Do you often have your phone on your desk while you work or study? Do you have multiple browser tabs open at once, checking social media while working on an assignment? Do you quickly check your email during a lecture or presentation? If you answered yes, you’re not alone; these are common habits for most people, including students.
If you’re trying to make the most of your time and meet deadlines efficiently, however, this kind of multitasking may be sabotaging your efforts. “Switching cost” is the term Psychologists use to describe the price of changing from one task to another. Researchers have found that switching attention like this leads us to take longer to complete a task, remember less, and make more errors. For busy students who are trying to balance demanding programs, home responsibilities, and self-care there’s certainly no time to waste!
In fact, the switching cost, or time and quality loss, is higher when the tasks were doing are more complicated. For example, searching for your keys and walking to your car are not very demanding tasks, so you may not experience much of a cost for multitasking. But, completing difficult math problems and engaging in a text conversation are complicated tasks where you’d likely take longer and make more errors if you were to multitask.
So, what can we do? Try devoting a set amount of time to one task and rewarding yourself with a break to take a walk, stretch, check email, or respond to a text. When you’re not on a break, turn off all notification sounds or vibrations and close other browser tabs. It will likely feel mentally difficult to resist the urge to switch tasks, but remember that feeling of difficulty is actually your brain getting better at focusing.
A helpful free App to check out is Focus Keeper: Work & Study Timer (available for iPhone). It uses a timer to help you manage your focused times and break times. Read a review here. If you know of an App that helps you avoid multitasking and increase your productivity, place your recommendation in the comments.
Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator
Sometimes starting an exercise program can be more challenging than the working out itself. Having to figure out how to get started, learning new terminology to what’s the difference between a rep and a set as well as knowing what to exactly do while in the gym. That is why we designed a custom program specific for The Rebel in You.
This program is a complete guide to getting moving and started on a journey of healthy living. Inside you’ll learn different terms and a glossary of definitions. The program booklet has advice as to why being active is the right thing for you to do and it gives tips to help keep you on track, even when we find ourselves with a setback, we can still learn from it and use the tips to get back on. You will be shown how to find your target heart rate to make sure that when you are training aerobically you are being efficient and reaching the level needed to reach your goals. It also helps you with how to make and set goals!
Included in the program booklet is a couple of full workout programs, which you can do at your own pace and you can keep track of it with the weekly calendar data chart to measure progress. Each program can be done for the entirety of the 12 weeks, or you can switch to another one if you feel you’d like to be challenged a bit more from the previous program. One of the programs is designed without any equipment which means it can help you become more familiar with movement and your body but also it means you can also do it at home. At the end of a workout or on a day you feel you need a stretch you can use the stretching guidelines to help balance out the work you’ve been putting in from the exercising.
Regardless of your level of fitness or experience, this program is designed to help you get a little bit more from your wellness plans and to help guide you in a total wellness program. The Rebel in You wellness booklet can be found on our website and it is free to download. Feel free to ask coworkers to join in, or family members to help provide support and a bit of social gathering time while you do something good for you. To be well is less about how you “should” go to the gym, or about the time you denied yourself dessert but more of an understanding that you matter and are important. That the higher value you place on yourself to take one more step or do one more rep pays out not only in your future self but also in your present self. We all are living a life where life happens, so we do not need to wait for life to happen in the “right way” for us to be well but we can practice being well in ourselves with each moment so that we create a life of wellness and well-being.
Have you taken advantage of the STRATA Select Program? Through our affiliation with HUB International STRATA Benefits Consulting, employees have access to voluntary products and services at discounted or preferred rates.
Travel Discounts – Take advantage of exclusive travel tour benefits, hotel discounts and preferred rates on vehicle rentals while you travel.
Direct Sellers Insurance Coverage – A unique program that provides coverage for a variety of risks and liabilities that direct sellers (e.g. Pampered Chef, Avon, Norwex, etc.) are exposed to when they are away from home, picking up or delivering products, at someone else’s home or at trade shows or other business events.
GOeVisit – Get convenient online access to medical professionals for non-emergency conditions, anywhere, anytime.
Group Home and Auto Insurance – Save up to 40% on your home and auto insurance by signing up for a group membership.
