Q&A With Jessica Rubie, Executive Director Of Flourish
We know that wellness isn’t just about physical activity. Tell us what it involves, so we have a better understanding of its mission.
The three words that encapsulate holistic wellness for us at Flourish are: thrive, connect, grow.
Flourish at Texas A&M University is about shared experiences, rooted in helping our employees grow and thrive together. It’s more than a program name. Flourish is a call to action that is more important now than it was 10 weeks ago: to find our own balance by embracing work/life integration. To ignite inspiration. Embrace compassion. Flourish is supporting one another as a family, finding joy – or maybe even a new friend.
What’s the difference between Wellness Works, fitness classes and Flourish?
If we are doing our job, the Flourish approach should be associated with a culture of caring and collaboration.
We are in the business of paying attention to what makes people happy, adapting to provide unique, relevant programming focused on a holistic approach to well-being. Using shared resources and expertise from on-campus experts; connecting people together as a community.
Fitness can be a vehicle for all of these things, but overall it plays a pretty small role in what makes people and communities flourish.
What are your top three wellness tips for someone just starting?
Start small and be consistent. Drinking enough water, moving your body for 20 minutes, taking five minutes for quiet time or self-care (whatever that means for you). Doing this every day has a much more significant impact than any big goal you tackle sporadically.
Do something that makes you feel good. There is a big difference between tackling hard things that bring you joy and punishing yourself and your body.
Find your tribe. Support on any journey is critical.
What about a few tips for those who realized a while ago that wellness equals balance?
Well, I guess my big tip is that balance is a myth.
The way we live and work needs to evolve. Across campus, we are departmentalized. At home, our life becomes compartmentalized. Even when we’re constantly connected by technology, we’re disconnected from each other.
Just thinking about trying to balance all of those disparate parts feels overwhelming. Most of us want to be more connected. To be recognized for who we are, not just what we do. And that is about integration, not balance.
Integration can feel messy, but Flourish is here to help.
Tell us some of your favorite “Flourish” moments since the program started?
There have been so many in such a short time.
Seeing spouses and kids and pets participating in all of our remote programming this spring has been hugely rewarding. We always thought that families would experience a tangential benefit from Flourish, but COVID-19 has allowed us to have a direct effect on the lives of families and loved ones.
Having volunteers (like our Santa from the Holly Jolly event we held in December) thank us for allowing them to participate in the fantastic community we are creating.
Delivering Tiff’s Treats to offices all over campus and explaining why cookies can fit into the wellness paradigm.
Anything you want to cover that wasn’t mentioned?
Just a big thank you to:
- Michael and Marti Young for their visionary approach to wellness and engagement — that includes love and appreciation in the workplace.
- Jeff Risinger for his wholehearted support of the Flourish mission and vision.
- To the Flourish staff who have embraced start-up culture.
- To all of the people around campus who are helping us create a culture of connection, community, and compassion by donating time, talents, or treasures. Success wouldn’t be possible without your willingness to jump into the deep end of the pool with us.
Have questions? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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