By Melissa Lafrance on March 7, 2018
This month we feature Steve Bohnen, UBC Campus Security Crime Prevention & Community Relations Officer as our Thriving Campus feature.
How do you thrive at work?
I love our UBC environment and believe most people who work here strongly desire to establish a ‘higher and better social contract’ within this community. My role at Campus Security allows me to contribute to that mission, and I’m superbly grateful for it. The endless flow and variety of our challenges exercise my talents, skills and training daily. I enjoy a great balance of responding to real-time calls for assistance and assessing/analyzing occurrence patterns to promote better outcomes for both the University and the greater community. It’s a wonderful balance of challenges and creative opportunities.
I couldn’t do this work without respectful, highly supportive and like-minded colleagues who realize that we bring our total selves to the workplace every day, and understand that we must engage fully with one another to be most effective as a workgroup. We share our challenges, use check-ins regularly and maintain ongoing training and certification to stay at the top of our game.
How do you thrive at home?
Music has been a lifelong passion for me (yes, guitar players are actually considered musicians) and playing, whether alone or with others, has provided amazing rewards in relaxation, problem solving, left/right brain balance and just plain joy.
I’ve been playing since 1965, and am regularly privileged to sit in sessions with four or five people who bring 200+ years’ worth of talent and experience to the room. These moments transcend language and are a gift I wish everyone could experience. I encourage everyone to find their creative passion or instrument and get into the flow with it regularly. I play daily and wouldn’t be without it. This is Your Brain on Music is highly recommended reading.
I’ve been blessed with a superb partner in my wife Mary, a social services professional who brings a balance of compassion and deep expertise in her field to our family and our marriage. She’s an absolute champion and my best friend.
In three words or less, what does Wellbeing mean to you?
Fully, peacefully energized.
Steve Bohnen has worked at UBC Campus Security for 23 years. He is a certified BCSSA Security Consultant and Advanced Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) practitioner. Steve studied Arts at UBC from 1966 to 1968, left the Lower Mainland for work on the BC North Coast and later returned to UBC in 1986 after widely varied work and life experiences in several parts of the province, including Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. He has been married for 38 years and has four children, one of whom graduated with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from UBC. His passions are his family, his work, music and the outdoors.
Photo Credit: Don Erhardt
By Guest Contributor on August 3, 2016
Guest contribution by Wendy Quan
Before we launch into the question that can make your day more positive, ask yourself:
- Do you believe that thoughts affect emotions?
- Do you believe that emotions affect your life?
When I ask these questions to a room of people, most hands inevitably rise, along with expressions of contemplation and gentle head nodding. Your thoughts are constantly streaming all day long, and creating your perception of life’s experiences. If you pay attention to your thoughts during the day, you may notice that these thoughts are plentiful and jump from subject to subject, or that you are ruminating about a particularly bothersome subject. There is a term in mindfulness called the ‘monkey mind’ which quite fittingly describes when your thoughts bounce around between topics.
The one question I ask my audiences, which is really very simple, can make a very big difference in people’s lives. Catch yourself as often as you can during the day, and ask yourself this question:
“Do I need to be thinking about this right now?”
When you ask yourself this question, you will observe your current thought and hopefully become aware if that thought is useful or not. There certainly is ‘functional thought’ which is productive and useful, like planning. But many of our thoughts are ruminations about something that may be bothering us, or worrying about something coming up that hasn’t even happened yet.
When you ask yourself “Do I need to be thinking about this right now?” you become more aware of whether the thought is productive or is just stressing you out. For example, if you are worried about something but have already made up your mind as to how you are going to deal with it, there is no reason to keep thinking about it. By catching yourself with this phrase, you can make a conscious decision that you will now move on from that thought and think about something else (hopefully more positive!).
Give this one easy question a try and see what difference it makes for you. Chances are you will be happy to see that it helps you have a more positive day.
Wendy Quan, founder of The Calm Monkey, is the industry leader helping organizations implement mindfulness meditation programs and combining change management techniques to create personal and organizational change resiliency. She trains passionate meditators to become workplace facilitators through workshops and online training.
Wendy is a certified organizational change manager who has been recognized as a pioneer by the University of California, Berkeley and the global Association of Change Management Professionals. Her life’s purpose is to help people create a better experience of life.
By Miranda Massie on December 2, 2015
This month’s Thriving Campus feature is Angelique Crowther, Communications Manager in the Equity and Inclusion Office.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff, faculty and students.
How do you thrive at Work?
I am thrilled to be part of the great network of communications professionals at UBC. It is amazing to attend the UBC Communicators Network and Event Planners Network meetings, and these professional networks help me feel connected to the campus. I am lucky enough to have found a few mentors within these groups and I never hesitate to ask for their advice and feedback.
