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TotalWellbeing: September 2020

 

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Healthy Sleep Habits

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” ― Thomas Dekker

Welcome to the September 2020 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. Healthy sleep habits are the topic that we will be exploring this month. With everything going on including the ongoing pandemic to kids going back to school, it would be understandable if many of us are not sleeping as well as we’d like. While it can be tough to calm a racing mind, especially at night, there are steps you can take to help set yourself up for a good night’s rest. One of the most important things you can do is set up a consistent bedtime routine. This routine should be a relaxing ritual away from distractions and electronic screens that signals to your body that it is time for sleep. Make sure to start your bedtime routine at the same time every night, yes even weekends, to ensure your sleep patterns are as regular as possible.

Check out the information below for more tips and articles on healthy sleep habits for both yourself and your kids. Don’t forget that through your Employee Assistance Program you also have access to 4 professional wellness coaching sessions per year. These can be used to work with a personal wellness coach to work on work/life balance goals including getting enough rest. Call today to get started!

As a quick reminder, your online portal, PersonalAdvantage, also has helpful resources and tips and resources on getting rest, mindfulness, stress reduction, and much more to help you feel your best.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

How You Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Despite common belief, aging doesn’t cause sleep problems, and seniors don’t need less sleep as they grow older. Most older people sleep poorly, or not long enough, because of ailments associated with aging, such as arthritis, physical disabilities, respiratory problems and depression. Lack of exercise, heart disease, anxiety, stress and menopause also can disrupt sleep, and many medications seniors take can cause insomnia. Sleep and aging experts agree that one’s daytime activities and sleep environment are critical to getting a good night’s sleep.

Try the following remedies if you have trouble sleeping:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Ask your doctor if any of your medications could be disturbing your sleep.
  • Stay active. Maintain a moderate level of daily activity and do gentle exercise.
  • Spend some time outdoors during daylight hours. Sunlight can help set your biological clock.
  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink in the evening. Consuming foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea or cola can interfere with nighttime sleep.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages in the evening. They can make you fall asleep faster, but they cause early morning awakenings and fitful sleep.
  • Don’t smoke. Smokers are more likely to have trouble sleeping than nonsmokers.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool.
  • Replace your mattress if it’s lumpy, sagging or worn out. A comfortable mattress that offers good support can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Ask a doctor for help if your partner snores or has an illness that disturbs your sleep.

Read the full article here.

If you or someone you know has trouble sleeping, remember that Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help. In addition to free and confidential counseling you have access to professional wellness coaching as well. Your coach can help you tackle bad sleep habits and other wellness goals in your life that may be contributing to a less than stellar night’s rest. Call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars.

Self-care Steps for Kids and Sleep

Make sure your child gets the rest he or she needs, establish a consistent evening routine. Help your child wind down from the day by allowing at least a half hour of quiet time before bedtime; shut off the television, radio and computer during this time. Don’t put a TV in your child’s bedroom. Spend quiet time with young children before they fall asleep but establish firm limits about the amount of time — usually 10 to 30 minutes. Keep the following items in mind:

  • Be firm and consistent about bedtime.
  • Set aside quiet time before sleep.
  • Eliminate or limit caffeine in your child’s diet.
  • Limit television, radio, computers and video games just before bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals close to bedtime. A small snack is fine.
  • See that your child gets plenty of exercise.
  • Keep the bedroom temperature at or near 65 degrees.

Read More

Remember, your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you set and attain wellness goals with personal wellness coaching. This includes making better sleep habits among many more wellness topics. If you need additional information, or to access services, please call MINES and Associates at 1-800-873-7138 today.

Question of the Month

Do you make sleep a priority, or is sleep more of an afterthought? What can you do to better prioritize sleep as an integral part of your wellbeing routine?

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

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Fixing Our Broken Sleep

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Are There Potentially Positive Outcomes from COVID-19?

Back to School During the Pandemic

Important Links

COVID19 Resource Page

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

Current Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINES Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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A Word on Going Back to School During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a huge toll on not just the physical health but the mental health of the nation. As we enter a new, very uncertain academic school year – it’s important for parents, caregivers, and school personnel to know the signs that a young person is struggling with his or her mental health.

