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
Time to dig out your flannel jammies, rain boots, and scarves: Winter is coming. Let’s look on the bright side: at least we don’t get wallops of snow like the east coast does for four months of the year. On the west coast and lower mainland, we get the rainy season, which can be pleasant if we make the most of it. Research has shown that gratitude increases overall wellbeing so, let’s look at a few things we can be grateful and cheerful for this November.
Benefit from the Mindfulness@Work Program starting November 7
This six-week, in-person and highly beneficial program focuses on integrating mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork, and communication and has many more personal and professional benefits. The enrolment fee is $100, and UBC staff and faculty can access professional development funds to cover the cost.
The program begins November 7, with a second cohort starting in April 2017. Limited spaces are available, so register now!
You’re Invited to Thrive at UBC, Oct 31 – Nov 4 (and onwards)
Thrive is a mindset and a week-long series of events focused on building positive mental health and reducing stigma.
Check out our New Website!
To reflect the new approach UBC is taking towards health and wellbeing, we have a new and improved site for faculty and staff to access details about their UBC benefits, and ways to be healthy at work and in your personal lives. Check it out at www.hr.ubc.ca/wellbeing-benefits. Learn more about the new features of the new website.
Daylight Saving Time Ends Nov 6, 2016
Mornings will be brighter and we gain an hour! Don’t forget to turn your clocks backward 1 hour before you go to bed Saturday night. Learn more.
Grow Your Mo during Movember!
Movember, the month formerly known as November, is a moustache-growing charity event held during November each year to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Each year, brave and selfless individuals from around the world come together as one and stand side by side, united in a commitment to fine moustachery and to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives. Join the movement for men’s health.
Get Your Blood Flowing and Enjoy Nature by Walking
The crisp weather won’t chill your bones, because you’ll be warming up with exercise! Get outside and love this beautiful month! Click here for a list of active walking groups and walking related activities at UBC. All groups and activities welcome newcomers and participants of all abilities.
Cook Comforting Foods with Fall Produce
Savour fall flavours with cozy recipes (link to recipes article) using the fantastic array of fall produce!
Explore Other Offerings at UBC
November means the start of ice skating season! UBC Recreation’s ice-based programs include hockey and skating lessons for youth and adults. Rec also offers drop-in sessions of public skating, figure skating, hockey, and stick & puck. Their dynamic range of hockey and skating programming can accommodate people of all ages and skill levels. Whether it’s your first time on the ice, or you’re looking to refresh your hockey skills, they have a program for you!
If you need more ideas to stay busy this November, check out Tourism Vancouver’s top ten fall activities.
“One of the most important things we can do is look out for the wellbeing of others”: Thriving Faculty
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2016
In honour of Thrive week, we are excited to highlight a very special ‘Thriving President’ feature, with Professor Santa Ono, UBC’s President and Vice-Chancellor.
Thriving Faculty is a monthly column that highlights UBC faculty who exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into their classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What does thriving mean to you?
To me thriving means that on a daily basis I am growing and improving as an individual. Thriving requires that I have time to think about my daily, weekly and longer-term priorities and to assess how I am doing against those plans. Work/life balance is critical to thriving. I therefore make sure that I have time in my calendar for my family and for recreational pursuits such as playing the cello.
How do you think we can best work together to thrive as a community?
I think that it is important for an institution such as UBC to have a clear commitment to thriving for each member of our community. Newsletters such as Healthy UBC play a critical role in underscoring our commitment to the wellbeing of every member of the community. One of the most important things we can do as a community is to look out for the wellbeing of others in everything that we do. Supervisors should make sure that members of their teams have a good life balance. And professors should look after the wellbeing of students within the classroom.
Do you have advice or strategies to share with staff and faculty?
I would encourage all members of UBC staff and faculty to take advantage of the rich opportunities for wellbeing that exist on our campus. I am also a proponent of active dialogue as a means to promote wellbeing. Speaking about and sharing strategies to promote wellbeing will help us build a culture of wellness at UBC.
