Workplace Goals for the New Year

The new year brings hopes and dreams for the future. You’ve made your resolutions — to lose weight, exercise, plan a dream vacation, for example.

Don’t forget, however, that you also spend one-third of your day at work. You can improve your on-the-job enjoyment and your productivity by making the following work resolutions.

Learn new skills
To keep your career moving forward and prevent burnout, learn some new skills. Investigate which ones you’ll need for a promotion or for your dream job, then make sure you acquire them. Make a resolution to always be learning something new.

Keep organized
Most people don’t function well in the midst of chaos. The clutter on your desk likely distracts you and muddles your thinking. If your office is disorganized, the time you spend getting organized will be paid back in less stress and increased productivity.

Make a resolution to spend the last 15 minutes of every day clearing your desk and getting organized for the next day.

Take daily breaks
Human beings aren’t built to sit at a desk for hours at a stretch — that’s why the coffee break was invented. But, there are better ways to use your breaks — quick, simple techniques that rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit so you can return to work refreshed and ready to accomplish great things.

The following energizing breaks take less than two minutes: Count down from 10 to one, taking a deep breath with each number. Read affirmations, inspiring quotes or poetry. Read a couple of pages of a book. Put your hands over your eyes and visualize a favorite vacation spot. Gaze out a window. Listen to your favorite music. Stand up and stretch your muscles. Doodle. Drink a full glass of water. Eat a healthy snack. Take a short walk.

Structure your time
Are you wasting time taking care of things that just aren’t important? If so, you’ll be frustrated when you fritter away your workdays doing things your boss would consider insignificant.

The solution is to block off one or two hours of quiet time each day that you spend focusing on your important tasks. Since most people concentrate best in the morning, choose your quiet time early in the day. Then transfer your calls to your voice mail and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.

Make a resolution to set aside quiet time every day to work on your important projects.

Keep an accomplishment journal
Buy a separate notebook for an Accomplishment Journal. At the end of the day, write the date on a new page and write something that you accomplished. It doesn’t have to be something major. Even little steps of progress need to be acknowledged.

For example: “I dealt with Mr. Jones, a difficult customer, in a very kind and professional way.” “I wrote two pages of a special report.”

Writing such a journal increases your enthusiasm as you look for things to accomplish and write in your journal. Your focus will be on what you did instead of what you didn’t do. Keeping the journal will also give you more confidence during employee reviews or when asking for a promotion.

One last thought: When you follow through on your work resolutions and make them daily habits, you’ll experience increased productivity, more energy and enthusiasm and the joy of accomplishment.

Content provided by The StayWell Company, LLC ©2019
To Your Wellbeing,
The MINES Team

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Total Wellbeing: January 2020

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Plan for the Perfect Year

“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, ready to be written.”

– Melody Beattie

Hello!

Welcome to the January 2020 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we are looking to help you get 2020 started on the right foot. We know, New Year’s resolutions can be a little cliché, and are often forgotten about as the year goes on, but this isn’t just about the New Year, it’s about a new you and learning how to build great new habits while breaking bad old habits. Wellbeing shouldn’t be something that you only think about once a year, it’s a lifelong drive to be well and happy. To get you started, or to help you keep going strong, use the resources like these helpful articles or this free webinar, to start 2020 with a bang!

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Happiness as a Choice

Are you a person who can act on tough questions? Questions like: What am I grateful for? What choices do I have? What actions can I take to improve my life? What are my primary strengths? How can I live a more balanced life?

People who can act on these questions likely also describe themselves as happy. “Happiness is neither a mood nor an emotion. Mood is a biochemical condition, and emotions are transitory feelings,” says Dan Baker, Ph.D., director of the Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz., and author of What Happy People Know. “Happiness is a way of life, an overriding outlook composed of qualities like love, optimism, courage, and a sense of freedom. It’s not something that changes every time your situation changes.”

Check out this article for a complete look at skills to master your own happiness including: appreciation, choice, personal power, leading with your strengths, and more.

Remember that if you or a household member are looking to set goals and enhance your wellbeing and happiness, we can help. Your EAP comes with 4 free telephonic wellness coaching sessions per year to help you achieve your goals. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Seven Ways to Beat the Burnout Blues

You may be experiencing burnout if you feel bored, fatigued, apathetic, impatient, and constantly irritated with your co-workers. Don’t panic, there’s hope. Some of the secrets to long-term job happiness are revealed in the 7 tips below:

  1. Change positions within your company — See how your skills can be applied in new ways within your company and seek out new opportunities to contribute.
  2. Find like-minded people — Finding people with a similar sense of humor, interests, and experience as you can help you see things in new ways and find fresh ideas that work with your lifestyle.
  3. Seek out short-term projects — Short-term projects can be a great way to explore new things and work with new people. Kind of like a test-drive for new hobbies you may like to take a deeper dive into.
  4. Get more education — Nothing like fresh skills and new knowledge to open new doors.
  5. Keep on learning — Stop. Learning. The more you learn, the more exposure you have to opportunities in the world you may have never even knew existed.
  6. Have pride in your job — Doing your job the best you can and having pride in your contribution can help you enjoy your job, endure rough patches, and beat burnout even in the worst of times.
  7. Don’t wait — If you start to experience burnout, don’t wait until it affects your work and you start looking for a new job. Instead, try making positive changes in your present job. Talk to your supervisor and discuss changes that could reenergize you!