We know that stress and anxiety can be common during the school year for students, but with the pandemic upon us, it’s even more important to pay attention. For those who are physically going back to schools, the anxiety and fear is palpable – and simply navigating the uncertainly can feel overwhelming. And for those who are learning virtually, too much isolation can be harmful.

Research shows that chronic loneliness, which many of us are feeling these days with stay-at-home orders – can translate to poor sleep, high blood pressure, greater risk of suicidal ideation, and even alcohol and drug use. Depression and anxiety have also increased in the months since the pandemic began. Half of all mental health disorders begin by the age of 14, and about 75 percent begin by the age of 24. But it’s also important to know that mental health issues are common and treatable – you don’t have to suffer in silence! Know the signs and symptoms of mental health issues so that you can seek help for you or someone you care about.

Just like physical health, taking care of mental health struggles early can help to prevent more serious problems from developing in the future. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health problem, it is important to act. Start the conversation. Seek help from a trusted adult. Remember there is nothing to be ashamed of and that there is help and hope.

There are also serious signs that someone is in crisis and needs more immediate help. These include thoughts or plans of hurting oneself or another person. If you think a child or teen is in immediate danger of taking suicidal action, call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. If you have MINES as your EAP you can also call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-873-7138 and talk to a licensed clinician on the spot. Our trained crisis counselors are always ready to help.

MINES EAP is here to help with these concerns and help manage the stress of the pandemic as well as any other day to day issues that you or your family may be navigating at this time. Please call us for more information or to get set up with free, confidential counseling services, wellness coaching, work/life resources, and more.

To your wellbeing,

-The MINES Team

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Guest Article: Are There Potentially Positive Outcomes from COVID-19?

In dealing with COVID on a daily basis and continually bemoaning its effects on us as individuals and a society, we wistfully anticipate a return to “normal,” though arguably a normal that will be noticeably different than our past. What we miss is that it may be worth considering the potential positive impact of COVID.

One of the largest impacts may be felt in the mental health field. We know that COVID has increased the incidence and intensity of anxiety and depression.1 Clearly that burdens the current mental health care system. However, it also means that many more people are becoming aware of the realities of mental health issues.

While we know that 1 in 6 people experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, we now have far more people experiencing an acute episode exacerbated by the pandemic, and many more family members and friends also impacted by loved ones, finding themselves also learning how to provide support. This is working to heighten the awareness of mental health issues and may help to diminish stigmatization and accelerate a change in societal attitudes.

Moreover, COVID has had an impact on the delivery of psychological services: some therapists are offering tele-sessions. Though such sessions diminish some aspects of a complete sensory person-to-person office visit, they do have advantages, particularly seen with younger clients. While many find the office to be a stressful, formal environment, being at home may allow the client to be in  a more familiar, comfortable space making it easier for them to open up. In addition, some therapists are reporting that seeing clients in a sliver of their home space may also give them glimpses into their world, through the setting and items displayed as meaningful to them. This can be particularly helpful for working with a more reserved or reticent individual.

COVID has challenged our normal means of socialization and maintaining interpersonal relationships. While this has increased the instances of domestic violence and stoked toxic relations, it has also been an opportunity for families to strengthen their bonds and rekindle their connections as they have been required to spend more time together. There are numerous anecdotes of parents and older children conversing more and thereby gaining a better understanding of each other as well as learning to enjoy each other’s company.

Parents are learning about social influencers and TikTok and how teenage angst, while still based on the same anxieties, has transformed since their time. Teens are learning that their parents actually can may understand more than they previously assumed, even though their experiences are different, and they may also find humor and insight into their own challenges from their parents’ experiences. The slowdown that COVID has demanded has allowed many people to discover pleasures at home they were not aware of or had forgotten, from cooking and sharing a meal, to movie night in, to gardening and looking at a starry night while listening to the howl of neighbors at 8 p.m. This experience has compelled us to rediscover and reimagine community.