Our office partners with a number of departments across campus to hold educational events related to equity, diversity and inclusion themes. One of the events which I am proud of is the panel discussion during Thrive Week held in partnership with the Liu Institute for Global Issues. This year’s panel discussed speaking up when you witness racist, sexist, homophobic, or similarly offensive behavior. As a communicator, I enjoy taking part in these events as they provide space for people to talk frankly about issues.
On a personal note, I try to attend Naturopathic doctor Thara Vayali’s health series seminars through HR. She has an amazing way of translating complex information into practical advice and she has helped me to re-evaluate my diet and deal constructively with stress at work. One of her tips was to do a digital detox – I have taken several Sundays off from social media and the internet which is hard but very freeing.
Probably the most meaningful change I have made to help me thrive at work is to construct my own standing desk. A colleague built her own desk from inexpensive Ikea parts and that inspired me to try my own. It is remarkable what a difference it has made to stand much of the day – backaches are gone, my posture has improved and I feel energized all day.
How do you thrive at Home?
I have always taken my work life too seriously and I am aware that I need to learn to thrive in my personal life. One of the commitments I made to my health this year was to take advantage of UBC’s fitness centre discounts and join a gym. I chose a gym that is in the middle of my daily commute so I can easily stop by before I get home. I can honestly say it is one of the nicest things I have done for myself.
Another important takeaway from Dr. Vayali’s seminars was that consuming more than we produce can lead to an imbalance in our lives. By this, she meant that we consume a lot of media such as streaming shows or attending movies or concerts and produce little creative work ourselves. I took this to heart and have tried to offset my love of entertainment with taking photographs and doing some crafty pursuits of my own.
Angelique Crowther is responsible for planning communications and events at the Equity and Inclusion Office. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in communications and film studies from Simon Fraser University. Currently she is taking advantage of UBC’s tuition waiver to pursue a Certificate in Cultural Planning from UBC Continuing Studies.
By Melissa Lafrance on November 1, 2015
In celebration of Thrive 2015, we have two inspiring Thriving Campus features for you this month.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff members.
How do you Thrive at Work?
Working at a hospital site can make it difficult to take advantage of the numerous initiatives UBC provides in assisting employees to Thrive. However, over the years, I’ve worked with a number of colleagues to bring more programming to our site such as Lunch and Learns and the Travelling Health Fair, and to promote participation in Sports Day and the Amazing Race Health Challenge. Doing this helps me continue to feel connected to the larger UBC campus, and I get to take part in a lot of health related initiatives along the way.
I am fortunate enough to work with a lot of great people and taking the time to cultivate these relationships make coming into the office each day something I look forward to.
Seeking opportunities to take on new projects and taking the time to attend a variety of professional development offerings (whether a webinar, lunch time session, or workshop) sharpens my skills and increases my satisfaction in what I can contribute.
On a practical level, I make a point of trying to keep a consistent schedule throughout the week with the aim of improving my work/life balance and, whenever possible, I take lunch time walks with colleagues which provides me with a time to connect and move during the work day.
How do you Thrive at Home?
Learning to thrive in my personal life continues to be a journey for me. I’m a homebody at heart and inertia has a sneaky way of setting in sometimes. Over time, I’ve found a few key things that help me:
Mindfulness: Though it’s become a popular buzzword, for me, it’s about being aware of what I put into my body each day. That doesn’t mean I don’t go through periods of time when I slip off the healthy eating wagon but I am always aware of what I’m doing and that awareness helps bring me back on course.
Staying Active: Even though there are hundreds of ways to be active, it isn’t easy for me. However, when I stop doing it, I simply don’t feel good about myself. So, whether it is taking a long walk, going for a run, spending time with friends hiking, learning to play soccer, rewarding myself to brunch after a yoga class, or doing couples personal training with my cousin, I try to keep some activity in my life at all times.
Community: Over the last few years I’ve made a concerted effort to engage and nurture a strong community of family and friends. This provides a constant source of love and support.
Travelling: I have a deep affection for travelling and feel simple joy and contentment when discovering a new place. Freed from the day-to-day schedules that we are all bound to, it gives me an opportunity to reconnect to myself and regain perspective on what is important to me.
Tamiza Abji is responsible for planning, project management, human resources and finance at the Evaluation Studies Unit in the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of General Studies and a Certificate in Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University. She has a strong commitment to developing high-functioning teams and a healthy work environment and is interested in supporting organizational effectiveness through her work. When she’s not in the office or participating in some activity, you can find her researching her next travel destination, spending quality time with friends and family, trying to keep up with weekly issues of the Economist, or watching one of many hit TV shows.