Colorado Gives Day

MINES is a big fan of non-profits that do good work that benefit the community so it comes as no surprise that we are also big supporters of Colorado Gives Day. What is that you ask? For the last 7 years Community First Foundation and Firstbank has presented Colorado Gives Day, which is a 24-hour statewide donating extravaganza event. Together with the sponsored $1 Million Incentive Fund, this day represents one of the largest donation initiatives in the country, and is aimed at helping non-profit organizations right here in Colorado.

Not only is this a great effort to support community resources in Colorado, but the people and organizations involved are doing important work that wouldn’t be possible without public help and donations. Some of these great organizations are companies that MINES serves and works with every day. In fact, some of our great partners include:

We know that not everyone has the means to donate, but if you are willing and able to help we ask that you please consider giving during Colorado Gives Day either to one of the organizations listed above or to one of the many other important causes from Colorado non-profits. At Coloradogives.org you can search by location, company, or cause so that you can find a cause that you’re passionate about and make sure it gets the support it needs to keep serving the Colorado community.

Thank you to all that can donate or support these great causes in your own way. Our thriving community is only possible with the help of people like you.

To your wellbeing,

– The MINES Team

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Total Wellbeing: December 2016

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

December 2016: Environmental Wellbeing

Get Involved!

 
1420510_42201730Welcome to the December 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 look inward in regards to Environmental Wellbeing and examine our interactions with the environment and how we can be more aware of our surroundings in our personal lives. The way we approach our exchanges with the environment is vital to our wellbeing. These exchanges can include how we recycle in our homes and work to how we help keep the lakes and nature paths clean so we can enjoy the scenery for generations to come. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

November was Alzheimer’s and Dementia awareness month. This topic is very close to our heart as it is to many of you since these terrible diseases touch so many of our lives in one way or another. Our posts on MINESblog paid homage to this topic and provided resources from a couple viewpoints. Our first post on Alzheimer’s Awareness provided information, stats, and resources aimed at providing a basic understanding of the issues at hand. Our follow-up post, on the other hand, borrowed from the spirit of thanksgiving and gave thanks to the caregivers that are out there every day making sacrifices and highlighted some of the many reasons these selfless people are so critical in the lives of the ones they care for.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message, and 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: Environmental Wellbeing and introspection

When we look more deeply at what environmental wellbeing includes it is important to look inward too. When was the last time you felt the grass beneath your bare feet, or sat and watched the snow fall? As we move into winter it is important to review and think about how we are affected by the environment around us and how daily life affects the environment. Introspection is about the examination of one’s conscious thoughts and feelings. So in respect to the environment it is important to take time out and reflect, and possibly revise, how you think of the environment and what actions you can take to help the environment, besides taking the time to enjoy the scenery around you. When you are out walking the dogs think about picking up the trash you see. When you are cleaning the snow off your walkways take a moment to breathe in the fresh cold air and think about what you can do to help keep our water supply clean. And when you are having those end-of-the-year celebrations taking in the colors, decorations, and lights think about how the use of electricity affects the environment and what you can do to help lower the environmental impact. The interactions between you and the environment are directly linked and it is important to enjoy the environment around you, along with taking the time to see what you can do to help.

Tips for you:

The environment affects your life every day. There are some great resources to help you find ways to start thinking about the environment in a new light and how to talk to your family and friends about this subject.  Take a look at http://www.epa.gov/recycle to help you learn more about environmental wellbeing.

Check Out the Article 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 is a great time to start helping out the environment and get involved in a local clean up event.

Check it out here!

Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, your online benefit through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here. 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!

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Thank You Caregivers!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and as such many of us are thinking of what we are thankful for in each of our lives. Good friends, loving family, and good health re: some of the common things that we find ourselves thinking of. So it is this spirit that MINES wants all of us to take a moment and thank the (sometimes thankless) caregivers that look after their loved ones who depend on them, often times sacrificing their own wellbeing in the process. There are countless reasons why one might become a caretaker or need a caretaker themselves but since it is Alzheimer’s awareness month we will focus on those that fall into the Alzheimer’s and dementia circle. About 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. [Alzheimer’s Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.]

