July 31 - August 4
For the past three weeks we've focused on chilling, exploring, and connecting. In our final adventure week, we'll look at how we can sustain these wellbeing practices as we head into the fall semester.
What will your Summer Wellbeing Adventure "souvenir" be? Select an activity, experience, or insight from this adventure that will serve as a reminder to continue focusing on your wellbeing. Create ways for that "souvenir" to regularly appear in your life (for example, maybe create a cell phone lock screen image!).
This week we'll be drawing for some exciting GRAND PRIZES, including a two-night stay at the Cornell Club in NYC + 2 Campus-to-Campus bus tickets; a one-night stay at Statler Hotel with breakfast for 2 at Taverna Banfi; $75 points in the Appreciation Portal, and more!
HOW TO ENTER:
Check out the activities that follow below - try one (or something else related to the sustain theme) - then take a photo or tell us about your experience.
Sustain Week Tips
There are a lot of little things you can do to sustain your energy, well-being, and resilience. Small changes can have a big impact!
- Take a deep breath when you are waiting in line or at a red light
- Schedule something you enjoy on your calendar on a regular basis - even something like 30 minutes to read or take a walk - so you can look forward to it
- Meet up with a friend every month to build or maintain connections
- Say “no, thank you” to invitations you are not excited about so you can…
- Make more time for the things and people that energize you
Wellbeing isn't just a box to check off a to-do list. It's an ongoing process that benefits the individual, and can expand to the workplace, other people, and the environment. Learn more about how individual and environmental sustainability are interconnected.
Cultivate Joy & Fun
Happiness isn't just something that happens to you - it's something you can intentionally cultivate. Here are a few seeds to start growing:
Play is for Adults Too - and inspires creativity! Check out some ways to be more playful.
Dance & Sing - turn up your favorite music and move your body, or belt out a favorite song - it's a proven mood-lifter: How singing benefits your health.
Laugh - Studies prove that laughter is good for your mood, mental health, heart health, and more. Check out why laughter is so good for your wellbeing, including 6 ways you can bring more laughter into your life.
Spread Joy with a RAOK - What’s a RAOK? It’s a random act of kindness. Being kind to someone who isn’t expecting it can often generate a chain of sustainable kindness that keeps on going. Smiling at or complimenting a stranger, paying for coffee for the next person in line, offer to do an errand for a neighbor... these are all random acts of kindness.
Planning for Happiness
According to the Project Happiness website, "Scientific research has turned its focus on how happiness can be sustained and even increased. Research has confirmed that through intentional practices, we can actually change the neural pathways of our brain to become happier. In fact, only 10% of our happiness is due to our external circumstances and a full 90% is based on our inner environment!"
Those who enjoy organizing may relate to having a theme to guide each day. The Project Happiness website offers these themes, with details, inspiration, and supporting articles:
- Mindful Monday
- Wellness Wednesday
- Thoughtful Thursday
- Freedom Friday
- Social Saturday
- Soul Sunday
Look for ways to slow down and connect with yourself. This could be for an hour or simply for the length of three deep breaths. What are some ways you can fit mindfulness into your regular routine?
Explore mindfulness in nature or anywhere you are with the simple ideas of “Move and Notice” or “Sit and Notice”.
Look for Tiny Moments throughout your day to use as opportunities to practice mindfulness such as when you are brushing your teeth, sipping a drink, or eating a snack or a meal.
Find opportunities to practice Mindful Listening with The HEAR Practice:
- H - Halt
- E - Enjoy
- A - Ask
- R - Reflect
Try ‘mindlessness’ activities as an alternative - be totally engaged in an activity to find “flow”.
“Gratitude is a spontaneous feeling but, increasingly, research demonstrates its value as a practice…Studies show that people can deliberately cultivate gratitude—and there are important social and personal benefits to doing so” according to Psychology Today.
Explore new ways to practice gratitude, such as:
- Writing thank you notes
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Actively telling people what they or their actions mean to you
Help us support a culture of appreciation at Cornell by using the Appreciation Portal to thank or recognize a colleague. You can even use #EmployeeWellbeing to acknowledge someone’s efforts.
Did you know that you can also recognize a colleague who demonstrates sustainability leadership with actions big or small? For this category, monthly winners are selected from all recognized and will receive cash prizes.
Is there a person or team who is going above and beyond that you are grateful for? Considering nominating them for a President's Awards for Employee Excellence. Nominations are due by August 31st and will be selected in the Fall. Categories include:
- Game Changer
- Mission Possible
- Culture of Belonging
- Thoughtful Leader
- Culture of Sustainability
- ONE Cornell
Balance & Boundaries
It is important to have balance in your life when it comes to work, family (however you define this), your personal goals, and rest.
