Posts Tagged MINES and Associates; Employees; Culture; Company Culture; Psychology;

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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Mental Health Awareness Day 2017

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th of October every year with the goal of raising awareness and boosting efforts to provide care and resources to those in need. Here at MINES every day is mental health day as we are constantly striving to raise awareness and provide helpful, often life-saving, resources to not just our clients but also our community.

Impact

Whether you suffer from a mental health condition or not the impact on our workplaces and communities is undeniable. In the workplace alone, increased absenteeism and lowered productivity due to mental health condition and substance abuse cost US organizations nearly 100 billion dollars per year according to the World Health Organization. The WHO also reports that mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years worldwide, accounting for 37% of lost healthy years from non-communicable diseases. With this information in mind, it is no question that we need to continue the fight to provide access to resources and care around the mental health crisis, especially in a society where the importance and funding of mental health services are being undermined. So what can we do?

Helping

Try as we might we are not able to reach everyone with our messages and resources, which is why it is so important that as we all do our part to help those around us. If yourself or someone you know is struggling with mental health conditions, please seek help. Aside from traditional counseling that may be covered under your health insurance, there are many community-based and employer-supported resources that may be available to you such as an Employee Assistance Program. If your employer does not have an Employee Assistance Program in place, there are numerous resources that you can that can point you in the right direction and help find solutions for long-term goals or just help you deal with a crisis you may be going through here and now. Below is a selection of resources including national helplines, information sources, support groups, and organizations dedicated to helping.

Resources

If you want to take an even more active approach and receive training on mental health first aid head over to mentalhealthfirstaid.org to find courses near you where you can learn how to better identify, understand, and respond to those that may be suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues.

Going Forward

Remember that the need for access to quality mental health resources is not just an issue on World Mental Health Day. Today is a great conversation starter, but it is action by people like you and me and action and support by organizations like yours and mine (MINES) that will provide real results that may just save the lives of people in need. So, let’s talk to each other, lets act together, and as a society let’s take the next step towards less stigma, more support, and better care for everyone.

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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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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Total Wellbeing: Special Wellness Week Edition

 

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Yay for wellness!

This week is National Wellness Week!

This is a week to focus on your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. A week to break bad habits and continue (or start) healthy ones. To help connect all 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing take a look at the great, and free, wellness resources below. We hope these will be helpful to you and the people in your life, and help make this year’s wellness week a productive one.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

 

 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: September 2017

 

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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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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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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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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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