Unsung (and unpaid) heroes

Given that a large percentage of caregivers are family members or friends of those that they care for, they are rarely paid or reimbursed for any of the time and resources that they spend caregiving. In fact, approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.] Not only do these folks go unpaid, they are often paying out of their own pocket for supplies, transportation, and lost wages due to missed work in the line of caregiver duty. Alzheimer’s and dementia are already ranked as some of the most expensive medical issues facing the US today, but with personal expenditures and lost wages for caregivers being hard to calculate exactly, this problem might be even worse than what the current stats say.

Who are they?

Despite their superhuman capacity for empathy, caregivers are normal people, and oftentimes do not have any formal caregiving training or background. They also come from just as diverse of backgrounds as that of the people that they care for. Typically, they are adults with the average age being 49.2 years old, with 48% of caregivers falling in between the ages of 18 and 49 years old. About a third of caregivers are older than 65. In terms of ethnicity, according to a 2015 survey, 62% of caregivers identify as White, while 17% identified as Hispanic, 13% as African-American, and 6% as Asian-American.  [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

 

Women and Caregiving

A very important aspect of the Alzheimer’s/dementia crisis is that women are right at ground zero. Not only do women face a 60% greater chance of getting Alzheimer’s or dementia, but upwards of 75% of all caregivers are female, and may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than males. [Institute on Aging. (2016). Read How IOA Views Aging in America.]

 

While women account for the vast majority of caregivers, they also make up a large percentage of the individuals being cared for. In fact, 65% of care recipients are female, with an average age of 69.4. The younger the care recipient, the more likely the recipient is to be male. 45% of recipients aged 18-45 are male, while 33% of recipients aged 50 or higher are male. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.] Much of this is due to the fact that Alzheimer’s and many types of dementia tend show up in women a much higher rate than men. Researchers are trying to determine what the reason is behind this. It was once thought that it was because women tend to live longer than men, but as the average life expectancy becomes closer this is being challenged and other factors are being considered.

Who are they caring for?

While many caregivers do so professionally, many make the leap into the role of caregiver in order to care for family or close friends. This group actually makes up the vast majority of caregivers with 85% of all caregivers caring for a relative or other loved one. Of these caregivers 42% are caring for a parent, 15% are caring for a friend or other non-blood related loved one, 14% for a child, 7% for a parent-in-law, and 7% for a grandparent-in-law. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

What are they doing?

There is no set job description for caregiving. The day to day tasks vary from one individual to the next depending on the needs of those they care for. It is estimated that 96% of caregivers are charged with assisting or completely taking over normal everyday activities such as shopping, cooking, picking up prescriptions, and so forth which adds up fast, leaving little time for the caregivers’ own needs. [AARP and United Health Hospital Fund. (2012). Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.]

 

According to a recent survey, on average, caregivers spend:

  • 13 days each month on tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and giving medication;
  • 6 days per month on feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing, and assistance toileting;
  • 13 hours per month researching care services or information on disease, coordinating physician visits or managing financial matters. [Gallup-Healthways. (2011). Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.]

 

To make matters worse, many of the tasks are complex and often medical in nature. A recent report that talked about caregivers who provide ongoing chronic care, 46% had to perform medical and nursing tasks on a regular basis, sometimes without the ability to obtain proper training to perform the needed tasks. [AARP and United Health Hospital Fund. (2012). Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.]

 

It is important to mention that Alzheimer’s and other dementia related disease call for some of the more intensive and long term caregiving commitment. Measured by duration of care, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers provide care on average 1-4 years more than caregivers caring for someone with an illness other than Alzheimer’s disease. They are also more likely to be providing care for five years or longer. [Alzheimer’s Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.]

How can we support them?

Caregivers report having difficulty finding time for one’s self (35%), managing emotional and physical stress (29%), and balancing work and family responsibilities (29%) (NAC, 2004). About 73% of surveyed caregivers said praying helps them cope with caregiving stress, 61% said that they talk with or seek advice from friends or relatives, and 44% read about caregiving in books or other materials (NAC, 2004). If you find yourself close to someone who is providing care for someone and you’d like to help out, keep in the mind the best way that you can help is to stay out of their way and instead go do daily tasks that they do not have time to do themselves such as shopping, picking up kids from school/activities, or offering company when they do get the rare moment to themselves. But remember if they just want to be alone make sure to give them the space they need to unwind.

Thank you!

So with all this in mind it’s easy to see that we should all be thankful to the caregivers in the world. Many people would be suffering even more without the time and personal sacrifices made by these special people every day. So this holiday season everyone at MINES says THANK YOU CAREGIVERS! Thank you for everything you do!

