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Kids These Days…

The MINES Team is excited to share our latest article from one of our very talented administrative assistants, Tanya Paulson. Titled “Kids these Day… How to Work with Millennials”, Tanya helps bust some of the assumptions around Generation Y and gives tips on the best ways to synergize with them in the workplace.

The issue can be viewed here starting on page 16: https://goo.gl/ajn6ZB

Tanya’s as well as the rest MINES publications can be viewed here: www.minesandassociates.com/about_staff_publications.html

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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Publication Update December 2017

Just a quick update.

Dr. Robert Mines (chairman and psychologist) and Dr. Dani Kimlinger (CEO) from the MINES Team were honored to contribute to an article by Bruce Shutan in this month’s issue of The Self-Insurer. The article is called Beyond Opioids and covers how EAPs, like MINES, and good benefit-plan design can help treat addictions and other substance use issues in an employee population as well as control overall health care spending.

The issue can be viewed here:

 

Check out other Self-Insurer publications here: https://goo.gl/2TjaUV

And check out other MINES publications here: www.minesandassociates.com/about_staff_publications.html

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the ADA: The Legal Side of Psychological Wellbeing at Work

December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this year’s theme is “Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all”. Transforming workplaces so that they foster resilience among all employees is a worthy goal – one that both MINES and I share with real passion.

Fortunately, most employers now generally understand the links between employee mental health, productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. This is real progress. Unfortunately, only 15% of supervisors and managers are actually trained in how to recognize and respond to employees who may be struggling. This is a problem that MINES and I are taking steps to remedy through our work with our clients and by offering training and consultations to supporters of campaigns like Colorado Mental Wellness Network’s Mental Health Equality at Work.

Employers do not generally associate the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act with psychological or mood-related conditions. This knowledge deficit can be problematic because more often than not an employee will reach a point of crisis before exploring potential job accommodations. By that time, it is often too late to save the employment relationship and everybody loses.

This common pattern of “waiting until a crisis” may partly explain the recent surge in depression-related employment discrimination claims filed with the EEOC. These filings increased by 56% between 2003 and 2013, and the EEOC issued written guidance for employees with mental health conditions, as well as their health care providers, for the first time in December 2016.2016

I train supervisors, managers, and HR staff in how to create psychologically healthy workplaces, how to use accommodations as everyday management tools, and how to comply with the ADA and FMLA. Managers are always happy to learn about low- or no-cost accommodation tools they can use right away, instead of making their employees wait for a crisis to occur before requesting them. And, they are relieved to learn that the ADA does not require the elimination of essential functions – a common yet erroneous assumption.

One of the areas I partner with MINES on is training supervisors how to have the early conversation with employees who may be struggling. This is a skill that does not come naturally to most of us – managers don’t want to pry, say the wrong thing, violate an employee’s privacy, play the role of therapist, or step over a legal line of which they’re unaware. MINES personnel have truly mastered this skill over the years.

Another exciting area of partnership with MINES is providing highly specialized mediation and case management services for the toughest ADA and/or FMLA cases involving mental health conditions. Most ADA requests are not challenging to manage. However, some cases are so complex they require the expertise of seasoned psychologists to provide case management guidance and support. Examples include rare diagnoses, some types of personality disorders, and difficulty in finding the right medication or treatment plan. MINES plays an indispensable role in guiding these cases to a sustainable path forward for both the employee and employer.

Lastly, MINES and I collaborate in providing outsourced disability and absence management services nationwide. When we take on this role for our clients, we are truly in the best position to transform workplaces to foster resilience among all employees.

In closing, I hope everyone will celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities with us, by taking proactive steps to accommodate employees at all levels of cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey

MINES Consultant

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Physical Wellbeing and Stress

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), being mindful of your physical wellbeing means recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. Physical wellbeing is an important concept on many levels as your level of physical health has a huge influence on other parts of your life such stress levels, optimal hormone production, and energy levels to name a few. In this blog, my intention is to look at how stress and physical wellbeing interact with each other on a day-to-day basis and explore some things that we can all do to boost our physical wellbeing and lower our stress levels at the same time.

What does Physical Wellbeing Look Like?

