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Employee Wellness News

Posted: August 1, 2022

September 2022 Employee Wellness Newsletter

What does a light bulb have to do with your wellness? New in-person classes at City Center, new monthly webinars, Monday mindsets, cooking classes, pet therapy & so much more wellness trends in the news!

How many wellness experts does it take to change  a light bulb? One but the lightbulb has to want to change. 

Wellness Wire

We know change isn't easy.  Many times the simplest change - like a light bulb- can be the most difficult depending on a number of factors.

Location, of course, is one. If the bulb is hard to reach and it’s going to take extra effort to get to, chances are we’ll put it off. Our vulnerability around behaviors is much the same. If some of our habits lead to dark places and are difficult to unravel we don’t always feel comfortable with that process. So, just like that dusty bulb sitting there all spent (you know where it is) we put it off or avoid it. 

 Resources and suport. Do have an extra light bulb handy? ;)  Many times it is not a one-person job or we need a ladder! And if we don’t feel like we have the resources to change, we're easily a little lost in the process. The HOW is a hindrance. We all need people to come alongside us at points in our lives to help us through the process.  

 Motivation. Have you ever watched the slow-blinking fade of a light bulb and waited for weeks after it finally died to actually do something about it? We’ll operate just like that. Gradually fading, at times mustering a tiny burst of energy and spark, then sputtering along until we exhaust ourselves and go dark. There are some reading this who may feel this way now.

 Here’s the point of the light bulb joke: It’s easy to say you have to want to change.  However, depending on the behavior, our support system, surroundings, and motivation, even the simplest of changes can be the most difficult to carry out and maintain.  Which is why it's so important we collectively support each other and use our APS wellness and benefits resources. 

 Just like light bulbs are connected to a source that needs constant renewal to shine - so do we. When we’re stressed and burdened by life or job dissatisfaction, it becomes a strain on our mental, emotional and physical systems. Through chronic stress, we become disconnected.  Without a source of regeneration, we burn out. We either need a rest (turn it off!) or a change. 

 Our Open/Switch Enrollment is October 5-19. The theme is Your Benefits Connected. One of the most important connections we can make for our well-being is the one we make with ourselves and the resources around us. The resources that either allow us to switch off and rest or give us energy and renewal. 

This week my encouragement to you is to reconnect with the people, places, and activities that bring you joy, nourish your soul, and ignite your spirit so you can continue to be that bright light to the community we serve.

 Since sometimes it does take a village - or at least a very tall ladder - to change a difficult bulb (I'm not implying you're difficult :), knowing the who, what, where, and how is step #1. Please click on the APS Open/Switch Enrollment page for information on upcoming information sessions and the APS Employee Wellness Fair.


 

APS Employee Wellness Programs & Events

APS Employee Wellness offers many free programs to help all employees (regardless of benefits coverage or full/part-time status) lower their risk for disease, attain lifestyle and weight loss goals as well as manage stress and mental health issues.  

New Monthly Webinars

Every month APS employees now have access to a variety of well-being webinars. Register and receive the recording for on-demand viewing at a time that is convenient for you. All the information is in the Employee Wellness event calendar. The cadence is set every month and the topics change. 

  • Wednesday, Sept. 14, 11:00 -12:00 pm Cigna LifeConnected: 
    Stress Less: Mind and Body Strategies  *Open to all APS employees.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 21, 12:00 -1:00 pm: Wellness Webinar Series-Get up & Go!
  • Thursday, Sept. 22, 12:00 -1:00 pm: Cooking Show Series- My Big Phat Greek Menu!
  • Monday, Sept. 26, 11:15-11:30 am Monday Mindset - Non-Sleep Deep Rest.
  • Wednesday, Sept.28, 8:00-8:15 am or 12:00-12:15 pm: Wellness Wednesday: Prevention Principles. 

Livongo Learning Events

Livongo provides integrated diabetes, blood pressure, and weight management solution with free 1-1 coaching, linked monitors, a free scale, unlimited glucose strips, and more. Every month Livongo offers 20-minute informative webinars on a variety of topics.  These videos are open to all APS employees. Learning events vary by day and time. All events are scheduled in your Employee Wellness Calendar. The videos are available for on-demand viewing and do not expire. 

Virtual and Email Based Wellness Opportunities 

  • Life on Mindfulness: Check out your 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: Open to all APS employees. If you would like help with managing a chronic illness, or weight loss to improve your health, or simply feel better, APS offers free Health Coachingto all APS employees.
  • 30 Ways to Well-being is an email-based program. Register and you will 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.
  • Livongo: Get your life back and manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity with this personalized program- Livongo. The name is short for Live On The Go! Because having a chronic illness can hinder our positive life experiences. We want you to get that back and feel better! Participants receive one on one expert coaching, and integrated tools to manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and weight loss. *This program is free for eligible employees and dependents under APS Benefits.

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. 

New! Group Classes at City Center/Alice & Bruce King Complex 

Class Schedule

  • Monday (virtual) 6:00-6:30 a.m. - Sunrise Yoga link to join is in the APS Employee Wellness event calendar.
  • Monday (in-person) 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. – Gentle Vinyasa Yoga.
  • Thursday (in-person) 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. – BodyBalance - This is a fusion of bodyweight strength, yoga sequencing, flexibility, and core. We blend traditional bodyweight training moves and yoga sequencing with music, tempo, and timing. * Note: No class Thursday, Sept. 1 or 8

About the classes

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

Questions

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

Monthly Wellness Trends

brain fitnessNews: Brain Fitness and Cardio Training Research identify brain dopaminergic function as the probable means by which aerobic activity stimulates growth factors in the brain.       
nutrition and exerciseNutrition: Exercise and Appetite  A recent report in Nutrients examined the connection between physical activity and its impact on both how and what we eat.   
Diet and productivityMind-Body: Diet and Productivity

Is there a link between diet and productivity? Unhealthy late-night snacking may make people less productive at work the next day, according to a study.

Sardine sandwichRecipe:  Sardine Sandwich With Walnut Sauce The nutritional stew in these inexpensive small swimmers includes omega-3 fats, vitamin D and calcium, making this sandwich a power meal to grab hold of.      
curtsy lungeVideo:  Curtsy Lunge

This effective exercise progression uses a weighted bar or dowel and focuses on the entire lower body, particularly the inner and outer thighs.