ADA Breakfast and MINES Health Champion Designation

MINES Team receiving ADA HEalth Champion designation.

American Diabetes Association 2017 State of Diabetes Breakfast

Last week, MINES attended the annual American Diabetes Association 2017 State of Diabetes Breakfast. While we were there, a few exciting things were happening. One of the best things that was going on was the conversation between local and national companies discussing the state of diabetes, wellness initiatives, employee support programs, and next steps in the fight against diabetes. After a bit of networking, the breakfast opened with a great talk from both the State of Diabetes Committee Chair, Joel Krzan, and the Colorado Lt. Governor, Donna Lynne. HUGE thanks to them and the ADA for all the critical work they do in helping fight Diabetes and fostering awareness and support across the country, not to mention hosting the event!

Lt. Governor Donna Lynne at 2017 ADA Breakfast

ADA

As you all probably are familiar with, the American Diabetes Association is the 2nd largest employer in Colorado, second only to the federal government. They lead initiatives across the state ranging from awareness campaigns, fundraising events, community service delivery, research funding, and advocacy for those suffering from the disease. You can find out more about the ADA and how you can support their efforts on their website, www.diabetes.org.

Health Champion

MINES Health Champion Award

MINES was also one of a few companies this year to receive the designation of Health Champion from the ADA. This designation recognizes that MINES as a company has met the ADA’s “Healthy Living Criteria.” These criteria cover three distinct but interconnected areas of healthy living including Nutrition and Weight Management, Physical Activity, and Organizational Wellbeing.

MINES is very proud of this designation and recognition of our efforts as we strive to practice what we preach. As an Employee Assistance provider, we are constantly working with our clients to help support the wellbeing of their employees so it was only natural that we strive to create the same focus of employee and organizational wellbeing within our company. Some ways we support these areas include:

Nutrition and Weight Management

  • Access to nutrition coaches
  • Healthy employee culture encouraging healthy habits and eating
  • Access to on-site exercise room

Physical Activity

  • Healthy MINES employee events including rock climbing and hiking
  • Healthy Lunch events such as Yoga and Zumba activities
  • Access to fitness coaches

Organizational Wellbeing

  • Wellbeing and resilience training
  • Corporate culture focused on work/life balance
  • Employee check-ins to gauge stress levels and other issues

The Mind/Body Connection

Patrick Heister talking about the high cost of mental illness and diabetes in the workplace

While we were there our very own COO, Patrick Hiester, had the opportunity to speak. He talked about the often co-occurrence of diabetes and mental health issues including depression and anxiety. He then went on to explain how these conditions can often have a huge cost for individual and an employer in terms of health care costs, lower productivity and work/life imbalance. The key takeaway from Patrick’s presentation was that employers can go a long way in supporting their employees that may have a co-morbid condition by approaching their healthcare in a fully integrated modality and support the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees equally. This could mean having wellbeing programs in place as well as an EAP to help support behavioral wellbeing and also identify systemic issues that may be magnifying any issues that employees may be dealing with in their lives.

Next Steps

Where do we go from here? MINES plans to continue to support both the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees just like we coach our clients to do. We will also continue to support the efforts of the ADA and other great companies and initiatives that mirror our own core wellbeing values.

If you would like to learn more about what you can do to support the ADA, take a look at two of the ADA’s current initiatives; Wellness Lives Here and the upcoming fundraising/awareness event, Tour de Cure.

Wellness Lives Here

As the ADA’s website states “This powerful initiative is designed to inspire and fuel our nation’s healthful habits at work and beyond. With year-round opportunities, Wellness Lives Here™ helps companies, organizations and communities educate and motivate people to adopt healthful habits to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses. For some, it means fewer sick days and higher productivity. For others, it means looking and feeling better. For everyone, the result is empowerment—Americans who are better able to control, delay or prevent Diabetes and related health problems.”

Find out more here: www.wellnessliveshere.org

Tour de Cure

This is a run, ride, walk, or be an “Xtreme Ninja” (obstacle course) event designed to raise awareness in the community, provide research support, and increase advocacy for those suffering from diabetes that may be discriminated against.

Find out more here: http://www.diabetes.org/coloradotourdecure

Thank you!

Finally, another huge thank you to the ADA and everyone that made this event possible. Together we can continue to fight the good fight and spread awareness of these critical wellbeing initiatives to help millions of people across the US and the world. And if you are a company that is looking for a way to support your own employees, please call MINES at 1-800-873-7138 and see how we can work together to make your workforce happier, healthier and more productive.

