Wellness at a Glance: September 2022
Wellness at a Glance is a monthly summary of Employee Health and Wellbeing information for all employees of McMaster University. The month of September focuses on Psychological Well-being.
Employee Wellbeing Resources in September focuses on the topics of:
Positive Affirmations are positive phrases or statements that can be used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. You may choose to use positive affirmations to motivate yourself, encourage positive changes in your life, or boost your self-esteem. If you frequently find yourself getting caught up in negative self-talk, positive affirmations can be used to combat these often subconscious patterns and replace them with more adaptive narratives.
There are many benefits to positive affirmations, including:
- Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress
- They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance
- They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better
- They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at in post-secondary learning
- Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and worrying
We all know that nothing beats the happiness and warmth we feel when we get to pet, cuddle and be around animals. Research shows that animals can boost our mood, calm us and help us build relationships.
Caring for a pet can help our mental health in many ways, including:
- increasing your physical activity.
- providing companionship.
- reducing anxiety.
- helping you meet new people.
- adding structure to your day.
Change how you think about and do work:
- Stop multi-tasking – focus on one thing at a time
- Work at a reasonable, steady pace
- Break down seemingly overwhelming tasks and projects into smaller achievable parts
- Recognize and celebrate your small steps along the way
- Tell your manager you want to be successful at your job and ask them how they would measure that
- Take regular assigned breaks
- Resist working unnecessary overtime
- Even if you must provide contact information in case of emergency, try to stay disconnected from work during vacation time as much as possible
7 minute audio recording via LinkedIn Learning
Learn how all employee requests or behaviours are attempts at meeting a need. Learn how to ask “why” before you say “no” and get to the root of the issue.
A free tool to help leaders support employee success
- Provide supervisors with the necessary time to meet with employees about workload challenges.
- Provide training so leaders have the skillset to support employees to meet their workload requirements.
- Have all leaders work with employees to:
- Create solutions
- Agree on reasonable expectations
- Identify any barriers to success
- Task improvement process | PDF includes a fillable form to help employees focus on specific tasks that require attention.
- The Getting employee commitment for leaders approach actively engages employees in developing a plan that meets the organization’s needs and increases their willingness to commit over the long term.
- The higher the demands at work, the more important it can be for employees to have some level of control. However, it may not be possible to give employees control over how their work is prioritized due to regulations, safety concerns, customer or patient demands. Explore where employees can have some control over their assigned tasks to help them work more effectively.
- Inform new employees of accurate and realistic job demands and expectations.
- Include explicit and reasonable productivity expectations in job descriptions.
- Review productivity expectations on a regular basis.
Employee Wellbeing Events:
Resiliency & Post Traumatic Growth
Date: September 20, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on each of us and the world at large, however, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter. This one-hour Zoom session will provide the skills and information necessary to mitigate stress and the trauma response along with actions to promote resiliency and increase psychological well-being in the wake of COVID-19 and beyond.
Drop In Session with Triple C Farm
Date: September 26, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Visit the Funny Farm on Campus! Triple C Farms will be hosting a Mobile Farm located on BSB Field. Triple C Farms is a Livestock Farm and Petting Sanctuary located in Ancaster, Ontario. Triple C Farms was established in 2015 to bring joy to the community. Come and hang out with the great assortment of animals that will be visiting on this day!
Welcome (Back) to Mac! Campus Walking Tour
Date: September 27, 2022
Time: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Are you new to McMaster within the last three years? Have you been working remotely and miss visiting main campus? Are you curious about what amazing locations, spaces and resources we have available on campus for faculty and staff? Join our Healthy Workplace team and take a walking tour of campus!
Mushroom and Fungi Walk
October 1 at 9 a.m.
Come join Dr. Jianping (J-P) Xu, Professor in the Department of Biology on a fungi walk! Dr. Xu is an expert in fungi and fungi evolution. In this mushroom foray, we will start by describing features of mushrooms, followed by an interactive Q and A on all things mushrooms and fungi. We will then walk along the trails at McMaster Forest to find and discuss the mushrooms we encounter.
October 3rd, 4th, and 5th
Join the McMaster Altitude and our friends from various faculties and departments for a variety of our recess sessions. Come let loose, be silly, and tap into your inner child with a series of facilitated games! Don’t worry, we’ll have you back in time for class. Come by yourself, with colleagues, or your team, the more the merrier!
Mac Moves Slow Roll
October 5 at 12 p.m.
Incorporating movement into our days can be a challenge, and “getting active” means something different to everyone. Join us for a 12km slow roll on bike, scooter, wheelchair, rollerblade, or skateboard! This event is in collaboration with #MacMoves, the Academic Sustainability Programs Office
Pull4Mac Bus Pull
Date: October 6, 2022
Time: Starts at 11:30 a.m.
The McMaster Community Engagement Committee invites you to participate in the 7th Annual Pull4Mac Bus Pull. Teams are encouraged to register, raise money, and work together to pull a McMaster Shuttle Bus 100 feet to the finish line to kick off the McMaster United Way Campaign.
Move the Body, Heal the Mind
October 6 at 2 p.m.
Learn the latest science on exercise and brain health, what you need to do, and how to tap into neuroscience to get past the obstacles that may be derailing your exercise journey. In this one-hour Zoom session, Dr. Jennifer Heisz will discuss the relationship between exercise and overcoming anxiety, depression and dementia, as well as improving focus, creativity and sleep.
Re-establishing Respectful Workplace Relationships
October 12 at 11 a.m.
Creating a respectful, and by extension, psychologically healthy and safe workplace is everyone’s responsibility. With work environments being in a state of flux following the pandemic, this one-hour Zoom workshop will raise awareness around what respectful behaviour looks like, promote the adoption of a professional attitude, and assist with the development of effective communication skills – all of which serves to meet the underlying goal of creating and maintaining a psychologically safe workplace in view of changing environments.
Fall In-Person Yoga for Employees
Date: October 20 – December 1, 2022, Inclusive
Time: 12:05 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Join us for weekly yoga classes, held in David Braley Athletic Centre. Classes are 45 minutes, and employees can attend any number of them using the same registration.
For more information about Employee Wellbeing at McMaster, please visit our webpage.Employee Well-being, Employee Well-being Newsletter