By Miranda Massie on October 23, 2018
How do you like to Thrive?
It’s nearly Thrive Week at UBC and I’m excited! An award-winning and nationally-recognized initiative, Thrive invites the UBC community to explore diverse and unique paths to mental health.
While there are many relevant ways to foster and maintain good mental health, research consistently points to five actions that can help.
We call these the Thrive 5:
1. Thrive by moving regularly: Moving regularly can help you manage stress and feel more positive.
2. Thrive by resting up: Spending time without screens before bed can help you sleep better and feel more rested.
3. Thrive by eating to feel nourished: Adding more veggies to your diet boosts the health of your mind and body.
4. Thrive by giving back: Helping others and giving back can give you a sense of purpose and connection.
5. Thrive by saying hi: Checking in regularly with family, friends and colleagues builds supportive relationships.
These five actions seem intuitive and simple enough, but in practice, they can seem like daunting tasks. I know that exercise, fruits and veggies, a full night’s sleep and social time are good for my health. But sometimes, all I have energy for is takeout and the couch, which leaves me feeling guilty or disappointed about my inaction.
What I’ve realised is that another critical part of my mental health is understanding my limitations and being self-compassionate. If we learn how to cut ourselves some slack, perhaps it will create the space needed to use the Thrive 5 more effectively.
This month, while I encourage you to use the Thrive 5 as ways to explore mental health, I also encourage you to listen to your needs. If all you feel like doing is going home and zoning out in front of the TV or going to sleep, do it. Enjoy the mental rest, forgive yourself and move on. There is always tomorrow.
And if tomorrow you’re looking for ideas to help you explore your own path to mental health, check out the Thrive Calendar for a range of engaging and diverse events, activities and experiences. Happy Thrive Week!
All my best,
Photo credit: Student Communications and UBC Thrive
Posted in Editorial, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged connection, eating, giving back, healthy diet, helping others, movement, physical activity, resilience, rest, sleep, social connection, thrive, Thrive 5, Thrive week | 1 Response
By Melissa Lafrance on October 23, 2018
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge | Begins October 29
This free, innovative, evidence-based training is for all 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. Learn more and register for the challenge now.
Join Miranda Massie, Health Promotion Specialist and Crystal Hutchinson, Workplace Wellbeing Strategist, for their continuing Wellbeing Series. Part 1 highlighted the importance of self-care, while in their next two sessions, they will discuss building resilience, individual and workplace wellbeing, as well as the resources available to support you.
Part 2: Building Resilience | November 1 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
As we face the constant flux of change and complex challenges, it’s important to look at how we build our personal resilience. Resilience is foundational to the prevention of stress and to increase our capacity to cope with and recover from adverse events. This interactive session will provide an opportunity to talk about the current state of employee mental health in Canada, explore the core components of resilience, and share evidence-based strategies and resources for building resilience. Find out more and register now.
Part 3: Workplace Wellbeing | November 22 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
For us to succeed at work, we need to understand how we can be our best selves, and that includes understanding how we can focus on our wellbeing at work. Join us to learn what UBC is doing to support workplace wellbeing, and how you can tap into existing resources and community networks to build a supportive workplace environment. Explore the strategies, tools and resources available to support your individual wellbeing as an employee, including how workplace wellbeing can be enhanced through our everyday interactions, practices and operations. Find out more and register now.
Stress & Resilience Series
Join Dr. Thara Vayali for her continuing Stress & Resilience Series. In the next two sessions, explore the stress response, recognize stress levels, build resilience, and discover the connection between empathy and stress.
Part 2: Empathy & Stress | November 8 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This workshop will define empathy and explore the ways empathy shows up in our day-to-day lives, including how it can lead to stress and the beneficial ways expressing empathy can improve wellbeing. Find out more and register now.
Part 3: The Stress Inventory | November 21 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This workshop will explore the domains of stress, including 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.
Building Career Resilience in Change Series
Changes in the workplace continue at a rapid pace. How can we respond to the changing workplace and also engage with it in ways that support our career development? Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in a group coaching series on Building Career Resilience in Change.
Attend this three-part series to gain insights and skills to enhance career resilience and self-reliance. Develop a personalized employability plan and the ability to access appropriate resources for changing career needs. It is highly encouraged that you attend all three sessions, as the information you gain will build to greater benefits. Find out more about the series and register now. (Note: You only need to register once for the entire series.)
