Newsletter from Employee Health Promotions

January 2019

New Year's Resolutions for Mental Health

President Abraham Lincoln said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." When thinking about a New Year's resolution, it is helpful to choose an objective that can be successfully reached. These goals may be short- or long-term, simple or complex, individual or shared.

Some of the most common New Year's resolutions for Americans include:

  • Focusing on health by losing weight, exercising, and eating healthier foods
  • Becoming more financially savvy by lowering debts and saving money
  • Quitting a bad habit, like drinking too much alcohol or smoking
  • Improving professionally by finding a better job or pursuing higher education
  • Traveling more by planning a trip
  • Being more environmentally responsible by reducing, reusing, and recycling
  • Serving others by volunteering more

But what about those who want to make a mental health resolution?

Many people choose to focus on:

  • stress management or reduction,
  • anxiety control,
  • or just to live happier.

Since these resolutions are more difficult to accomplish, how do you make this year different to make sure you set yourself up for success? Change your perspective when approaching New Year's resolutions. Instead of making a vague list of what you want to change, ask yourself three simple questions: What, why, and how?


Start by specifically defining what it is you plan to accomplish this year. Be concise, and keep it simple. For example, if you start with a goal like, "I plan to be happier this year," you may want to redefine that as, "I plan to spend more time doing things I enjoy." If your resolution is to reduce your stress this year, you might guide yourself toward saying, "I will set boundaries about working on the weekends."


Ask yourself, "Why would I like to accomplish this goal?" Often, changes to your life have an internal representation that you aren't even aware you're striving for. That's why some people vow to lose 15 pounds but once they do, they still feel defeated and depressed. If you really investigate why you want to accomplish your goal, you will find a bit more about what you really wish to accomplish. This is one of the most important things to identify. It helps keep you going when times get hard and you want to quit before reaching your goal.


Have a well-thought-out plan before you embark on your adventure this year. It's important to realize that if you knew all there was to know about this particular life change, you'd have already accomplished it.

Tell everyone you know.

People who are accountable are more likely to succeed in achieving resolution goals. When you know that you're going to hear about it from people when you continue to engage in the old behaviors, you are less likely to bail out on your resolutions. Also, letting people know about your goals is a great way to have friends and family encourage you along the way.

Set up a reward system.

Periodically use rewards for reaching small goals. Accomplishing the goals you set produces dopamine, the pleasure chemical in your brain. Dopamine activates the parts of the brain that make you eager to pursue new challenges. By setting and achieving goals today, you're heightening your ability to be the person you want to be.


Todd, W. E. (2014, December 31). Resolutions for the New Year. Retrieved January 2, 2015, from

Bapties, S. (2014, December 31). Making New Year's resolution stick. Retrieved January 2, 2015, from

Save the bumblebees

Moyer, A. (Reviewed 2017). New Year's resolutions for mental health. Raleigh, NC: Workplace Options.

Employee Pick Up Basketball held Friday's, East High School starting at 5am.  Contact Tia Dupont for more information.
Let color be your therapy.  Reseach shows that vibrant hues can perk you up, so pull on your brightest sweater and slick on some vivid lipstick, then feel yourself glow from the inside out.
more suggestions for beating winter low mood, low energy.
rules 8-10: drink water, eat better and stay away from people who are negative.

Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program

Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program. This service is geared toward recognizing an employee's life situations and helping to find appropriate help. It is confidential and is available to both the employee and members of their household - at no cost to the employee.

Examples of services available:

  • Phone Coaching

  • Online Seminars

  • Chemical Dependency Assessment

  • Face to Face counseling

  • Legal and Financial discounts

  • Click HERE for a complete list of services offered by this provider.

Phone number is: 1-800-383-1908.

Website is: username-mankatoschools, password -member

Meet Rodney

Omada® Program Highlight

The Omada® program is available to all health plan participants and adult dependents. It is a digital lifestyle change program that inspires healthy habits by combining the latest technology with useful information and ongoing support from a health coach - an approach shown to promote weight loss and reduce risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

When the temperature dips, many of us crave cozying up with a comforting meal. But how can we satisfy these winter wants while also being mindful of our health?

Check out these hearty meal tips from Omada®, the digital lifestyle change program that inspires healthy habits you can live with long term.

1. Lighten up the classics. Look for ways to cut the fat content of your favorite comfort foods, like the attached Omada recipe for a healthy twist on chili.

2. Swap in veggies for pasta. Cut carbs and calories by subbing spaghetti squash for fettuccine, or try eggplant in place of lasagna noodles.

3. Spice up your dishes. Use warm spices like cumin, curry powder, chili powder, and turmeric in place of fat and salt.

4. Break out the slow cooker. These fuss-free devices can help you prepare warm meals that taste much richer than they actually are.

5. Satisfy your sweet tooth with seasonal fruit. Bake apples or pears and top with some whole grain oats or chopped nuts. Or sprinkle some orange slices with cinnamon.

6. Take the chill off with a toasty beverage. Choose plain tea or coffee and hold the sugar and cream. Try adding a dash of spice, like cinnamon or nutmeg, and a splash of milk.

Free employee circuit training class Tuesdays and Thursdays through March 7th at Lincoln Community Center 4:30-5:30.  Contact Tia Dupont for more information.

Get Ready for 10K-A-Day Coming February 2019!

We are excited to announce our 2019 10K-a-Day event! Mark your calendars, it begins on Friday, February 1 and goes through February 28. We will be trekking to East Africa for a safari ride.

Join Us! Lots of prizes such as a hotel stay, state park passes, tickets to the Minnesota Zoo and many more! Contact your site representative for more information. Pedometers can be purchased for $2.00.

map highlighting countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi

Other Resources for Your Wellness

  • MAPS Community Education and Recreation classes and events are advertised in the seasonal brochure each Fall, Winter and Summer. Employees are eligible for a $10 fee reduction for a class in each brochure. Each individual must register and provide their employee email address and work site. Contact the CER office at 507-387-5501 for more information.
Current Winter Brochure

  • READY! for Kindergarten. At the time of a requested paternity/maternity leave, an employee is entitled to two (2) years of READY! for Kindergarten Classes advertised in the seasonal Early Childhood Brochure. Registration is conducted through the Early Learning Office by calling 507-625-4620 or stopping by the Family Learning Center, 820 Hubbell in Mankato and completing the paperwork process.
Current Winter Brochure

  • Vitals SmartShopper is another new program. It’s a health care shopping and savings program that works with your medical benefits. With SmartShopper, you and your covered family members shop for different medical procedures and tests via phone, web, or mobile device. When you choose to have your procedure at a facility on the SmartShopper list, you earn cash. You also save money on what you pay out-of­-pocket for the procedure. Register by calling the SmartShopper Personal Assistance Team at 1-866-285-7452 or go online to

  • 2019 MAPS Employee and Dependent Flu Shot Clinic - August 29th 11:30-5:30 PM