The choice to maintain your overall physical wellbeing is one of balance. It doesn’t mean that you need to eat a super strict diet and exercise every day. It is more about creating healthy habits that you do on a consistent basis. If you are mindful of what you eat and how much you exercise, you will naturally start to move towards the healthier path. The more you repeat the behavior, the more you will begin to see the effects and the easier it will become to develop a routine. As you choose the healthier path more often than not, the good habits will grow and soon you won’t have to think about it, eating healthy foods will become the norm and a day where you don’t exercise or do some type of physical activity will feel strange and unproductive.

Before we get ahead of ourselves it is important to remember that physical wellbeing is just as much about making good decisions as it is about avoiding bad ones. For example, excessive drinking and drugs will impact your physical wellbeing in a huge way, as will eating junk food or never exercising, so remain vigilant and avoid the dangerous stuff just as much as you seek out the healthy. If we learn to moderate and balance ourselves it can go a long way in managing the impact of one of the biggest health hazards around, stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. While the definition is pretty broad, how each of us experience stress, and the circumstances that may be responsible for our stress, can be very specific and personal. This is one of the reasons there is no “cure-all” or universal way to eliminate stress from your life. The important thing is to monitor yourself for signs of stress and manage any stress in a proactive way to minimize any effects on your wellbeing.

So, what happens when we don’t manage our stress in a healthy and proactive manner? Well, stress can lead to numerous negative effects that can impact our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Some signs of unmanaged stress include fatigue, nausea, muscle tremors, twitches, headaches, anxiety, guilt, grief, fear, depression, irritability, inability to rest, memory and attention problems, trouble sleeping, and more. Again, since each of us has our own unique sources of stress, it is important to understand how you as an individual react to stress and monitor yourself for signs.

How Physical Wellbeing Interacts with Stress

The good news is that there are things that we can do to manage and reduce the stress that we experience. For the purpose of this blog, I will focus on the physical wellbeing side, which includes physical activity, good nutrition, and sleep. Focusing on your physical wellbeing can both manage current stress as well as prevent future stressors such as disease and health conditions caused by poor physical wellbeing, so it really is a win/win situation!

Exercise

First, as a proactive management tool, exercise is one of the best and healthiest ways to manage the stressors of our daily lives. Exercise helps your muscles get rid of stress-induced tension and acids that build up, while also helping your body release feel-good endorphins that will help you relax. It will be important to develop an exercise routine that is aerobic, so you get all the heart-healthy benefits and make it fun so you’ll continue to enjoy doing it.

In addition to higher energy levels and relaxation benefits, another “pro” of regular exercise is a higher quantity and better quality of sleep. Now we will talk about sleep more in a bit, but for now I just wanted to note that it is important to stick to your exercise routine when you are stressed or tired. One of the reasons for this is that while we sleep our body uses this time to regulate chemicals in our body including neurotransmitters and hormones. When we don’t get enough sleep, those chemicals can be out of balance, but when we exercise it helps to balance out those same chemicals, meaning that when you don’t get enough sleep it becomes more important to exercise in order to keep your body in stasis.

Some exercise tips include:

  • Get a workout buddy. When you have a reliable partner to workout with, it makes exercise more fun. You can encourage and hold each other to the commitments that you have both made.
  • Talk to your doctor. A doctor can help gauge where your physical wellbeing is at now and help set healthy goals to strive for. This will also help you approach your goals in a safe and calculated way specific to your individual needs.
  • Avoid Boredom. Don’t set yourself up for failure by selecting activities you know you hate. If you can’t stand running in place on a treadmill, run outside or bike instead. Working out in solitary not your thing? Try group classes to shake things up.

Nutrition

Next up is nutrition. Good eating habits centered around eating regular, nutritious meals will further help your body stay chemically balanced, improve energy levels, and reduce the chances of stress causing disease caused from poor nutrition including obesity and diabetes.

When developing your nutritional goals, it will be important to focus on foods low in fat, sodium, and refined sugars. Look for foods containing complex and complete carbohydrates such as whole wheat breads and flours. When purchasing meat, think about using leaner options such as turkey bacon and chicken over fat-heavy pork. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and limit alcohol consumption.

