Posts Tagged mines

Total Wellbeing: December 2018

 

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Social Wellbeing, Family, and Mindfulness

Welcome to the December edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. The focus this month will be on the importance of your social wellbeing, family, mindfulness, and keeping balanced during this holiday season. We hope that you find the resources this month helpful in managing your social obligations, balancing your personal time, and maximizing your wellbeing through the end of the year.

If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As a reminder, this newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of our everyday life. As we near the end of the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Social Wellbeing and Your Family

This is the time of year where family and friends can both be an excellent source of support as well as an abundant source of stress. It is also a time where you are seeing friends, co-workers, and family members more than you probably do during the rest of the year, so it is important to find a way to balance your time and your energy while meeting the various holiday-related obligations such as shopping, holiday parties, family dinners, and get-togethers. All of this can leave little time for yourself and make you feel drained when you want to be engaged and having fun. The key is setting expectations, being okay with saying “no” and making sure others are helping and not just relying on you for everything. To make sure you find balance and enjoy the holidays check out our guide to a stress-free holiday.

If you would like to talk to a counselor or wellness coach about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has some great meditation and relaxation tips, mindfulness resources, and FREE webinars this month to focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work.

Question of the Month

What are 3 ways that your friends or family could help you with your biggest holiday stress sources?

Quote of the Month

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”

– Marianne Williamson

MINES Updates/Community World View

The relationship between your social wellbeing and the larger communities you live in such as your neighborhoods, your cities, your state, and your country should be pretty clear, but that is not to say that these relationships are not complex. One thing is for sure though and that is that communities large and small tend to thrive when people are willing to come together, reach out, and help each other. Helping others not only brings a community together in good times and bad, but it also boosts everyone’s social wellbeing and sense of place as individuals as well. The holiday season is a great time to do just this by reaching out and helping those that may need it. If you have time, think about helping your community by volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating some clothes you no longer want, or even donate to a charity you believe in if you can afford it. Not only will this help others in need, but it will help you reinforce your role in your community and strengthen your social ties at the same time.

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

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar: Mindfulness in the Workplace

MINESblog:

Throwback Blog: Finding Joy Amidst the Holiday Stress

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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: November 2018

 

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Physical Wellbeing, Happiness, and Your Workplace

Welcome to the November edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. The focus this month will be on the importance of your physical wellbeing and how to maintain good physical health and happiness while at your workplace. We will look at ways to focus on your health while at the workplace as well as the role that your employer plays in providing resources that you can utilize to reach your goals. This month is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. This is an important topic for all of us because the prevalence of Alzheimer’s means that almost everyone has someone in their life impacted by this disease at some point in their lives. Whether you are a caretaker, suffer from a form of dementia yourself, or know someone who is, take a look at our latest blog post here for updated information and resources that may help you or someone you know.

If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As a reminder, this newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of our everyday life. As we near the end of the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Physical Wellbeing and Your Workplace

Physical wellbeing can be closely tied to your workplace. If you have a job where you are very active such as a construction type job or a job that keeps you on your feet all day then your job likely supports your physical wellbeing. However, if you have a job that requires long periods of sitting or requires strenuous positions or activity like getting into crawl spaces, or lots of repetitive motion, your physical wellbeing may suffer as a result of your work. If that is the case make sure you are being mindful and taking time out of your day to get up and stretch or are taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself from harm such as proper lifting techniques, back supports, knee pads, ergonomic workstations, or whatever it is that your particular job requires to lessen the impact on your body. If an opportunity to do these things is not available please make sure to ask your employer what can be done to provide you with the time, space, and resources to protect your physical wellbeing, in a reasonable way, while at work.

If you would like to talk to a counselor or wellness coach about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has some great Happiness at Work tips and webinars this month to focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work. For more be sure to check out our “Assertiveness in the Workplace” infographic.

Question of the Month

What do you feel your limitations are in maintaining your physical wellbeing at work, and how might your co-workers and employer help you overcome these obstacles?

