February Employee Well-being: Winter and Well-being
From staying indoors, to connecting less with our communities, nature and loved ones; the difficulties brought on by cold weather and winter can often be the most challenging time of year. With careful planning, action and proactive measures, we can all get through the winter months together!
February is Heart Month
February is Heart Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health, and what we can to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults and many risk factors can be reduced through developing healthy lifestyle habits including:
1. Nutrition: Cold weather could mean more comfort food and a change in nutrition habits. Small changes can make a big impact. Eating lots of veggies, cooking at home, limiting processed foods are all habits that protect your health. If you are unsure where to start and would like a helping hand, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has put together a heart healthy meal planning toolkit you can download to get started!
2. Physical activity: The winter can be challenging because people may spend more time indoors due to the cold weather. This can decrease regular exercise and change routine. Regular physical activity, even short durations as little as 10 minutes have also been shown to increase memory and cognitive function, boost mood, increase energy and help regulate blood sugar. Some examples of exercising in winter may include exercising indoors, scheduling movement breaks throughout the day, and trying new activities while dressing accordingly for the outdoors.
3. Reducing stress: Everyone feels stress differently and sometimes, it is easier to recognize stress in others than in yourself. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, and lead to depression and anxiety. That’s why it is important to recognize and manage it. The Heart & Stroke Foundation has created a stress test to help recognize the events in your life that trigger your stress symptoms as well as tips to help you manage your stress, including setting SMART goals.
Source: Mental Health Commission of Canada- Workplace Mental Health
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Busy work schedules, especially when there are fewer hours of daylight, can lead to stress and burnout. There are many resources that faculty and staff can access using their free LinkedIn Learning account. This month, there are a sample of videos and courses for developing strategies for a healthy work-life balance.
Visit the Employee Well-being webpage for more information.
Source: LinkedIn Learning
The Importance of Vacation for Employee Well-being
Regardless of the time of year or how far you can travel, dedicating time for the purpose of rest, relaxation, and recharging is of critical importance; dedicating time away to unplug can help us reset. When working under increased demands, individuals can quickly begin to feel burnt out, often experiencing a lack of reserve, resulting in feeling run down. When we start to feel run down at work or at home, even simple tasks can seem daunting. The best way to ensure that we can look after all of life’s obligations is to make sure we are adequately looking after ourselves.
McMaster Pulse at Pace Program
January 10 – March 3, 2023
Sponsored by Athletics & Recreation and Sun Life Financial, Pulse at PACE is a pilot project to help McMaster faculty and staff get active. This is a pilot project running on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., and Fridays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Physical Activity Centre for Excellence (PACE) features more than 50 pieces of exercise training equipment, including treadmills, stair-climbers, stationary bicycles, arc trainers, and nu-steps. There is also state-of-the-art strength training equipment, as well as free weights, resistance bands, and raised exercise mats.
Employees must register in advance for a time slot in order to attend.
Location: Physical Activity Centre for Excellence, Ivor Wynne Centre
Everything You Need to Know About Retiring from McMaster’s Salaried Pension Plan
February 7 & 9, 2023, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
This workshop is intended for active employees enrolled in the Contributory Salaried Pension Plan.
In this workshop, participants will:
- explore an overview of the Contributory Salaried Pension Plan, including how your pension is calculated and the pension options available to you.
- review key ages and dates in the retirement process.
- learn about the retirement process, including key steps and important timing leading up to retirement.
- review highlights of the post-retirement services and benefits.
- explore ways to stay connected to McMaster after retirement
Thrive Week: Mental Health Benefits Presentation (Rescheduled)
February 21, 2023
10:30 a.m. 11:15 a.m.
McMaster offers staff & faculty a comprehensive package of benefits to support their, and their families, psychological wellbeing. Join this virtual event with Jordan Roberts to learn more about these benefits through SunLife, how to access these benefits in time of need, and additional tips on how to get the most value from your benefit plan and what McMaster has to offer.
All benefit eligible employees are invited to attend this Zoom session.
McMaster Winter Campus Tour
February 24, 2023
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Please join us for a tour around our beautiful campus! This tour will begin at 12:00 p.m. outside of University Hall. All are welcome to stay and socialize after the tour is finished to enjoy hot chocolate at the Buttery in the West Room.Employee Well-being, Employee Well-being Newsletter