Rejuvenate your career with healthy diversions


To stay healthy, business executives occasionally need to pop up out of the bunkers of their companies and careers and divert their energies somewhere else, even if it may seem frivolous.
That’s the belief of Maggie Jacobus, a certified lifestyle coach for the Covenant Healthcare Center for Complementary Medicine in Mequon.
Jacobus advises all of her clients to "make time for joy and enjoyment."
Area colleges such as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Area Technical College, Marquette University, Cardinal Stritch University and Alverno College offer non-credit personal development classes that can be a source of energy release or a much-needed mental break for busy professionals.
"If you engage in creativity and other skills, it is more beneficial to you and makes your time at work that much more focused and productive," Jacobus said. "If interests like writing, yoga or interior design appeal to you, they can fill you up and give you energy and joy."
The non-credit courses are offered year-round for adults as part of each college’s school of continuing education.
From history and cooking classes to acting, you do not have to be a student of the collage to enroll, and most of the classes are offered for less than $200.
All of the colleges offer evening and Saturday classes that typically involve a one- to four-session commitment that can easily be worked into a busy schedule.
At UWM, business people can learn interior design basics or how to decode dreams. They can sign up for four evenings with a personal trainer to learn how to relieve head, neck and shoulder tension or improve their golf games.
If longer commitments or business-related classes are of interest, UWM also offers eight-week language and culture classes, as well as computer program, business writing and productivity workshops.
"We follow trends in the marketplace when selecting courses to offer," said Lucy Holifield, director of the Small Business Development center at UWM’s School of Continuing Education. "Some key trends are enriching types of programs, like art and theater, and parents that work during the day might enjoy a massage class for couples, yoga or cooking."
Holifield said the School of Continuing Education also offers a variety of business classes for people to use either as an outlet or to enhance their skills, and the downtown location above The Shops of Grand Avenue is convenient for businesspeople working in the area.
"We also offer classes on time management to help balance a busy life," Holifield said.
Cardinal Stritch University offers many different types of non-credit, personal enrichment courses, according to Vicki Bohman, spokeswoman for the school.
"Tap dancing, writing children’s literature, photography, languages for travelers, assertiveness training, spirituality, wellness. We really run the gamut here," Bohman said.
Jan Jensen, a doctor of chiropractic and a licensed acupuncturist at the Jensen Health and Energy Center, Wauwatosa, said it is important from a neurological perspective to constantly learn new things. According to Jensen, learning helps to strengthen the brain and keep people young and healthy.
"It is also the concept of fun," said Jensen. "The Wisconsin winters are dreary and can be hard on the nervous system and mood."
Jensen said the ethnic cooking classes offered at colleges can be physically beneficial, as well.
"It is very important to be able to cook a variety of foods, because you tend to eat better when you cook it yourself. You are in control, and you can learn about the types of spices and things that you are actually eating."
MATC’s courses can be both enjoyable diversions and effective allocations of time, according Jim Gribble, spokesman for the technical school.
"We think it is a terrific way for people to discover an interest, and if it leads to a hobby or a career, it improves their lives," Gribble said.
Gribble said MATC also offers its non-credit courses out of each academic department, including crafts, hospitality and motorcycle riding and safety.

Feb. 6, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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