Employee Wellness News

Posted: May 2, 2023

2023 May Employee Wellness Newsletter

Non-negotiables to honor our well-being, NEW wellness program offerings & more trends in the news!

Picture of mountains and lake with the words: honor your wellbeing don't compromise it.

Wellness Wire - Non-negotiables

I was thinking the other day about elements of my day that I absolutely need to feel and function well. It came out like this: morning motivation/devotion time with my dogs and magical morning elixir (coffee;), movement/exercise, and sleep. 

I realized those are my non-negotiables and I just can't compromise on any of them. When I do, I feel it emotionally, physically, and mentally. There may be days I don't get as much time devoted to any one activity as I want but, as a whole, I do those two things every day and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. 

A non-negotiable is something that's not open for discussion or modification.

It's that boundary we know we have to keep (in any area of our lives) to maintain health, joy, motivation, energy, peace, organization, or psychological safety.  Some of us may draw that line in the sand for work or family but not for ourselves. Or, the line moves from non-negotiable to negotiable and it's eventually erased by other responsibilities.

 This week, my encouragement to you is to consider how our individual and organizational well-being is non-negotiable - it shouldn't be open for discussion.  Because well-being is the foundation by which we operate and interact with others on every level.  Yet we don't always give the totality and integrated nature of 'well-being' the importance it deserves. 

When we don't honor our wellness needs, we're compromising our mental, emotional, and physical well-being and our relationships. 

During this extra-busy time ask yourself, what are those daily actions you need to feel and function well? Honor those actions, and give grace, patience, kindness, encouragement, and validation by advocating wellness for yourself and others - in a holistic way. When we do, we foster an environment of well-being. It lowers stress, and bolsters positivity, productivity, connection, and motivation. Try not to let those non-negotiables of wellness you need to be usurped by someone else's expectations or asks on your time. It's your and your staff's well-being. Honor it. Don't compromise it. 

Keep reading below to learn more about some new, enhanced, and ongoing programs available through APS Employee Wellness. 

Stay connected with APS Employee Wellness through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube! Consider inviting APS wellness for staff PD and reach out to Becky MacGregor at becky.macgregor@aps.edu for more information. Thank you & stay well!

Do You Suffer From Joint & Muscle Pain? 

Hinge  Health is a new virtual physical therapy solution to help people with joint and muscle pain.

Get the relief you need to feel and function better with this NEW virtual physical therapy program by Hinge Health. 

Hinge Health gives you the tools you need to conquer joint and muscle pain including back, neck, knee, and shoulder pain, recover from injuries, prepare for surgery, and stay healthy and pain-free.

Learn more and register for the program. Begin your journey today with a physical therapist and health coach team!

Hinge Health is available at no cost to employees covered under the APS Benefits plans and eligible dependents.   

New!  Expanded Benefits for Weight Loss, Diabetes, Blood Pressure & Mental Health!

A description of the enhanced benefits of livongo.

Manage diabetes, blood pressure, weight and healthy lifestyle goals, and mental health with this integrated wrap-around solution. Livongo is a holistic program that empowers people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other health challenges to feel better and do more. 

This is an integrated solution with free 1-1 health coaching, mental health support, and connected device monitoring.  Depending on your health condition you'll receive a blood pressure cuff, glucose meter/test strips,  and/or connected scale. It's all seamlessly integrated through a mobile app with results you can share with your doctor. 
*This is a free program for all employees and eligible dependents under the APS Benefits plans. 

Getting started is easy!  

  • Text “GO APS” to 85240 to learn more and join
  • Join by visiting Go.Livongo.com/APS/register
  • Or call 800-945-4355 and use the registration code: APS

Register Anytime For The New Wellness at Work Well-being Platform

picture with people eating well, moving and text about the new wellbeing platform.

APS partners with The Solutions Group to bring you a variety of well-being programs as well as the Wellness at Work platform and employee wellness incentive program. We are happy to announce our well-being program had a significant upgrade in the transition to a new platform called Virgin Pulse.

The wellness program through the Solutions Group is still called "Wellness at Work" but the platform is hosted on Virgin Pulse.

The new mobile app has enhanced wellness options, easier access, and simplified activity syncing.

Full-time employees received an invitation email on Jan. 4,18, and Feb. 23 from Wellness at Work  wellnessatwork@phs.org (it's not spam) titled, "Sign up for your NEW well-being portal and start earning today." or "Get started on your wellness journey. Register today!"  

Employees on the previous platform can access your new Wellness at Work platform with the same username & password.  New users can easily register in less than 5 minutes. This is open to all full-time APS Employees. (*Additional instructions are in the APS employee wellness event calendar.)

Note: If you are a full-time APS employee covered as a dependent under the Presbyterian Health Plan, or ANY health plan, register as a 'non-covered' APS employee. If you are a full-time employee NOT covered by APS Benefits plan, register under "non-covered" APS employee. 