Connections have definitely been redefined with technology playing a far larger role. We are quick to observe the deficiencies of virtual communication, but there are also advantages. Older adults have lagged behind this generation in technological savviness, but not only that, reticently testing and dipping into their primary modes of communication. Now, we are faced with learning to communicate by their primary modes, which result in increasing the technological competency of a greater part of society. This has a number of positive ramifications. First, virtual visits allow more people to speak to one another across vast geographical distances, and not only to speak but to see one each other. Grandparents and grandchildren living states apart can visit, letters to pen pals from different countries can be replaced by real time synchronous visits. Virtual connections may actually help older people, shut-ins, and those with chronic conditions to avoid feeling lonely and isolated. We have the possibility to connect more with those we love and those we know little about to better appreciate the lives of others who are different than our own.

We also know that COVID has forced dramatic changes to learning. First, it is important to distinguish between online and remote learning. Online learning, to  professionals, means asynchronous lessons completed without real time interaction.  It allows for widespread dissemination and is less appealing to students as it is less interactive, more passive form of learning. Remote learning engages teachers and students in real time. All students do not have access to the technology needs for successful remote or online learning; however, in the twenty-first century, that access is becoming more fundamental to student success since technological skill is also significant in employability. Given that we will need to address that need, consider how learning is being innovated.  In remote teaching (as well as business), teachers and presenters can share far more material of their own design and from around the world through the enormous “library” of the web. Moreover, teachers and students become more skilled in multi-media forms of communication which also enhances their critical thinking skills.

Crisis often propels innovation, and at this time that is particularly true on the technological front. We face security concerns and a diminishing of in-person interactions, but there is also much to be gained from the expansion of our abilities to connect to others throughout the world. It can be refreshing to take a moment to consider the potential fruits that can emerge from the current storm.

Reference:

  1. Mental Health America. (2020, August 11). More Than A Quarter Million People Screened Positive For Depression, Anxiety Since Start Of The Pandemic.

Content provided by:

Prof. Colleen Donnelly

University Of Colorado – English and Health Humanities colleen.donnellly@ucdenver.edu

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TotalWellbeing: August 2020

 

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Motivation and Emotional Wellbeing

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― Neil Gaiman

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we set our sights on motivation and nurturing our emotional wellbeing. Staying motivated, especially under challenging circumstances, can be one of the toughest things we can do. The key to maintaining your drive and persevering is to set small goals that ultimately lead to your bigger, overall goal. That way you have small successes and cause to celebrate along the way that will help keep the light of your hopes and aspirations going strong. Then once you do end up reaching your primary goal, the satisfaction is all the better for having endured.

Check out the information below for some tips on how to stay motivated and don’t forget that through your Employee Assistance Program you have access to 4 professional wellness coaching sessions per year. These can be used to work with a personal wellness coach to set, work on, and reach your goals! Call today to get started.

As a quick reminder, your online portal, PersonalAdvantage, also has helpful resources and tips and resources on staying motivated, resilience exercises, emotional wellbeing support, and more.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Pushing Past Your Plateau

We promise ourselves we’ll change our lifestyles for better health. We start diets, launch exercise programs or try to quit smoking. And then we stall. We hit a plateau, putting us at risk of losing precious gains or quitting altogether.

If you find that you are stuck on a plateau, try these 6 steps to help you find a way to jumpstart your progress and reach your goals:

  1. Define your aim clearly. “It’s impossible to hit your target if you don’t know exactly what you’re aiming at,” says Dr. Mercer, who gives about 50 speeches a year to executives and other audiences.
  2. Don’t let laziness creep in. “Sure, it’s easier not to do something,” he says. Instead, stay focused on your path. If you promised yourself you’d exercise at 6 a.m., don’t hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off. Remind yourself firmly about your goals and get moving.
  3. When you don’t want to exercise or you want to quit your diet, take three seconds to picture how you want to look or feel at the end of your program. A lot of people begin such programs because they want to look attractive to others, while others are interested in improving their health.
  4. Use a time-limit approach to your program. “Give yourself, say, 12 weeks to accomplish a goal within your program,” he says. When you reach that goal, set a new one and give yourself another 12 weeks. “This enables you to track your progress and helps you to define your target. Use the scale, measuring tape or other device to measure your progress in the time period and to help you set new goals. The best cure for putting things off is a deadline.”
  5. Give yourself rewards for reaching your daily, weekly and monthly goals. “For instance, tell yourself you’ll go to a movie you’ve been wanting to see if you get your exercise in that day,” he says.
  6. Think about committing to a self-punishment if you fail. “I worked with a group that had to write a check to charity and put it in my hands. If they didn’t reach the goal, which was well within their limits, I was to mail the check by a particular date,” Dr. Mercer says. “Every one of them reached the goal.”

