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Employee Wellness News

Posted: May 6, 2022

May 2022 Employee Wellness Newsletter

The long shot, APS employee resources & more wellness trends in the news!

Picture of derby winner and copy You may feel your mental, emotional & physical health is a long shot. That you've fallen too far behind & there's no way to overcome the odds. This week do what the jockey & racehorse did: Line up at the gate anyway.Pace the track. When you feel boxed in, look for the light. Be heroic & make a hard move.Work around the obstacles.Don't give up. Let's stop leaving our well-being to chance. It's not a bet we can afford to lose

Wellness Wire: The Long Shot

A historic event took place once again in my hometown of Louisville this past weekend. By now you may know I’m a Kentucky girl raised watching the Derby. I wrote a wellness wire this time last year called The Racehorse & The Jockey. But the race last Saturday was even more memorable than most Derbys!

In case you missed it, at the very last minute a horse had to drop out of the Derby. Leaving the alternate, a beautiful chestnut brown colt named Rich Strike, to fill in. And strike it rich he did!

Advancing steadily along the inside rail the rider and filly came up from behind. But then they were blocked and held back by another horse. In the last few meters, there was a narrow opening. The rider made an incredibly brave, strategic move around the horse, through the gap to surge ahead. Rich Strike beat the two leading competitors by almost a body length at the line. 

It was breathtaking to watch. To see that jockey and horse maneuver in a tight space going an average of 37 miles per hour around one horse, between two others, and then put in another surge was really amazing. 

Rich Strike was a true long shot at 80-1. Only one time in Derby history were there greater odds against a horse. I’m pretty sure the horse didn’t know the odds were stacked against him. The jockey was just thrilled to get a last-minute, first-time slot in the most coveted horse race in the world.  

Despite the odds, they took the opportunity and lined up at the gate ready to give it everything. When the race was tight and they were boxed in, the jockey saw a small opening and took it. I’m sure it was a little scary for the horse and rider. But after they made that hard move, they went for it and won!

When it comes to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, you may feel that the odds are stacked against you and that beating them is a long shot. Perhaps you’ve fallen so far behind that you think there’s no catching up or break in sight. Some may feel trapped behind the chaos of stress and anxiety from work/life hardships and dissatisfaction. That the race of this life literally feels like a bet you just can’t win. 

Understandable, really, given the pace, lifestyles, and expectations we try to keep. My encouragement to you this week is to do what the jockey and the racehorse did... 

Line up at the gate anyway. Pace the track. When you feel boxed in, look for the light. Take the opportunity when it presents itself and make the heroic, hard move to get out from behind whatever is bottlenecking your mental and physical wellness (even if it means seeking professional help). Keep the momentum. Don’t look back. Don’t give up. 

Even if it’s a long shot, making this break for our mental and physical health is an opportunity we can't afford to lose. The alternative is the continual spiral of burnout, depression, and chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancers. Aside from the disease aspect, our quality of life - how we feel and function - is diminished.  Let's not leave our well-being to chance anymore.  

APS Employee Wellness has resources to help guide you through this race we call life. Check out the Mental Health resource page for more information on the programs below. Please pass this information on to staff and colleagues.

  •  APS EAP free, confidential counseling for all employees & immediate family members
  • Life on Mindfulness for stress, anxiety, enhanced well-being. Now M-F drop-in meditations, an all-access mobile-ready portal for on-demand recordings.
  • Free mental/behavioral health benefits for covered employees and dependents
  • Digital and email-based well-being solutions for all employees
  • Community mental health resources
  • Pet Therapy! Open for all employees and departments

The best bet we can make is to take simple steps every day to enhance our well-being. Stay connected in a wellness-y way with APS Employee Wellness through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Contact Becky MacGregor at becky.macgregor@aps.edu to schedule wellness presentations and stretch breaks. Thank you -- May you be safe & overcome the long shot for your wellness!

May 3 - Mending Our Mental Health

APS Employee Wellness Programs & Events

Graphic which shows all benefits for employees, full/part time and employees covered under APS benefits

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.  

  • 30 Ways to Well-being is a new 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.
  • 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. *Open to all APS employees.
  • Free weight loss, nutrition, stress management program with 1-1 coaching and weekly group support. This is a game-changer for your health! Do you feel like you need to lose weight, manage your nutrition and get more movement but you just don't know how to start? The Pre-Diabetes Prevention Program may be for you! Join this national pilot program from the CDC and through NMSU. Options for online/virtual and continuous, personal coaching for one full year. *Open to all APS employees. The next information session is Thursday, June 2, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. Join with code: bit.ly/NMSU-JunSession
  • New! Pet therapy 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. 
  • 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 Coaching 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.
  • 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.
  • 2022 Employee Wellness Incentive Program: This is a voluntary wellness reward program for all full-time APS employees. Do wellness, log points, and receive awesome 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. *Open to all full-time APS employees.

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