 

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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Break Free from Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Summer is a time that brings freedom to the forefront of many peoples’ minds.  We celebrate Independence Day, epic road trips and “getaway vacations” are undertaken, and our own neighborhoods and backyards become the settings for great adventures.  Created by Martha J. Ross-Rodgers and celebrated on July 15th this year and every third Saturday in July, “Toss Away the ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’ Day” offers each of us a new kind of freedom; an opportunity to shrug off the weight of the past and embrace freedom from regret.  The MINES team invites you to join us in embracing this liberating holiday this year.

All you need to celebrate “Toss Away the ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’ Day” is old-fashioned pen and paper, a trash can, and a few moments for reflection. For an environmentally friendly twist use scrap paper or the back of a document you were already going to throw away or recycle. These pesky “could haves” and “should haves” don’t deserve your good paper anyway! To get started take a moment to write down all the “should haves” and “could haves” that come to mind. Go ahead; we’ll wait.  Having trouble getting started? Here are a few of our own “should haves” and “could haves.”

  • “I would be making more money if I had gone back to school”
  • “I could have been more adventurous.”
  • “I should have made my friends more of a priority”
  • “I wish I would have summited the 14er”

The cost

Not convinced it’s worth the work? Believe it or not, there are many “costs” associated with your “Shoulda Woulda Couldas.” They affect your mental and physical health.  For a brief second, let’s look at how it can affect your Mental Health. They can cause…

  • Panic Attacks/Anxiety
  • Behavioral & Personality Changes
  • Depression
  • Relationship Problems
  • Substance Abuse

Now, let’s look at the effects on your physical health. There are always symptoms associated with Anxiety and Depression. Depending on the depth of your “Shoulda Woulda Couldas” and how much anxiety and or depression it causes you, you could start to feel

  • Nervousness, Irritability, Restlessness
  • Trouble Sleeping, Fatigue
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Heartbeat/Breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Perspiration
  • Numbness/Tingling

The reward

You’ve seen what your regrets are costing you, but what is the payout for this mental housekeeping? For starters, the time and energy that were being put it the past can be redirected to the present! You have freed up precious mental resources to mindfully engage in the activates that promote your happiness and wellbeing. Rather than negative thoughts that reduce self-esteem, you can focus on mood-boosting positive thoughts about the now. Not only that, an article by Charles Q. Choi suggests that letting go of regrets could be associated with better mental health later in life.  What better time than now to develop a new habit that could lead to a happier more fulfilled life even into your later years?

Finishing up

Feeling motivated to get rid of those regrets you’ve written down? We sure are!  Take that piece of paper, crumble it up in a little ball, and for added luck in the future give it a great big goodbye kiss, then toss it away. Put it in the trash can, burn it in a campfire, do whatever feels right to get rid of it, just please don’t litter.

I will now be able to focus on the “Everything happens for a reason approach” and turn “I should have made my friends more of a priority” into “I might not have been able to attend that friend’s dinner party, but I was able to tie up loose ends at home instead”. And “I wish I would’ve summited the 14er” into “I may not have been able to summit the 14er this time, but I got further than I ever have before, and now I can train harder and I will know what to expect the next time!”

Remember, the past is the past. You cannot change 5 minutes ago, let alone 5 years ago. Use this year’s “Toss Away the ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’ Day”, to be clutter free from the past. To quote Bil Keane “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present”.

 

To your wellbeing,

Ann Hendricks and Eugenia Janssen

Administrative Coordinators

The MINES Team

 

References

https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/toss-away-the-could-haves-and-should-haves-day-third-saturday-in-july/

https://www.livescience.com/19788-regrets-healthy-aging.html

http://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/effects-on-body

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The Importance of Walking and Talking

Celebrating National Father Daughter Take A Walk Day

Tomorrow we celebrate the special bond between fathers and daughters and making the effort to spend quality time together by taking a walk. Although this idea can be easily applied to parents spending time with their kids, this is a unique day evokes memories and reminds me of the important role my father has played in my life. So, if you are a father or a daughter, try to find time this week to take a walk together in some fashion. Check out https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-father-daughter-take-a-walk-day-july-7/ for more information.

