These five steps are built on being present, which is built on trust. Instead of specific actions – which may be found in “active listening” tools – what I offer are ways of thinking, of being, of feeling, so that when we listen, we are doing it fully and inherently.
Listening, like many different skills, takes practice. Each time you enter into a conversation, be grateful for another opportunity to be there. Listen like you mean it and allow your conversations to thrive.
Thara Vayali is a Naturopathic Doctor & Yoga Teacher in Vancouver and is also a UBC alumnus. She is obsessed with intestinal and immune health, hormones, and pain-free bodies. She is the creator of Change Natural Medicine: Budget conscious, membership based health consulting.
By Melissa Lafrance on July 1, 2017
We all have different kinds of relationships with varying degrees of depth and interactions. Building and maintaining mutually satisfying and well-functioning relationships takes commitment, time and ongoing effort.
Whether you need assistance with conflict resolution, improving communication or tips on being more understanding or resilient, help is available.
UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell, offers counselling services for support with the following:
- Relationship challenges
- Stress and resiliency
- Family concerns (communication, parenting, dynamics, and more)
- Workplace communication
- Workplace conflicts
Shepell’s support services are designed to suit your learning, lifestyle and comfort level. Support is available in person or over the phone, as well as through video sessions, online exchanges with a counsellor, or self-guided sessions with text-based resources.
The following online programs are also available:
- Enhancing Your Relationships: Convenient, secure and confidential, this program helps you to work towards achieving greater overall relationship satisfaction through goal setting, action planning, exercises in problem solving, and access to a library of resources. Learn about the key principles to healthy relationships, as well as best practices for enhancing your intimate relationship. You have the option to complete the program with a partner or individually over a three-month period.
- Separation and Divorce: Find support for the emotional, parenting, legal and financial impacts of separation and divorce. With a library of resources to draw from, this program helps you to assess your situation, set goals, problem solve, and develop a plan of action.
To get started with Shepell’s relationship support services, call 1-800-387-4765 or browse their available services online.
Counselling Coverage Through UBC’s Extended Health Plan
If you are enrolled in UBC’s Extended Health plan, you can be 100% reimbursed up to a maximum of $2,500 for each person per benefit year, for counselling services from a registered psychologist, registered social worker or registered clinical counsellor. A doctor’s referral is not required.
Please refer our Extended Health Benefits website for more information, including acceptable practitioner qualifications, reasonable and customary charges for counselling services, and reimbursement levels for each health care service covered by the plan under paramedical services.
By Melissa Lafrance on July 6, 2016
Relationship Support through Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Provider
UBC Human Resources is committed to promoting initiatives to help faculty and staff improving their health and wellbeing. This commitment is part of the university’s goal to create an outstanding work environment. Our spotlight this month is on Relationship Support Services available to UBC staff, faculty, and their dependants through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell, offers counselling services for support with the following:
- Relationship Challenges
- Stress & resiliency
- Family concerns (communication, parenting, dynamics, and more)
- Workplace communication
- Workplace conflicts
Professional counselling is available to you and your family through:These services are available to help you understand relationship challenges and support you with maintaining healthy relationships.
- In-person sessions
- Sessions over the phone
- Video counselling sessions
- Online chat (First Chat)
- Online written exchanges with a counsellor (E-counselling)
- Text-based self-guided (Shepell resources)
Shepell’s Support Services are designed to suit your learning, lifestyle and comfort level. The following online program options are available:
- Enhancing Your Relationships
- Can be completed with a partner or individually over a three-month period
- Learn the key principles to healthy relationships
- Best practices for enhancing your intimate relationship
- Consists of goal-setting, action planning, exercises in problem solving, and a library of resources
- Convenient, secure and confidential program to help you work towards achieving greater overall relationship satisfaction
- Learn more here
- Separation and Divorce
- Find support for the emotional, parenting, legal and financial impacts of separation and divorce
- Will help you assess your situation, set goals, problem solve, and develop a plan of action
- Consists of goal-setting, action planning, exercises in problem solving, and a library of resources
To get started with Shepell’s Relationship Support Services, call 1-800-387-4765 or browse through their available services online.
To learn more, see related Workhealthlife articles
- Working together: strategies to improve your employee-supervisor relationship
- Fun and easy team building ideas
Family/couple relationships & communication:
- Building and maintaining healthy relationships
- Rekindling the couple relationship after having a baby
- Squeezing in your main squeeze: making time for your relationship
- Improving family communication
Dilemmas, separation & divorce:
Posted in Benefits Spotlight, EFAP | Tagged Benefits, benefits spotlight, challenges, communication, concerns, EFAP, healthy relationships, relationships, resiliency, Shepell, Support, workplace | 2 Responses
By Melissa Lafrance on May 3, 2016
What exactly is Health Literacy?
The Public Health Agency of Canada defines Health Literacy as “the ability to access, comprehend, evaluate and communicate information as a way to promote, maintain and improve health in a variety of settings across the life-course”.
To put it more simply, health literacy means being able to obtain and understand information relating to our health. We need to be critical when looking at health claims and advertising presented to us. Some health claims are based on research and evidence, while other claims are inaccurate and unsupported (and, in some cases, can be dangerous).
