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Employee Wellness News

Posted: October 4, 2022

October 2022 Employee Wellness Newsletter

Own, Switch, Let go, Embrace for emotional, physical and mental well-being, and more October wellness events.

Mindset shifts for emotional, mental and physical well-being. Own, switch, let go and embrace.

Wellness Wire: Own - Switch - Let go - Embrace

One of our wonderful Wellness Ambassadors, Shelly Henderson, gave me a sticky note with "Own, Switch, Let Go, Embrace".  These simple words are actually foundational to connecting multi-dimensional elements of our well-being and behavior change concepts.

Own It - The concept of owning something is really just taking responsibility for our actions and holding ourselves accountable. Turning the mirror of reflection on ourselves. We really can't start the process of behavior change without this first step. We all struggle. We all have faults and have made mistakes. We have all treaded that tight line between allowing our stress to escalate and using maladaptive coping to self-soothe life hurts or avoid difficult situations. These behaviors are at the heart of our unmet basic, safety, and psychological needs. And we have to own it before we can change it. It's part of the emotional agility process of 'stepping out' and being honest - as hard as that is (I know).

Switch It - We all have the capacity to bend the trajectory of stress and illness toward peace and wellness. But we have to be willing to adjust our expectations around situations. Some expectations are conscious decisions. Even if our expectation around a particular 'thing' was realistic at the time, when life circumstances change, we have to train our quick-pivot muscles to adapt with our well-being intact. We go through seasons where our capacity for some things is more than others. Or, the dynamics of family and work responsibilities change. From a behavior change standpoint, change for our wellness should have goal-setting objectives that are simple, gradual, measurable, and realistic.

Sometimes expectations are assumptions we've made without really clarifying with all the people involved if it's realistic or not.  When we don't communicate an expectation, it becomes an assumption. In a workplace setting, assumptions lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, confusion around roles, and low morale. One of the main drivers for cultivating a culture of well-being is communication. Communicating clearly, respectfully, and often helps us manage our stress so underlying resentments around work don't build. 

Our ability to pivot and be flexible without compromising our well-being in the process is a mindset shift. Be open to change. Be willing to say 'no' to niceties or extra asks on your time to continue pruning back the 'busy' to make space for your own well-being and self-care. If it's not working, switch it! 

Let Go - Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of what drives our lifestyle behaviors is our ability (or inability) to let go. We hold on to hurt, failure, anger, and resentment and use false fixes to tamp those emotions down like a sledgehammer on wood. Not 'letting go' hurts our mental and physical health. Statistics are very clear about the health effects of pent-up anger, frustration and hurt.  Unmanaged stress, frustration and/or anger creates a steady drip of cortisol flowing through our body.  We adopt lifestyle behaviors to cope (food, alcohol, smoking, media binging) which lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, and diseases like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and some cancers. 

But not 'letting go' also interferes with how we interact with others which can create conflict in our work and personal lives. Remember, stresscalation puts a burden on the collective, environmental well-being of everyone.   

There are things in life we don't have control over.  We do have control over letting go of the hurts that bind us to unhealthy behaviors.   Seeking professional counseling services to help you navigate through those difficult waters is okay! APS offers free, confidential counseling to employees and immediate family members. Employees covered under APS Benefits also receive all in-network mental health services through their healthcare plan at no cost. Click here for all APS mental health resources

Embrace - Our ability to own it, switch and let go is really about embracing this thing we call life and recognizing that none of us get through it unscathed. Life is a beautiful, giving, loving, wondrous adventure to behold. It can also be messy. It's messy because we are human and humans are messy. Embrace it. Allow yourself the space to try and fail, to change, and be okay with how uncomfortable that may feel. Sometimes we have to embrace what's hard now to get to a better place in the future.

For most of us owning our faults, letting go of the guilt and regret we accumulate through failures, adapting to daily disruptions, and being able to pivot without it demolishing our emotional and physical well-being and embracing all of that with an attitude of resilience - just isn't easy. It's not even intuitive. These are life skills we learn as we go. In fact, our intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being hinge on our ability to own, switch, let go and embrace ever-changing life circumstances. The things that drive lifestyle behaviors which can create conflict and cause illness. 

This week my encouragement to you is to ask yourself, "What do I need to own, switch, let go and/or embrace so that I can lessen stress, mend relationships, feel and function better, and help others to do the same?"  

Our process for life-long wellness is just that - a process. Let's give ourselves grace, patience, encouragement, support, and understanding as we navigate through it. This helps build a collective culture of well-being where we feel safe, supported, encouraged, valued, and heard.

If you missed it: 

Oct. 17 Wellness Wire - The Purposeful Pause 

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.  

Join The Right On The Money Challenge!

couple petting doggie moving into new home. Graphic contains information on how to enter the right on the money challenge to learn more about credit, loans, finances and taxes.This is a virtual challenge that makes the sometimes-intimidating task of money matters fun!

Do you have questions about - Credit - Loans - Investments - Taxes? 

Earn 'virtual money' as you learn about topics most relevant to your life stage & financial interests. Gain actionable skills you can take to the bank in real life!

  • Registration opens November 1. Download the app for easy gaming: aps.rightonthemoneychallenge.com
  • Registration runs through Nov. 20 - The game begins on November 14!

  The virtual challenge is from November 14 - December 11 and APS Employee Wellness will award raffle prize drawings in the categories below: 

  1. Completers of the first 2-week "Money" Round
  2. Completers from 3rd and 4th week "Double Your Money" Round
  3. Completers from "Sum Money" and more! 
If you have questions, contact Employee Wellness at employee.wellness@aps.edu.

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. 

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 Coachinto 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 TherapyThis 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. 
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.