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.
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 5, 2016
Whether you’re trying to build your overall wellbeing, or looking to reduce stress, lose weight or make new friends, walking can help you on your way!
Take advantage of a variety of walking opportunities and tips to help you get started this fall:
Week 1: Try a Walking Meditation
Looking for a way to de-stress while being active? Try this simple walking meditation that will leave you more grounded and present with time in your day to spare.
Week 2: Book a Walking Meeting
Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean that we should stay inside. Invite your colleagues for a walking meeting and check two things off your to-do list at once.
Week 3: Explore Campus Walking Groups
Do you enjoy physical activity more within a group? Try joining one of the many walking groups on and around campus, or start your own.
Week 4: Grab a Four-Legged Friend
Dog walking is a great way to be active and reduce stress. Whether you have a pet or borrow one from a friend, the health benefits make this a must try.
Fitting in Fitness is a health series for staff and faculty that shares tips and suggestions on how to increase physical activity.
Posted in Fitting In Fitness, Physical Health | Tagged easy, Exercise, fitness, fitting in fitness, friends, physical health, sedentary behaviour, UBC, Walking, walking group, workout | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on September 13, 2016
UBC Based Activities and Events:
Mindfulness programming is back: Fall 2016
Build your personal resilience by participating in evidence-based mindfulness programs for staff and faculty.
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge: Starting October 3
Mindfulness@Work 6-week program: Starting November 7
Sign up while spaces last!
Bodyworks Fitness Centre Free Trial Period: Sept. 6-17
Visit UBC BodyWorks for a free trial of any fitness class! Access to the fitness centre is also included. Try any of the following classes, and be sure to bring a friend:
- Community Fit
- Fit Over 50
- Changing Aging
Schedule details can be found here.
UBC Employees: Receive 10% off Basic Membership Passes when you present your UBC Staff ID Card.
UBC Recreation Free Week: Sept. 12-18
Try out as many classes as you want, for free!
Drop in to fitness, yoga, Pilates, dance, martial arts, boot camps, and aquatics classes for free. No experience is required and all abilities can be accommodated. Try as many classes as you want, and register for your favourites!
Staff Welcome Back BBQ: Sept. 14
This annual event is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a complimentary lunch, live entertainment, information booths, and the camaraderie of your fellow UBC staff colleagues.
UBC Homecoming: Sept 15-17
This year’s Homecoming will feature a pep rally and BBQ, the Great Thunderbird Trek, and a street party concluding with the big game against the University of Regina Rams. Come out, cheer on your Thunderbirds and show your UBC pride.
Harvest Feastival: Sept. 22
Kick off the new school year in style by treating your taste buds to an epic outdoor feast, followed by six exclusive shows and exhibits in UBC’s Arts and Culture District.
Ticket price includes a generous family-style dinner and all the after-dinner festivities and staff and faculty tickets are only $30. Tickets and info are available at the Harvest Feastival website
Movement Co. is back! Fall 2016
Registration is open for UBC Movement Co. This free social club will get you moving in free, fun, and easy ways! Join your colleagues in walks, events, workshops and . Registrants will be eligible to win free Day of the Longboat participation. Information on all events can be found on the website. Register now!
Join Step It Up: Fall 2016
Whether you’re trying to build your overall sense of wellbeing, reduce stress, make new friends, or reduce your risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease, walking can help you on your way. Join in for free lunch-time walks. Meeting place is the north-facing entrance of the SRC unless otherwise specified.
Partner with Thrive 2016: Register by Oct. 7
UBC’s largest mental health initiative is back and will run Oct.31-Nov. 4, 2016. Thrive is a university-wide initiative designed to promote building positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff. Interested in hosting an event or partnering this year? Register here. Stay tuned for more information, the events calendar, a photo contest and more!
UBC United Way Kick-off Week of Caring: Oct. 11-14
The Great Pancake Race VIII: Oct. 11
A community-building, awareness-raising, kick-off event for UBC’s United Way campaign. Bring a great sense of humor, spirit and energy and get together over your lunch for a relay-race involving frying pans and flipping pancakes. Prizes to be won, including best costumes!