Quote of the Month

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”

– Bruce Lee

MINES Updates/Community World View

The daily commute to work is something most people throughout the world do and represents a distinct connection between the workplace and physical wellbeing. How people get to work directly affects their health. People who walk or bike to work or take public transit that requires walking to a bus stop or train station, tend to be in better physical health than those who drive or work from home with no commute. So how can those of us who must drive get the same benefit as those who have a more labor-intensive journey each day? Try changing up your routine and try biking once a week or more to work. Too far to bike? Try parking farther away from your workplace to give yourself a little walk time. Not only can this be a great chance to get your heart rate up, it can give you time to practice some mindfulness exercises to mentally prepare for the day, or even destress with some mindful walking and breathing exercises after a busy day. Looking for other ways to enhance you your Physical wellbeing but need motivation? Try looking for community support. Join a fun run or participate in national bike to work day with co-workers. Try organizing workout groups with friends and family or look online for community events.

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

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar: 5 Generations in 1 Workplace

MINESblog:

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Update

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

 

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

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Total Wellbeing: October 2018

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Environmental Wellbeing and Investing

Welcome to the October edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month’s focus is going to be on environmental wellbeing which involves looking at how your surroundings impact your health. This can be your home, workplace, or city that you live in or the types of environments such as city, desert, mountains and so on. Environmental traits that can affect your health include air quality, noise levels, access to resources, and more. We will also be looking at investing basics and providing resources around tax tips and financial advice. If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As a reminder, this newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of our everyday life. As we make it through the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Environmental Wellbeing and Motivation

Environmental wellbeing and motivation can be very closely tied to one another. Think about your workspace. No matter what type of environment you work in, whether it be an office, a warehouse, or even outdoors, you work the best, are most productive, and have the most energy when everything is organized or to your preference. Likewise, clutter, loud noises, interruptions, and other things that contribute to a bad work environment can bog you down and make work less enjoyable and productive. Therefore it is important to do what you can to make sure that your work environment is set up for success. What this means is going to be different depending on where you work and how you prefer to work. While one person may like an impeccably clean workstation, another might actually prefer to have some clutter and things like decorations. To determine what environment works best for you ask yourself what feeds you energy and try and fill your environment with those aspects while removing what you think distracts or you or drains your energy and motivation. This translates to your free time as well. What kind of environments give you energy. Are you a person who thrives in the outdoors? Do you prefer an urban setting? Maybe quiet solitude at home is where you prefer. Try to identify the environments that you thrive in and make them your go-to for when you need to recharge your batteries.

If you would like to talk to a counselor or wellness coach about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has some great investment tips and webinars this month to improve your knowledge around a wide variety of financial topics and elder care. For more be sure to check out our “Investment Taxes” infographic.

Question of the Month

What are your key sources of motivation that inspire you day to day?

Quote of the Month

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’.”

– Aubrey Hepburn

MINES Updates/Community World View

People and communities thrive when the environments they live and work in are clean, safe, and sustainable. The saying “Think Global, Act Local” is a great way to connect the concept of environmental wellbeing with the larger scale of things. To keep our environments clean and safe it takes everyone working together. From simply cleaning up after ourselves, not littering, and recycling where possible, all the way to volunteering for cleanup crews or even organizing one yourself, everyone can take part in making sure us humans are responsible for the environment in a way that will keep our world safe and habitable for generations to come. Find out ways you can help by visiting the following sites depending on where you live, and we promise your environmental wellbeing will all the better for it!

Denver areas initiatives

River cleanup initiatives

Ocean cleanup initiatives

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

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar on Investments 101

MINESblog Review:

MINES Archive 2017: Mental Health Awareness Resources 

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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: September 2018

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Financial Wellbeing, Elder Care, and Community

 

Welcome to the September edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we are going to take a look at your Financial wellbeing, as well as community support, and eldercare. Check out the segments below to see how your financial wellbeing is connected to your community and how the overall wellbeing of your community is tied to the support that community members put in. Community is a big pie, we all have to help cook it! If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As a reminder, this newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of our everyday life. As we make it through the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Financial Wellbeing and Supporting Others in Your Community

The communities that we live in are only as good, as safe, and as supportive as the members of the community make them. Therefore, it is imperative that each member of a community strive to make a contribution in their own way. Whether it’s a neighborhood, a school, or even an entire city, every little part matters and adds to the greater whole in some way. As a member of your own communities, you should always be looking for opportunities to give back in meaningful ways. It can be something like working at a local homeless shelter or organizing a clothing drive. It can be something as simple as taking time out of your day to talk with or play a game with a lonely elderly neighbor. It can even be a financial act such as donating to a local charity or supporting l­­ocal businesses that you believe bring value to the people they serve. Providing support like this will help you make a bigger impact as well as enhance your own sense of community.