The Gift of Time

Time is so valuable, especially when you are a child. You observe those around you to see how they spend their time and there is nothing better than to have someone give you their undivided attention and time. No matter what age you are, the time you have with your parents can be both valuable and enjoyable. And the time you take out of your busy schedule to be with your children can only help your overall wellbeing as there is much we can take away from our children and the younger generations as a whole. In today’s society, it is common to have the father out of touch with his kids as he works long hours to provide for the family. It has changed a bit over the years, but this day is a great reminder of the importance for not only fathers to spend time with their daughters but every parent out there to mindfully spend time with their children. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block or laying in the yard finding animals in the clouds, or it can be taking the time to do a craft or go to the zoo together. The important thing is to give your undivided, focused attention and is something that is mutually beneficial and enjoyed by both parties (i.e. not going to the grocery store because you have to).

Walking and Wellbeing

As mentioned in one MINES’ previous blogs, walking is healthy and a great way to exercise. Walking reduces various health risks and is fairly easy to do. Walking can be a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoy your environment. Our world is an amazing place to be in and there are so many things you can observe while you are walking outdoors. Walking also lends itself to help you be mindful of your surroundings and gives you a quieter time away from your computer to think things through. Whether it is a short walk to the grocery store, or a longer hike to see the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, walking is a great exercise to do with the whole family.

Walking and Defining My Identity

One of my favorite memories growing up was taking walks with my dad. Whether it was walking the dog around the block, walking to the nearby lake to go fishing, or hiking while camping, my dad and I always had a great time talking and learning from each other. I learned the importance of integrity through his stories of his business successes and failures. I learned the importance of understanding your history and background through his storytelling of my ancestors’ adventures and how they persevered through the Depression and helped everyone they knew. I learned the importance of failing and hardships in order to ultimately succeed through his descriptions of his misspent teenage adventures and losing his father. I learned all about love and sacrifice through listening about how he and my mom met, dated, and the struggles of their marriage. Most importantly, I learned how to forgive and be positive, especially when it is hard, through our conversations about family relationships and the wrong that has been done to him and seeing how he dealt with those situations.

Walking and Developing New Relationships

My dad opened my eyes to a lot of things through our walks and talks and it has shaped me to strive to be all those things. I loved when I could make my dad’s eyes dance with mirth as I told him stories of my struggles at school or with friends, and I loved when I asked him questions and he would become serious as he considered the best way to answer. He never ducked behind the “because I said so” excuse and always treated me as a whole person. When I first introduced my husband, then boyfriend, to him, the walks became faster and longer as he tried to decipher how his little girl was growing up and liked this “boy”. His questions were good and brought lots of discussions between my husband and me, but in the end discussing those things, allowed us to build a strong, lasting relationship. Throughout the time my husband and I were dating, we would go on long walks around the city to talk things out and learn about each other. That time away from distractions was an amazing bonding time. In fact, to this day, I love going on walks with my dad or my husband to talk and figure things out.

Walking with the One’s You Love

This day celebrates Fathers and Daughters joining each other for a walk. However, the spirit of the day is to share a healthy lifestyle and spending time with your family. Whether you are a dad with a daughter or a friend of a busy family, dedicate some time today to take a walk with someone you care about. Take a deep breath of the fresh air, appreciate the woodland creatures that you see in the trees around you or in the sky, and just talk. Enjoy your social connection with those you love and let someone see a different side of you by sharing stories about yourself.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether it is a brisk walk or a leisurely stroll, enjoy the company of someone you love. If you are a parent, you only have 18 summers, unless you are a parent of a millennial then you could have 36 summers before your child could be gone from your daily life. Take advantage of this time and look for a way to connect and listen to what your kids have to say. And if you are unable to walk with your father or daughter, take a walk and think of all the wonderful memories of each other.

Happy National Father-Daughter Take a Walk Day!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

MINES and Associates

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Total Wellbeing: July 2017

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

July 2017: Social Wellbeing and Social Security

Get Involved!

Welcome to the July issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. This month we are looking at how you can mature your sense of connection and grow your social wellbeing. What great timing to think about this as we start summer and are able to be outside more! This month we also are looking at expanding your knowledge about your social security benefits and delving into how social security is a part of your social support system.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our latest infographic on how Social Security Benefits work. Always feel free to print these resources and post them around if you feel they would be helpful.

