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Campus Wellbeing Services
Employee Wellness Newsletter
February 2020 Edition

Winter Greetings! Our first wellness programs for the term have started, but we have a few more that have yet to begin. In this issue, we provide details about these. You will also find important tips about staying healthy this winter.

In this issue you will find:
Register Now for Our 2020 Employee Wellness Challenge—Connect with Kindness

It’s time! Our annual employee wellness challenge starts Monday, March 9. Our theme this year is Connect with Kindness. The challenge will focus on emotional and social wellbeing. Participants will do random acts of kindness—at home, at work, even for strangers.

Benefits: Everyone knows that being kind helps the person who receives the kindness.  But acting kindly reaps great benefits for you too! These include improved emotional wellness and stronger relationships at home and at work. Some people even find that increasing kind acts helps them physically. For instance, you may have less pain or sleep better.

Specifically, participants will:

  • Tap into your innate kindness and compassion.
  • Explore fun, unique ways to express kindness to others.
  • Discover the personal benefits of intentionally reaching out to others with compassion and kindness.
  • Build a stronger sense of connection at work and at home.

Connect with Kindness is fun and easy. You can participate on your own time. You will record your acts of kindness in our online tracking system.  Each time you reach the weekly goal, your name will be entered into a prize drawing.

Register for Connect with Kindness now at https://go.illinois.edu/ConnectwithKindness. For more information, contact us at wellbeing@illinois.edu

Last Chance to Sign Up for Healthy Weigh

We have a few slots open for our Healthy Weigh program—but not many! Our employee weight management program starts Wednesday, February 25. Classes will meet for eight Wednesdays from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in Room 108, Bevier Hall.

Healthy Weigh is not a diet or restrictive weight loss regimen. It is a launch pad that empowers participants to create a sustainable weight management program that works for them. The program is compatible with other reliable weight loss programs.

The program features life skills development, fun learning activities, group support, and accountability. Each week participants learn and practice a specific weight management skill.

The program is open to employees and their significant others. Register today!

March and April Wellness Webinars Feature Healthy Eating Tips

March is National Nutrition Month. To celebrate, our next two monthly webinars will feature tips on how to eat more healthfully. March’s theme will be “Get the Facts on Nutrition.” April’s theme will be “More Than a Gut Feeling—The Importance of Dietary Fiber.”

Our webinars are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 12 noon to 12:50 p.m. To register, go to https://go.illinois.edu/CWSPrograms. Read on for more details about each.

Quit Nicotine Now—We Can Help

Quitting nicotine—whether smoking, chewing, or vaping—is one of the most important things you can do to extend your life and have a better quality of life, but quitting can be hard. There’s no reason to go it alone. Campus Wellbeing Services is organizing a series of nicotine quit classes. These help you quit or reduce nicotine use in proven ways that are customized to your life. Classes will meet midday, once a week, starting right after spring break. Contact us at wellbeing@illinois.edu or (217) 265-9355 for more information or to register.

Mindfulness Meditation Classes Begin on Wednesday, April 15

Shake off the winter doldrums and welcome spring by taking our mindful meditation classes. This popular series will start up again on Wednesday, April 15, and run through May 13. Classes will meet at 12:10 p.m. in the Illini Union Bookstore Building, Room 514. Registration is open! Class size is limited so that all participants can get enough attention. Sign up today to secure your spot!

Pay It Forward—Donate to the Career Closet

Perhaps you’ve had a good career. And perhaps you remember how hard it was to afford professional attire when you first started that career. Now is your chance to help someone getting started professionally. Our campus’ Career Center houses a Career Closet. The Career Closet provides students with free, gently used professional clothing. This can help students make a good first impression in interviews and at job fairs. To donate clothing, contact the Career Center at (217) 333-0820 or careercenter@illinois.edu.

Stay Free from Falls This Winter

Snow, rain, ice, slush—all part of a typical Illinois winter. Falling is a risk. But you can reduce the risk by following these eight tips from the Illini Fall Prevention Clinic:

  1. Wear shoes with good traction.
  2. Dress warmly. If you’re warm, your muscles will stay relaxed. Tense muscles can adversely affect your balance.
  3. Be careful getting out of your car. Plant both feet firmly on the ground before moving. Steady yourself on the door frame until you have your balance.
  4. Don’t take shortcuts. Stay on cleared sidewalks and paths, and don’t walk between parked cars. Remember that grassy slopes can be as slippery as snowy steps.
  5. Take extra time. Don’t rush. Take short steps with your toes pointed slightly outward to maintain a stable base of support.
  6. Pay attention. Stay aware of the surfaces ahead of you. Look down with your eyes only. If you move your head downward, you may shift your balance.
  7. When walking in the dark or in shadowy areas, stay alert for black ice. It is treacherous and extremely slippery.
  8. Keep your driveway and walkways clear. Pay someone to do this if necessary.

For more information or to schedule a personalized fall risk assessment, contact the Illinois Fall Prevention Clinic at (217) 244-7006, IlliniFallClinic@illinois.edu, or illinifallclinic.com

How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is common in this country: about 30 percent of Americans in general, and 28 to 30 percent of Illinoisans, have high blood pressure. And unfortunately, only one in four people with hypertension have it under control. The good news is that most people can improve blood pressure through lifestyle changes. In fact, blood pressure management is usually 70 percent lifestyle and 30 percent medication. Read on to learn simple actions you can take to lower your blood pressure.