 

To Your wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

Sources and Resources:

https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-statistics-demographics. http://www.caregiving.org/caregiving2015/

http://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/facts.htm, http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-11-2008/i13_caregiving.html

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

stages-of-alz-early

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregivers’ Month.  One of the first questions I am asked when I speak or teach on the topic of dementia is, “What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?”  The most logical answer is that everyone who has Alzheimer’s disease has dementia, but not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevalence and cost

Alzheimer’s disease was discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906.  It is a brain disease that causes difficulties with memory, thinking, and behavior.  5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and more than 15 million caregivers are providing their care.  Alzheimer’s accounts for approximately 70% of all cases of dementia and one in 9 Americans will develop the disease past the age of 65. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day in our nation, Alzheimer’s is a topic that cannot be ignored.  Nearly half of us will have Alzheimer’s at age 85 and it is currently the country’s 6th leading cause of death.  Unfortunately, it is the only disease in the top ten that cannot be slowed, treated, or cured.  Aside from the heartache of Alzheimer’s, it is also the most expensive disease in the US, costing the federal government $160 billion each year for patient care.

stages-of-alz-middle

Women and Alzhiemer’s

Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a woman past the age of 60 is twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as breast cancer.  Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women and 2/3 of Alzheimer’s patients are female.  The scientific community used to connect these numbers to the fact that women live longer than men, but now new studies are being conducted to determine if there is more than longevity involved in these gender statistics.

Hopefully by now you are alarmed but not despondent about the stark facts regarding Alzheimer’s.  There is hope!  Record numbers of clinical trials are underway, including four that address prevention.  While Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented at this time, doctors and scientists are now convinced that lifestyle may play a part in reducing risks or delaying the onset of the disease.

There are things you can do

Here are ten things that the Alzheimer’s Association suggests you can do to “Love Your Brain”:

  1. Break a Sweat – Exercise can reduce the risk of cognitive decline
  2. Fuel Up Right – Follow a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat
  3. Follow Your Heart – Avoid risk factors for cardiovascular disease like obesity and high blood pressure
  4. Buddy Up – Support your brain health by engaging and socializing with others face to face
  5. Hit the Books – Take a class – formal education may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline
  6. Stump Yourself – Challenge your mind – play games of strategy and speed
  7. Mind your Mind – Some studies link depression with cognitive decline making it important to seek treatment and reduce stress
  8. Catch Some ZZZs – Not getting enough sleep may result in problems with memory and thinking
  9. Butt Out – In addition to other health risks, smoking increases risk for cognitive decline
  10. Heads Up – Wear your seat belt in the car and use a helmet when playing sports or riding your bike

While there is no guarantee that doing the above things will prevent you from developing Alzheimer’s disease in your lifetime, these things may help reduce risk or delay onset.  And…they make good sense for overall health!

Resources are available in our community.  The Alzheimer’s Association is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.  Visit http://www.alz.org for a variety of good information regarding Alzheimer’s.  A 24/7 helpline is also available at 800.272.3900.  All services are provided at no cost to families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

stages-of-alz-late

Reach out, we can help

And remember to use your Employee Assistance Program benefits from MINES and Associates when the stress of caregiving for someone with dementia becomes overwhelming.  Caring for yourself is key.  You owe it to your family to stay healthy in order to achieve the best quality of life for both you and your loved ones with dementia.  MINES and Associates also provides workplace lunch-and-learn sessions regarding Alzheimer’s/dementia.

During November, make a point of learning more about Alzheimer’s and encourage your friends and family to do the same.  There is reason to be optimistic that a breakthrough will occur.  In the meantime, take good care of your brain and reach out for caregiving help.  It’s the smart thing to do!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

JJ Jordan

MINES Affiliate and Alzheimer’s/dementia Expert

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Total Wellbeing: November 2016

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

November 2016: Social Wellbeing

Get Involved!

