Posts Tagged Community

Resilience in Vegas

This week I was in Vegas for a client’s open enrollment. This trip had been scheduled weeks before the mass shooting and I was quite looking forward to the trip between getting to see our clients in the Vegas area and enjoying some great food, there is nowhere else in the world quite like Vegas. However, as I was preparing to leave and heard the news of the shooting, it completely shifted my focus to how I personally could support our clients and the city while I was down there. I had no idea what the atmosphere would be like when I arrived but I should have guessed that Vegas would pull together and support each other through this tragedy.

The emotions down there ranged from solemn, to anger, to anxiety over the unknown, to great sadness. You could feel people reaching out for support, talking about the incident, and wanting to encourage each other. The word resilience, solidarity, and strength constantly popped in my mind as I walked the streets and talked to locals. The police were out in full support, talking to tourists and locals alike, on the sidewalks, on the streets, and in venues. It was amazing to me to see the police force stand together and willingly work overtime so that the rest of the community could feel supported and protected. Everyone I talked to, both locals and tourists, were appreciative of the support and attentiveness of the police and other first responders. Words cannot express the gratitude I heard and felt towards those who gave up vacations, wedding anniversary plans, and sleep in order to help their city. You could not go 10 feet without seeing the now trending hashtag #VegasStrong, or seeing advertisements for free counseling and other support services. (http://www.ktnv.com/news/counseling-trauma-relief-services-made-available-following-las-vegas-shooting) Venues, superstars, locals, and workplaces could all be seen working together, offering help with what they could.

As I talked to various locals about the experience, it was clear that though this act would be etched in their minds for a long time, the sense of unity and connectedness was firmly stated. During my stay, the names of the victims had not been released yet, which made many people unsure if they knew someone among the injured or dead. Parents expressed concern over their children’s’ friends who did not show up for school on Monday.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was “why?” Unfortunately, this still has not been explained. Even now, the FBI and local first responders continue to pick through evidence, review what happened, and decipher the reasoning behind this shooting. I am very grateful for their efforts and the opportunity to experience the camaraderie amongst those that I talked to and helped while I was there.  There is not enough “thank yous” and praise to go around to all those who have stepped up to help, support, and give services. I am very proud to work for an organization and with affiliates who stepped up to provide process groups and counseling to employees, family members, and household members who were affected by this tragedy. Through quick responses and taking time away from other responsibilities, MINES and its affiliates have set up groups to go through the different stages of grief, PTSD, and how to help those who are struggling with this event. It was a great privilege to see this happen first hand while I was in town.

The United States has faced many tragedies in the last several years, both from man and nature. However, in each city that something has happened, it has brought the city together and made the city stronger, better, and full of community support. New programs come out of tragedy and new support systems are created. I am optimistic that the same will happen with Vegas. I look forward to traveling back there and seeing how the community has come together after this event and how they are stronger overall. I want to encourage any of you who knew someone who was at the concert or lives in Vegas to seek out counseling support to help you work through this horrific event and the aftermath that is to follow. And as always, MINES is here to support you and your companies if you need it. Please feel free to outreach us at 1-800-873-7138 if there is anything we can do.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

The MINES Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Total Wellbeing: September 2017

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

September 2017: Occupational Wellbeing and Resilience

Get Involved!

Welcome to the September issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. In today’s workplace the word “resiliency” is brought up a lot. But what does resiliency mean to you and how can you apply your personal definition of it to your work and personal life? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to change” however you could define it in several ways as we are asked daily to make micro-adjustments in our lives. This month, we hope you can take advantage of these blogs and webinars, and consider how they might help you thrive at work even more than you may be doing now.

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

These next few months mark some busy times in the world of Employee Assistance Programs. As such MINES will be on the road talking about wellbeing and employee health all over the country. We may even be seeing some of you in the process. To help track us down we posted an overview of where we will be and what the MINES Team will be up to. Of course, as events and trips draw closer we will update you all so be sure to follow us on MINESblog! And for some more resilience resources check out this throwback post on the ability to bounce back.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: How to Improve Your Resilience at Work

Occupational wellbeing is just as important as any of the eight facets and so it is important to look at how to feed your happiness and sense of accomplishment at work. Resiliency is about bouncing back from setbacks and looking at those changes or setbacks as an opportunity to improve your situation. When we are looking at the occupational wellbeing and resilience, it is easy to see how they go hand in hand. If you are able to find a way to be resilient and accept change, you will be able to better succeed in your occupation, thus allowing you to feel personal satisfaction of a job well done. The first steps are finding the positive in every situation and communicating your struggles with those you work with as you never know what solutions or suggestions they may know of. With these two things accomplished you can find ways to thrive in your occupation.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help improve your occupational wellbeing and productivity!

Check out the tips here!