Check out this article for a full breakdown of these 7 tips.

Remember that if you or a household member are experiencing burnout and want to talk to someone about it, we are here to listen. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

Did you set any goals last year for 2019? If so, how did you do? What went right and what didn’t go so well and why? What can you do this year to make 2020 a successful year for yourself?

Supporting Your Intellectual Wellbeing

Resolutions aside, the New Year is a very convenient time to start something new. What not make it something that is going to strengthen your mind, let you learn new things, and bolster your overall intellectual wellbeing? While there are tons of stuff you could do that would fit this mold, here are a couple suggestions to get you started thinking about what fits your interests, goals, and lifestyle.

  • Brain games – Challenge yourself. Memory, puzzle, and brain teaser games can help you learn to look at problems from a different angle and improve your logical thinking patterns.
  • Dancing or martial arts – Complex movement patterns. Anything that requires complex movements and pattern memorization can help create new pathways in your brain and help both hand-eye coordination and memory.
  • Study a new language – The cognitive processes involved in learning a new language, as well as the act of translating one language into another, requires your brain to create new ways of communication across hemispheres. This not only helps cognition but can help prevent or slow the onset of dementia related symptoms and diseases.
  • Brain support – Sleep, eat well, lay off the substances. What ever you decide to do to stimulate and develop your intellectual wellbeing, it’s critical to give your brain what it needs to thrive. Good sleep, and plenty of brain supporting nutrients like vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and beta carotene to name a few, are a great way to support your cognitive functions. It’s also important to not fill your brain with the bad stuff too. So make sure to avoid overloading yourself with sugar and highly processed foods, and limit or avoid alcohol and certain drugs as well.

For more resources on supporting your intellectual wellbeing, log in to PersonalAdvantage today.

If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Mindful Meal Planning

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Workplace Goals for the New Year

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

Current Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINES Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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Total Wellbeing: December 2019

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Staying Motivated & Spiritual Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the December 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we will look at staying motivated, resolutions, and nurturing your spiritual wellbeing. The holiday season signals the end of the year and with it brings a fresh start, but also the pressure of starting a new year with new goals, aspirations, resolutions, and responsibilities. So how do you stay motivated through it all? It’s important to seek change and keep things fresh. Just because things may not change around you doesn’t mean you can’t change your own activities, seek out new hobbies, learn new things, and meet new people. Focus on searching out new things that may be interesting to you or help you do old stuff in new ways or from a different perspective. For more information on staying motivated, holiday entertaining on a budget, and reducing kid’s holiday stress, check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

Also, one more friendly reminder that you can now access your counseling services with MINES through an online text and messaging platform! It’s counseling whenever, wherever! Call us anytime for more info or to get set up!

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Seven Ways to Beat the Burnout Blues

You may be experiencing burnout if you feel bored, fatigued, apathetic, impatient, and constantly irritated with your co-workers. Don’t panic, there’s hope. Some of the secrets to long-term job happiness are revealed in the 7 tips below:

  1. Change positions within your company — See how your skills can be applied in new ways within your company and seek out new opportunities to contribute.
  2. Find like-minded people — Finding people with a similar sense of humor, interests, and experience as you can help you see things in new ways and find fresh ideas that work with your lifestyle.
  3. Seek out short-term projects — Short-term projects can be a great way to explore new things and work with new people. Kind of like a test-drive for new hobbies you may like to take a deeper dive into.
  4. Get more education — Nothing like fresh skills and new knowledge to open new doors.
  5. Keep on learning — Stop. Learning. The more you learn, the more exposure you have to opportunities in the world you may have never even knew existed.
  6. Have pride in your job — Doing your job the best you can and having pride in your contribution can help you enjoy your job, endure rough patches, and beat burnout even in the worst of times.
  7. Don’t wait — If you start to experience burnout, don’t wait until it affects your work and you start looking for a new job. Instead, try making positive changes in your present job. Talk to your supervisor and discuss changes that could reenergize you!

Check out this article for a full breakdown of these 7 tips.

