Posts Tagged Stress management

Total Wellbeing: December 2017

 

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December 2017: Physical Wellbeing and Stress

Get Involved!

Welcome to the December issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. As we come to the end of the year, stress can increase and your attention to your physical wellbeing may decrease. As the holidays bring forth stress around money for gift giving and around family gatherings, and the many holiday parties you may attend certainly don’t help your nutrition commitments. Please take this time focus on what matters, use your emotional resilience skills to de-stress, and focus on eating healthy.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our newest infographic on Stress for some helpful information around stress in the US and how to managed a stressful situation in  a healthy way.

In case you missed it, November was a great month on MINESblog! We started off with a great post from our affiliate and Alzheimer’s/Dementia expert JJ Jordan for Alzheimer’s Awareness month. Next, we celebrated World Kindness Day with a post talking about how to use kindness to improve your life and the lives of those around you. And finally, we posted about the interplay between stress and physical wellbeing as a tee up to this month’s focus. Be sure to check all of these out for great information and practical resources.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Health, Holidays, and Stress

Physical Wellbeing can encompass a lot of things from exercising regularly, eating healthy, taking time to make sure your stress is worked out through physical activity, and getting enough sleep. Stress can exasperate many medical and mental health conditions. This month is a perfect time to work on your stress by focusing on your physical wellbeing which will help resolve the side effects of stress. The blog on stress and physical wellbeing has some great tips and thoughts on this subject. As the holidays approach it is easy to put aside eating healthy and exercising. However, this is the best time to focus on doing this as it can actually improve your holiday experience and your overall wellbeing.

Check out these tips to incorporate healthy habits during the holidays!

Tips for you:

Emotions are a healthy part of the human experience. Acknowledging emotions and understanding your personal stress style is the first step in beginning to control them. In this session, we will discuss a selection of customary stressors as well as techniques for exercising control over them.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

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

Community Wellbeing Resources:

This month look at how you can expand your knowledge and skills within your community in regards to physical activities. Check out your local community’s website for senior centers where you could volunteer to help take people on a hike or to do yoga. Or look for other ways you can improve your, and others, physical wellbeing.

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

If your organization has access to PersonalAdvantage make sure to check out this customizable online benefit available through MINES. It has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and a whole section on having a stress free holiday season! If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

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

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 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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Kindness at In Its Simplest Form

Kindness

According to the Oxford dictionary, kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”. But it goes beyond just being friendly or considerate. It is the act of stepping outside your norm and doing something for someone else just for the sake of being nice. Today try celebrating #WorldKindessDay by finding unique ways to help those around you and yourself. You may be surprised at how much happier you will be and may even notice a permanent change in your environmental wellbeing at home and at work by simply celebrating this day in a new way.

Ways to be Kind at Work

Some days it can be tough to be kind at work, especially if there are hurt feelings, frustration around responsibilities, or if you are just plain busy. However, those are the best days to take a couple of moments out and force yourself to do something kind for those around you.

Here are 10 simple things you could do at work today to celebrate this important concept.

  1. Take a co-worker out to lunch or coffee who may be going through a stressful time (or bring them in a cup of their favorite beverage).
  2. Ask a co-worker who is struggling with caregiving or is having a hard time, what you can do to help or offer to babysit one night for them.
  3. Write a thank you note or bring in a treat for your janitorial staff who are rarely seen but do a ton of work to make sure your office is clean and ready to go for you.
  4. Say thank you to your receptionist for their hard work making sure your office runs smoothly.
  5. Send an encouragement note out to a co-worker.
  6. Smile at everyone you see in the hallway. This will encourage you and your co-workers!
  7. Don’t wait to be asked, but stay late or come in early and help a co-worker out on a big project.
  8. Stop and say “good morning” to a co-worker that you don’t normally interact with.
  9. Bring in a big crock pot of soup to share with everyone who wants some.
  10. Publicly recognize someone’s strengths and thank them for a job well done.

And remember, if you see someone struggling that needs help or should talk to someone, the EAP is a great resource and MINES and Associates has counselors available 24/7 to talk. Please give them our number at 1-800-873-7138 and offer to help them call.

Ways to be Kind at Home

We all know about random acts of kindness as there are countless stories of people buying coffee for the person behind them or passing along the good holiday cheer to strangers. This is an important aspect of what this day is all about. However, it is also important to bring this home to your family and friends.