Home Phone Program – Reduce your monthly phone bill by accessing this home phone discount program which includes caller ID, voicemail and other calling features.
Home Security Systems – Through AAA, receive discounts on monitoring when you sign up for a home security system.
Hospital Cash – Receive money to assist you with unexpected costs during your hospital stay. Single or family coverage is available.
Individual Health, Dental and Travel Insurance – HUB STRATA’s Individual Insurance Specialist assists with the transition to personal insurance and provides coverage options for family members & relatives who do not have benefits in place.
Individual Life and Living Benefits – Access HUB STRATA’s Individual Life and Living Benefits Consultant to assess your coverage needs and recommend the best fit for you.
Long Distance Savings – Save on your landline or cellular long distance plans.
MyCare – In the event of a serious illness or major orthopaedic condition, MyCare provides affordable and timely access to world-renowned Mayo Clinic expertise.
Pet Health Insurance – Receive 10% off the regular monthly pet health insurance premiums through Petplan®.
Travel Health Insurance – Access to a full range of cost-effective travel insurance options through Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers.
For more information and to start using the discounts and services offered through the STRATA Select program, visit this website: http://select.hubinternational.com/selectredriver/.
Supporting Your Wellness
The LifeWorks website offers a wealth of information and resources to help you make the most of all aspects of your life. For the month of March, LifeWorks is featuring a suite of resources called Work and Career Boosters.
Work and Career Boosters features resources to help you improve your productivity and advance professionally.
Be sure to visit www.lifeworks.com to take advantage of the new 2017 content, including videos, podcasts, audio tips and much more.
Remember your EFAP User ID and Password:
User ID: rrcefap Password: efap
Rebels Athletics and Recreation Services are excited to bring the Lunch and Learn series to the college this school year. Come participate and interact with fitness, exercise, and wellness professionals as they present on wide array of active living topics.
2015 Spring Session
First Session – Nutrition Myths Busted
Date: Monday, March 30
Location: Green Lecture Theatre
Host: Janelle Vincent
Whole grain bread or rye bread? Butter or margarine? Gluten or no gluten? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, come and join us for this exciting Lunch and Learn, where we will discuss healthy eating and bust nutrition myths!
About the Host
Janelle is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for sport! She completed a Kinesiology degree prior to her Human Nutritional Sciences degree and recently completed the IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition. She was a Bison athlete in Cross-Country and Track and Field and is also a Competition Development (Level 3) trained coach in Athletics. She currently works with various athletes and teams representative of various levels of competition, from endurance to strength/power to precision/skill sports.
Her goals in sport nutrition are to combine both university degrees and her sporting background to help high performance athletes achieve their athletic goals by guiding them in properly fuelling their bodies.
Second Session –
Running Efficiency: How to Train: Best practices!
Date: Wednesday, April 22
Location: North Gym
Host: Sheldon Reynolds
Whether you are training for soccer, ultimate Frisbee or a marathon there are basic similarities in running strides. Participants should wear running attire. Dress in layers. Shorts, t-short, sweats or tights and a sweatshirt or light jacket. You will learn, technique, training, and nutrition in preparation for competition. If you have any specific questions regarding specific training for a 10km, ½ marathon….bring them!
About the Host
Sheldon Reynolds, a lifelong runner will facilitate this active session. He has coached learn to train athletes as well as adult instructors in the Athletics Canada Run, jump and Throw program. Sheldon is an endurance athlete in the Active for life stage that has competed in races from 1,500 meters to the marathons and completed Ironman Wisconsin in 2010.
Third Session – Biking 101-Part 1
Date: Wednesday, May 13
Location: Green Lecture Theatre
Host: Dave Elmore
Biking basics: Sizing and purchasing advise on where to get a bike and as well where to purchase bikes from. Basic maintenance and preparing for your bike ride also discussed.
About the Host
Dave Elmore is a certified CAN-Bike Master Instructor and was a founding member of Bike Winnipeg. He served as the Director of Safety and Education for over 6 years and remains active serving on several committees. CAN-Bike is a national program run by Cycling Canada offering a variety of courses on all aspects of cycling safety and skills. An avid road and commuter cyclist, Dave has been commuting by bike from Charleswood to downtown for over 25 years. He is also the project manager for Bike Week Winnipeg and the former project manager of Bike to School Winnipeg (now coordinated by Green Action Centre). A regular volunteer at The WRENCH, Dave enjoys building and repairing bikes of all kinds.