Creating Boundaries - communicating boundaries and putting them into practice is essential to maintaining balance. “Remember, it’s okay to set boundaries. It’s okay to speak up for your needs and values in your workplace. When you communicate clearly, honestly, and kindly, you open the door for other people to do the same. This helps everyone work better.”
Set Boundaries - protect your time away by setting clear boundaries and sticking to them.
● Try removing distractions, such as deleting work apps on your phone and/or silencing notifications during time off.
Ease Transitions - Consider setting an out of office reply a day or two before and after time away to allow yourself space to wrap up / catch up on projects and emails.
Daily Routines - create consistent daily routines to support balance
- Take intentional breaks and implement restorative practices every day
- Move your body
- Go outside
- Take your lunch break away from your desk
- Connect with coworkers
- Maintain intentional wind-up and wind-down routines
Plan and Take Vacation Time
Plan - Start planning your future time away and protect it. Did you know that even the act of planning and anticipating time away can boost happiness?
Take Time Off - whether it is an afternoon, a full day, a week or more - taking time away from work is important for restoration.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.” Try out some of these ingredients for self-care.
Free Employee Consultations at Cornell Wellness: Faculty, staff, retirees, and their spouses/partners can schedule free individual consultations with Cornell Wellness for help with fitness, nutrition, general health & wellness, general fitness & nutrition, and tobacco/smoking cessation. Details & scheduling
Move your body - Anything you can do to move more throughout the day is helpful for restoration.
Get outside and move around on a break from work. Invite a co-worker.
Is the weather not cooperating? Consider walking at your nearby mall - the Shops at Ithaca Mall open at 8:00 am and encourages Mall Walking. On campus - check the Barton Hall Calendar for up-to-date hours on the use of their indoor track. Current hours are Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00pm.
Try stretching. It’s a great way to sustain yourself over time. Living gives us tight muscles and cranky spots on our bodies. Unkink those areas by taking time during the week to stretch out those areas that are giving you grief.
‘Stretched’ for time? Try “movement snacking” to fit quick bursts of movement into a busy day.
Sleep: Sleep is an essential part of our well-being. Check out these suggestions to support more restful sleep:
Mental Health - See this guide to resources available to Cornell staff and faculty: https://mentalhealth.cornell.edu/get-support/staff-faculty
Explore the health benefits of hobbies - https://www.webmd.com/balance/health-benefits-of-hobbies
Schedule regular non-work time together.
Whether in-person or virtually, put something on the calendar on a regular basis to connect as a team, beyond work. A fifteen minute coffee break together midweek? A lunchtime walk for refreshments once a month? An hour for games on Fridays?
Sustainability and Food
Cornell supports healthy, sustainable food systems by offering food guided by the principles of Menus of Change in our campus dining facilities, supporting student-led farming, reducing food insecurity, purchasing from regional farms, and reducing food waste.
- Try more plant-forward meals to reduce our collective carbon footprint
- Sign up for a CSA or shop at farmer's markets to reduce shipping emissions, eat fresher food, and support local farmers
- Compost food waste in dining halls, retail locations, and residential communities
- Bring reusable containers and utensils to events
- On campus: The Sustainable Cornell Council has a current priority to improve campus dining food waste. Learn more about the Dining Food Waste Working Group.
Grilled Vegetable Platter
Vegetarian, Family-Friendly, 30-Minutes or Less
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Dash salt
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus
- 3 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1. In a small bowl, whisk the first 7 ingredients. Place 3 tablespoons marinade in a large bowl. Add vegetables; turn to coat. Cover; Optional - marinate 1 & 1/2 hours at room temperature.
2. Transfer vegetables to a grilling grid; place grid on grill rack. Grill vegetables, covered, over medium heat until crisp-tender, 8-12 minutes, turning occasionally.
3. Place vegetables on a large serving plate. Drizzle with remaining marinade.
*Choose other vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers
Vegetarian, Family-Friendly, 30-Minutes or Less
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
· 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
· 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
· 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
· 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
· 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
· 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
· 3 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
· 3 bananas, sliced
· 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
· 1 cup seedless grapes
· 2 cups blueberries
1. For the sauce: Bring orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
2. For the salad: Layer fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, grapes, and blueberries. Pour cooled sauce over fruit; cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Adapted From: Perfect Summer Fruit Salad Recipe (allrecipes.com)
Vegetarian, Family-Friendly, 10-Minutes or Less, Under 10-Ingredients
Prep Time: 10 minutes
· 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
· 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño, seeds removed
· 1/4 cup chopped tomato, seeds removed
· 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
· 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
· 2 medium avocados
· Tortilla chips for serving (optional)
1. Combine onion, jalapeño, tomato, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Add avocados and mash with a fork or potato masher to the desired consistency. Serve with tortilla chips.