Tips for you:

Do you ever ask yourself, “What can I do today to change my life for the better?” Thankfully, research supports that there is something we can do about it, and it’s actually quite easy. Check out this month’s webinar on two actionable concepts that you will enjoy adding to your daily/weekly routine and that will help you live a resilient, happier, positive, more purposeful life!

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.
 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: August 2017

 

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August 2017: Environmental Wellbeing and Communication

Get Involved!

Welcome to the August issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. August’s focus on the environment usually immediately goes to the fate of our world in regards to pollution and recycling. However, this month we hope you will consider how your environment relates to communication. Take a moment to listen to your surroundings (environment) and ask yourself what does it say to you, and in turn what do you say back either verbally or with your actions? This two-way interaction is happening everyday whether we are aware of it or not, and it is important to understand this connection when considering your environmental wellbeing. Every person, animal, and plant communicates and each respective environment is effected by how these entities interact with each other and their surroundings. Keep in mind communication can be passive or active; think about talking versus subconscious body language. Both can be equally effective depending on the situation.

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

On MINESblog July was a great month to be talking about mindfulness, wellbeing, and reducing stress. First, we took a moment to use “National Father/Daughter Take a Walk Day” to highlight the importance of communicating with the people you love. We celebrated “Toss Away the Could Haves and Should Haves Day” with a post to help you let go of the past and move forward. Next, we wrapped up with two more posts; one about the MINES Health Champion designation from the American Diabetes Association to help boost awareness of the disease and provide some resources around how others can help the cause. Finally we wrapped up the month with a post about the cultural nuances of Emojis in honor of communication and National Emoji day.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: How do we communicate about our environmental wellbeing?

You can improve your environmental wellbeing and general health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments, according to SAMHSA. Your environment includes those external factors that influence the other seven areas of your wellbeing (emotional, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual). So, as we look at how you can commune with your environment, we are looking at how you deal with those external factors. Are you able to verbalize how you are feeling in regards to your emotional state? Are you able to communicate to your loved ones about how you are planning your will and estate? Are you able be in your work environment and succeed, or is there something that would make it better for your overall wellbeing? If you are struggling with any of these, take a moment this month to consider how you can fix that. Is there a conversation you can have with someone or a proposal you can present to your work to increase your environmental wellbeing? Or does your body language convey something that it shouldn’t? What a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the weather, and ponder these things!

For example, here are some great reminders of how to improve your environmental awareness and therefore your environmental wellbeing.

Check it out here!

Tips for you:

There is so much more to communications than the spoken word, in fact, over 60 percent of your message is communicated without words. Check out this month’s webinar to learn about non-verbal communication, communication channels through social media, and perceptions of communication through one’s appearance.

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 enhance your communication and community by working together for the benefit of the environment. It’s a win/win!

See how you can help here!

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

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.
 mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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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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ADA Breakfast and MINES Health Champion Designation

MINES Team receiving ADA HEalth Champion designation.

American Diabetes Association 2017 State of Diabetes Breakfast

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

Lt. Governor Donna Lynne at 2017 ADA Breakfast

ADA

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

Health Champion

MINES Health Champion Award

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

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

Nutrition and Weight Management

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

Physical Activity

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

Organizational Wellbeing

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

The Mind/Body Connection

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

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

Next Steps

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

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

Wellness Lives Here

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

Find out more here: www.wellnessliveshere.org

Tour de Cure

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

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

Thank you!

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

 

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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Break Free from Shoulda Woulda Coulda

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

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

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

The cost

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

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

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

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

The reward

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

Finishing up

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

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

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

 

To your wellbeing,

Ann Hendricks and Eugenia Janssen

Administrative Coordinators

The MINES Team

 

References

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

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

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

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The Importance of Walking and Talking

Celebrating National Father Daughter Take A Walk Day

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

The Gift of Time

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

Walking and Wellbeing

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

Walking and Defining My Identity

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

Walking and Developing New Relationships

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

Walking with the One’s You Love

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

Concluding Thoughts

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

Happy National Father-Daughter Take a Walk Day!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

MINES and Associates

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Total Wellbeing: July 2017

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

July 2017: Social Wellbeing and Social Security

Get Involved!

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

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

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

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Social Security Benefits and Social Wellbeing

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

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

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

Check out these great tips here!

Tips for you:

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

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

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

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

Community Wellbeing Resources:

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

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

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

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.
 mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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Peer Assistance Services Founders Awards 2017

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

We are Honored

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

PAS History

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

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

The Founders Award

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

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

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

Thank you!

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

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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Turn Your Day Upsy-Daisy

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

Children and Gratefulness are key

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

Focus on your Wellbeing

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

How to use Positive Psychology

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

Being Upsy-Daisy at MINES

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

Smile and Go Forth!

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

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

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

The MINES Team

 

References

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

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

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

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

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