Wellness Wednesday: Cinco de Mayo
By Onna Moore, wellness specialist
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage.
Here’s how you can celebrate:
- Create a party playlist of both traditional and contemporary Mexican music. Check out Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora and iTunes for ideas and premade playlists.
- Learn about the significance of Cinco de Mayo. Many people think it is Mexico’s Independence Day but that is on September 16.
- Create healthy but delicious recipes.
- Spend time with your friends and family. Holidays are more than food and drinks.
- If celebrating while sober, here are some tips on celebrating with friends and family without risking sobriety.
Managing stress – Part 3, April activity
Hello and happy Wednesday from the friendly neighborhood wellness specialist. We are now in Week 3 of Stress Awareness. Now that we’ve identified our stressors, we need to learn healthy coping strategies.
Coping strategies are actions we take – consciously or unconsciously – to deal with stress, problems or emotions, Unhealthy coping strategies can sometimes feel good in the moment but can have long-term negative effects. Here are some examples of both healthy and unhealthy coping strategies:
For Week 3’s activity, fill out this worksheet on healthy versus unhealthy coping strategies. Turn in this worksheet between 4/20 and 4/27. The first 20 people to complete this activity will get entered into a raffle to win $15 in Awardco. Three winners will be drawn. If you have already won the last two week’s prizes, you do not qualify for this week! This gives a chance to those who have not won. 😊
For bonus points of $10, please complete the “Managing Stress” training course on Elevate. Note: If you have already completed this for the WIP program, you do not qualify, as that will be paid out with WIP 😊. This course must not have a date older than 4/19/2022. This allows new participants a chance to win Awardco points.
The Not-To-Do List – Part 2
Hello from your friendly neighborhood wellness specialist. This month is Stress Awareness Month. Last week, I asked you to send me your top-five stresses. I read every stress worksheet, and while I tried to respond to everyone, the amount of worksheets I got was sizable. To start working on those stressors, the next activity is the Not-To-Do List.
The premise of this exercise is, in any difficult situation, there are factors we can control and factors we cannot control.
Anxiety often comes when we focus excessively on the factors we can’t control, while ignoring the things we can change. Often, especially during times like these, this is basic self-care: sleep, hydration, food, moving our bodies. Yeah, that stuff.
Unfortunately, this becomes a feedback loop — anxiety tends to persist, keeping us focused on the big scary things we have little or no control over and making it even harder to focus on things like drinking water.
This activity can help us refocus and focus on what we can control. Fill out this sheet and email to Onnastacia.Moore@goodwillky.org. Everyone who enters this will be entered into a raffle to win $25 via Awardco. I will draw 10 winners in this activity.
National Stress Awareness Month activity – Part 1
Happy Wednesday from your friendly neighborhood wellness specialist. April is National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is the body’s response to a challenge or demand. Everyone experiences stress, which can be triggered by a range of events, from small daily hassles.
How can we handle stress in healthy ways?
Stress serves an important purpose: it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties (for example, anxiety and depression) or increased physical health problems.
For this month, we’re going to do multiple activities surrounding stress management. For Week 1, from 4/6/22 until 4/13/22, I want to begin with Stress Exploration and work on how to ease those stresses. Attached is a worksheet that can help you identify your top-five stresses and a rating scale. Fill this out and email it back to me at Onnastacia.Moore@goodwillky.org. The first 10 sign-ups will get $10 added to their Awardco account.
Here are some tips that have been linked to reducing stress:
- Eat and drink to optimize your health. Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress.
- Exercise regularly. In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever.
- Stop using tobacco and nicotine products. People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.
- Assert yourself. It’s OK to say “no” to demands on your time and energy that will place too much stress on you. You don’t have always have to meet the expectations of others.
Nutrition Month goal tips
Hello from your friendly neighborhood wellness specialist. I would like to thank everyone who has participated in the “Eat Right, Bite by Bite” challenges. It has been wonderful to see you all meet your goals and succeed. Last week, I asked for anyone to share their wellness advice and you delivered. 😊
Courtney Daniels, mission integration career coach: My goal was to eat a healthy breakfast instead of just skipping breakfast or grabbing something unhealthy. I find that the days that I am most successful are the days I plan ahead. To do that I have to plan ahead when I am grocery shopping and plan for a few breakfast items that are quick grab items for those late mornings and then also some of those morning where I want something more filling but want to maintain something healthy. Then I also have to think the night before what my morning will be like so that I am prepared timing wise and also just in my mind as to what I am going to eat. One of the biggest pieces of healthy eating is MINDSET=)
Kaycee Ackaway, mission integration career coach: have made it 2 weeks today without vaping! Some things that have helped are nicotine gum, chewing on straws and I also put a cotton ball with peppermint essential oil on the end of a straw and pretend puffed on that. I tried to stay focused on the end result, and how much better I will feel as a person who does not smoke, I also told people about it and it helped with holding myself accountable, it is important to me to be a person that does what I say I am going to do.
Debbie Styer, accounting analyst: I am often very short on time, so I buy packaged ready to eat veggies, such as carrots and celery to snack on.
Barb Hansen, production clerk: My goal was to cut carbs! I was able to accomplish this by cutting carbs in half. For breakfast, one egg on one whole grain, whole wheat toast with avocado and a tomato slice. Light lunch, a protein like Colby Jack cheese slices with a thinly sliced granny smith and a hard-boiled egg. Dinner a protein, usually salmon or cod, sometimes lambchops or chicken with a green salad or steamed veggies. It’s helped me to lose a few pounds and keep me motivated. Saying no to pasta is a challenge but it works!
Mary Beth Bonta, mission integration career coach: I’ve had a lot of success with Intermittent Fasting. I have an eating window from 11am-6pm, and then after that, its fasting with black coffee or water. I’m not much of a breakfast eater, so this works best for me in the mornings and keeps me from the late-night snacking in the evening.
Tiffany Drouin, general ledger accountant: instead of using artificial sugars, I add honey, which has nutritional value.
Dawn Brown, Central City: I cut out all red meat to be more heart healthy. My husband has heart disease and had to change his diet so I changed with him. We eat a lot more vegetables also.
Thank you all so much for your wonderful advice, and congratulations for keeping your goals. Please continue to share your health journey so we can lift each other up.
How to take advantage of the huge savings with WW
Many employees have taken advantage of the Weight Watchers discount provided to all Goodwillers.
If you would like to join, there is a 50% discount when you use the activation code 15989875. All you need to do is visit WW.com/wellness to get signed up.
If now is not the right time, no worries, the 50% discount will be offered to you all year long, so when you are ready, Weight Watchers will be there waiting for you.
There is no time like the present to invest in yourself. Wellness is a process, and it takes dedication to accomplish your goals. Your Wellness team wants to provide purpose, motivation, direction and resources to help you achieve those goals.
The Wellness team, with help from Communications, has created a wellness video to inspire and motivate. We have only scratched the surface of our potential – are you willing to see how far you can go? Join the wellness revolution. Commit to wellness and a better version of yourself! Wellness works, but only if you do.
Watch this short video – featuring our Chief of External Affairs DeVone Holt, who has lost 30 pounds since starting at Goodwill – to learn how wellness works.