By Melissa Lafrance on October 3, 2017
Stress & Resilience Series (Location: Point Grey)
Dr. Thara Vayali has been leading a three-part Stress and Resilience Series to explore the stress response, recognize stress levels, build resilience, and discover the connection between empathy and stress. Register for the third and final part of her series. You do not need to have attended the previous two workshops.
Part 3 – The Stress Inventory | October 5 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This workshop will explore the domains of stress, how you can take a personal stress assessment and learn beneficial ways of recognizing, managing and improving stress and your overall wellbeing. Find out more and register now.
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge | Starts October 16, 2017 & February 19, 2018 (Online)
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 online via any device, and focuses on simple yet powerful and achievable learning objectives. After just 10 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days, participants will be healthier, more productive and better able to problem-solve and work in a team. The challenge is now free for UBC staff and faculty. Learn more and register for the fall 2017 or spring 2018 challenge now.
Conflict Management Series (Location: Point Grey)
Part 1 – Conflict Resolution in the Workplace | October 12 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
In the workplace, unresolved conflict can negatively impact the individuals involved, other team members and the organization as a whole by affecting productivity and morale. The approach you take to managing conflict determines whether stress or opportunities for growth will be created. This workshop examines various types of conflict and will provide you with a model for successfully resolving conflict at work. Find out more and register now.
Part 2 – Dealing with Difficult Personalities | October 26 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Workplaces can produce high achievers and dynamic team players. They can also be places where employees become regularly frustrated or annoyed with co-workers. Developing techniques to address these challenging personality types can greatly increase staff morale and job satisfaction. This session will look at the distinction between difficult behaviour and difficult people and provide participants with strategies to respond effectively to challenging situations with a focus on assertive communication. Find out more and register now.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Conflict Resolution Series happening in November.
Sit-Stand Desks & Platforms | October 17 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Location: Point Grey)
This workshop will provide important information about different types of sit-stand desks and platforms available on the market. Understanding the pros and cons of each will assist departments, staff and faculty in deciding which option is most suitable. Product samples will be available for participants to try out in order to get an idea of how the different models impact positioning and workflow. Find out more and register now.
Office Ergo Rep Training | October 17 | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
If your department is looking for more efficient response and support with regards to ergonomic issues for staff, consider taking the three-hour Office Ergo Rep Training. Learn basic ergonomic risk factors and assessments as well as proper computer workstation set-up, and get resources to take back to your unit. Find out more and register now.
Newcomers to Canada: Understanding Canadian Health Benefits | October 18 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey & Diamond Health Care Centre)
Moving can be overwhelming, especially if you are trying to figure out how things work in a new country. This presentation will provide an overview of how health benefits work in Canada (in particular, the BC Medical Services Plan and Extended Health and Dental Benefits). Available housing and relocation services will also be highlighted to assist you and your family with a smooth transition to UBC. Find out more and register now.
Ergo Your Office Tutorial | October 25 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (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. Find out more and register now.
Coaching@UBC Internship Program Info Session | October 23 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Coaching@UBC’s 1:1 professional coaching service is 14 years old. Since 2003, over 1,500 UBC employees have accessed our award-winning program. To meet increasing demand for coaching, Coaching@UBC is offering the opportunity for UBC employees to become credentialed coaches and support through a Coaching Internship Award. Attend an upcoming information session to learn more about the Coaching Internship Program. Find out more and register here.
Managing Your Money | October 25 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (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 how 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. Find out more and register now.
Thrive Week Workshops & Courses (October 30 – November 3)
Thriving in Change | October 30 | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Cost: $200 (Location: Point Grey)
Change is normal and natural, and we can respond to change and support others to make it a positive experience. Attend this half-day course to explore your own attitudes and reactions to change, learn foundational models to broaden your appreciation, and gain new tools and strategies to use in an interpersonal and organizational context. This course is PD-eligible and costs $200 to enrol. Find out more and register now.
Coming up in November…
Mindfulness@Work Program | Starts November 7, 2017 (Location: Point Grey) and April 5, 2018 (Location: DHCC/VGH) | Cost: $100
The six-week, in-person Mindfulness@Work training program runs in November 2017 and in April 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. Learn more and register now.
QPR Suicide Prevention Training | November 23 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Location: DHCC/VGH)
QPR Training is an internationally recognized suicide prevention program designed to help you question, persuade, and refer. QPR acts as an emergency mental health intervention designed to save lives, much like CPR or other methods of emergency medical intervention. Learn to recognize suicide warning signs, how to approach someone who may be at risk, persuade the person to seek appropriate health services, and connect the person to resources that will help resolve crises. Suicide is preventable. Find out more and register now.
Photo credit: UBC Communications and Marketing
Posted in Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives | Tagged coaching, conflict, Ergonomics, events, financial advice, free, healthy UBC Initiatives, managing money, Mindfulness, online, resilience, Stress, training, workshops | Leave a response
By Guest Contributor on January 12, 2016
Guest contribution from Dr. Geoffrey Soloway
Mindful or Mindless?
