Tag Archives: fun

Lunch & Learn: Relax for the Holidays Open House

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to stop by the Memorial Union Ballroom B between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 to attend the popular open-house style Lunch and Learn, “Relax for the Holidays.”

The 4th annuaRelaxPicl “Relax for the Holidays” open house will feature several relaxation stations, including Aromatherapy with Michelle Coria and Yoga & Guided Relaxation with Beth Ryynanen. There will also be some “fun” stations: a coloring station, light therapy, make-and-take soup mix, and more.

Attendees will be eligible to enter a free drawing for prizes by J. Jukari Spa and Salon. Feel free to bring your lunch; tea and hot chocolate will be provided.  Attending employees will earn 100 HuskyPAW points.

This event is sponsored by WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness.


Outdoor Winter Fun Here in the Keweenaw

IMG_4494By Morgan Laajala, WorkLife Intern

It’s hard to keep motivated when you’re busy, especially during the cold, winter months. If you don’t want to spend money on a gym pass, there are things you can do outside that are enjoyable and keep you active. Next time you are sick of sitting inside, try one of these winter activities!

There are many opportunities to try new winter activities in the Houghton area. You could go snowboarding or skiing at Mont Ripley, cross country skiing on the Michigan Tech trails, go snowshoeing, go hiking on some of our local trails, or find one of the free public rinks around the area and go skating. You can even grab some friends and play a game of hockey! These kinds of activities don’t make you feel like you’re working out; instead you will just be having fun. By trying these new activities, you may find a new favorite hobby.

A lot of kids in the winter want to play outside all day long. The cold doesn’t bother them, and they don’t want to go inside to warm up or eat. All they want to do is play, build forts, go sledding, and make snow angels. If you have kids, the next time they are playing outside, go on and join them to play and get your activity in. Although it might be years since you’ve last gone to a sledding hill, I guarantee you will have fun flying down that hill, and you will get quite the workout walking back up!

If none of this appeals to you, a simple walk once or twice a day for about 15-30 minutes is easy to do, and can help relieve stress as well as give you the physical activity you’re looking for. Many people don’t like to walk in the winter because of the cold, but walking in the winter actually gives you more of a workout than in the summer because you must work to keep warmer, and walking in snow can give you some resistance that you won’t get in warmer seasons. Just be sure to watch for slippery spots!

Although it’s hard to stay motivated in the winter, there are many things you can do that don’t feel like exercise, but help you keep active. The most important thing to remember when you are outside in the winter is to make sure to wear layers and dress appropriately for the weather.


Knitting Can Create Mindful Spaces in Stressful Times

By Morgan Laajala, WorkLife Connections Intern

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness hosted a “Knitting for Wellness” Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, October 5 in Memorial Union Ballroom B3. The Lunch and Learn had a great turnout, with about 31 attendees. The presentation was given by Silke Feltz, a knitting enthusiast and Humanities PhD student.

Silke talked about Knitting at Michigan Tech, StreetKnits (an international knitting charity), how knitting can be beneficial to your mental health, and provided resources for other knitters. Studies have shown that regular knitting and similar

Silke Feltz, humanities PhD student, discusses the wellness benefits of knitting at the 10/05/16 Lunch & Learn.
Silke Feltz, humanities PhD student, discusses the wellness benefits of knitting at the 10/05/16 Lunch & Learn.

needle work activities produce benefits for knitters, including creating mindfulness, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, helping quit a bad habit, improving cognitive function, and increasing happiness. Silke loved sharing her passion with others, and said that doing the presentation “was like a spa treatment for [her] soul.”

When Silke is taking a break from PhD work, she enjoys walking her dog, spending time outside, doing yoga, and of course, knitting. She explained that even during her busiest days, she takes her knitting with her and will take five minute breaks between grading papers to knit. This helps her to keep calm, relax, and focus on the task at hand.

Silke’s advice to other knitters is to realize that it’s just like any other skill that requires practice and commitment. If you keep practicing, you will eventually be able to knit without even thinking about it. Most importantly, give it a try, commit to it, and don’t get frustrated.

If you would like to learn more about StreetKnits or donate needles, yarn, or knitwear, check out their Facebook page or e-mail streetknits2013@gmail.com. If you have questions for Silke, e-mail her at shfeltz@mtu.edu.

 


“Knitting for Wellness” Lunch and Learn

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness invite you to join them for a Lunch and Learn, “Knitting for Wellness,” from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Memorial Union Ballroom B3.

Did you know knitting has health benefits? Join Silke Feltz, knitting enthusiast and Humanities PhD student, to learn about resources, knitting at Michigan Tech and more. Novice and seasoned knitters are encouraged to attend.

Register at HuskyPAW, members may claim 100 bonus points for attending. Feel free to bring your lunch. Beverages will be provided. Email Shannon Brodeur with questions.


Bike the Keweenaw Lunch & Learn

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness invite you to join them for a Lunch and Learn with Bike Initiative Keweenaw (BIKE!) from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge B.

Interested in biking more often? Learn how to be comfortable and safe while riding and commuting, as well as what BIKE! is working on for our bike-friendly community.

Register here. HuskyPAW members may claim 100 bonus points for attending. Bring your lunch. Beverages will be provided. Email Shannon Brodeur with questions.


Intro to Qigong and Tai Chi Lunch and Learn

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness invite you to join them for an interactive Lunch & Learn with Darlene Basto, North Star Qigong and Tai Chi, from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A.

