Strengthening skills and relationships
By Julie Anderson Newsom, Healthy IU Communications Specialist
Over 1,100 employees and their spouses across Indiana University campuses are working toward enhancing IU’s community of care and civility as part of Common Good, a Healthy IU online program.
Common Good is a platform for participants to learn about four relationship-building topics: gratitude, purpose, effective communication, and self-compassion. Each week of the program highlights a personal practice that can strengthen skills in one of these areas, and in turn, strengthen relationships.
The quality of our everyday interactions—with family, friends, coworkers, and even ourselves—has a direct effect on our physical and mental well being. Positive emotions, our level of resiliency, better sleep, cardiovascular health, and more, can be improved when we live and work in supportive communities.
Scott Fulk, director of Student Activities at IU Northwest, says that he’s participating in Common Good because it’s an opportunity to engage in a mindfulness practice—a topic that has generated a lot of discussion among his group of friends.
It seems that we are all searching for a way to deal with the stresses of life, so we are exploring mindfulness, meditation, and other means of self-support,” says Fulk. “I really enjoyed the gratitude exercise. It made me stop and think about how many good things are really in my life.”
-Scott Fulk, Director of Student Activities at IU Northwest
Deanna Cooper, wellness specialist for IU East’s Center for Health Promotion, is no stranger to encouraging healthy habits. She’s participating alongside her husband and has found new ways to take stock in what she has and how she affects others.
The Common Good Program has taught me to slow down and take in my surroundings, realizing all the things around me I have to be grateful for. The ‘thank you’ notes [given as an incentive for participation] have been a fun way to brighten someone’s day. My husband has been participating as well, and I have found thank you notes from him all over our house!”
-Deanna Cooper, Wellness Specialist for IU East’s Center for Health Promotion.
Many campuses have embraced Common Good and are using it to support their own strategic initiatives such as community building, strengthening a welcoming community, and helping employees see how their passion connects to IU’s mission. For example, IU Kokomo held a campus-wide “Walk for the Common Good” on November 1, 2018.
Common Good is now in its fourth and final week. But the practices can continue to impact participants’ lives and the lives of those around them. Elevator signage with reminders that we are all a part of the Common Good will remain in place for the 2017-2018 school year on every campus. Those interested in starting or continuing Common Good practices after the online program is over can download this PDF.
After the success of the Sleep Great IU Challenge in 2016, the program has been licensed to other institutions of higher learning with the assistance of Indiana University Innovation and Commercialization Office (ICO). Indiana University ICO protects, markets and licenses intellectual property developed at Indiana University so it can be commercialized by industry. Click here to learn more.