By Melissa Lafrance on March 7, 2018
Understanding Your Travel Benefits | March 8 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Planning a vacation in Canada or abroad? This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about UBC’s travel benefits and how to be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah for a one-hour session to deepen your understanding of your travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned vacation is as stress-free as possible. Find out more and register now.
Ergo Your Office Tutorial | March 13 | 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.
Sit-Stand Desks & Platforms | March 13 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.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.
Caring for the Caregiver | March 14 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: UBC Okanagan)
The role of caregiver, while often rewarding, can also take a tremendous toll on individuals both emotionally and physically. Whether participants are already caring for an aging family member or plan to take on this role in the future, this seminar will provide important information to consider. Find out more and register now.
Debunking the Diet Series with Dr. Thara Vayali (Location: Point Grey)
Part 1: The Detox Equation | March 15 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
“Detoxes” can be nebulous and controversial. Find out more about toxins and cleanses and whether or not we really need them. You will also learn how to use this information to improve your own health, as well as three simple dietary and lifestyle changes to support your “detox” equation. Find out more and register now.
Part 2: The Superfood Showdown | March 27 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
In stories about superheroes, villains play a role too. Let’s define what makes a food a “super” and uncover misconceptions around “villainous” foods. Learn how to evaluate a superfood and three dietary suggestions to nourish yourself and improve your nutritional health. Find out more and register now.
Part 3: Diet, Hormones & Health | April 10 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
In this final session, let’s put superfoods and myths aside and explore the impact of diets on metabolism and health. We will cover the dos and don’ts of dietary changes and learn how diets impact hormones. You will leave with three tangible steps for balancing food choices, metabolism and overall health. Find out more and register now.
Boosting Your Positive Outlook | March 22 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Consistently focusing on the negative side of an issue can greatly contribute to stress and can lead to physical changes in the body and affect performance and overall wellbeing. This session will help you understand and recognize negative thinking, develop a strategy for combating negative thoughts and increase your positive outlook. Find out more and register now.
The Art of Managing Conflict | March 22 | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Location: Robson Square)
Conflict is a common part of life and is a natural result of people having different points of view, values and beliefs. When left unaddressed, workplace conflict can lead to challenges, but when well managed, conflict can enhance your relationships, deepen your understanding of yourself and others, and stimulate change and growth. This workshop will provide participants with a framework for assessing the types of conflict common in the workplace and propose strategies for their resolution. Find out more and register now.
Welcoming Change into Your Life | March 26 (new date) | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Change is a natural part of life. You may be aware that a change is imminent, but are uncertain about what it will involve and how it will affect your life. Join us for a session that will address the emotional reactions involved with change, and help you acquire the coping skills to manage change more effectively. Participants will understand the different types of change, develop management strategies and learn to view change in a more positive manner. Find out more and register now.
Coming in April:
- April 5 – May 10: Mindfulness@Work Program (DHCC/VGH)
- April 16: Office Ergo Rep Training (Point Grey)
Photo Credit: UBC Thrive (via UBC Communications & Marketing)
Posted in Events | Tagged Benefits, Change, conflict, Diet, education, Ergonomics, free events, healthy activities, outlook, positivity, professional development, programming, workplace health | 1 Response
By Melissa Lafrance on January 11, 2018
Thriving Campus features testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff members. This month we feature Liz Hudson, inventory manager at UBC Press.
Thriving at Work
My first secret to thriving at work is my daily bike commute. My bike commute clears my head in the morning and gets oxygen to my brain [so I’m] ready for a day of work; then it clears my head at the end of the day before my evening activities at home.
Second, I thrive because I love to learn and connect with others. At UBC we have so many opportunities to do activities, interact with others and learn new things. Either with office mates or solo, I’ve participated in a multitude of activities on campus including mindfulness training, tennis lessons, Pick your Peak Stair Challenge, Museum of Anthropology’s yoga classes (MOGA) the UBC Library/United Way Spelling Bee, Staff & Faculty Sports Day, Recess for Adults, Bike to Work Week and Toastmasters — and this is a curated list. With each activity, I’m grateful to work in a place that offers this wide range of activities.