Read the full article here.

If you or someone you know feels stuck in a rut, remember that Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you and your household members. In addition to free and confidential counseling you have access to professional wellness coaching as well. Your coach can help you set and analyze your personal, professional, and wellness related goals, and help you find the motivation you need to take the next step. Call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars.

Emotional Wellbeing and Release

You don’t want to get rid of emotions, you want to manage and get them under control. A three-step method of emotional release has helped many of our clients. The first step is to identify exactly what it is you’re feeling and label it. As we said before, emotions often defy description, but try. Building a better emotional vocabulary makes it easier. Write down as many adjectives as you can for anger, anxiety, and depression. Use a thesaurus, get words from friends, family, and co-workers. Sort your words in order of intensity. Learn to examine your emotional state and attach a label that describes it with some degree of accuracy.

Next, experiment with thoughts that increase the intensity of the emotion you’re feeling. Then try thoughts that will reduce that intensity. Rate the intensity level of your emotions on a one-to-ten scale. Learn to raise and lower your level with your thoughts.

Learning to release emotions is the third step. This can happen in a number of ways, such as acting them out, talking them out, or thinking them out. Shouting, crying, or being fearful takes the edge off your feelings, allowing you to think more clearly. You can talk about how you feel with a friend, family member, or counselor. Sometimes, images and thoughts can release you from emotions. Here are a few rules to remember about releasing feelings:

  • Mean what you say, say what you mean, but don’t be mean when you say it.
  • Don’t break things that don’t belong to you.
  • Don’t hit other people.
  • Don’t hurt yourself (physically or with drugs, food, etc.).
  • Use a little judgment when in public.

Read More

Remember, your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you manage your stress and emotional wellbeing. If you need additional information, or to access services, please call MINES and Associates at 1-800-873-7138 today.

Question of the Month

This month lets try something different. Instead of asking ourselves a question, ask someone else a question. That question is going to be “will you help me?” First, think of a goal or project that you are in the middle of, or need to get started on. Next, find a friend or family member and ask them for help with it. Involving someone else may just be what gets you moving on something that you have been procrastinating on.

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

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Stay Motivated: Tips for Leveraging Your Superpower

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Advocating for Change Amidst Pandemic and Protest

COVID-19: Stress & Anxiety Reduction

COVID-19: Home Workout Essentials

Important Links

COVID19 Resource Page

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

Current Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINES Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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Human Resources: Advocating for Change Amidst Pandemic and Protest

As a Human Resources Professional, a person of color and a student of the civil rights movement, today’s health and social pandemics serve as a reoccurring dream, nightmare, or both for me.  Everyone’s asking the big question, “Where do we go from here?” Frankly, I’m back to “How did we get stuck in the first place?”  Folks are saying today’s events of COVID-19 and the brutal killing of George Floyd are “wake up calls.”  People in the Black community are countering this by saying that most of America has been hitting the snooze button on racial inequities, social injustice, mass incarceration, and historical, systemic, and structural racism for over 418 years. Can it be real that the souls of Americans have finally “woke up” to the plight and experiences of so many who have not remotely experienced “this more perfect union”, or “the American dream.” 

My dear HR colleagues, my hope for you and us is to be able to provide leadership within our circles of influence, communities, families, and organizations, as we are charged with the attracting, developing, and retaining human resources or as it is commonly called in many of our companies – “Human Capital” – I prefer “Human Beings” or “People.” 