As a professor of medicine and biology, Prof. Santa Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory universities. Last year he was inducted by Johns Hopkins into its Society of Scholars, which honours former faculty who have gained distinction in their fields. An avid music lover whose tastes range from Rihanna to Rachmaninoff, Prof. Ono studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and remarkably still finds time to sing and play his cello – even taking to the concert stage to perform on occasion.
Posted in Guest Contributor, Thriving Faculty | Tagged community, faculty, mental health, President, President Ono, Professor Santa Ono, reach out, Support, thrive, Thriving faculty, UBC, wellbeing | Leave a 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
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2016
UBC Based Events and Activities
UBC Thrive Week: Oct 31-Nov 4
Happy Thrive! Participate in Thrive 2016 by attending an event, trying a new activity, or by learning a new skill. There are over 40 ways to engage with Thrive this year, including:
- joining the Kick-Off Celebration with Prof. Santa Ono
- attending a relaxation technique workshop
- touring the Botanical and Nitobe Gardens
- learning more about positive mental health
- attending UBC’s largest Zumba class!
UBC Thrive is a university-wide initiative designed to promote building positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff.
#Thrive365 Photo Challenge: Oct 31-Nov 4
Unable to attend a Thrive event? Participate virtually in the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge by sharing the ways that you thrive every day. Draw prizes to be won!
Join Simran Sethi for this UBC Reads Sustainability talk to find out more about the loss of agricultural biodiversity, efforts to conserve endangered foods and ways we can help save the foods we love. Tickets are $5-$10 and the event will be held at 12pm in the UBC Alumni Centre.
Team UBC Ride to Conquer Cancer Information Session, Nov 16
Learn more about Team UBC and the Ride to Conquer Cancer next August 26-27, 2017. The Ride to Conquer Cancer is a two-day cycling event from Vancouver to Seattle to raise funds and awareness for cancer research in British Columbia. When you join Team UBC, you will be well supported with training rides and fundraising events leading up to this epic weekend. All cycling levels and abilities are welcome! Please join us for an information session and Q&A with past and current team members and team captains:
Details: Wednesday, Nov 16, 4:00pm in Brock Hall, Room 2071 (1874 East Mall, 2nd floor)
For more information contact one of the Team UBC Co-Captains (Joel Kobylka: 7-0108 or Stephanie Oldford: 7-0003)
Lace Up for Kids: Nov 24
UBC Recreation, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Rare Disease Foundation are teaming up to transform the world of rare disease care. Lace Up for Kids is fundraiser supporting important, life-changing rare disease research, culminating in a community skating celebration at the UBC Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Arena on Thursday, November 24, 6-11pm.
Join UBC students, staff, faculty, and community members to help make a difference in a child’s life.
Free Flu Shot Clinics: Nov 2016
Boost your wellbeing and promote a healthy campus by getting your free flu shot—it’s your best protection against the flu. Drop in at a clinic of your choice until November 10.
Free Yoga at Bodyworks: Nov 2016
UBC Bodyworks is offering a series of yoga classes this month including Yoga Power and Biomechanics and Yoga Stretch and Recover, free for UBC staff and faculty. Conveniently scheduled during lunch and after work!
By Miranda Massie on October 5, 2016
UBC Based Activities and Events:
UBC’s GamePlan: Oct. 3 – 23
Visioning the future of UBC’s recreation and athletics facilities.
From October 3 – 23, UBC is seeking feedback from the campus community on a series of proposed options that will guide future investments in recreation and athletics facilities on the Vancouver campus. Join the conversation online, or in person at one of four open houses (October 11, 13, 17, 19).
United Way Week of Caring: Oct. 11-14
The UBC Community United Way Campaign kicks off with a week of events. Join the fun and give back. Events include the Great Pancake Race, Turkey 2K Trot, Arts Food Truck Festival and Stretch for A Cause!
Classroom Climate is shaped not only by course content and the relationships among members of the classroom community, but also by the broader contexts of place, history, institutional policies and culture and campus climate. Join CTLT for this interesting discussion led by Dr. JP Catungal.