Financial wellbeing has a big connection to your surrounding community as well. The type of community in which you live affects the types of goods, services, and prices that are in the marketplace. Additionally, the ways in which you spend your money within the community affects how you live. For a community to thrive it is important that its members provide financial activity to keep it going. This includes the buying of goods and services, business investments, employees being paid, and even friends and family helping each other out with money problems from time to time.

Your financial wellbeing is made of many categories and it is just as important to give back to causes close to your heart as it is to make sure you are saving money for retirement.

If you would like to talk to a financial counselor about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away or you can use your coaching sessions to work on your financial goals. Also, PersonalAdvantage has some great planning tips and webinars this month to improve your knowledge around a wide variety of financial topics and elder care. For more be sure to check out our “Elder Communication” infographic.

Question of the Month

Do you have an estate plan set up for yourself? What about any aging loved ones?

Quote of the Month

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

– Mother Theresa

MINES Updates/Community World View

From the information above it is easy to see that financial wellbeing is one of the most scalable areas of wellbeing. From your personal bank account to the global economy, everything is connected. The more income you have the more you can buy, save, and invest. In turn this supports your community and affects the health of your local economy. From there the financial actions of your local businesses, service organizations, and bigger corporations make up the larger state and national economies. These along with the national economies from around the world make up the global market that is reflected in the stock market. The performance of these entities directly affects all of us in the form of pay rates, job markets, returns on investments and retirement plans, tax spending, and so on. This makes the old saying “every penny counts” take on a whole new perspective. So, the next time you are thinking of spending your hard-earned money, make sure you consider the down/upstream consequences on both a personal and community level.

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

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar on Managing Toxic People

MINESblog Review:

The Importance of Walking and Talking

Break Free from Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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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Stress Awareness: How to be proactive with your stress management

The Importance of Stress Awareness

For those of you that did not know, April is stress awareness month. While stress awareness month is an important opportunity to highlight and talk about data, resources, and services around stress, anxiety, and related issues, stress is not something any of us can afford to think about only once a year. For many of us, stress is something that affects us day to day, maybe even hour by hour. Stress can be caused by so many things and sometimes nothing at all. Likewise, symptoms of stress can manifest themselves in a variety of ways including both physically and non-physically. Because of these oftentimes ambiguous causes/symptoms of stress, it is critical to our wellbeing that we are able to recognize and manage stress levels effectively on a day to day basis and to be proactive with stress management.

Proactive Stress Management

So, what is proactive stress management? Being proactive with stress management means taking time to learn the various sources of stress in your life. Some sources like stressful occupations, financial issues, or a significant loss are obvious. Others may not be so obvious, and it is also possible to feel stress for no reason at all, which is why the next part is crucial, recognizing the symptoms of stress and how they affect you. Once you learn to recognize how stress manifests itself in your mind and body, you can begin to figure out what the most effective ways for you to manage your stress are. Here’s where the proactive part comes in. Once you know how to manage your stress don’t wait for stress to get overwhelming to practice stress management. Instead, build these anti-stress practices into your daily life so that you are consistently practicing good habits and mindfulness to provide a constant outlet to relieve the effects of stress. It is this proactive approach that keeps stress to a minimum and helps mitigate much of the impact that stress and its various side effects have on your wellbeing. First, let’s delve a bit more into the various sources of stress that you may encounter.

Factors and Sources

There are a lot of stressors that may be very unique and personal to you though chances are, many, if not all, stressors in life can be categorized into some common buckets; environmental, social, physiological, and psychological. Let’s talk a little about these. Recognizing these categories can help you think about stress systemically to help analyze primary causes of stress in your own life.

  • Environmental stressors come from all around you and can include things like noise, traffic, pollution, bad weather, and negative or excessive media consumption. These stressors come from the world around us and there is very little we can do to change them. Some environments like our homes, and in some case our work environment, we have a little more control over. For the most part, though our best bet is to adapt to our environment rather than try and change that which we cannot.
  • Social stressors come from other people as well as pressure from roles we hold in our lives. These include job pressures and deadlines, arguments or fights, relationship issues, parenting, loss of loved ones, and demands for your time and attention. These are a very personal set of stressors and can involve those we love making them very important to navigate in a thoughtful and measured way.
  • Physiological stressors come from your own body. These can include things like adolescence, illness, aging, injuries, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, menopause in women, and inadequate sleep. Again, these stressors can be minimized by changing those we can and accepting what we cannot. Examples of this may be accepting that you are getting older but at the same time striving to eat good nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep every night. More on this later.
  • Psychological stressors are very tricky because they come from your own mind. These come down to how your brain processes internal and external stimulus. When our minds interpret something as a threat, such as changes to our environment, job issues, or family troubles, it turns on the “flight or fight” response which not only causes stressful thoughts but releases adrenaline and other stress hormones into our systems. This response has many side effects in the body and can present itself in a few different ways such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and anxiety.