Remember that if you or a household member are experiencing burnout and want to talk to someone about it, we are here to listen. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What motivates you? How can you utilize your motivational forces to help you keep focused on your goals in 2020?

Quote of the Month

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou

Supporting Your Spiritual Wellbeing

Because spiritual connection and spirituality is so personal and can mean something different to everyone, it can be hard to tell others how to support their spiritual wellbeing. Remember that spiritual wellbeing is not necessarily religious and can simply be your personal connection to the world and those around you, your sense of place in the world. From this point of view, try and contemplate the ways that you connect with the world around you and take time to yourself to be mindful of little things in your day to day lives that ground you and bring you joy. Below are some tips on how to be mindful of the bigger picture in everyday situations:

  • If you do not currently have a spiritual outlet, consider revisiting your childhood faith or another group that interests you. This could be a nature walk group, a martial arts class, an artist group. Anything that connects to you!
  • If you plan to see a doctor regarding a physical problem, be sure to mention any major life events that you may be experiencing, such as menopause, divorce, or the death of a loved one. This may be affecting your health and may influence the course of treatment your doctor recommends.
  • Build quiet, contemplative time into your daily or weekly schedule. Slowing down can help soothe even the most restless spirits. Use this time to meditate or create something. Draw, write, or paint. Anything that allows you to express your inner thoughts in a way that is meaningful to you.

For more resources on supporting your spiritual wellbeing, log in to PersonalAdvantage today.

If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Putting Out the Fire: Preventing and Managing Burnout

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Last month: National Alzheimer’s Awareness Update 2019

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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National Alzheimer’s Awareness Update 2019

November once again ushers in not only the holiday season, but National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.   Every November, I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you as we observe this period of heightened awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  In fact, this November is the 36th anniversary of this designation.  President Reagan, who later died of Alzheimer’s disease, initiated this month of awareness for dementia back in 1983.  We have learned a great deal about dementia since then and of course, since Alzheimer’s disease was originally discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer.  Over 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.  It is the 6th leading cause of death in our country and someone develops the disease every 65 seconds.

So look around you this November and you will see more buildings than ever lit in purple to call attention to Alzheimer’s.  Capitol domes across the nation will turn purple this month and sports venues will be bathed in purple as well to acknowledge the vast effect of dementia on American families.  You may notice Mayors and Governors sporting purple scarves or ties and awareness ads on television and social media.  It is hard to find anyone these days who has not been affected by dementia in their immediate or extended families or among their networks of friends and coworkers.

And so…as we take a moment to reflect on those people in our lives who have suffered from Alzheimer’s or other dementias, we can also acknowledge that optimism for a breakthrough has never been stronger.  Our National Alzheimer’s Plan calls for prevention, treatment, and cure by 2025 and many in the scientific and medical fields believe this goal is attainable.  I am a Public Policy Ambassador to Capitol Hill for the Alzheimer’s Association and can attest through my visits to Washington DC that this is a completely nonpartisan issue.  Congress is in complete agreement about the need to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease which costs our nation $290 billion each year caring for those with dementia.  Congress is allocating more and more funding each year, now providing around $2.6 billion to the National Institute of Health for dementia research.

As a reminder of why the goal for a world without Alzheimer’s is my passion, three of four parents in my immediate family were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s within a year and a half of each other.  They lived for 16, 14, and 11 years with the disease and I was their family caregiver throughout our dementia journey.  Our last “Lovie” left us five years ago, and I will never forget them.  I will also never forget the challenges we faced together through early, middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Of course with November also comes planning for Thanksgiving feasts and preparations for Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa celebrations.  It is a time of year when we share memories of holidays past with family and friends, but for some, those memories are difficult to recall due to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  Therefore, it is only fitting that as we anticipate the upcoming holiday season, we pause in November to heighten community awareness for memory-robbing diseases and renew our pledge to fight until these conditions have been eradicated.

This November in particular, I am filled with hope that dementia itself may someday soon become a distant memory.  I have never been more optimistic than I am right now that the breakthrough is on the horizon. There are more clinical dementia trials in Phase III than ever before.  The scientific and medical communities are thinking outside the box with regard to research.  A large pharmaceutical company has just approached the FDA for approval for a promising drug treatment.  Advancements in diagnostics are making the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease a reality.  We believe that one-quarter of all hospitalizations for those with dementia could be prevented by diagnosis.  Our loved ones with dementia can also stay independent longer if they are reminded to take medications for other health issues and if precautions are taken to remove fall hazards from their homes.

But while we wait for the big news of a breakthrough, (when it occurs, I am throwing a party for the whole world, so you will all be invited!), it is more important than ever to understand the warning signs for dementia and the lifestyle changes we can make to reduce our risk.

