Employee Whole Health
Employee Whole Health is essential to our health and resiliency as an organization and represents a proactive model of well-being that is protective against stressors and challenges we face in our day to day lives. Focusing on “ME” through mindful awareness and self-discovery allows us to reflect on what matters most, and brings connection to our meaning, aspiration, and purpose to support true work-life integration. Below, find resources developed to assist you in giving attention to your health and wellbeing journey!
Employee Whole Health Monthly Highlights
This month, Whole Health would like to take a minute to highlight the importance of surroundings! Often times, we don't consider the impact of surroundings on our physical, mental, and emotional state. Surroundings can include your home and work environment and the communities you've surrounded yourself with. Below are some recommendations and resources for giving your surroundings some attention this month!
Create Healing Spaces through Environmental Design
Numerous elements contribute to making a space a healing environment. Sensory inputs such as what we see, hear, smell, and feel all make an impact.
Color: Cool colors tend to calm and relax when under high levels of stress.
Nature: Psychological and physiological indicators suggest faster and more complete recovery from stress when people are exposed to natural settings. Even just 3-5 minutes of time in nature can decrease stress, reduce anger, and ease unpleasant emotions!
Sound: Noisy environments can increase our perception of pain, impair sleep, and have been correlated with higher levels of burnout. Playing peaceful music has been known to have several health benefits, such as decreasing anxiety levels and reducing heart and respiratory rates.
Live Whole Health #60, Vacation Visualization - Want to change your surroundings for just a few minutes? Practice this short guided meditation and take yourself on a virtual vacation!
Check out our brand new Employee Yoga class on the Topeka campus! Class is FREE and is held on Thursday's from 4:45 - 5:45. Join us in the Employee Gym for weekly breath work, practicing quieting the mind, and recharging the body. We hope it can be a restorative experience after the workday!
Begin Your Personal Journey Today
The Personal Health Inventory is a tool created to walk you through the Circle of Health and assist you in identifying your mission, aspiration, and purpose (MAP). Once your MAP is clearly identified, you can use this tool to help evaluate where you are and where you'd like to be in your health and wellbeing journey, and consider how your personal goals might best align with the things you value most. Download the file below to get started!
Health Coaching for Employees
Are you ready to prioritize your health and wellbeing, but not sure where to start? VA Eastern Kansas is proud to offer you individualized health coaching to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Our coaches will work with your schedule to find a convenient time to provide accountability, identify proactive goals, and help problem-solve barriers. Coaching can be offered virtually to all staff or face-to-face on the Topeka and Leavenworth campuses. Simply email email@example.com to get started!
VAEK Employee Whole Health Classes
Whole Health For You and Me
Whole Health For You and Me is designed to explore Whole Health and consider meaningful ways to improve your health and well-being! The goal of this class is to help you identify your mission, aspiration, and purpose, and understand how you can make changes in your life that help you work towards achieving your personal goals. This class consists of (4) 1 hour weekly sessions over the course of a month and you can earn continuing education credits for your participation!
Whole Health Coaching Skills for Clinicians
Whole Health Coaching for Clinicians occurs in 2 hour segments over a 4-week period and is designed to be highly experiential, with an emphasis on taking coaching skills back to your clinical practice. The focus of this virtual course is on meeting Veterans where they are in readiness for change, providing information in a Veteran-centered fashion ( a ‘coach’ approach), and supporting actionable steps toward improving their health and wellbeing.
VISN 15 Offerings
Visit our VISN 15 Sharepoint to explore whole health classes that allow you to engage and learn with your peers from other organizations throughout our VISN. Through these courses, you'll have the opportunity to learn about and explore your own Whole Health as well as how Whole Health fits within your clinical or work practice!
Visit the National Whole Health Education Sharepoint to explore whole health classes that allow you to engage and learn with your peers from other organizations throughout the country. You'll have the opportunity to learn anything from Eating for Whole Health, to Empowering and Equipping staff, to using Whole Health principles to Lead Change in your organization!
Whole Health Minute
A Whole Health Minute involves taking 60 seconds prior to the start of a meeting or huddle to engage in an activity as a team that supports employee health and wellness components within the circle of health.
Activities can be anything from mindfulness or breathing exercises, riddles or jokes, to stretching or gratitude practices.
The goal is simply to come together as a team, pause and take a moment to kick off autopilot and connect.
Benefits of a 1-minute mindfulness exercise:
- Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system dissolving stress and anxiety
- Slows down and calms the mind
- Activates and strengthens the prefrontal cortex, enhances mindfulness
- Allows us a moment in our day to consider and prioritize our self-care
- Creates and strengthens our sense of community together
Ready to get started? Use the Whole Health Minute Practice Guide below to get started now. If you have further questions or would like additional support on implementing a Whole Health Minute, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org .
As a VAEK Employee, you have the opportunity to join a Veteran-owned CSA that will deliver goods directly to our Leavenworth, Topeka, and Lawrence CBOC facilities during the work day! Schenker Family Farms partners with multiple farms in the area to bring you fresh vegetables along with eggs, fresh farm meats, baked goods, and freezer meals. To learn more information and enroll, click on the flyer below.
Employee Whole Health Relaxation Rooms
In the midst of a busy work day, please remember that YOU matter! Our Employee Whole Health Relaxation Rooms are designed to give you protected space away from your duty station to engage in a mindful moment and rejuvenate. In these rooms, please enjoy the use of massage chairs, essential oils, yoga mats, exercise bands, and more! Relaxation rooms can be found in the following locations:
Topeka: Building 2, Room A2; Building 1, C519, G1 Key
Leavenworth: Building B, Room B111; Building 122, Room 240, any VA key will give you access
Pursue your health and physical fitness goals by utilizing the VAEK 24-hour employee fitness center! Enjoy the use of our cardio equipment, free weights, circuit machines, and resistance trainings. If you'd like to gain access to the employee gym, please email email@example.com to get started. Employee Fitness Centers are located at the following locations:
Topeka: Building 3, Ground floor at the end of the hall
Leavenworth: Building 71, A150