Posts Tagged Parenting
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.
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,
MINES and Associates
I was told the birth of my daughter would have significant effects on my sleep schedule, social schedule, and life in general. One can never truly understand what that means until one is in that situation. Needless to say, our newborn baby, while we love her dearly, has caused my wife and I to change some things in our lives, if only temporarily. One of those things that have changed is our sleep (or lack of) schedule. I’ve always thought I was quite efficient at functioning with little to no sleep. Having certain sets of life circumstances… think long nights in Vegas, middle of the night hiking trips, and overnight flights across the globe… I always saw myself as someone who can manage without sleep, and still have the ability to be aware of not only my needs but other people’s as well. With this new experience of fatherhood, I’m learning that long nights in Vegas and long nights with a crying baby are two drastically different experiences. Being a new father has also made me realize how unaware I can be of my own mental health. I find myself thinking mostly about my new baby and my wife, and what their needs are, and by the time I realize what I’m needing, it’s too late and I’m in a crabby mood.
Thinking more about this made me realize how easy it is for us to lose track of what we’re needing, as well as other people’s mental health needs. As a therapist, I like to think that I am usually good at being aware of others’ needs, understanding what kind of support they are seeking, and encouraging them to pay attention to their mental health. However, when a big, life-changing event happens, or when we get wrapped up in our day to day lives, it’s easy to lose focus of what we may be lacking emotionally, and what we need to “fill up our tank”.
Because of how easy it has become for me to lose awareness, particularly on days after a very long sleepless night, I’ve started a new habit. Every day on my way home from work, after I exit on to a certain street, I use that time to check in with myself and ask myself how things are going. That exit is my signal to make myself aware of anything I may be needing. As I work to cement this new habit into a daily ritual, I will also start to look at what strategies I can employ and how I can adjust my perspective so I won’t be burnt out or be frustrated at my darling daughter.
What is your “exit” on the way home from work? What is needed to keep your “tank” full? I encourage you to take a moment and make yourself aware of what you may be needing and how you’re doing. It doesn’t take much time and it sure beats waiting until you’re emotionally exhausted to realize you’re struggling. Once you find your “exit” and know what you need to do so you don’t get burnt out, take the necessary time to find what strategies you can employ and how you can make this a new habit.
Here are some identifiable warning signs that you be close to burning out to watch for along with some self-care tips.
- Increased illness
- Loss of appetite
- Your mind feels fuzzy
- You feel stressed all the time, along with increased anxiety
- Loss of enjoyment or pleasure for working, successful completion of projects, or even being with friends and family.
- You are crabby, grouchy, or just not in a good mood
- You forget appointments, due dates, and possibly even social events.
- You have chronic fatigue
- Just say “No”- It is ok to decline a new project if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Take time to relax. If you need assistance with this try guided meditation, massage, or even yoga.
- Make sure you take the time to fulfill all 8 areas of your wellbeing on a regular basis to help you overcome burnout and eliminate some stressors.
- Physical- sleep, eat, exercise enough.
- Spiritual- keep an eye on what you value and what your purpose is and make sure you do that activity often.
- Intellectual- Find an activity that is interesting to do- something to stretch your imagination, creativity, and make you use your brain in a different way than you do every day.
- Financial- Try using a financial calculator or meet with a financial advisor to discuss your personal situation. Talking about your finances and knowing what you need to accomplish to be financially stable is a good starting point to feeling less stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out.
- Social- Even if you don’t feel like you have time, make time to be with friends and family so they can support you in your goals, or babysit your child so you can be with your partner alone.
- Emotional- Stay positive. Find something positive each day to focus on- your daughter is healthy, you have a job etc. If you struggle with this, look up how to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones.
- Environmental- Your environment includes your social, natural outdoor, and built environment. Take time look at your surroundings and maybe check out that store or museum you always drive by because you are too busy.
- Occupational- Take 5 minutes of your day to talk to a co-worker to learn from them, connect with them, and see how you can support each other at work.