How Stress Can Present Itself

Symptoms of stress can manifest in many different ways, and a single stressor can cause multiple symptoms. The areas where stress-based symptoms can pop up include physically, emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally. Let’s take a closer look at these areas by examining some common issues that can pop up in each area.

  • Physical symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, teeth grinding, perspiration, and digestive issues.
  • Emotional symptoms can include anxiety, guilt, fear, depression, anger and irritability, and depression.
  • Cognitive symptoms can include confusion, a decrease in attention span, memory issues, trouble making decisions, and obsessive thinking.
  • Behavioral symptoms can include changes in activities, withdrawal, decrease in appetite, insomnia, nightmares, and suppressed sex drive.

A tricky aspect to keep in mind is that almost all of these symptoms can be caused by other issues as well such as various health conditions, environmental factors, and normal biological cycles, so it’s important to be on top of things and see a doctor if are experiencing any severe or chronic issues.

Misconceptions

There are several misconceptions about stress that can lead to downplaying the effects of stress or even that you are stressed at all. Misconceptions like “people always know when they are stressed,” or “stress only affects those with high-pressure lives” can lead to not seeking help. Other misconceptions can include thoughts that emotions cannot be controlled and that the only thing that may help is medication. These are also not true and are dangerous thoughts. Medication can help in the right circumstances for certain individuals, but others may benefit greatly from some simple self-care, elimination of bad habits, or some counseling. Make sure to approach your stress, and the treatment of it, in an honest and unassuming manner.

Ways to Combat Stress

As we said earlier, the best ways to combat stress are proactive ones. The key here is to stay aware of yourself and how you are reacting to stressors in your life. Here are several areas to be aware of and techniques to help keep your stress from reaching unhealthy levels.

Be Aware of Important Factors

To help discern how you are reacting to stress pay attention to your feelings and emotions on a constant basis. A good way to do this is to stop and perform periodic self-checks by asking yourself questions. Look at your level of anxiety. Do you worry about money, or what may go wrong with certain things in your life? We all worry about these things but are they causing you more anxiety than normal? What about your anger levels? Are you getting more irritated at work or becoming impatient with people easier than usual? How is your self-confidence? Do you wonder if you are doing a good job? Do you worry a lot about what others think? How are your relationships going? Do you spend more time alone than you want to? Is it hard to get close to people? Are you too tired to devote time to your relationships? If you find that you are answering “yes” to any of these questions it may be a sign of moderate to high stress levels.

Change Bad Habits

There are stressors in our lives that we can’t change. However, there are many things that we can do to make sure that we are not contributing unnecessarily to our own stress levels. Take time to evaluate your habits both good and bad, and think about how they may impact your wellbeing for better or worse. These habits are going to be particular to each individual and their lifestyle but for the purpose of this blog let’s look at 5 critical areas where replacing bad habits with good ones can make a huge impact.

