In late 2013, Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, released his Employee Wellness executive order. Governor Inslee stated, “Preventing illness is the best way to improve health and save money on health care,” said Gov. Inslee. “I’m committed to doing everything I can to help the people of our state live longer, healthier lives. This executive order makes the health and wellness of state employees a priority, and sets the tone for government agencies and businesses around the state.” Under the governors order, Washington State University has established a comprehensive employee wellbeing program, directed at improving the quality of life for WSU employees and their families.
Wellcoug offers WSU employees and their families a wide range of resources to support their physical and mental health. Through Wellcoug, employees can receive help in accessing education, identifying resources, developing skills and making healthy choices.
Empowering More Health, More Happiness, and More Success!
Wellcoug focuses on five key areas to support and improve overall wellbeing of the WSU community, including: guidance and support; nutrition and healthy eating; intellectual wellbeing; physical health and activity; and work/life balance.
Guidance and Support
WSU cares about its employees. Because of that, the Guidance and Support aspect of our wellbeing program, allows WSU to provide resources for employees and their families in times of need or crisis. By offering these resources we hope to try and enhance our employees quality of life and provide a buffer against adverse life events. Whether its a reference to a grief support group, or details on where families can get assistance with food or utilities, we want to be known as a program that understands life is no always fair.
Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Do you feel like you can’t keep up with the latest nutrition news because it’s always changing? While it’s true that what is known about nutrition and diet is evolving, there are some nutrition basics you can keep in mind. By knowing these nutrition basics, you’ll be better equipped to sort through the latest research and advice.
Mastering the nutrition basics comes down to understanding the food groups and becoming more aware of calories and the roles that specific nutrients play in a healthy diet. Want to go beyond the nutrition basics? Talk to your doctor or a dietitian for personalized dietary advice that takes into account your health status, lifestyle, and food likes and dislikes.
Intellectual Wellbeing reflects our degree of openness to new ideas, our tendency to challenge ourselves to think critically, our inclination to nourish our creativity and curiosity, and our motivation to master new skills. Intellectual wellbeing can be enhanced through life long integration of enjoyable, thought-provoking, and imaginative mental activities. If you are a student, you may have a lot on your “intellectual plate”, but intellectual wellbeing goes above and beyond studying and tests (although those are important, too!)
Continuing to learn about the world around us and allowing ourselves to grow from the integration if this new knowledge into our life can enhance our intellectual wellbeing. For instance, learning about a new culture or philosophy increases not only one’s intellectual wellbeing, but spiritual wellbeing as well.
Physical Health and Activity
Taking care of your body is a powerful first step towards overall wellbeing. The mind and the body are linked. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental and emotional health. For example, exercise not only strengthens our heart and lungs, but also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that energize us and lift our mood.
The activities you engage in and the daily choices you make affect the way you feel physically and emotionally.
Physical health is a way to maintain our health and fitness through exercise or life-style activities such as walking, jogging, running, bicycling, doing yoga and feeding our body with the right type of food and drinks.
There are so many ways to maintain and retain physical health which also improves our overall health and thus improves our immunity system and reduces the chance of illness, disease and injury. Also it often helps in faster and better recovery when you have been unwell.
Work and Life Balance is a concept that supports the efforts of you splitting your time and energy between work and the other important aspects of your life. Work-life balance is a daily effort to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.
Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.
There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.