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Employee Wellness News

Posted: June 5, 2024

June 2024 Employee Wellness Newsletter

Joyful June, summer state of mind and APS programs to help you prioritize your well-being, fitness and nutrition trends in the news!

Turn June into micro-moments of joy!

Wellness Wire - Joy is in the Journey

Sometimes capturing the idea of joy is elusive. The concept goes beyond temporary 'happiness'. It is like an intrinsic state of being but even that has to be nourished and cultivated. Any good thing left untended can die on the vine. Joy is still an active part of our lives that we participate in. After reading several articles, I realized there are different kinds of joy. 

A recent interaction with one of our wonderful APS colleagues captured "spontaneous joy". She did something she NEVER does, that was totally out of the ordinary and rode rides at an amusement park. She remarked that she didn't expect it, but was surprised at how much fun she had. That is joy. Isn't it cool?

Another type is "sympathetic joy". This is the happiness we feel when good things happen to someone we know. Instead of envy, anger, or jealousy, we're genuinely joyful for the person's good fortune or achievement. This is something we can practice and it's a powerful way to turn from feelings of insecurity and separation toward altruism, connection, and belonging. Fostering this type of joy also builds our collective well-being. It's reciprocal. The more we give it, the more joy we get in return. 

I know in the past I have written that our wellness isn't about doing more but rather meeting our mental, emotional, and physical needs. But when it comes to joy it's not always a state of being. It comes with the doing of things that surprise and elevate us. That action may look beautifully different for everyone. It can be riding rides, playing in the park, watching butterflies, cruising on a bike and exploring, hiking somewhere majestic, putting your hands in the dirt, and planting something wonderful. The list goes on but the idea is - Joy is not complacent. It is an active part of our lives that feeds our soul along this journey we call life. 

With the right mindset, we can have joy because of our circumstances and despite our circumstances. This is not to negate the severity of life situations we face. Not at all. Part of moving through those tough seasons with our well-being intact is our ability to heal and adapt by inserting micro-moments of joy into our daily lives. During challenging times we have to make joy intentional. That is part of our journey, too.   

What I don't want as part of your journey is the negative baggage that can be collected along the way and weigh you down. It's not uncommon for depression, sadness, resentment, and life dissatisfaction to hitchhike for the long haul and hijack our joy. My encouragement to you for the summer is to prioritize your well-being by engaging in the people, places, and activities that reduce stress, enhance your health, and bring you joy! For guidance and support, APS Employee Wellness offers many resources.  Keep scrolling below for specific programs. 

  • Do you have muscle, joint, or back pain or limited strength and mobility? Hinge Health is a new virtual physical and exercise therapy program. 
  • Are stress & mental health struggles affecting your lifestyle habits? Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, weight loss/obesity, and mental health with Livongo
  • APS EAP services offer free, confidential counseling and continue through the summer.
  • Life on Mindfulness - Meditation reduces stress, anxiety, and depression and enhances overall well-being. Check the APS Wellness Event calendar for more information. 
I appreciate you reading these Wellness Wires and passing them along to your colleaguesStay connected with APS Employee Wellness through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  

Register Anytime For The New Wellness at Work Well-being Platform & Earn Rewards!

Wellness at work

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.

Complete instructions to register are on the Employee Wellness Incentive Program pageFollow the instructions according to which APS Benefits health plan you have or join under "non-covered, full-time employee" if you don't take APS medical benefits. *This program is open to all full-time APS Employees. 
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. 

Is Chronic Pain, Mobility & Lack of Strength Affecting Your Well-being?

APS employee testimonial

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 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 moreExternal link  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 and eligible dependents covered under the APS Benefits plans.   

Conquer High Blood Pressure, Diabetes & Weight With This One Solution - Livongo!

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. 

Livongo 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 www.livongo.com/aps
  • Call 800-945-4355 and use the registration code: APS

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. 

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. 

Virtual and Email-Based Wellness Opportunities 

  • Life on Mindfulness: Check out the new Life on Mindfulness website with the password LIFEONMINDFULNESS. 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 CalendarExternal link . 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 want to get started on the road to better health and wellness but you're not sure how to start, 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.
  • MyStress Tools This is an online suite of stress management and resilience-building resources. My Stress Tools helps you understand

    the root causes of your stress and gives you the help you need to dramatically reduce your stress and build your resilience. Click here for flyer details. *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:

  • Wellness Benefits Boot Camp - APS wellness benefits and resources with fun gaming interaction.
  • The Communication Connection: The role communication plays in the workplace and collective well-being. 
  • Stress, Burnout, and Resilience
  • Social well-being
  • The Importance of Sleep to Overall Well-being, Weight & Chronic Illness
  • Nutrition in The News
  • Financial Well-being
  • Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Health

Fitness & Nutrition Trends in the News


News: Effects of Menstrual Cycle on Endurance Performance

Researchers have believed that menstruation alters performance but what are the real effects of the menstrual cycle on endurance performance? 

Nutrition: Nutrients in Plant-Based Milks

Plant-based milks' popularity is on the rise, each with distinct nutritional compositions; however, research suggests that certain options may better fulfill specific nutrient requirements for concerned consumers.

Mind-Body: Emotional Benefits of Virtual Fitness

When it comes to virtual fitness, a significant takeaway for participants is that technology-enabled training can offer much more than physical improvements. 

Recipe: Nutty Quinoa Kale Tabbouleh  

Savor the antioxidant-rich pistachios in this Nutty Quinoa Kale Tabbouleh recipe, backed by research showcasing their high antioxidant content, making for a flavorful and nutritious dish.

 
Handout: Low-Intensity Training Has High Popularity

Fitness consumers are motivated to exercise to promote a long and healthy life, and also seek low-intensity training and restorative options.