“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” –

Glenn Close
Welcome to our May update!  
Wendy Gammons, MIIA Wellness/Health Promotion Manager  

Certainly, these past 12 months have been hard on all of us. But, some of us may be suffering more than others. Please realize there is no shame in reaching out for help and it is the first step in feeling better. You may be struggling with the isolation and loneliness that comes from social distancing. Or you may be dealing with the anger and confusion around racial justice issues. Or perhaps you have your own personal struggles that you are dealing with. 
MIIA wants to help you take the first step towards better emotional health and this is why we have partnered with Learn to Live, who offers highly effective online programs proven to help people feel better. And, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a reminder for all of us to prioritize emotional well-being. If you’re feeling anxious or blue, or have trouble sleeping, explore the options on Learn to Live. You deserve to feel better.
We also have 3 self-directed activities this month. One is a “pop-up” on physical activity called Health and Fitness Activity Challenge.  The Webinar Buffet is Self-Compassion and Resiliency and the Smorgasbord activity is Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. Check them out below!
The Well Aware Self-Directed
Activity Challenges
Now there are TWO ways to earn gift cards while staying fit and well! Find our Wellbeing Smorgasbord and Webinar Buffet in each Monthly Newsletter like Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life. and The Power of Self-Compassion and Resilience. We offer a variety of exercise, diet and wellbeing activities in self-directed and webinar formats. Each program includes educational information, tips and strategies. Only MIIA/Blue Cross subscribers are eligible for the $50 or $75 Amazon gift card.
Program of the Month
Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life.
A 10-day Challenge Starting May 19

Cognitive Reframing (also known as Cognitive Restructuring) is a stress reduction technique used to help people alter their perceptions of stressors. Think of reframing as a re-scripting of our thinking and a way to help us to recognize that negative automatic thoughts affect our moods, behavior, and physical health. Learn how to reframe or rescript your thinking of stressful situations to help create more relaxation and peace. Earn cool prizes as well.
Webinar of the Month
The Power of Self-Compassion and Resilience
Want to improve your quality of life and overall sense of wellbeing? Complete this month’s webinar to nurture two life skills: Self-Compassion and Resiliency! People face all kinds of adversity in life and learning how to adapt well to life challenges pays off for a lifetime. Learn various techniques to help nurture and grow self-compassion and resilience, enabling you to thrive through life's ups and downs.
Success Story Corner
Pandemic Pounds Weight Loss Challenge
Amidst a pandemic, essential employees at the Taunton Municipal Light Plant in Taunton, MA, decided to tackle their 2020 quarantine weight gain with an 8-week weight loss challenge. The challenge, developed organically by the participants, was a big success with 15 employees registering a total weight loss of over 92 pounds. Two participants were awarded cash prizes of $150 dollars, one for the most pounds lost and the other for the biggest percentage of weight loss.

Strengthen Your Emotional Health During Challenging Times

Learn to Live
A Census Bureau study released in late 2020 showed that the number of Americans reporting feelings of anxiety and/or depression had nearly quadrupled between June 2019 and late 2020. MIIA has partnered with Learn to Live to help municipal employees who may be struggling with emotional health by introducing our new Teammates option. It allows you to identify someone to support you as you work through your program learning to address your emotional health.
Pop-Up Program
MIIA Health and Fitness Activity Challenge
Starting May 10
Join us from May 10 to 28, 2021 in the MIIA Health & Fitness Activity Challenge to promote health and fitness in and out of the workplace. Activities ranging from fitness, nutrition, mental health, sleep and more will be provided. Participants who complete at least 15 out of the 25 possible activities will earn a $25 Amazon gift card! Only MIIA/BCBS Subscribers are eligible for gift cards. This program is a new, pop up activity and is not part of the monthly Smorgasbord series.
Learn to Live Challenge
May 2021 is Mental Health Awareness Month and we challenge you to make your emotional well-being a priority. If life often feels overwhelming, explore our proven Learn to Live programs. When you do, you'll be entered for a chance to win an Amazon gift card up to $50. All employees can earn a gift card, you do not need to be a MIIA subscriber.
It’s Gardening Time!
Using Ergonomic Principles to Reduce Injury Risks
Denise Pontbriand, PTA, CEAS, REAS
Gardening is a healthy, stimulating physical activity that can be enjoyed by all. It’s a great way to spend time outside. However, it requires a lot of standing, stooping, kneeling, bending, lifting and crouching. Many of these positions held for a long period of time increase physical stressors and result in unwanted aches and pains that can lead to an injury. Read our tips to reduce injury risks.

Recipe of the Month
Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
simplyrecipes website

Tender florets, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, roasted at high heat until nicely browned around the edges and stems, and then sprinkled generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese—yes, this is broccoli that anyone could love!

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