- Part 1: The Changing Workplace and its Impact on Careers (Nov. 14, 2018)
- Part 2: Career Wellbeing as a First Step to Career Resilience (Dec. 5, 2018)
- Part 3: Career Resilience Framework (Jan. 17, 2019)
Ergo Your Office Tutorial | November 28 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation with 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 | November 28 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
This workshop will provide important information about different types of sit-stand desks and platforms available for the workplace. Understanding the pros and cons of each will assist departments, staff and faculty in deciding which option may be most suitable. Product samples will be available for participants to try in order to understand how the different models impact physical positioning and workflow. Find out more and register now.
Community Health News: November 2018
This month, join us for UBC Thrive Week (Oct. 29 – Nov. 2). Hosted on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, Thrive is an opportunity for staff, faculty and students to explore their path to mental health.
View the full events calendar, or gather your colleagues to participate in UBC’s largest Zumba class and Thrive wrap-up celebration! Free to attend with games, booths and healthy snacks available. Come Thrive with us!
October 24-26: UBC’s Annual Flu Shot Campaign
November 2: Garden Design Lecture with Dan Hinkley
November 6: Staff and Faculty Choir Rehearsal (Join now!)
November 15: Lace Up for Kids
November 20: Food Insecurity through Indigenous Perspectives (webinar or video conference)
November 20: Prepare Your Dependent Child for UBC Admissions
November 20: Sing! Sing! Sing! UBC (monthly drop-in choir)
November 27: Annual UBC Mammography Screening (Mobile clinic)
Photo Credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on September 11, 2018
Building and maintaining our mental health is a year-round pursuit, and Thrive is one of many mental health initiatives at UBC. Each year, when we work together as partners in promoting mental health literacy, everyone can thrive and enhance the capacity within each of us to feel motivated, enjoy life and be ready to take on life’s challenges.
This year, Thrive takes place from Oct. 29 – Nov. 2. We encourage all departments, units and faculties to consider becoming a Thrive partner. You can help expand positive mental health among UBC faculty, staff and students by planning an event, promoting Thrive Week, or getting people talking in support of mental health. Explore your path with the “Thrive 5” and find out the many more ways you can engage with Thrive.
As part of Thrive 2018, UBC departments, unit and faculties are also invited to participate in the Not Myself Today (NMT) initiative.
NMT is an evidence-informed workplace mental health initiative that helps to build greater awareness, reduce stigma and foster safe and supportive cultures.
This is UBC’s fourth consecutive year participating in NMT. Consider joining our community of Not Myself Today partners to champion this initiative within numerous UBC workplaces during Thrive Week. By registering as a partner, you will receive access to toolkits and resources that you can use to inspire positive mental health in your workplace and among your colleagues. Visit www.hr.ubc.ca/nmt to learn more about this year’s Not Myself Today initiative and to register your department, unit or faculty.
Photo Credit: UBC Thrive and UBC Student Communications
Posted in Healthy Path, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health | Tagged awareness, campaigns, mental health literacy, mental helath, Not Myself today, thrive, Thrive week, workplace health | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2017
It can be challenging to stay resilient in the face of life’s challenges, but the good news is that we all have the capacity to make small improvements to boost our mental health. These strategies and changes are individual, and what works to boost your positive mental health may not work for someone else.
It is nearly Thrive week at UBC and what is unique about Thrive are the variety of engaging and diverse events, activities and experiences to help each person thrive in their own way. Find a full list of the week’s events here.
For those unable to attend a Thrive event, participate online in the #LetsThriveUBC social media challenge. Each day of the challenge is centred around a theme based on UBC’s five wellbeing priorities.
Inspired by these themes – and because I get asked this a lot by folks across UBC – I created a list of suggestions to help you get started. Check out my tips for small actions you can take to thrive each day of the week.
Fifteen Ways to Thrive (in Five Days)
Day 1: Feel Good Foods
A well-balanced, nourishing diet helps us all to thrive, fueling important academic and professional work.
- Eating breakfast or adding protein to your breakfast (egg, peanut butter, cottage cheese)
- Trading your caffeine for flavoured (lemon, cucumber) or fizzy water
- Buying yourself a small, feel-good treat
Day 2: Active Movement
Moving more can improve both mental and physical health, and impact academic and professional success.
- Walking briskly for 10 minutes today
- Standing for five minutes at the top of every hour
- Dancing around your house for the length of one song (suggestions)
Day 3: Thriving Spaces
Environments, both built and natural, play an important role in facilitating physical, mental, social and ecological wellbeing.
- Breathing in fresh, outside air for five minutes
- Making your bed with fresh sheets
- Spending 30 minutes somewhere with exposure to natural light
Day 4: Resilience
Reducing stigma, a supportive campus culture, and access to resources are key to improving resiliency and coping skills.