It can also be important how you eat. As much as you can help it, eating should not be a rushed or stressed endeavor. Try to set aside enough time that you don’t need to rush through your food. Not only will this lead to easier digestion, but mindful eating can be a time for relaxation and contemplation. For instance, try this mindful eating exercise next time you are having dinner. Begin by taking the time to look at your food and notice how it looks, if it’s a hot meal pay attention to how the steam rises from the dish, and how the colors of the various food items look. Take a single bite and focus on how the food tastes, what the texture is like, and what you enjoy about each bite. If you are eating with family members have them describe their own thoughts about the food and the eating experience. Mindful eating not only helps you appreciate the food and the overall experience of eating, it also has physical benefits such as easier digestion from the slower eating pace. Eating slower also means your body will have more time to tell you it’s full before you take those few extra bites. Of course, this is just one example of using a simple everyday activity as a mindfulness exercise, but it should get you thinking about other activities in your own day-to-day life that have mindful potential. Leveraging these small “mindful moments” can go a long way in helping you maintain perspective and stay present among all the external stressors in your life.

Some other nutrition tips include:

  • Do not go to the store hungry and stock only healthy foods at home. Not going to the store hungry and making sure to only buy healthy food means that when you are hungry and craving the junk food you will simply not have access to it. Over time you will begin to truly enjoy and crave the good, healthier options.
  • Make simple swaps for a leaner diet. Rather than eliminating foods you love, try simply making them healthier with a few substitutions. Prepare veggies without sauces or butter, reduce your fatty meat portions, grill instead of fry, dip food in sauce rather than smother it, and choose whole-grain, low-salt, and low-fat options when shopping.
  • Make a meal log. Keeping a list of the meals you eat can help you visualize your eating habits, identify patterns, and find opportunities for improvement. Sometimes you just don’t realize that you had 3 cheeseburgers already this week, but if you keep a list it becomes easier to find those bad habits you may not think about otherwise.

Sleep

Sleep can be a huge issue for many people, and the frustrating thing about the sleep/stress cycle is that stress can often be the cause of sleepless nights and in turn being tired makes you less resilient to the effects of stress. This can cause an exhausting spiral that can quickly take its toll on your wellbeing and other good habits such as your exercise routine, even though as I mentioned above, it’s even more important to exercise when you have had poor sleep.

In addition to magnifying the effects of stress, not getting enough sleep causes all sorts of negative effects and can be dangerous. Drowsiness can cause delayed reaction time, impaired judgement, poor vision quality, decreased motivation, irritability, and lack of focus. All of these side effects are bad by themselves but when combined with activities like driving or operating machinery, the risk factor goes way up. To combat these risks, you need to be mindful and purposeful of your sleeping routine. Make it a goal to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and build your bedtime routine around this effort. Begin by building a bedtime ritual that you start at the same time every night. Pick relaxing activities that help you wind down. This could be reading a book, meditating, taking a warm bath, journaling, or something else you find enjoyable and relaxing. Try to avoid any activities that involve a screen like a TV, computer, or mobile device as these screens can emit light within a specific spectrum that can interfere with, and alter, your sleep/wake cycle.

Some sleep tips include:

  • Keep to the same bedtime and wake time schedule, even on weekends.
  • Eliminate noise and light from your sleep environment (use eye masks and earplugs).
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and foods close to bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol; although it may seem to improve sleep initially, tolerance develops quickly and it will soon disturb sleep.

Other Considerations

By now you should have at least some idea around how stress and physical wellbeing interact with each other and may even have an idea of how you’re going to use your physical activities to help reduce stress. No matter what your physical and nutrition plan is, balance and moderation will be important. Don’t exercise yourself into exhaustion and don’t diet yourself into a nutrient deficiency. In fact, we would advise that you talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen or diet. Find out what path works for your unique set of needs and proceed slowly. Start developing those good habits while you scale back the bad ones and before you know it these changes you make will become habitual and most importantly, sustainable.

It is practically impossible to avoid stress in our daily lives, and we must accept that many things are outside our control. However, by maintaining the facets of our lives we do have control over, we can be infinitely better prepared to handle the stressors that inevitably come our way. It is crucial that we maintain healthy habits that will build “positive spirals” in our lifestyle and overall health. The journey is not always an easy one but the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to your social network of friends and family and see who wants to take the journey with you or is at least willing to encourage you and help you stick to your convictions. Read self-help books on topics your struggling with, talk to others that may have experience, and try out local support groups.

