The CCCBA Wellness committee encourages our members to make taking care of themselves a priority. For the first half of 2022 we held a Wellness Challenge with a new challenge every two weeks. You can browse this page for ideas, activities and resources.
Incorporate more or different exercise into your routine. Do you want to get out for a daily walk? Train for a 5k? Tone your muscles? Start swimming? Whatever it is – decide on an exercise challenge for yourself for the next two weeks.
Whether you are new to or experienced in meditation and yoga, please join us in this challenge. Meditation is a way to calm the mind and can make us stronger and more focused on what’s going on in our lives. Yoga similarly challenges both our bodies and our minds.
Here is the chair Yoga and guided meditation exercise presented by Jeff Thayer and Natasha Chee.
- Total Meditation – Dr. Deepak Chopra
- The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday
- The Power of Now; A New Earth; Stillness Speaks- Eckhart Tolle
- You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment; Happiness, The Art of Living; (and many other books by) – Thich Nhat Hanh
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life – Jon Kabat Zinn
- 10% Happier Revised Edition: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story – Dan Harris
- 12 of the BEST Free Guided Meditation Sites & Apps (Updated 2020)
- Guided Meditations – Tara Brach
- 10 Best Places for Guided Meditation Online in 2021
- Guided Mindfulness Meditation: Being the Boundless – Become Your Best Self
- Ten Minute Morning Meditation
We have all heard the phrase, ‘You Are What You Eat’ which means that it is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit. This week’s challenge will include suggestions to improve your wellness by modifying what you put into your body.
Participate in this challenge and be entered to win a prize of one VITAL Nutrition & Wellness Strategy Session (60 minutes – virtual) donated by Angela Stanford, MBA, RDN, NBC-HWC of VITAL Nutrition & Wellness. www.vitalandwell.com
Increase your water intake
• Drink a glass of water with every meal
• Fill up a container at work each morning and drink before you leave work
Keep a food journal
• Log in your food and drink for a week to determine when/what you are eating/drinking. Use the information to make adjustments.
• Consider an app – MyFitnessPal
• Take a picture of everything you eat
• Consult with a nutritionist. www.vitalandwell.com
Add healthy food
• Add a fresh fruit a day
• Add a vegetable a day
• Pack a well-balanced lunch for work
• Eat breakfast
• Eat more lean protein
Avoid less healthy food
• Decrease your salt intake
• Give up processed food
• Don’t eat processed sugar
• Give up alcohol
• Pick a day or two to go meatless
• Give up dessert
• Give up snacks
• Purge your pantry of unhealthy temptations
• Measure your servings
• Use a smaller plate for meals
• Portion your snacks
• Start your meal by eating your vegetables first
• Skip the starch – protein and vegetables only
• Avoid takeout – try a new recipe
• Only eat while sitting at a table
Do you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or distracted? This week’s challenge will help you to identify which aspects of your life – work, home, family, self-care, or anything else – may need some tweaking and will provide you with some tips and resources to help you regain some control and balance!
- Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
- Atomic Habits, James Clear
- Deep Work, Cal Newport
- 12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson
- The Book of Ichigo Ichie, Hector Garcia
- Little Victories, Jason Gay
- The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer
- Dwelling, Melissa Michaels
- The Lazy Genius Way, Kendra Adachi
- Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman
- The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up or Spark Joy, Marie Kondo
Blogs and other things:
Start Here or Here’s Exactly What To Do with Mel Robbins
Additional books which may be helpful or interesting for those struggling with sorting themselves or their worlds out:
- Broken (or other titles), Jenny Lawson
- Paddle Your Own Canoe (or other titles), Nick Offerman
- Untamed, Glennon Doyle
- Any title by Bill Bryson
- For Small Creatures Such as We, Sasha Sagan
- Unwinding Anxiety, Judson Brewer
Examples to get started:
Reevaluating and reorganizing your “personal” wellness:
- I do not exercise enough/I want to exercise more.
Suggestions – set your alarm for an hour earlier -or- exercise while watching your favorite evening program.
- I do not have enough time to read for pleasure/I miss reading for pleasure.
Suggestions – listen to audio books on your commute or while doing chores -or- have family or couple time and read to each other.
Reevaluating and reorganizing your “home” wellness:
- Getting dressed takes too long/I can’t figure out what to wear.
Suggestions – purge your closet (ask yourself, when is the last time I actually wore this or do I even like this?) -or- create an everyday “uniform” for yourself so it takes less time and thought (i.e., jeans, tee, and blazer or dress, cardigan, and flats).
- I feel less stressed when I wake up or come home to a clean kitchen/I eat healthier when I make bring my lunch to work.
Suggestions – do your “future self” a favor! Before bed, load the dishwasher and do a 5-minute tidy. Plan for simple and/or easy to pack meals and snacks and put it together the night before. Your future self will thank you!
Reevaluating and reorganizing your “work” wellness:
- I know it is not good for me to sit at a desk all day/I get headaches or eye/neck strain. Suggestions – set a timer to get up and stretch or move every hour, use a sit/stand desk, and/or wear blue-light lenses.
- I often feel stressed or overwhelmed/I can’t seem to keep up.
Suggestions – write everything down, keep a calendar, end your workday with a clutter-free desk, and/or make note of the task(s) that you will work on the following day.
Feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world, is more important than ever.
Friendships offer a number of mental health benefits, such as increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced levels of stress, improved self-worth and confidence.
In the next two weeks, make an effort to reach out by telephone or meet in person with a friend or family member that you have not spoken with or seen since the start of the pandemic.
It is rare to receive handwritten correspondence. Consider rekindling written letter-writing with someone you used to correspond with by snail mail.