 

death_to_stock_communicate_hands_4Welcome to the November 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 turn the magnifying glass to Social Wellbeing to discuss the influence social connections have on one another. Being aware of this influence is very important as the more we understand just how much our family, friends, co-workers, and other people in our lives actually impact our behavior, the better we can pick and choose good habits to emulate from others, and which behaviors to avoid. Likewise, no one wants to be a bad influence, so be aware of your impact on others and avoid conducting yourself in ways that may leave a negative impression on them. This is especially true with children, as their young minds are much more malleable than an adult’s and you never know where they might pick up behaviors from. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

Last month we saw MINESblog cover Breast Cancer Awareness month with a post that looked at awareness, resilience, and resources for anyone whose life has been impacted in some way or another by cancer. Not our favorite topic to cover but one that can critically impact many dimensions of our wellbeing.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message, and 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 Wellbeing and Influence

One of the most important aspects of social wellbeing is the influence that others have on us, and conversely, the influence we have over others. As with most things this influence can be overt or subtle, good or bad, and purposeful or accidental. The key is being aware of this influence and making the most of it. This awareness brings with a degree of control over the external influences you let affect you as well as the influence you present to others. It is up to you to use this social influence to better yourself and others. The concept of a role model is the ideal example of this. We look up to role models and let their influence shape certain aspects of ourselves while in turn we are role models ourselves for those that look up to us.

Tips for you:

Maintaining healthy social connections can benefit your wellbeing in many ways. Take a look at an article over at Psychology Today that looks at the various impacts your social connections may have and examines 3 categories of social connectedness around life’s various relationships.

Check Out the Article 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:

Social influence often has the strongest hold over us when we are young and beginning to learn how the world works. This is the reason it is so critical to present a good example for young children. One way that we can help influence these impressionable young minds for the better is with community driven programs designed to help children strive and learn what they need to get ready for success in school and social activities. One such group that is making an impact is Early Milestones Colorado. Head over to their site to learn more about what they do and how you can get involved with the cause.

Check it out here!

Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, your online benefit through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here. 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.

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!

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Important Event: A Man’s Journey: Learning, Loving and Living through Life’s Challenges Nov. 5th

Hi everyone,

We just wanted to share information concerning an important event that friends of the MINES team are hosting on November 5th here in Denver.

Suicide is a bleak topic and one that has touched many of our lives in one way or another. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, additionally men die from suicide 3.5 times more often than women. What are the underlying reasons for this? What can be done to help this situation? The upcoming event is designed to address these very questions and more.

Entitled, “A Man’s Journey: Learning, Loving and Living through Life’s Challenges” hosted by the Carson J Spencer Foundation on November 5th from 12:00-5:00 PM at Mountain States Employers Council in Denver. The goal of the forum is to help men overcome life stressors and cope with mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, anger and substance abuse. Tickets are only $10. Men and women are encouraged to attend. Info and Registration here: http://bit.ly/2efbewC

capture

 

 

 

 

 

To Your Wellbeing,

The MINES Team

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. While breast cancer is a year around killer, October is a crucial month for fundraising, information distribution, community support, and many other crucial functions that help keep research and the search for better treatment, and one day a cure, possible. With this post I hope to give a brief snapshot of what a diagnosis of this terrible disease can mean from both a patient’s and caregiver’s view, as well as provide resources that you can use this month and onward to provide support, gather information, and help yourself or others that may be dealing with cancer in their lives.

Resilience in the Face of Diagnosis

A serious diagnosis brings with it life-changing implications both for the person receiving the diagnosis as well as their loved ones. This beginning phase that starts at the diagnosis is commonly known as the “crisis phase.” This is where emotions like fear and anxiety are most prevalent and panic can ensue. But time is of the essence here as it is often necessary to move fast as doctors plan and prepare your treatment options. Therefore it is imperative to remain resilient in the face of diagnosis so that you can think clearly and react quickly. During this initial time the best thing you can do is ask questions and remove unknowns so that you can start to generate realistic expectations of the treatment process and the disease itself. If you are the loved one or caregiver of someone that is facing cancer or some other serious diagnosis then this responsibility may fall on you.

Caregivers

Of course the person who receives the diagnosis is hit the hardest by cancer, but the impact does not end there. Spouses, friends, family, and co-workers are all affected as well. Some of these people may find themselves in the role of caretaker in some capacity or another.  Caretaking can be an extremely hard job in both a physical and psychological sense, and in order to keep up their own wellbeing caregivers need to make sure they are practicing good self-care as well or else they can face adverse health effects and may find themselves suffering from burnout. Around this time last year we discussed self-care tips for caregivers who are caring for a loved one that has been diagnosed. If you or a loved one is currently in this tough, but crucial, caregiver role please take a look at our post here.