And of course, just a gentle reminder that for more resources you can check out MINESblog. This is where we always strive to bring you, helpful, informative, and inspirational content around topics that are important to wellbeing and community. Last month we had an inspiring post about the little know National Upsy-Daisy Day and how it’s a reminder to always take time the time to enjoy the small things throughout your day. MINES was also the recipient of two Founder’s Awards from Peer Assistance Services and you can read about that here.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Social Security Benefits and Social Wellbeing

When you think of Social Security, you may not automatically see the connection to your social wellness. However, Social Security is a social benefit by nature, meaning it is available to all, within its limitations, and it affects the community as a whole. It also affects your social support system as your family could receive Social Security benefits. Helping your support system understand your benefits can only help you feel more confident and prepared for the future which inevitably helps improve your social wellbeing.

Mankind is meant to be social. We are built to interact, connect, and support each other. Even if we are more introverted or prefer to be behind the scenes, we still look to our families and friends to be our support system and enjoy being around others to some extent. As you think what being social means to you, try to find a way this month to expand your social network either through social media or in your community or workplace. Take time to find an activity to do- go to a parade or concert- or take a road trip to discover something new about yourself and those around you.

Here are some great tips on how to be social even if you don’t feel like it or if you consider yourself to be an introvert.

Check out these great tips here!

Tips for you:

Social Security Benefits include financial assistance for you and your family members through retirement, disability, and Medicare coverage. Take the time to talk to your family and let them know what you have decided to do and how you can be financially secured regardless if you and your family have access to Social Security benefits. You can never be too prepared.

Check out this month’s webinar to learn more about how Social Security Benefits work, so you can feel equipped when you have to make a financial decision about Social Security for you or a family member.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community.  We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.

Community Wellbeing Resources:

There are a lot of people who struggle with understanding their social security benefits. If you have an expertise in this area, consider going to your local retirement community and asking if you can share your knowledge with those who might be using it. If you don’t have this expertise, take time today to step into your community (and workplace) and share whatever is your expertise with those around you. Interacting with your community is a great way to be a part of a communal support system and help develop your sense of belonging.

Click here to find a place to use your skills near you!

We’re happy to announce that PersonalAdvantage, an online benefit available through MINES, has been redesigned and is better than ever. It still has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and assistance for Estate Planning, and now has a new look, easier navigation, and works great on mobile too. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 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.
 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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Peer Assistance Services Founders Awards 2017

Left to right: Dr. Richard Lindsey (MINES), Elizabeth Pace (PAS), and Dr. Robert Mines (MINES) at the 2017 Peer Assistance Annual Awareness Event

We are Honored

MINES and Associates is proud to announce that we have been the recipients of not one, but two 2017 Founder’s awards from the great people at Peer Assistance Services. Dr. Robert Mines, MINES and Associates founder and Chairman, and Dr. Richard Lindsey, former COO of MINES, have each been awarded the prestigious award for their work and support of Peer Assistance Services and their mission and were presented these awards at this year’s Peer Assistance Services Annual Awareness Event.

PAS History

First, a brief history and context around this award and the great work that Peer Assistance Services does every day. For those of you that don’t know Peer Assistance Services is a Colorado-based non-profit agency founded in 1984. Since their inception, PAS has been developing and implementing high-quality and accessible services in communities and workplaces all over Colorado to address substance abuse issues and the impact that has on our communities. They began by providing services to nurses suffering from substance abuse issues but have grown exponentially and today have a robust set of programs including Health Assistance Programs for a variety of industries, several community-based prevention programs, and the critical SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) program that spreads awareness and helps identify need for substance abuse treatment. MINES is a proud a part of the SBIRT initiative, helping to screen at-risk individuals and triage treatment until the SAMHSA-funded SBIRT grant expired and continuing to integrate the SBIRT screening questions as part of our service delivery to this day.

The Founders Award is an award created in 1999 by Peer Assistance as a way to recognize various individuals and organizations for their support and contribution to the initiatives that PAS has set out to accomplish.

The Founders Award

As we mentioned, this year MINES was the proud recipient of two of these awards. We are told that no company has won two in one year before and obviously, we are very grateful and humbled to be recognized to this degree by such an outstanding organization as Peer Assistance Services.

The two awards were given to Dr. Robert Mines for his support of PAS with them stating “Last year, PAS lost a large contract requiring a 60% reduction in force. During this time, Bob provided consultation and debriefing to our executive management team. Expert MINES staff conducted employee transition meetings statewide to assist staff with the layoff. Transition meetings focused on change management including resources and training on how to access unemployment, resume writing, and other transition services. All of this was over and above the contracted services. We received numerous reports from employees about how much they appreciated the communication during this difficult time. We are so grateful to Bob for his leadership and counsel through the years.”