Studies show that people with higher health literacy are healthier. When you are able to understand and use health information, you have the important components to build a healthy lifestyle (including taking preventative measures to avoid illness, and knowing how and when to seek medical care).
However, figures show that 60% of adults and 88% of seniors in Canada are not health literate. This means a lot of us may have difficulty using the health information that is available in health care facilities, grocery stores, retail outlets, schools, through the media, and in our communities.
We can all benefit from gaining clarity and knowledge to improve our health literacy, and the following strategies can help:
Stay Curious & Ask Questions
Being curious leads us to explore, investigate and learn. Curiosity gives us the drive and motivation to acquire valuable health information, by questioning expert sources and unravelling new subject areas. Find the things that motivate you to continue, and ask for clarification if something doesn’t make sense to you.
Be Your Own Health Advocate
When it comes down to it, we have a lot of control over our health, and the freedom to choose the type of lifestyle we live. For many of us, our health is our most prized possession and we must value and treasure it. We must treat our minds and bodies kindly, and sometimes fight for what is best for ourselves. Learn tips on becoming your own health advocate in a health care setting.
We don’t always have the answers for health questions – no one does! It is okay to ask for help and consult with expert sources as you make decisions about your health.
Do the Research
When something piques your interest, research it! And I don’t mean reading bogus articles with fancy clickbait headlines (you may have seen some on your news feed). While it may seem difficult to sift through the information available at our fingertips, I highly encourage you to explore reliable websites. Some credible sources include not-for-profit organizations, government health agencies, and educational institutions. Here are some to use as a starting place:
- UBC Human Resources – Staff & Faculty Health
- Workhealthlife by Shepell
- Health Canada
- Government of Canada – Healthy Canadians
- Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Dietitians of Canada
Take What You Read with a Grain of Salt & Be Critical
A lot of health information is confusing. There is a lot of conflicting claims circulating. Do what makes sense to you at the time. Learn questions to evaluate the reliability of online information. You can also read these tips on evaluating health information online.
Communicate Clearly with Patients (for healthcare providers)
If you are a health care provider, here are 8 ways to improve health literacy with patients to help improve safety and reliability of care.
By Melissa Lafrance on March 1, 2016
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of free activities and events coming your way this spring. Sign up today for programs including CAMMPUS, Group Fitness Classes, Dr. Thara Vayali’s Debunking Diet Series, Ergonomics, Mindfulness@Work, Self-Care Workshops, Communications Lecture, and plenty more!
Living Well With Stress – Mar. 8, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Workplace stress can be triggered by many sources: heavy workloads with tight timelines, layoffs or restructurings, or difficult co-workers. When combined with our pressures and responsibilities outside of work, it is no wonder that many of us experience high levels of stress in daily routines. Left unaddressed, stress can lead to absenteeism and has the potential to turn into a major mental or physical health concern. This session will teach participants how to effectively manage stress for optimal health, wellbeing, and workplace productivity. For more information and to register, click here.
Debunking Diet Series Part 2: Salt, Sugar, Fat – Mar. 10, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Every diet since the industrial age has demonized or glorified one nutrient over another. Join a discussion on diet trends throughout the ages, and what elements of these diets work (or don’t work). Develop an understanding of the macronutrient balance required for a healthy body, so that you can better evaluate new diets. Leave with three dietary shifts you can make to find balance. For more information, click here. The session is currently full; email Melissa.email@example.com to be added to the waitlist.
Healthy Workplace Initiatives Funding Applications: Registration now open
UBC’s favourite staff and faculty healthy activity funding program is back! The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is a fund available to UBC departments and units in both Vancouver and the Okanagan campus to support grass-roots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace.
The program provides start-up funds and support for health related, sustainable initiatives. Apply today to bring healthy activities and initiatives into your department. Applications close on April 22, 2016.
Staff and Faculty Sports Day: Registration open
Sports Day returns on May 6, 2016! This free event is designed for staff and faculty to build teamwork and celebrate the end of the school year. With your team of 4-6 people, you will take part in four physical or intellectual challenges and enjoy a free lunch! Find out what’s new this year, and register now.
Mindfulness@Work 2016 – Orientation & Registration Sessions
Mar. 16 & Mar. 31, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
This orientation session is an opportunity to learn more about the Mindfulness@Work Six-Week Program and have an opportunity to register for the programs beginning in April 2016. Mindfulness@Work is an educational program modelling off Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Mindfulness@Work specifically focuses on integrating the practice of mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork, and communication. For more information and to register, click here.
Getting a Restful Sleep – Mar. 15, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Sleep is critical to ensure maximum productivity. It increases your ability to concentrate and focus, allows you to approach challenges with a more positive attitude, and can have positive effects on your memory and health. In this session, participants will learn about circadian rhythms and the impact that disrupting these key biological processes can have on their day-to-day activities and work. This session will also describe sleep’s vital role in maintaining health along with valuable and practical tips and strategies that participants can apply to get quality, restful sleep and stay alert. For more information and to register, click here.