UBC Apple Festival: Oct. 15-16
A family event for all ages, the UBC Apple Festival celebrates one of BC’s favourite fruits. From learning about the diversity of apples to tasting rare and unusual varieties, the Apple Festival is a great opportunity to discover more about this delicious fruit.
UBC Farm Fall Workshops: Oct-Dec
Take your pick from a variety of hands-on workshops through the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm!
Carrot App Health Rewards: Join now!
Download the free Carrot Rewards App now and receive bonus reward points just for being a member of the UBC Sun Life health benefits plan. Provided by the BC Ministry of Health, the Carrot Rewards App is a free mobile app that rewards you for living healthier.
Earn reward points from your choice of four brand-name loyalty reward partners – Aeroplan®, SCENE®, Petro-PointsTM, and More Rewards®
- UBC Sun Life group benefit plan members: Download the app on your phone using promo code UBCsun1 to receive additional reward points.
- Not a member of the UBC Sun Life group benefit plan? You can also participate in this offer. Download the app on your phone using promo code UBCsun2 and receive additional reward points.
- Already using the Carrot Rewards App? You can still use the Sun Life promo code to receive your bonus reward points. Click on Account at the bottom right-hand side of your Carrot Reward App and “Enter a bonus code” (the applicable code from above). Promo codes are for your personal use only.
Save the Date! UBC Thrive week: Oct. 31-Nov 4
Discover events and resources for building positive mental health.
There are lots of ways to participate and help improve your wellbeing:
- Join the Thrive Facebook Event to see what’s coming up. Be sure to invite your friends!
- Check out Thrive events, including:
- The Thrive Kickoff breakfast, October 31, 8:30 am – 10:30 am
- UBC’s Largest Zumba class, Nov. 4, noon – 1:00pm
- Whether you’re on or off campus, snap your thriving moments with the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge
Looking for a Dentist on Campus?
Visit the Faculty Practice Clinic for leading edge dental care delivered by UBC faculty members in a state of the art clinic. Click here for more info.
By Melissa Lafrance on September 13, 2016
This months’s Thriving Campus feature is Anna Busch, a UBC Staff Finders employee currently working in Human Resources. Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff.
How do you thrive at home?
I spent most of my early twenties studying theatre, learning how to play and create, collaborate, and perform. Theatre taught me how to think on my feet, quite literally, and follow my ideas and interests, no matter how trivial or silly they seemed. It also allowed me understand how creativity fuels so many different kinds of work.
While I chose not to continue to pursue a career in theatre, creativity is the backbone of my everyday happiness. My creative practice is sometimes as small as writing a little bit every day, and sometimes it’s as involved as spending most of my spare time helping out on a friend’s theatre show. I’ve taken clowning classes, sung in choirs, and taught myself how to knit.
Connected to creativity is my love of learning. I’m a very curious person, and I love knowing that there will always be something new for me to learn. One of the reasons that I initially pursued theatre was because I was interested in experiencing different ways of learning. I wanted to pursue a form of learning that was as embodied as it was cerebral. This interest in different forms of learning has led me to complete a 700-hour certificate in holistic bodywork and massage, and take academic courses in critical theory, anatomy and physiology, and psychology.
While most of what helps me to thrive involves socializing, I also need a good amount of reflective downtime. Whether I’m reading a novel, listening to music, or doing restorative yoga, taking the time to be quiet and slow down keeps me balanced and content.
How do you thrive at work?
Curiosity is what helps me to thrive at work.
I’m interested in considering things and processes, the small details and the larger threads. Similar to my love of learning that nourishes me outside of my work life, it is curiosity that keeps me engaged within my work life. Curiosity keeps me grounded and present. It keeps me asking questions of my work and myself. It leads me to connect to, and collaborate with, my colleagues.
I like curiosity because there is something whimsical about it. It leads me towards focus and seriousness in my work, but it’s a word that has a sense of movement and lightness to it.
Anna Busch has a BFA in Performance from Simon Fraser University and a 700-Hour Certificate in Holistic Bodywork and Massage from the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage. She is a temp with Staff Finders, and has worked in a variety of UBC places including Human Resources, the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, and Development and Alumni Engagement.