Turkey 2K Trot: Oct. 12 (Info TBA)
DAE and United Way – Stretch for a Cause: Oct.14
Join in another United Way Stretch for a Cause at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre. Get out of the office, stretch out, and be inspired about what United Way is doing in your community. What to bring? A yoga mat and donation to the United Way.
By Miranda Massie on May 3, 2016
Fitting in Fitness is a health series for staff and faculty that shares tips and suggestions on how to increase physical activity.
May marks the David Suzuki Foundation 30X30 Nature Challenge that encourages Canadians to spend 30 minutes in nature every day for 30 days. “Time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier and less stressed. It increases creativity and lowers risk of heart attacks. It even makes us nicer, more empathetic humans, with more meaningful relationships and increased community involvement.”
Take advantage of these great tips and resources for fitting in fitness outside this month!
Think your neighbourhood park is just for kids? Think again! Try these easy bodyweight exercises that can be done outdoors.
Race Training Basics (Infographic)
Use this fun and easy to follow infographic to help get you on the right track to racing success!
Includes tips for hosting a walking meeting, walking maps and trail routes.
This 10-minute Fit and Flexible yoga workout is designed to be mobile friendly. Click here for a list of free mobile friendly workout videos.
Or, download the Vancouver Trees app and infuse some education into your next walk.
Check out some of our past features and find your passion outdoors this season:
By Melissa Lafrance on March 1, 2016
This month’s Thriving Campus feature is Nicole Fetterly, Manager of Nutrition & Wellness in Student Housing and Hospitality Services.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff.
How do you thrive at Work?
As a busy working mom, it’s hard to prioritize myself and my health. My number one strategy is to start the day on the right foot. I have a hard time eating breakfast in the morning (as do about 50% of the clients I’ve presented to or counseled) with all I have to do to get out the door with the kids. So instead of going without eating, grabbing ‘just a banana’ or stopping at Starbucks, I make a green smoothie every morning.
Here’s my simple green smoothie recipe for 2 people:
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups spinach or kale
- 1 cup cucumber
- ¼ cup fresh mint or parsley
- 2 tablespoons spirulina
- 1 pear or 1 cup mango (or other light coloured fruit—I love berries, but they turn it brown)
- 1.5 cups plain kefir or yogurt
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- 1 cup water or OJ (if just using water, one tablespoon of maple syrup is sometimes needed to taste)
- 1 cup ice (if you like it cold)
This hearty beverage gets me through until lunch and meets half my veggie and fruit servings for the day, plus almost half of my calcium needs.
I’m fortunate to work for UBC Food Services. Not only does this help me to get out and see/taste the business but also to ensure I get my veggies every day. Before working here, I would prioritize the leftovers and veggies for the rest of my family but often run out the door with a box of crackers or whatever was in the fridge for myself. Veggies were rare!
The other thing that keeps me thriving at work is the amount of walking I get to do. I park 10 minutes away from my office, which gets me to almost 5,000 steps just to the office and back to the car. Then all I need is one other meeting across campus and I can reach 10,000 steps a day, easily. If I don’t happen to have a meeting across campus, I try to find someone to have a walking meeting with or just a fun walk. I’m looking forward to the Wreck Beach stairs this summer…
How do you thrive at Home?
Lucky for me, my profession and my life’s passion intersect in the kitchen, which is truly the centre of our home. We prioritize family dinner every night and encourage the kids to get involved in cooking whenever possible or at least the discussion about our food choices. I find cooking to be very relaxing—especially if I have the opportunity to multitask and catch up on my Netflix or a Facetime call. But it takes work—every weekend we make our meal plan for the week and get the ingredients.
Being away from the kids at work all day makes it challenging to get formal exercise. My hot yoga class takes a solid two hours to go to and that is hard to find time for. Instead, I try and build activity in as a family, whether a fun dance party, yoga or stretching, a walk around the block in the evening or a weekend day on the ski hill.
But my number one way I take care of myself at home is a hot bath! I love to add essential oils like eucalyptus or citrus. Warm water is so soothing and the bathroom is usually the quietest room in the house. I’m saving up for a hot tub so I can enjoy this same luxury in the fresh air, surrounded by trees, under the stars…
Nicole Fetterly, a Registered Dietitian, is the Nutrition & Wellness Manager in Student Housing and Hospitality Services. Nicole is passionate about helping people make the best food choices they can for themselves and for a sustainable food system.