The key warning signs or symptoms are:

  • Memory loss
  • Challenges with Problem Solving
  • Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks
  • Confusion with Time or Place
  • Visual or Spatial Difficulties
  • Problems with Words
  • Increased Problems with Misplacing Things
  • Decreased or Poor Judgment
  • Withdrawal from Activities
  • Changes in Mood or Personality

If you see any of these signs on a regular basis in yourself or others, see a doctor immediately.  While it might not be Alzheimer’s or dementia, it could be something that requires immediate attention.  If it is dementia, there are many benefits to early detection and diagnosis.

And perhaps the most exciting news is that our lifestyle choices can have an impact on risk reduction or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Adopting the following twelve lifestyle habits “will probably” influence our risk for dementia versus the “might possibly” promises of the past.

Regular Cardio Exercise – Be sure to check with your physician before beginning an exercise regimen to make sure it is safe based on your overall health.

Diet – Eating fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins vs. fatty meats, fried, sugary or salty foods.  If you choose to consume alcohol, exercise moderation.  Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries!  A great food to fight inflammation and a great source for antioxidants.

Heart and Brain Awareness – If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain.  There is a correlation between cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and high blood pressure, and obesity and diabetes.

Talk to Your Doctor – Ask your doctor to ask you about your cognitive health each year during your annual wellness visit or physical.  82% of older adults believe their cognition should be tested annually, yet only 16% are actually getting these tests.

Mind Your Mental Health – Discuss depression with your doctor and manage your stress.  Consider meditation, yoga, or even grown-up coloring books as a way to bring peace and calm into your busy life.

Stop Smoking – There is a direct correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and smoking…enough said.

Continual Learning – Continue to learn new things.  Take a class at a community college or online.  Learn a musical instrument or a language.

Stimulate Your Brain – While not every brain game may have science behind it, many do.  Challenge yourself with puzzles and games and pay special attention to games that exercise your peripheral vision, which is at risk for decline through cognitive impairment.

Socialize – In this day of social media, make sure you interact personally with others.  Social integration is important for brain health.  Volunteer, take dance lessons or join clubs.

The Importance of Sleep – Sound, natural sleep gives your brain a chance to rid itself of toxins.  Remove devices from the bedroom and create a cool and dark environment to promote sleep.  Some sleep aids may actually increase your risk for dementia, so check with your doctor before using medications.

Treat Hearing Loss – There is an increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia in those with untreated hearing loss in middle age.  Your brain cannot process what you never heard to begin with.  See a doctor about hearing loss.  There should be no stigma about hearing devices.

Protect Your Brain – As active adults, we are sliding up, down and around something summer and winter.  Seatbelts, seatbelts, seatbelts!   Helmets, helmets, helmets!

And as we wait for the breakthrough, it is also more important than ever to know how to get help. I have been with Mines and Associates for five years now and present a learning session called Alzheimer’s/Dementia A to Z to our client groups.  I am noticing attendees of all ages in these sessions as interest is growing in how we can maintain healthy brains beginning in our 20s and 30s. I am also seeing an increase in those employees who seek coaching on the topic of Alzheimer’s/Dementia through the Employee Assistance Plan benefits that their employers provide.  Mines clients can schedule free one hour sessions with me for dementia coaching as they put together plans to care for aging parents, relatives or friends.

Another organization that I am involved with is also at the forefront of trying to improve the quality of life for those living with all forms of dementia and their family care partners.  I serve as the Volunteer Community Chair for Dementia Friendly Denver, a part of Dementia Friendly America, a not for profit, grassroots, all-volunteer initiative that was introduced at the White House Conference on Aging in 2015.  Our volunteer team is working on eight projects in the greater Denver area and you can check them l am out at dementiafriendlydenver.org. The goal of the projects is to make our community more dementia-friendly and to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic of dementia.  Our team provides a free one-hour learning session to business, government, academic, faith and community groups titled Dementia 101 – Reducing Your Risk.  To schedule a free session for your group, contact me at dementiafriendlycolorado@gmail.com

And please remember that you can still enjoy the holidays if you are caring for family members with dementia.  Just take the “Holiday Lite” approach.  Details don’t need to be extravagant or perfect.  Plan holiday activities and outings to be shorter in length.  Remember that our Lovies wear out faster than we do, as an hour for us is like five hours for them.  Be prepared for upsets due to the disruption of routines and provide rest periods for everyone!

And so, as we enter National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, most importantly, remember that you are not alone.  Utilizing the dementia resources available through Mines and Associates can help you get organized and become knowledgeable.  In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association provides a 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.  And finally, for all of you who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, be sure to take care of yourself first!  This will help you provide better care for your Lovies.  I wish you a peaceful holiday season and remember that hope abounds!!!