By Miranda Massie on June 8, 2016
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff.
First time UBC dads on how they Thrive
This month we are celebrating first time dads at UBC in a special Father’s Day feature. We asked new dads from across campus to share some tips on how they thrive while being parents to some pretty adorable kids!
Ali Mojdehi, Operations Manager in Campus Security
“When you become a parent, you become aware of feelings that you always knew you had but never fully felt them until that moment. Those feelings help me to thrive and develop as a father.”
Eli Puterman, Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology
“Daily, my husband and I take a long walk with Zev in his stroller along the seawall. Not only are we taking care of our health (I am a health psychologist!), but we get the chance to be together, talk about our dreams, and show Zev every puppy, bird, and tree along the way.”
Jarrad Wiens, Admin and HR Manager, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
“Try out a few different baby carriers and find one that’s comfortable. Going out with your baby and having your hands free is very liberating. Our friends were shocked to see us out for a drink just a few days after coming home from the hospital, thanks to our trusty carrier.”
Matt Dolf, Director, Strategic Support, Wellbeing at UBC
“I remind myself to be completely present with our daughter when I spend time with her. No phones, no tv, no distracted thoughts… just really focus on her expressions and engage fully in whatever we are doing together.”
On June 19, be sure to say a big thank you in recognition of all of the dads, parents and father figures out there!
By Miranda Massie on November 1, 2015
UBC Events and Activities
UBC Thrive Week: Nov 2-6
Happy Thrive! Participate in Thrive 2015 by attending an event, trying out an activity, or by learning a new skill. There are over 40 ways to engage with Thrive this year, including visiting the Kick-Off Celebration, attending a film screening, checking out an art exhibit, learning more about positive mental health, and attending our wrap-up Zumba event!
UBC Thrive is a university-wide initiative designed to promote building positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff.
Piece of Mind Art Exhibition: Nov 4-21
Piece of Mind is an art exhibition showcasing pieces of work that answer the question: What does psychological health mean to you? Piece of Mind aims to inspire members of the community, through artistic expression, to live psychologically healthy lifestyles by adopting healthy coping skills.
Submissions will be available for public viewing with the hopes of facilitating a platform that will transfer these pieces of art into pieces of individual inspiration and motivation. The exhibition will be held in the Hatch Art Gallery in the new AMS Student Nest.
The Screening Mammography Program is providing free screening mammograms for female students, staff, faculty and university neighbours ages 40 and up. While no referral is required, it is recommended women between the ages of 40 – 49 and 75+ discuss the benefits and limitations of screening mammography with their doctors. A referral is required for women under age 40 who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. To book a mammogram at the UBC Screening Mammography Clinic at the University Services Building, call 1.800.663.9203 or 604.877.6187.
Lace Up for Kids: Nov 26
UBC Recreation, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Rare Disease Foundation are teaming up to transform the world of rare disease care. Lace Up for Kids is a student-driven fundraiser supporting important, life-changing rare disease research, culminating in a community skating celebration at the UBC Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Arena on Thursday, November 26.
Join UBC students, staff, faculty, and community members and make a difference in a child’s life.
More information about Lace Up For Kids: www.recreation.ubc.ca/2015/10/14/lace-up-for-kids-november-26
Are you interested in connecting with UBC colleagues across campus and making a difference in your community? TEAM UBC is a group of UBC staff, faculty, students and alumni who have come together to participate in the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer event benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation. To learn more about TEAM UBC and the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer, please join us for the following orientation:
Thursday, November 26, 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm in Michael Smith Labs, Room 101 (2185 East Mall)
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Flu Shot Clinics: November 2015
Beat the flu! Get vaccinated. Getting your flu shot is easy. Clinics are held at convenient locations/times across campus Nov. 2-30, just before the beginning of the flu season. Vaccinations are available on a first-come, first-served basis for all registrations. Register online to secure a vaccine on a day that suits you, during a morning or afternoon session.