  • Exercise: Despite what some people may think, habits like smoking and drinking can increase stress on the mind and body even if it provides a temporary illusion of relief in the moment. Instead, support your body through movement and exercise. Exercise is a great stress reliever in many ways. Exercise helps regulate your hormones and neurotransmitters that may be contributing to stress if they are unbalanced and helps increase blood flow to the brain. Exercise helps mitigate stress causing diseases and conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. It helps maintain a positive body image boosting self-confidence and helps boost energy levels helping you be more productive. Also, just the physical exertion of exercise is a great outlet for stress and negative feelings. Making exercise a habit can be tough at first but if you stick with it and workout regularly for at least 90 days your mind will begin to normalize the activity and you will eventually begin to crave working out, especially if you focus on picking exercise activities that you enjoy.
  • Nutrition: This one is a big deal too. Try and replace any bad nutrition habits like eating junk food and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol with good consumption habits. Make sure to always strive to eat a variety of whole, nutritious foods and stay away from processed and surgery food. It is also important to limit caffeine intake as it can potentially induce a stress response in the body and act as a catalyst for anxiety in some people. We talked about nicotine and alcohol but remember there are many drugs, both legal and illegal, that can have a negative influence on your wellbeing and it is up to you to keep potentially hazardous substances like these in check. Or better yet stay away from them altogether unless they are medically necessary. Before making any changes be sure to talk to your doctor as they are your best source of information around your health and medical needs.
  • Relaxation and sleep: It is very easy to underestimate the importance of making time for yourself to relax. It’s critical to take it easy sometimes and occupy your mind with something you enjoy doing. This may be walking outdoors, building crafts, drawing, writing and journaling, watching a movie, playing a game, or spending time with friends or family. These types of activities allow you to get your mind off whatever may be causing you stress and provides opportunities for positive stimulus. Sleep is another prime component. Getting adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours per night) is critical to maintaining energy levels, supporting mind and body functions, regulating your bodies chemicals, and repairing your body from exercise and activity. For more information about sleep check out our recent blog for Sleep Awareness Day.
  • Time Management: Are you happy with the ways you use your time? Time management can be a huge source of frustration if you always feel like there’s never enough time in the day. Building a schedule and sticking to it can go a long way in helping you spend your time wisely. Try keeping a day calendar on paper or on your computer or mobile device. Don’t just schedule in the things you have to do, schedule things you want to do as well such as time with friends or family, hobbies, or simply free time where you have no obligations. Running late can be another huge stressor, make sure you are waking up on time in the morning, avoid distractions, and give yourself enough time to get where you need to go so you don’t have to rush.
  • Self-Talk: It’s all too easy to be hard on yourself and become negative when things are going wrong or stressful. Interrupt this habit by practicing positive self-talk. When you feel your thoughts slipping in a negative direction make a mindful effort to think constructively, not only just about yourself but others as well. Tell yourself things like “I can do this!” and “everything will be okay.” Doing this consistently will help minimize your tendency to interpret events or yourself in a negative light.

Square breathing and other ways to reduce stress

While the ultimate goal is to focus on long-term habits and thought patterns that will help you throughout your entire life, there are many things that you can do in the moment to help bring you back to center and regain composure in a stressful situation. One such exercise is a simple mindful breathing technique called “Square Breathing.” Square breathing is a simple mindful breathing technique that you can do almost anywhere and anytime. By practicing square breathing, you can slow your heart rate, focus your mind, and ease anxiety helping you to become more calm, present, and able to focus on the current moment. One of the great things about square breathing is that it is quick and easy, meaning you can do a quick session in between phone calls or other daily tasks, while you drive (or are stuck in traffic), or practice it for longer as part of a larger meditation or relaxation session. It goes something like this:

Inhale… Begin by slowing inhaling while counting slowly and steadily to 4.

Hold… Once you’ve finished inhaling, hold your breath for another steady count to 4. Seeing a pattern yet?

Exhale… Next, exhale slowly again counting to 4 as you do so.

Hold… Once you’ve exhaled you want to “hold out” your breath for another 4-count.

Repeat… Simple right? Feel free to repeat the cycle, or square, as many times as you’d like. We suggest doing the full cycle at least 4 times.

For more (25) ideas you can click here to view and download a PDF guide of 25 ways to reduce stress.

Summary

Stress Awareness Month may be over, but I hope the information presented here shows the importance of always being mindful and aware of how stressors in your life may be affecting you. I also hope that this information has equipped you with some helpful tools to use to help keep your stress levels in check and maintain a positive outlook even when life gets a little intense.

And remember if MINES is your Employee Assistance Program we are always here to help. If you need a little boost call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-873-7138 to talk to someone or hop online at www.minesandassociates.com and login to your PersonalAdvantage for helpful information on stress, resilience, fitness, nutrition, and tons of other topics and wellbeing resources.

To your wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

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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Through Imagination and Exploration, Find Joy at Work

This March compiles three events that are all based on children and the importance of remembering to explore the world, use your imaginative side, and have fun. Children demonstrate all you need to know to have good work/life balance. From the re-imagined Disney® classic Beauty and the Beast coming out to celebrating Little Red Wagon Day, we are reminded that we can (and should) use the same lessons that we teach the younger generation. We’re also reminded of the importance of looking at problems from all sides and discovering new avenues to work through everything.

