Psychology of Performance #54: Peyton Manning, John Elway, Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos, “The Big Game” and Organizational Psychology Aspects

The “Big Game” is a great observational laboratory for studying two highly-successful organizations, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Professional sports teams are transparent about a number of organizational issues such as succession planning, management strategies and tactics, leadership issues, toxic or impaired employees, employee turnover, team cohesiveness, customer loyalty and influence, leadership, social influence and modeling, focus and preparation, culture and identity, reliance, and expertise. This blog/article will focus on the Denver Broncos.

Culture and Culture Change

Two years ago the Denver Broncos were defeated soundly by the Seattle Seahawks. Executive Vice President and General Manager, John Elway, made significant numbers of personnel changes from the coaching staff to the majority of players. This was done to change the attitude of the team. Elway said “The team is tougher. “kicking and screaming” through mental toughness (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29414693/john-elway-sees-tougher-broncos-this-year-through). The Broncos’ have the number one defense in the NFL going into the “Big Game”. They are clearly tougher than last year and performed at a higher level. In addition, the NFL does a better job than many businesses and organizations regarding performance. If you don’t perform, you are benched and will likely lose your job. Culture is defined as a shared set of assumptions as to how we do business (Schein). The Broncos have noticeably changed how they do business.

Leadership

The executive team of the Broncos started out the year with an announcement that the owner, Mr. Pat Bowlen, had Alzheimer’s disease and would be stepping down from his executive role. This was a significant loss for the organization as he was well-known as a successful change management leader. The executive team re-organized roles and functions to continue the strategy and direction the organization was heading. The coaching staff was brand new with Gary Kubiak taking over as Head Coach and Wade Phillips coming in as the Defensive Coordinator. Together Kubiak and Phillips implemented a new offense and defense. This created a learning curve and inherent stress for those adapting to the new system. At the team captain level, Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, and David Bruton, Jr. were voted in by their peers. The team captains provide important peer leadership and are role models for the other players.  They are also significantly involved in the team chemistry and cohesiveness.  Then there are the informal leaders such as Von Miller, all-pro-defense, outside linebacker. He displays an enthusiasm and maturity that may have been underdeveloped earlier in his career when he received a four game suspension. This year he has consistently performed at an all-pro level, provided leadership, and found inspiration from DeMarcus Ware (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29454733/evolution-von-miller).

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning had significant professional challenges this year. He is known for his preparation, performance (holds countless records), and winning record. This year he had a sub-par season due to factors such as injury to his foot. He was relieved and benched, watched from the sidelines while he healed, was made the back-up, yet came into win a game from behind and lead the team to the AFC championship and onward to the “Big Game” once again. He also had other adversity this season with allegations about HGH (human growth hormone). Through it all he displayed a professional demeanor in the media, contributed to the team during the down period, and came back to help the team win the championship. This type of leadership, role modeling, and performance contributed to the culture and attitude of the team.  From an individual psychology of performance perspective, Manning exhibited an impressive degree of resilience as did a number of other injured players such as DeMarcus Ware, Chris Harris, Jr., and every other injured player this season who came back and performed admirably. What does it take to be resilient in your organization?

Focus and Preparation

Over and over in the media this season, various players were noted by their peers and coaches for their preparation and focus. The players were noted for staying late after practice to get more repetitions in, watching additional film, and rehabilitating their injuries so they could get back and contribute. If a starter became injured, the back-up player being ready to replace them and perform at a high level is imperative. Brock Osweiler was a good example of this on offense, coming in to replace Manning and lead the team to 5 wins and just 2 losses. He handled moving back into a second string role with professionalism and publically stated he wanted what the coach thought was best for the team.

Role of the Under Dog

The Broncos have reported feeling like they are not recognized as being as good as they are all season and have used that as motivation to prove everyone wrong. In the “Big Game” the odds-makers predict they will lose. What is interesting organizationally, and from a performance psychology perspective, is that the Broncos have set an NFL record for the most wins by 7 points or less (11 wins) (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29451542/broncos-underdogs-super-bowl-50). This relates to Elway’s comments earlier in this blog about being tougher. They have a depth of experience overcoming adversity that no other team in the NFL has this year. The Broncos have the experience and resilience that will allow them not to fold or give up if it is a close game.

Succession Planning

The “Big Game” is replete with examples of personnel management, personnel changes, succession planning, and development of personnel. In any organization, bench strength is important and when it is not there or developed, organizations falter. In professional sports it becomes glaringly obvious when a team has not drafted well or developed their younger players when a star is injured and the team starts losing. In business, it is just as important, yet sometimes not as obvious. Brock Osweiler stepped in and did a great job for the Broncos until Manning was ready to come back. Coach Kubiak did a masterful job of handling the public relations and internal team dynamics during this time. He managed expectations clearly when he announced Manning would be the starter for the playoffs, so that everyone could focus and prepare for their role.  Finally, pro sports also allow a window into the impact of toxic co-workers or impaired co-workers on the culture,  focus, and preparation of the organization (think distractions like your number one draft choice at quarterback spending a significant time last summer in “rehab” and then having social media pictures posted of him “partying” and then being benched by the coach. That team by the way, not in the “Big Game”).

Lessons Learned for Your Organization

  1. Culture is important. What are your rules of engagement? How do you do business?
  2. Expertise of personnel. What is the level of your personnel’s expertise in your organization? Do you need to train or upgrade? Are you assessing regularly? Keeping your “Superstars” fresh?
  3. Leadership, vision, and implementation. From your executive team down, is there alignment on the vision? Does your leadership inspire, model the behavior you want, and do they execute the plan?
  4. Informal leaders. Who are your informal leaders? Do they exhibit the behavior and messages you want your staff to follow?
  5. Role models. Do you have staff that are role models for the younger workers? Do they model what you want?
  6. Focus and preparation. Is your staff focused and prepared to execute your business plan every day?
  7. Group identity vs perception of the public. Does your organization have its own identity? Are your customers in alignment with the identity and support it?
  8. Resilience of team members. Are your leaders and staff members resilient? Do they bounce back from adversity in their professional or personal life? If not, do you have resources to help them bounce back such as employee assistance programs? If you have helped them and they are still under-performing can you help them “find their bliss elsewhere.”

