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‘Refresh from Stress’ helps Emory employees recharge and reset

Nearly 2,400 employees focused on improving their emotional health and well-being through “Refresh from Stress” in October. Now they’re entering the holiday season with new tactics for self-care that anyone can learn.

October marked the sixth year that Emory employees could participate in “Refresh from Stress: 30-Day Inspiration,” an emotional health and well-being program. Results were once again encouraging, and showed that participants will enter the holiday season with new tactics for self-care.

The innovative, enterprise-wide stress management program allows Emory University and Emory Healthcare employees to select activities to increase their self-care and mindfulness skills, boost social connections and enhance emotional well-being. The self-care strategies are designed to easily fit into daily life.

Nearly 2,400 employees registered for the program. One participant who found it very helpful was Mike Hines, assistant nurse manager in Emory Hillandale Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“I found myself recognizing that spending a few minutes on these, several times a week, allowed me to feel like I was managing my stress and not being managed by it,” Hines says. “It was a nice little reminder to do something to keep moving forward.”

Hines is confident he has the momentum to keep going in the right direction. Part of his plan involves joining new challenges through Journeys, self-guided courses through Healthy Emory Connect that help build healthy habits. Options related to stress management include Choose a New Mindset, Find Your Focus, Stress Less in No Time, Calm Your Mind for Sleep, and more.

He’s not alone in thinking Refresh from Stress helped him do just that. Of the respondents who participated in a follow-up survey, 96% agreed with the statement that it is a valuable program and 97% said they would participate again in the future.

Many participants shared that Refresh from Stress helped them “be more accountable” and said it was a reminder “to take time for my mental health.”

Other benefits that respondents said they gained include increased consciousness and awareness to care for themselves and their health; improved sleep and relaxation; and increased engagement/relationship building with co-workers, family and friends.

For example, 85% of survey participants who responded to questions related to physical and emotional health said the program “helped improve my emotional health and well-being” and 75% said it “helped improve my physical health.” A significant number of participants (72%) felt it helped improve their work productivity. 

“Plus, several activities — decluttering, giving a shout out, etc. — benefit other employees or family members as well,” one participant shared. “It’s a win-win.”

Speaking of winning, more than 100 Refresh from Stress participants won Amazon gift cards or concert tickets.

In addition, five grand prize winners received a $250 spa package gift card: Anisha Desai, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital; Marti McCaleb, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Reem Musa, The Emory Clinic; Teara Strickland, Campus Services; and Willetta Marshall, Emory Healthcare (the Wellness Champion winner).

Refresh from Stress 2021 was sponsored by the Faculty Staff Assistance Program in partnership with Healthy Emory. Healthy Emory Wellness Champions helped promote the program and Emory’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts donated concert tickets.