 

JJ Jordan

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Total Wellbeing: November 2019

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Managing Financial Stress & Physical Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the November 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we will look at managing financial stress and staying mindful of your physical wellbeing during the holidays. With all the get-togethers, parties, and gift-giving this time of year, it is all too easy to spend too much and eat too much during the holiday season. The key here is to stay mindful and not let the fast-paced nature of the season and all the events distract you from your financial and wellness goals. The year is almost over, don’t let yourself drop the ball now. Stay mindful, stay strong. For more information on managing financial stress check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

It is also Alzheimer’s awareness month. Alzheimer’s affects many people all over the world both those who have the disease and those that care for them. Please take time to read this month’s blog post for an update on the state of Alzheimer’s research and resources. And remember that MINES is here to help. If you are a caregiver and need to talk to someone, need help finding resources, or are grieving a loved one with the disease, please call us.

Also, just another friendly that you can now access your counseling services with MINES through an online text and messaging platform! It’s counseling whenever, wherever! Call us anytime for more info or to get set up!

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

How to Lower Your Financial Stress

Living with too much of any kind of pressure on a daily basis can take an emotional and physical toll, contributing to sleepless nights, backaches or headaches or, over time, even life-threatening diseases, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Financial troubles are no different. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) recommends a two-prong approach; relax and take action.

Relax, take a breath:

  • Focus on what you have, not on how much you’re lacking. List all your possessions, including material things, your health, and your relationships.
  • Eliminate clutter in your life. Tossing out what you don’t need and organizing the rest also can tidy up your emotions. Meditating or sharing your feelings with a nonjudgmental person can do the same.
  • Take care of yourself physically. Exercise is one of the best stress reducers. Eat a balanced, healthy diet.

Take Action:

  • Set up a budget. Write down where all your money is going — mortgage and car payments, food, gas, telephone, clothing. Then, see what can be adjusted so you can live within your means. Create a new spending plan and stick with it. If there’s nothing left to trim from your budget, you may need to think about new income sources.
  • Stop taking on new debt, immediately. If this means not eating out, not indulging in expensive entertainment or giving up a second car and taking public transportation, then so be it. Learn if you qualify for public or private financial assistance. Use low-interest savings to pay down high-interest debt. Debt can be very expensive to carry; once it’s paid off, your payments can go to savings instead.

Check out this article for a full breakdown of financial tips.

Remember that you and your household members have financial benefits, including financial coaching and free 30-minute consults for financial matters, available through the EAP. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What is one compromise you can make this year to lower your biggest sources of financial stress around the holidays?

Quote of the Month

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

Staying Mindful

At holiday parties, you don’t always have control over the types of foods available. Make the best of your choices and cut back on portions:

  • Take only a sliver of your favorite desserts.
  • If you’re having pie, don’t eat all the crust, unless it’s made from crushed graham crackers.
  • Sample the fresh fruit platter.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy meal before the party so that you don’t overindulge.

When you bring a dish to share, keep in mind that the guests may also be watching their eating habits. Offer healthy alternatives to feel good about what you’re serving.

If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking Your Wallet

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Update 2019

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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Total Wellbeing: October 2019

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Healthy Holidays & Financial Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the October 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we would like to begin again by reminding everyone that you can now access your counseling services with MINES through an online text and messaging platform! It’s counseling whenever, wherever! Call us anytime for more info or to get set up!

This month we will look at keeping the holidays as stress-free as possible and how to support your financial wellbeing. The holidays can be a tough time for a variety of reasons. To ensure a successful holiday season that’s not too rough on your finances, or your wellbeing, make sure to set realistic expectations, and don’t overextend yourself or schedule too many events. Know that it is perfectly okay to say “no” to plans if you already have too much going on and don’t feel obligated to buy too many gifts. The more you plan in advance and the better limits you set in terms of time and spending money, the more in control you will feel and the less stressed you will be. For more information on financial wellbeing check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Ways to Keep the Holidays Stress-Free

While this article covers a full 12 strategies to keep the stress levels low this fall, let’s take a moment to look at some of the key points across several of the holiday season’s primary activities; eating, shopping, and partying.

  1. Shop smart – Give yourself plenty of time to complete your holiday shopping. Shop with an itemized list of what you’ll buy for each person and a ballpark figure of what you’ll spend.
  2. Eat smart – Don’t feel obligated to eat everything on your plate or to have dessert. And think twice before going back for seconds. If you overeat, get right back into your normal routine the next day.
  3. Party smart – Keep parties simple by having a buffet instead of a formal sit-down dinner. Serve uncomplicated dishes (made with six ingredients or less) that you’ve made before.

Remember that you and your household members have financial benefits, including financial coaching and free 30-minute consults for financial matters, available through the EAP. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What is your number one source of holiday stress? What are some ways the tips from this newsletter may help you limit the stress this year?