  1. Offer to help a family member or friend work on their weekend to-do list.
  2. Take someone a meal so they don’t have to cook dinner for a day.
  3. Have everyone in your home (whether it is just you, your significant other, and/or your kids) write a thank you note to each person in the house.
  4. Do a chore for someone that you know they don’t like to do.
  5. Try writing up a list of random acts of kindness that someone could do for others in the house. Then every week draw from that list and do that action.
  6. Send a gift to someone who is having a hard day.
  7. Leave a treat for your mailman in your mailbox.
  8. Clean your kids’ room for them, without grumbling.
  9. Thank someone for their everyday contribution.
  10. Set time aside to have that lengthy conversation with your relative that likes to talk.

Ways to be Kind to Yourself

There are plenty of acts you can do that are selfless and helpful to those around you. However, have you considered that you need to be kind to yourself? Those times you feel guilty, stressed by your actions, or unsure about yourself, take this day to look inward at how you can build your personal wellbeing and improve yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself to something special. Most nutrition experts will agree that having a cheat day built into your healthy food schedule allows for habits to solidify and for you to enjoy life and those special occasions. So, take this time to examine what makes you happy and what you can do to support your needs. And take the time to tell a friend, co-worker, or family member your needs so they can support you in the future. Communication is key and we are all in this crazy world together trying to make the best of each day.

And it is always a good idea to talk to a counselor if you feel you need help or want to find ways to improve your wellbeing. MINES is happy to talk with you and help you set goals around this. Or you can check out our monthly communication that dives deeper into all 8 areas of wellbeing to see how you can support your needs.

Celebrate Kindness Every Day!

Use this day to start finding ways to incorporate kindness into your life. As you do this, you will be amazed at how satisfied you feel, how helpful you feel, and how much you can influence those around you. Smile, give generously, be helpful in small ways.

Here’s to your continued journey to total wellbeing,

 

Raena Chatwin

MINES and Associates

 

References

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kindness

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Break Free from Shoulda Woulda Coulda

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

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

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

The cost

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

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

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

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

The reward

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

Finishing up

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

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

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

 

To your wellbeing,

Ann Hendricks and Eugenia Janssen

Administrative Coordinators

The MINES Team

 

References

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

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

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

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Total Wellbeing: January 2017

 

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January 2017: Occupational Wellbeing and Retirement Planning

Get Involved!

 

death_to_stock_communicate_hands_1Welcome to the January issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. This year will be looking at these dimensions in conjunction with a monthly topic and how those two things vary in our communities. This month we will hone in on Retirement Planning and how different people may view how to go about that and how planning for your retirement affects your Occupational Wellbeing. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

Last month MINESblog saw two important posts that we hope you found useful. To recap, in case you missed them, we talked about Colorado Gives Day which is an annual charity day that supports Colorado non-profit organizations that do great work all year around. If you missed it but still want to donate head over to coloradogives.org to see how you might still contribute. Next, we know that the holidays can be a stressful time of year so we posted a guide to find joy amidst all the holiday madness.

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

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: How Retirement Planning Affects Your Wellbeing

Did you know that almost every country has some form of pension and social security benefits whether it is government funded or paid into by the employee? It is pretty incredible to think that so many countries see the importance and value of planning for the time when you will no longer work, either voluntarily or due to circumstances out of your control. Italy even has an elective residency visa that is generally used by foreigners who are retired and want to live in the Italian countryside. So how are you preparing for your retirement? Whether you are at the beginning or the end of your career it is important to your overall wellbeing to think about and find ways to start planning for retirement. Your occupational wellbeing is an important aspect of this. If you prepare for your retirement, you will feel happier as you get closer to that point. You will be able to focus your energy for your occupational wellbeing toward other work related issues rather than having to scramble that last year before you retire or feeling like you will never be able to retire.

It is never too early to start preparing for your retirement. Check out these resources.

Tips for you:

Talk to your co-workers or Human Resources and see what they have done to start preparing for the future. It is never too late to start that 401k or talk to a professional about it and you might have some great resources available at work.

The Connection: Get Involved

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

Community Wellbeing Resources:

This month, think about contacting your local shelter or organization and helping others work on their occupational wellbeing, whether it is helping them write a resume, coaching them on interview techniques, or helping them develop computer skills. Use your individual skill set to help someone else take a step toward keeping their occupational wellbeing strong and healthy. Check out this website and look for ways you can help in your community here!

Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, your online benefit through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and assistance for Retirement Planning. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

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

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Finding Joy Amidst the Holiday Stress

Angry, Frustrated Woman --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

This month is not only packed full of holidays and events, it celebrates Weary Willie, the character played by Emmett Kelly in the mid-1900s.  Weary Willie day reminds us of the importance of laughter which is very appropriate when you think of how stressful this time of year can be with the holidays, from dealing with family to making sure you have enough money and time to buy presents for people.