 

To your Wellbeing,

Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist

&

Daniel C. Kimilinger, Ph.D., MHA, SPHR, Human Resources and Organizational Psychology Leader

 

References:

Schien, E. H. (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership (2nd Edition).

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Total Wellbeing: February 2016

 

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January 2016: Social Wellbeing

Get Involved!

Welcome to the February issue of TotalWellbeing! For being the shortest month of the year there sure is a lot packed into February this year. We have Valentine’s Day, the Academy Awards for the film buffs out there, and let’s not all forget the Super Bowl! But luckily every four years we get an extra day to handle all this craziness, and this year happens to be one of those years. What will you be up to this February 29th? That is a question we will be asking all month long and we encourage you to use the day for something fun or productive. For inspiration you might think about our theme this month, Physical Wellbeing. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

We hope you saw our post on MINESblog last month. In case you missed it we celebrated our 35th anniversary at the beginning of this year, check out the evolution of MINES as your EAP and see how we’ve changed over the last few decades. Thank you to everyone that has made this occasion possible.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. See you next month!

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Physical Wellbeing and Goal Setting

Physical wellbeing has a great impact on your overall health. If you wish to be physically healthy throughout your life, fitness and nutrition are concepts that you need to consider on a daily basis. If you’ve not thought about this before, a great place to start is to figure out what you’re trying to achieve. What are your physical wellbeing goals? This is an important question no matter what your status of wellbeing actually is. Whether you’re starting a new workout program, trying a new diet for a New Year’s resolution, or working out is simply part of your daily routine, you need to have goals. When creating goals, think SMART. That means create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Goals not only give you a source of motivation and a target to shoot for, goals can help guide you along your path so that you don’t get lost or give up along the way. Goals may be the single most important part of your wellbeing regimen. It is never too late to start goal setting. In fact, right now if you said, “I am going to make a goal,” then congratulations! You’ve taken the first step and are well on your way. See, it’s that easy!

Tips for you:

Physical wellbeing isn’t all about being active, it’s also about making sure your mind and body are getting the fuel and rest they need for activity. Check out Gallup.com’s findings on the interconnectedness of physical wellbeing and the balance between exercise and sleep.

Read the full 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:

Friends, family, and sometimes even strangers can be a huge source of motivation. If working out and training is hard to get into, try joining a class or training for an event to give you the push you need. To help with this, Active.com can help you find exciting events near you so you can start getting involved!

Check it out 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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MINES celebrates 35 years of behavioral health excellence

Did you know that just a few weeks ago, MINES celebrated our 35th anniversary? It’s true, back in January of 1981, MINES was started with the vision of being a psychology firm addressing the needs of its clients based on the expertise of multiple professionals even though it initially consisted of one psychologist, our founder, Dr. Robert A. Mines. Soon after, Dr. Richard Lindsey joined the firm and over the ensuing years, MINES became well-known for providing health psychology services such as its expert case management in behavioral health, a leader in Employee Assistance, and a valued partner to our clients regarding organizational psychology services. We’ve been proud to call Colorado our home and to expand to all 50 states. We’ve seen many changes in our industry over the years but no matter how we partnered with groups or consulted on projects we’ve always maintained our core vision as a guiding principle for doing business: to save lives and influence the course of human events.

So, to commemorate the occasion, we wanted to reconfirm our solemn promise to our clients, past, present, and future, to continue to work in every way that we can to serve the good of those organizations and individuals/families. MINES continues to strive to apply the latest evidenced/research-based practices for the wellbeing of our clients. We do this with compassion and loving kindness to relieve their suffering and enhance the quality of their lives.

As a practical matter and update moving forward, we have rolled out a brand new website at www.minesandassociates.com that will significantly improve the ability of individuals to access our services and information about our program through mobile devices. We have a number of changes to our Provider Portal that will streamline our billing and reporting processes. We’re upping our social media game to provide great content on facebook and twitter (so make sure to check it out!) And we have a number of projects underway that will be rolling out in 2016 that will make it easier and more enjoyable to access services with MINES.

We want to thank all of our clients for their partnership over the years and look forward to the next 35 years! Have a great 2016 and, as always, “to your wellbeing!”

The MINES team

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Total Wellbeing: January 2016

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January 2016: Social Wellbeing

Get Involved!

photo-1421986527537-888d998adb74Welcome to the January issue of TotalWellbeing! There is a lot going on this month including Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Sundance Film Festival, and of course we can’t forget that MINES is celebrating our 35th Anniversary. In the spirit of these celebrations of human rights and the arts, we thought it appropriate to highlight social wellbeing. Social wellbeing involves developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a support system you can fall back on. We feel the ongoing mission of equal rights that will be commemorated this month is a great example of this dimension, and we encourage you all to take part in it wherever you can. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

As a friendly reminder MINESblog is the place where we explore important topics each month in an effort to open discussions and provide a useful resource for you and 2015 was no exception. Early in the year we tackled consumer directed healthcare, examined incivility and bullying in the workplace, evaluated environmental and social stressors, and even broke down managerial hierarchy and accountability of leadership. Towards the end of the year we approached family and social influence on healthy habits and even some more sensitive and somber topics including self-care for caregivers and Alzheimer’s. This is just a sample of the issues we discussed over the past year so check out our blog to catch up on what you missed. 2016 will see us explore more important topics that we hope will offer further insight into the world of wellbeing.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. See you next month!

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Social Wellbeing and You

When discussing social wellbeing the saying “It takes a village…” comes to mind. Social wellbeing comes from a healthy mixture of views, skills, knowledge, experience, and creeds. By exploring these different walks of life by connecting with the people around you, we can build a balanced understanding of society and our place within it. This is how we develop as people and further our sense of connectedness with the world. Our social networks, both online and off, are ever-present and ever-expanding, meaning we can use these connections as a constant source of support and energy in our lives if we take the time to nurture and care for them.

Tips for you:

Check out what the University of California has to say about social wellbeing. Make sure to check out the bottom of the article to see their ideas on how you can help improve your own social wellness.

Read the full 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:

What better way to show your social support and bolster community wellbeing than taking part in one of our nation’s most iconic and socially important events, the Martin Luther King Jr. parade and march. The link below is for the Denver events but most capitol cities across the nation will be celebrating the great civil rights leader with similar events across the nation. Show your support and get involved today!

Check out the event 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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TotalWellbeing: December 2015

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December 2015:  Be Aware of Your Occupational Wellbeing

Wellness through Awareness!

Welcome to the December issue of TotalWellbeing, the last issue of 2015! This month we wanted to talk about work/life balance around the holidays and how it relates to occupational wellbeing. Occupational Wellbeing is a tough one this time of year, mainly because the holidays truly put our work/life balancing skills to the test as we strive to meet end of year goals and deadlines at work while also managing social holiday events with friends and family. Relatives coming into town, social gatherings, shopping, and whatever else you have going on during the holidays can be fun but can also add on heaps of stress to your already busy schedule. This is why it is imperative to manage stress and time wisely to get the most out of your time at home, while maintaining your drive at work, all without pulling your hair out. For a closer look at occupational wellbeing and how it relates to our topics this month please read The Path, below.

You may remember us mentioning last month that it was Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. If you kept your eye on MINESblog you would have seen our expert associate JJ Jordan’s post about Alzheimer’s and what it means to be diagnosed with the terrible disease and warning signs that you should watch for if you have aging loved ones and as you age yourself. It’s important information you don’t want to miss. Check it out!

As we head into 2016 continue to watch the MINESblog to see the latest discussions about wellbeing topics and tips on staying healthy and living a life in balance. Next year, involvement will be the focus as we keep you involved with MINES and involved with the world around you. MINES will be packing our information with ways for you to support yourself as well as others and get involved with topics that matter most to you – can’t wait to see what you think. For now, check out the links to the left for more important resources such as our LinkedIn showcase pages and Balanced Living Magazine. We look forward to seeing you next year!

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

A major factor contributing to your level of occupational wellbeing is how well you are able to balance your priorities between work and home. Work obligations can often interfere or distract you from personal time, and in turn the needs of your personal life can distract you at work. This is exacerbated during the holidays as end of year needs and increased customer activity can make for longer hours than normal, which often clashes with your family needs at home. A lot of this is out of your control. The answer? Practice healthy stress relieving techniques and focus on the things that you can control and don’t worry about what you can’t. Practice mindfulness to help keep work at work and home at home to help ensure that you stay focused when you need to be productive, and when you are at home that you are truly able to be present and relaxed with your loved ones.

Occupational Wellbeing resources:

Whether at home or at work, the holiday season can be stressful.  But don’t worry, there are things that you can do to lessen the stress that you feel during the busy times. Check out what the Mayo Clinic has to say about minimizing your stress levels this December.

Read the full article here!

 

Another important factor to your occupational wellbeing this month will be your ability to juggle work and home needs. If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you’re not alone. WebMD has some great tips to keep the work/life scale balanced this holiday season.

Read the full article here!

 Chakra To Your Senses

Many cultures believe in Chakras (shock-ras) which are, simply put, energy centers in your body that govern various aspects of your physiology. We will stay away from any religious aspects of these, such as their Buddhist symbolism, and instead focus on the general concept behind them to bring you more ways to nurture your body as well as mind. Click here to see a complete list of the 7 chakras and their properties.

Chakras to nurture this month: Crown and Solar Plexus

In order to support your occupational wellbeing it will be important to be aware of, and nurture, your Crown and Solar Plexus. The Crown Chakra, located at the top of your head, is the location of your center for conscious awareness and intelligence. Your Solar Plexus Chakra, located at the bottom of your sternum, embodies your will, motivation, and self-esteem. It’s easy to see why these factors might be impacted by your level of occupational wellbeing and work/life balance. Support your centers of motivation and self-esteem by setting achievable goals for yourself and making it a priority to reach those goals. Hitting your goals will instill a sense of accomplishment which will snow-ball, building confidence as well as your drive for success and happiness. Now get out there and have fun and be well!

 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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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

You may not know it, but November is the month to go purple!  You will see buildings lit with the color purple and lots of publicity regarding Alzheimer’s disease, all to highlight November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregiver Month.  The tradition started back in 1983 when President Reagan (who died of Alzheimer’s disease) proclaimed the awareness month to call attention to this tragic disease.   Back then, fewer than 2 million Americans had the disease, today that number is 5.4 million.  Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the US and the only one in the top ten that cannot be prevented, treated, or cured.  If the trajectory of the disease is not changed, by 2050, nearly 14 million Americans will be affected by Alzheimer’s.

So what exactly is Alzheimer’s disease?  I have been working in the field of cognitive impairment for over 15 years and the number one question I am asked is “What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?”  The best answer I can give is that dementia is an “umbrella” term much like the term cancer.  There are many types of cancer and there are many types of dementia as well.  Perhaps the easiest explanation is this….everyone who has Alzheimer’s disease has dementia, but not everyone who has dementia has Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is, however, the most common type of dementia, accounting for around 70% of all cases.  The hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss, particularly short-term memory loss in the early stages.  Vascular dementia (strokes that impair the blood supply to the brain) accounts for around 10% of dementia cases, and then there are other forms of dementia you may have heard of like Lewy Body or Frontotemporal dementia.  Dementia is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities severe enough to interfere with daily functioning.  It is important to note that Alzheimer’s disease is not a mental illness.  It is a disease just as we know cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer to be physical illnesses.   And while there is a certain extent of memory loss that is a normal part of aging, the memory loss and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are not a part of normal aging.   Toward the end of this blog, I will list the ten warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease and attempt to differentiate between what is normal and what could be a red flag.

