Monthly Themes

June: The Balancing Act

Knowing how to balance priorities sets the stage for creating a healthier version of you and significantly impacts those around you. With all the ongoing and often competing demands, it's easy to feel disconnected from what gives you fulfilment and purpose - which can ultimately impact your well-being.

Find the balance you're looking for-at work, home and in your communities.

Making it happen:

  • Get smarter, not busier: let go of things that take up a lot of time but aren't exactly necessities.
  • Ask for help: whether you need to ask a coworker or a family member, reach out for help - it's okay to be vulnerable.
  • Take some you time: while it might not always seem urgent, regular self-care is important.
  • Customize your self-care: find and practice self-care activities that help you find the balance you need.

May: Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage both your own emotions and the emotions of others. This plays a large role in our personal and professional success.

Emotional intelligence is made up of five ingredients:

  1. Self-awareness: keep track of your emotions in a daily journal. Make note of the situation in which you felt each emotion and why that feeling surfaced.
  2. Self-regulation: use your journal to access whether these emotions align with your values and goals and develop strategies to help you manage them better - deep - breathing exercises when you feel stressed, for example.
  3. Motivation: consider your personal and professional goals and use these to create both a sense of optimism and a plan for achieving them.
  4. Empathy: practice noticing others' emotions and body language. By imaging yourself in their position, you'll gain a deeper understanding of their situation and be able to respond more appropriately.
  5. Social skills: communicate, communicate, communicate! Working to improve your communication skills can lead to better teamwork and conflict management.

 

April: The Double-Edged Sword

People deal with workplace conflict differently-by ignoring it, accomodating it to please others, competing or finding a way to collaborate through it. It goes without saying that collaborating is the most productive of these strategies, so here are a few tips to help you do just that: 

  • Prepare before addressing conflict. Take time and space to identify the facts, your feelings and any assumptions. Being aware of what you're bringing to a conversation can help lay the groundwork for a more collaborative relationship.
  • Stick to the facts. Be sure to avoid accusations, which are counterproductive.
  • Listen. Give the other person a chance to share their story, which might address any assumptions you've made.
  • Offer solutions. Before addressing the issue, first, consider solutions that might work.
  • Be ready to compromise. Conflict resolution almost always involves a bit of give and take.
  • Ask for support. Ger help from your leader, administrator, Huma Resources team or Employee and Family Assistance Program provider.

March: Striving for Safe Environments

Work and living spaces that are both physically and psychologically healthy benefit your well-being and help create a positive culture. Each of us contributes to maintaining a safe physical and psychological environment in our own way by both looking after ourselves and supporting others in the workplace. 

Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  • Scope out your space
  • Declutter
  • Green it up

February: Contagious Kindness

It's no surprise that fostering kindness can positively impact both individuals and workplace cultures. It makes us feel happier and improves our overall well-being.

How can you foster kindness?

  • Let someone know you're grateful for them. Expressing gratitude can increase the happiness of both the person expressing and the person receiving it. When we practice gratitude, it's easier to show appreciation for others.
  • Offer to support someone by lighting their load. Here, the offer to help usually means more to the recipient than the act itself.
  • Let others shine by encouraging them to take the lead. This is a great way to demonstrate how much you value their input and leadership.
  • Acknowledge your peers' unique perspectives and knowledge. Let them know how much you've learned from them.

January: Investing in Your Future

While we can never be sure what life has in store for us, consider what you want your future to look like. Explore how you can grow and develop both personally and professionally to achieve that vision.

Try these simple tips to help you on this journey:

  • Find a mentor. Connect with someone you admire personally or professionally. What advice do they have to share? Or why not try job shadowing others within your own workplace or elsewhere?
  • Sharing learnings with your colleagues. If you've learned something new, why not gather together and share it with your colleagues? You can also add learning from professional development opportunities as a standing agenda item for staff meetings.
  • Participate in events. Looking for other professional growth and development opportunities but aren't sure where to start? Head over to the event page on thewellnesssandbox.ca for ideas!

December: Engagement at Work

Engagement is an essential part of staying motivated and connected to your work. When you're engaged, you're fully invested in both your work and the people you support and you're significantly more likely to be productive and feel satisfied by the work you do.

Take this opportunity to explore your own personal engagement by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. How do you engage emotionally at work? How much passion do you bring to your job?
  2. Are you physically engaged in the work you do? What kind of energy do you bring to your day?
  3. How absorbed do you feel throughout your workday? Does this differ from your experience outside of work?
  4. Are you socially engaged with colleagues? Do you participate in work-related social activities?

November: The Leader in All of Us

According to research, leadership competencies can be grouped into five main themes. Reflect on the themes below and explore how you've demonstrated leadership in each of these areas. After considering your past and present, think about how you can model these behaviours in your workplace going forward. 

  1. Create a safe and trusting environment. How have you contributed to creating an environment where others can flourish?
  2. Empower others. Recognizing that no one person can do it all, how have you empowered others to reach their potential?
  3. Foster a sense of belonging. Communication both verbal and non-verbal is foundational for leaders - how have you used communication to create connections?
  4. Be open to new ideas. How have you approached bringing forward new ideas? What has the response been when you've brought these ideas forward?
  5. Nurture growth. How have you demonstrated a commitment to ongoing development? What are some creative ways of promoting it in the workplace that doesn't require additional time or funding?

October: The Ripple Effect

Appreciation and recognition help improve your school/home/work culture by fostering trust, social connection, motivation and engagement. 

The science between recognition is pretty clear: the cost of giving it has little to do with its impact on the recipient. Even small gestures can go a long way! Some things to keep in mind:

  • Be sincere and honest
  • Think free (no financial pressure)
  • Be timely
  • Personalize the message
  • Keep it clear and concise
  • Be specific and relevant
  • Just do it! Express your gratitude

Explore just how far the ripple from small acts of appreciation and recognition can go. 

September: Take the Time for Wellness

September is a great time to create a plan for balance with all the excitement and challenges that come with a new school year. Think about where you are on your health journey, where you'd like to be and how you might get there. Use the eight key dimensions of wellness in your life:

  • Emotional - You're aware of your feelings and express them in beneficial ways.
  • Environmental - Where you live, work and play are safe and leave you inspired, calm and creative.
  • Financial - Your current situation isn't a source of stress. You're knowledgable about personal finances and actively planning your future. 
  • Occupational - You're engaged and fulfilled at work. You find it interesting, meaningful and personally enriching. 
  • Physical - You keep your body well cared for by eating healthy, moving often, practicing proper sleep, hygiene and attending medical appointments. 
  • Social - Your communication skills are strong and you have a supportive social and professional network. Your interactions help you foster a sense of connection and belonging. 
  • Spiritual - You spend time reflecting on and appreciating your life and purpose. Your actions are aligned with your beliefs and values, and you're comfortable with who you are.