If your employer offers one, you can also reach out to your Employee Assistance Program to see what resources they can offer to help such as MINES’ wellness programs or online portal, PersonalAdvantage, that provides articles, assessments, tips, trainings, and other resources on fitness, nutrition, stress, and much more. Call us at 1-800-873-7138 or email us at communications@minesandassociates.com if you have any questions.

 

To your wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

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Kindness at In Its Simplest Form

Kindness

According to the Oxford dictionary, kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”. But it goes beyond just being friendly or considerate. It is the act of stepping outside your norm and doing something for someone else just for the sake of being nice. Today try celebrating #WorldKindessDay by finding unique ways to help those around you and yourself. You may be surprised at how much happier you will be and may even notice a permanent change in your environmental wellbeing at home and at work by simply celebrating this day in a new way.

Ways to be Kind at Work

Some days it can be tough to be kind at work, especially if there are hurt feelings, frustration around responsibilities, or if you are just plain busy. However, those are the best days to take a couple of moments out and force yourself to do something kind for those around you.

Here are 10 simple things you could do at work today to celebrate this important concept.

  1. Take a co-worker out to lunch or coffee who may be going through a stressful time (or bring them in a cup of their favorite beverage).
  2. Ask a co-worker who is struggling with caregiving or is having a hard time, what you can do to help or offer to babysit one night for them.
  3. Write a thank you note or bring in a treat for your janitorial staff who are rarely seen but do a ton of work to make sure your office is clean and ready to go for you.
  4. Say thank you to your receptionist for their hard work making sure your office runs smoothly.
  5. Send an encouragement note out to a co-worker.
  6. Smile at everyone you see in the hallway. This will encourage you and your co-workers!
  7. Don’t wait to be asked, but stay late or come in early and help a co-worker out on a big project.
  8. Stop and say “good morning” to a co-worker that you don’t normally interact with.
  9. Bring in a big crock pot of soup to share with everyone who wants some.
  10. Publicly recognize someone’s strengths and thank them for a job well done.

And remember, if you see someone struggling that needs help or should talk to someone, the EAP is a great resource and MINES and Associates has counselors available 24/7 to talk. Please give them our number at 1-800-873-7138 and offer to help them call.

Ways to be Kind at Home

We all know about random acts of kindness as there are countless stories of people buying coffee for the person behind them or passing along the good holiday cheer to strangers. This is an important aspect of what this day is all about. However, it is also important to bring this home to your family and friends.

  1. Offer to help a family member or friend work on their weekend to-do list.
  2. Take someone a meal so they don’t have to cook dinner for a day.
  3. Have everyone in your home (whether it is just you, your significant other, and/or your kids) write a thank you note to each person in the house.
  4. Do a chore for someone that you know they don’t like to do.
  5. Try writing up a list of random acts of kindness that someone could do for others in the house. Then every week draw from that list and do that action.
  6. Send a gift to someone who is having a hard day.
  7. Leave a treat for your mailman in your mailbox.
  8. Clean your kids’ room for them, without grumbling.
  9. Thank someone for their everyday contribution.
  10. Set time aside to have that lengthy conversation with your relative that likes to talk.

Ways to be Kind to Yourself

There are plenty of acts you can do that are selfless and helpful to those around you. However, have you considered that you need to be kind to yourself? Those times you feel guilty, stressed by your actions, or unsure about yourself, take this day to look inward at how you can build your personal wellbeing and improve yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself to something special. Most nutrition experts will agree that having a cheat day built into your healthy food schedule allows for habits to solidify and for you to enjoy life and those special occasions. So, take this time to examine what makes you happy and what you can do to support your needs. And take the time to tell a friend, co-worker, or family member your needs so they can support you in the future. Communication is key and we are all in this crazy world together trying to make the best of each day.

And it is always a good idea to talk to a counselor if you feel you need help or want to find ways to improve your wellbeing. MINES is happy to talk with you and help you set goals around this. Or you can check out our monthly communication that dives deeper into all 8 areas of wellbeing to see how you can support your needs.

Celebrate Kindness Every Day!

Use this day to start finding ways to incorporate kindness into your life. As you do this, you will be amazed at how satisfied you feel, how helpful you feel, and how much you can influence those around you. Smile, give generously, be helpful in small ways.