- Writing a gratitude Post-It (list three things you are grateful for in two minutes or less)
- Taking five deep breaths, counting to five on each inhale and to five on each exhale
- Laughing at a funny movie, meme or video
Day 5: Key Connections
Diversity, equity, inclusion and respect are key values in building and sustaining environments where we can all thrive and be well.
- Putting away or turning off your phone (and other electronic devices) during all meals today
- Talking to a friend (or a pet if they are a better listener)
- Asking for or accepting help from someone else, even if it is for something small
You may not feel the results immediately, but over time all of these small actions can pave the way for improved resilience and help fine-tune our mental health.
We are well into the fall semester, and I know of many staff, faculty and students who are feeling the impact of work, academic and personal pressures. This month, I encourage you to take the time to care for yourselves so that you may be at your best to support those around you. Consider attending a special Staff & Faculty Pop-up Wellness Lounge (Nov. 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.).
All my best,
References and further reading:
Photo credit: UBC Thrive
Posted in Editorial, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged action, environmental health, gratitude, inclusion, mental health, Nutrition, physical activity, resilience, self-care, thrive, Thrive week, UBC, wellbeing | 1 Response
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2017
This month’s feature:
October 30-November 3: Thrive Week 2017
Thrive is an annual, University-wide initiative for all students, faculty and staff. Join the UBC community by participating in a series of engaging and diverse events, activities and experiences. Visit the full events calendar for details and find new ways to build your positive mental health each and every day.
Highlights in Vancouver include:
- Thrive Kick-off (Oct. 30)
- #LetsThriveUBC social media challenge (Oct. 30-Nov. 3)
- Natural Wellness Garden Tours (Oct. 30-Nov. 3)
- Staff & Faculty Pop-up Wellness Lounge (Nov. 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
- Relaxation Techniques to Help you Thrive (Nov. 2, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.)
- UBC’s Largest Zumba (Nov. 3)
Click here for a list of Okanagan events.
Other Events and Activities
October 31- November 9: Flu Clinics
Even healthy people can get sick from the flu and spread it to others. Getting the flu shot is your best protection against the flu bug. Mark the 2017 clinic dates into your calendar now. The clinics operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.
November 3: United Way Stretch for a Cause
Support UBC’s United Way Campaign by attending this noon-hour yoga class. Entry is by donation with all proceeds going to the United Way. Don’t miss out on door prizes provided by HotBox Yoga!
November 8: Kinesiology Distinguished Speaker Series
This session entitled, “Action, perception and cognition: a movement psychological perspective”, features Professor Rouwen Cañal-Bruland of Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.
November 9: Psychology Colloquium with Dr. Sue Frantz
Dr. Sue Frantz discusses learning enhancement, particularly the role that educational technologies play in the classroom.
November 17: UBC Choir Fest
Presented by the UBC School of Music, this aural presentation features the University Singers and the UBC Choral Union and culminates in a finale of 400+ voices.
November 19: The Fabric of Our Land: Salish Weaving (Exhibition Opening)
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the unique design of Salish blankets up close, and to learn the rich history and significance of weaving in this region. Runs through April 2018.
November 25: 20 Years of Brain Health – An Anniversary Symposium
Commemorate 20 years of neuroscience research and brain health discovery at UBC. Meet and mingle with the UBC neuroscience community, including our fascinating faculty, students, staff and alumni, and enjoy special presentations from keynote speakers Dr. Karl Deisseroth and Dr. Catherine Malabou.
Photo credit: UBC Thrive
Posted in Community Health News, Events | Tagged brain health, department of psychology, events, flu clinics, moa, neuroscience, School of Kinesiology, thrive, Thrive week, UBC Choir fest, United Way | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2016
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! November marks the start of UBC Thrive on campus (the eighth year to be exact) and the culmination of six months of planning for our small-but-mighty Thrive Committee.
The goal of Thrive is to encourage staff, faculty and students to find small and manageable ways to build positive mental health skills every day. It can be challenging to stay resilient in the face of life’s challenges but we all have the ability to improve our mental health. Thrive’s events and activities aim to help everyone build skills and learn about resources that promote mental health.
You can find a full list of the week’s events here but I wanted to highlight some key ways that you can get involved:
Attend the Thrive Kick-Off Celebration: Drop by the square outside the bookstore on October 31 from 8:30am-11:30am for free drinks, stress balls, snacks, live music and more.
*Special highlight* Join Professor Ono at 9:45am as UBC becomes one of the first universities in the world to formally commit to university-wide health and wellbeing by signing the Okanagan Charter.
