Posts Tagged Pain

Coping with Grief and Loss

Being an Olympic athlete takes talent, skill, stamina, and both emotional and physical stability. When Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette had to skate in the short program on Tuesday night just two days after losing her mother to a heart attack, people witnessed the human ability to cope with loss and stand strong. Oftentimes, people avoid talking about grief and try to find ways to cope that are largely ineffective and provide temporary – if any – relief (i.e. developing a dependency on work, drugs, alcohol, etc.), but it seems to be different for Rochette. Knowing that she was on an international stage, the Olympic skater cried before her program, put herself in a professional mindset for her performance, and immediately broke down afterward – an impressive and moving act to say the least. Everyone watching the winter games on Tuesday night knew of Rochette’s heartbreak, but also witnessed a woman who was coping with her situation.

For many of us, experiencing the death of a loved one is debilitating and shocking, but that doesn’t mean that we should sell ourselves to grief. Losing a friend or family member is never something that any two people deal with the same way, but there are coping strategies that can help. According to http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm, one of the ways to cope with grief and loss is to express your feelings in a tangible or creative way, and that is exactly what Rochette was able to do. Please go to http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm to read an important article about grief and loss and how you can help yourself get through a difficult time or help someone who has just experienced a great loss. Ultimately, we have to be able to talk about these things in order to stay healthy and reach closure, because we all deserve to live full lives and come to peace with what we may no longer have, but will always love.

Sarah Kinnel

Marketing and Advertising Assistant

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6 tips for lazy workers to get ahead

Some great advice from Anthony Balderamma at CareerBuilder.com

Posted by Ian Holtz, Sales Consultant 9/28/09

On a recent flight I sat next to a businessman who told me that, even at that young age, his children were exhibiting very different personalities.

He saw signs of his wife’s overachieving tendencies in their son. In his daughter, he saw himself. In the first grade she was getting lectured for not applying herself enough. She, too, was a slacker.

He was frustrated by her slacking ways, but he also sympathized because she showed traits of his business mindset.

“She does her own little cost-benefit analysis,” he said. “She realizes that she can do just enough to get by and use the rest of that time for playing and having fun.”

I had never thought of slacking off in those terms, but he was right. I’ve known my share of slackers, and most of them are intelligent people who could easily upstage everyone else’s efforts if they applied themselves a bit more. They knew that. Yet, while everyone was in panic mode trying to get ahead, the slackers knew how to fulfill their obligations, get decent marks and enjoy a relatively stress-free existence.

I’m not saying we should all strive to be slackers. The balance between laid back and high strung workers is probably beneficial to everyone. But in this culture where we’re constantly being told to be better than everyone at everything, slacking off can be the right way to go for your health and your career.

Once upon a time work was a busy place. You showed up, worked hard, stayed late during your busiest periods and then went home.

Today, many people don’t escape work. Before they even arrive at the office, they’ve already sent a dozen e-mails from their phones and held teleconferences with people all over the country. Once you’re actually at work, things are even crazier.

The workplace is different today than it was 10, 20 and 30 years ago, but you should be able to pull back in some areas. You don’t need to overextend yourself to the point that you never relax.

Here are some ways you can be a “slacker” at work and benefit from it:

E-mail can wait. No, really, it can. You don’t have to answer an e-mail the moment it pops up on your screen. Unless you’re waiting for that one message that could make or break your career, you should designate time to check e-mails so that you don’t get distracted while doing other tasks. You can even disable the new message icon and noise alert to help with this.

Saying ‘no’ won’t get you fired. If the boss or someone comes to you with a task that’s part of your core job duties, by all means accept it. If you’re drowning in work, however, telling co-workers that you just can’t get to their request right now won’t necessarily hurt you. If you tactfully explain that you’d like to help them but you’ve got too much on your plate shows you care about the quality and promptness of your work.

Don’t multitask. The ability to simultaneously talk on the phone, send an e-mail and heat up the meatballs for the monthly potluck is an admirable quality but not necessarily the most beneficial. Multitasking has become the de facto approach to daily operations in many workplaces. The problem is that we often end up doing a little of everything and never making much progress on any one task.

