By Melissa Lafrance on April 3, 2018
The April edition of Healthy UBC is all about financial wellbeing, and as UBC staff and faculty, there’s no better way to save money than by taking advantage of the free and discounted perks that make it a little less cost-prohibitive to develop our health, wellbeing and professional growth.
As a UBC staff and faculty member, you and your family are eligible for discounts at many local organizations both on and off campus, from fitness, yoga and recreation programs to community arts and culture offerings.
Programs and Professional Development
We have a wealth of workshops, trainings and programs to increase and promote your wellbeing and develop healthy work environments at UBC. Funding is also available to several employee groups and covers external learning activities such as professional membership fees, workshops, conferences and courses.
Here’s a selection of our upcoming health and wellbeing programs, including links to additional PD information:
- Register for an upcoming workshop, including Debt Freedom & Finances and The Psychology of Money
- Learn about the annual Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program available to UBC departments to support grassroots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace
- Visit the PD Funding page to learn about eligibility criteria and how to apply
- Attend an upcoming course like Time Management and Thriving in Change
Through Healthy UBC, we offer free, ongoing, university-wide educational opportunities that focus on promoting positive mental health and physical wellbeing for staff, faculty and departments.
Here are some upcoming events you and your colleagues can take part in at UBC Vancouver:
Did you know that you and your dependent family members could be eligible to take UBC courses without paying the tuition fee? Learning and development opportunities range from in-person, multi-day programs to on-demand online courses. Click on the Tuition Waivers link to learn about eligibility and qualifying courses.
All UBC staff and faculty receive free, premium-level access to the lynda.com library of high-quality digital tutorials, courses and curated learning paths. Learn about in-demand tech and creative and workplace business skills taught by industry experts, including Arianna Huffington’s six-course series.
By Melissa Lafrance on April 3, 2018
Are you looking for clarity when it comes to dealing with complex financial concerns? UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Shepell, can be a great place to start. Find insights, tips and strategies to simplify your financial matters and gain a clearer perspective when it comes to your finances. Best of all, EFAP’s financial support services are confidential, available 24/7 and free to access for all eligible UBC staff and faculty enrolled in EFAP.
To help you and your family understand both everyday and more complex financial situations, EFAP offers the following financial support services:
- Credit and debt management
- Financial aspects of separation and divorce
- Financial emergencies
- Retirement and will planning
- Employment transitions
- Real estate
It’s All About You
Shepell’s financial support services are designed to suit your learning, lifestyle and comfort level. The following options are available:
Online Financial Planning Services
- Interactive and personalized three-month online program
- Provides financial education and helps you create a tailored action plan for your future
- Convenient, secure and confidential
- Professional and confidential financial advice
- Referrals to financial advisors and additional resources provided as needed
To get started with Shepell’s financial support services, call 1-800-387-4765 or browse their available services online.
Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.
Enhance Your Financial Knowledge
Shepell offers an extensive library of online financial information. If you prefer to take a self-guided approach to learning about finances, access their workhealthlife articles on the following topics:
- Finances for New Parents
- Financial Health: How Your Finances Affect Your Mind
- Credit and Debt Management
- Things to Consider for Retirement Planning
- Will and Estate Planning
- Legal Support Services
- Tax Planning
- Real Estate and Mortgages
Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.
By Miranda Massie on September 15, 2015
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of free activities and events coming your way this fall. Sign up today for topics including Learn to Meditate Orientation at the Diamond Health Care Centre, Own Your Own Fitness series, Guided tour of Nitobe Gardens, Are You Heart Healthy, Belly Basics, Career Navigation; and plenty more!
Learn to Meditate: Orientation & Registration – Sept 17, 2015@ 12-1pm (Location: Diamond Health Care Centre)
This orientation session is a free opportunity to learn more about the Learn to Meditate Four-Week program offered to UBC employees, and have an opportunity to register for the sessions beginning in late 2015. Come to hear the benefits, differences and similarities of meditation and mindfulness, and how it can help you build your resiliency and reduces stress. The facilitator will share her story in developing her own meditation practice, and in bringing this meditation facilitation to others. Click here for more information and to register.
Guided Walk in UBC’s Nitobe Gardens-Sept 22, 2015 @12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Make the most of your lunch break and join us for a guided tour of the Nitobe Memorial Garden, a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden located here at UBC. This event will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly. The group will meet at the Garden entrance at 12pm and the tour will begin at 12:05pm. Nitobe Garden is considered to be one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America. Click here for more information and to register.