Imagine coming home from a stressful day at work and your head is swimming with the day’s events. Who said what to whom, how you did or didn’t respond to a colleague, and what’s on your plate for tomorrow. Sound familiar? The problem with this scenario is that because you’re absorbed in these thoughts replaying the day, you’re not able to see what’s right in front of you. Did you notice the greeting you got from a pet or loved one? Did you enjoy or even really taste your dinner? Did you notice a family member wanting to tell you something but waiting to be asked? All of these moments make up our lives and they pass us by unless we’re in the moment and paying attention.
Living in the moment is not simply a nice catch phrase or philosophy, learning to be more mindful is a science of mind that has a measurable impact on the brain. There is a tremendous amount of evidence over the past 20 years demonstrating the benefits of training in mindfulness for physical and mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness is a form of mental exercise that, similar to physical exercise, becomes stronger with practice.
Faculty and Staff at UBC have the opportunity to exercise their mindfulness muscles with the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge. The Challenge is an online mindfulness training coming to UBC starting Feb 1, 2016. The Challenge can be accessed via any computer or mobile device, anytime, anywhere and focuses on simple yet powerful and achievable learning objectives. Content is delivered through engaging videos, infographics, podcasts, and delivered on an innovative learning platform developed specifically for this training. According to Dr. Geoff Soloway, “We understand that in order for the training to stick, learners need opportunity to integrate new skills and habits in everyday life that rewire new neural pathways in the brain. That is why the 30 Day Challenge focuses on mindfulness-in-action.”
One central proposition of the Challenge is that you aren’t doing it alone. Each person will be asked to invite a buddy from outside the organization to complete the training with. The learning platform connects you with your buddy on a daily basis so you are learning together and motivating each other to stay on track. Just like a workout buddy, we view the 30 Day Challenge like a mental workout. After just 5-10 minutes a day, Dr. Soloway says participants and their buddies will be less stressed, more focused, better able to adapt to problems that arise as well as work better with others.
The 30 Day Challenge is perfect for people who work in high-stress jobs with long or irregular hours, time pressures and a lot of responsibility. The Challenge is a great first step for those new to mindfulness and even those who may be a bit resistant yet secretly curious. The Challenge runs for 30 consecutive days, yet life happens and you might miss a few days. Being successful is much more about how you live your life, and whether you are learning to make mindfulness a part of that — even for a few moments, every now and then.
To learn more about mindfulness and the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, please attend a one hour information session:
January 12, 2016 -1:15pm-2:15pm (VGH/DHCC) Click here to register
January 13, 2016 – 12:30pm-1:30pm (Point Grey Campus) Click here to register
To secure a space in the 30-Day Challenge, payment ($25 Payable by cash, JV to KPGK or by cheque payable to UBC Human Resources) must be made at an orientation session or sent to UBC Human Resources (attn. Melissa Lafrance). Please note your preference for either the February 1 or March 14 start dates.
For more information on mindfulness, Dr. Geoff Soloway or the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, please visit www.mindwellcanada.com.
Follow us on Twitter at @MindWellMind and use hashtag #UBC30day to connect with fellow participants, ask questions and deepen your learning.
Posted in Geoffrey Soloway, Guest Contributor, Mental Health, Mindful Moments | Tagged challenge, learning, mental health, Mindfulness, Mindwell, online, registration, resilience, training, wellbeing | 1 Response
By Guest Contributor on December 2, 2015
Health benefits of mindfulness include less stress, improved sleep and reduced pain
The chances are good that you have heard about mindfulness recently– it’s everywhere! From the World Economic Summit in Davos, to 60 Minutes, to the Armed Forces or the Seattle Seahawks, mindfulness is being used in a multitude of settings , as it has been proven by neuroscience to do everything from improve leadership skills and sleep quality, to reduce stress and conflict.
What is mindfulness & how does it work?
Mindfulness is a systematic training of the attention to help people live their lives in the here and now. By teaching people to focus on the moment, without judgement, they can see things more clearly – the good and the bad, and can therefore respond more skillfully.
Benefits of mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness can improve both physical and psychological symptoms as well as create positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors.
|Physical Health||Mental Health||Workplace Benefits|
The University is participating in a pilot project in partnership with the Movember Foundation to bring the benefits of mindfulness to faculty and staff. During 2015, UBC offered several mindfulness workshops, plus a ‘Mindfulness@Work’ six-week course and one-day retreat taught by Dr. Geoffrey Soloway and Kara Smith of MindWell Canada. All events were well attended, with results showing increases in resiliency, productivity, and the ability to handle stress and interpersonal conflict.