After graduating from UBC’s integrated dietetic program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, she worked for Vancouver Coastal Health in clinical dietetics. She was the Nutrition Operations Manager at Choices Markets, an independent chain of 10 natural and organic food stores in British Columbia. She was named Star Woman in Grocery for 2015 by Canadian Grocer magazine.
Nicole has extensive experience writing and contributes to newsletters, blogs and other social media, as well as features on television and radio. She has an ongoing private practice and provides support for the food industry on product design and nutrition labeling.
Her role at UBC is brand new! Since October, 2015, Nicole has been providing one-on-one counseling and educational outreach to students in residence, supporting Employee Wellness initiatives, consulting for the UBC Food Services culinary team to increase the healthy offerings and improve the labeling of foods served on campus and writing articles and recipes for her blog www.food.ubc.ca/nutrition
By Miranda Massie on February 3, 2016
UBC Events and Activities
UBC Travelling Health Fair: Registration open now
The fair is back for another year! Sign up while spots last to receive your free, individual lung health assessment. Take a breather while you have a lung health check-up, to learn about risk factors and more!
Lunar New Year Festival: Feb 5, 2016
The UBC Centennial Lunar New Year Festival is an intercultural celebration of Lunar New Year traditions, for all members of the UBC community. It is a great opportunity to get involved in one of the campus’ largest cultural events
UBC Step It Up Guided Walks: Feb 11 & 17, 2016
Interested in a Glow in the Dark Park Walk? Perhaps Nitobe Memorial Garden is more your speed? Join UBC Recreation for upcoming guided groups walks around campus!
TED 2016 Livestream Sessions: Feb 16-19, 2016
The Faculty of Education is pleased to provide a free live stream of this year’s TED talks in the Scarfe Building. Join in and learn about ideas worth spreading!
TEAM UBC Ride to Conquer Cancer Orientation: March 2, 2016
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. Join TEAM UBC in August 2016 as they make the 250 kilometer journey from Cloverdale to Seattle, either as a rider or a crew member. To learn more attend the orientation:
- Wednesday, March 2 from 12 pm to 1 pm
- Michael Smith Labs, Auditorium (Room 102) 2185 East Mall, UBC Vancouver Campus
- Please RSVP to email@example.com
CIS Men’s Basketball National Championships: March 17-20, 2016
The UBC Thunderbirds will welcome the country’s best teams when UBC hosts the CIS Men’s Basketball National Championship. This marks the first time in 33 years that UBC has had the opportunity to host Canada’s national basketball championships.
Storm The Wall: March 20-23, 2016
Storm The Wall is an iconic UBC event. There any many ways to experience Storm The Wall from individual and team participation to spectating and attending festivals!
Off Campus Events and Activities
Alive @ Work: Feb 2016
Another great healthy learning tool geared toward the workplace. This month features communications tops, popular exercises, creative recipes and more!
Family Boat Building at Britannia: Feb 6, 2016
Come explore Britannia Shipyard’s West Coast Maritime Heritage by building your own hand-held wooden boat with the Britannia staff and Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society boat building experts.
Recreation Surrey Family Day: Feb 8, 2016
There is something for everyone to do – Join us for free activities, music, crafts and more for the whole family. Multiple locations participating!
Emergency Preparedness Workshops-Burnaby: Feb 9-16, 2016
Ensure that you, your family and your neighbourhood are prepared before a disaster strikes. Learn how to minimize home hazards, assemble emergency supplies and develop a family reunion plan.
Lunar Fest Vancouver: Feb 12-14, 2016
Celebrate the year of the monkey with a weekend full of cultural events including dance and drumming performances, community festivals, fortune telling, arts and crafts, and more!
Year of the Monkey Temple Fair: Feb 14, 2016
To celebrate Chinese New Year, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden presents a one-day community festival based on the largest and most important festival of the year in Chinese tradition.
Wild About Vancouver: April 16-22 2016
WAV is an outdoor education festival aimed at showcasing fun and learning across the city. They are currently looking for community partners to host events for the upcoming Wild About Vancouver Outdoor Education Festival.
Posted in Community Health News, Events, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tagged activities, Basketball, community health news, events, family day, Lunar New Year, Ride to Conquer Cancer, Storm the Wall, Thunderbirds, Travelling Health Fair, UBC, Walking | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on January 11, 2016
UBC Events and Activities
Our list keeps growing! Be sure to check out the list of on and off-campus corporate discount partners for savings towards your wellbeing.