Knowledge is Power

Regardless of whether you are in the patient or caregiver role, knowledge is power. One of the best things you can do to prepare for dealing with a deadly disease is know your options and become familiar with those that can help you. Below we have tried to give a good balance of resources that are a great start if you are looking for information, support, or are looking to get involved with the cause. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are tons of great resources out there. On that note please keep in mind that an Employee Assistance Program, like MINES provides, is a great source of support that is easy to access and free if your employer offers it. If you are not sure if you have an EAP, make sure to ask Human Resources for information.

Resources

American Cancer Society

1-800-227-2345

http://www.cancer.org/index

Family Caregiver Alliance

https://caregiver.org/taking-care-you-self-care-family-caregivers

Cancer Care

http://www.cancercare.org/

Support Events

Making Strides Events

https://secure.acsevents.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=MSABC_CY15_TR_event_search

The Rest of the Year

This October is sure to be filled with fundraisers, awareness campaigns, charity contributions, and screening reminders. As for the rest of the year please make sure to remain vigilant and proactive. Do the standard self-checks on a regular basis, make those screening appointments with your doctor, and be mindful of your wellbeing year-round, early detection can make all the difference for many potentially terminal diseases. With that said here’s to all the women and men out there fighting the good fight for themselves or their loved ones, and here is to an October full of support, hope, and progress.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

– Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

 

bca-month-pic-01

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Total Wellbeing: October 2016

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

October 2016: Emotional Wellbeing

Get Involved!

 

death_to_stock_photography_bodytruths_7Welcome to the October 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 it is time again to look at emotional wellbeing and how your emotional state can affect other facets of your overall health. Certain things like motivation, enjoyment of activities, eating habits, and social interaction, just to name a few, are all things that your emotional state can impact. If you are aware of this interconnection then you can begin to leverage your other wellbeing dimensions to lift your spirits. For instance you may find getting some exercise helps alleviate some anxiety, or how going out with friends may help with any stress you may be feeling. We know that it might be hard to put yourself in a mindset to be productive, but trust us you will be happy you did.  For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

September’s MINESblog posts covered a couple topics. To help you celebrate Labor day, our first post talked about being mindful of your free time and gave some tips on how you can keep unplanned events and bad moods from getting in the way of your relaxation time. Next, on a much more serious note we took Suicide Prevention week as an opportunity to provide some important information on warning signs of suicide and what you can do to help someone you think might have suicidal thoughts. Keep in mind if you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts or depression, and you don’t know where to turn.  You can always call MINES, we are here to help.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message, and 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: Emotional Wellbeing and Your Body

As we typically like to point out here at MINES, coins have two sides and it is important to look at both. In this case, heads, as in your head, can experience some negative emotions and with those comes some risk depending on how you choose to handle these feelings. Just as positive mindsets can invigorate you and boost things like confidence, ambition, and desire for social activity, negative emotions can deplete your energy and ambition. This can cause you to be less active, eat less healthily, and socialize less, all of which can lead to your negative emotions perpetuating themselves. But that’s where the other side of the coin comes in. This emotion-driven energy dynamic goes both ways. Activity in the other wellbeing areas such as exercising (physical wellbeing), meditating or relaxing in your preferred method (spiritual wellbeing), and even going out with friends (social wellbeing), can make you feel more productive, boost your endorphin production, and help you see things from a different perspective. These proactive activities improve your mental wellbeing meaning the next time you feel down, resist the urge to shut down. Instead get up and go do your favorite activities and get some fresh blood to the brain and we guarantee you’ll begin to feel better.

Tips for you:

Your emotions can impact your physical health in many ways. Luckily there are just as many techniques and daily activities that can help you maintain your health while keeping your emotions in a healthy space. Take a look at what FamilyDoctor.org says about your emotion’s impact and tips on improving your overall emotional wellbeing.

Check Out the Article 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 is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to help support awareness, funding for research, and support to those who are dealing with this devastating disease, Making Strides is hosting walks around the country. If you want to get involved and help in any way you can check out the link below to locate an event near you.

Find an Event Near You!

Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, your online benefit through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here. 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.

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!

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

A Hard Day(off)’s Work

Relaxing is Hard Work, Be Mindful During Your Off Time

beach-vacation

Time to relax

The weekend, the start of a vacation, the morning of a day off. These are all times when we often find ourselves asking the question, “What should I do today?” It’s the beginning of our hard earned time off and we want to make the most of it, though for most of us, coming up with something to do is only half the battle. Plans are set but having them go off without a hitch is another story. How you handle these ”hitches” can be the difference between having a fun and satisfying time, and spending the day frustrated at the little things that didn’t go quite right and wondering what could have been.

