Selfie of Melyssa in black t-shirt

May Wellness Ambassador of the Month | Melyssa Rehman

Quick Summary

  • One of the biggest benefits has been spending quality downtime with my team, and seeing the healing that can happen when we are allowed to put work to the side for a bit.

Wellness Ambassador of the Month
Melyssa Rehman – Veterinary Medicine Dean's Office: Gourley Clinical Teacher Center

How long have you worked at UC Davis?

I have worked at UC Davis for 7 years.

What does Wellness mean to you?

Wellness to me means taking the time to do things that bring you joy and peace. It means taking care of your mind and your body, whatever that may look like to you. Wellness means practicing kindness towards yourself and others, and bringing happiness and laughter to your environment. 

Why did you become a wellness ambassador?

I had first heard about the wellness ambassador program after completing the WorkStrong program. I enjoyed the program so much, and it had such a positive impact on my life, that the program manager suggested I looked into becoming a wellness ambassador. Once I looked into what it would entail, I knew I had to participate! I loved that it would give me the opportunity to positively impact the lives of my coworkers in the way the the WorkStrong program had positively impacted mine. 

How long have you been a wellness ambassador?

I have been a wellness ambassador since March of 2018! 

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

There have been so many positives it is hard to choose! I think one of the biggest benefits has been spending quality downtime with my team, and seeing the healing that can happen when we are allowed to put work to the side for a bit. A lot of workplace tension has been resolved by strategically planning wellness activities throughout the academic year. I have also really enjoyed the ways in which it has encouraged my team and I to participate more with the campus community by volunteering or participating in campus wide events. It gets us out of our little "bubble" and helps us to see the bigger picture, it reminds us why we are here and do what we do. 

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

When we transitioned to remote work, it was extremely isolating. Everyone was feeling the effects of the pandemic and I knew that wellness was needed more then ever, but I did not know what that would look like. It took a lot of creative thinking and problem solving to figure it out. We came up with the idea to host weekly virtual team meetings where everyone could share how there week went, and how they were feeling. In the second half of the meeting we would all do a fun activity together. It really helped us to feel connected, and to have an outlet to share and feel heard. 

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

When you are planning for your wellness grant, take your team and their interests and needs into consideration. No two people are alike, especially when it comes to what they consider to be wellness. I  talk to my team about what interests them and what restrictions and sensitivities they may have. Be as considerate and inclusive as possible! Your team will be grateful for it, and everyone will be more willing and able to participate! 

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 support the mission of health and well being by promoting a culture of wellness within my department. I encourage my team to practice self care, to spread joy and kindness to others, and to spend time doing things that bring them good health and happiness. I share the resources that are available to all of us through the UC, and take advantage of every opportunity possible to schedule group activities. 

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

Spending time with my family, they are what is most precious to me in life. We are usually playing board games, out at the park or on the trail, or doing some sort of craft project. I am also a bit of a music fanatic so if my favorite band is in town you will probably find me at their show. 

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