February 2022 The WELLesley Employee
A Monthly Safety and Wellness Newsletter brought to you by The Town of Wellesley Employee Safety & Wellness Committee
February's Wellness Initiative - Purpose
Submitted by Jen Glover & Robin Tusino
There are 5 videos on Purpose in this
program. It is recommended that you watch
one video per week, and work on that
purpose exercise during that week.
• Register here:
Add your contact info to the spreadsheet and check off the videos you have watched.
• To view the videos, go to:
Access code: WSHG
Each Wednesday, Jan. 26th - Feb.23rd,
a reminder email will be sent to you with
the link of the week; along with the link to
record your progress.
All participants who have watched all 5
Purpose Videos by Wednesday, Feb. 21st,
will be entered into a raffle for
How to Manage Your Stress & Time Even Better
Submitted by David Cohen
Read the full article at here.
One of the most frequent concerns and complaints of people today is that they don’t have enough time to do what they — or especially their bosses — want them to do. Consequently, there are many resources with guidelines and tips to manage time more effectively. Time management and stress management often are closely related and discussed together.
Myths About Stress and Time Management
Myth #1: All stress is bad.
No, there’s good and bad stress. Good stress is excitement, thrills, etc. The goal is to recognize personal signs of bad stress and deal with them.
Myth #2: Planning my time just takes more time.
Actually, research shows the opposite.
Myth #3: I get more done in more time when I wisely use caffeine, sugar, alcohol or nicotine.
Wrong! Research shows that the body always has to “come down” and when it does, you can’t always be very effective then after the boost.
Myth #4: A time management problem means that there’s not enough time to get done what needs to get done.
No, a time management problem is not using your time to your fullest advantage, to get done what you want done.
Myth #5: The busier I am, the better I’m using my time.
Look out! You may only be doing what’s urgent, and not what’s important.
Myth #6: I feel very harried and busy, so I must have a time management problem.
Not necessarily. You should verify that you have a time management problem. This requires knowing what you really want to get done and if it is getting done or not.
Myth #7: I feel OK, so I must not be stressed.
In reality, many adults don’t even know when they’re really stressed out until their bodies tell them so. They miss the early warning signs from their body, for example, headaches, still backs, twitches, etc.
Major Causes of Workplace Stress
1. Not knowing what you want or if you’re getting it – poor planning.
2. The feeling that there’s too much to do. One can have this feeling even if there’s hardly anything to do at all.
3. Not enjoying your job. This can be caused by lots of things, for example, not knowing what you want, not eating well, etc. However, most people just blame their jobs.
4. Conflicting demands on the job.
5. Insufficient resources to do the job.
6. Not feeling appreciated.
Common Symptoms of Poor Stress and Time Management
1. Irritability. Fellow workers notice this first.
2. Fatigue. You may not even notice this.
3. Difficulty concentrating.
4. Forgetfulness. You can’t remember what you did all day.
5. Loss of sleep. This affects everything else!
6. Physical disorders, for example, headaches, rashes, tics, cramps, etc.
7. At worst, withdrawal and depression.
Wise Principles of Good Stress and Time Management
1. Learn your signs for being overstressed or having a time management problem. Ask your friends about you. Perhaps they can tell you what they see from you when you’re overstressed.
2. Most people feel that they are stressed and/or have a time management problem. Verify that you really have a problem. What do you see, hear or feel that leads you to conclude that you have a time or stress problem?
3. Don’t have the illusion that doing more will make you happier. Is it quantity of time that you want, or quality?
4. Stress and time management problems have many causes and usually require more than one technique to fix. You don’t need a lot of techniques, usually more than one, but not a lot.
5. One of the major benefits of doing time planning is feeling that you’re in control.
6. Focus on results, not on busyness.
7. It’s the trying that counts – at least as much as doing the perfect technique.
Simple Techniques to Manage Stress
There are lots of things people can do to cut down on stress. Most people probably even know what they could do. It’s not the lack of knowing what to do in order to cut down stress; it is doing what you know you have to do. The following techniques are geared to help you do what you know you have to do.
