I made the move from Edmonton to Calgary recently, and I’ve gotta say, relocating can be a mixture of unfamiliar and exciting. Lucky for me, I have been warmly received by the Comprehensive School Health and recreation communities here in southern Alberta. Through my new friends, I’m learning about all of the creative ways different groups have been exploring employee wellness and one idea in particular stood out to me for its simplicity and ability to allow everyone to relate to wellness. The idea came from Vivo, a recreation centre and charity based in Calgary. Alanna, Vivo’s program specialist extraordinaire, sat down with me the other day to tell me how they brought this idea to life and I’d like to pass along a few “how to” steps for all you wellness champions out there to implement in your workplace.
Megan: Your team at Vivo experimented with a simple, yet very effective activity called 90 Moments to explore what wellness means. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Alanna: Last June we launched #90moments with the hopes of empowering and educating our team to become “Gen H Advocates.” To have strong health advocates we needed strong connections with each other. We wanted to explore what wellness meant to others and showcase that it’s more than just a workout—it’s unique to everyone. We also wanted to focus this project on the five pillars of wellness: physical, emotional, social, spiritual and mental. And so, the #90moments campaign was born.
M: Wow! Sounds like a great way for your staff group to get to know one another as well as explore what wellness means on a broader scale. Since this rolls together so nicely with the wellness movement of comprehensive health, how can our wellness champions implement this in school jurisdictions across Alberta?
A: Here's how it works:
- Create a calendar. Choose a time frame with enough days for the amount of employees in your school or workplace and have your team sign-up for a day to share what wellness means to them. We chose 90 days for our project so that everyone had a day to share, including days for examples early on in the campaign.
- Make the time. Once a day—or week, whatever you decide—come together as a group to listen/present on what wellness means. Sharing can take the shape of a photo and an accompanied story, bringing in some gear or a map to show where you were, reciting a poem, showing a video clip—you name it! It’s your moment to share how you connect to wellness and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Gather your stories. Find a space in your workplace—whether digital or physical—to showcase your wellness moments for your group to see. The point of this is to inspire others to share their stories, spark a bit of creativity in someone else’s wellness routine and build a community of support for one another.
- Celebrate wellness. At the end of the campaign, tie it all together somehow. Sharing encourages sharing. The more we compiled our team’s posts and shared them back out, the more new shares we had come in. Simple videos or slide shows work really well for this. Here is how we wrapped ours up in video form, accompanied by a nice little reflection that shared our vision.
M: I love this! What were your key learnings from this experience?
A: One of the biggest challenges we found was that people were worried they would "do it wrong." This campaign is quite broad and it can be difficult for people when they don't have clearly defined lines to work within. The mantra of “no wrong answer” is key to overcoming this. We also had examples peppered throughout the campaign to help build a framework for others to follow. We posted ideas like cooking with our kids, reading a book, gardening or painting. The very best thing about those worried about wrong answers was that some of our most impactful and moving shares came with the intro, "This probably isn't what I am supposed to do but...”
M: Thank you for sharing your idea with The Sandbox’s wellness champions, Alanna. I can’t wait to see how this idea is applied to a school or workplace.
Hey wellness champs, try out this concept with your group and tell me how it’s going. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from the experience!