UBC’s Largest Zumba Class: Join us on Nov. 4 for this free lunch-hour fitness class hosted by UBC Recreation. Short Zumba sessions will be running every 15 minutes along with other activities, snacks and more!
Take the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge: Unable to make one of the events? Participate in the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge from anywhere by posting the ways that you thrive each day of the week. Click here for full challenge details.
Ultimately, building positive mental health is about supporting those around us in making small changes, working to reduce stigma around mental illness and by trying something new for your mental health today.
Here are some other ideas that you can try right now!
5 Ways To Beat Stress This Week
1) Watch this 3 minute TED talk: “Try something new for 30 days”
2) Take 5: Take a deep breath in through your nose as you count to five. Release the breath through your mouth as you count to five. Repeat this exercise five times to re-focus, calm nerves or for a short mental break.
3) Make a quick gratitude list: Grab a post it and make a list of 4-6 things or people for which you are grateful. Expressing gratitude and thanks can produce a wealth of health benefits.
4) Take a free online resilience course: com has a wealth of online learning modules, including topics like managing stress, mindfulness and resilience. Try watching one lesson each day and you will be done in no time!
5) Get up and stretch: Take a 30 second stretch break or try one of the following stretches to get your blood flowing and to give your eyes a rest.
This month I encourage you to try one new thing to beat stress and boost your ability to take on new challenges.
All my best,
Posted in Editorial, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged breath, challenge, events, gratitude, Happiness, mental health, stress management, stretching, thrive, Thrive week, UBC | 1 Response
By Melissa Lafrance on October 25, 2016
Back by popular demand: Managing Your Money – Oct. 26, 12:00 – 1:00 pm (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. For information and to register, click here.
Ergo Your Office Tutorial – Oct. 26 & Nov. 30, 12:00 – 1:00 pm (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.
Thrive: Kick-Off Celebration – Oct. 31, 8:30 – 11:30 am (Location: Point Grey)
All staff, faculty and students are invited to join in celebrating the Thrive week 2016 kick-off event. Grab a healthy snack and hot drink, grab a yellow Thrive stress ball, enjoy live music by the Fireside Quintet and chat with UBC President Prof. Santa Ono! The event will take place at the corner of East Mall and University Boulevard (near the Bookstore). For more information, click here.
Thrive: UBC Botanical Garden Tours – Daily between Oct. 31 – Nov. 4, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Join a Garden Guide in a walk through our significant plant collection at the UBC Botanical Garden. Take in the natural beauty, fresh air and camaraderie and enjoy one of UBC’s treasures on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. This tour is part of UBC HR’s Thrive Initiative to support UBC staff, students and faculty in getting active. For more information and to register, click here.
Thrive: Stress Relaxation Techniques – Nov. 1, 12:00 – 2: 00 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Make time to calm down and reduce stress, using both proactive and reactive relaxation techniques. You will leave this workshop with an understanding of your stress response, discuss the importance of managing stress, and practice stress reducing exercises. For more information and to register, click here.
Thrive: UBC’s Largest Zumba Class – Nov. 4, 12:00 – 1:00 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Join UBC Recreation and your fellow colleagues, students, and friends for UBC’s annual Largest Zumba class. The event will include a Zumba session, refreshments, info booths, and other fun activities. Get moving and celebrate the end of Thrive week! For more information and to register, click here.
Mindfulness@Work – Nov. 7 – Dec. 12(Location: Point Grey)
Mindfulness@Work is a six-week, in-person, evidence-based training that will let you reduce stress, cultivate physical and mental health, and promote your wellbeing. Mindfulness@Work specifically focuses on integrating the practice of mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork, and improved communication. The program will run Nov. 7 – Dec. 12, 2016 and again April 10 – May 15, 2017. Registration is now open for the Fall and Spring programs!
You can expect:
- Expert-led and evidence-based programming and classes
- A half-day weekend retreat & homework including 10-minute daily meditation
- Supportive small group setting
- Practical learnings and interactive practices
- $100 registration fee
Mental Health First Aid Training – Nov. 29 & Dec. 6, 9: 00 am – 4:30 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Mental Health First Aid, a two-day in-person workshops, aims to improve mental health literacy by providing participants with the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, be able to provide initial support to a person who may be developing a mental health problem or is experiencing a crisis, and be prepared to guide a person towards professional help. For more information and to register, click here.
Posted in Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health, Nutrition, Physical Health | Tagged activities, Ergonomics, events, financial health, Mindfulness, physical activity, Relaxation, Stress, thrive, Thrive week, tours, UBC, UBC Botanical Gardens, Walking, zumba | 1 Response