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 Tuesday, March 22, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Stress Management Resources Encourage Faculty/Staff Wellness
By Jon Leslie, Publications and Creative Services
Seven Tips for Stress Management

1. Get restful sleep-Missing two hours of sleep two nights in a row can cause sleep deprivation, leading to that foggy, spaced-out feeling.

2. Eat well-Make sure you eat regular meals. Also, avoid alcohol and limit caffeine intake. Faculty and staff can purchase on-campus meals through the Department of Housing and Dining Services.

3. Use deep breathing techniques-Deep breathing and other meditative techniques can help reduce anxiety and lower stress levels.

4. Get exercise-Regular exercise is a positive way to work through stress and build a healthy lifestyle. Faculty and staff are eligible for discounted memberships at the Student Recreation Center.

5. Know when to say "no"-Know your limits and respect them; trying to take on too many things at once can cause unhealthy levels of stress.

6. Set priorities-Structure your time and reassess your projects often to make sure you're on track.

7. Talk about it-If you're feeling stressed, talk with a co-worker, supervisor or loved one about it. You can also take advantage of the free services offered by the Faculty/Staff Assistance Center.

Adapted from Wardenburg Health Center web site

Without a doubt, these are stressful times to work at CU-Boulder. Beyond the typical job-related stressors facing employees each day, ongoing adversity at the university has led to uncertainty and frustration, taking a toll on the physical and psychological well-being of faculty and staff.

"The faculty are at a low point right now in their emotional lives," says Barbara Bintliff, professor of law and chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly. "It just feels like every time we turn around CU is in the press for something negative, and the frustration stems in large part from the fact that we do so much that is good that goes unreported."

When stressed, individuals typically use a variety of short-term mechanisms to manage the situation. "Some people increase their physical workout; some people eat; some people go to the counseling center; and some people just kind of drop out and quit reading the newspaper," says Bintliff. "Everyone has their own coping mechanism, and they're all a little bit different."

Numerous on-campus resources are available to help faculty and staff build positive long-term outlets for stress-from discounted memberships at the Student Recreation Center, to faculty/staff meal plans, to counseling and stress management services.

The Boulder Campus Wellness Committee-a volunteer program that works to promote wellness on campus through education, prevention, early detection and better access to comprehensive health resources-offers a central source for faculty and staff to learn more about the on-campus services available to them.

"There's a quote that 'wellness is discovering your highest potential by striving to reach an optimal state of mind, body and spirit,'" says Jennifer Shannon Law, chair of the committee. "We have good resources here, but we're not using the resources we have to their fullest potential."

One of those resources, the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, provides confidential counseling and consulting services to assist faculty and staff with personal or work-related concerns that may interfere with job performance. "The program offers professional-level counseling services if faculty or staff just need to talk," says Law, "and also gives fabulous referrals, whether it's books about stress management or other tips."

Developing effective stress management skills can go a long way toward improving the work environment and can also have a significant positive impact on long-term physical and mental health. For more information on the many faculty/staff resources available on campus, visit the Boulder Campus Wellness Committee.

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