From the original to Disney®

This month Disney® released the reimagined Beauty and the Beast in a live-action retelling of a story that was originally written by a French novelist in the 1740s to audiences (http://bit.ly/2mNh3EU). Disney’s® 1991 version brought a variation of the original story that wowed audiences. Disney® captured the story of a beast, a magical castle with a magical rose, and the love between a father and daughter and transformed it into a story of love and exploration with plenty of imagination thrown in with talking furniture and accessories. However, even with adding some elements to the original story, Disney® honed in on life principles that can be applied to everyone. Both the original story and the 1991 movie focus on the love between a father and selfless child, and about giving up something precious to discover more. It is about looking beyond the veil and not accepting the status quo.

Takeaways from the new Beauty and the Beast

The new rendition that debuted this month focuses on a girl trying to find her place in the world and includes plenty of imagination and laughter. Bringing together elements from the original story, the Broadway musical, and the 1991 Disney version, this story centers on looking past first impressions and addressing the pain and hurt each character dealt with in the past. (Spoiler alert! The remainder of this paragraph contains minor spoilers for the new movie. Please skip to the next section if you wish to avoid this.) This version hones in on the explanation of why the rose is important to Belle to why the Beast reacts to everyone around him, along with closing the other characters’ stories. Belle discovers the truth of her past and the Beast realizes he is stuck in the past. Maurice is a grief-stricken father who struggles providing for his daughter and feeling guilty of his past actions. However, both Maurice and Belle allow their imagination to rule and accept magic which in turn allowed them to explore their past so they could succeed in their future. The movie concludes with all the characters being reunited with their loved ones and they all, well almost all, lived happily ever after.

Are you a Beast, Belle, or Maurice at work?

No matter which version you watch or read, these characters appear as a prince turned into a beast due to his arrogance and self-focus, a young lady who loves knowledge and sees past initial impressions, and a father who loves his daughter and will do anything to see her succeed. Each character makes good and bad choices along the adventure and it isn’t until they learn to get along that they can reverse the bad situation they are in.

Everyone has bad days and it can be hard to let go of the past. However, if you take the time to look deeper, you will see that not everything is the way it appears. When you are feeling frustrated by a co-worker’s actions, take the time to review the situation and check in with your co-worker to see if there is something going on in their lives that may have caused them to react other than you were expecting. Review your past and see what is holding you back from building relationships with your co-workers or seeking to improve your work-life balance. Each Beauty and the Beast character drives home another point about not accepting things at face value and using the talents of those around you.

Imagination is key to all ages

The imagination that Disney® brings to the screen helps provide a formula that makes the movie a success. Imagination is a great tool, whether it is with inventing something that can take you where you need to go or helping you find solutions to problems at work. We all go through changes at work and at home and struggle with how those changes affect us. Next time you are struggling, think outside the box to find solutions. You will be amazed how a little imagination will help you achieve your goal. If you struggle with staying engaged with your work or with your team, find a creative team-building activity to do or use your imagination to find new ways to stay engaged. Sometimes you need to explore new avenues to find joy in your job.

Exploration is essential

Let your imagination take you places so you can continue to succeed and grow both professionally and personally. Take time to explore and enjoy the world you live in – both at home and at work. Spending time in nature is known to help reduce anxiety and stress. Whether it is taking five minutes see what is outside your work building or taking the time to look at your company’s website, take the time to explore what new things you can find and appreciate. You never know what new possibilities you might find or new ideas that will come through exploration. When Belle showed the beauty that surrounded Beast’s castle, the Beast’s eyes were opened and his heart began to heal. Without exploring what can be, it is easy to become disillusioned with your job and lose that joy of working for a great company.

Take action

Using these key things, do something. Don’t sit and complain. Be like Belle’s dad, Maurice, and take action. Don’t sit back when you see something isn’t going right. Stand up for what is right even if you co-workers think you are “odd”.  Do something to make work even better! Does your company have a Wellness committee? Would this help you be more successful? Your “happily ever after” is possible only if you act to secure it.

From work to your community

March 30th celebrates Little Red Wagon Day and provides a chance to celebrate imagination and to encourage kids to get outside and be active.  Radio Flyer, which is perhaps one of the most well-known red wagon producers, states that “The majority of Americans have owned a red wagon, and a majority of those people will pass their wagon down to the next generation.” For almost 100 years, Radio Flyer has been creating warm memories that last a lifetime and support unstructured outdoor play.

