Holiday Stress Relief, Massages, Financial Resources and More
Holiday Stress Relief, Massages, Financial Resources and More
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Success Story: Tim Marroquin 

Tim Marroquin, director of Veterans Upward Bound, understands the importance of leading by example. In his position, he’s been able to help veterans pursue and obtain college degrees, and along the way, he’s also gained the skills of self-reflection and a dedication to personal wellness.

“It’s important for me to model a healthy lifestyle and how it can help increase your ability to hit goals you want," Marroquin said, "I need to be my best self in order to assist my community in the best critical way."

Despite his current positive attitude, personal and professional wellness has not always come easy for Marroquin. Before his position at GVSU, Marroquin worked in secondary education as a football and baseball coach, and felt that emotional strength wasn’t always expected of him. Marroquin said that in those positions he had to project strength through actions, but that process was always fleeting, and in the end, it wasn’t as impactful as emotional strength.

In Marroquin’s journey to wellness, he's learned the importance of emotional strength and community through several organizations on campus, including Emotional Strength Training, Interpersonal Effectiveness Training, and also Positive Organizations. These GVSU faculty and staff communities helped him to be less critical of himself, and to develop the capacity to be honest and vulnerable.

“Those trainings helped me to articulate emotion, feeling, and also helped me to empathize with others,” Marroquin said. “I learned that my emotions can’t be projected onto others who I’m working with and that I need to maintain an objectivity to help others the best way I can.”

Marroquin admits that the process to better wellness isn’t easy, and said: “It’s a paradigm of thinking, viewing emotional, social, physical wellness and health as being necessary just like food and water. Every day offers new challenges, new opportunities, new hopes and you have to be fully present to really engage in that.” 

When asked what advice Marroquin would offer to faculty and staff hoping to engage more in health and wellness, Marroquin stressed that it's okay if things don't start smoothly. “It’s okay to have slip ups," he said.
"It’s a process and it’s meant to be sticky, but there are a ton of resources available to us as faculty and staff from the university, and it’s just a matter of developing habits and routines that help us meet our goals and our ideas of what we want to do or accomplish.” 


Work Life Resources

The holiday season is upon us and can be stressful. Have an issue at hand? We have work life resources for you. Check out all that is avaiilable depending on relevant topics for you right now. Topics like addressing student needs, parenting, financial health and culture and spirituality.

Meet your Work Life Consultant!

A work life consultant is available to you as part of your wellness services at Grand Valley. Work life consultants provide supportive tools, plan wellness events, and develop presentations to support all faculty and staff in times of need, and also in maintaining wellness and balance.

Schedule an appointment to meet with work life consultant, Elisa Salazar. Appointments are available all over campus.

Work life offers multiple communities of support, series and events, and additional resources for faculty and staff. Check it out!

Holiday Nutrition Tips

Between planning parties, buying gifts, hosting family and traveling, the holidays are a busy time. Time may be at stake, but your healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be.

Healthy catering options

Hosting a work party on campus? Campus Dining offers a healthy catering menu for on campus events. Visit the Campus Dining website for additional nutrition information, a food allergan guide, a vegan and vegetarian guide, and more!

Navigating holiday party food

As the holiday season approaches, so do the work parties and family get togethers. The holidays are seen as a time to indulge; not only in time spent with loved ones, but also in food. Follow these simple tricks to avoid overeating this holiday season:
  • Grab a smaller plate. Approaching a holiday buffet with a smaller plate will help you to control your portion sizes and avoid overindulging.
  • Avoid skipping meals. Showing up to a party hungry is like going to the grocery store hungry; it leads to unhealthy decisions. Control your hunger by eating foods high in protein before you leave.
  • Wait before you get seconds. Before you get a second plate, wait for 10 minutes to see if you're truly hungry. Chances are, your food will settle, and you will no longer have the urge to keep eating (until they bring the dessert out, of course).
  • Drink water. It's okay to have a drink or two, but remember to drink water. This will keep your body hydrated, and may keep you more full throughout the day.
Visit Campus Dining's web page to find further information about nutrition from the Campus Dining Dietitian, Megan Ponke!

Relax with Massages from Campus Rec

Feeling stressed? Need a little time for yourself?

GVSU Campus Recreation offers massage services through the Fitness and Wellness Center. They currently have one male and one female Liscensed Massage Therapist that have been trained in Swedish, Relaxation, Deep Tissue and Sports massage. Specific areas of the body or physical conditions can also be addressed. 

Visit the Recreation and Wellness website for pricing and additional information. Contact by phone at 616-331-1REC or by email at to schedule an appointment. 
Thrive @ GVSU A wellness coaching program


Sign up with a wellness coach now to get ahead of the game!

Can't remember the last time you had a good night's sleep? Are work or home distractions causing you to turn to fast food rather than planning healthy meals? Do aches and pains keep you off the treadmill? We all face challenges in our day-to-day lives that can wear us down. We've all been there. Wellness coaches can help everyone -- not becuase something is wrong with you, but becuase feeling well feels right.

Join our free three-month wellness program today to help get yourself on track for these next few holiday months, and for life. You can earn $100 just for participating!

Want to learn more? View our quick FAQ fact sheet or
visit our website.


Need help managing stress or your finances this holiday season?
Encompass is GVSU’s employee assistance and life coaching program. Faculty, staff, and their dependents have access to seven sessions with a trained and licensed clinical professional support consultant. All visits and contacts with Encompass are protected under HIPAA.

Encompass is available to assist with life’s stressors including marriage, relationship challenges, parenting, anxiety, depression, adjustment and more. Additionally, employees have the option to elect to meet with a financial planner, at a discounted rate. Financial services include budgeting, consultation, calculators, debt management and education.

Visit the GVSU website for a complete list of services available. Visit the Encompass website,(password: GVSU) for a wealth of information on life’s every day challenges. Schedule a visit or for more resources and referrals, call 1-800-788-8630. For further information, contact the work life consultant, Elisa Salazar, at

Financial Planning with TIAA

Have you started planning for retirement?

TIAA is offering individual counseling appointments for retirement planning. During the session, you can discuss your personal financial situation with an experienced TIAA Financial Consultant on a confidential basis. They are available to discuss how to help you pursue your financial goals by investing in financial products such as mutual funds, brokerage, life insurance and annuities.

Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as you can. Call 800-732-8353, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. 
to reserve your spot. Appointments can also be made by visiting the TIAA website. 

Visit our reitrement planning page to learn more.

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