A “pandemic” is defined as “a disease prevalent over a whole country or the world.”  “Disease” is defined as “a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.” COVID-19 is our most recent disease resulting in a global health pandemic. Racism is a disease that has been allowed to adversely affect Black people in this country and the world for centuries. Racism is not a new Pandemic! While the comfort values of prior generations produced legislation, systems, and policies that sustained the Racial Pandemic; generations X, Y, and Z have demonstrated little tolerance for the Racial Pandemic and have placed their lives on the line amid COVID-19 to ensure that their collective voices are heard.

This feels different than the Civil, Women’s, and Gay rights movements. Lots of people are saying that real change is needed and is finally here. Let me get really specific regarding how you as my colleagues and friends can be on the front lines, if you are not already, regarding this change.

  1. Each generation operates based upon a set of core Values. If you are not having facilitated generational values discussions and training, you are missing a rich and bountiful opportunity to create a broad understanding of perspectives and learning.
  2. Equity is the key to honoring Diversity and promoting Inclusion. Serious conversations with your Executive Leadership team regarding systematic and structural barriers that need to be removed/eliminated is critical. This includes an examination of policies, practices related to hiring, compensation, promotions, and career advancement. Diverse representation is the baseline to ensure that “all voices are heard.” A seat at the table is great, but a seat means nothing if the voice isn’t heard and acknowledged.
  3. Assess the current climate in terms of a readiness for Change (Willingness versus Skills). Develop a plan to: Eradicate the disease that causes the Pandemic. “a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarding as adversely affecting a person or group of people.” This one will require significant heavy lifting. The demographic shift in America can be seen every night by those who are protesting. We see the rich fabric of a diverse nation right before our eyes. 40% of the U.S. workforce are Millennials. In many organizations where Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity work is a reality, there are Business Resource/Affinity Groups in place designed to bring unique perspectives that connect strategy, outcomes, management, community, and employee needs. These voices, if heard and acknowledged, can assist you and your company in answering the BIG Question – “Where do we go from here?”

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

My HR friends, please do not be silent during these times of pandemic. A strong correlation exists between the two.

 

To your wellbeing,

Bobby King

Mines & Associates

EID Consultant

 

This post was provided by our friend and training partner Bobby King. Bobby has served over 25 years as a Human Resources and Workforce Diversity, Equity & Inclusion executive in high tech, municipal government, and healthcare.

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TotalWellbeing: June 2020

 

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Workplace Diversity & more COVID19 Resources

“Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.”

― Jacqueline Woodson

Welcome to the June 2020 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month’s focus will be on more COVID19 resources as well as a look at workplace diversity as many of us are either returning to work, reducing the amount we work remotely, or are simply looking at the next steps as we rebuild a sense of normality. Now more than ever it is important to embrace diversity. If the COVID19 pandemic has taught us anything it is that we are all in this boat together and we need to work together to move forward. Below we explore tips on dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as a look at some key workplace diversity factors. For more, please head over to our blog or our COVID19 Resource page where we will be constantly updating our Coronavirus related resources. Make sure to download the Coronavirus Fear and Anxiety workbook here (pdf download), provided to us by The Wellness Society. Its full of helpful tips and exercises around managing stress and setting up routines during stay at home orders and isolation.

As a quick reminder, your online portal, PersonalAdvantage, also has live updates and helpful resources around current events including helpful information, current CDC news and recommendations, helpful and free webinars, as well as other resources for professional/personal development, diversity, mindfulness and tons more.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Stress & Anxiety Reduction

Last month was National Stress Awareness Month which is good because lately there have been many reasons to share stress management strategies. The outbreak of the Coronavirus has brought a mental health crisis next to the medical crisis.  In a recent Gallup Study published on April 14, 2020, life ratings plummeted to a 12-year low. The cause of the decline is due to “current satisfaction” and not looking forward to the future. The respondents’ daily stress levels have reached an “unprecedented magnitude.”