Use this day to see how you can use your imagination and explore ways to help your community live up to the spirit of this day. Check out Radio Flyer’s website here for more information and suggestions on how you can do this. http://www.radioflyer.com/little-red-wagon-day/

 

To your wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin,

The MINES Team

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. While breast cancer is a year around killer, October is a crucial month for fundraising, information distribution, community support, and many other crucial functions that help keep research and the search for better treatment, and one day a cure, possible. With this post I hope to give a brief snapshot of what a diagnosis of this terrible disease can mean from both a patient’s and caregiver’s view, as well as provide resources that you can use this month and onward to provide support, gather information, and help yourself or others that may be dealing with cancer in their lives.

Resilience in the Face of Diagnosis

A serious diagnosis brings with it life-changing implications both for the person receiving the diagnosis as well as their loved ones. This beginning phase that starts at the diagnosis is commonly known as the “crisis phase.” This is where emotions like fear and anxiety are most prevalent and panic can ensue. But time is of the essence here as it is often necessary to move fast as doctors plan and prepare your treatment options. Therefore it is imperative to remain resilient in the face of diagnosis so that you can think clearly and react quickly. During this initial time the best thing you can do is ask questions and remove unknowns so that you can start to generate realistic expectations of the treatment process and the disease itself. If you are the loved one or caregiver of someone that is facing cancer or some other serious diagnosis then this responsibility may fall on you.

Caregivers

Of course the person who receives the diagnosis is hit the hardest by cancer, but the impact does not end there. Spouses, friends, family, and co-workers are all affected as well. Some of these people may find themselves in the role of caretaker in some capacity or another.  Caretaking can be an extremely hard job in both a physical and psychological sense, and in order to keep up their own wellbeing caregivers need to make sure they are practicing good self-care as well or else they can face adverse health effects and may find themselves suffering from burnout. Around this time last year we discussed self-care tips for caregivers who are caring for a loved one that has been diagnosed. If you or a loved one is currently in this tough, but crucial, caregiver role please take a look at our post here.

Knowledge is Power

Regardless of whether you are in the patient or caregiver role, knowledge is power. One of the best things you can do to prepare for dealing with a deadly disease is know your options and become familiar with those that can help you. Below we have tried to give a good balance of resources that are a great start if you are looking for information, support, or are looking to get involved with the cause. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are tons of great resources out there. On that note please keep in mind that an Employee Assistance Program, like MINES provides, is a great source of support that is easy to access and free if your employer offers it. If you are not sure if you have an EAP, make sure to ask Human Resources for information.

Resources

American Cancer Society

1-800-227-2345

http://www.cancer.org/index

Family Caregiver Alliance

https://caregiver.org/taking-care-you-self-care-family-caregivers

Cancer Care

http://www.cancercare.org/

Support Events

Making Strides Events

https://secure.acsevents.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=MSABC_CY15_TR_event_search

The Rest of the Year

This October is sure to be filled with fundraisers, awareness campaigns, charity contributions, and screening reminders. As for the rest of the year please make sure to remain vigilant and proactive. Do the standard self-checks on a regular basis, make those screening appointments with your doctor, and be mindful of your wellbeing year-round, early detection can make all the difference for many potentially terminal diseases. With that said here’s to all the women and men out there fighting the good fight for themselves or their loved ones, and here is to an October full of support, hope, and progress.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

– Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

 

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A Hard Day(off)’s Work

Relaxing is Hard Work, Be Mindful During Your Off Time

beach-vacation

Time to relax

The weekend, the start of a vacation, the morning of a day off. These are all times when we often find ourselves asking the question, “What should I do today?” It’s the beginning of our hard earned time off and we want to make the most of it, though for most of us, coming up with something to do is only half the battle. Plans are set but having them go off without a hitch is another story. How you handle these ”hitches” can be the difference between having a fun and satisfying time, and spending the day frustrated at the little things that didn’t go quite right and wondering what could have been.

The ideal day/night off

What does your ideal day off look like? When a day off, a free evening, or even a vacation is on the horizon we want it to be perfect, filled with all the things that we want to do with that time. It might be fun with friends, a night on the town at your favorite restaurant, or even some quiet relaxation time with a book at home. So we make plans, it’s in our nature as humans living in a modern world full of things we want to do and enjoy when we have the chance. Plans give us something to look forward to and offer us structure in the process.