Dr. Richard Lindsey also received the award for his support with PAS stating “Rick provided clinical supervision for Peer Assistance Services staff for many years. His knowledge regarding substance use disorders and clinical practice was invaluable to agency staff working with diverse populations. He focused his professional attention on the development of delivery systems that optimally combine the best human and technological practices toward the alleviation of pain and suffering. This skill set was indispensable to the partnership with PAS and the Colorado SBIRT program. He shepherded individuals through the SBIRT referral process, ensuring seamless service delivery.  He was a member of the SBIRT strategic implementation team for many years, providing expert consultation on policy and program implementation. We are grateful to Rick for his support, his many kindnesses, and remarkable expertise.”

Thank you!

In the wake of these awards we want to take this opportunity to thank Peer Assistance Services for these awards and the honor of allowing MINES to be a part of their admirable mission and vision, and collaborating with MINES on so many great projects. We thank them for continuing to fight substance abuse and provide support to so many people that desperately need help. We hope to continue to work with PAS for years to come and strive to support our communities in becoming healthier and happier and to make substance abuse and mental health services higher quality and more accessible to all. Thank you to everyone at Peer Assistance Services for the work you do every day!

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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Turn Your Day Upsy-Daisy

Today is National Upsy-Daisy Day, which is a day all about using positive psychology to find ways to laugh, improve the quality of your life, and have fun, according to National Day Calendar. So, what does Upsy-Daisy mean? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Upsy-Daisy as an expression of “reassurance typically to a small child when it is being lifted”. So, in essence, this day is about finding ways to be lifted in your everyday stressful life.

Children and Gratefulness are key

Our culture tends to forget to take a step back and be grateful for each day we live. Even when things go wrong or seem hopeless, taking a moment to recognize one good thing that happens today or finding a small way to help improve your day (or someone else’s), will help you physically feel better and will help improve your emotional resilience. Children are great examples of this. Their ability to smile right after crying, their desire to be adventurous and experiment (and be ok when things don’t go as planned), and their perseverance to thrive in their current circumstances are some great examples of what we can learn from them. Take a moment to think how you can use flexibility and gratefulness in your present circumstances to help reassure and re-align your mindset to be positive. Look for a way to not only lift your own spirits up but look how you can help others feel uplifted and supported.

Focus on your Wellbeing

Each month, MINES writes on the various aspects of wellbeing in our Total Wellbeing Newsletter. We look at one aspect of wellbeing each month. This month we are looking at intellectual wellbeing and next month will be about social wellbeing. I think that this subject of looking inward and finding ways to be happy is very important especially in regards to your overall wellbeing. If you are able to “feed” and “support” your whole wellbeing, you will be a healthier and happier person overall. So, in celebration of this day, try to find one aspect of your overall wellbeing (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Financial, Occupational, Environmental, Social, or Spiritual) to work on and look how you can use your talents to help lift someone else up.

How to use Positive Psychology

According to Psychology Today, Positive Psychology is “the study of happiness” and focuses on “how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled”. Martin Seligman, is a popular psychologist who has spent his career looking and reviewing what Positive Psychology is and how to use it in your everyday lives. He looks at how we can foster positive attitudes towards one’s subjective experiences, individual traits, and life events (Seligman, 2014). So, while you are grasping ways to be less stressed or overwhelmed, consider taking a step back to look at how you respond to each experience and see if you can adjust your personal bias towards that experience. You may be amazed at what you learn about yourself and the situations that you find stressful. Once you are able to be mindful of what you are doing daily, start finding at least one thing to be positive about with each situation/experience you are in.

Being Upsy-Daisy at MINES

At MINES, we are working on using this principle of being authentically happy and mindful of our perspectives by asking everyone to answer at the end of the day how their day went. This simple question allows you to take that step back and think of how your day is going and if there is anything that anyone could have done to help make it even better. We also try to make sure to engage our employees through a few different wellbeing initiatives once a month which allows for the re-focus on ones’ health and overall wellbeing/happiness that is needed in our busy lives. By doing this, we are able to be a part of Health Links as a Healthy Business Leader, which is a privilege.

Smile and Go Forth!

Even if your company doesn’t have a wellness benefit or if you are not able to do something all together, there are plenty of things you can do on your own. One of the easiest things you can do to be positive, even when you don’t feel like it, is to smile. There are several studies that show that when a person is truly smiling, it affects certain muscles that signal your brain to send out more endorphins which will help you be even happier. Smiling is also shown to boost your immune system which can help you live longer. What more reasons do you need to start smiling more?

