Employee Wellness Newsletter

Support the Spread of Wellness

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IISD Newsletter

This newsletter will provide you with information on emotional, mental, physical and nutritional health. We will focus on how to help you be proactive about your health and well-being. The EWS Newsletter will also provide support & guidance resources that we hope will assist you in dealing with stressors and challenges.

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Happy New Year

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A New Year’s resolution is a promise we make for the new year. Regardless of what resolution we commit to, the goal is to improve life in the coming year.

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4 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals.

Find your purpose, but avoid focusing on a specific outcome

If you want to lose weight, for example, avoid focusing on achieving a specific weight. Instead, ask yourself why you want to lose weight and use that as the basis for your goal. Asking “why” will help you find your real purpose, which will help to improve your motivation. Setting a goal of achieving better health so you can have more energy for your hobbies, for example, takes the focus off of a specific outcome, such as getting to 150 pounds.

Break your goal into components, and set realistic and achievable process goals

If your goal is to achieve better health, you need to figure out exactly what you need to change to make it happen. For example, you might identify two components that will help you achieve your goal: more exercise and a healthier diet.

Make a public commitment

Making a public commitment to achieving your goal can help you hold yourself accountable and ultimately follow through. Many people find that their desire to avoid letting people down — and thereby avoid feelings of shame and embarrassment — is a powerful motivator to help them deliver on their commitment.

Engage with likeminded people

People tend to be more successful at achieving their goals when they connect with other likeminded people. Also, we tend to model the behavior of the people we like and admire, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who reinforce habits that will help you achieve your goals.

Source: Why We Make and Break New Year’s Resolutions

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Better Mental Health

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Here are five mental health goals you should consider adding to your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Change takes time. Instead of making huge, lofty goals and setting yourself up for disappointment, take baby steps. Unrealistic expectations put you at high risk of getting hurt and feeling depressed or disappointed in yourself.

2. Be Kind to Yourself

It’s sometimes easier to be kind to others rather than yourself. Maybe you beat yourself up over the smallest mistakes. Perhaps you’ve made a habit of negative self-talk, focusing on every little defect when you look in the mirror. This year, put negativity away and be kind to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Find things that you appreciate about yourself. Make a habit of recognizing what makes you worthwhile and valuable.

3. Make a Full Night’s Sleep a Priority

It’s incredible what seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep can do for your mental health. Getting enough rest relieves anxiety, improves your mood and is associated with many health benefits. This year, try to have a consistent bedtime. Attempt to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and avoid naps or sleeping in on weekends.

4. Get Out and Get Moving

There’s an undeniable link between physical activity and emotional health. Even if you don’t have a regular exercise routine, you should incorporate some level of physical fitness into your life. Exercise is an incredible antidepressant. It also improves your motivation and energy. You might choose to go for a daily walk, hike through a local state park or stroll through a botanical garden. Take time to enjoy moving in the great outdoors.

5. Make Time for Healthy Relationships

Humans are built for community — especially friendship. Good friends make life more enjoyable. They help us through tough times, and they’re there to celebrate the good moments. Friendship ignites the part of the brain that makes us feel good. Isolation, on the other hand, can lead to depression and decreased quality of life. Be sure to make time for friendship, laughter and time spent together this year.

Source: Taylor Counseling Group

The world is sad. People share small things that make them happier.

Happiness experts share small tips to boost your mood, feel happier, and less anxious.

Go outside

Spending time in nature is good for psychological and physical well-being. It increases happiness, reduces stress and strengthens the immune system. — Catherine Sanderson, chair of psychology at Amherst College and author of “The Positive Shift.”

Stop trying to fight the bad mood

“Give yourself permission and grace to feel bad for a defined amount of time. This is not a pity party, but rather an honest acknowledgement that you are stressed, you do feel down, you are not as happy as you would like. Often by not fighting the mood, we find that the bad mood is very temporary.” — Joshua Klapow, Clinical Psychologist

Do a yoga class

“To be totally honest, I never think it's going to work when I'm in a really bad place, but I always leave feeling happier and more centered. And if you're new to yoga, there's lots of free classes you can try on YouTube.” — Laurie Santos, psychology professor at Yale University who teaches “Psychology and the Good Life,” the most popular class in the history of Yale Collage.

Source: Today

Ways to Use Your Brain to Change Any Habit

(Even Really Bad Ones)

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7 Strategies to Get Out of a Rut.

1. Boost serotonin naturally

  • Exercise
  • Try bright light exposure (studies show it increases cognitive flexibility)
  • Eat tryptophan-containing foods (such as eggs, turkey, seafood, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, quinoa)
  • Take nutritional supplements that can raise brain levels of serotonin (saffron, 5-HTP, and l-tryptophan)

2. Define what you want and why

Create a vivid and believable “Future of Success” in detail. Define what you want, then ask yourself “does it fit?”—is your behavior getting you what you want?

3. Assess your readiness for change

Are you ready to change to eliminate the ruts in your life? Ambivalence and uncertainty are the enemies of change.

4. Know what you need to do

What are the new behaviors you need to master to be successful? It is critical to know which important behaviors will help you reach your goal, then practice them over and over.

5. Develop “if-then” plans to overcome your vulnerable moments

According to Psychology professor Peter Gollwitzer from New York University creating “if-then” scenarios that spell out how we'll break unwanted habits will help. If "X" happens (situation), then I will do "Y" (pre-planned action). For example, IF I am tempted to eat unhealthy foods, THEN I’ll at least eat the healthy ones first.

6. Reframe your pain

If you’re ever going to succeed at changing, you have to disarm your impulses and make the right choices pleasurable. The only way you can sustain change is to change what brings you pleasure! Learn how to find what you love about your new habit, e.g. identify great low-calorie, highly nutritious food. Learn to find what you love about exercise. Mindset is key.

7. Turn accomplices into friends

The people you spend time with matters! Cultivating bad habits—and good ones—is a team sport. Accomplices are people who encourage or are complicit with your negative behaviors. Friends, mentors, or coaches are people who support your positive behaviors. Ask for their help. Adding friends improves your chances for success up to 40%, and this is especially true for weight loss and fitness.

Source: Amen Clinics

3 Fun Ideas for Virtual Holiday Parties

Healthy Holiday Desserts

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Nutritional Counseling



Healthy Bytes

Both work with our BCBS insurance as well as other insurance groups.

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Support the Spread of Wellness

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About Us

Our Employee Wellness and Support Services provides opportunities and resources for employees to develop and maintain healthy emotional, mental, and physical well-being through support and guidance, as well as promoting personal and professional productivity through educational engagement.

For more information about Employee Wellness and Support Services visit our website:

Employee Wellness and Support Services or contact Jose Villasenor, EWS Coordinator:

jovillasenor@irvingisd.net | 972-600-5217 Office | 469-781-1843 Mobile

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Questions, Suggestions, Comments


Jose Villasenor


972-600-5217 O | 469-781-1843 M

Employee Wellness Webpage

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