Healthy UBC Career Navigation Series: Part 1– Sept 23, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Diamond Health Care Centre)
Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in the first session of this three-part series to help UBC employees navigate possible career opportunities and create a personalized career development plan. This lunch-n-learn workshop will talk about the Career Navigation at UBC approach to enhancing your professional success. We will discuss an approach to help you discover your career strengths and enhance your career wellbeing and professional success. Click here for more information and to register.
Belly Basics: Digestive Health Series, Part 1 – Sept. 24, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Part 1 of Healthy UBC’s Fall Digestive Health Series with Dr. Thara Vayali. In this session, attendees will learn to define proper digestion, understand why digestion has so much to do with your whole body health, and learn about the anatomy of the digestive system and how to discern your body’s weakest link. Attendees will also be able to take home four physical movements and lifestyle ideas to practice, that will assist the digestive system’s natural functions. Course is currently full. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Determining the Best mode of Exercise for You: Own Your Own Fitness Series, Part 1 – Sept. 29, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Considering a cycling, hiking, walking or running program? Getting started on the right exercise program that suits your schedule and needs is important. Learn about various types of exercises that are available to build aerobic health, and discover how some have greater benefits than others. Join qualified fitness and health professionals in two classroom-based workshops and one Fitness Centre orientation and introduction to help you demystify fitness and help you get started on the right exercise program that suits you. Click here for more information and to register.
Maximizing Calories Burned with Interval Training: Own Your Own Fitness, Part 2 – Oct. 6, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Discover safe and effective ways to maximize your shortened workout with Interval Training. Join qualified fitness and health professionals in two classroom-based workshops and one Fitness Centre Orientation and Introduction to help you demystify fitness and help you get started on the right exercise program that suits your schedule and your needs. Click here for more information and to register.
Are You Heart Healthy? Say Yes with CAMMPUS! –Sept. 30, 2015 @ 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 from UBC’s Point Grey campus, Robson Square and Hospital locations 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 (located at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vancouver campus) to help you find out your current level of heart health (and cardiovascular disease risk) and take steps to keep this risk as low as possible. Click here for more information.
Coming up later this fall…
Fitness Centre Orientation and Introduction: Own Your Own Fitness, Part 3-Oct. 13, 2015 @ 5:15-6:15pm (Location: Body Work Fitness Centre, Point Grey)
Attended Part 1 and 2 of Own your Own Fitness 2015? Convinced of the benefits, but you don’t know where to begin? Then join qualified fitness and health professionals in a BodyWorks Fitness Centre Orientation and introduction and learn the basics of strength training to get you started on a general exercise program anywhere that is convenient for you. Instruction on utilizing proper exercise technique for common exercises will also be covered. Click here for more information and to register.
Back by popular demand: Managing your Money Oct. 22, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Creating a plan to manage your money is a sound way to achieve the goals you want in life, whether it be a house, travel, education or retirement. The quote, “failing to plan is planning to fail,” does apply to the process of managing personal finances. In this session, join Money Coach Melanie Buffel to learn to manage and control finances, reinforce good habits, build new ones and create a manageable budget. There will be additional information on saving to meet your financial needs and investing these savings.
Bacteria & Bowels: Digestive Health Series, Part 2 – Oct. 29, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Part 2 of Healthy UBC’s Fall Digestive Health Series with Dr. Thara Vayali. In this session, attendees will learn the real deal behind bacterial balance, what probiotics can do (and can’t do) and whether probiotics are appropriate for you. Leave with four easy food ideas that promote bacterial health to incorporate into your diet over the next four weeks. Click here for more information and to register.
Healthy UBC Career Navigation Series: Part 2 & 3– Nov. 5 and Dec. 3, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Diamond Health Care Centre)
Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in the second and third sessions of this three-part series to help UBC employees navigate possible career opportunities and create a personalized career development plan. Register for Session 2 and Register for Session 3.
Feelings & Fibre: Digestive Health Series, Part 3 – Nov. 19, 2015 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Part 3 of Healthy UBC’s Fall Digestive Health Series with Dr. Thara Vayali. Learn the reasons behind how mood, food and digestion can affect each other, and how different types of fibre can assist with full-body health, with four simple diet & lifestyle ideas to achieve a blissful belly. Click here for more information and to register.