Fourth Session – Biking 101-Part 2
Date: Wednesday, May 27
Location: PH Staff Parking
Host: Dave Elmore
Taking it on the road: ABC Quick Check – how to quickly check that your bike is safe to ride. Skill component: learn some basic and often overlooked skills that can help you be more confident and safe on your bike. (straight line riding (w/shoulder checks and signals), rock dodge, quick turns, panic stops). Please bring your own bike to this session. Rec services has a limited amount of bikes that can be used.
By Mario De Negri
Fitness Coordinator, Rebels Athletics and Recreation Services
It’s come to that time of year where most of us have not only given up on our New Years resolutions but more importantly just recalled we had some. What’s so fascinating about this is that now that we have brought it back to the forefront of our thoughts, most, and I’m saying close to all of us will still not do anything about it.
So I ask what is it that would stop me from implementing an action towards that resolution I had. I would like to think its distraction. When I am focused and I know what I want I usually do what is necessary to get it.
For example the fact I haven’t eaten anything for breakfast today, and not really a lunch that when I get home I all I can do is focus on a way to eat or better yet the urgency to have to go to the bathroom keeps me pretty focused.
I think distraction is the cause of non focus. Next time you have to go to the bathroom really bad try to get angry at something in your life that at other times makes you really angry and try to hold off on going to the bathroom. What will happen is that you might start to get the rise of anger but shortly following is the call of nature. So you can persist and keep focusing on getting angry but just around the corner is the sound of the tap being turned on. Eventually you will give in and accept and in that moment your focus won’t be of anger but of relief.
So does this work when not being forced? Try this; Start to pay attention to yourself. Watch to see how you react to things. You see something and it’s making you angry. That anger has taken over your whole body. Stop! Look at the anger. Say to yourself “I choose not to be angry” over and over and over again until one, you’ll say to yourself how stupid this is and that it doesn’t work which will keep enforcing the anger or two, you treat this mantra like the urgency of having to use the loo and you will experience change.
Anger cannot exist if the focus is on not being anger. Just as darkness cannot exist when light is focused on it. If we agree that focus will only exists if there is no distraction then we must continue to keep watching to see if we stay on track to what we want. When distractions arise like I have no time, it’s too late, I don’t know how to do it or whatever the distraction is you accept to yourself we must stop, see it for what it is, and go back to focus.
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December 15, 2014 – As many Canadians escape the winter cold this holiday season to visit family and loved ones or to celebrate with their toes in the sand, it is important that Canadians understand what they need to do to ensure that their well-deserved vacation does not turn into a holiday disaster.
Canada’s team of dedicated consular officials assist thousands of Canadian travellers abroad each year. We provide consular assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through more than 260 points of service in 150 countries. However, there are some situations that not even a Christmas miracle can resolve. That is why Canadians need to prepare before they travel to ensure that their vacation goes off without a hitch. Here are some tips from me to you this holiday season:
- A Canadian Passport Is Not a “Get-Out-of-Jail-Free-Card” Canadians should recognize that they are subject to the local laws of the country they are travelling, which are often different from those in Canada. Canada cannot intervene in foreign judicial processes, just as we would not accept a foreign government intervening in ours. Canadians abroad are expected to adhere to local laws, just as they would in Canada. We keep Canadians up-to-date on country-specific advice and information which can be found at: Country travel advice and advisories.
- Say Yes to Travel Insurance Canadians are urged to always purchase travel and medical insurance before they leave Canada. In almost all circumstances, the Government of Canada—and the taxpayer—will not help pay for a ticket back to Canada or medical treatment. Don’t let unforeseen bills ruin your vacation and your wallet. For more information please visit: Travel insurance.
