Be Healthy / Be Happy December Issue

Mindfulness:Experinencing Happiness

"What is happiness? ". You may be asking yourself that question through this holiday season. We all hold ideas in our minds of how life will work. We imagine the perfect tree, the perfect dinner, family will get along blissfully, and all will be at peace. This is very common. However, it is a recipe that ends with a bitter taste of suffering. We react with anger, sadness, and experience suffering when life does not meet our perceptions. So, how does one experience happiness through a time of year that is littered with consumerism, unrealistic expectations, and the pursuit of the "perfect holiday"? The only step is this: Let go. Happiness is an experience that can be cultivated through mindfulness practice. Mindfulness meditation practice helps one to just be in the moment and sit with whatever comes up internally and externally. One carries this through post-meditation practice. We experience openness, clarity, and calm once we drop our ideas, perceptions, expectations, and clinging. We can then truly enjoy the season because there is no one to please and no expectations to be met. We can simply enjoy the moment for what it brings. That is where one can find happiness. Invite yourself to let go, be open, and just be.

  • The Science of Meditation: Amishi Jha, a Neuroscientist, speaks about Attention and the relation it has to mindfulness.


This time of year brings out the Basic Goodness that resides in all sentient beings. Click the link below to see the many volunteer opportunities available in Madison ranging from decorating a senior activity center to taking an elderly gentlemen out for coffee and a chat.

Balance life

Meditation Practice

Find a quiet space. Sit on a soft cushion high enough to allow your knees to be below your pelvis. Place hands on knees. Keep eyes open looking 6 inches in front of you. Back is straight. Breathe in, breathe out. Face whatever comes up in practice with a 'Welcome' and let it go. Bring attention back to the breath. Continue for 5-10 minutes. Appreciate the Moment. Appreciate the silence. See how the practice helps you to be present with your patients. May it allow you to welcome all situations that arise.


Exercise can be a wonderfully exciting venture. It allows you to open up and push yourself to do things you may have thought impossible. One is able to build confidence and reap the healthy benefits. Group fitness is a great way to stay motivated, build friendships, and challenge oneself. We are more able to laugh at ourselves and face fitness with a lightheartedness that helps make exercise feel less like work and more like fun! An article titled "Benefits of Group Exercise" published through the American College of Sports Medicine speaks about the reasons why group exercise has been proven to be effective. Author Shawn Dolan states "A common reason given for quitting an exercise program is boredom". Many may be able to attest to this statement. Group fitness gives a variety of different exercise options. Check out whats available at your local gym and be open to try something completely different! If you are just starting out, its always helpful to know your intentions, have realistic expectations, and keep an open mind. You never know what you are capable of until you try something new. "Let the enthusiasm and energy of the group be your fuel"-Susan Trainor. (Click the icon below to see full article.)

Work can be so stressful! At times, we need a moment alone to focus on our minds and our bodies. The next time you have about 5-15 minutes at work, have the Float RN watch your patients and try this 5 minute Yoga flow in the Lactation/Wellness room. There is a yoga mat available. It will allow you to reset and feel refreshed. Namaste.

You can do anything


Christmas cookies. Christmas cakes. Christmas candy. Christmas mistakes?

Everyone knows that sugar-filled treats can taste delicious this time of year and come in a variety of fun shapes and colors adding to our own temptation. Eating in moderation is advice that many of us have heard before. However, the repetitiveness of this statement does not take away the truth of its meaning. It takes discipline to just say no! It is up to you in deciding how you are going to feel at the end of the month. Try being mindful of what you are putting into your body. Realize that each year many individuals fall into a cyclic pattern of complete indulgence in December followed by guilt, weight gain, and the pursuit of finding that perfect weight loss program to take off the pounds in January. Only you can end the cycle. Only you can make the decision to opt for whats best for your body. Ask yourself : "Whats best for me?".

Greta Macaire, a Registered Dietician, gives ten tips for healthy holiday eating in an article posted by the California Pacific Medical Institute. (Click below to see the full article.)

Healthy recipe options

Breakroom snacks

Our committee will be continuing to provide healthy snack options available to all staff members. We are happy to buy food that will sustain effective energy to meet our job demands. Thank you to all who have donated money in our jar located in the break room. Please provide us with recommendations on healthy snacks you would like to eat! FYI: Our green bowl used for fruit went missing. Please bring it back if you have it.

Lactation/Wellness Room

The Lactation/Wellness room is now equipped with a Yoga mat, cd player with CD to promote relaxation, and an electric tea pot. this room is available to anyone at anytime. Take advantage of the quiet space. Provide us with any ideas you may have.


Debriefing is a process of explaining, sharing, and asking questions after an event. Debriefing originated in the military after missions as a way to analyze and improve future operations. This process also allows participants to reflect on emotions elicited by the events and begin to process them. This practice has been adapted by many professional fields because of the benefits of improving operations and mental health of employees.

The UW has trained debriefing facilitators available for employees. There is a crisis debriefing policy in place to provide “a session in which the normal recovery process to a traumatic event is supported through individual or group interactions with a trained facilitator” (UW Safety Policies and procedures). If you have been involved with a traumatic or stressful event while working, you can request debriefing from management or see the resources below. Our very own MJ is also trained in debriefing and is willing to meet with anyone at any time. We encourage all staff to utilize the debriefing services offered. Debriefing can help us process emotions and share experiences to improve our processes going forward.

Employee Assistance Program: Offers counseling 24/7. 1-800-634-6433 or visit (password: UWHC1).

Individual Health Insurance: Offers counseling, medications and referral. Contact your individual insurance company (such as Unity, GHC ect).

UWHC: Resources: Coworkers from all disciplines can often be helpful.

Psychiatric Liaisons: Will meet with you once to help with referral, support and coping. Support Sessions are available: Contact CNS Psychiatric Liaisons to initiate the process. This is most often initiated with Clinical Nurse Managers or Unit Based CNSs.

National Suicide Prevention line1-800-273- TALK (8255) 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) TTY

ED News

homeless pet donations

Mark Rhodes has generously provided a box in the staff breakroom to collect donations for homeless individuals who have pets in Madison. These homeless men and women are not allowed to stay in shelters with their pets. Food and other supplies are greatly needed. The UW vet school has set up a pet food pantry for homeless pets and that is where our donations will go. If you would like to become more involved please visit the link below and you'll be taken to the website. FYI: Only dry dog food, 3 oz cans and dry cat food, leashes, collars, and toys that are relatively clean will be accepted.

UWHC therapy dog

I was recently made aware of the fact that there are therapy dogs that come to visit in the ED this month. The CTL's are notified when they are brought down. If time permits, come and pet these adorable animals! They will be coming down on December 10th, 15th, and 22nd.

Biweekly Quote

"Live simply. Life is simple" - anonymous


Created with images by Zach Dischner - "Fog in the Valley, Candle in the Sky" • TusitaStudio - "meditation theravada buddhism meditating hand posture" • m_n_r - "stones tower stacked" • skeeze - "bicycling riding bike riding" • jetportal - "Bakasana" • dbreen - "carrot kale walnuts" • sarajuggernaut - "stones rocks pebbles" • chefranden - "Plant Care" • geralt - "board up-to-date updates" • jpeter2 - "winter nature bud"

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