This year at Central, we have been launching a new Staff Wellness program. It initially just started with having some time every month to do some sort of physical activity of staff member’s choice. Staff would go for a walk together, or get a group to play volleyball.
Since this fall, the program has advanced; we now have a small sub-committee from the Wellness Committee that plans our staff wellness every month. There is specific time set aside once a month during professional development on Friday’s designated for Staff Wellness activities. This is the first program of its kind in the area.
The plan for the rest of the year is to follow the dimensions of wellness every month as themes. These dimensions include: physical, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual, financial, intellectual, and occupational. In November, the focus was on physical activity. We split up into teams of staff members and did activities such as: walking, yoga, weightlifting, and badminton. We followed up by doing a physical activity challenge until our next Staff Wellness day in December.
December’s theme was healthy eating. We had two guests from our community come in from Turkey River Farms, Pete Kerns and Natasha Hegmann. We did a cooking workshop series with three different stations last Friday. Pete’s group learned about roasting seasonal vegetables, Natasha’s group learned how to make healthy holiday dips, and my group learned how to make overnight oatmeal.
“The goal of these three short workshops was to share healthy recipes, specifically, cooking methods that increase consumption of seasonally available fruits and vegetable sources of protein. The workshop presenters also shared strategies for improvising on the recipes so that staff can adapt the recipe ideas using a variety of ingredients,” said Natasha.
Next month, our focus will be on the emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of wellness. We plan to do a large group session on mindfulness, guided relaxation, and a values workshop. After the winter months, we will pick back up with the financial dimension of wellness.