I’m also really grateful for an office environment that is positive and supportive. Within the UBC Press office, we do regular clothing exchanges and potlucks. Each event that UBC offers or that our office organizes makes me feel part of a community and that, for me, is the key to thriving.
Thriving at Home
I thrive at home by maintaining a positive attitude and making my health a priority. I play on a soccer team and hockey team, and I enjoy playing tennis. Belonging to a team is the perfect activity: it satisfies my need for social interaction and physical exercise. I’m also an avid cook and love to try new healthy recipes (and some unhealthy ones!)
I also do volunteer work as a member of the Hockey Helps the Homeless committee here in Vancouver. I’ve coached my daughter’s soccer team and was manager of her soccer teams over the years. Similar to my work environment, I thrive at home by building a community of like-minded people and appreciating all that I have.
Liz Hudson works at UBC Press in the marketing department. She feels lucky to have landed a job at UBC Press after many years selling textbooks to universities across western Canada. With a degree in French and English from Western University, Liz previously taught high school French in Ontario and Alberta before moving westward and settling in Vancouver. Liz has a husband, two kids in elementary school and a few fish. Liz enjoys playing sports, hanging out with her family and hosting dinner parties with friends.
Photo credit: Liz Hudson
By Melissa Lafrance on September 13, 2017
What Exactly is Resiliency?
How can some people bounce back from hardship or remain in challenging situations while others get disconcerted and remain affected for a longer period of time? Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy and other significant sources of stress. Research has shown that resilience is ordinary not extraordinary, and people regularly demonstrate resilience. Having strong resiliency skills doesn’t remove challenging or distressed feelings altogether, but rather can help reduce the time it takes to return to “normal” everyday functioning. Luckily, resilience involves behaviours, thoughts, actions and skills that can be learned and developed.
Several achievable factors are associated with resilience, including:
- Having caring and supportive relationships
- The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out
- A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities
- Skills in communication and problem solving
- The ability to manage strong feelings and impulses
Developing or enhancing resilience is a completely personal journey. Here are a few general tips  to consider when developing your personal resiliency:
Make connections. Having a good support system involving positive relationships is crucial, as is accepting help from those who care about you and your wellbeing. Read more about improving the quality of your relationships.
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You may not be able to control or avoid stressful events from happening, but you can change your outlook and how you respond to these events. Find out how you can maintain your inner strength amidst life’s daily challenges.
Accept change. It is part of life. This may change your course of action or make certain goals no longer attainable. Learn how to deal with the stress resulting from change and how to adapt and respond effectively to changes.
Explore, determine and move towards your goals. Learn the SMART guide to goal setting.
Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as possible rather than passively ignoring problems and stresses. Check out some tips for great decision making.
Seize opportunities for self-discovery. Learn to meditate or try a new team sport or hobby.
Nurture a positive view of yourself. Read more on constructing confidence and building self-belief.
Maintain a perspective view on things. Avoid making difficult situations a bigger deal than they actually are. View stressful events in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
Maintain a hopeful outlook. Being optimistic about the future allows you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Instead of worrying and fearing for the worst, visualize a hopeful outcome. Nourish your inner optimist. Consider using a journal such as the Five Minute Journal  to help you focus on the good in your life.
Take care of yourself. Read more on how to improve your relationship with yourself.
Explore Mindfulness and Meditation at UBC. Consider enrolling in our upcoming programs:
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge – Free for UBC employees
Two Start Dates: October 16, 2017 and February 19, 2018
Learn the core skills of mindfulness through evidence-based online training. The 30-day challenge does not involve a formal meditation practice, but rather teaches mindfulness-in-action for everyday life.
How it works:
- 5-10 minutes per day
- Online, anytime, any device
- 30 consecutive days
- Invite a buddy or colleagues to join you
Key impact areas:
- Health and wellbeing
- Increased performance
- Teamwork and conflict resolution
Mindfulness@Work – $100 for UBC employees (eligible for PD funding)
Two Start Dates: November 7, 2017 and April 5, 2018
For a deeper understanding of mindfulness and/or to develop a meditation practice, Mindfulness@Work offers an in-person educational program experience that uses the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) model.
