As the Wellness Coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I never cease to be amazed by the creativity of deparmental Wellness Ambassadors. Creating a ‘culture’ of wellness on a college campus goes far beyond the scope of a single individual or program. However, when you have many individuals who are excited to create an environment that supports wellness in their own area…well, you not only impact a department/unit, but have the ability to facilitate a continuum of wellness. That, my friends, is where positive change can happen.
Take a look at a few of the creative ideas shared with me by the wellness ambassadors. Feel free to ’steal’ and implement the ideas below or make them your own.
1. “Make an Impression Cards” – Doing kind things for others not only provides a service to someone else in need, but also provides purpose and meaning (thus spiritual wellness) into your own life. Visit http://wellness.unl.edu to download the first 9 cards. Take one and pass it on to someone else in your life and/or work area.
2. Get rid of negative self talk! One of our Ambassadors in the College of Arts and Sciences noticed that individuals in her office were constantly talking down to themselves. The challenge? No negative self talk…accept compliments from others…and celebrate your successes. Not only can this have a profound impact on your own self esteem and happiness- it also provides for a fun work environment.
3. Several of our wellness ambassadors publish a weekly wellness message that goes out to everyone in their department/area. The goal? To provide staff with small, easy-to- implement wellness ideas that can lead to lifestyle changes. Although one idea may not appeal to everyone, the more ideas you put out there, the more likely it is that you will be able to give everyone a reason to say ‘yes’ to wellness. A great example came out of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The ambassador recently obtained pedometers for all staff. The challenge put forth? Just add steps to your day- it doesn’t matter where you start- slowly work your way towards 10,000 steps/daily. To further entice individuals to proactively increase walking, he ‘walked’ out a few plans. From the main office of his department to the East Union is 200 steps (400 steps round-trip) and to the dairy store is 400 steps (800 round trip). Other ideas included:
- If you need to talk to someone in the building, go in-person instead of calling.
- Park farther away or get off at a bus stop that’s farther away.
- Better yet, if you live close enough, walk to work! (weather- and distance-permitting, of course).
- Form a walking group and walk together during your breaks
- If you normally eat lunch at your desk, take your lunch and walk somewhere else to eat
- When you need to use the restroom, choose one that is farther away or is upstairs/downstairs.
What a fantastic cue to action!
4. Lunch and Learns- yes, we have all heard of these and we have all probably participated. But, have you figured out how to maximize participation? Find out what your group is interested in. Because there are 7 elements to wellness, there are endless possibilities. Survey staff at your next meeting and find out what they really want to know more about. Gather the information and contact Wellness, email@example.com. If we aren’t able to help you directly, we will find out who can and assist you to get things rolling. For example, NET has upcoming workshop entitled “Wellness in the Office” that will focus efforts on providing specific technique to set up your workstation, improve energy and relieve stress. This will be a joint workshop by Wellness and UNL Accommodations.
Do you have some tried and true wellness-related ideas? What are you doing to support Environmental Wellness/Earth Day (April 22)? Share your ideas with us via the blog!