I hope that these tips will be helpful for you and your wellbeing! Happy Upsy-Daisy Day!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

The MINES Team

 

References

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upsy-daisy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/positive-psychology

Seligman, M. E.P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An introduction (pp. 279-298). Springer Netherlands

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-facts-about-smiling.html

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Total Wellbeing: June 2017

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

June 2017: Intellectual Wellbeing and Estate Planning

Get Involved!

Welcome to the June issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. This month we hope you will think about how you can creatively expand your knowledge and skills, particularly in the arena of Estate Planning. Taking time to focus on your estate planning is a great way to stretch your intellectual side and planning for the future will help not only you, but those that love you as well.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our latest infographic on the importance of Estate Planning. Always feel free to print these resources and post them around if you feel they would be helpful.

Mental Health Awareness month was a busy month on MINESblog. First of all, in case you missed them please take a look at our Mental Health Awareness statistics as well as our collection of helplines and resources. Next, we had a post on staying aware of your own mental health even when facing life’s distractions such as a new born baby. And then in honor of our veterans on Memorial Day, we posted about veteran’s access to mental health services and stigma.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: What does Estate planning have to do with Intellectual Wellbeing?

By exploring your intellectual wellbeing and finding ways to expand your breadth of knowledge and skills, you are setting yourself up for success. If you are able to learn something new each quarter, you will be able to supply a need either in your home life or at work. And in turn, you will feel better about your skills and hopefully less stressed overall. Learning can include expanding your vocabulary, revisiting a subject you know a little about, or even discovering the details about your local neighborhood birds. One area that is often overlooked when you think of learning something new is related to planning for your future; specifically creating an estate plan and will.  There are so many options out there when it comes to estate planning, most people don’t know where to start or how to go about it. This month is a great time to research and learn about the best practices that come with estate planning, along with taking the time to see what other skills you can look at developing throughout the next several months.

 

For example, here are some great steps on how to expand your verbal intelligence.

Expand Your Verbal Intelligence

Tips for you:

Take the time to do a will or trust for yourself to protect the rights of your family or loved ones if something should happen to you. There are simple do-it-yourself wills you can find online or Personal Advantage or meet with a lawyer to set one up. Check out this month’s webinar to learn more about life planning options for a disabled family member, whether it is making sure they are taken care of in your estate plan or making sure their estate plan is set up to preserve their assets.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community.  We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.

Community Wellbeing Resources:

This month look at how you can expand your knowledge and skills within your community. Check out your local community’s website for classes you could take or find a way to use your skills to help someone in your community.

Click here to find a place to use your skills near you!

We’re happy to announce that PersonalAdvantage, an online benefit available through MINES, has been redesigned and is better than ever. It still has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and assistance for Estate Planning, and now has a new look, easier navigation, and works great on mobile too. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 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.
 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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Psychology of Performance #62: Veteran’s Mental Health, Memorial Day and President Trump’s Stigmatization During Mental Health Month*

*This blog has nothing to do with party affiliation, it is about leadership, modeling, and stigma and its consequences.

President Trump has made stigmatizing comments related to mental health during Mental Health Awareness month (May 2017). This is unacceptable leadership behavior on many levels. As the Commander-In-Chief of our armed forces, he has now sent a message to our active duty personnel and veterans that it is ok to call people “nut jobs” and other derogatory names related to mental illness, psychological stress, and behavioral problems. The irresponsible nature of this during Mental Health Awareness Month, and right before Memorial Day when we honor those who have served our country, now sends a message to our active duty personnel and veterans that they should not seek help or they will suffer social or job-related consequences.

Why is this a problem?

You may be wondering why am I making an issue of this? The US Department of Veterans Affairs has the following quick facts (not fake news, just the facts).

  • In 2011, more than 1.3 million Veterans received specialized mental health treatment from VA for mental health related issues.
  • The Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research, Invisible Wounds of War, 2008 noted that of the 1.7 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 300,000 (20%) suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.
  • The American Psychological Association has identified the critical need for mental health professionals trained to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Please review this commentary. http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/military/critical-need.aspx

The commentary goes on to note:

  • suicide rates are increasing for returning service members;
  • unemployment rates for veterans outpaces the civilian rate;
  • brain injuries are linked to PTSD;
  • female veterans are particularly likely to suffer from mental health issues related to “military sexual trauma” (20%);
  • many in need (about 60-70%) do not seek help;
  • stigma associated with mental illness in military communities; and
  • long term consequences of unaddressed mental health needs.