1. Talk to someone. You don’t have to fix the problem, just report it.
2. Notice if any of the muscles in your body are tense. Just noticing that will often relax the muscle.
3. Ask your boss if you’re doing OK. This simple question can make a lot of difference and verify wrong impressions.
4. Delegate, if you are able.
5. If you take on a technique to manage stress, tell someone else. They can help you be accountable to them and yourself.
6. Cut down on caffeine and sweets. Take a walk instead. Tell someone that you’re going to do that.
7. Use basic techniques of planning, problem solving and decision making.
8. Monitor the number of hours that you work in a week. Tell your boss, family and/or friends how many hours that you are working.
9. Write weekly status reports. Include what you’ve accomplished last week and plan to do next week. Include any current issues or recommendations that you must report to your boss. Give the written status report to your boss on a weekly basis.
10. “Wash the dishes”. Do something you can feel good about.
Simple Techniques to Manage Time
Remember, you can’t actually manage time, only how you spend your time. Therefore, the goal of time management should not be to find more time. Rather, set a reasonable amount of time to spend on your roles and then use that time wisely.
1. Start with the simple techniques of stress management above.
2. Managing how you spend your time takes practice. Practice asking yourself this question throughout the day: “Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?” If yes, then keep doing it.
3. Find some way to realistically and practically analyze your time. Logging your time for a week in 15-minute intervals is not that hard and does not take up that much time. Do it for a week and review your results.
4. Do a “todo” list for your day. Do it at the end of the previous day. Mark items as “A” and “B” in priority. Set aside two hours right away each day to do the important “A” items and then do the “B” items in the afternoon. Let your voice mail take your calls during your “A” time.
5. At the end of your day, spend five minutes cleaning up your space. Use this time, too, to organize your space, including your desktop. That’ll give you a clean start for the next day.
6. Learn the difference between “Where can I help?” and “Where am I really needed?”
7. Learn the difference between “Do I need to do this now?” and “Do I need to do this at all?”
8. Delegate if you are able. Effective delegation will free up a great deal of time for you.
9. Use a “Do Not Disturb” sign! During the early part of the day, when you’re attending to your important items (your “A” list), hang this sign on the doorknob outside your door.
10. Sort your mail into categories including “read now”, “handle now” and “read later”. You’ll quickly get a knack for sorting through your mail. You’ll also notice that much of what you think you need to read later wasn’t really all that important anyway.
11. Read your mail at the same time each day. That way, you’ll likely get to your mail on a regular basis and won’t become distracted into any certain piece of mail that ends up taking too much of your time.
12. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place. That way, you’ll know where to find it when you need it. Another important outcome is that your people will see that you are somewhat organized, rather than out of control.
13. Best suggestion for saving time – schedule 10 minutes to do nothing. That time can be used to just sit and clear your mind. You’ll end up thinking more clearly, resulting in more time in your day. The best outcome of this practice is that it reminds you that you’re not a slave to a clock – and that if you take 10 minutes out of your day, you and your organization won’t fall apart.
14. Learn good meeting management skills. Meetings can become a terrible waste of time. Guidelines for good meeting management are included later in this section.
Role of “Gumption”
Everything good usually starts with gumption. It’s picking yourself up, deciding that you could be happier, that you want to be happier – and then doing one small thing to get you started and keep you going. Boredom and blaming are the opposite of gumption. Stress and time management start with gumption. It’s the trying that counts. Poor time and stress management often comes from doing the same thing harder, rather than smarter.
February is American Heart Month
Submitted by Vivian Zeng
This is a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health.
What parts of your self-care routine help your heart?
Self-care for your heart is really self-care for your whole self. You can improve and protect your health overall when you:
• Get a daily dose of physical activity, such as a brisk, 30-minute walk.