Give yourself a break. Literally, just get away from work for five minutes. Take a walk around the floor or step outside for some fresh air. Without Saturday and Sunday off, you’d probably go a little stir-crazy. Think of brief breaks throughout the day as small-scale versions of weekends. You’ll return with a clear head and produce better quality work.

Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Eating at your desk can be an occasional necessity, either because you’re close to a deadline or you’re in a productive zone that you don’t want to interrupt. Having your lunch in front of a computer every day, however, doesn’t give your eyes or your mind time to relax. You might feel like a slacker if you’re the only one taking your sandwich outside for 30 minutes, but your mental health is worth it.

Schedule some “me” time. Go into your calendar and block off a period of time for whatever work you need to do without interruption. Treat that time as if it were an important appointment with your boss and consider it non-negotiable. If someone tries to schedule a meeting with you, tell him or her that you’re busy but can try for another time. If possible, book a conference room so you won’t be interrupted by a chatty co-worker or a phone call.

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Balancing Work and Life

Going from being a full-time student to being a full-time employee has been quite the transition over the past couple of months. With graduation just around the corner, I am now beginning to see that my life is headed for some big changes. While school felt like a full-time job, classes were spread out and my schedule was far more flexible. Now that Monday through Friday is fully scheduled, I have realized that balancing work and life is feeling more important than ever. Finding time for family, friends, and relaxation is not always easy, but the good news is that it’s possible. The following article from http://topten.org/public/BI/BI103.html presents some helpful steps when it comes to finding some middle ground between work and personal life.

There is no single formula for attaining a balanced life. It is a personal decision how one combines their career, spouse/significant other, children, friends and self into an integrated whole. The key is to develop creative solutions as you approach the challenges of balancing the responsibilities and joys of your multiple roles. Some of the same skills and strategies you use at work such as planning, organizing, communicating, setting limits and delegating can be used effectively on the home-front for achieving a satisfying, fulfilling well-balanced life both personally and professionally.

1. BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK

Ask for help and allow yourself to be helped and contributed to. Get your children involved–work together as a team. Recruit friends, family, neighbors, bosses, work colleagues, etc. and ask for their support. Create back-up and emergency plans; always have a contingency.

2. LET GO OF GUILT

Guilt is one of the greatest wastes of emotional energy. It causes you to become immobilized in the present because you are dwelling on the past. Guilt can be very debilitating. By introducing logic to help counter-balance the guilt you can stay better on course.

3. ESTABLISH LIMITS AND BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are an imaginary line of protection that you draw around yourself. They are about protecting you from other people’s actions. Determine for yourself what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from other people. Boundaries and limits define how you take charge of your time and space and get in touch with your feelings. They express the extent of your responsibilities and power and show others what you are willing to do or accept. Without limits it’s difficult to say “no”.

4. DETERMINE YOUR OWN STANDARDS

Get rid of the notion of being a perfectionist. Wean yourself off it by making compromises–figure out where the best places to make the compromises are without short-changing yourself, your spouse, your children, your boss, etc. Live by your own standards rather than someone else’s. Standards are about YOU and refer to the behavior and actions you are willing to hold yourself to.

5. CREATE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Being a good parent, partner and professional means being good to yourself first. Use your mind to make some affirmations for yourself. Find ways to relax, relieve tension and minimize stress. Taking some time off for yourself will not only benefit you, but it will benefit your family tremendously!

6. GET ORGANIZED.

Set priorities, work smarter not harder, delegate (and really let go!). Create lists and save them for re-use. Keep a main calendar centrally located to post everyone’s activities.

7. BE FLEXIBLE

Forgive yourself when things don’t get done. Understand that with children things change at a moment’s notice. Be ready and willing to assume responsibility for any of the tasks that need to get done at any time. Never get too comfortable, because as soon as you seem to get things under control, they change! Also, realize that in order to achieve success many women have had to give up their original goals and substitute new ones with different but equal challenges. Negotiate for what you need.