The 2023 APS Employee Wellness Incentive Program runs from Jan. 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023. This is a voluntary wellness reward system for all full-time employees. 

Financial Wellness with Nusenda

Nusenda Credit Union has been the Albuquerque Public Schools Federal Credit Union since 1936 and offers comprehensive financial services to APS employees and their family members. 

The APS Employee Wellness Banzai Site offers financial literacy courses and interactive simulations that engage users as they learn about finances and how to build credit, reduce debt and/or save for life expenses like buying a home or car, starting a family, and planning retirement. Take a look at the Nusenda benefits flyer and reach out to Nusenda for more information. 


May Webinars

Every month APS employees have access to a variety of well-being webinars. All webinars are recorded.  All the information and links/QR codes to join are in the Employee Wellness event calendar.  *Register and receive the recording for on-demand viewing at a time that is convenient for you.

  • Every Tuesday in May starting May 2 - 30 ,12:00-1:00 pm - Menopause & A Marvelous Midlife 
  • Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Life on Mindfulness: What is Somatic Mindfulness & How to Practice It
  • Wednesday, May 17, 12:00-1:00 pm - Wellness Webinar: The Link Between Physical Activity & Social Connection
  • Monday, May 22, 11:30-11:45 Mindset Monday- Compassionate Selfcare
  • Wednesday, May 24 8:00 am and 12:00 pm - Empathy and Positive Mental Health (these are 15/20 minute sessions)
  • Thursday, May 25, 12:00-1:00 pm Cooking Show Noon- Burger Night Done Right!

Virtual and Email-Based Wellness Opportunities 

  • Life on Mindfulness: Check out the new Life on Mindfulness website with the password APSLOM. This is a free, flexible program for all employees that offers daily drop-in meditations, new weekly and monthly content, featured meditations, and Saturday workshops. Everything is recorded for on-demand access. Links for daily drop-ins and the Saturday sessions are in the APS Employee Wellness Calendar. Enroll in the Life on Mindfulness Program for all content and email reminders. This site is mobile phone optimized so you can access a wide variety of recorded meditations anytime, anywhere. *The Life on Mindfulness program is open to all APS employees. 
  • Health Coaching: If you would like help with managing a chronic illness and weight loss to improve your health, or to simply feel better, APS offers free health coaching to all APS employees. *Open to all APS employees.
  • 30 Ways to Well-being is an email-based program. Register and receive daily wellness emails with simple yet innovative practices to do every day. This will bring new awareness for you around stress, sleep, movement, nutrition, connection, and more! This is an ongoing program. Enroll and engage at your own pace. *Open to all APS employees.

On-Site Wellness 

Short wellness presentations for school staff and APS departments. We can tailor to your needs and fit time ranges from 15-60 minutes. Some topics include:

  • Just the basics - APS wellness benefits and resources
  • Stress, Burnout, and Resilience
  • Social well-being
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Financial Well-being
  • Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Health
  • Understanding Healthcare & Medical Consumerism

Schedule Pet Therapy

This is for APS employees. If you would like to offer your staff or department a couple of hours of furry-cuddle-stress-relieving therapy time, fill out this request form. Please note that accommodations must be made for any colleagues who have allergies to dogs. 

Group Exercise Classes 

Class Schedule

  • Monday (virtual) 6 to 6:30 a.m.: Sunrise Yoga link to join is in the APS Employee Wellness event calendar.
  • Monday (in-person) 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.: Gentle Vinyasa Yoga. Location: City Center/Rio Grande OR Arroyo Chico

About the classes

  • In-person group exercise classes are at City Center/Alice & Bruce King Complex or Helen Fox.
  • In-person classes are 45 minutes in length and all levels are welcome.
  • Classes are free for APS employees. 


If you have any questions contact Becky MacGregor by email at employee.wellness@aps.edu. 

Fitness, Nutrition, & Wellness Trends In The News!

News: Lift Weights for Better Sleep Quality

According to research, resistance training may be superior for sleep quality improvement than aerobic exercise or a combined weight/cardio workout. As a reminder, all APS benefits plans offer reduced-cost gym membership options!  

Nutrition: 10 Principles for Heart Health Nutrition

May is high blood pressure awareness month. Intending to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association released tips for heart health nutrition. For support with blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and/or diabetes, APS offers Livongo! 

Mind-Body: Exercise, Adolescents and Depression

Offering cardio programs for adolescents may be an effective and powerful way to help ease symptoms of depression. 

Recipe: Steamed Salmon Parcels

The evidence continues to pour in that there is a boatload of reasons to get more omega-3 fatty acids in our diets—making this steamed salmon recipe a heart-healthy win.  

Video: One-Arm Triceps Pushup

This move is an excellent way to work the triceps. Assume a pushup position, bend one arm and powerfully reach the other arm forward, abs engaged.