We all have these areas that we need to fulfill in order to be successful, less stressed, and energized to face the next day and adventure. I hope with these tips and reminders, you can quickly recognize when and how to fill your “tank” and be able to handle late nights and responsibilities that we all have. And don’t forget to find that “exit” so you are reminded to take the time to do these things and be mentally aware.
As always if you need help with any of this or just need to talk, please use the resources that are available to you. If you have an Employee Assistance Program at work don’t hesitate to call them. If MINES is your EAP give us a call anytime. It’s free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day. You can reach us at 1-800-873-7138.
To Your Wellbeing,
James D. Redigan, LPC
The MINES Team
Emotional & Social Wellbeing
Smile, Happiness is Contagious!
Welcome to the November issue of TotalWellbeing! Later this month we will be celebrating one of the more social holidays of the year, Thanksgiving. Whether you find this time of year relaxing, fun, or even a bit stressful, what better time to discuss Emotional Wellbeing and its connection with your Social Wellbeing. It’s no mystery that our emotions have a way of influencing our social interactions, but it works both ways; the moods, state of mind, and overall emotional state our social connections can have a direct bearing on your emotional wellbeing, be it good or bad. To explore this relationship more closely please read The Connection, below.
Last month on the MINES blog we saw the last “Bridging the Gap” of 2014. This post helped recap everything we’ve been up to this last quarter, and previewed a bit of what you can expect for the rest of 2014 coming from the MINES team. So head over and check that out if you’ve missed anything or just need a little reminder of all the wellbeing topics covered these last 3 months.
If you are following us on our blog and LinkedIn showcase pages, you can expect some great resources and enlightening discussions coming up this next month, so stay tuned and let us know what you think.
To your total wellbeing,
The MINES Team
Emotional & Social Wellbeing
Emotional and Social Wellbeing tie together in countless ways. For the sake of this connection we will focus on the ways social influence impacts emotions, and in turn emotions affect your social interactions. It is important to be mindful of how our emotions affect those around us or even if our emotions are keeping us from connecting on a social level at all. And in turn, always be aware of how those around you are affecting you with their moods because happiness isn’t the only emotion that’s contagious. Another important aspect of this connection is the tendency for the quality of our social life to have direct bearing on our happiness levels. In order to be happy, one needs some level of healthy social interaction. Whether one is extroverted or introverted, combined with a myriad of other factors, will determine optimal levels of social activities for a given individual, but everyone needs at least a little companionship to maintain a healthy balance in life.
How to Do Emotional Clearing
|Developing social wellness begins early and often starts with the bonding between parent and child. This crucial stage of life is a crucial time in the lives of both parents and children, and can be one of the strongest predictors of mental and emotional wellbeing.To access this tool, click here.||Emotional Clearing is the practice of bringing awareness to our mental and emotional compulsions and reactions in order to “heal” them or integrate them. The end state of doing this work is Wholeness which is actually a step beyond enlightenment.To read the full article, click here.|
|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!|
The book, Spark, by John J. Ratey, M.D. is the holy grail of research applications related to the interaction of exercise, neuroplasticity, and performance. The information on brain chemistry changes in the areas of learning, addictions, anxiety, depression, women’s issues, ADHD, and aging is priceless. The essence of the book is that the data indicated the brain is able to create new neuronal connections, grow new nerve cells throughout life, manage major psychological conditions, pain conditions, and learning is significantly enhanced through exercise. Ratey stated that “exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function”- based on hundreds of research studies (p.245). Ratey suggested that the more fit you get (regardless of where you start), the “ more resilient your brain becomes and the better it functions both cognitively and psychologically. If you get your body in shape, your mind will follow” (p. 247).
How much is enough? Ratey stated that walking is enough. Low-intensity exercise is at 55 to 65% of maximum heart rate, moderate is 65-75% and high intensity is 75-90%. “The process of getting fit is all about building up your aerobic base” (p.251). Ratey goes on to discuss the role of strength training and flexibility as important elements of optimizing your brain chemistry and hormone levels.