Posted in Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health, Nutrition, Physical Health | Tagged career, courses, events, finance, fitness, food and nutrition, Free Healthy UBC Events, workplace health, workshops | 1 Response
By Guest Contributor on April 8, 2015
Guest contribution by Dr. Joti Samra
Q: I lent money to a friend in trouble – a year has passed and although he’s now got his feet back on the ground, he’s not brought up paying me back. How can I ask for my money back?
A: There is some wisdom in the old adage that money and friends don’t mix. More often than not, mixing the two can create rifts in a friendship and add an awkwardness that wasn’t there before.
In your situation, you did what a good friend does – in fact what a great friend does: You supported your friend when he needed it. However, he has a responsibility to now respect you by paying you back. The best way to approach him is clearly and directly.
Here are some tips you can follow when making your request:
Describe the past situation: “You may remember that in [month/year] I lent you [x dollars] when you had called and let me know you were in a jam. I really wanted to help you out, so was happy to do so. I know you’ve gone through a lot since that time, and I am really happy that you are getting back on your feet again.”
Describe your current situation (not necessary but it may help to give context): “I’m in a position now where I need that money back.”
Make your request (be specific, and provide timelines): “So, I need the full amount of what I lent you back, ideally by the end of the month.”
Be reasonably flexible and allow your friend to respond: “I realize that this is likely not something you were planning for. What are your thoughts on being able to get the full amount back to me within that time period?”
Then negotiate a reasonable resolution that is acceptable to both of you. Be specific. Ask yourself what you are willing to accept and convey that clearly to your friend. For example, if you need the money within the month and he proposes to pay you six months down the road, let him know that won’t work for you and why. Tell him that you do not want money to get in the way of your friendship and that you are hopeful you can arrive at a resolution that works for both of you. Do not apologize (as that dilutes the request) and do not be overly wordy.
If your friend is not willing to give your money back or work to get it to you within the limits he has, unfortunately, it may be that you just have to learn a very valuable lesson from this and decide how, or in what capacity, you want to keep this friend in your life moving forward.
Reminder: 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.
This article is adapted from an article Dr. Samra wrote for The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/my-friend-borrowed-a-bundle-from-me-how-do-i-get-him-to-pay-it-back/article4455928/)
By Guest Contributor on April 8, 2015
Guest contribution by Sasha Tymkiw
In an ideal world, personal trainers, yoga classes and anything else you could need to stay fit would be financially accessible, but the fitness business is just that: a business. Being the consumer isn’t all bad, and there are ways to use this status to your advantage. Here are some ideas that will help you stay ahead of the financial fitness game.
Get In There For Free
A way to change things up in your routine for next to nothing is to shop the new classes being offered around you. New studios pop up in major cities by the dozens, and most offer a complimentary first session. Whether you want to yoga, cross-fit and anything in between, call ahead to ensure a free session, aiming to try one new class at a new facility weekly. The only cost for your free class will be time, usually in the form of a tour and sales pitch-Just let them know you only have five minutes as to keep it short.
Be Careful with Packaged Deals
Class packages may seem logical, but they actually work to a gym’s advantage because most people fail to use their classes by the expiration date. Gyms know that people wax and wane on attendance, so securing your money when you are in a motivated state is their primary goal. If you do buy a package, make sure everything about your purchase will guarantee your attendance: the location and times are convenient, and most of all, you enjoy the activity.
Trying Monthly Trials
Online Fitness programs usually offer a 30 day discounted trial, and most rely on people forgetting to cancel before their 30 days are up, or people not reading the fine print to understand the details of cancellation, and it automatically charging for the next month. If you find a program you want to try, I say go for it- after you’ve read the fine print, understood the process to cancel and made a note in your calendar with a 5-day-before cancellation reminder.
Go Gym Free
The ultimate money saver, which will actually help you challenge your fitness in new ways, is to “ban” yourself from the gym during warmer months. Without your gym safety net, however, you will need a workout building plan.. Here’s a quick guide to building your own gym-free workout:
1. Decide many days of cardio and strength you want to do (depending on your goals) and designate time for these in your upcoming week and set aside a consistent slot of time for each in your week (routine is key here e.g. Tuesday at 3pm is cardio)
2. Search for equipment-free strength training workouts online by typing in body weight workouts, outdoor body weight or calisthenics and saving them to your phone to bring with you.