Here’s to your continued journey to total wellbeing,

 

Raena Chatwin

MINES and Associates

 

References

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kindness

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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 2017

Hard to believe it is November again already.  And with November comes National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  So much has happened on the Alzheimer’s front since this time last year.

I have never been more optimistic that a breakthrough is on the horizon.  Dr. Huntington Potter at the Anschutz Alzheimer’s Research Center right here in Denver has an exciting clinical trial going on with promising results so far.  It really feels to me like some big news may be around the corner from the scientific community.

In the meantime, family care partners for those living with various forms of dementia need resources, support, and last but not least, rest!

Although all three of my parents who suffered from Alzheimer’s have left us, I remember well the journey my family traveled for 16 years through the world of dementia.  Fortunately, someone recommended that we reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association and thankfully we did.  They provided, classes, support groups, and a 24/7 helpline so we could call day or night and ask any question, no matter how basic or complicated. A real person was always on the phone to help us through the roughest times.  So here comes the number; write it down… you will never be alone with this number at hand.   800.272.3900.   The Alzheimer’s Association is also the largest private funder of dementia research.  The bottom line is that these folks are just great – they will help you find the resources you need and care about you and your family throughout your journey. And they don’t care what type of dementia your family may be dealing with.

This might be a good time to mention some other great resources and in the process, give a brief overview of my involvement in the world of dementia since losing my folks to Alzheimer’s.  People sometimes say they bet I am relieved to be “done” with Alzheimer’s and I tell them, “Oh no, I am just warming up”.  I will not rest until we get Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia off the planet.

That is one reason why I’m involved in a new project called Dementia Friendly Denver.  We are a grassroots, not for profit initiative that is part of Dementia Friendly America, which was introduced a few years ago at the White House Conference on Aging.  There are now 130 American cities joining in this all-volunteer mission to make communities more dementia friendly and improve the lives of those living with various forms of dementia.  The DFD team I chair recently partnered with the University of Denver to host a two-hour community education event.  You can check out the slides from that event and upcoming news at http://www.dementiafriendlydenver.org/.

The reason it is important to think about all types of dementia in November during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is that only 50% of those with dementia get a diagnosis.  I want to spread the word that it is important to know which type of dementia your loved one may have.  Alzheimer’s accounts for about 70% of all cases, but there are other types of dementia, like Vascular, Lewy Body, and Frontotemporal to name a few.  Dementia Friendly Denver has a Resource Guide listed on the website I mentioned above that will connect you with 800#s and websites for each type of dementia support.  You can also get a referral list of doctors who can help you get a specific diagnosis at the Alzheimer’s Association helpline.  Here comes the number again….800.272.3900.

And of course, all of this is why I joined the MINES team a few years ago providing dementia lunch and learns and coaching for our EAP clients.

I guess you can tell that I feel passionate about our need to find a prevention, treatment, and cure for Alzheimer’s disease and that I really feel we are close.  In the meantime, November is a month to help each other find the resources we need as family caregivers and most importantly, to take care of ourselves so we can care for our loved ones.  Respite is a term for giving caregivers a break and it is critical for those of us caring for someone with dementia.  Everyone needs to recharge. So let me give you another resource…..you can find a Respite Locator on the website coloradorespitecoalition.org.  It provides a list of respite options which you can then investigate.

OK, it would be totally inappropriate to wish you all a “Happy Alzheimer’s Awareness Month” so instead I will tell you that I am happy to have new hope for a breakthrough.  I am also happy that Congress voted to include an additional $414 million in next year’s Alzheimer’ Research budget. That is real progress.

Enjoy the month of November with your family, don’t hesitate to get the help you need now as a care partner and take care of yourselves so we can celebrate when the breakthrough comes.  I will be throwing a party for the world and you will all be invited! – JJ

 

To Your Wellbeing,

JJ Jordan

MINES Affiliate and Alzheimer’s/dementia Expert

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Total Wellbeing: November 2017

 

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November 2017: Emotional Wellbeing and Eldercare

Get Involved!