Yoga at MOA: Starts Jan 11
Looking for an on-campus yoga class with flexible hours, affordable costs and a beautiful location? Try MOGA. Yoga in the Great Hal of the Museum of Anthropology returns again this spring.
Fit Mix Challenge: Jan 15
Come back down to earth after the winter holidays and compete against yourself in a series of fun fitness challenges! Hosted by professional Bird Coop staff and the UBC Recreation Events Team. Register now!
10th Annual Walkabout: Jan 18-March 20
Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings. All community members (staff, faculty, students, alumni, and the community) are encouraged to walk a virtual journey to improve their wellbeing!
UBC Suicide Awareness Day: Jan 27
Reaching out early and preventing suicide requires everyone’s help. Show your support for suicide awareness and prevention: Attend an event and wear orange on Suicide Awareness Day.
On the Button Curling Bonspiel: Jan 31
Sweep those winter blues away with a fun night of curling. Whether it’s your first time on the ice or you’re a seasoned sweeper, this tournament is a great way to try a national pastime. Register now!
30 Day Online Mindfulness Challenge: Registration open
Now is your chance to participate in an innovative online training focused on reducing stress, while increasing joy and peak performance in all areas of life including leadership, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and decision-making in the workplace. Click here for more info.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month: January 2016
Sexual assault affects people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. Join the conversation, keep learning, and stand up against sexual assault. You can help end the violence.
- Wear denim and a Denim Day sticker (January 20) to show that you’re standing up against sexual assault.
- Attend an event
‘Step It Up’ Walking Programs: Ongoing
Join the movement! The Step it Up campaign highlights walking programs that are free or inexpensive, and designed for all students, staff, faculty and community members. Check out upcoming guided walks including a Dog Walkers Stroll and an Art Lovers walk!
Toonie Swims at the Aquatic Centre: Ongoing
Get your swim on and join in for Toonie Swims on Saturday and Sunday evenings, 6:30pm – 9:00pm. $2 admission for everyone!
Off-Campus Events and Activities
Run to Quit-smoking cessation program: Register from Jan 6-March 31
Try a new 10-week smoking cessation program of the Canadian Cancer Society and Running Room Ltd. Smokers who join (in-person/on-line) are coached in a step-by-step way to use running to help quit. Use of running while quitting increases the likelihood of success by helping smokers cope with discomfort, cravings and establish new habits.
Monthly Birding Walks: Jan 16 (Surrey)
Join a local naturalist for a series of free monthly walks to discover how these amazing creatures are adapted to their habitat and why our local urban parks are so important for their survival. A great way to get out and explore Surrey’s parks! Get the Free Birding Walks Brochure here.
Steveston Icebreaker 8KM Run/Walk: Jan 17 (Richmond)
Join this fun, flat and fast 8k to kick off the year on a scenic course along the river. Hot soup, pizza and door prizes headline the indoor post-race festivities at the Steveston Community Centre.
Arthritis and You – Understanding Arthritis: Jan 17 (Richmond)
Get a clear picture of what is really happening in your body when we talk about Arthritis. This will aid you in understanding the importance of self-management (pain management, medications, exercise and complementary therapies, etc.) and learn about the tools and aids to make life easier.
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival: Jan 19-Feb 7 (Vancouver)
This festival features groundbreaking work in live performing arts and is a broker of international partnerships, a meeting place for creative minds, and an incubator of brilliant new work.
Personal, Family & Community Emergency Preparedness Training: Jan 20 (Coquitlam)
This session uses an earthquake scenario to help you become better prepared at home. Topics include, earthquake damage/hazards, how to protect the inside and outside of your home/place of business, family communication and reunification and assembling emergency supplies.
Alive@Work Online Magazine: January 2016
Cold and flu myths, winter skin care secrets, how to pick a personal trainer, brown bag lunch ideas and more!
The Wellness Show: Feb 12-14 (Vancouver)
Attend the 24th Annual Wellness Show. Cooking stage, fitness demos, organic market, Healthy Families Area, lots of exhibitors and more! View a 2016 event poster here. Entry Fee is $12.50 per person.