Interested in learning about Qigong and Tai Chi?  Find out how these ancient Chinese arts can help relieve stress by promoting circulation, balance, and alignment.  Wear comfortable clothing for an interactive demonstration.

Register here. HuskyPAW members may claim 100 bonus points for attending. Bring your lunch. Beverages will be provided. Email Shannon Brodeur with questions.


Come “Relax for the Holidays” with WorkLife Connections & Employee Wellness

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to stop by the Memorial Union Ballroom B1 on Wednesday, November 18, any time between 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. to attend an open-house style Lunch and Learn event, “Relax for the Holidays.”  Attending employees will earn 500 HuskyPAW points!

LunchandLearn-imgflyer
Relax for the Holidays Flyer

The “Relax for the Holidays Open House” will feature several relaxation stations, including chair massages with Christian Baker, Aromatherapy with Vicky Sleeman, Yoga and Guided Relaxation with Joan Kero, as well as a coloring station, bubble wrap popping and light therapy, and a chocolate station. Attendees will be eligible to enter a free drawing for one of three spa packages: two 30-minute Swedish Massages or a 30-minute infrared Sauna with Spa Shower from J. Jukuri Spa and Salon. Additional aromatherapy and other stress-relieving items will also be given away to attendees.

Bring your lunch and eat in our stress-free lunch environment, try out different relaxation techniques, and take a breather before the busy holiday schedules roll around. Tea and hot chocolate will be provided.

 


The Chill Chipmunk

The Chill ChipmunkWe’re told by our loved ones to take care of ourselves, but being able to actually do that is often a whole other story. Good intentions don’t always make it into action. We may get fresh fruits and vegetables from the store to make a vitamin-filled smoothie and then what happens? The fruits and veggies sit in the fridge and never make it to the blender. The same thing happens for the grand idea we had to make homemade soup when the weather turns cold. And then all of a sudden we’re sick and overwhelmed while our fruits and vegetables still sit in the fridge. We’re working hard, running errands, and still adding things to our agendas. And doing everything but taking care of ourselves.

I was watching a little chipmunk the other day. He was almost in my way on the sidewalk, so I stopped. He wasn’t running away as I inched closer, so I thought maybe he was injured or something. No, he was just chilling and eating his acorns, no worries! I had to laugh as I realized that to him, making sure he got his little meal was more important to him than responding to his fear and running way. Only once he had his cheeks stuffed did he scurry into his little tree burrow.

This makes me think, if the chipmunks can do it, can’t we? Can we just stop a little and take some time for our health and wellbeing?

A large part of mindfulness, I think, is being intentional. Take a break and don’t let the stress enter your break. The stress can wait a few minutes while you relax your pulse. And like the chipmunk, don’t let anything get in your way.


Laugh in the Face of Adversity: Maintaining a Sense of Humor in the Workplace

Humans are social creatures and humor is one of the greatest interactions we have that connects us to one another. We laugh in countless situations in countless settings, from family dinners to friendly get togethers. Even when first meeting someone, a well placed and proper joke does wonders in breaking the ice and paving the way to more casual interaction. Humor is fun, easy, usually free, and makes us feel comfortable being around each other in everyday social settings—something that is often overlooked in the workplace.

The workplace: “no pain, no gain;” “work isn’t supposed to be fun;” “work before play;” “no rest for the weary.” These are phrases often used when discussing our work and career. We seem to be under the impression that we should not be having fun at our jobs, which is where we spend much of our time. Plus, work can be frustrating: your boss piles you with files, forms, and impossible due dates; you ran into a co-worker and dropped your lunch; you’re tired and your patience is frayed. It’s no wonder we feel so stressed out and frazzled by the end of the week—nay, day—we typically have more things to complain about than rave about when we are asked about our days at work. This is a serious health problem that can be alleviated by a simple change in attitude to allow ourselves to make our jobs more enjoyable. In other words: Be funny; it may improve your health!

Studies have shown that laughter really is medicinal. In fact, laughing is similar to exercising in that it works your core muscles and stimulates the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. When you have a good, hearty chuckle, your body increases endorphin levels and reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Subsequently, your body’s stress responses diminish: blood pressure lowers, muscles relax, and mood improves. Not only will you feel refreshed after a good giggle fit with your colleagues, but that shared chuckle over the ridiculous demands of your job and home lives also helps your immune system stay active.

 

What can you do to build a sense of humor in the workplace?

  1. Start with a smile (even if it’s a fake one)—“Fake it ‘til you make it,” as the old adage goes, and it goes for a reason. A conscious smile can go a long way to make it easier for a real smile to creep onto that face of yours.
  2. Take a step back and look for what’s ridiculous—It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re in the middle of a project. Try to look at your situation from an observer’s perspective, and you may find it easier to recognize some of the absurdity of what you’re doing. It might even help to think about your life as a sitcom. In other words, sometimes the important things we do can give us a good chuckle.
  3. Take short breaks—Make time to read your favorite webcomics or watch short, funny videos. Use these breaks as rewards for getting things done and you may see improvement in how you feel by the end of the day.
  4. Make sure your friends and co-workers are on board—You may need to be the one who initiates the humor in your workplace, so make it a point to start days off by sharing a video you found that cracked you up or by telling your colleagues about something hilariously stupid that happened to you the other day.

 

Now, get out there and use that humor of yours to laugh at all these lemons life inexplicably puts in your pockets.