This week’s challenge involves strength training activities with the goal of enhancing your quality of life by improving your ability to do everyday activities and protecting your joints from injury.
‘Best of’ Strength Training Apps
Best for Simple Workout Tracking: Simple Workout Log
Best for Learning New Exercises: Jefit
Best for Veteran Weightlifters: Strong
Best for In-depth Information: Fitness Point
Best for Detailed Workout Logging: Gymaholic
Best for Minimal Equipment Workouts: Sworkit
Best for Beginners: Fitbod
Best for Bodybuilding: BodyFit
Are you in a cooking rut? Do you struggle to eat healthy meals that are also family-friendly? If so, check in with us this week as we provide tasty, quick, fun, and healthy shopping and cooking ideas that the whole household will enjoy. This challenge may involve a group field trip to a local farmer’s market and, as an added bonus, local caterer and chef, Lesley Stiles, will join our discussion!
Here are few healthy and family-friendly dinner ideas that my household enjoys:
- Turkey meatballs (with lots of garlic), couscous, cucumber salad, and tzatziki. Serve with naan.
- Taco salad with leafy greens, seasoned ground turkey, kidney beans, avocado, red onion. Top with shredded cheese and tortilla chips.
- Caesar salad with grilled chicken. Toss with whole grain pasta to bulk it up.
- Rainbow dinners – make it a game! Get as many different colors as possible on your dinner plate.
Energy balls! They fill me up and satisfy my sweet tooth!
- Ground flax, oats, peanut or other nut butter, a scoop of chocolate chips, and a drizzle of honey.
- Work Fuel by Graham Allcott
- Plan your meals, lunches, etc.
- Make a grocery list and stick to the list!
- Utilize grocery delivery and/or pick/up options. So worth it even when there is a fee. You’re saving time and gas PLUS you only buy what you intended to buy – no more impulse buys and throwing stuff in your cart that you know you don’t need! I started doing this when the pandemic hit and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!
CCC Farmer’s Markets
- Concord – Year-round, Todos Santos Plaza, 10-2.
- El Cerrito – Year-round, El Cerrito Plaza, 9-1.
- Walnut Creek Kaiser – Year-round, 1425 S. Main St., 10-2.
- Antioch Kaiser – May-Oct., 4501 Sand Creek Rd., 10-2.
- Concord – April-Oct., Todos Santos Plaza, 4-8.
- San Ramon Bishop Ranch – Year-round, Bishop Ranch 3, 10-2.
- Richmond – Year-round, 24th St. and Barrett Ave., 7-5.
- Rossmoor Walnut Creek – May-Oct., Rossmoor Clubhouse, 9:30-1.
- Diablo Valley – Year-round, Saturdays, 9-1. At Shadelands on North Wiget and Mitchell.
- Brentwood – March-Nov., 641 1st St., 8-12.
- Danville – Year-round, 205 Railroad Ave., 9-1.
- El Cerrito – Year-round, El Cerrito Plaza, 9-1.
- Orinda – April-Nov., Orinda Way, 9-1.
- Pinole – Year-round, 798 Fernandez Ave., 9-1.
- Pittsburg – May-Oct., 2011 W. Leland Rd., 9-1.
- San Ramon – Year-round, Bishop Ranch, 9-1.
- Alamo – Year-round, 3157 Danville Blvd., 9-2.
- Kensington – Year-round, Colusa St., 10-2.
- Moraga – Year-round, Moraga Center, 9-1.
- Martinez – Year-round, Main St., 10-2.
- Walnut Creek – Year-round, N. Locust St., 9-1.
Discover strategies and techniques to allow to step into and out of the office with ease. Drop your phone, tablet, and computer, and disconnect!
In the next two weeks, dedicate time to be intentional about how you interact with the electronics around you. Suggested challenges:
- Put down your phone an hour before bed and do not pick it up until the next day
- Update your lighting to decrease the blue light you receive in the hours before bed
- Go outside for 20 minutes in the morning to get the photons you need to get your body going for the day
- Curate your phone notifications so that they become meaningful
- Set expectations about your electronic availability so that clients and coworkers know when you will be responding without having to be available 24/7
Articles and Guides:
- Managing email expectations
- The 9:00 work bump
- Managing Phone Notifications (Android)
- Managing Phone Notifications (iPhone)
Technology Addition – Get help
Learning new skills can improve mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and building a sense of purpose and helping to connect with others.
In the next two weeks invest time in learning a new skill or improving one that has become rusty. Try Duo Lingo to brush up on the language you studied in high school or college. Pick up an instrument you may have played in your youth and brush up using YouTube tutorials or pick up a new instrument like Ukulele. Teach yourself a hobby like knitting or needlepoint.
Try something like learning a new language, handicraft, creating art, taking on a new gardening project.
- How Learning a New Language Can Benefit Your Health
- Health Benefits of Crafting
- The Mental Health Benefits of Art
- Gardening for Your Mental Health
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Spend time each day thinking about what you are grateful for in your life – both small and big things. Start a gratitude journal, have your family talk about what they are grateful each day at dinner or before bed, post about it on your social media feed.
Start a gratitude journal, have your family talk about what they are grateful each day at dinner or before bed, post about it on your social media feed.
- Spread Gratitude & Kindness – Institute for Well-Being In Law
- 13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises & Activities – Positive Psychology
- Why Gratitude is Good – Greater Good Science Center
- Resources that Support the Practice of Gratitude – Childcare Education Institute
- Gratitude Resources – CDC
- Library of Resources – Gratefulness.org
- Gratitude Worksheet – Changetochill.org