Here are some tips that can help manage stress and anxiety during this time:

  1. Consider past coping strategies – You may not have been here before, but you have likely experienced difficult situations before where you had little to no control. What were some ways that you coped? It is good to think through which strategies worked well before and try to engage in some version of those strategies now. As you think through the strategies that worked well before, you may recall some that did not work well or were not healthy, make note of those too and try to avoid them.
  2. Engage in a gratitude practice – Consider starting a gratitude log. Write down at least one thing that you are grateful for each day. After you have written down what you are grateful for, say it out loud and allow yourself to feel yourself cultivating gratitude. Noted benefits associated with gratitude include (Wellness Society, 2020):
  • Positive mood
  • Better sleep
  • A stronger immune system
  • Reduction in anxiety and stress
  1. Limit media/social media – You can check updates on the virus from credible resources such as the CDC.gov and WHO.int. There are less than informed and polarizing perspectives throughout the media as well as our social media which can leave us feeling sad, frustrated, and powerless.
  2. Practice centered breathing – Take a deep, slow breath filling up your abdomen. Allow the breath to inflate your abdominal area.  As you exhale out all your air, hollow out the abdomen.  Become mindful of your breath and how it transforms your mind, body, and emotions. Being centered:
  • is a psycho-physiological state that is strengthened through practice
  • allows you to be more authentic, sensitive, and open
  • produces emotional and physical stability
  • has a positive effect on relationships and the surrounding environment
  • has a great impact on developing trust
  • enables you to appreciate the nature of conflict
  • brings you to a point of clarity, the point of power
  • is always your choice, at any time
  1. Make certainty statements – In a time where so much feels uncertain, making clear certainty statements can be a way to reduce anxiety. Examples include, “I am certain that I am a mother of three beautiful children,” “I am certain that I am a runner,” “I feel certain that the weather is sunny today.”
  2. Check-in with friends and family- Checking in and extending yourself to others through texts, over the phone, video connections, emails, etc. This will not only help you feel less isolated and better connected but no doubt will be impactful to those who you are connecting with. You will boost their mental health as well as your own.

Check out our blog or our COVID19 Resource page for more resources and more helpful information pertaining to working remote, dealing with isolation, managing stress and anxiety, downloadable workbooks and more.

Remember that Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you and your family members manage the anxiety from health concerns such as the Coronavirus. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars.

Encouraging Workplace Diversity

The workplaces of the 21st Century are becoming increasingly diverse. Most organizations employ a variety of people from different cultural backgrounds, religions, sexual preferences, nationalities, and others. Regardless of your personal biases or fears, the workplace is changing. It’s important for you to understand that your professional reputation and future success will depend on your ability to accept and embrace the differences of others. Some key factors include:

  • Diversity Opportunities – Having a variety of cultures, opinions, and experience can bring new perspectives, innovative ideas, and out-of-the-box thinking. However, this variety can also lead to miscommunication and disagreements that might lead to conflicts in the workplace.
  • Opening the Lines of Communication – Oftentimes, differences are so apparent that they can dominate our immediate impressions and weigh heavily on our reactions, interactions, and behavior. Through the development of the working relationship, professionalism, and workplace coaching, those differences will fade, allowing positive working relationships to form.
  • Being Part of the Team – No matter what the element is that makes someone diverse, every individual in the workplace wants to be judged for his or her performance, professionalism, and personal success. When labels and stereotypes are allowed to become “workplace identities,” they can impede the sense of accomplishment anyone wants to feel.

Read More

Remember, your Employee Assistance Program is here to talk about workplace challenges, stressors, communication techniques, and team building. You can access free professional development tools on your PersonalAdvantage, as well as use your free wellness coaching sessions to discuss occupational wellbeing topics. If you need additional information, or to access services, please call MINES and Associates at 1-800-873-7138 today.

Question of the Month

What are your main fears or stressors around returning to work or about cities lifting restrictions? What tools have you learned in the past few months that you can use to manage these stressors going forward? Would calling your EAP and talking with someone help either yourself or a household member around these worries?

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

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

We All Matter: Diversity in the Workplace

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

COVID-19: For YOU, the Essential Worker!