 

Leadership and Stigma

It is well established in the psychological literature that social learning through the modeling by others has an impact on subsequent learning and behavior. When President Trump engages in direct insults to people while using derogatory mental health terms, his subordinates, employees, constituency, and his military receive the message that he is modelling that implies that having a mental illness (caused by serving our country) or stress (caused by serving our country) means you are less of a person, not competent to work, is something to be ashamed of, and should be kept a secret. Furthermore, it gives others permission to act in a similar manner further pushing those who are concerned about seeking help away and reinforces the stigma in the military and in society. Finally, his comments about grabbing women’s genitalia that came to public awareness while he was a presidential candidate further erode female military personnel’s safety in their own units when twenty percent (20%) have already experienced “military sexual trauma”.

Psychology of Performance

Employees’ performance can be negatively impacted by “bullying behavior”, or demeaning comments about their illnesses. It is exacerbated when leadership models this behavior because then it becomes acceptable with no organizational accountability. The consequences are lowered productivity, increased absenteeism, presenteeism, and increased medical costs. The cost of untreated mental illness to employers, families, and society is significant. President Trump’s behavior as a leader in this area is concerning and needs to stop.

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, I ask you to remember those who served and honor those who are still alive by letting them know the pain and suffering they experienced can be healed if they have such symptoms. They deserve our support, compassion, and gratitude. There are many resources available to them, encourage them to use them. Finally, stand up to those such as our President and Commander-In-Chief who model unskilful and unwholesome behavior.

 

Have a day filled with loving kindness and compassion!

Bob

Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., Chairman and Psychologist

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Mental Health Awareness: As Told by a New Dad, who is Mentally Unaware

I was told the birth of my daughter would have significant effects on my sleep schedule, social schedule, and life in general. One can never truly understand what that means until one is in that situation. Needless to say, our newborn baby, while we love her dearly, has caused my wife and I to change some things in our lives, if only temporarily. One of those things that have changed is our sleep (or lack of) schedule. I’ve always thought I was quite efficient at functioning with little to no sleep. Having certain sets of life circumstances… think long nights in Vegas, middle of the night hiking trips, and overnight flights across the globe… I always saw myself as someone who can manage without sleep, and still have the ability to be aware of not only my needs but other people’s as well. With this new experience of fatherhood, I’m learning that long nights in Vegas and long nights with a crying baby are two drastically different experiences. Being a new father has also made me realize how unaware I can be of my own mental health. I find myself thinking mostly about my new baby and my wife, and what their needs are, and by the time I realize what I’m needing, it’s too late and I’m in a crabby mood.

Thinking more about this made me realize how easy it is for us to lose track of what we’re needing, as well as other people’s mental health needs. As a therapist, I like to think that I am usually good at being aware of others’ needs, understanding what kind of support they are seeking, and encouraging them to pay attention to their mental health. However, when a big, life-changing event happens, or when we get wrapped up in our day to day lives, it’s easy to lose focus of what we may be lacking emotionally, and what we need to “fill up our tank”.

Because of how easy it has become for me to lose awareness, particularly on days after a very long sleepless night, I’ve started a new habit. Every day on my way home from work, after I exit on to a certain street, I use that time to check in with myself and ask myself how things are going. That exit is my signal to make myself aware of anything I may be needing.  As I work to cement this new habit into a daily ritual, I will also start to look at what strategies I can employ and how I can adjust my perspective so I won’t be burnt out or be frustrated at my darling daughter.

What is your “exit” on the way home from work? What is needed to keep your “tank” full? I encourage you to take a moment and make yourself aware of what you may be needing and how you’re doing. It doesn’t take much time and it sure beats waiting until you’re emotionally exhausted to realize you’re struggling. Once you find your “exit” and know what you need to do so you don’t get burnt out, take the necessary time to find what strategies you can employ and how you can make this a new habit.

Here are some identifiable warning signs that you be close to burning out to watch for along with some self-care tips.