Quote of the Month

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” ― Jonathan Swift

Community and Global Perspective

Most every country and culture in the world has a set of holidays, traditions, and rituals. Many of these holidays can bring with them an overwhelming number of events, social interaction, and obligations. No matter where you are during the holidays there are some things that you can do to keep peace of mind and keep your cool! Make a daily to-do list. Start each day by planning what you want to do and setting priorities. Even if you don’t get everything done, the process is important. Maximize your physical health. Being “all that you can be” increases your confidence and sense of control. A healthful diet, regular physical activity and enough sleep all help you feel up to daily challenges. Speak respectfully to everyone. Simple courtesies set the stage for constructive interactions. Consider how others will respond to what you’re about to say. If it’s likely to cause hurt or anger, find a more positive way to make your point. There are many more things you can do to help, but practice just these first principles and you will be well on your way to a peaceful holiday season.

If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

This Month’s Focus

Funding College: 5 Steps Every Family Can Use to Build a Successful Plan

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Suicide Prevention in the Workplace

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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Suicide Prevention in the Workplace

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. Consider that number for a moment. Imagine someone asked you to count 1 million toothpicks. How long would it take? Most Americans have been impacted by suicide. The topic of suicide and the workplace is not frequently talked about and often gets overlooked.
A colleague or employee contemplating suicide can be overwhelming for HR representatives, supervisors, and managers. You may not know what your role is or how to offer support without overstepping professional and personal boundaries. One of the most difficult questions has to do with assessment. How does one determine if a person is really at risk for suicide, and if a risk is detected what is the most effective way to intervene?
This information provides a brief reference, or starting point, for developing strategies to manage suicide in the workplace. It addresses warning signs, prevention tips, and postvention tips. It also offers suggestions for what you can do to support those who have lost an employee or co-worker to suicide.

Warning signs

  1. Talking, writing about suicide/death. The phrases, “I wish I were dead” or “the world would be better off without me” are common examples of things suicidal people might say.
  2. Someone might be suicidal if they begin actively seeking access to guns or other weapons, pills, etc.
  3. They begin putting their affairs in order. Things like making a will, or tying up loose ends as not to be a further burden on friends and family, might be a sign that they are contemplating leaving for good.
  4. A person who appears down, depressed, or hopeless.
  5. Isolating themselves from others. Somebody who normally engages socially might become isolated or start to withdraw from co-workers, work engagements and other social obligations might be suffering from major depression.
  6. Increase in risky behavior. If a person significantly increases alcohol, or drug use, incidents of unsafe sex, calling into work, reckless driving, or a host of other harmful activities, they are demonstrating unsafe behaviors and may have given up.

If you witness one or more of the above behaviors the next step is to determine their risk. It is helpful to consider multiple factors that could increase one’s risk. The brief list below is a place to start.

  1. Biopsychosocial factors: The individual is at higher risk if they have a history of trauma or abuse, alcohol or drug addiction, or mental health issues–especially those that have gone undiagnosed or untreated. If there have been previous attempts and/or a family history of suicide then this would increase the likelihood that someone would seriously complete suicide.
  2. Sociocultural factors: Being part of a stigmatized, non-dominate group in society like LBGTQ can cause a person to feel isolated especially if they don’t have the support of friends or family. The person may have been in a social environment where suicide is normalized, they may have had friends or family complete suicide which makes suicide contemplative. Barriers to mental healthcare associated with socioeconomic issues prevent individuals obtaining the help and early intervention they need.
  3. Environmental factors: These might include a recent job loss, dropping out of school, or loss of a loved one or relationship. The person may live in an environment where access to guns or pills is readily available increasing their means–subsequently increasing risk.
  4. Does the person have a plan, intent or means to commit suicide? If somebody discloses that they have a specific plan to harm themselves, high motivation to do so, and a way to do it, they are at high risk for committing suicide.

If you have seen the warning signs in someone and determine that they are at high risk and you feel they are in imminent danger you should get them to a mental health professional, call 911, or take them to the nearest emergency room. For long-term suicide prevention tips in the workplace see the ideas below.

Prevention tips:

  1. Make help accessible by posting suicide prevention hotlines in lunchrooms, break rooms, and bathrooms.
  2. Raise awareness regarding resources; make sure employees know that they have an employee assistance program (EAP) and that using the benefit is confidential. Post flyers with numbers to the EAP so that number is accessible to everyone. Oftentimes EAP programs are accessible to human resource representatives, managers, and supervisors; take advantage and seek advice. Have a list of community resources that offer mental health services. Let employees know that they can also talk with their human resources representative.
  3. Educate employees by destigmatizing mental health and substance abuse issues by offering lunch and learns or trainings on various topics such as suicide, healthy coping skills for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse issues.
  4. Create a balanced work environment by allowing for “mental health” days or offering work from home days if it’s possible. Managers and supervisors can help by assisting in resolving work problems as they arise and managing conflict effectively between co-workers, managers, and supervisors.

