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Employee Wellness News

Posted: October 9, 2023

October 2023 Employee Wellness Newsletter

Harmony starts with a strong foundation, Open/Switch Enrollment, Stride for connection, November Nurture Well-being Series, and more wellness trends in the news!

Harmony starts with a strong foundation.

Wellness Wire 

What happens when we apply load to a weak foundation? Eventually, it breaks. It might start with a small crack but left unattended, the gap grows leaving whatever sits upon it vulnerable.  Our connected social, emotional, physical, financial, mental, intellectual, and spiritual well-being is dependent on a strong foundation. 

When a piece of these foundational elements of our well-being is weak, we feel it in every aspect of our lives and it leaves us feeling vulnerable as well. Generally, it's not comfortable to operate in that off-kilter state.

We can only truly fix it by isolating the problem. Peeling back the layers of what, why, and how to address the behaviors, mindsets, movements, and mentality that are routed in our foundation, and fixing them. Establish new boundaries, new habits, different patterns, whatever it takes to keep it from happening again. This is called prevention and it's what "Your Benefits Integrated" is all about.

I've written here before that I don't agree with the concept of 'work-life' or 'life-work' balance. It's like setting someone up to try to achieve the almost impossible.

Our emotional, social, financial, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and environmental well-being is complicated. Because our lives are complicated. At any given time one or more of those areas of our lives can (and will) be out of whack. It's not about balance. It's about harmony and a strong foundation.

Harmony is a state of balance among forces influencing and even opposing one another. We encounter conflicts every day and harmony is our ability to manage our well-being despite the oppositional flow. But if the foundation is weak, harmony is hard to achieve.

We can live in harmony with, and despite, those forces affecting our personal or professional lives when we're operating on a strong foundation.  

Physically, our bodies are actually made to move and function in harmony. We have sub-systems that work oppositionally yet together to accelerate, decelerate, and stabilize every single movement we make. Too often, however, we develop imbalances that hinder correct movement. We lead more sedentary lifestyles than at any time in history causing obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Sitting, computers, and phone scrolling also lead to postural imbalances, neck issues, carpal tunnel, low back pain, and more. 

Our mental and emotional well-being operates in much the same way as our physical health. When life's forces come in the form of stress, loss, relationship conflict, financial hardship, or loneliness, it off-sets the balance of our well-being causing anxiety and depression. Causing small cracks in the foundation of our mental health unless we have and maintain a strong foundation to help mitigate those stressors.  

This concept of isolation to integration for physical, mental, and emotional harmony actually applies across many areas of our lives from movement and math to mindsets and management. It doesn't matter what it is  - when there is an issue, a conflict, an injury, or an illness, there is a cause that we have to isolate and fix before we can integrate into our multi-faceted lives for harmony.  Most of the time the problem stems from something foundational that has just been left to bear the weight of load after load after load until finally, something in our physical, emotional, or mental well-being gives. 

Look, I know harmony can be hard. But it is achievable and it starts with building and maintaining a strong foundation, so let's fix our foundations! The best way to do that is with integrated wellness every day. A consistent daily renewal will maintain a strong foundation and enable us to operate in a state of harmony, peace, and joy. 

My hope for us all is that we can build a foundation that holds us in a place of well-being when those opposing forces and life's imbalances threaten to pull us down.  We're able to preserve our peace and prevent illness and injury versus reacting to it. 

You can start with foundational well-being actions like meditation, walking, taking 'purposeful pause' breaks, and finding gratitude in small things that help bring joy, shift perspective and reduce stress.

Since we all come by wellness in our own way, and sometimes we don't know where or how to get started, APS offers resources to help you find harmony. Take a look at what's available below and keep scrolling below for great foundation-strengthening programs happening now through the end of the year!   

  • Physical pain? Try Hinge Health *Open for employees covered under APS Benefits.
  • Mental/emotional struggles? Schedule an appointment with the APS EAP services or APS mental health resources for all employees
  • Struggling with chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity, blood pressure? Check out Livongo *Open for employees covered under APS Benefits.
  • Feeling disconnected? Join Wellness at Work/Virgin Pulse platform and the APS Employee Wellness Group. *Open for employees covered under APS Benefits.
  • Do you feel like you need to do something but just don't know where to start? Health coaching is for you! *Open for all APS employees.
  • Experience harmony in the here and now with the Life on Mindfulness program*Open for all APS employees.

