Our September MHW Newsletter! Learn about events, resources and strategies related to Getting Active.




September 2019


This month's theme is let’s GET ACTIVE, as September ushers in fresh new possibilities and new learning and wellness activities. Let’s be inspired as McGill students returning in September remind us of the energy we can derive from new beginnings. How can we move one step closer to our own aspirations whether personal, professional, physical, spiritual or psychological?


According to Dr. James Gavin of Concordia University, making the “right choice” of fitness activities for our personalities goes a long way in predicting our staying power. Waiting for that “perfect” opportunity to Get Active on the other hand may be an excuse for non-action. Discover the Joys of Imperfection and enjoy the Journey! And if trouble with setting goals is keeping you from your highest aspirations, it may be time to sign up for a workshop with Robert Wise: How to Set Goals


Wishing you all a happy and active September!



Are you and your fitness activities a promising match?


Sports Psychologist and Master Life Coach, Dr. James Gavin from Concordia University encourages pairing personality with highly suited types of fitness activities. Why not set yourself up for success?


Before committing to an activity this fall, Dr. Gavin invites us to self rate on a scale that considers 7 psychosocial traits: Sociability, Control, Motivation, Competitiveness, Aggression, Focus and Risk. If we tend to be sedentary, we are most likely to engage in an activity if it is immediately compatible with our psychosocial profile (see figures 2 and 3 in article). If we are already active in sports, we may want to choose an activity that, according to Gavin’s model, will stretch us slightly. If that stretch is major, however, we risk dropping the activity as in the case of a highly risk avoidant person suddenly signing up for downhill skiing. We need not embrace a “suffering model”. Click here to explore what may be best for you.


Monthly Challenge: Win a fitbit!

The Health and Well-being team continues to invite you to participate in our monthly challenges! 

Track your active time this month for the chance to win a Fitbit! Click here to register.



The Joys of Imperfection


Is Perfectionism keeping you from a life of continuous learning and human (imperfect) experience?


Yes, perfectionism can sometimes drive us to new heights of quality. And excellence IS important. But perfectionism can also leave us paralyzed with inaction, depleted or depressed – showing up as harsh judges of ourselves and/or the world. How can we talk about co-creating a world that celebrates diversity and continuous learning if we are never quite enough? Click here to read more.



Employee Spotlight


Ryan Ortiz is the Director of IT Customer Services (ICS) at McGill and involved in the My Healthy Workplace My Service-Oriented Learning Community.


Ryan shares with McGill's Health and Well-Being Advisor, Sara, the story of how he got into running and how he stays motivated. Read more to hear about how Ryan has made running his habit for over 10 years and let him inspire you to create a habit of moving more!



Upcoming MHW Events


10 Tips to Move More and Sit Less with Jill Barker 

September 17th (12:00-1:00) Mac Campus 

September 19th (12:00-1:00) Downtown 


Lunch & Learn: How to Set Goals 

September 25th (12:00-1:30)



New Health & Well-Being Resources

Visit HR's revamped resources section for links to apps, websites, and books to help you get moving more, review the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, and get ideas to see how you can fit more movement into your life. 


A Workout at Work?


Have you ever tried a desk push-up? Some side lunges by your cubicle? How about raising the roof with your team?


Check out a helpful guide from the Washington Post of twelve exercises you can do in your office. Get your team involved, have fun with it, and don't take yourself too seriously.



Summer Habits Worth Maintaining Through Fall


Summer may be coming to an end, but you can hang onto that summer feeling by continuing these healthy habits into the Fall! 


While fresh local garden produce may not be as plentiful, there are still many options for healthy eating on campus including McGill's farmers' market which continues every Thursday until October 24th. Click here for details.


Experience the Gault Nature Reserve


McGill's own Gault Nature Reserve, located in Mont Saint-Hilaire, provides a beautiful setting to get active just a short distance from Montreal. The Reserve provides opportunities for research, preservation, and leisure activities all year round. McGill staff receive a 15% discount on annual memberships. Click here to learn more the Reserve and its extensive trail network.




Save the Date for the McGill Staff and Faculty Health Fair October 30th!

  • Visit exhibitions to discover resources and services available both on and off campus! 
  • Learn about physical, emotional, mental, and financial health and well-being
  • Prizes to be won in our raffle including passes to Strom Spa, tickets to the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal, passes for the Schulich School of Music and many more!
  • Get tips and strategies from presenters in our speaker series
  • Enjoy live music

Click here for more details, put it in your calendar and invite a colleague to come with you!


We want to hear from you!


This newsletter is for staff by staff. Send the MHW News editorial team an email to let us know what you think of this issue. The upcoming theme for October is Healthy Workplace Month and will also feature information on the coming McGill Employee Health Fair on October 30th, 2019. Please contact us to suggest an initiative to highlight, or if you are interested in contributing an article.