Emmett who performed with Ringling Brothers and Barnum, along with other circuses, was one of the few clowns who were depicted as being sad. He was classified as a hobo clown who couldn’t do much right. However, he knew how to make people laugh but also evoked sympathy from the audience. By celebrating Weary Willie and the art of clowning this month, it reminds us to find fun and enjoyment during life’s struggles and the hardships that may happen during this time of year. Whether it is just finding ways to alleviate stress or taking time to learn to juggle or ride a unicycle, remember this season will pass and it is important to find ways to smile every day. To learn more about Weary Willie and the impact he had on the world of clowns, check out this article: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emmett-Kelly

Don’t neglect your total wellbeing. Remember all 8 dimensions of your wellness are important to keep in focus during this season to help reduce stress and be able to enjoy this time of year. You need time to replenish so make sure you do! Take time to evaluate how you can make your Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Social, and Environmental wellbeing be fulfilled so you can alleviate stress around these areas.

Here are some great tips while preparing yourself for this Holiday Season:

  1. Maintain your health. Watch what you eat and drink, get enough sleep, and don’t neglect doing your exercise program. By focusing your energy towards your wellness goals, you will feel better and be able to accomplish more.
  2. Be easy on yourself. It is ok to feel sad or grieve the loss of someone who isn’t here to enjoy the holidays with you. Acknowledge those feelings and express these normal feelings. It is natural during the holidays to feel blue sometimes. However, remember if your workplace offers an EAP they are there to help if you do want to talk to a professional about what you are feeling and if you want help processing those emotions.
  3. Carefully choose the events to attend that will bring the most joy to you. Focus on what the true meaning of the holidays are for you so your celebrations are the most meaningful. Celebrate each event you do this season so you can look back on this time as a good time verses something you have to do. This includes baking, decorating, writing a meaningful letter to someone, or choosing the perfect gift.
  4. Shop within your budget and plan in advance when, how, and where you will shop. Don’t let money worries add any stress. Giving from the heart is more important that giving an expensive gift.
  5. Be more realistic about holiday expectations – both yours and the ones others may have of you. Whether it is managing your time wisely and figuring out what you can cut out to reduce the stress or being reasonable about what you can accomplish by limiting your baking, decorating, and gift-giving. Make sure to give yourself and others a break if things don’t go according to plan.
  6. Find ways to experience happiness this season at work and at home. No matter what happens around you or who is a “Grinch”, don’t get ruffled by others’ behaviors and keep that smile on your face. Consider including your co-workers in your plans if they don’t have any or helping out in a soup kitchen, sharing something funny with someone every day, or buying yourself a gift no one will think of getting you to help make this season the best yet.
  7. Recognize that family differences won’t disappear just because it is the holidays. Work on building a relationship by finding common ground or starting a new tradition. Share fun stories and start to heal those past hurts through forgiveness and love.
  8. Take time to sit, enjoy your surroundings, and relax. Take in the weather, your home, and focus on finding a moment each day to enjoy the activities happening around you whether it is going snowboarding or sitting by the fireplace reading a good book.

We hope this list will help you have a successful, joyous, and wonderful holiday season that is stress-free!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

Happy Holidays from 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: August 2016

 

 Total Wellbeing Icon

August 2016: Spiritual Wellbeing

Get Involved!

photo-1422222948315-28aadb7a2cb8

Welcome to the August issue of TotalWellbeing! This month we talk about Spiritual Wellbeing. This topic can be hard to define as it often means different things to different people depending on values, goals, beliefs, and background. But there is one aspect of Spiritual wellbeing that is common to us all and that is the drive to accept ourselves, the world, and our place within it. If you are feeling out of sync with yourself or the world around you it is important to take the time to meditate on the issue(s) that may be affecting you. While it is never a good idea to dwell on negative feelings, it is important to understand why we may be feeling them so that we can make changes, refine our values and understandings, and ultimately bring ourselves back into alignment so that we can feel better and move forward. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.

Much more information on a variety of topics is available on MINESblog. Here you can expect blogs, articles, and tips provided by members of the MINES Team. Last month you may have heard about a little game called PokemonGo. In case you didn’t notice it has been quite the social phenomenon, and we couldn’t help but look at some of the wellness and social psychology implications of the game, so check out what Ryan Lucas, our Manager of Engagement & Development, had to say about this latest craze. And of course we will have some more great articles coming up so make sure to subscribe.