Adapted From: Lime Guacamole (eatingwell.com)
Berry Brownie Pizza
Family-Friendly, 45-Minutes or Less
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
· 1 package fudge brownie mix (8 inch square pan size)
· 1 & 1/4 cups cold 2% milk or milk alternative
· 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
· 2 & 1/2 cups whipped topping
· 2 cups mixed berries
· Chocolate syrup and chopped pecans
- Prepare brownie batter according to package directions; spread onto a greased 12-in. pizza pan.
- Bake at 350 F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand until soft-set, about 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over brownie crust.
- Top with berries and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until chilled.
Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw
Pescatarian, Family-Friendly, 45-Minutes or Less
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cumin Lime Coleslaw
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime (1 Tbsp juice)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 16oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 lb. cod fillets
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 jalapeño, sliced
1. Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Stack the tortillas and cover with foil to keep warm.
2. Make the cumin lime coleslaw next. For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and sugar.
3. Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl, pour the coleslaw dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to build your tacos.
4. Next, season the fish fillets. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cut each fish fillet into smaller taco-sized pieces. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
5. Add half of the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through (it will feel firm, look opaque, and be easily flaked). Repeat with more oil and the second batch of fish.
6. Top each toasted tortilla with a piece of fish, a slice of avocado, a small scoop of the cumin lime slaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño. Enjoy warm.
Adapted From: Easy Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw - Budget Bytes
Yogurt and Honey Fruit Cups
Vegetarian, 10-Minutes or Less, 5-Ingredients
Prep Time: 10 minutes
· 4 & 1/2 cups cut-up fresh fruit (pears, apples, bananas, grapes, etc.)
· 3/4 cup mandarin orange, vanilla or lemon yogurt
· 1 Tbsp honey
· 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
· 1/4 tsp almond extract
1. Divide fruit among 6 individual serving bowls. Combine the yogurt, honey, orange zest and extract; spoon over the fruit.
Bonus Recipe: Frozen Peach Bellini Mocktail
Budget-Friendly, 5-Ingredients or Less
Prep time: 5 minutes
· 2 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (or you can use frozen)
· 1 cup sparkling apple juice, plus more for serving
· 2 teaspoons sugar
· 1 teaspoon lime juice
1. Place sliced peaches in freezer for 1 hour.
2. Combine peaches, 1 cup sparkling apple juice, sugar, and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Pour into 2 glasses and add about 1/2 inch of additional sparkling apple juice.
*Use other fruit like pineapples, strawberries or blackberries
Adapted From: Frozen Peach Bellini Mocktail - Spicy Southern Kitchen
Bonus Recipe: Southwest Hummus Dip
Shareable, Vegetarian, 10-Ingredients or Less
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 cups
· 1 medium ear sweet corn, husk removed
· 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
· 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
· 1 tsp ground cumin
· 1/2 tsp chili powder
· 1/4 tsp salt
· 1/4 tsp pepper
· 1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
· 1/4 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1. Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and process for 30 seconds or until blended. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
2. Cut corn from cob. Add the corn, red peppers and tomatoes to bean mixture; mix well. Serve with pita chips or vegetables.
Question of the week: How will you plan to sustain the positive feelings and joyful habits you have practiced during the Summer Wellbeing Adventure? What ideas can you carry forward from the summer into the year ahead?
Prizes include $75 dollars’ worth of points in the Cornell Appreciation Portal, a two-night stay and bus tickets for two to Cornell Club in NYC, a one-night night stay with breakfast for two at the Statler/Taverna Banfi, and more! For the full list of prizes, visit the Summer Wellbeing Adventure landing page. Winners will be selected randomly and announced on our website every week.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Wilbur LOVES having his photo taken!
Some folks would rather take pictures than be in them - but not Wilbur! Wilbur Wellbear is the less famous, less competitive cousin of Cornell's renowned Touchdown Bear. He'd love to be your own personal mascot to enjoying the Summer Wellbeing Adventure!
Cut him out and show us what you're doing to support wellbeing this summer! Post to the Summer Wellbeing Adventure Viva Engage channel or email us - and get a bonus entry in our weekly prize drawings!)