Just breathe

Our quarterly IT Town Hall was this week. It’s a chance to bring all staff together, welcome new employees, and recognize promotions and special individual accomplishments. Each IT leader highlightedcanstockphoto15842113 3 successes in their areas this quarter and their 2016 priority projects. I commented on the changes we’ve made: re-establishment of IT governance, process improvements to ensure a more stable production environment, and our new visual management board.

We squeezed all of that into the first half hour so we could get to our guest speaker, Dr. Francois Adan, Medical Director of UH Connor Integrative Health Network. She gave us something we could all use: techniques to manage stress.

In 50 minutes, through very compelling stories, we learned what seemed like relatively simple techniques. It’s all about breathing, mindfulness, positivity, and gratitude. Basic practices we can apply every day. With Dr. Adan’s engaging speaking and teaching style, it was a delight to learn from her.

So what did we learn? Continue reading

Commit to a healthy workforce

Last week I joined the second “Summer Walk” that the MHealthy champions in our IT department organized. It was a 1.5 mile round trip between our two main office facilities during the lunch hour. We had about 60 participants for each walk. What a great way to get some exercise, connect with colleagues and show our shared commitment to healthy living!

I wasn’t planning to do the walk when I first saw the announcements and flyers around our office. I expected that I had meetings during that time. But when one of the MHealthy champions reached out directly and asked me to show my commitment to healthy living, how could I say no?  It turned out that I could join them if I left a meeting 15 minutes early. I’m glad I did; literally “walking the talk”.

Our department is so committed that we were recently recognized as being one of the top performing areas, with 58% of employees participating in the University’s MHealthy Rewards program. More than 21,000 people throughout the University took advantage of the annual opportunity to review their health status, develop an action plan for improvement, and participate in helpful programs and services such as Active U, Weight Watchers, tobacco treatment, or stress-management programs. This is the program’s seventh year.

Our department’s MHealthy workgroup is developing new plans for activities and events to promote physical activity, healthy eating, and other positive health behaviors. The Summer Walks on the last Friday of each month are just the beginning.

They have also started a FitBit community for the department. Continue reading

If not now, when?

How often have you put off scheduling a doctor appointment or preventive test because you’re just too busy? Do you keep up your exercise routine when you’ve got a big project and key deadline looming?  Do you have someone who helps keep you honest on these basic “taking care of yourself” things?YourHealthYourChoice

Have to admit I’m not the best but I am turning it around. Learned many years ago I’m the only one who can take care of me. No one is going to come into my office and say go home, you’re working too hard.

I have a gym membership and dogs that need to be walked. And it’s gorgeous here in Ann Arbor these days so I love being outside.

But I’ve also learned
that I do best at taking care of myself when I’ve got people who keep me honest. Some ideas from my recent experience: Continue reading