Nurture Your Mental Well-being Webinar Series Starts Nov. 2

Learn the fundamental skillsets that support mental well-being. Optimal mental health is more than the absence of illness. It’s a “state of well-being in which a person realizes their own ability, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community." (WHO)

Join us for this six-week webinar series open to all APS employees. Register here and receive the recording if you can not attend live. 

Do You Suffer From Muscle or Joint Pain? 

Hinge Health

Get the relief you need to feel and function better with this NEW virtual physical therapy program by Hinge Health. 

Read what some APS employees are already saying about how Hinge Health has helped them: 

“I can feel my strength coming back and my range of motion is getting better.
My hip muscles are loosening up, and I'm having less sciatica pain.” Hip Program Participant

“I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last 6 weeks, and my lower back pain has improved.”
Back Program Participant 

“Honestly I was skeptical at first that the exercises would help. But I have noticed a big difference and the exercises made a big improvement. I'm glad I've kept at it.” Pelvic Program Participant

“The pain I was experiencing has been reduced a lot. Now I want to maintain my pelvic floor gains and continue to strengthen.” Pelvic Program Participant

Hinge Health gives you the tools you need 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 more 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.   

New! Livongo Expanded Benefits for Weight Loss, Diabetes, Blood Pressure & Mental Health!

A description of the enhanced benefits of livongo.

Manage diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood pressure, weight loss, and healthy lifestyle goals, and receive mental health support with this integrated wrap-around solution.

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. 

Read what APS employees are saying about Livongo: 

"Livongo has been very supportive. I am trying to be more consistent and rely on my data to help me make better decisions...I appreciate how positive your correspondence is and how supportive it is, even when I am neglectful.  I appreciate Livongo and the specific options and support that you provide. Thank you."

"Thank you for all the tips, information, and support to help me succeed. EXCELLENT PROGRAM especially the supplies I need because the cost is so expensive I can't afford."

"I had a hard time at first checking my Blood Pressure regularly.  Now when I receive the email, I know to go check it. Also when I can feel my Blood Pressure go up,  it is nice having the Machine to have at home." 

"I've learned more through Livongo than any other diabetes program I've been involved with."

"Excellent program It put me on track with my diabetes and high blood pressure to eat healthier and take care of myself. Thank you!"

 "This has been a great app and program. I love the support and suggestions."

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
  • Or call 800-945-4355 and use the registration code: APS

Register Anytime For The New Wellness at Work Well-being Platform

picture with people eating well, moving and text about the new wellbeing platform.

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.

Full-time employees received an invitation email on Jan. 4,18, Feb. 23, July 11, and Oct. 3  from Wellness at Work (it's not spam). Do a search for the email invitation with your link to join. You can also join by going to the main login page

Employees on the previous platform can access your new Wellness at Work program with the same username & password.  New users can easily register in less than 5 minutes. This 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. 

The 2023 APS Employee Wellness Incentive Program runs from Jan. 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023. This is a voluntary wellness reward system for all full-time employees. 

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. 


October Well-being Webinars

Every month APS employees have access to a variety of well-being webinars.  All the information and links/QR codes to join are in the Employee Wellness event calendar.  *Register and receive the recording for on-demand viewing at a time that is convenient for you. Please note BCBS is no longer providing recorded webinars. 

  • Saturday, Oct. 7& 21, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Life on Mindfulness workshop & meditation
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18, 12:00-1:00 pm Well-being Webinar - Emotional Regulation's Role in Resilience
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25, 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. - Prevention Principles These are 15-minute presentations. 
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Cooking Show - Food Trends Made Nourishing
  • Monday, Oct. 30, 12:45-1:00 Mindset Monday- Laughter is really the best medicine!

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 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: If you would like help with managing a chronic illness and weight loss to improve your health, or to simply feel better, 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:

  • 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 your APS Healthcare Benefits

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. 


Your monthly dose of fitness, nutrition, and wellness trends!


News: Nordic Walking Benefits Heart Health

Study findings show that Nordic walking improves functional capacity, quality of life and depression symptoms in people with coronary artery disease.  

Nutrition: Plant-Based Eating Pros and Cons

With plant-based eating becoming more commonplace, it’s good to know the potential nutritional advantages and disadvantages of this dietary lifestyle. 

Mind-Body: Groove Music Benefits

Music that makes you want to move, referred to as “groove music,” not only increases feelings of happiness but also enhances cognitive function.

Recipe: Spinach Pear Protein Smoothie

It’s likely antioxidants help limit the amount of oxidative damage to brain cells—that makes this verdant smoothie a smart move to help recover better.

Fitness Handout: Exercise and Mental Health

Findings from a large research study give greater insight into the exercise-mental health connection.