8. ENJOY QUALITY FAMILY TIME

Spend quality/focused time with your family. Give them your full attention. Develop rituals you can all look forward to. Create relationships with your spouse and children that are not incidental but rather instumental to your success.

9. FIND RELIABLE CHILD CARE

Leave your kids in capable hands. Find someone you feel comfortable and confident in. If you’re feeling ambivalent about working or about leaving your child, etc. do not show it–your child (at any age) will pick right up on it. Feel proud when you’ve found someone who fits into your needs. Get involved with your child’s care providers by communicating frequently and observing interactions between caregiver and your child.

10. ACHIEVE AN INTEGRATED LIFE

Keep things in perspective. Create harmony in your life–a mixture of work, family and friends. Remember, there is no single formula for balance. It is a personal decision how one combines spouse, children and career.


About the Submitter

This piece was originally submitted by Natalie A. Gahrmann, M.A., Success Coach and Workshop/Seminar Leader, who can be reached at coachnatalie@rcn.com, or visited on the web. Natalie A. Gahrmann wants you to know: N-R-G Coaching Associates was founded to guide
professionals who have a career plus kids in creating a life that is more balanced, fulfilling, satisfying and successful. We are dedicated to helping working parents achieve work/life mastery. To subscribe to a free weekly newsletter for working parents, send a blank email to workingparenttips-subscribe@egroups.com.

 

Sarah Kinnel

Marketing Assistant

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Stress in the Workplace

Hello MINES bloggers. My name is Sarah Kinnel and I’m the new Marketing Administrative Assistant. I have found an interesting and helpful article that I wanted to share with all of you. Stress in the workplace is something all of us deal with on a daily basis—the good news is there are many ways to cope with feeling overwhelmed. The following article entitled Stress at Work: How to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress focuses on key points that both employees and managers can implement in order to better communicate with one another. The article also brings light to self-awareness and how it can help aid in feeling more comfortable and relaxed, both in the office and life in general. I have included the beginning of the article here, and if you’d like to read more please visit http://www.helpguide.org/mental/work_stress_management.htm

Stress at Work

How to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress

In this difficult economy, you may find it harder than ever to cope with challenges on the job. Both the stress we take with us when we go to work and the stress that awaits us on the job are on the rise – and employers, managers, and workers all feel the added pressure. While some stress is a normal part of life, excessive stress interferes with your productivity and reduces your physical and emotional health, so it’s important to find ways to keep it under control. Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to manage and reduce stress at work.

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Coping with work stress in today’s uncertain climate

For workers everywhere, the troubled economy may feel like an emotional roller coaster. “Layoffs” and “budget cuts” have become bywords in the workplace, and the result is increased fear, uncertainty, and higher levels of stress. Since job and workplace stress grow in times of economic crisis, it’s important to learn new and better ways of coping with the pressure. The ability to manage stress in the workplace can make the difference between success or failure on the job. Your emotions are contagious, and stress has an impact on the quality of your interactions with others. The better you are at managing your own stress, the more you’ll positively affect those around you and the less other people’s stress will negatively affect you.

You can learn how to manage job stress

There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace. These include:

  • Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.
  • Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.
  • Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and coworkers.

Warning signs of excessive stress at work

When people feel overwhelmed, they lose confidence and become irritable or withdrawn, making them less productive and effective and their work less rewarding. If the warning signs of work stress go unattended, they can lead to bigger problems. Beyond interfering with job performance and satisfaction, chronic or intense stress can also lead to physical and emotional health problems.

Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work.
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue,
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension orheadaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

Common causes of excessive workplace stress

  • Fear of layoffs
  • Increased demands for overtime due to staff cutbacks
  • Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
  • Pressure to work at optimum levels – all the time!

 

Sarah Kinnel

Marketing Adminstrative Assistant

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Pain and Psychology

As I am out today with back pain, I thought it would be appropriate to research psychology and its role in chronic pain. I found a few of these interesting articles:

http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/87/1/144 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2147702?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=3&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

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