The ideal day/night off

What does your ideal day off look like? When a day off, a free evening, or even a vacation is on the horizon we want it to be perfect, filled with all the things that we want to do with that time. It might be fun with friends, a night on the town at your favorite restaurant, or even some quiet relaxation time with a book at home. So we make plans, it’s in our nature as humans living in a modern world full of things we want to do and enjoy when we have the chance. Plans give us something to look forward to and offer us structure in the process.

I know that when I have an evening during the week free of appointments and other obligations that life tends to throw my way, I think about the best way to spend that time. I think about how I will go straight home from work and try and maximize my time, and then I might make a nice dinner with the girlfriend and watch the next episode of “Stranger Things.” I think about how it will be the perfect opportunity to get to the next area in whatever video game I am currently in the middle of. Ah yes, that night will be awesome! But what if it doesn’t go as planned? If these things that I want to do don’t end up happening, or if my time with them is cut short, is my awesome time ruined, my chance for fun gone? It could be if I let it.

When your expectations are shattered the day is ruined

We can plan our time as carefully and as hopefully as we want, but that doesn’t mean that something won’t come up before we are able to realize our plans. I don’t know how many times I have been ready for a night like I was just describing and traffic causes me to get home late, a family member needs help with something when I get home, and dinner takes way longer to cook than planned. Next thing I know I look at the clock and my night is half over and I’ve barely touched the things that I wanted to do that night. This starts to put me in a bad mood. A bad mood! On my free night! How could this happen!? I finally get a chance to sit down with a game, but now all I can think about how my time is cut short and I begin to wonder how I could even enjoy the little time I have left. But we can’t think this way, time is a precious resource we can’t afford to waste it worrying about things that turn out differently than we expected them to. Whether it’s a free night or a 2 week vacation more full with planned activities and hopeful expectations, there are bound to be snags, things that pop up unexpectedly, that force us to take a right turn when this is not the route we planned. So what can you do to make sure that you still enjoy your time?

Go With the flow

There are enough uncontrollable variables throughout life without us sabotaging ourselves. When plans go awry it is important to not make things worse by being your own worst enemy. Salvage your time by being mindful of the moment, letting go of the things that you can’t control, and make the best of the situation. Even if you end up doing something other than what you planned at least you are enjoying your time to the best of your ability and by letting go of your expectations and going with the flow you prevent the inner animosity that comes with the frustration of well-laid plans going out the window. Don’t get me wrong, plans are nice and all, as is getting to do your favorite activities when those plans manifest successfully. But when life gets in the way and skewers those plans of yours, focus on making the situation the best it can be. It may not be what you had in mind, but you just might end up enjoying your off-time after all.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Suicide Prevention Week 2016

Suicide is non-discriminatory; it affects everybody regardless of gender, race, class, or age.  According to the World Health Organization, 1 million people attempt suicide per year, yet it’s still not commonly talked about.

A person who is contemplating suicide is in so much pain that they do not see any other feasible options.  Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems; the effect reaching far beyond the person who takes their life.

Suicide can be a symptom of depression; however depression is a treatable mental health illness that affects many people.   Many people may struggle with feelings of sadness and hopelessness but never act upon suicide.  Suicidal thinking is complex, so it is important to understand the warning signs to understand if the person needs immediate help.

A person who is struggling with suicidal thoughts may not know how to ask for help, they just want to stop hurting. You might feel uncomfortable bringing up the subject with someone you suspect may be suicidal, but talking openly about it, responding quickly, and offering support, can save their live.

Recognizing these signs and using the resources below may help you prevent someone from completing suicide:

Warning Signs:

  • Isolating behaviors, withdrawing from family and friends
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Decline in work or school performance
  • Being bullied
  • Recent death of a loved one
  • Increased mood swings
  • Decrease in activities
  • Giving away possessions
  • Change in sleep or appetite
  • Chronic mental illness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Acting impulsively
  • Seeking out lethal means
  • Having a plan
  • Having intent

Suicide Prevention Resources

National Resources:

Denver Metro Area Resources:

Hotlines:

Text Lines:

  • Text “GO” to 741741

 

To your wellbeing,

-Alea Makley, MA

Case Manager

The MINES Team

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment