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Campus Wellbeing Services
Employee Wellness Newsletter
Late April 2020 Edition

We asked and you responded. We have a great mix of programs for you over the next few weeks. Most of these programs are being led by your fellow employees. In our last newsletter, we asked if any employees would like to share your expertise and talents. You really stepped up. As it turns out, our employees are not only ultimate professionals, you are very talented in other ways as well. In this issue, you will see a unique array of life enhancing offerings—for you, by you. Scroll down for everything from ukulele lessons to backyard birding, a fitness challenge, and much more.

In this issue you will find:
New Additions to the Coping with COVID-19 Toolkit

We’ve added some articles to the Coping with COVID-19 online toolkit. The purpose of this toolkit is to help employees cope with the emotional and social stressors of the COVID-19 outbreak. To view the toolkit, go here.

Outdoor Wellness Webinars April 30 and May 14

Discover the healing power of nature. Join University of Illinois employee and Vice President of the Champaign County Audubon Society Sara Johnson and learn how to make the most of the space outside or near your house! Sara will lead two fun and practical webinars.

  • April 30 at noon: Backyard birding
  • May 14 at noon: Gardening for wildlife

To learn more or sign up, go to our registration site.

Virtual Ukulele Lessons Start May 7

The ukulele is a great instrument—easy to play and to transport, affordable…and a lot of fun. Playing music is good for your brain and can reduce stress and anxiety. U of I employee Julia Hartman, who is also a music teacher, will teach four virtual lessons. Participants will learn one or two chords, along with songs you can play using those chords, in each lesson. The 30-minute lessons will be held every other Thursday at noon, May 7, May 21, June 4, and June 18. This will allow you to practice and master your new chords between lessons. To sign up, visit our registration site. Resources for purchasing ukuleles (that can be delivered to your home) are available on the registration site.

Fit, Fitter, Fittest Facebook (F4) Challenge May 11 to June 5

Has working at home left you sitting more than usual? We have a cure for that! U of I employee Brenda Hixson, an AFAA certified exercise instructor, will lead a four-week fitness challenge from May 11 – June 5. We have two tracks—one for those of you who may not be active yet but want to get started, and one for those of you who are already fit. Both will be offered through the soon-to-be-revived Campus Wellbeing Services Facebook page. Participants will improve health, fitness, and vitality. It’s also a friendly competition that helps you connect with your co-workers. To learn more or sign up, go to our registration site.

Art Journaling Online Classes Start May 13

Art journaling combines the opportunity for creative personal expression with a soothing wellness practice that can unlock intuition. There are no rules in art journaling, making it a great expressive activity for people with no art background or those with experience. Participants use mixed media, such as items found around your home, along with paint, ink, tape, or glue. U of I employee Suzanna Challen will lead three weekly sessions via Zoom. Sessions will meet for three Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. on May 13, 20, and 27. By the end of the three sessions, you will have created a work of art! To sign up or learn more, visit our registration site. You can also view a sample of Suzanna’s art journaling there.

Literary Discussion Group Forming

In our last newsletter, we inquired about interest for a book club. We got many responses and a lot of ideas. After considering all the options, we have decided to move forward with a literary discussion group. This moderated online discussion will allow participants to share brief selections from something they have enjoyed reading recently. Selections can be from a book, short story, poem, magazine article—anything. This allows us to cover several genres and introduces participants to readings they may not have considered before. We hope to start this in May and are currently determining the day and time for this group. To join, email us at wellbeing@illinois.edu.

Emotional Self-Care Webinar May 26

Taking the time and making the effort for self-care is always important, but it is critical right now. U of I employee Lisa Merrifield will lead a webinar called “Self-Care: How to Give Yourself What You Need So You Can Give Everyone Else What They Need.” Lisa, who is finishing her training as a health coach, will focus on four concepts: looking in, looking out, scheduling time, and experimenting.  This webinar will be held Tuesday, May 26, at noon. To sign up, go to our registration site.

Mindfulness and Movement Sessions Continue Through May 12

Our virtual mindfulness and movement classes continue every Tuesday at noon through May 12. You can sign up for as many individual sessions as you like here.

COVID-19 Financial Wellness Seminars April 22 to May 6

We are offering a set of three web-based sessions on financial wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis. Each virtual session will meet on Wednesdays at noon from April 22 – May 6. You can sign up for as many as you like. For more details about each session or to sign up, go here.