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: Spiritual Wellbeing and Perspective

To be at peace with your surroundings you must first be at peace with yourself. This is no secret.  If you are stressed, distracted, or otherwise out of alignment with yourself it is hard to focus on your day-to-day life. You may find yourself unable to enjoy certain activities, find it hard to focus at work, or find your productivity slipping, all because there is something on your mind that is distracting you, or making you question your values or purpose. When that happens it is important to take the time to self-reflect and think about why you feel this way. To help bring yourself back into a place where you feel satisfied and fulfilled on a spiritual level, it is important to take time for yourself. Relax, seek to define or re-define your values, think about how those values guide your actions in your day to day life, and consider how you can refine the aspects of your life that you can control and let go of the things that you cannot such as the values and actions of others, or the state of the world as a whole. Come to terms with these things and it will be much easier to come to terms with yourself and find inner-peace.

Tips for you:

One of the key ingredients to Spiritual Wellbeing is self-acceptance and mindfulness. The ability to be self-aware without being overly critical of yourself can be tricky but not impossible. The key is to get above the negative thoughts in your head that are keeping you from being fully present in the moment. Don’t try to stop negative thoughts, as that is almost impossible, instead simply try to accept them and let them pass without affecting you. Use these 8 techniques for self-acceptance to help practice.

Try the Exercises 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:

While Spiritual Wellbeing focuses on looking within, we can’t truly be at peace with ourselves unless we understand our place in the world around us. It is important to remind ourselves from time to time how we work within the grand scheme of things. A great way to do that is to get out and interact with other people and at the same time find purpose for ourselves by helping others. Volunteering and helping with community-based events is a great way to do this. Volunteermatch.com makes it easy to find opportunities in your area where you can reach out and make an impact in your own community.

Find Opportunities Here!

Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, your online benefit through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

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

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TotalWellbeing: October 2015

 Total Wellbeing Icon

October 2015:  Be Aware of Your Spiritual Wellbeing

Wellness through Awareness!

Welcome to the October issue of TotalWellbeing! This month we are going to look at our wellness topic, Spiritual Wellbeing, as it pertains to another important theme for October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Before we get into how spiritual wellbeing plays a part in your life, we want to bring awareness to the fight against Breast Cancer and encourage you to get involved. MINES will be posting resources and tweets all month long on important issues pertaining to BCAM, but you can get involved right away by following the link in the wellbeing resources below to find great local resources and ways that you can help support the fight against Breast Cancer. For a closer look at spiritual wellbeing and how it relates to our topics this month please read The Path, below.

As usual we invite to check out MINESblog. Last month we had 3 very important posts. One of our case managers, Alea Mackley, discussed Suicide Prevention in the Workplace. Next Ryan Lucas, Manager of Engagement and Development, covered 5 important considerations for those suffering from depression in honor of National Suicide Prevention Day. And finally to balance things out with a post on a lighter topic, Nic Mckane, yours truly, looked at The Importance of Family Influence on Healthy Habits.

Continue to watch the MINESblog to see latest discussions about wellbeing topics and tips on staying healthy and stress-free. For even more great resources be sure to explore the links to the left with important resources such as our LinkedIn showcase pages  and Balanced Living Magazine.

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

Spiritual wellbeing could be defined as our level of peace and harmony tied to our sense of purpose within the world. Now where does Spiritual Wellbeing play a part in all Breast Cancer Awareness Month? In a word, hope. More specifically, maintaining positive spiritual wellness and remaining resilient when you or a loved one are faced with a diagnosis is hard — but crucial. Maintaining a positive state of mind has also been proven to impact treatment outcomes and limits despair during the darkest times in life. Not only does a high level of spiritual wellbeing make you a more resilient person during bad times but studies show that those that have overcome hardships have higher levels of happiness overall. This is due to a higher awareness of the small things in life and appreciation for the happier times in life. So this all just goes to show that good or bad, a positive, balanced mind can make all the difference.

Spiritual Wellbeing resources:

Keep your own spirits up! Find out some of the science behind spiritual wellbeing and its connection to our overall happiness. The University of California has some excellent overviews of spirituality and what it means to each of us as individuals as well as some great resources to help enhance your sense of spiritual satisfaction.

Read the full article here!

 

The American Cancer Society is a great organization that is no stranger to fighting the good fight. You can support all the great things they are doing by getting involved in local events or donating to the cause.

Get Involved!

 Chakra To Your Senses

Many cultures believe in Chakras (shock-ras) which are, simply put, energy centers in your body that govern various aspects of your physiology. We will stay away from any religious aspects of these, such as their Buddhist symbolism, and instead focus on the general concept behind them to bring you more ways to nurture your body as well as mind. Click here to see a complete list of the 7 chakras and their properties.