Posted in Community Health News, Events, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tagged Arthritis, arts, community, curling, education, events, festival, health, Mindfulness, smoking, swimming, UBC, Walking, wellbeing | Leave a response
By Guest Contributor on December 2, 2015
Did you know that you can meditate while you walk? There are many types of meditation techniques, and walking meditation is an easy one that you can do anytime, anywhere. Try this at work, or while walking around campus.
How do you do a walking meditation?
Walking meditation is simply done by paying full attention to the sensations of your body when you walk.
- As you lift your right foot, notice the weight of your leg and how your balance adjusts. Think to yourself ‘right’ as your foot touches the ground. As your left leg lifts up notice the change in balance.
- Lift your left foot, and think to yourself ‘left’ as your left foot touches the ground.
- Notice what your body is doing. There is a lot going on – balance, weight shifting, muscles contracting and releasing. Notice how your weight starts on the heel and shifts to the front of your foot.
- The focus is on your feet feeling and touching the ground.
- It’s as simple as paying attention to your body as it walks.
- Your pace can be slow, regular or quick. At some point, try walking very, very slowly in some place where you won’t feel self-conscious (if no one is around, or at home). You will be surprised at how you will notice all the work your body is doing to complete a seemingly simple task.
Why would you want to do this?
This is a mindfulness practice, which means centering and grounding yourself in the present moment by using your body’s senses. When you are being ‘mindful’, you are bringing your attention completely to the present moment, which helps to refocus your attention away from ruminating about a past event, or worrying about some future event.
During your busy work day, it can be mentally difficult to take breaks. Think about all the opportunities you could create for yourself to do a brief walking meditation while you are walking to the printer, to a meeting or heading to the washroom. No one will know you are doing this, and you can grab these wonderful, frequent opportunities for a mindful moment just for yourself.
Walking meditation is a wonderful alternative to the traditional seated meditation, and is great for people who are always on the go.
You can even try a standing meditation when you are waiting for an elevator or the bus. Again, simply notice what your body is doing to just stand, and notice that you are likely not completely still at all. Using the body to ground yourself into the present moment is always available to you, whether seated, standing, walking or running.
Wendy Quan is a certified organizational change manager who has created an innovative way to build personal and organizational change resiliency through meditation and mindfulness. Wendy has a top winning, published paper on this subject with the worldwide Association of Change Management Professionals, speaks at conferences, and has been interviewed a number of times on her success. Wendy is a leader in the change management community and founded the Vancouver Change Management Practitioner’s community of practice. Her career has also included management in human resources, organizational development, leadership coaching and information technology.
Through her change management experience and successful journey through cancer, Wendy delivers results in a practical, open manner that has broad appeal and evidence-based benefits to all levels and roles in organizations.
By Colin Hearne on July 6, 2015
Being out in nature does your body, mind and soul a great deal of good. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. The study took an objective look at 345,143 Dutch people’s medical records, assessing health status for 24 conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases. The records were then correlated with how much green space was located within one kilometre, and three kilometres, of a person’s postal code. Researchers found that those people who lived within one kilometre of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space.
The reality is most of us spend the vast majority of our time inside – with one estimate reporting that the average North American spends 90% of his or her life inside. With July in full swing, let’s remind ourselves that being outdoors can be amazing.
Here are four potential benefits of getting your daily does of “Vitamin Nature”.
1. It can improve your focus
Can’t decide where to go on your next weekend getaway? You might want to consider a trip to the countryside. According to a study published in Psychological Science, interacting with nature gives your brain a break from everyday overstimulation, which can have a restorative effect on your attention levels.
2. It can improve your outlook
If you’re dreading the thought of spending another workout chained to the treadmill, move your run outdoors for a quick burst of happiness. A study from Glasgow University showed that people who walked, biked, or ran in nature had a lower risk of poor mental health than people who worked out indoors.
3. Fresh Air
Sometimes, someone telling you to get some “fresh air” is a subtle way of saying “go away”. As it turns out, outdoor pollution is bad for your health, but indoor pollutants can be far worse. The EPA New England states that indoor pollutants are normally two to five (and up to 100) times higher than outdoor pollutants. According to the California Air Resources Board, “indoor air-pollutants are 25-62% greater than outside levels and this difference poses a serious risk to health.” (source). Such health risks include heart disease, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and asthmatic attacks.
