The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Employee Assistance Program has created a relaxation opportunity for faculty and staff who are seeking best practices for stress management.
Offered since January, the “Find Your Calm, Restore Your Zenergy” program features a specialized room that allows users to explore a variety of relaxation techniques. The room is designed to teach faculty and staff how to relax and create a similar space at home.
“Our intent is to deliver initial relaxation experiences to faculty and staff, giving them an idea about how it can work individually for them,” said Kyla Gorji, director of the Employee Assistance Program. “We hope faculty and staff can take lessons learned in the EAP relaxation room and reproduce it in their home, car, office or wherever it is most needed.”
The quiet room includes a recliner; a variety of guided programs that can be accessed via a TV or smartphone app; and scented lotions and wall hanging imagery that can help with relaxation.
Guided programs available and areas of focus include:
- Body scan meditation (to tame anxiety)
- Gratitude meditation (to strengthen happiness)
- Breathing techniques
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- 10-minute guided imagery meditation (by City of Hope)
- 5-minute deep breathing exercise (by City of Hope)
- Engaging senses meditation (for stress relief)
- Counting breaths meditation (to strengthen focus)
- Kids meditation (fading tone).
Gorji said the room was created based on the needs of faculty and staff who have used the Employee Assistance Program.
“I’ve worked here nearly 12 years and I would estimate that 75 percent of our interactions with employees involve helping them with anxiety or coping with stress,” Gorji said. “We believe this will be a welcomed program, helping faculty and staff learn selfcare techniques to reduce stress caused by the many demands we face both at work and at home.”
The “Find Your Calm, Restore Your Zenergy” program is available at no charge through the Employee Assistance Program. Employees are encouraged to try at least three 15 minute sessions to learn a variety of relaxation skills. The sessions can be scheduled as part of talk therapy sessions available to faculty and staff or separately.
Nebraska’s Employee Assistance Program offers a variety of services for faculty and staff. Programming ranges from one-on-one counseling sessions and specialized support group meetings to an emergency loan fund and workplace assistance for managers/supervisors. Specialized services also include classes on parenting, smoking cessation, marriage and suicide prevention.