- Register With Us Canadians can register their travel plans with our team of consular officials for free either online or through our mobile app. The purpose of registering is solely to ensure that if there is an emergency in the area you are travelling in, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, we can reach you quickly and provide you with guidance and assistance. This quick registration will take you two minutes but will provide us with invaluable information to help assist you when you need it most. For more information on our Registration for Canadians Abroad, please visit: Registration of Canadians Abroad.
- Know How to Reach Us Canadian consular officials can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our call collect number (613) 996-8885 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. We staff this line with live officials at all times. Call us immediately if you are in trouble.
- We Love to Help—But We Cannot Supply You with Maple Syrup Yes—Canadians have asked us to supply them with an emergency supply of maple syrup and have even asked us to arrange for a chauffeur for their pet poodle through the airport during their holiday travel. As much as we love a good Canadian breakfast staple and are pet lovers ourselves, unfortunately Canadians have an unrealistic expectation of what we are here to help them with. For a list of what consular officials can and cannot do, please visit: Consular Services: general.
Finally, from my family to yours, I would like to personally wish you warm wishes this holiday season and safe travels wherever it may take you.
Lynne Yelich Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)
Remember to check with a travel clinic to ensure all immunizations are up to date. Some countries may ask about your immunization status. Keep track of your immunizations by downloading this app. It includes any health alerts.
Courtesy of Health Services
By Mario De Negri, Fitness Coordinator for Athletics and Recreation Services
I’d like to take a few blogs and talk about ways to achieve gratitude. If you were at the “Say YES to Everything” talk we spoke briefly about how this applies to the work of acceptance. Gratitude is a very selfless state. Different actions can be ways to gratitude but we are ultimately looking to be living the state. When we exercise these actions they strengthen us to see things that we might not be seeing given we’ve choose to block them or not be aware of them. These actions when practiced on a regular basis start to become the new “normal” and within this state we see things the way they are and that becomes more frequent.
Seeing things for the way they are makes it feel difficult to be grateful. How can I be grateful when my girlfriend dumps me, or when my friend doesn’t seem to have to work as hard as me to make more money? All of this can be true only if we resist seeing the real picture. I’m not saying these things don’t make happy feelings but what I’m saying is that with practice of gratitude when these things happen we are better equipped to manage these feelings.
Avoiding comparison is a tough one because we are programmed to want to keep up with the Jones’s. That if we don’t happen to have what others have then we are somehow less worthy of receiving. This is very dangerous as this thought process is the very reason we are not receiving abundance. Being able to not compare ourselves leaves us open to focus on the things we do have. This will lead us to more gratitude. I know I want the car with heated seats but if my suffering is coming from a place because someone else has what I want then I am the one who suffers not them. Instead being grateful I own a car at all, or even that I am lucky to know someone who can have a car with heated seats invites more happiness and lets the world unfold for me without my resisting or trying. So by comparing ourselves to others only limits us from our true greatness. When we can accept ourselves for who and where we are then the gates of gratitude will open.
Appreciation is also another action to achieve gratitude. When we appreciate the space we are in presently then we invite more joy into our lives. If we harbour resentment to our situation it will continue us on a path of suffering. It is easy to reject the cold winter, to spend a whole season living for the spring to come without any appreciation for the now. It takes discipline to find appreciation for where we are at. I appreciate the winter as it gives me more cuddle time with my friends and loved ones. I appreciate that the trees can be at such ease, almost unaffected by the cold. I appreciate I can walk freely in the sun without fear of my personal safety or how quiet and calm the winter can be. There are many opportunities to feel appreciation but we must discipline ourselves to the reality of life.
Another thing we can do for gratitude is care for my body. This again is an easy one to neglect as we take it for granted. We expect it to walk and move and breath and heal for us but we so seldom give anything back. We must look at our body as a relationship much like another person and treat it with the same love we want to receive from others. We cannot be in happy relationships if we never do our part to create a feeling of being grateful. We tend to be the worse towards ourselves over everything else. So taking some time to care for my body, with some gentle loving, stretching, and moving, feeding it well will lead to gratitude. When we care for our bodies it will care for us. This is the universal principal to happiness when it becomes a cycle state of constant giving and receiving. We must first be willing to give and be willing to receive.
