Woman smiling holding her infant child in between her legs on a hike.

February Wellness Ambassador of the Month | Colleen Anthonisen

Quick Summary

  • Wellness for me is finding ways to incorporate things into your day that bring joy or make you and those around you feel good.

How long have you worked at UC Davis?

I have worked at UC Davis for 10 years.

What does Wellness mean to you?

Wellness for me is finding ways to incorporate things into your day that bring joy or make you and those around you feel good. Whether that is fitting in time for a walk or workout class, cooking a mindful meal, going to bed early, offering help for someone else, or giving someone a gift. Developing awareness around when these things would feel helpful, or when you may need to take a break, is also an important aspect of wellness! 

Why did you become a wellness ambassador?

I love finding things that make me and those around me feel good, so when I came across the opportunity of joining the Wellness Ambassador crew I didn't hesitate! I was excited to connect and share ideas with others who have a similar passion.

How long have you been a wellness ambassador?

I have been a wellness ambassador for almost 7 years! 

What has been the most rewarding or positive part about your experience thus far?

Over the last 7 years, I have applied for and received 7 $500 wellness mini grants through the Wellness Ambassador Program! I am so thankful for the opportunity to apply for funding to bring wellness to my teams in an even bigger way. With the funding, I have created two different department Wellness Libraries, purchased a shared electric scooter, team water bottles, a Soda Stream, live desk plants,  passion planners, supplies for team events and prizes for team challenges. I have also loved connecting with my fellow Wellness Ambassadors to share ideas and experiences!  

What are some challenges you face as a wellness ambassador, especially through the pandemic?

COVID-19 restrictions definitely required a little more creativity in terms of event and activity settings! But I found that in the end, that extra effort translated to more creative options for future activities, and allowed for more opportunity for individuals in different situations to participate. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with new wellness ambassadors?

I would advise fellow wellness ambassadors to connect with their team members and department and ask that what types of activities they would feel supported by!

Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being aims to build an environment that makes the healthier choice the easier one, while providing staff and faculty with the required support to make UC Davis the healthiest community. How do you feel you have contributed to our mission?

I have coordinated over 30 challenges or events for the two departments I have worked in while at UC Davis Health. I like to be mindful that each person views wellness differently, so one of my goals has been to facilitate and share all different types of wellness to encourage more widespread participation. Some examples of activities I have arranged include physical activity challenges, reading or hydration challenges, an outing to a show at the Mondavi Center, virtual "happy hour" and lunch trivia during COVID-19, passion planning activities, themed potlucks, and classes about effective email management, financial management, or coping with patients with terminal illness.  

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I currently have a 1.5 year old son, and am mildly obsessed with him! He has taught me so much about joy and wellness. When I am not loving on him, you may find me doing yoga, putting together a yummy meal, checking out a local neighborhood restaurant, or road tripping with my husband, son, and dog. 

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