If your company has experienced a suicide, the loss of a colleague or employee can be shocking and traumatic. Below are a series of postvention tips that might be helpful in the event of workplace suicide.

Postvention tips:

  1. Acknowledge that your employees may have strong emotions surrounding the suicide and will need opportunities to express their feelings.
  2. Supervisors and managers should be on alert for PTSD symptoms. A drastic change in behavior may be a sign that a person is having a hard time dealing with the incident.
  3. Encourage healthy grieving by providing a basic understanding of the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The stages of grief affect individuals differently at various rates. Some employees may express their grief as sadness or anger over a long period of time, while others may get back to their normal lives rather quickly.
  4. Offering empathetic and compassionate listening will give employees permission to talk openly with their supervisors and managers and will give them the opportunity to ask for what they might need in their grief. Being accessible to employees lets them know that they are not alone and that they are supported
  5. Become a role model for healthy grieving by being open with your feelings surrounding the suicide.

The purpose of this article is not only to help employers notice the warning signs of suicide and help them assess their employee’s risk for suicide, it also serves as a basic framework on how to instill awareness regarding suicide, prevention and postvention tips in the workplace. It is likely that if there is early recognition and intervention of a person who is contemplating suicide, there can be a positive outcome. Remember that asking someone “how are you doing?” or “are you ok?” should reach farther than the project they’re working on. By asking and being open to talking, you can save a person’s life.

Resources:

Apps:

Crisis lines

1-800-273-TALK (8255): This number will connect you with a mental health professional who will be able to assist you.

To view or download a more comprehensive list of hotlines please see our mental health resources list on our website here: http://www.minesandassociates.com/documents/MentalHealthAwareness_Infographic_Resources.pdf

To your wellbeing,

-The MINES Team

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Total Wellbeing: September 2019

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Parenting Teens & Emotional Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. First and foremost, we want to take a moment to share that starting immediately you can now access your counseling services with MINES through an online text and messaging platform! It’s counseling whenever, wherever! Call us anytime for more info or to get set up!

Moving on, this month’s topics are parenting teens and emotional wellbeing. Needless to say, communication with teens can be tough, especially when it comes to discussing emotions. As your kids begin the transition to adulthood, you need to develop new strategies to communicate with them than you did when they were young children. Picking up non-verbal cues, learning new styles of communication, and fostering mutual patience, trust, and respect will set a solid foundation. For more information on occupational wellbeing check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Communicating effectively with your teens

Difficult communication can be frustrating, even downright infuriating. It’s important, however, to not read into your (or other’s) emotions or jump to conclusions. Get the facts and wait until you’re calm and collected to have a conversation. Here are 8 tips to help you talk with your teen(s) in on their level. Check out this article for more detail on each item.

  1. Go to a neutral setting and try to have both parents present.
  2. Other siblings or people should not be there.
  3. Start out by saying, “I am concerned about …”
  4. Don’t pass judgment or be defensive.
  5. Find common areas that you agree on and establish some rules.
  6. Discuss with your teen what would be a reasonable punishment.
  7. Forget any kind of physical contact as punishment; this will not work.
  8. Some teens communicate better in writing. Encourage your teen to write down their feelings.

If you or a household member would like to talk to a counselor about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What are your top 1 or 2 “emotional drains”? What are the root causes of these drains, and are there ways communicating about them to others may help?

Quote of the Month

“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.” ― John Lennon

Community and Global Perspective

This month, as we connect our themes to the global environment, let’s look at the community and world we live in as one of the primary influences and sources of stress that teens must navigate. One of your goals as a responsible parent should be to equip your children with the social and emotional tools needed to navigate the hurdles they will face. You should also strive to keep an open, honest, and trusting line of communication with your children/teens so that when the world gets to be a little too much, or they have questions, they feel safe coming to you for answers and solace. This will strengthen both you and your teens’ emotional wellbeing and help keep them grounded and on a safe and stable emotional platform. If you can foster and maintain this sort of relationship with your teens, as difficult as it can be, you and your children can learn to face the world together. If you find that you are having communication problems with your teens remember that you can use your EAP sessions for family counseling that may help to open up paths to improve your family dynamics and even make them flourish!

If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

This Month’s Focus

Funding College: 5 Steps Every Family Can Use to Build a Successful Plan

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Finding Secrets to Happiness

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

Leave a comment

Secrets to Finding Happiness

Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with coworkers and neighbors. Together, these features explain about 70 percent of personal happiness.