4. Your concentration will improve
Researchers have, in fact, reported that children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. Researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, found that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park than after a walk through a residential neighborhood or downtown area.
Did you know that it is currently FREE for UBC Staff and Faculty to visit the UBC Botanical Gardens or The Nitobe Memorial Gardens. You must have your employee ID to avail of this offer. UBC Community members also receive discounts on the Greenheart Canopy Walkway eco-adventure (only $10) and the Garden’s full lineup of workshops on topics such as Organic Gardening, Botanical Drawing and even an outdoor movie night in celebration of Organic Week. These fun and informative workshops are a great way to learn some new healthy skills and de-stress.
Visit the Walking@UBC page for information on lists of active walking groups and walking related activities at UBC’s Point Grey Campus. All groups and activities welcome newcomers and participants of all abilities. Click here for more information.
Visit the Fitting in Fitness @ UBC page for tips and hints on how to increase physical activity levels. Click here for more information
Visit the Corporate Health, Fitness & Family Discounts page for information on the wide range of Health, Fitness and Family discounts both on and off campus available to UBC Vancouver staff and faculty. Click here for more information.
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
This month features Pooja Khandelwal, Career Navigation and Transition Consultant, in UBC Human Resources.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences from UBC staff members.
What strategies do you use in your work life to help you thrive?
I have a basket of chocolates at my desk as an open invitation to my office colleagues to stop by during the day. While they enjoy a sweet something, I get to enjoy a quick chat! I have the chance to connect with more members on my HR team than I would ever have simply through my work and know them as individuals.
I plan lunch/coffee with different colleagues across campus about twice a week. This enables me not only to leave my workplace and walk across the beautiful campus, and to visit a variety of eateries the campus offers, but also connect with colleagues I wouldn’t have met in the normal course of my work. I become aware of different roles and unique career success stories!
I attend most of the Staff Hot Lunches hosted at St. John’s College. It is a marvelous way to meet our leaders and hear what inspires them to be a part of UBC, their vision and their personal success story. This event allows me to build connections with other staff members, listen to the incredible work they do and share what my role offers.
I believe we are more than the job we do. Connecting with each other enables us to know we matter; is a powerful step to open us to other career possibilities and use the many opportunities at UBC to express and enhance our professional and personal self.
What strategies do you use in your personal life to help you thrive?
Keeping my body and spirit as active as my mind, gives me balance and helps me be myself both at work and outside of it.
The power boost to my day begins with a 30-minute meditation, followed by a grande mug of chai.
I make a conscious choice to walk to work, which allows me the opportunity to breathe in the beauty of the campus. I use the stairs instead of the elevator and by the time I step into office, I am powered up for a day of partnering with staff to maximize their potential.
After work, a run at Spanish banks helps me to put the day in perspective and is a quick self-debrief.
I also enjoy being part of my professional network and am a Board member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Vancouver Chapter, chairing the Coach-giving portfolio. I get to lead an initiative that increases awareness of coaching amongst non-profit organizations and simultaneously promote credentialing among coaches in Western Canada.
But the single most important aspect of my personal life that makes me thrive is my role as a mother. Being a mom gives me continuous incentive to be a better human being at all levels – body, mind and spirit and is the ‘why’ to what I do.
Pooja Khandelwal is the Career Navigation and Transition Consultant in Human Resources, and joined UBC when this role was created in 2012 as the first full-time internal coach at the university. She has a Master’s in Business Administration and is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation. She has previously volunteered at the YWCA, Battered Women’s Support Services, Fraser Health Senior Home and the Minerva Foundation, and is presently a Board member at the ICF Vancouver Chapter. To learn more about her role at UBC click here .
Healthy UBC Summer Career Series- June 18, July 16 & Aug. 20, 2015 @12-1pm
Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in this three-part series to help UBC employees navigate possible career opportunities and create a personalized career development plan. These sessions will provide you with access to thought-provoking questions, links to resources, tools, and web sites within UBC that may support you in your career planning process. For more information click here.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Mental Health, Physical Health, Spot Light, Thriving Campus | Tagged career at ubc, careers, coaching, Pooja Khandelwal, thrive, thriving campus, Walking, work | Leave a response