COVID-19: Stress & Anxiety Reduction

COVID-19: Home Workout Essentials

Important Links

COVID19 Resource Page

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

Current Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINES Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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Support Mental Health Month with MINES!

While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency – and there are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life’s challenges or their mental health.

This May is Mental Health Month MINES and Associates is highlighting #Tools2Thrive – what individuals can do daily to prioritize their mental health, build resiliency in the face of trauma and obstacles, support those who are struggling, and work towards a path of recovery.

One of the easiest tools anyone can use is taking a mental health screen at mhascreening.org when they need answers. It’s a quick, free, and private way for people to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems.

This May, we are also exploring topics that can help you build your own set of #Tools2Thrive  –  recognizing and owning your feelings; finding the positive after loss; connecting with others; eliminating toxic influences; creating healthy routines; and supporting others – all as ways to boost the mental health and general wellness of you and your loved ones.

When it comes to your feelings, it can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations. It’s ok to give yourself permission to feel. We also know that life can throw us curveballs – and at some point in our lives we will all experience loss. It may be the end of a relationship, being let go from a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. It is natural to go through a grieving process. By looking for opportunity in adversity or finding ways to remember the good things about who or what we’ve lost, we can help ourselves to recover mentally and emotionally.

It also is true that connections and the people around us can help our overall mental health – or hurt it. It’s important to make connections with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times, but it’s equally important to recognize when certain people and situations in life can trigger us to feel bad or engage in destructive behaviors. Identifying the toxic influences in our lives and taking steps to create a new life without them can improve mental and physical health over time. And we know that work, paying bills, cleaning, getting enough sleep, and taking care of children are just some of the things we do each day – and it is easy to be overwhelmed. By creating routines, we can organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them.

For each of us, the tools we use to keep us mentally healthy will be unique. But MINES wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. Finding what works for you may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, and physical health and mental health – and set yourself on the path to recovery.

Of course, if MINES is your EAP we are here 24 hours a day to help support your wellness, help you build your mental health toolset, and find ways to enhance your work/life balance. Call us anytime at 1-800-873-7138 for more information or to get connected to your Employee Assistance Program services!

To your wellbeing,

-The MINES Team

For more information on MINES services visit www.minesandasscoiates.com

Tool2Thrive provided by Mental Health America to support Mental Health Month 2020 – For more information, visit www.mhanational.org/may.

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Mental Health Month Resources

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COVID19 and Mental Health Infographic

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TotalWellbeing: May 2020

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

Money Matters & COVID19 Resources

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Welcome to the May 2020 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we will again be looking at information and resources around COVID19 as well as financial wellbeing. The restrictions around COVID19 mean many of us are either working remote, not working at all, or are working under drastically different circumstances than we were before. Below we explore working from home with kids and a few things you can do to reduce stress around financial pressure. For more, please head over to our blog or our COVID19 Resource page where we will be constantly updating our Coronavirus related resources. Make sure to download the Coronavirus Fear and Anxiety workbook here (pdf download), provided to us by The Wellness Society. Its full of helpful tips and exercises around managing stress and setting up routines during stay at home orders and isolation.

As a quick reminder, please remember that you can use your EAP sessions for financial counseling and also get one free 30-miunute telephone consult with financial professionals per legal matter. Your online portal, PersonalAdvantage, also has live updates and helpful resources around current events which right now is focused on the Coronavirus. These resources include helpful information, current CDC news and recommendations, helpful and free webinars, and more.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Working from Home with Kids

As a response to the growing crisis and the many shelter-in-place orders, most employers have switched to remote work arrangements for their staff. In addition, most schools are closed and instituting remote learning requirements. While these measures are necessary for the health and safety of the community, it can make for some challenging work arrangements. Below are some tips to help you get some work done while your kids are at home with you.