Are you Heart Healthy? Say Yes with CAMMPUS and Sign Up for A Free Assessment or Attend an Information Session – Mar. 22, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
UBC Health, Wellbeing and Benefits in the Department of Human Resources, in collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, invite UBC faculty and staff extended health plan members to participate in a unique project called CAMMPUS (Cardiovascular Assessment and Medication Management by Pharmacists at the UBC Site). CAMMPUS features confidential, expertly guided services provided by the UBC Pharmacists Clinic to help you find out your current level of heart health and take steps to keep this risk as low as possible. The deadline to receive a free cardiovascular assessment has been extended until May 31, 2016. Be sure to book before the deadline! To learn more, please join us for this short presentation and discussion. For more information and to register, click here.
50/50 Pilates Yoga – Mar. 23, 2016 @ 11am-12pm (Location: Point Grey)
50/50 Yoga Pilates presents a cutting-edge Pilates workout that is designed to sculpt the body and strengthen the core. A 50/50 Yoga Pilates class consists of 50% standing Pilates work, which integrates Pilates principles into lower-body work, and 50% yoga mat work to strengthen the core with complementary exercises. Discover the unique combination of Pilates and yoga sequences to help sculpt, strengthen and stretch the body.
All UBC staff & faculty are welcome to register and attend this free 50/50 Yoga Pilates class. For more information and to register, click here.
Making Time Work for You – Mar. 30, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Most of us are often under some kind of pressure to produce results; however, it may feel as though the day is not long enough to be able to meet all of our commitments and deadlines. This session will teach you that you cannot control time but can control your actions and priorities. By understanding and applying the principles of personal management around time, you’ll be able to transform an overwhelming day into a productive and satisfying one. For more information and to register, click here.
Ergo Your Office – Mar. 30, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation and a practical session, giving you hands-on experience adjusting typical office equipment. By the end of the tutorial you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse and monitor to promote neutral working postures. For more information and to register, click here.
Communication through the Senses – Apr. 12, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Learn how changing communication can shift the world around you. Presented by Melissa Ruckmick, Communications Specialist and Professional Speaker, participants will learn how her fascinating and current research can connect you to your senses through higher levels of communication. Find out how your internal dialogue can shift to become more positive, offering new perspectives and insights about the world around you. For more information and to register, click here.
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By Miranda Massie on February 4, 2015
Guest Contribution by Dr. Joti Samra
5 steps to a financially-wise Valentine’s Day:
Identify your beliefs, assumptions and expectations around Valentine’s Day: then challenge them.
Start by articulating your beliefs and assumptions around Valentine’s Day. Be honest with yourself. Do you think you have to take your partner out for a fancy expensive dinner for them to know how much you love them? Do you worry your partner will be disappointed if he or she doesn’t “get” an expensive gift? Articulate the thoughts that compel you to overspend on Valentine’s, and then challenge those thoughts. Ask yourself, are those thoughts accurate? Are they valid? Check in with your partner and ask them if they feel or expect what you may be assuming they do.
Create a Valentine’s Day budget.
It is amazing how often people don’t do the obvious – speak openly about how much they are going to spend on Valentine’s Day. Often, we get caught up in assumptions or perceived expectations of what we think the other person wants or expects, and then end up overspending on unneeded and unnecessary items. So talk openly about this; speak to your partner about what you would each like to do, and set (and stick to) a Valentine’s Day budget. Be realistic in this and keep in mind, Valentine’s is ultimately just another day.
Be creative in planning Valentine’s Day activities.
Generate fun, low-cost activities you can do with your partner. The main overarching aim is to spend time together on this day. Make a special dinner at home; turn off all technology (cell phones, TVs, computers) and just focus on each other; go for a long walk; take a day off work and spend the day in bed cuddling and watching movies. Do something you might not do on another day. The day can be meaningful and highly memorable in the absence of fancy dinners or extravagant gifts.
Give low or no-cost gifts.
Make a pact to spend no or little money on gifts. If you have a talent, use it! Write a love letter (handwritten, not text or email). Write a poem or a song. Choreograph a sexy dance for your partner.
Remember: love is not defined or communicated by material goods.
In this day and age of consumerism, it is easy to get caught up and feel the pressure of having to “buy” something as a symbol of our love. Keep in mind that how much you love, care for and adore another is not related to what you buy them! Our love is communicated by making someone feel special and important to you: so do something this Valentine’s Day that communicates that to your partner.
Interested in learning more about how your extended health benefits can work to better your relationships? UBC Staff and Faculty have access to a number of health related prevention services through the Employee and Family Assistance Program. Staff and faculty who are enrolled in UBC’s extended benefits plan also have $1,200 coverage per year to see a Registered Psychologist.
Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych., is a clinical psychologist and organizational and media consultant. She is the host of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Million Dollar Neighbourhood” and was the psychological consultant to CITY-TV’s “The Bachelor Canada”. She has also served as a psychological consultant and expert to a number of other TV shows and news outlets. Dr. Samra maintains a clinical practice in Vancouver. Her website is www.drjotisamra.com and she can be followed @drjotisamra.