Wellness Month: Year 2

Posted: Feb 15, 2017
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Here I am again: another year down and another wellness month to plan.

First off, I have to say this is far less scary than it was last year.

Let’s start with last year. What went well? What did staff enjoy and what wasn’t utilized like we thought it would be? I found the best way for me to find these answers was to do a staff survey.

I put together a list of things we did last year and asked employees to rate them based on how much they enjoyed them. I also asked about new things they would like to see. I received some great feedback and even some I hadn’t expected. It seems staff is quite concerned about finances above all else, and this is affecting their well-being.

This shouldn’t be all that surprising, I mean, we are all concerned about our finances during these tough economic times, especially with the quickly rising cost of rent / mortgages, but I suppose what surprised me was that staff considered this part of “wellness.” Why hadn’t I thought of this? I think I got so stuck on the idea of “wellness” as physical and emotional health and forgot to think about what aspects actually contribute to this.   

I figured we should incorporate this idea of fiscal health into our wellness month.  

As per usual, any time a staff member does a wellness related activity, they receive a prize ticket to enter into one of our 15(!) prize giveaways this year. These include prizes like massage gift certificates, Fitbits, vacation days, gift cards, and gift baskets. What changed this year is we created a more open well-being approach. Obviously if someone goes for a run before work this counts, but now so does spending 15 minutes a night working on your budget. After all, this is just as much of an accomplishment for some as going for a run.

We also added year subscriptions to You Need a Budget (YNAB) to our giveaways, as well as planned an optional webinar about budgeting for staff to attend, hosted by someone at YNAB. If we can help even just a handful of staff members feel better about saving, planning, and budgeting, then this is a success.

What I need to remember is wellness means different things to different people. I should know this most of all. As mentioned last year, I have never been big on physical activities, but this doesn’t mean I’m not well. I just have different focuses.

As for me: this has been a big year. Not only do I have a full year of employment with DoveLewis under my belt, I have also worked hard on my personal health. While I am still no model citizen, I am conscious of my choices and mindful in my activities and eating. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy the Thai food cart next door a few times a month, but I find myself packing a lunch and snacks far more often than not these days. I have even been going to the gym in the mornings before work to swim regularly.  I see a difference in myself, one that I’m proud of. Not a drastic physical change, but a change in my well-being. I feel better about myself for knowing I CAN. I CAN work out, I CAN eat well. I CAN let myself feel good. And really, isn’t this the point of wellness?

Don’t get me wrong, for so long I had figured I couldn’t be healthy, that I didn’t deserve it, or that it just wasn’t in the cards for me. It’s amazing how much we believe those sabotaging voices when we are trying to do something good for ourselves.

So here I am, kicking off Wellness Month for the second year and already getting excited for the next year to come. It’s amazing how one work assignment can really change you.