  • Create a schedule – Creating and keeping to a schedule is key to success. Have kids get up and get dressed at the same time as when they were in school or daycare. Schedule time throughout the day for kids to be engaged in other activities. Try to get the majority of your work done during the time your kids are engaged or have downtime.
  • Communication is key – when you have kids at home it is important to communicate, even over-communicate, especially about schedules and tasks. Let co-workers and clients know they may hear kids in the background on your conference call. Let your employer know what your schedule is with your kids so they are aware when you may be more, or less, responsive.
  • Set Boundaries – If you have toddlers or older kids you will have to set some boundaries with your kids. Let your kids know that sometimes during the day you will need to be on “do not disturb” and what that means for them. If you have a home office with a door, consider putting a sign on the door to indicate when kids are not allowed to disturb you. For young kids, you could use picture signs like stop and go, red and green lights, or thumbs up or down.
  • Be Flexible – You may want to consider being more flexible with things like screen time, working hours, and school hours. It may be necessary to let your kids have more screen time so you can be on a conference call or video meeting. Maybe you’ll need to work some after dinner or after the kids go to bed. These adjustments are okay.
  • Take breaks – Be sure to schedule breaks in your routine for you and the kids to be together. Especially for small kids, they may not understand why you are not spending all day with them. Allowing for some together time will help.
  • Plan Activities – Plan activities throughout the day that don’t require your full-time supervision. The below age-appropriate ideas allow you to focus for a while on work tasks while the kids are engaged in them.
  • For babies – naps, swings, bouncy chairs, and videos like Baby Einstein videos.
  • Toddlers to school-age – educational shows or online games and apps.
  • Older kids – school platforms, reading, non-violent videogames that encourage social connectivity, like Minecraft.
  • Prioritize Tasks – Prioritize those items that are the most important to complete and schedule the above activities for when you have those vital tasks to accomplish.
  • Use what help you have – If your partner is also working from home now consider alternating shifts with the kids. Or, are there others in the household who can help like older kids, or a roommate, perhaps? If you’re a single parent is there a trusted neighbor who could help? Or, consider setting up a virtual playdate where grandma or a favorite uncle could “play” with the kids while you take that important call.
  • Set Realistic Expectations – Surviving may be more important than thriving for the time being. Things are not normal right now, don’t pretend that they are. Be honest with yourself and others about what can realistically get done during the day.
  • Understanding and Empathy – Understand that these are challenging times and we are still trying to figure everything out, but we are all in this together. Approach this current challenge with empathy both with your colleagues as well as yourself.

Check out our blog or our COVID19 Resource page for more resources and more helpful information pertaining to working remote, dealing with isolation, managing stress and anxiety, downloadable workbooks and more.

Remember that Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you and your family members manage the anxiety from health concerns such as the Coronavirus. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars.

How to Lower Your Financial Stress

Money worries are among the most common sources of personal and family stress, according to Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Living with too much of any kind of pressure on a daily basis can take an emotional and physical toll, contributing to sleepless nights, backaches or headaches or, over time, even life-threatening diseases, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Whether your credit card balances are soaring, or you and your partner are arguing constantly over nickels and dimes, there are things you can do to relieve financial stress.

Take a breather

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

Talk it out

If conflicts with your significant other over money matters are a primary source of stress, talk it over honestly and openly. Write down your short- and long-term financial goals to learn where the two of you can focus your discussions. Put your relationship first, while nurturing each other’s needs. Compromise, if necessary.

Act

Exercise, positive thoughts and conversation may help in the short term, but if you aren’t fixing the cause of your money worries, the stress will bounce right back into your life. You need to take action if the money coming in is less than the money going out; if you’re able to make only minimum payments on your credit cards; or you’re relying on plastic for essentials, such as food or rent.

Remember, your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you and your household members manage the stress that can come with financial strain. You can access free 30-minute financial consults, as well as use your EAP sessions for financial counseling. If you need additional information, or to access services, please call MINES and Associates at 1-800-873-7138 today.

Question of the Month

What adjustments have you found most difficult during the COVID19 restrictions? How have you made these adjustments easier and are there things you could teach others to help them adjust? Likewise, what tips could you take from others to make things easier for your household?

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

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Identity Theft: What Can You Do About It?

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

COVID-19: Homeschooling the Village

COVID-19: Domestic Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19: Suddenly Managing Remotely!

Important Links

COVID19 Resource Page

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

Current Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINES Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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