Why is this subject important to me?  Aside from the huge public health and expense issue this presents for our country (and every other country in the world by the way), it affected my family personally.  Three of our four parents in my immediate family were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease within a two year period.  The disease changed everything for my parents, my family, and of course, for me and my priorities.  My loved ones have now been gone for a few years, having lived for 16 years, 14 years, and 11 years with the disease.  People ask me if I am relieved to be out from under the burdens of the disease.   I tell them I am just warming up and will not rest until we find an end to Alzheimer’s.   In the meantime, my quest is to help as many other families as possible who are dealing with this cruel disease.

A brief history of the disease

It might be a good time to switch gears and pause for a brief history lesson regarding Alzheimer’s.  The disease was discovered in 1906 by a German doctor named Alois Alzheimer.  He was presented with a 51 year old female we respectfully refer to simply as “Frau Auguste D.”  Her husband brought her to Dr. Alzheimer’s clinic when she displayed irrational behaviors.  Back then, it was usually, “off to Belleview for you” but Dr. Alzheimer was not buying it.  He cared for her at his clinic until her death three years later and then discovered the disease during her autopsy. Without going into “Brain 101” too deeply in this blog, excess build-ups of two proteins (amyloid beta and tau) are present in Alzheimer’s patients.  Now you may have the same reaction I have every time I tell the story of Frau August D…1906!!!!! What? It is 2015, why has this not been cured by now?

The disease is very complicated and it was only in the late 1980s that the scientific community realized that younger onset (diagnosis under 65) and regular onset (over 65) were the same disease.  Several research and diagnosis breakthroughs have occurred in the past decade and while there is no treatment or cure that stops the disease as of today, I have never been more optimistic that a breakthrough is possible.  Thousands of doctors and scientists around the world are working on the issue as we speak.

The high cost of the disease

You may not know that Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in our nation.  This year, the cost of caring for Alzheimer’s patients will be $226 billion (yes, with a “b”).  $153 billion of that will be Medicare and Medicaid costs for care of Alzheimer’s patients.   With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 everyday, we must put an end to Alzheimer’s.  1 in 9 of us will develop the disease past the age of 65.  Nearly half of us will have the disease at age 85.

The workplace stats are equally disturbing.  85% of caregivers under 65 are employed.  Alzheimer’s disease costs American business more than $60 billion annually, both in costs related to care and in lost productivity.  60% of working Alzheimer’s caregivers report that they have had to come in late, leave early, or take time off.  20% had to take a leave of absence.  13% had to go from full time to part time and 15% had to give up working entirely.

The caregivers

So I mentioned that November is Alzheimer’s Awareness and Caregiver month.  Who are these caregivers exactly?  There are over 15 million of us in the US.  This year we will provide more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care.  You History Channel buffs might think that ice road trucking is the most dangerous profession on earth, but I would submit that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is the most challenging.  Caregivers must navigate between making sure their loved one is protected from a variety of dangers (60% of Alzheimer’s patients will wander during their journey with the disease) and preserving their dignity.  These are our parents, our spouses, our friends, and treating them like children is never appropriate although their behaviors may certainly test our patience.

As the person moves through Early, Middle, and Late Stage Alzheimer’s, behaviors can become more and more challenging.  Just as we caregivers learn to handle one behavior, it disappears and another one emerges.  Caregivers take lousy care of themselves due to stress and worry.  They balance medical, legal, financial, and family dynamic issues that are complicated and emotional.  74% of caregivers report being somewhat to very concerned about their own health.  So…if you know a caregiver of a person with dementia, give them a hug in November, better yet, offer to help them pick up groceries, rake leaves, or treat them to a spa day; they will be eternally grateful.

The patients

You also may not know that women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease.  2/3 of Alzheimer’s patients are women.  The prevailing thought has been that this is because women live longer than men and the number one risk factor is age.  New studies are underway to further investigate whether there are other factors that may make women more predisposed to the disease.  Over 60% of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women as well.  Perhaps the most startling statistic is that a woman over 60 is twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as breast cancer.

10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s

So now…as promised and if you are still reading this!… what are the common symptoms or early warning signs of Alzheimer’s?  The Alzheimer’s Association lists ten of them.  I will mention them all briefly and give a few examples from my own family experiences.

  1. Memory loss – not just forgetting the name of some movie star in an old film, but the type of memory loss that disrupts daily life and causes people to live in “sticky-note-ville.” Alzheimer’s erases short-term memory first so recently learned information may not be maintained like it was before.
  2. Changes in planning and problem solving – We all mess up a detail now and then but we are able to adjust and work through the issue. Many early-stage Alzheimer’s patients do very well as long as they stick to a routine.  When problems arise, however, their ability to compensate is limited.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks – We’re not talking about forgetting how to reprogram the thermostat and having to refer to the manual, we are talking about commonly performed tasks. An example would be my Mom who started taking 30 minutes to unload the dishwasher due to confusion.
  4. Confusion with time or place – We all forget what day it is occasionally but get ourselves back on track quickly. An Alzheimer’s symptom example might be someone who goes to the same activity each week but now cannot remember the route to take to get there.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships – In other words, Alzheimer’s patients do not see things the way we do. They may suffer from a lack of peripheral vision (which is why driving becomes an issue) and may not be able to identify how close an object is to them.
  6. Problems with speaking or writing words – We all forget a word occasionally but we are quick to substitute another one that makes sense in the context of our conversation. My Dad, however, would become very frustrated when he couldn’t think of any words to describe his watch or wallet.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps – We all lose things and if you find your lost keys in the pocket of the jacket you wore two days ago, that makes sense. If you find them in the freezer, that could be a sign that something is wrong.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment – We all make stupid decisions from time to time – to err is human as they say. But Alzheimer’s patients may lose the basic judgment to know when a scammer is taking advantage of them or they may buy an expensive item they simply can’t afford.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities – The person may be “hiding out” to avoid family, friends or work associates from noticing that they are having cognitive issues. We all “check out” occasionally but a noticeable difference in someone’s social interaction may be a cause for concern.
  10. Changes in mood and personality – We are not talking about the typical “set in my ways” or “you kids get off my lawn” type crankiness. We are talking about changes in a person’s demeanor that are significantly different and unusual compared to their baseline behavior.