I know that when I have an evening during the week free of appointments and other obligations that life tends to throw my way, I think about the best way to spend that time. I think about how I will go straight home from work and try and maximize my time, and then I might make a nice dinner with the girlfriend and watch the next episode of “Stranger Things.” I think about how it will be the perfect opportunity to get to the next area in whatever video game I am currently in the middle of. Ah yes, that night will be awesome! But what if it doesn’t go as planned? If these things that I want to do don’t end up happening, or if my time with them is cut short, is my awesome time ruined, my chance for fun gone? It could be if I let it.

When your expectations are shattered the day is ruined

We can plan our time as carefully and as hopefully as we want, but that doesn’t mean that something won’t come up before we are able to realize our plans. I don’t know how many times I have been ready for a night like I was just describing and traffic causes me to get home late, a family member needs help with something when I get home, and dinner takes way longer to cook than planned. Next thing I know I look at the clock and my night is half over and I’ve barely touched the things that I wanted to do that night. This starts to put me in a bad mood. A bad mood! On my free night! How could this happen!? I finally get a chance to sit down with a game, but now all I can think about how my time is cut short and I begin to wonder how I could even enjoy the little time I have left. But we can’t think this way, time is a precious resource we can’t afford to waste it worrying about things that turn out differently than we expected them to. Whether it’s a free night or a 2 week vacation more full with planned activities and hopeful expectations, there are bound to be snags, things that pop up unexpectedly, that force us to take a right turn when this is not the route we planned. So what can you do to make sure that you still enjoy your time?

Go With the flow

There are enough uncontrollable variables throughout life without us sabotaging ourselves. When plans go awry it is important to not make things worse by being your own worst enemy. Salvage your time by being mindful of the moment, letting go of the things that you can’t control, and make the best of the situation. Even if you end up doing something other than what you planned at least you are enjoying your time to the best of your ability and by letting go of your expectations and going with the flow you prevent the inner animosity that comes with the frustration of well-laid plans going out the window. Don’t get me wrong, plans are nice and all, as is getting to do your favorite activities when those plans manifest successfully. But when life gets in the way and skewers those plans of yours, focus on making the situation the best it can be. It may not be what you had in mind, but you just might end up enjoying your off-time after all.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

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Total Wellbeing: June 2016

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

June 2016: Occupational Wellbeing

Get Involved!

Death_to_Stock_Photography_BodyTruths_9Welcome to the June issue of TotalWellbeing! This month we discuss Occupational Wellbeing. We’ve all heard the concept of work/life balance before, but when you think about it, isn’t work part of life? In fact, many of us spend a substantial amount of our lives at work. This way of looking at it highlights the importance of supporting ourselves and our goals while at work rather than just putting our lives on hold when we clock in every morning, or night depending on your schedule. Maintaining perspective on your ambitions and goals while at work is critical to maintaining occupational wellbeing and avoiding burning out. Look for opportunities at your job to grow and support your mind and body. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

MINESblog saw some interesting posts last month, it being Mental Health Awareness Month and all. We looked at the mentality and systemic causes of bullying and why it is important to treat even bullies with empathy. Next in our latest Psychology of Performance post we explored the critical interplay between innovation and maintenance within an organization and how our assumptions on these concepts need to be updated. Finally, we discussed the importance of family involvement in the therapy of children with a mental health diagnosis.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Environmental Wellbeing and the Future

Occupational Wellbeing is about balance, usually between work and life, but life doesn’t stop when you arrive at work and start again when you go home. To properly support occupational wellbeing many of us can’t afford to put our life on hold while at work. Think about ways to develop yourself while on the job. Ask yourself in what ways your job can help you learn new skills, how you might be able to connect better with co-workers, and identify opportunities to support your health and wellness in other areas while at work. Stay connected with co-workers to avoid working in a secluded environment if possible, set goals you can achieve at the workplace to work towards in order to give yourself something to strive for both personally and professionally. Stay connected with the outside world as well. While on break, check in on family members or take a moment to yourself to read, play a quick game, or study something new you are learning. Make the most of your time while at work as well as at home and you will be more satisfied with both.

Tips for you:

Making work/life balance work for you is important. No two people have the same set of circumstances and demands, so figuring out what works best for you is crucial. Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time, and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.

Watch Talk 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:

If you are successful and happy that is a great thing. You know what else is great, when those who know what it takes to be happy and successful share their knowledge and help others achieve. A great way to do that is through mentoring. Did you know that through www.Micromentor.org you can sign up to help mentor young professionals and help them get a leg up in their careers? If you’re a young professional, you can find a mentor here, too! Check it out!

See how you can help!

 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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