How it works
- Six-week, in-person training
- Meet for 1 hour and 15 minutes once a week in a small supportive group led by a mindfulness teacher
- Attend a half day weekend retreat
- Daily home assignments for 15-30 minutes a day
Key impact areas
- Stress reduction
- Physical and mental wellbeing
- Effectiveness, teamwork, communication skills
- Focuses on integrating mindfulness in the workplace
Additional resources on building resiliency:
- More steps to building resiliency in your life
- Tips for balance and talking about resiliency
- Workplace and career resiliency
Photo credit: Melissa Lafrance
By Melissa Lafrance on December 7, 2016
This month’s Healthy Path is all about self-reflection and exploring our spiritual wellbeing, which is a fitting topic with the holiday season right around the corner.
Spiritual wellbeing is unique to each individual and involves values and beliefs that help provide a purpose in our lives. In general, spirituality is the search for meaning and purpose in human existence and can involve working to balance our inner needs with the rest of the outside world.
Spiritual wellbeing may not be something that you often think about, yet its impact and influence on your life is unavoidable. Spirituality also involves being tolerant of others’ beliefs and to live and act authentically, in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs. For some, spirituality may be equated with traditional religions such as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, while for others, it may mean growing personal relationships with others or through a connection with nature.
You can live your life with purpose if you are purposely self-aware. If purposeful self-awareness is an unfamiliar concept, there are activities you can practice that can eventually instill self-awareness.
Nurturing our personal needs and allowing ourselves to truly relax, regenerate and recharge in meaningful ways is important for our own self-care. Keep in mind the big picture, think about what is meaningful to you and be mindful of your surroundings to truly savour the moments and experiences you encounter this holiday season – whether it’s with your family, friends, strangers, or with yourself.
Prepare yourself emotionally for the holiday season get-togethers with a guide to holiday peacekeeping. Learn how you can improve your relationships with others and improve your relationship with yourself.
Assess Your Spiritual Wellbeing
Where ever you find yourself, take a moment to reflect and evaluate your own spiritual wellbeing with this brief quiz:
- Do I make time for relaxation in my day?
- Do I make time for meditation or prayer?
- Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
- Am I accepting and open to the views of others?
- Do I feel a sense of hope and have a positive outlook on life?
If you answered no to any of the questions, that may be an area to work on exploring and improving. These feeling may also be related to other causes and there are some resources available to help you understand them.
Ways You Can Improve Spiritual Wellbeing
- Be still, be quiet. Take time for yourself, even if it is for five minutes as you wait for the bus or when you go to bed. Try to disconnect from electronic devices and just be in the moment.
- Practice being non-judgmental and having an open mind. Take five deep breaths to gather your thoughts before responding or reacting to a situation or person.
- Be mindful and/or meditate and/or do yoga.
- Be kind to others and yourself.
- Be grateful. Discover ways you can practice gratitude.
- Forgive. If it does not serve a purpose in your life and only causes you anguish, forgive and let it go.
- Give back to others.
- Become part of a community and maintain enriching relationships. Learn five ways to detox your relationships.
- Remain receptive to pain or sorrow. These feelings can help us discover how spirituality can help us cope.
- Do something outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to be challenged or to be (or act) silly. After all, the best memories are created when we come across unexpected moments, people, or situations. They are often the ones we learn lessons from the most as well. These lessons allow us to discover nuances within ourselves and build our knowledge and values, thereby creating stronger meanings in our lives.
Resources for Staff and Faculty
- UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program:counselling services for you and your dependents. Call Shepell’s Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit Shepell’s website to view services available.
- Meditation and Mindfulness Programs at UBC
- Benefits to support staff and faculty mental health
- Yoga at UBC Recreation or UBC Yoga Club
- Campus Chaplaincy
- Consider these volunteering opportunities
Posted in Healthy Path, Mental Health | Tagged awareness, Healthy Path, Holidays, Melissa Lafrance, mental health, openess, positivity, quiet, Relaxation, religion, spiritual health, UBC, wellbeing | Leave a response