It’s time to lift the veil on Alzheimer’s

I could write for hours on this subject (in case you can’t tell by now) but I want to close by urging anyone reading this who has a friend or loved one with warning signs to see a doctor immediately to discuss symptoms in the context of their overall health.  Many people are hesitant to discuss the subject but there are three reasons to do so.  First, it might not be Alzheimer’s at all, there are many other conditions that present symptoms that may be similar.  Secondly, if it is Alzheimer’s, perhaps a clinical trial would be appropriate; the care during these trials is excellent and the scientific community really needs participants.  And finally, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s allows the patient to express their wishes while they still can and it also allows family members to become knowledgeable about the disease, plan for the future, and learn the valuable caregiving skills they will need to maintain the highest quality of life for all involved throughout the journey.  In other words, you want and need to know…no matter what.

I hope this information and my story helps draw attention to this disease and an appreciation for caregivers during the month of November.  Please help spread the word during National Alzheimer’s Awareness and Caregiver month.   And please know that we here at MINES and Associates recognize the family and workplace pressures of having a loved one with Alzheimer’s.  Help, education, and coaching is available for employees who are balancing their responsibilities at home and at work.

And, oh yea, ski and snowboard season is upon us….be sure you and your friends and family wear helmets – your brain is your most precious and irreplaceable asset!

 

JJ Jordan

Associate, MINES and Associates

Family Caregiver

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TotalWellbeing: November 2015

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November 2015:  Be Aware of Your Intellectual Wellbeing

Wellness through Awareness!

Welcome to the November issue of TotalWellbeing! In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month we want to talk about Intellectual Wellbeing. This month we ask you to strive to make good habits that support your intellect and lifelong building of neuro-pathways in your brain. Read books, study music, lean new languages, dance, or try to do tasks with your non-dominant hand. All these things will build new pathways and help reinforce your brain as you get older. For a closer look at intellectual wellbeing and how it relates to our topics this month please read The Path, below.

As usual we invite to check out MINESblog. October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, so we took the opportunity to explore this topic from the eyes of caretakers and others who are caring for a loved one that has been diagnosed with a deadly disease. Our post explored the huge emotional and physical toll care-giving can have, and ways that a caretaker can support themselves while also supporting their loved one. On a lighter note, October 21st was “Back to the Future Day,” which for those of you who don’t know, was the day that Marty and Doc traveled to in the movie “Back to the Future 2.” In honor of this fun occasion, we took some time to look at the top advancements in health care, employee benefits, and mental health since the movie’s release in 1989. Check it out!

Continue to watch the MINESblog to see the latest discussions about wellbeing topics and tips on staying healthy and stress-free. For even more great resources be sure to explore the links to the left with important resources such as our LinkedIn showcase pages and Balanced Living Magazine.

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

Intellectual wellbeing, like any of the dimensions of wellbeing we discuss, is something that you should strive to nurture every day and throughout your life. Intellect is something that you can grow but you must also maintain it. Especially as you get older it becomes increasingly important that you strive to feed your brain and keep it busy to avoid losing any of your cognitive functioning. Make it fun. Choose puzzles or games that you enjoy, but that will also engage your memory or complex thinking. It can be anything from doing Sudoku puzzles in the morning all the way to dedicating yourself to learning a new language or a musical instrument. The goal here is to build new neuro-pathways. Over time various factors such as disease, lifestyle habits, and environmental contamination, can breakdown pathways in your brain and the more pathways you have already built, the more prepared your brain will be for whatever might happen.

Intellectual Wellbeing resources:

No matter what your age it is important to exercise your memory. Great ways to do this include puzzles and learning new things like a musical instrument or a foreign language. The ways you can expand your mind are endless. Check out some great tips and facts about improving your memory from HelpGuide.org by clicking below.

Read the full article here!

 

If you want to join the battle against Alzheimer’s and help end this terrible disease once and for all, click below and find out how you can join the cause with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Get Involved!

 Chakra To Your Senses

Many cultures believe in Chakras (shock-ras) which are, simply put, energy centers in your body that govern various aspects of your physiology. We will stay away from any religious aspects of these, such as their Buddhist symbolism, and instead focus on the general concept behind them to bring you more ways to nurture your body as well as mind. Click here to see a complete list of the 7 chakras and their properties.

Chakras to nurture this month: Crown and Heart

In order to support your intellectual wellbeing it will be important to be aware of, and nurture, your Third Eye and Throat Chakras. Your Third Eye Chakra, located on your forehead, is the location of your center for intelligence and wisdom, while your Throat Chakra is right where you think it would be. No surprise your Throat Chakra is the center for communication and expression. The reason these two are important to intellectual wellbeing is that in order for ideas and wisdom to prosper and spread we not only need to have free thought but also free expression to share the ideas and wisdom that we create as individuals. Support your centers of intelligence by creating and thinking outside the box, but don’t stop there, share your ideas and get others to do the same. Now get out there and have fun and be well!