Welcome to the November issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. As we dive into the last quarter of the year, we start to think about our friends and family that may be missing from the holiday dinner or about how much things have changed with our elderly family members and friends. This time of year is a perfect time to look deeper at our emotional wellbeing and how we can be resilient through the next couple of months. It is also a great time to look at how we can support and uplift those who have the incredibly hard job of taking care of their elderly family members, or work in the field of eldercare, as they also may struggle with their emotional wellbeing.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our newest infographic on Eldercare for some data and tips around planning for long-term care, or check out some helpful tips sheets here and here.

To catch you up on MINESblog, October saw two important posts. The first post was around World Mental Health Day. Our post covered some information and history around mental wellbeing, and provided some helpful links to mental health resources. Our second post provided a firsthand account of emotional resilience in the wake of the Vegas Shooting from one of our team members that was in Las Vegas shortly after the tragedy.  And don’t forget to check out the latest edition of BalancedLiving with great fall related resources just in time for the holidays.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: When Eldercare and Emotions Collide

It can be quite emotional to be the caretaker of a loved one. Whether you are the sole-caretaker or part of a team caring for someone, it drains you emotionally and physically. The responsibility of caring for another means you may not go out socially, you struggle with decisions that you may not want to make, and you may have financial strain all while living your own life. It is important to keep in mind if you know a caretaker, or are one, that you need to take time to examine your emotions and find a way to support your emotional wellbeing among everything else or to find a way to support the people you know. Remember self-care is just as important as eating healthy when it comes to your wellbeing. And if you know someone who is caring for someone else, remember to take time this month to thank them for what they are doing and check in with them to see what you can do to uplift them and their needs.

Check out a great website for some great tips improve your emotional wellbeing here!

Tips for you:

It is never too early to start creating a care plan for an aging loved one. Check out this month’s webinar to learn what Elder Law encompasses and how an Elder Law attorney can help you as you age. The discussion will focus on estate documents such as powers of attorney, healthcare directives, living wills, wills and trusts, and will discuss long-term care planning including the different programs and planning available to help with the costs of long-term care and protecting your assets for your loved ones.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

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

Community Wellbeing Resources:

This month look at how you can expand your knowledge and skills within your community. Check out your local community’s website for senior centers or other places you could volunteer to help someone in your community.

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

If your organization has access to PersonalAdvantage make sure to check out this customizable online benefit available through MINES. It has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and a whole section of trainings on Resilience! If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

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

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

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Total Wellbeing: October 2017

 

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October 2017: Financial Wellbeing and Parenting

Get Involved!

 

Welcome to the October issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. This month as we look at where your financial wellbeing intersects with parenting, we hope you will find some good tools to help with both. Whether you are a parent or not, we all have parents and how your parents raised you has helped shape how you view your finances. And if you are a parent, how you teach your kids about finances will impact your financial wellbeing. There is a delicate balance of providing for the needs of your family and being satisfied with your current and future financial situation, and it is important to look at both.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our advice on active listening and problem solving, or check out an article that looks at kids and stress along with some quick finance tips. Always feel free to print these resources and post them around if you feel they would be helpful.

Just a quick update on MINESblog this month. September 10 – 16 was National Wellness Week and to spread awareness we sent out some wellness resources. In case you missed them please feel free to circle back around because even though it isn’t wellness week any longer, any week is a great week for wellness! And don’t forget to check out the latest edition of BalancedLiving with great fall related resources just in time for the holidays

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Where Finances intercept parenting

The words finance and stress are often said in the same sentence. When we are worrying about debts, bills, and saving for the future, our wellbeing is affected and can lead to depression, anger, and lots of sleepless nights. The best thing you can do is to focus on creating a budget, sticking with it, and be mindful of how our financial stressors affect our productivity and relationships both at work and at home. As you teach your children about finances, show them the importance of saving, keeping track of your expenses, and donating to those in need. Doing these things will help them be productive adults who understand how to handle their money and may help reduce your stress as parents knowing your child(ren) will be able to survive in the whirlwind of adulthood. Being satisfied with your current financial state can be quite a challenge but ultimately if you are able to find a way to be satisfied, your wellbeing will improve and you will feel better overall. The balance of needs and wants is something everyone must look at specifically when finances are a stressor for you. Make sure to set aside a small portion of your paycheck to save for those things you desire, while using the rest to pay off those things you need.

This month, check out these steps to help improve your financial wellbeing and happiness.

