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Employee Wellness News

Posted: January 3, 2022

January 2022 Employee Wellness Newsletter

What do you need to leave behind from 2021? APS Employee Wellness Programs to kick-start your year and more wellness trends in the news.

There are far, far better things ahead that what we leave behind.

What We Leave Behind

As our well-intentioned enthusiasm for new year resolutions starts to wane, I’d like us to take time this week to consider a different perspective on our wellness.  

  A lot of people think of the new year as an opportunity for a new beginning and fresh start. I agree fresh starts are a cathartic concept that we need and can benefit from every day. But sometimes we get caught up in what we want to start in a new year versus what self-defeating thoughts, behaviors, and habits we need to stop.

 Our wellness doesn’t always hinge on what we start doing but rather what we stop doing. It’s what we leave behind that can make a huge impact on our effort and success at ‘starts’.

So, what is it for you? Any one of us can face unhealthy boundaries, a toxic relationship, addiction, too much TV/internet/social media, ego, pride, denial, excuses, letting everyone else’s needs come before our own, trying to please everyone, overthinking, fearing change, living in the past, thinking we’re not good enough.  

This week my encouragement for you is to take time to identify what is holding you back so that you can truly move forward for your physical and mental well-being. So those better things that lie ahead - like less stress and anxiety, less illness, more energy and mobility, enhanced well-being - are in your day-to-day present way of life. 

Whatever it is, know that you are not alone in this wellness endeavor.  So, stop procrastinating (is that on the list above?;) and put these APS Employee Wellness resources and programs on your 'start' list. 

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.  

  • Pre-Diabetes Prevention Program:  Stop diabetes before it starts! Join this national pilot program from the CDC and through NMSU. Learn more by attending one of the information sessions on January 26 at 4:30 pm or January 27 at 6:00 pm. 
  • 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, integrated tools to manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and weight loss. *This program is free for eligible employees.
  • Health Coaching: If you are not covered under APS Benefits and would like help with managing a chronic illness, weight loss to improve your health, or to simply feel better, APS offers free Health Coaching to all APS employees.
  • Life on Mindfulness - Check out your new Life on Mindfulness portal with password APSLOM. This program is a free, flexible program for all employees that offers weekly drop-in meditations, new monthly content, and Saturday workshops. Links for weekly 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. 
  • 2022 Employee Wellness Incentive Program  - This is a voluntary wellness reward program for all full-time APS employees. The new year and program have begun for 2022. You have until January 14 to submit points for 2022. Get those points in and redeem for any number of rewards like New Mexico Sports & Wellness memberships, LesMills OnDemand, Stone Age gym passes, Wecks, Flying Star, or Sports Systems gift cards. If you haven't participated, take time to read more about it, log in to your Wellness@Work well-being dashboard, and get started this year. 

Mental Health Resources

  • Effective January 1, 2022, there are new APS mental health benefits with no cost/co-pays for covered employees and dependents. 
  • All APS insurance benefits plans offer virtual and digital mental health services. 
  • Mental Health Corner -  We are all facing continual stress and uncertainty in our home and work lives. Burnout is the result of this ongoing, chronic stress. But we can ease this burden with wellness practices and outside support. Click on the Mental Health Corner for a list of different community and APS resources for mental and behavioral well-being as well as direct resources you have under your APS health insurance plan. 
  • Nourish Your Green Zone: What is your green zone and how can you grow it? Our capacity to manage stress and burnout in a more healthful way can improve when we Nourish our Green Zone! Sign up for this ongoing, self-paced virtual program. 

  • My Stress Tools: For interactive, online, and app-based resources to help manage stress and anxiety and build resilience try MyStress Tools.
APS EAP Program: Employees and immediate family members have access to free, confidential short-term counseling through the EAP program. Please call the EAP office at (505) 884-9738 to schedule an appointment. WeCounsel virtual sessions are available.

The New Mexico Educators Weight Loss Challenge

This is an opportunity to lose weight, feel better and earn prizes!

APS is joining other New Mexico education entities in a 12-week wellness and weight loss challenge. Teams compete in sizes of 4-9 but APS is one BIG team against UNM, CNM, and other NM school districts. 

The program is open for all APS employees and departments and begins on January 28th. The registration fee is $70 however teams who lose a collective 6% of weight win back the fee plus more cash prizes based on the number of people entered. The more APS employees who get involved and lose, the more everyone has a chance to win big!

*This is not a 'biggest loser' challenge. Behavior change strategies and holistic health practices are applied through the challenge. Wellness coaches are available to answer questions and give tips from start to finish. *All participant weight information is private and not published or displayed.

This is a virtual challenge with a mobile app and an APS team dashboard (so you can see everyone's standings and cheer teams on) as well as a New Mexico group dashboard to see where our competitors are on the scale! Once you register you are given instructions for the Healthy Wage app and more details on the challenge.

Besides winning back what you put in plus some, the New Mexico Education entity that wins overall gets a cash donation from Healthy Wage to give to the charity of choice. APS will donate to the APS Education Foundation. 

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

Start Your New Year With A New Morning Routine!

Morning

Do you want to feel better, more productive, and have a plan for your wellness that will stick this coming new year? Mornin' is a 6-week routine building program. It will help you start your days feeling calm, focused, and energized to meet the challenges that may lie ahead.

The virtual-live sessions start Tuesday, January 11 at 4:30 pm. This is a very interactive program delivered by our dynamic wellness coaches from The Solutions Group.  Register for Mornin' and you will receive a welcome email, zoom meeting details as well as weekly routine building emails through the 6-week program. Information is also posted in the APS Employee Wellness event calendar. If you register and can't attend, sessions are recorded and available for on-demand viewing. Look under the calendar date of the webinar series for weekly recordings and recaps. 

More Wellness, Nutrition & Fitness Trends In The News

 

News: Lower Weight ≠ Higher Fitness

Woman under 30 with BMI levels in the upper range of optimal had the highest levels of cardiovascular fitness, according to a Harvard University study.

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Nutrition: Chickpeas and Rice for Protein

As reported in The Journal of Nutrition, the protein quality of chickpeas is increased when they are consumed with rice, as opposed to when they’re consumed alone.

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Mind-Body: Your Brain on Plant Chemicals

Adults with higher intakes of flavonoids—in foods like berries, apples and dark chocolate—were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

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Recipe: Brussels Sprout Hazelnut Slaw

Vitamin K found in cruciferous vegetables may be involved in inhibiting calcification in blood vessels, which makes this slaw an even more enticing side dish.

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Video: Push Up With Alternating Hip Flexion

Perform this dynamic move with your body in a straight line as you push your chest away from your hands. You should feel it working your chest, arms and torso.

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