Warning Signs

  • Increased illness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Your mind feels fuzzy
  • You feel stressed all the time, along with increased anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment or pleasure for working, successful completion of projects, or even being with friends and family.
  • You are crabby, grouchy, or just not in a good mood
  • You forget appointments, due dates, and possibly even social events.
  • You have chronic fatigue

Self-Care Tips

  • Just say “No”- It is ok to decline a new project if you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Take time to relax. If you need assistance with this try guided meditation, massage, or even yoga.
  • Make sure you take the time to fulfill all 8 areas of your wellbeing on a regular basis to help you overcome burnout and eliminate some stressors.
    • Physical- sleep, eat, exercise enough.
    • Spiritual- keep an eye on what you value and what your purpose is and make sure you do that activity often.
    • Intellectual- Find an activity that is interesting to do- something to stretch your imagination, creativity, and make you use your brain in a different way than you do every day.
    • Financial- Try using a financial calculator or meet with a financial advisor to discuss your personal situation. Talking about your finances and knowing what you need to accomplish to be financially stable is a good starting point to feeling less stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out.
    • Social- Even if you don’t feel like you have time, make time to be with friends and family so they can support you in your goals, or babysit your child so you can be with your partner alone.
    • Emotional- Stay positive. Find something positive each day to focus on- your daughter is healthy, you have a job etc. If you struggle with this, look up how to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones.
    • Environmental- Your environment includes your social, natural outdoor, and built environment. Take time look at your surroundings and maybe check out that store or museum you always drive by because you are too busy.
    • Occupational- Take 5 minutes of your day to talk to a co-worker to learn from them, connect with them, and see how you can support each other at work.

We all have these areas that we need to fulfill in order to be successful, less stressed, and energized to face the next day and adventure. I hope with these tips and reminders, you can quickly recognize when and how to fill your “tank” and be able to handle late nights and responsibilities that we all have. And don’t forget to find that “exit” so you are reminded to take the time to do these things and be mentally aware.

As always if you need help with any of this or just need to talk, please use the resources that are available to you. If you have an Employee Assistance Program at work don’t hesitate to call them. If MINES is your EAP give us a call anytime. It’s free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day. You can reach us at 1-800-873-7138.

 

 

To Your Wellbeing,

James D. Redigan, LPC

The MINES Team

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Total Wellbeing: May 2017

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

May 2017: Spiritual Wellbeing and Happiness

Get Involved!

Welcome to the May issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. This month we are not only looking at the importance of happiness and your spiritual wellbeing, but celebrating Mental Health Awareness. Keeping your mental health in mind is key to all areas of your wellbeing. So, while we take the time to look at how addressing your spiritual nature or expanding your sense of purpose is a good way to hone in on being happy, keep an eye for other great tweets, blogs, and great information coming your way all month long!

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our latest infographics. We have one on some important mental health awareness stats and another full of important mental health resource contacts that we encourage you to print and post where people can see it in case they need to access help.

Mental Health Awareness month will be a busy month on MINESblog. To start off we have a post on Mental Health awareness and some good resources to keep in mind. Stay tuned as we will be discussing mental health awareness all month. To recap last month, we saw posts on National Walking Day,  a word on National All is Ours day, and finally a post about how Curiosity did not Kill the Ferret discussing pets and how we can all learn a little life lesson from our furry, scaly, or feathered loved ones.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: How does Spiritual Wellbeing relate to Happiness?

When you look at what makes you happy, it general is connected to your sense of purpose in the world, and your concept of purpose forms your spiritual wellbeing. So if you are struggling with your place in the world or knowing where your inner self wants to be, you will probably be struggling with how to stay positive and feel happy. This month take the time to think about what you want to give back to the world and what you can do to accomplish those goals and fulfill your purpose. By starting there, you are starting (or redefining) what your adventure through life is and where it will take you. We can all make a difference and can find ways to support our inner needs and desires. By being connected and truly knowing what you want to gain out of life, you are setting yourself up to find ways to be fulfilled and happy, even when things may not go according to plan. Research from numerous sources shows that regardless of the spiritual orientation, spiritually aware people are happier and have stronger coping skills than their unaware or unfocused counterparts.

This month check out these 7 tips for Happiness for more great reminders on how to focus on being happy.

Tips for you:

Finding something positive in every negative situation will help you focus inward and on being happy.

Check out this webinar to learn more about how to bring more happiness to your personal life.

The Connection: Get Involved

Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community.  We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.

Community Wellbeing Resources:

Oftentimes your journey to spiritual wellbeing will lead you to be and learn among others. Your community can help shape who you are and how you react to life. Take the time this month to talk to your personal community and see how you can help someone along their spiritual journey to find their purpose or to help someone find happiness.

Click here to find an activity near you!

Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, an online benefit available through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and assistance for Change Management. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 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.
 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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