Check out the steps here!

Tips for you:

There is no right way to parent your children. Each situation is different. However, utilizing best practices can be a great starting point. Check out this month’s webinar to learn more parental development from the prenatal phase through the empty nest, or departure phase, combining the human development theories of Freud and Erikson with concrete, contemporary insights from the book, “The Six Stages of Parenting”.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

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

Community Wellbeing Resources:

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

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

If your organization has access to PersonalAdvantage make sure to check out this customizable online benefit available through MINES. It has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and a whole section of trainings on Resilience! If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

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

Important Links

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MINES and Associates

BizPsych

2017 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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On the Road Again

History

In the 36 years that MINES has been providing behavioral health services and employee assistance programs, we have strived to stay connected to the communities we serve and the marketplaces that provide their benefits. We do this at the ground level by going out to conferences, giving talks, and connecting with organizations and industry leaders. This year will be no different. Please read on for an overview of the events and places MINES will be visiting and learn more about what we do and the organizations that host these events.

This year

The 2017 road map contains a bunch of stops throughout the country where MINES will be putting up shop and doing what we do best; advocating for and delivering wellness and behavioral health services.

If you are one of our many employees or companies that we serve, we would love to say hi at any of the events that we are going to that you may happen to visit. To help you find us check out the list below to see if we will be at a conference or wellness event near you.

Health Links

Health Links is a partner that we have been doing a lot with these days. This group does great wellness work with Colorado organizations helping with everything from assessing an organization’s health and safety policies, assisting with goal setting, and connecting like-minded businesses, to certifying quality employers as “Healthy Businesses”, of which MINES is one.

The event that we will be a part of this year is the Health Links Annual Event: Celebrating Colorado’s Healthiest Employers.

We will be there talking about wellness programs and employer support initiatives, as well as MINES has been nominated as the potential winner of the Health Links Innovation Award for 2017.

SHRM Events

The Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, is a human resources association that has national as well as state chapters. Many state chapters hold conferences that focus on employee benefits and wellness programs including medical, dental, financial, and employee assistance programs. MINES will be attending a number of these conferences over the course of the next few months. Check out which ones below, and if you happen to be a client of ours in these states and are attending please stop by to say hi!

  • Arizona SHRMAugust 29th
  • Wyoming SHRMSeptember 14th
  • Colorado SHRMSeptember 27th; Dr. Robert Mines, Founder and Chairman of MINES, will be speaking at this event as well. The topic will be Mindfulness and Stress Management for Human Resource Professionals

Health Services Coalition

Not only is this one a first for us, but September 16th marks the first ever Health Services Coalition Health Fair. Located in Southern Nevada, Health Services Coalition is a non-profit group that focuses on procuring high-quality and cost-effective healthcare services for its members. MINES will be at the fair to promote wellness services and support HSC with their important initiatives.

SIIA

SIIA, or the Self-Insured Institute of America is a member-based organization that promotes and progresses the interests of organizations within the self-insured marketplace. SIIA usually hosts a national as well as international event each year, of which MINES typically attends both to talk with business leaders and top level insurance professionals in order to keep our finger on the pulse of the industry as well as discuss the future of health care benefits. It is here that MINES can help these organizations with services such as MINES’ case management services that help contain costs and reduce risk as their employees seek short and long-term care. This year’s national event will be the 37th Annual National Educational Conference and Expo and will be hosted in Phoenix, AZ. MINES will be on-site to join in on the conversation.

Dr. Mines and Dr. Dani Kimlinger, MINES’ CEO, will also be speaking at this one, this time the topic will be “Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Systems”.  Additionally, Dani will be speaking at the HR Symposium on October 5th leading up to the conference.

Staying connected

Here at MINES it is no easy task to send our team across the country and away from their life-saving duties. However, it is critical that we attend these events and meet the people that are talking about healthcare and seeking benefits for their employees and members. Not only are these events excellent forums to share our services with people searching for the best benefits but it allows us to talk to communities across the country and join the healthcare and employee benefits conversation on the ground level. Talking with people and organizations about their needs is the only real way to truly assess what peoples pain points are and for companies like MINES to further refine our services to maximize the positive impact they have on the lives that we serve every day.