What does this have to do with optimizing your performance at work and in all areas of your life? Everything! Get started today and stick with it.
Have a day filled with optimal brain chemistry,
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO & Psychologist
As the parent of a seven year old, I’ve been enamored with the concept of “intentional parenting.” The essence of this philosophy is to think about the type of person you want your child to be when they become an adult and to give them age appropriate responsibilities to support their development. I, for one, am committed to raising a global citizen who has an appreciation for other cultures, languages, perspectives, and lifestyle choices.
I was exposed to traveling at a very early age and was always deeply appreciative that my parents expanded my horizons and perspectives through global travel. I’m sure my mom wasn’t completely surprised when I told her I had bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand and wasn’t sure when I would be back. And, sure enough, after two years of traveling out of a backpack, returned home to start graduate school. I loved the sense of intrigue and mystery that came with traveling to exotic lands and far away places.
I also came home with a profound sense of appreciation for the global diversity that we have right here! Looking at situations from a new perspective, asking open ended questions to understand a different point of view, and being curious about someone’s background or beliefs are all windows towards creating a sense of belonging to a global community. I feel so fortunate that much of the work I do in BizPysch – be it executive coaching, diversity training, or providing conflict mediation services – are all ways to build bridges and create a sense of community and connection.
Now, I’m getting ready to embark on another global adventure. As a parent who is committed to raising a “global citizen,” I am getting ready to move overseas with my son. We will be gone for a little less than a year and during that time we will both be students learning a new language and embracing a completely different way of living. There are so many ways to embrace global diversity, be it participating in a cooking class with foods from another country, learning a new language, seeing a foreign film, reading books about other countries, or following your curiosity by exploring new places on the internet! I trust I will return with a new set of perspectives which is what makes traveling and experiencing different cultures, no matter how you choose to do it, so exciting!
Marcia Kent, MS
When my son was a little boy, he used to get very anxious at the thought of having to see the doctor, especially when it meant getting a shot. Even the promise of a lollipop or special treat did little to alleviate his anticipated state of dread. The last time he went he asked the million dollar question of, “WHY mommy…WHY do I have to get a shot again?”
The answer that I gave him was that it was a “gift of energy” to promote health and well being. Okay, maybe that was a little too esoteric for him to understand but it made me think about it that way! I thought about how great it would be if I could just get a little “shot” or a “booster” to help me through the many times when I faced a challenge or task with dread, trepidation, or even that paralyzing fear of failing.
Come to think of it, every time I engaged the help of an executive coach or sought counsel from a mentor, it was as if I was getting a booster shot to help me meet the challenge I was facing at the time. And those coaching sessions were a “gift of energy” because they gave me the structure, tools, and built-in accountability that I needed to reach my goals.
My challenges have changed over the years from training for a marathon, getting a master’s degree to move forward with my career, and trying to find that optimal balance as a working mother. While the challenges have changed over time, the value of those coaching sessions remained steady and was something that I could count on to help maintain a sense of well-being. I’ve appreciated every booster – be it a “shot it the arm” to help inoculate myself and manage my expectations about an event, or a gift of energy packaged as sage advice that gave me some new insights to work with.
It’s been incredibly valuable to have a coach help me see the potential in myself that I might have minimized or underestimated. It’s been priceless to have someone push me, encourage me to “stretch,” and challenge some of my limiting beliefs and irrational assumptions. It’s been invaluable to partner with someone and be able to think out loud about possible obstacles and setbacks and then develop strategies to overcome them so I reach my goals.
I’m a big believer in the merits and benefits of coaching. It’s one of the areas that I’m most passionate about when it comes to my role in BizPysch. We offer executive coaching and are always interested in partnering with people to help them achieve their goals in their professional development – it might be the perfect booster and gift of energy needed to promote your well-being!
Marcia Kent, MS