As I enter my first quarter as both a graduate student and a staff member here at UW, thoughts of anxiety and concern start to creep into my mind. But before all of the work hours, research papers, assignments and commitments start to overwhelm me, I am taking a moment for myself to map out all the ways I plan to prioritize self-care this fall.
I know that if I want to put my best face forward, I need to ensure that I am healthy and happy, from the inside out. That includes focusing on my mental well-being, physical well-being, and growing my UW community.
The Whole U has abundant programming to support my wellness journey this fall. From guided meditation sessions and strength training videos, from nutritious recipes to community support networks, a few of my favorite tools and activities are listed below.
Mental health is often de-prioritized in today’s society, but our mental wellbeing is the most important component to our health—and of our success. Here are a few ways I plan to put my mental well-being first this fall.
Whole U Speaker Series: Mental Health Benefits of Yoga On and Off the Mat
- While the physical practice of yoga is based in movement science, it is also a practice that infuses mindfulness through the experience of body motion, breath engagement, and mental awareness. Learn about the mental health benefits of yoga with Danny Arguetty, Mindfulness Program Manager at UW, on October 11 by registering here.
- Things may get hectic, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel it. What you do is important, but sometimes you just need to step back and take a breather. Register here to learn exercises that help you de-stress in the office.
Whole U Meditation Page
- Short on time this fall? Listen to one of the Whole U meditation practices to reduce stress, increase calmness, and promote happiness. All the meditation practices were created by UW faculty for our community and you can access them anytime, anywhere. Listen here.
- UW CareLink connects you with experts who help you or your family members navigate life’s challenges. You get free, confidential access to guidance consultants. Learn more here.
A healthy mind provides us the space to also work on maintaining healthy bodies. With a multitude of ways to be more active and nutritious guides to fuel me, here is how I plan to keep my physical body healthy this fall.
UW Yoga Month 2018
- October is Yoga Month at UW. Yoga practice harbors many benefits—from relaxation and stress relief to building strength in body and mind—so if you’re looking to make the move to a healthier lifestyle, our month-long celebration is an ideal opportunity to do just that! Sign up here for access to all the Whole U Yoga Month activities.
Whole U Strength Training Series with UW Strength & Conditioning
- Build strength this quarter with expert Chris Dresher, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at UW Athletics. Chris will guide you through proper form on exercises that target all the major muscle groups. Watch the series here.
Stretch at Your Desk
- Take a break during the day and stretch at your desk! Stretching can relieve the tension in your neck, shoulders, and back as well as get the blood flowing to help make you feel relaxed and more productive. Sign up here to receive the exercises to try daily.
Half Marathon Training Plan
- Congratulations on deciding to train for your first (or another) half marathon! All levels are welcome as you choose your own pace and intensity. Lauren Updyke, assistant director for the Whole U, has created this 16-week half marathon training plan for runners of all levels. Register here for access to your training plan.
- Breakfast doesn’t need to be boring. Make the first meal of the day your favorite with fresh takes on an old concept: morning toast. Click here for access to 10 easy-to-make toast ideas that will revolutionize breakfast with inspired additions and unique pairings that will get you out the door but have you coming back for more.
Meals in a Jar
- Packing lunch can sometimes feel like a lot of planning and preparation—not to mention a pain to transport in your work bag. If you’re fed up with the same old lunch food options, try a meal in a Mason jar! Register here to access some recipes to create beautiful salads, pastas, and even desserts! Looking for more healthy recipes? Take a look at our Eating Well Recipes & Resources!
Total Benefits Flu Shot Clinic
- Keep you and your family fully functioning this year by avoiding the flu and getting vaccinated. Learn more here and check out the 2018 calendar here.
- Meeting dietary and weight loss goals can sometimes feel tough, but with Weight Watchers at Work, you can focus on eating better without making it a chore, moving more for fun, and achieving your goals with other like-minded people—all on campus too. Learn how to join here.
I also know that to succeed this fall, I need to surround myself with a strong support network. Here are a few community building resources for both fellow colleagues and students to strengthen our bonds.
Whole U Speaker Series: Expanding Your Notion of “Everyone” When Creating Digital Resources
- Learn how to be more inclusive when creating digital resources with simple techniques for creating websites, videos, and digital documents that are accessible to everyone, including those who unable to see, hear, or use a mouse. Register here.
The Whole U 30-Day Kindness Challenge
- Every day, for 30 days, complete an act of kindness. The challenge includes random acts of kindness for our colleagues as well as acts of kindness for ourselves. Complete the tasks in any order you want. Simply print this sheet, hang it near your desk, check off the boxes as you go, and spread kindness across our UW community.
Whole U WOW Cards
- Cultivating more compassion and kindness in the office or class is easy! Download the Whole U WOW cards here and start expressing gratitude towards your colleagues.
Whole U Being Active Facebook Group
- Join this private group for UW faculty and staff to inspire & encourage each other with photos, quotes, and positive motivation! Join us here.
- The University Ombud is appointed to help individual members of the community explore and assert their rights and interests within the University and to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the University’s systems and operations. Learn more about how the Ombud can help facilitate, mediate, address an issue and find a solution here.
There are many ways to stay healthy this fall. So before you dive head first into your busy schedule, take a moment to list out all of the self-care practices and tools you can reach to as modes of support. And when all else fails, remember to take a moment and just breathe.