Vernice Mitchell

Attending one of our Wellness Department’s health workshops gave Vernice Mitchell the nudge she needed to start exercising again, eating healthier–and even meditating.

Attending one of our Wellness Department’s health workshops gave Vernice Mitchell the nudge she needed to start exercising again, eating healthier—and even meditating.

It was a warm Saturday morning last summer when Vernice Mitchell came to Fund Headquarters for a wellness workshop. Little did she know that it would mark the start of her journey to a new lifestyle—one that now includes eating a nutritious diet, walking regularly and practicing meditation every day. It would also be the start of her attending every one of our Wellness Department’s quarterly workshops.

“My mother is also an 1199SEIU member and she asked me to join her at the event, so we went together,” said Vernice, who is a Cardiac Technologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and an 1199SEIU member for some 20 years. “I remember thinking that it couldn’t hurt since I had been having trouble catching my breath at times and I wasn’t doing the things I love anymore, like dancing.”

I’ve lost several inches, so my clothes fit better, but that’s just the beginning. I also have more energy, I sleep soundly at night and I have less stress in my life. I never imagined all this was possible—and I couldn’t be happier!

Vernice Mitchell

Cardiac Technologist, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

In fact, the workshop was a turning point for Vernice. A Wellness Department nutritionist told her that if she kept eating unhealthy foods, and not exercising, she was at risk for a host of serious health problems. But the nutritionist emphasized that there were a number of things Vernice could do to change course, starting with improving her diet. “I learned how to read food labels and what to watch out for, like high levels of sodium or added sugar,” Vernice said. “The workshop also taught me healthier ways to cook meals for myself and my two children.”

For Vernice, perhaps the workshop’s most important lesson was the introduction to deep breathing and other relaxation techniques. She was pleasantly surprised by the relief and renewal she felt from just a few minutes of meditation, and since then, she’s made meditation, stretching and yoga key parts of her routine. Combined with a diet that includes more fresh fruits and vegetables, her new, healthier lifestyle has changed everything.

What Do Your Benefits Mean to You?

You count on your health benefits to support you in your efforts to stay healthy, whether it’s by getting regular checkups, keeping a chronic condition under control or just improving your lifestyle in general. But has there ever been a time when your health coverage literally saved your life or the life of a loved one? If so, we’d like to hear from you. To share your story with your fellow members in an upcoming issue of For Your Benefit, please contact the Funds at [email protected].

For Your Benefit Magazine

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