We’ll keep you posted

As we said, we hope to meet new people and organizations but we also love seeing familiar faces. If you find yourself at any of these events please stop by and say hi. We will be giving out more detailed information about these events and what booths and locations you can find us at as the event dates draw closer. To stay on top of it all you can follow us through the following channels.

Right here on MINESBlog: If something big happens at MINES you can bet that we are going to blog about it on MINESBlog. Subscribe (if you aren’t already) to be notified anytime we post. That way you won’t miss any of the helpful, fun, or (hopefully) insightful posts we put up every month!

Twitter: You can always find out what we’re up to through Twitter. Just follow @Mines_BH to receive updates on events, special initiatives, and wellness and behavioral health related news from MINES.

See you soon!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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World Emoji Day and the Emoji Movie

Emoji-Mania

Today marks the release of the Emoji Movie. Reviews have been less than great, but love it or hate it, the movie’s central theme marks an interesting part of today’s communication methods and a sort of cultural phenomenon, the Emoji. Emojis have been around in Japan since the late 1990s but it wasn’t until 2013 when Emojis became available in all operating systems for phones and computers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji). Emoji characters have led the charge for expressing oneself through pictures and being able to show how you are feeling depending on the situation.

This phenomenon has expanded into musicals (Emojiland), into TV shows, like Doctor Who’s episode “Smile”, and they are now even on the big screen with The Emoji Movie today.

Emoji-Speak

Emoji characters can say a lot in one character. You are able to express your inner feelings or use the secret Emoji language to ask things. The psychology behind this is fascinating and it will be interesting to see how pop culture will continue to influence these characters. You can instantly let someone know you are not happy with them and that email you sent that could be interpreted a few ways, really only should be interpreted in the fashion of the emoji sent.

Emoji-Evolution

One really interesting thing about emojis is how they have evolved to reflect the increasingly complex and nuanced use of emojis over time. What started as an inventory of simple smiley faces and objects have expanded into thousands of specific images representative of the population and communication styles that utilize them. We can see this in the ever-increasing inventory of emojis meant to represent various ethnicities, religions, occupations, and even sexual orientation. You can now find almost any combination of family structure and romantic couple in emoji form. On top of that, the different food emojis have expanded to include exotic and uncommon foods, a plethora of fruits and veggies, and of course the ever-popular pizza and burger icons. And that only scratches the surface when you look at the overwhelming number of facial expressions/smileys, animal variations, transportation, country flags, and event icons.

Emoji-Symbolism

Not only have the number of emojis increased dramatically over time but their use and meaning in the minds of users have as well. Many emojis today carry a meaning other than that of their literal form. For instance, fire or heart emojis can and are used to express love and affection, the various facial expressions carry with them all sorts of context dependent meanings, many icons of inanimate objects and food have a double meaning such as the use of the syringe icon to mean doctor or tattoo, while others carry sexual suggestiveness. Thanks to common use and social visibility of the internet, these double meaning have become widespread and understood, and is used similarly to an icon-based version of slang. But not just slang, slang that can be understood across languages and cultures.

Emoji-Communication

The biggest question is how do emoji characters fit into your work emails and communications. When you text that you are going to be out because you are sick, is using an emoj like the below good enough?With as many generations and generational differences the workplace is dealing with right now, using emojis is another example of what the younger generations (Millennials, and Gen Z) might find acceptable whereas Generation x and baby boomers may struggle with getting an email or text that you are sick. So where is the line? Is it ok to put a smiley face at the end of an email or an embarrassed face when you gave the wrong information, or do you still need to apologize and say you are embarrassed?

Emoji-Implications

The implications are endless and it will be fascinating to see where our workplace norms in regards to using Emoji characters go. I think the main thing to take away and think about when you are writing a communication, no matter what form that communication is in, is who your audience is and what type of communication it is. If your audience is a business associate outside your company, using an emoji may not be such a great idea. If you are writing a cease letter, you probably shouldn’t use:

Emoji-Conclusions

As you discover and consider the role Emojis play in your life, take the time to discuss it with others around you. It is fascinating to see what the different generations think of emojis and using symbols to show your emotions rather than just stating them. It is not only a great conversation piece and will help your social and intellectual wellbeing, it is a great opportunity to learn from others and think about their perspective to help influence how you will use them in the future.

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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