• Cook meals that are low in sodium and unhealthy fats.
• Take your medications as prescribed and keep your medical appointments.
• Sleep 7-8 hours a night.
• Manage stress through, for example, meditation, yoga, a warm bath, or quiet time with a good book or funny movie.
• Try to reach or stay at a healthy weight by moving more and having snacks like fruits and veggies ready to grab when hunger hits.
How can you make self-care for your heart easier?
The trick is to plan ahead. Build heart-healthy activities into your daily self-care routine. Schedule things that are both good for you and important to you. You might want to set aside time to:
• Cook delicious, heart-healthy recipes. Choose some from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s delicious heart-healthy eating website.
• Go for a bike ride, take an online exercise class, or have a family dance party.
• Make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. Many providers now offer telehealth appointments to make accessing care easier.
• Organize your medications.
What’s your health status?
Part of self-care is knowing your health status. Even during uncertain and busy times, get your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels checked. Talk to your health care provider about your heart health
Self-care includes being patient with your body. You may not see or feel the results of your efforts right away. But small steps can lead to big progress. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for others to do the same. Visit hearttruth.gov for resources and tools to help you and your loved ones make heart-healthy lifestyle changes.
Winter Driving Tips
Submitted by Michael Carmody
Dozens of road safety organizations offer helpful suggestions to drive safely in cold temperatures and with ice and snow-covered roads. All agree that preparation before driving and extra caution while driving are key strategies for avoiding collisions or getting stuck on the roads.
Here are some of the top tips for when you’re ready to get on the road.
Stay home. Ask yourself, “Is this trip necessary right now?” If the roads are covered with ice or snow, wait until they’re plowed and salted before driving.
Gas up your vehicle before a snowstorm to avoid running out if you’re stuck for hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Take it slow. On a snow-packed road, you should reduce your speed to no faster than half of the speed limit. So if the speed limit it 60 mph, you should drive only 30 mph.
Accelerate slowly, Brake slowly. If the wheels start spinning, use less throttle or let the vehicle roll at idle before accelerating. Look ahead for red lights and stopped traffic and ease off the gas rather than use the brakes to slow down.
Be on the lookout for black ice. Pavement that appears wet may be icy if the road surface is below freezing temperature.
If you must drive up a hill - try to get a little inertia going before starting up. Don’t stop once you start driving uphill. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
Give the plow some room. Trucks with plows have wide blind spots and poor peripheral vision for the driver. If you’re driving on a multi-lane roadway, don’t drive next to a snowplow or snow could be thrown up onto your windshield.
If you get stuck in the snow:
- Stay with your vehicle: Your vehicle provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Do not try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
- Clear the Exhaust Pipe: Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the engine is running.
- Stay Warm: Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps. Pre-pack blankets and heavy clothing to use in case of an emergency.
- Conserve Fuel: If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel.
See these websites for more driving tips:
Kelly Blue Book https://www.kbb.com/car-news/20-tips-for-safe-winter-driving/
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/14536-winter_driving_tips_2019-2020_111519_v1a_tag.pdf
American Automobile Association (AAA) https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/
COVID-19 Testing Info
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Did you know that you have access to recorded trainings on a variety of topics through MIIA? If you don't already have a login, you can register here using your Wellesley email: https://www.emiia.org/join
ADJUSTING THROUGH COVID: STRATEGIES TO MANAGE STRESS FOR SCHOOLS Online February 3rd, 2022 3:00pm - 4:00pm
THE DYNAMICS OF HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS Online February 9th, 2022 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Back Injury Prevention: Tips to Protect Your Employees Wednesday, February 16, 2022 9:00 AM
Monthly Action Item!
Submitted by Cay Meagher
February 5th is National Wear Red for Women Day to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease. Disease kills one woman every 80 seconds and at the same time many are not aware of this health threat. To raise awareness we ask everyone to wear something red on February 5th. Heart To learn more visit: www.goredforwomen.org