Off-Campus Events and Activities
Diwali Fest 2015- Various locations: Nov 3-15
Diwali Fest is an annual South Asian arts and culture festival celebrating the universal light that exists in everyone. This growing event has shown increasing interest from the general public; we are proud to have had a total audience of over 15,000 people. Each year’s festival engages dozens of artists in events across the city, the majority of which are open and free to the general public, by suggested donation, or at very affordable ticketed prices.
Partners in Parks is pulling out all the stops and partnering with 365 Productions to bring the garden at Bear Creek Park to life. Combining digital technology with the natural landscape of the garden, this all new experience of sound and light will truly amaze.
Sports Day in Canada-Various locations: Nov 14-21
Be active and join in Sports Day in Canada. Try out free activities and local events and be one of over a million Canadians who are coming together for the love of sport.
Walk Richmond: Various dates
This free guided walk series is for people of all ages and fitness levels and is led by a led by a member of the Richmond Fitness and Wellness Association. Come connect with other walkers in Richmond.
By Colin Hearne on October 6, 2015
‘The average Canadian worker spends about 60% of their waking hours at work’
(Source: Creating a Healthy Workplace Nutrition Environment, 2012).
What happens in the workplace can have a huge impact on employees’ overall health. In the spirit of October being Healthy Workplace Month, we here at Healthy UBC wanted to take this opportunity to delve into the topic of Workplace Health – and in particular focus on one area gaining more and more importance.
The Mighty Three!
First, when building a healthy workplace: what do the experts say is important, or necessary? According to Excellence Canada, anon-profit company that is dedicated to advancing organizational performance across Canada, there are three elements that make up a healthy workplace:
- Health & Lifestyle Practices;
- Physical Environment and Occupational Health & Safety; and
- a Workplace Culture and a Supportive Environment.
To be a healthy workplace is to take all these things into consideration. It’s to be a place where they are encouraged to look after their own health both at work and at home, where employees have a safe and clean work environment, and crucially where they have strong and supportive working relationships that give them a sense of control and influence over what happens to them.
The Importance of a Positive Workplace Culture and a Supportive Environment
A supportive workplace culture is the bedrock of a healthy workplace. It supports and enables the other two elements. Culture is created, reinforced, and sustained by ongoing patterns of relationships and communications that are known to have an important influence on mental and physical health. You will find an organization’s values reflected in its culture – such values as respect, diversity, quality, and teamwork.
Developing a Supportive Environment at Work: What You Can Do Today
‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ – Why not take a minute today to try some of these creative and simple acts:
- Random acts of kindness: Make it a point to not leave on Friday afternoon until you have performed an act of kindness for a co-worker. Help them with a project, grab them a cup of coffee, or buy them lunch.
- Leave them a note: Write a note of thanks to your co-worker specifically describing what they do in the workplace that makes them stand out.
- Celebrate successes: When one of your coworkers reaches a goal or a milestone, do what you can to help them celebrate! Bake a cake, decorate their workspace, or sing a song of celebration.
- Become a UBC Health Contact: Be the person in your office or unit to share healthy information for UBC employees. Get the news about the latest corporate fitness discounts, free workshops and free trainings, and spread the healthy news to your peers. Click here for more information.
- Tell your team: If a co-worker goes above and beyond, put it in writing and praise them in a group email or note!
- Support them when they’re down: Consider how you can support co-workers under stress.
- Start a peer-to-peer recognition team: If your workplace doesn’t already have one, why not approach your manager with this idea? Develop a team to recognize your co-workers. Rotate the members on an annual basis so everyone has a chance to serve.
Make It Happen
One excellent way to build a system of support, recognise achievements, and build a culture of rewarding is connect with UBC Thrive. There are four different ways that you and your group can participate:
- Become a Special Event Partner: Plan and promote a special Thrive event for students, faculty or staff, or for everyone in the UBC community
- Become a Thriving Partner: Promote your regularly scheduled event or activity as a “Thrive” initiative, host an event for a specific audience/group
- Become a Promotional Partner: Help promote Thrive at UBC by sharing information about Thrive in your unit, putting up posters or spreading the message through social media
- Become a Faculty Member Partner: Promote Thrive in the classroom or incorporate key messaging into curriculum.