“Studies also have shown that one of the best predictors of happiness is whether a person considers his or her life to have a purpose,” says David Niven, Ph.D., author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People. “Without a clearly defined purpose that people come up with themselves, they’re likely to feel unsatisfied with their lives.” After analyzing thousands of studies, Dr. Niven offers the following research-based secrets of happy people.

Steps to take

  • Cultivate friendships. Rekindle past relationships and take advantage of opportunities at work or among your neighbors to expand your friendship base. “People need to feel they’re part of something bigger, that they care about others and are cared about by others in return,” says Dr. Niven.
  • Accentuate the positive. Happy people and unhappy people explain the world differently. When an unhappy person must interpret the world, eight of ten times he or she will see the negative in an event. When a happy person does so, eight of ten times he or she will see the positive.
  • Don’t confuse stuff with success. You’re neither a better nor a worse person because of the kind of car you drive, the size of your home or the job you have. In one study, the availability of material resources was nine times less important to happiness than the availability of “personal” resources, such as friends and family.
  • Volunteer. Volumes of research show a strong consensus that volunteering contributes to happiness by creating an increased sense of purpose in people’s lives. Volunteers, on average, are twice as likely to feel happy with their lives as people who don’t volunteer.
  • Share of yourself. Don’t hold your feelings, thoughts and hopes inside. Share them with your friends and family. People who hold things inside tend to feel isolated and think no one understands them. “Those who share feel supported and more content, even if events don’t go exactly as they wish,” Dr. Niven says.
  • Enjoy what you have. Satisfied people appreciate what they have in life and don’t compare themselves to others. Valuing what you have over what you don’t or can’t have leads to greater happiness.
  • Cherish animals. Interaction with animals provides both immediate joy and long-term positive feelings and contributes strongly to our happiness. “Animals have so much to teach us about love,” says Dr. Niven. “The closer we get to animals, the more joy they give us.”
  • Don’t face your problems alone. “Problems can appear to be unsolvable,” he says. “But we’re social creatures who need to discuss our problems with others, whether it be those who care about us most or those who have faced the same ones we have. When we’re alone, problems fester. By asking for help, we can gain perspective and find solutions.”
Content provided by The StayWell Company, LLC ©2019
To Your Wellbeing,
The MINES Team

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Total Wellbeing: August 2019

 

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Getting Ahead at Work and Occupational Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the August 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month will look at occupational wellbeing while providing tips around getting ahead at work. Our job satisfaction is tied closely to how productive and efficiently we perform our jobs, as well as how empowered we feel within our individual roles. Therefore, it is important to not let yourself settle into a rut and instead seek to challenge yourself in order to stay engaged and support your sense of contribution. Be aware that one major destroyer of motivation and satisfaction is a backlog. If you are constantly playing “catch-up” it becomes almost impossible to feel good about what you’re doing until you finish your to-do list. Make clearing out your backlog your priority and then work on supporting “do-it-now” work habits in order to take care of as much as possible the first time it comes across your work pile. By staying on top of things you will feel good and free up time to develop new ways of dealing with incoming work. For more information on occupational wellbeing check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Getting Ahead

Getting ahead at work is partially about becoming the most efficient that you can be. Here are 10 tips to help you perform your best so that you have a little extra time to excel! Check out this article for more detail on each item.

  1. Use a calendar system to plan a week at a time
  2. Commit to a daily action plan
  3. Stop shuffling through the piles of paper on your desk
  4. Determine which assignments need to be done right away
  5. Make follow-up and follow-through part of the work process
  6. Analyze your time
  7. Batch routine tasks
  8. Put routine tasks on your weekly calendar and your daily to-do list
  9. Think in terms of work cycles
  10. Work smarter by streamlining routine tasks

If you or a household member would like to talk to a counselor about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What are 3 workplace or occupational goals you have? What are 3 small steps you can take for each that will get you closer to these goals?

Quote of the Month

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” – Henry Kissinger

Community and Global Perspective

From culture to culture, work values such as work/life balance tend to differ. This is true for the cultures of different organizations as well. For this reason, it is important to seek out cultural aspects of your workplace that appeal to you. Does your workplace support lots of social interaction? Maybe seek to engage with your co-workers in ways that support your own goals and style. Is your workplace wellness-oriented? Learn to take on wellness goals as a way to distract from the day-to-day-grind. Or maybe your workplace is all about the hustle and requires long hours and busy days. This one is tougher, but it still provides an opportunity to set personal goals around your own performance. If your style just doesn’t seem to mix with your role very well look at what you can change. Maybe talk to your supervisor about mixing up tasks and finding better ways to make use of your unique skill set.

If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar: Getting Ahead at Work

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

Leave a comment