Building Wellness Culture Through National Awareness Days
We've all had a good chuckle over certain national awareness days. I'm sure you're all celebrating National Hot Sauce Day, National Lima Bean Respect Day, and National Lost Sock Memorial Day. You’ll see them on social media, or hear about them on the radio and think: who comes up with these things?
Here's a little story: I'm writing this on National Pizza Day. And, how do I know it's National Pizza Day? At 3pm my husband texted me a picture of pizza with text overlaid saying Happy National Pizza Day. He must have received it in his email or come across it online. Pizza was not on my mind at all today, yet here we were, texting about pizza. Turns out, we were both in, and our kids never object to pizza night. So, Pequods, you can thank a national awareness day for one of your sales tonight, you're welcome.
All kidding aside, there is some power to these national/international awareness campaigns. Something that was in the back recesses of your mind, or not there at all, gets to cut through the clutter and maybe take center stage for a few minutes as you read a headline, or scroll past a meme. This is all fine and good when it comes to pizza, but where it really gets powerful is when we can improve human lives through awareness.
Throughout the years we have noticed our Unfold clients reaching out to us to provide education and support for certain national awareness days. The upcoming International Women's Day held annually on March 8th is always a busy day for us. As is International Yoga Day and some of the others listed below. We love to see companies who take good care of their employees and provide content for them to enrich their working and personal lives.
There is some good to come out of raising awareness for a topic nationally, or even internationally. It gives a platform for important topics to be discussed in the media and in the population at large. If your company is not taking advantage of these hot topics you might be missing an opportunity to provide education and tools that your employees can use to become happier, healthier and better at their jobs.
We have workplace wellness presentations to support national awareness initiatives such as American Heart Month (February), National Stress Awareness Month (April), Mental Health Awareness Month (May). For 2023 we’ve decided to finally create a list, below, that our clients can use to help them craft their wellness events around. These dates are top of mind across the country and we're excited to provide practical mindfulness tools and wellness presentations to enhance your company's programming.
How to Implement Awareness Days at Work
The first step is to identify which awareness days are offered and to determine which ones will be relevant to your group. Do you have a highly stressed out office? Check out National Stress Awareness Month or Mental Health Awareness Month. Do you notice burnout or dissatisfaction increasing among your ranks? Check out International Self-Care Day. Our list below is non-exhaustive, so if you come across an awareness day or month that you’d like to honor, we can most likely come up with the perfect class or event for you. National Asparagus Day? You’ll probably want to call your local farmer for that one.
Come to think of it… we have a mindful eating presentation that would fit quite well with some asparagus spears!
Once you identify what topic you’d like to highlight you can plan your event. If it’s an awareness month, you could plan a few events to spread over a few weeks. If it’s a day, you can plan a single event, or create a series of events for the day. Unfold can certainly be your partner in figuring out what would work best for your team. Our Workplace Wellness Presentations are a fun, interactive way to bring groups of employees together, educate on relevant topics, and give participants mindfulness tools to place in their proverbial tool-boxes for future use. These can be done virtually or in-person.
Other ways to round out an awareness day event at your company is to provide some swag. A new journal can be a nice accompaniment to most of our mindfulness based classes. Food goes a long way in encouraging participation. Offer lunch, snacks or tea at the time of the wellness event.
Keep It Going
It's important to remember that wellness days are not one and done. In order for these days to have meaningful impact, be consistent with your workplace wellbeing efforts to support employee wellbeing over time.
One day, or one month, of education and practice is great, but real, meaningful change happens slowly over time. After your event, be sure to support your team throughout the year. Our clients will often schedule a Wellness Presentation and supplement that with Desk + Chair yoga or Meditate + Breathe classes weekly or monthly.
One of the best ways to encourage employee wellness all year long is offering your employees membership to our Unfold Digital program. Unfold Digital is a monthly membership program that provides live and recorded movement, meditation and mindfulness classes. Katie and I teach 3 live De-Stress At Your Desk classes each week and send out a new 10-Minute Tune-Up every Tuesday. We can customize a package that's just right for your group size and budget.
Additioanlly, you can offer our free content to your employees right now! Send them this link and they'll be on their way to a bit more happiness and calm.
Lead By Example
Be sure that your leadership teams are on board with the messaging of the awareness days/months that you choose. If you’re going to tell your employees you support their mental health, be sure to continue to share that message long after the event has passed. This can be done through internal communications, by encouraging employees to use vacation/personal days off, and by supporting them in their job functions. You know your employees best. We’re here to help give you ideas on how to bring out the best in your people.
We’ve discussed how to implement and promote workplace wellness programs. Maybe you have an internal dedicated wellness team, or your HR department is spearheading a wellness initiative, or an interested and resourceful employee has offered to plan wellness events. We see it all and we’re here to help!
It is helpful to have strong internal communications in the days and weeks before the wellness event. Allow your employees time to become aware of their options, enter the dates/times in their calendar, provide information for them to read before the event so they are well prepared to take advantage fully of the offering. Encourage leadership at your company to write a supportive and encouraging email regarding the wellness event. Heck, ask your CEO to attend the event. The best attended and received events that we have seen have participants of all areas of leadership within a company.
Contact us now to get started on your 2023 awareness day planning. See below for our suggested offerings.
Key Dates + Suggested Offerings: FEB: American Heart Month Mindful Heart Health Presentation MAR: International Women's Day (Mar. 8th) Women Work + Wellbeing Presentation APR: National Stress Awareness Month
Burnout Breakthrough + Stress RX Presentation MAY: Mental Health Awareness Month / World Meditation Day (May 21) Mindfulness Meditation Presentation
JUN: International Yoga Day (Jun. 21) Desk + Chair Yoga Class JUL: International Self-Care Day (Jul. 24) Loving Kindness To Yourself + Others Presentation AUG: Self Awareness Month
Healthy Posture, Inside + Out Presentation SEP: World Gratitude Day (Sep. 21)
Gratitude Meditation Class OCT: Depression Awareness Month Building Resilience Presentation NOV: World Kindness Day (Nov. 13) Cultivating Kindness + Gratitude Presentation
We can't wait to be a part of your office wellness plan. Sustainable change takes time, and wellbeing is a lifelong practice. We're here to help you provide the best wellness offerings to your team so that they can be their very best. Check out our corporate services here, and our full list of presentation topics with learning objectives here.