 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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13 Changes in Behavioral Health Since McFly’s ’85

Today is #BackToTheFuture day, marking Marty McFly’s futuristic flight to October 21, 2015, as imagined from 1989, when telephones were all leashed and something called the Internet was a sleepy backwater for a handful of military folk and academic researchers. While the film scored several direct hits – wearable technology,video calls, fingerprint recognition – some predictions fell well wide of the mark, though with driverless cars on the horizon can flying cars be that far behind?  Here’s a list of what MINES sees as the most noteworthy, in some cases, landmark changes in behavioral health and substance abuse treatment in the last 30 years, with an emphasis on advances in employer-sponsored health coverage.

The Changes

Drug-free workplace Act of 1988 passes

The Drug-free workplace Act of 1988 establishes new guidelines for how to construct and implement programs that significantly decrease worksite drug abuse while increasing onsite productivity.

In the early 1990s managed mental health care made its entrance into the healthcare arena, with EAP being a source of referral into provider networks.

The inclusion of Managed Care for behavioral health changed the conversation about what accessing healthcare around behavioral health issues looked like by improving access to evidence-based solutions while decreasing behavioral health risk for employers offering services.

NCQA is formed in 1990

The NCQA was established to accredit organizations that provided evidence-based solutions for various intervention methodologies.

In 1990. WHO declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder

For a slew of reasons, including the later discovery of body dysmorphia, this changed the way we discuss homosexuality and other sexual and gender-related dysmorphic orientations, leading to later legal changes. 

Depression is identified as a significant risk factor in medical treatment adherence

This, among other studies, identifies many changes to the way that we charge, and interact with, disorders that ultimately changes our fee structure from FFS to FFV. We have been working in, and waiting for, this model for years!

SAMHSA founded in 1992

SAMHSA resulted in a number of new interventions for behavioral health that included Access to Recovery (ATR) and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). MINES has been intimately involved in the implementation of these methodologies that have saved lives and influenced the course of human events in Colorado for over a decade.

1995-97: ACE studies identify significant implications of early factors in health experience

Adverse Childhood Experiences are identified with high validity for longitudinal physical and behavioral health issues. These early identifiers are starting to be used in primary care.

HIPAA is established in 1996

The HIPAA laws started in 1996, but HiTech as a part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act really added teeth to the act. Most of behavioral health becomes afraid of information technology as a result of the 1996 act.

42.CFR.Part 2: 2002

The exclusion of health information regarding substance abuse issues significantly debilitates inclusion in public health information exchange resulting in reductions in capacity for intervention out of fear for privacy protection.

Meaningful use excludes behavioral health in 2009

The exclusion of independent Behavioral Health providers from Meaningful Use decreases the efficacy of integrated behavioral health by downgrading the value of those providers.

By 2007, more than 75% of employers provide an EAP to their employees

Finally, data on EAPs start to show their implementation pass 3 in 4 companies. Despite the quantity, quality improvement is still not established, nor quantified.

DSM-V is published in 2013

Significant advancements in the diagnosis of trauma disorders make major advances in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.

Denver Startup Week focuses on Behavioral Change as a part of Healthcare

Despite the regulatory environment working against behavioral health, somatic health is recognizing, from a market perspective, that changes have to be seen in our intervention methodologies.

Bonus

  • MINES implemented our first EAP in 1986, and our first Managed Behavioral Health contract in 1988, a history we’ve continued to 2015.
  • Antonovsky’s theory of Sense of Coherence and Salutogenesis are published in 1979, slightly before McFly enjoys his first trip through time. Beginning in 2011, salutogenesis has come to embody a new architecture for the interactional, yet individualistic, approach that MINES implemented as a core value in the understanding of a given patient’s current health state.
  • In 1973, Daniel Kahneman, with Amos Teversky, publishes cognitive bias theory which helps to underwrite the basis for Behavioral Economics – resulting in a new understanding of decision-making related to health decisions. His 2013 book, Thinking Fast and Slow, (fitting into the list) establishes his lifetime work in a way that influenced MINES’ overall understanding of cognitive errors.

Honorable Mention

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program (PAIMI)

MINES hasn’t had any real interaction with this act or its implications, however, while researching this article came across a piece of legislation that appears to have some very significant value for the community as a whole. Based on its construction, we would highly suggest it has merit beyond our scope.

And 5 predictions for the next 5 years

  • Significant integration of behavioral health into primary care
  • Behavioral Health, unencumbered by Meaningful Use, will leapfrog legacy health systems
  • Further destigmatization of behavioral health treatment
  • Marijuana laws will further complicate workplace drug-free programs
  • Greater focus on resiliency as a methodology for creating healthier populations

What did we miss?

We’re 100% sure you have things to add to this list. Most of these have been implemented and we’ve seen their impact. But maybe you have other thoughts as to changes in the last 30 years that have dramatically affected Behavioral Health. What do you think? Comment below or provide thoughts on twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

Ryan Lucas
@dz45tr
Manager, Engagement & Development

With support from Robert Mines, Ph.D. (@robertamines), Richard Lindsey, Ph.D., Charles Epstein (@Backboneinc), Nic McKane

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Breast Cancer Awareness: Tips & Self-Care for the Caretaker

Taking care of the ones you love

Often times, people who step into a caregiving role for one reason or another, are inexperienced in this critical role. There are a lot of unanswered questions: How do you talk to someone who has just been diagnosed? How do you support them in the best possible way? And one of the toughest questions: how do you take care of yourself through all of it? It is natural to want to help your family and friends, especially when one of them has been diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, these are people that you love and cherish. In order to help them most effectively it is important to go into a caregiving role with specific goals and expectations in mind.

What to say to a recently diagnosed loved one?