Try out some of these and just keep them in mind, or write them down on post notes to leave on a mirror or stove. Do not judge yourself if you forget or move into a state of ungrateful. Just watch it and when you see it gently make the change. Play with it and leave it everywhere so you are consistently reminded of why you can be grateful.
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Reduce Your Stress This Holiday Season
The holiday season often brings an unusual amount of demands – parties, shopping, baking, entertaining – which can contribute to a high stress level.
Try following some of these tips to help minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays.
- Be Realistic: The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Traditions often change or grow, so choose a few to hold on to and be open to creating new ones.
- Remember, it’s the thought that counts: Decide how much money you can afford to spend before you go gift and food shopping. Don’t try to buy happiness, try these alternatives:
- Donate to a charity on behalf of someone
- Give a homemade gift
- Start a family gift exchange, instead of buying gifts for every family member
- Learn to say no: Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
- Take short relaxation breaks: Make time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without any distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to. Some activities that may help you reduce stress are:
- Taking a walk at night and stargazing
- Getting a massage
- Reading a book
- Spend time outdoors: Sunlight stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin. Spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days.
- Go tech-free: Continuous cell phone buzzes and e-mail alerts keep you in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to adrenaline. This can be exhausting and can also contribute to mounting stress levels. Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without the worry.
Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating
- Be realistic: Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.
- Plan time for exercise: A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help to prevent weight gain and relieve holiday stress.
- Don’t skip meals: Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack and you will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey the food: Choose your favorite foods and skip others, including vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
- Be careful with beverages: Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed: If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from just one piece of pie.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
- Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking:
- Gravy – Refrigerate the gravy and skim the hardened fat off to save 56grams of fat per cup!
- Turkey – Enjoy roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.
- Desserts – Make a crustless pie, or substitute two egg whites for one whole egg in baked recipes.
Flex Re-enrolment Reminder!
The benefits that you selected during the recent flex plan re-enrolment will be effective January 1, 2015.
Are you planning a trip this winter?
You have access to Individual Health Dental Travel Insurance plan assistance through STRATA Select.
- Annual Multi-Trip plans
- Top-Up plans for existing coverage
- Single Trip plans for a quick getaway
- Specialty Products for Baggage Loss, Trip Cancellation
Log on to your STRATA Select website for more information.
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 25 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen. Health Magazine. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306655,00.html. 2014.
 Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping. Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544?pg=1. October 3, 2014.
 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating. Greta Macaire, R.D. Sutter Health CPMC. http://www.cpmc.org/about/e-health/11-05%20healthy-holidays.html. 2014.
Winter Tire Financing Program:
Winter roads can be slippery, even if you are driving safely. MPI offers a low-interest financing program to help you put winter tires on your vehicle.
The Winter Tire Program provides financing to eligible Manitobans at a low interest rate for up to $2,000 per vehicle. The financing can be used for the purchase of qualifying winter tires and associated costs from participating retailers.
Eligibility Requirements for the Winter Tire Program:
- You must be an individual (not corporate) Manitoba Public Insurance customer
- You must purchase qualifying winter tires for a passenger vehicle or light truck (gross vehicle weight 4,541 kg) registered in your name
- You must have no financing restrictions or outstanding arrears on your Manitoba Public Insurance account
To check your eligibility, use the Manitoba Public Insurance eligibility confirmation tool.
Eligible tires will display this symbol, and must appear on the list of eligible tires.
Financing can be applied to the purchase of eligible winter tires, and may also be applied to associated costs including:
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- addition of studs to tires (some limitations apply)
- mounting and balancing storage costs (if paid during initial purchase)
- switchover costs (if paid during initial purchase)
- wheel alignment
- nitrogen fill
- valve stems
- shop supplies
- applicable taxes and fees
How do I start the process? Read More →
As a student I was always looking for ways to get better marks and if possible with less work. Little did I know that shooting hoops with my friends and playing co-ed intramural volleyball was doing exactly that.
A recent article quoted a study from Purdue showed students “who visited rec facilities 15 times or more earned 3.08 GPAs, compared with 2.81 for those who made no visits.” Further evidence for the benefits of visiting your campus recreation centre are shown in a study that “Recreational sports and fitness center members achieved higher GPAs and completed more credits than nonmembers.” Read More →