To further create a mindful community at UBC, the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, an online mindfulness training, is being offered to 225 faculty and staff on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Challenge is an online mindfulness training where lessons are delivered via any device, anytime, and anywhere that takes just 10 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. Participants and their buddies (each person will be asked to invite a buddy for free, from outside the organization) will learn core mindfulness concepts and be able to experience outcomes including improved health and wellbeing, enhanced productivity and creativity, and improved problem-solving and teamwork.
Orientation and Information Sessions
To learn more about mindfulness and the 30 Day Challenge, join Dr. Soloway on Dec. 8, Jan. 12 and Jan. 13 for one-hour information sessions. Click here for more information.
Can’t Make the Orientation Session?
Everyone is welcome to attend an orientation session, however attendance is not mandatory in order to register for the challenge. To secure a space in the 30-Day Challenge, payment must be made at an orientation session or sent to UBC Human Resources (attn. Melissa Lafrance). Please note that payments will not be processed until after December 8, 2015. Click here for more information.
MindWell Canada (MWC) is a leader in helping people integrate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives, by working with executives, athletes, health care professionals and teachers helping them create a more joyful, less stressful and more connected career and life. MWC has a network of partners around the world and has worked with companies and organizations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Dr. Geoffrey Soloway has been working in the area of health promotion, mindfulness and wellbeing for over 12 years. Geoff completed a PhD on Mindfulness at OISE of the University of Toronto, as well as a Master’s of Education on Holistic Education. Geoff is also an Organizational Coach, completing his certification through the University of British Columbia. Currently, Geoff is a Partner with MindWell Canada, and Instructor for UBC Continuing Studies.
Posted in Geoffrey Soloway, Guest Contributor, Mental Health, Mindful Moments | Tagged 30 day challenge, challenge, Geoffrey Soloway, mental health, Mindfulness, Movember, online, skills, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on May 6, 2014
Happy spring everyone! The tulips and daffodils have come out to greet us and UBC’s summer semester is almost in session. Things around campus will gradually slow down over the coming months as preparations begin again for the fall.
In speaking to colleagues in past years, this seems to be a time when staff and faculty feel that they have more time to invest in their own health and self-care. With this in mind, I would like to share a cautionary suggestion for improving our collective health literacy this spring: Just say no to search engine diagnosis: Avoid Dr. Google.
Outside of my role at UBC, I am a volunteer contraception counsellor at a local sexual health clinic. I would describe a large majority of the clients that I meet as “Googlers”. These clients come into the office, their brains overflowing in information, convinced of a diagnosis and terrified by chat rooms filled with side effects and worst-case scenarios.
It is important to know that I whole-heartedly believe in arming ourselves with information and in using the internet as a tool to empower, to learn and as a way to facilitate support networks with respect to health. It is great to do research before meeting with a health care provider or to understand how a type of medication works; however, obtaining this information from a trusted and validated source is paramount.
Reading information from un-validated sources can lead to inaccurate self-diagnosis, and high anxiety provoked by reading horror stories about medication side effects. This anxiety can be further elevated by often frustrated, first-person experiences that are more of a venting opportunity than practical solution. The truth is, everyone’s body is different, and has the possibility of reacting differently depending a myriad of factors.
Research shows that we are far more likely to recover quickly and successfully if we are positive about our outcomes. Turning to Dr. Google can in fact raise our anxieties instead of assuaging them. We read about unsuccessful outcomes and possible eventualities and we convince ourselves we have all of the answers. As humans, we have a tendency to catastrophize (try saying that three times fast). We assume the worst and can become unwilling to take a second opinion, even when it comes from a medical professional. This type of information can actually hurt our recovery time and quality of life through the treatment process.
The best advice that I can suggest to clients and our readers is this: don’t Google when it comes to your health.
- Turn instead to reputable sites run by governmental organizations, well-established non-profits and health authorities.
- Make sure the information presented to you is cited and sourced.
- Look for the number of participants in a drug study instead of the percentage of participants (if 50% of people had side effects, but there were only 10 people in the study, that is not a large enough sample to be conclusive).
There is nothing wrong with wanting a second opinion or to look into a recommended treatment, but turning to specialists, other doctors or trusted sources can assist with confusion, doubt and anxiety.
This month, I invite you to raise your health literacy by finding trusted and well documented sources of health information. When you do, bookmark them so that you can easily find them again without having to ask Dr. Google.
All my best,
Check out this new way to connect with your family physician or GP, online!
Medeo: Wherever you are, you can quickly and easily visit your BC doctor. Connect via computer, iOS or Android devices. Services available in BC with a valid Care Card.
Agarwal, M., Dalal, A., Agarwal, D., et al. (1995). Positive life orientation and recovery from myocardial infarction. Social Science & Medicine, 40 (1), 125-130.
Lench, H. C. (2011). Personality and health outcomes: Making positive expectations a reality. Journal of Happiness Studies,12(3), 493-507.
Scheier, M., Matthews, K., Carver, C., et al. (1989). Dispositional optimism and recovery from coronary artery bypass surgery: The beneficial effects on physical and psychological well-being. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology. 57(6), 1024-1040.