So what do you say to a loved one that has been recently diagnosed with cancer or another life threatening disease? The answer is, surprisingly, not much. To avoid being overbearing it is important that you make sure your loved one knows that you are there for them but only as much as they need or want. Educate yourself about the diagnoses and the type of cancer/disease that they have so that you can understand what they are going through. Avoid using that knowledge to offer unwanted advice by insisting they try this or that, just because you read about it online. Oftentimes the best thing you can do is simply spend time with them and share their feelings by offering a shoulder to cry on. Avoid being judgmental or being overly optimistic by saying things like, “you’ll be fine,” or “you’ll get better, don’t worry about it.” These sorts of things can make them feel like you don’t actually understand the gravity of the situation or understand their feelings; instead, simply assure them that you are there for them.

Here are some “do says” and “don’t says” from cancer.net to get you started:

Some options to help show your care and support:

  • I’m sorry this has happened to you.
  • If you ever feel like talking, I’m here to listen.
  • What are you thinking of doing, and how can I help?
  • I care about you.
  • I’m thinking about you.

Some examples of phrases that are unhelpful:

  • I know just how you feel.
  • I know just what you should do.
  • I’m sure you’ll be fine.
  • Don’t worry.
  • How long do you have?

Source:  http://bit.ly/1RuhQVg

Support them

Care-giving can be a long, difficult road, so it is important that you are prepared and know the best, most practical ways to help and support your loved ones. First, as mentioned above, it is critical that you research their cancer diagnoses, treatment courses, side-effects, and anything else that you may be concerned about. This will help you be a more effective support source. Once you have a better understanding of the situation you can help your loved one seek out the best treatment, with the direction of their doctor of course. Rely on the experts but use your education to ask good questions to manage expectations on treatments and to know when a second opinion on things may be appropriate.

Aside from helping with the logistics of care, you can also make a huge difference by offering help in other areas of their lives. To make things easier, instead of simply telling them that you are there if they need anything, take the burden off of them and offer to do specific things they may need. These can be things like offering to walk their dog, do the dishes, go to the grocery store or pharmacy for them; be specific and timely and you will be a huge help to them without being overwhelming.

Make sure that you are truly present for them. Offering company and a way to take their mind off of their condition is also critical. While nothing you can say or do will cure them or make their treatments any easier, having someone that is there to talk things through and to gain emotional and spiritual support from can make all the difference. It is also important to try and take the attention off their condition from time to time, while supporting their wellbeing. Think about exercising with them to the extent that they are able, make time to watch a movie or play a game together, or do whatever other activities they are able to enjoy without over-exerting themselves. And most importantly try and make them laugh. Being light, silly, and breaking the serious tone can work wonders by creating fond memories together and maintaining a positive outlook day to day. Another important goal to all of this is to make things as normal for them as possible. Do not treat them as though they are fragile creatures. They are the same person that they have always been to you; make sure to remind them of that.

Support yourself

Being a caregiver or go-to person for someone with a chronic illness, especially for a loved one, can be extremely draining, both physically and emotionally. It will be critical that you take care of yourself as much as you take care of your loved one. The most common areas were caretakers’ wellbeing is affected include; trouble sleeping or finding time to sleep, poor eating habits and lack in meal preparation time resulting in less healthy diet, lack of time to exercise or lack of motivation to be active, being unable to stay in bed when sick, and also the failure to keep up on their own medical needs and doctors appointments. All of these can be detrimental to your personal wellbeing so it is imperative that you take steps to limit your stress and maximize your self-care as much as you are able.  Some ways that you can manage this include asking for help. Don’t be afraid to ask others for assistance now and again. Be specific in how they can help you and let them decide what they are willing and able to do for you. Even little things like someone willing to cook a dinner for you or the one you care for once a week can make a big difference.

Sleep is another huge concern. Remember that if you are sleep deprived you not only become a less effective support-giver, but you actually can become a danger to yourself and the ones you care for. Make sure that you are getting adequate sleep. Ways to help with this include setting a maximum amount of time that you can spend with your ill loved one. You may feel the need to be by their side 24/7 but that is just not realistic. Remember that you are human and need to take care of your own needs as well, as much as you would like to be superman. Set sleep goals and take a nap or go to sleep early if you are feeling tired.

Do not feel guilty if you need to re-energize by taking time for yourself. It is not a selfish thing to still engage in your favorite hobbies, social activities, and exercise routines. Setting goals is a good way to accomplish this. List them out if you have to but make sure that you are still striving for things in your own life. Set certain exercise goals, or goals for a certain number of hours of sleep each night. By making time for yourself it will not only give your mind a break, but will make you a more effective and energized source of support when you reconvene with your sick loved one.

Don’t forget that while you may be thinking about your loved ones’ care and doctors visits, do not let yourself forgo your own care. Annual exams with your physician, dentist visits, prescription regimens, and any other care you normally undergo is still just as important as it was before your loved one was diagnosed. Aside from just being important to maintaining your own health, seeing your doctor also affords you an opportunity to seek their professional opinion on how to limit stress, improve your diet, and otherwise limit the impact of the caretaker issues that you may be dealing with.

Finally, remember that you are not the only one that is going through this dire situation. There are many other people that may be in the exact same situation as you. Don’t be afraid to seek out social groups either locally or online. Be open-minded to going to a support group to connect with others that can lend an ear or even a helping hand. It also helps to talk with people who have experience dealing with the same issues as they can understand what you are going through better than most others and could even be the source of some meaningful new friendships.