Note: Try hitting “images” during your search. Most times you will find a template when you are specific, e.g. searching “calisthenics, upper body, workout.”
3. Find fun locations for your strength workouts. You can use a park, jungle gym, just make sure you have an indoor or covered area for rainy days.
4. Find multiple places for cardio workouts (stairs, weekly hike route, covered area for skipping).
5. Put both cardio and strength into a calendar or journal, with location and workout details. Voila, new program!
Being a fitness consumer means you have choices, and it’s important to remain aware of what works for you not only physically, but also financially. Having freedom in your fitness and finances will not only make your wallet happy but the variety is sure to make your body and mind happy as well.
Sasha Tymkiw is a certified Personal Trainer and has been involved in sports (competitive swimming, snowboarding, horseback riding) since childhood, making the natural progression to personal training in her early twenties. With a bachelor of psychology, numerous fitness certifications and years of experience, Sasha views pushing one’s body as an integral part of the human experience. Sasha works both independently as a trainer and teaches around Vancouver, becoming one of the first instructors who offered boot-camp style workouts in East Vancouver. Sasha is sponsored by Garden of Life Protein Powder and will be competing in her second figure competition in March 2015, promoting a long-term, balanced approach to the sport.
By Miranda Massie on April 3, 2014
A few years ago, while working on a promotional campaign, I learned that 44% of Canadians report money as being their main source of stress. This equates to nearly 6,700 of our colleagues feeling the impact of mental fatigue and psychological strain resulting from money stress each day. This is in addition to the plethora of other stresses that we carry around with us in our daily lives.
Personally, finances have always been a bit of a headache for me. I do not have a brain attuned to numbers and I am easily bored during discussions of investments, equity and RRSPs. This is something that I am consciously working on, because I am aware of the very real potential to set myself up for financial frustrations and even failures. Truthfully, the prospect of even writing an editorial on the subject had me tentatively approaching my keyboard as if it might jump off the desk and ask me to complete a page of long division.
Am I alone in my feelings? Are these mixed feelings of apathy and terror actually a manifestation of the stress that I feel about finances? Money carries such an immense weight in our society, loaded with profound consequences and sometimes, rather than deal with the stress, I choose to pretend nothing is wrong.
Something I do feel passionate about however is mental health. If we do not have our mental health or the capacity to be resilient in our lives, we can become ill-equipped to deal with financial challenges. If we work to protect and build our mental health, then we can feel more in control of all aspects of our lives, which results in an increase in physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
Below are some pointers that I have found helpful over the years and if I can make them work, then anyone can! Financially savvy or not, we can all use some tips to boost positive mental health, reduce financial stress and improve money management.
Money tips for mental health
Talk to an impartial third party-When in the bank, I can feel that I am being pressured and that the business interests of the bank take precedent over my personal understanding and comfort. Find a bank or an independent financial institution to get all of your questions answered. You will get the information you need while feeling validated.
Keep a change jar – I have a partner who hates to carry around change in his pockets. We keep a change jar on hand and empty our wallets, pockets and bags periodically. This not only keeps your body and clothing physically lighter but also helps you save. Last year we bought a new TV with our change jar money!
Automatic transfers– One of the best inventions in the world in my opinion. The money is funneled into a predetermined savings account before it even has a chance to hit my chequing account. I don’t feel that I’m losing money and in turn am very happy when I see my savings grow. It also helps to actually label and name what the savings funds are for. This makes it harder to divert the funds toward something else.
Ask for the whole story-If you are in a relationship or family with other money earners, talking openly and honestly about finances can be very beneficial. It will give you an understanding of the big picture without the looming possibility of financial surprises you may not be in a position to handle.
Eliminate excuses with technology-download a financial planning or budgeting app to a smartphone or tablet. This eliminates the excuse of being unaware of spending habits or account balances. I find when I can see something visually represented in front of me (in real time) that it has a more profound impact on my behavior.
Find the Freebies-Look into perks, discounts and free events that allow you to have fun without breaking the bank. A great suggestion: UBC’s Staff and Faculty Sports Day! This free one-day event is a great opportunity for teambuilding, physical and mental activity and most of all fun!
With tax season knocking at the door, I invite you to try and shift your perceptions about money and re-frame them in a way that increases both their manageability and your positive mental health.
All my best,