Want to Know More?
By Miranda Massie on October 6, 2015
October is Healthy Workplace Month! Submit your photo for a chance to win a FREE workshop!
Submit a photo of your efforts to “healthify” your department for a chance to win a free workshop. It can be as simple as encouraging colleagues to take the stairs, attending one of our health workshops, hosting a healthy workplace potluck lunch, or creating a health information board. Email your photos to Melissa.email@example.com by 4:30pm on October 9th. Three prizes to giveaway and open to all work locations!
UBC Library Garden Design Consultation: Until Oct. 12
Participate in the consultation process for the re-design of one of the largest public green spaces on campus, Library Garden. Help shape the design for the area, share what is important to you about this space as well as what opportunities you see for its future.
United Way Week of Caring: Oct. 13-16
Join the campus for seven fun and unique events to kick off the 2015 UBC United Way Fundraising Campaign. Last year, UBC raised over $570,000 to help school-aged children succeed throughout the Lower Mainland.
UBC’s Apple Festival at the Botanical Garden: Oct. 17-18
A family event for all ages, the UBC Apple Festival celebrates one of British Columbia’s favourite fruits. The Apple Festival is a great opportunity to discover more about this delicious fruit and have a whole lot of fun doing it!
Fall MOGA (Yoga at MOA): Starts Oct 19
Relax and recharge with yoga in the Great Hall at the Museum of Anthropology! 3 classes offered per week: Monday 12:30pm-1:30pm, Wednesday 5:15pm-6:15pm, Thursday 5:15pm-6:16pm. Unlimited passes are $80 and 5 class passes ($45) and drop-ins are available ($12). Please contact Jill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information of if you wish to purchases a pass.
Great Trek Run, Relay & Walk: Oct. 30
Celebrate the 1922 student march that led to the build of the UBC Vancouver Campus in Point Grey. There are three ways you can participate: as an individual on an 8km run; as part of a four-person relay; or as a walker of the 3.5 km route. The start and finish is at the Great Trek Cairn and the route is along the scenic part of south Main Mall through Hawthorn Place. Register by Oct. 26.
- Post-event pancake lunch, smoothies and celebrations.
- Family friendly; if you’re walking, feel free to bring kids along too.
Save the Date – Thrive 2015: Nov. 2-6
UBC Thrive is a campus-wide initiative designed to promote building positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff. Thrive builds understanding, critical thinking and dialogue about mental health, and highlights UBC’s visions, strategies and accomplishments in the promotion of mental well-being. Join us by attending an event, participating in an activity or by trying a new skill.
Off Campus Events and Activities
Explore the world of sustainable energy from a kid’s point of view at the grand opening of the new fully interactive Kids Gallery at the Surrey Museum.
The Turkey Trot is not your average run, but instead an experience. With great food, a family friendly course and wonderful volunteers, the Turkey Trot is a run to remember for the ages. The Granville Island Turkey Trot has also added a Kids Fun Run in addition to its traditional 10km race!
The Great BC Shake Out: Oct. 15
To help the campus community prepare for an earthquake, the University is participating in the province-wide ShakeOut BC earthquake preparedness exercise on October 15 at 10:15 a.m. when we’ll Drop, Cover and Hold on.
Practicing what to do in an earthquake helps you be ready to react quickly, as does knowing what to do afterwards.
Vancouver Writers Fest: Oct. 20-25
The Festival is a celebration of story, told by authors, poets, spoken word performers, and graphic novelists. The Festival can reignite a teacher’s passion for teaching, mesmerize a teenager who rarely looks up from her phone or engage a child who is a reluctant reader.
Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum: Oct. 28-30
See you for some ghoulishly good times! The Village, the Farmhouse and the carousel will all be open for family fun and adorned in a spooky but friendly fashion.
Alive@ work: October Edition
How to work out smarter, recipes to savour fall flavours, breast cancer prevention therapies, understanding your core values and more.