Saying goodbye

Through this whole process it is important to accept the fact that some people get better and some are not able to recover. Your loved one may be on the road to recovery and will one day be all better; but, in some cases death is inevitable and it’s important to be prepared to say goodbye. Grief, when dealing with a long term illness, is a lot different than that of a sudden death, primarily because there is period of time where there is an expectation of death. In their book “Saying Goodbye,” Dr. Barbara Okun and Dr. Joseph Nowinski detail the grieving process from diagnosis to death in 5 phases:

Phase 1: Crisis

This stage begins with the diagnosis of the serious or terminal disease. A crisis is created in the lives of those involved. Anxiety and fear are the most prevalent emotions during this phase. The best thing to do in this phase is to remove as much of the unknown as possible by researching the disease itself, treatment options, and what to expect throughout the rest of the process.

Phase 2: Unity

This stage is when the person who was diagnosed and their friends and family accept the situation and begin to come together and define their role going forth. It is important to define what the needs/capabilities of each person is and be open and honest with all involved.

Phase 3: Upheaval

Upheaval occurs as the life changes brought on by the situation begin to create issues and difficulties with in the social circle of family and friends. Frustrations, guilt, and resentment can surface creating animosity between friends and family members. During this stage it is important to maintain open communication and try your best to let go of negative feelings as they arise.

Phase 4: Resolution

This stage occurs once the ill person has reached a point where recovery is no longer an option and death becomes a reality. Family members and friends begin to accept the reality of the situation. This is where the real grief starts and various people will have a stronger reaction than others. It is important to let everyone grieve in their own way and not pass judgment. This phase is important in that it may be the last chance to resolve issues between yourself and the dying, recall good memories of the times you spent together, and to say any last words you have before they pass. Seize the opportunity when you can.

Phase 5: Renewal

The final stage begins after the person has passed on, usually at their funeral. This can be an extremely confusing time as everyone grapples with the reality of what happened and their own mixed emotions. But this is the time where you can begin to try and focus on the good times you spent with them, and decide how you will remember them and honor their life in a positive light.

Source:  Saying Goodbye by Barbara Okun, Ph.D. and Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D. by arrangement with Berkley Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc, Copyright © 2011 by Harvard University.

These descriptions are just a brief overview. For a full description of the phases please visit http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/saying-goodbye.htm

Whew, okay heavy subject I know, but it is one that we could all face at some point in our lives. If you or someone you know is dealing with this in their lives and needs help, please seek out support groups online or at a local cancer center, or consider seeking professional counseling. If you have an employee assistance program through your employer, it can be a great resource that can provide guidance, help finding information, and referrals to counseling.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

-Nic Mckane

 

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/

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TotalWellbeing: October 2015

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October 2015:  Be Aware of Your Spiritual Wellbeing

Wellness through Awareness!

Welcome to the October issue of TotalWellbeing! This month we are going to look at our wellness topic, Spiritual Wellbeing, as it pertains to another important theme for October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Before we get into how spiritual wellbeing plays a part in your life, we want to bring awareness to the fight against Breast Cancer and encourage you to get involved. MINES will be posting resources and tweets all month long on important issues pertaining to BCAM, but you can get involved right away by following the link in the wellbeing resources below to find great local resources and ways that you can help support the fight against Breast Cancer. For a closer look at spiritual wellbeing and how it relates to our topics this month please read The Path, below.

As usual we invite to check out MINESblog. Last month we had 3 very important posts. One of our case managers, Alea Mackley, discussed Suicide Prevention in the Workplace. Next Ryan Lucas, Manager of Engagement and Development, covered 5 important considerations for those suffering from depression in honor of National Suicide Prevention Day. And finally to balance things out with a post on a lighter topic, Nic Mckane, yours truly, looked at The Importance of Family Influence on Healthy Habits.

Continue to watch the MINESblog to see latest discussions about wellbeing topics and tips on staying healthy and stress-free. For even more great resources be sure to explore the links to the left with important resources such as our LinkedIn showcase pages  and Balanced Living Magazine.

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

Spiritual wellbeing could be defined as our level of peace and harmony tied to our sense of purpose within the world. Now where does Spiritual Wellbeing play a part in all Breast Cancer Awareness Month? In a word, hope. More specifically, maintaining positive spiritual wellness and remaining resilient when you or a loved one are faced with a diagnosis is hard — but crucial. Maintaining a positive state of mind has also been proven to impact treatment outcomes and limits despair during the darkest times in life. Not only does a high level of spiritual wellbeing make you a more resilient person during bad times but studies show that those that have overcome hardships have higher levels of happiness overall. This is due to a higher awareness of the small things in life and appreciation for the happier times in life. So this all just goes to show that good or bad, a positive, balanced mind can make all the difference.

Spiritual Wellbeing resources:

Keep your own spirits up! Find out some of the science behind spiritual wellbeing and its connection to our overall happiness. The University of California has some excellent overviews of spirituality and what it means to each of us as individuals as well as some great resources to help enhance your sense of spiritual satisfaction.

Read the full article here!

 

The American Cancer Society is a great organization that is no stranger to fighting the good fight. You can support all the great things they are doing by getting involved in local events or donating to the cause.

Get Involved!

 Chakra To Your Senses

Many cultures believe in Chakras (shock-ras) which are, simply put, energy centers in your body that govern various aspects of your physiology. We will stay away from any religious aspects of these, such as their Buddhist symbolism, and instead focus on the general concept behind them to bring you more ways to nurture your body as well as mind. Click here to see a complete list of the 7 chakras and their properties.

Chakras to nurture this month: Crown and Heart

In order to support your spiritual wellbeing it will be important to be aware of, and nurture, your Crown and Heart Chakras. Your Crown Chakra, located in the top of your head, is actually your spiritual energy center as well as intelligence. You can nurture your spiritual center by stimulating your intellect and critical thinking. Read an inspirational book, or engage in some meaningful conversation. Your Heart Chakra, located right where you think it’d be, is your center for love and compassion. Support your heart by spending time with those you care about, or even try some inward reflection such as writing in a journal or writing some poetry or music if you’re feeling creative. Now get out there and have fun and be well!

 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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