By Colin Hearne on April 8, 2015
This month features Patty Gallivan, Event Planner and Executive Assistant at the Liu Institute for Global Issues.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences from UBC staff, faculty and students.
What strategies do you use in your work life to help you thrive?
I have never quite thought of my daily activities at work to be strategic in terms of thriving. There is a clear choice I make every day: wake up happy and look forward to what possibilities the day might bring me.
At the University, there are so many opportunities to make oneself thrive. Here are just some of the opportunities I have been fortunate to take advantage of:
UBC Sustainability Coordinator: I play an active role with other UBC employees who want to learn more about sustainable initiatives on campus. We meet regularly to exchange best practices, learn what is new on campus, and educate ourselves on sustainability. The great part about this program is being able to share the knowledge with people at your workplace and instill these best practices in your very own building
Liu Institute Running Group: A couple of years ago, myself and three colleagues decided to run from the Liu Institute on campus, down to Macdonald and 4th. We truly enjoyed this experience. It was a way for us to engage in casual conversation, while elevating our heartrate… and it was fun! Other people in our building and other departments caught wind of what we were doing. Now, our running group has grown and we run twice a week (Tuesday and Thursdays) around the beautiful endowment lands. Our group is always looking for new members. Please email me if interested in joining us.
Meditating at Nitobe Gardens: My mind races like mad at times, especially before I lay down to rest. This can be problematic on my sleep and impact my overall wellbeing. I find taking a couple of moments to listen to my breath truly helps to quiet the mind. I can’t think of a better place to practice this moment of stillness then our very own Nitobe Gardens; a place of zen.
UBC United Way Loaned Representative: A couple of years ago, I took on the role of a UBC United Way Loaned Representative (Campaign Associate). This experience was truly life-changing. I learned about all the great work the United Way does for our community, and was able to work with different departments across the UBC campus. I encouraged and helped these departments fundraise for the campaign through events and public speaking. I formed lasting bonds with others across campus and overcame my fear of publicly speaking. I thrived that year in terms of professional development.
What strategies do you use in your personal life to help you thrive?
My personal life mirrors that of my work in terms of thriving. I try seizing as many opportunities as possible for me to grow as an individual.
These include the following:
Spending time with loved ones: I can’t stress enough how important it is to spend quality time with the ones you love. These people are your foundation for creating a happy and fulfilled life. Knowing that you always have a cheerleader in your corner, a hand to hold onto or someone to share a real good belly laugh with is simply invaluable.
Coaching and Mentoring: Last year I joined Team in Training as a mentor. This is a running organization that raises money for blood cancers. This year, I intend to coach. Having the opportunity to watch members of my community strive to reach distances and meet goals they never knew they were capable of is amazing. Also, joining the fight to end cancer is both empowering and personal for me.
Volunteer Board Position: I am Chair of Monthly Programming (Education) for Meeting Professionals International (MPI) BC Chapter. Each year I strategize with a team of meeting professionals to provide education for our members. We implement events that are education focused and allow networking opportunities for meeting professionals. As an active board member for MPI, I have the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. This has strengthened my skill set and expanded my career network.
Healthy Life Balance: My week day routine consists of waking up pretty early so I can either do some strength training or yoga. I try to allow for one long run on the weekend and often ride my bike to work. I try to fill my fridge with as many healthy food choices as possible, but always allow myself to treats on the weekend. Because what good is life if you can’t have a cupcake? I firmly believe that implementing healthy choices into your daily routine is vital to longevity.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story at both the workplace and at home. Truly looking forward to hear your story on how you thrive at home and the workplace. Are you ready to share?
Patty Gallivan is the Executive Assistant to the Liu Institute’s Director and among other duties, and she manages the coordination of events for the UBC community and the Greater Vancouver area. Patty is also a UBC Sustainability Coordinator, a member of the UBC United Way Steering Committee and plays an active role in promoting UBC Healthy Workplace Initiatives at her unit level and across campus. Patty joined the Liu Institute through UBC Staff Finders and came to UBC from CN Rail in Calgary.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Mental Health, Physical Health, Spot Light, Thriving Campus | Tagged activities, balance, mentoring, Patty Gallivan, thriving campus, Volunteering, wellbeing, work-life | 1 Response
By Miranda Massie on October 1, 2013
Whether at the UBC campus or across the Lower Mainland, being a member of any large community can be isolating. It can be difficult to establish connections with others while balancing our daily responsibilities; however, these connections are an integral component of our social health. Being socially healthy is just as important to our overall wellbeing as exercising or eating right. However, this idea of social health is definitely more abstract than knowing to eat 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
After doing some reading, I have narrowed the list down to one tangible thing that we can do to foster social connections, and in turn, bolster our wellbeing: give back through volunteering.
One way to combat feelings of isolation or loneliness is to get involved with an organization that gives back to others. Volunteering not only serves as a way to expand our social network, but it lets us to spend time with people who have similar interests.
The Health Benefits of Volunteerism
• Volunteering positively impacts our psychological wellbeing as it can help us feel better about ourselves.
• Volunteering provides opportunity for meeting new people in new settings, which results in positive mental health effects.
• Helping others is a self-validating experience: knowing we can make a difference in the world can serve as protection against depression.
• Community participation through volunteering has been shown to boost self confidence and self-esteem
• Giving back to the community through volunteering can reduce feelings of alienation and lead to greater feelings of social responsibility.
The benefits do not stop there, nor are they limited to individuals. According to the United Nations, “volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation”
As Canadians, we seem to be headed in the right direction when it comes to our social health. In 2010, 47% of Canadians 15 years and older were involved in volunteer work. Statistics also show that people who are involved in community activities as children are more likely to become involved in volunteering and service organizations as adults. This provides a great motivation for involving our children and family members in our volunteer activities.
Visit the Go Volunteer site to find listings of opportunities in your area, or start now by participating in the My Health My Community Survey project.
Jones, F. (2000). “Community involvement: the influence of early experience.” Canadian Social Trends. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-008. No. 57.
Miller, K. D., & Schleien, S. J., Rider, C., Hall, C. , Roche, M., and Worsley, J. (2002) Inclusive Volunteering: Benefits to Participants and Community. Therapeutic Recreation Journal. Vol. 36, No. 3, 247-259.
Piliavin, Jane Allyn, & Siegl, Erica. (Dec., 2007). Health Benefits of Volunteering in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 48, No. 4 pp. 450-464.
Wilson, John. (2000). Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 26, pp. 215-240.