Chakras to nurture this month: Crown and Heart

In order to support your spiritual wellbeing it will be important to be aware of, and nurture, your Crown and Heart Chakras. Your Crown Chakra, located in the top of your head, is actually your spiritual energy center as well as intelligence. You can nurture your spiritual center by stimulating your intellect and critical thinking. Read an inspirational book, or engage in some meaningful conversation. Your Heart Chakra, located right where you think it’d be, is your center for love and compassion. Support your heart by spending time with those you care about, or even try some inward reflection such as writing in a journal or writing some poetry or music if you’re feeling creative. Now get out there and have fun and be well!

 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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TotalWellbeing: September 2015

 Total Wellbeing Icon

September 2015:  Be Aware of Your Emotional Wellbeing

Wellness through Awareness!

Welcome to the September issue of TotalWellbeing! Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th, meaning this month will be an opportunity to get involved with this important cause. Mines will be bringing you resources throughout the month to support those affected by suicide as well as information on how you can get involved and help those in need. So stay tuned this month to our blog, or follow us on Twitter, as we tackle this issue together.

What better month to discuss emotional wellbeing. The power of positive thinking cannot be overstated. While there are many things that happen that we may not like and also may not have any control over, from things like bad weather to getting sick, how we react can make all the difference. To explore this dimension more closely please read The Path, below.

Last month was when most kids go back to school, and while they may dread the start of a new season, you can use the extra time away from the kiddos to your advantage. MINES discussed how you can use this time to practice your lifelong learning, and the importance of striving to make yourself wiser, one day at a time. Make sure to check it out, it’s sure to make the new school year more interesting. Continue to watch the MINES blog to see latest discussions about wellbeing topics and tips on staying healthy and stress-free. For even more great resources be sure to explore the links to the left with important resources such as our LinkedIn showcase pages and Balanced Living Magazine.

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

Emotions can be one of the most powerful forces in our lives when it comes to happiness, decision making, day to day activities, and pretty much everything else going on in our lives. The path to Emotional Wellbeing comes from staying aware of your emotions and what affects you both positively and negatively. Do what you can to maximize your positive influences while minimizing the bad. While there are some things in life that we may have no control over, how we react to them is within our control. It is critical to be able to approach life difficulties while looking at the bright side of and keeping yourself in a positive frame of mind. The power of positive thinking can have a transformative effect on your outlook and quality of life and help you get over any hurdles that may come your way.

Emotional Wellbeing resources:

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder” –Henry David Thoreau. For inspiration and helpful tips, check out what the doctors on webmd.com have to say about emotional wellbeing and the quest for happiness.

Check it out here!

Teen angst is normal, but what about when it’s more serious? Emotional turmoil can be brought on by the desire to be independent while still needing boundaries and rules set by parents. During this time, some teens may struggle with self esteem issues, anxiety or depression. Learn the warning signs of mental health issues and how to help.

Check it out here!

 Chakra To Your Senses

Many cultures believe in Chakras (shock-ras) which are, simply put, energy centers in your body that govern various aspects of your physiology. We will stay away from the spiritual aspects of these and instead focus on the concept behind them to bring you more ways to nurture you body as well as mind. Click here to see a complete list of the 7 chakras and their properties.

Chakras to nurture this month: Heart and Sacral

In order to support your emotional wellbeing it will be important to be aware of, and nurture, your Heart and Sacral Chakras. Your Heart Chakra is right where you think it’d be and acts as a center of compassion, love, and desire. You can nurture your Heart by connecting with yourself as well as other. Do things that fill you with joy and compassion, have deep talks with those you care about, and be open to the love and compassion of others. Then for your Sacral Chakra, located behind your naval, choose activities that nurture your romantic side. Have a nice dinner with your significant other, go dancing, or even just a nice relaxing hot bath will help support your relationships, empathy, and sensuality which are all important aspects of your emotional wellbeing. Now get out there and have fun and be well!

 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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Environmental and Social Stressors

Environmental and social stressors often negatively impact an individual’s work performance and mental wellbeing.  It might seem as if these stressors are completely out of our control and that one must surrender to their impact.  However, it is important to acknowledge that individuals do have control of how they respond to these stressors. Here, we take a look at some common examples of these types of stressors, and some ways in which we can choose to respond.

 

Environmental Stressors like weather, traffic, and the work environment represent a few examples of things that cannot always be controlled.  The way humans respond to these situations can affect wellbeing.  If there is no way to change one’s reality, there are likely ways to at least balance it.  Consider taking possible measures to balance your own environmental stressors.

 

 

  1. Scheduling: Traffic, for example, can be a huge environmental stressor. Leaving the house late and speeding regularly adds to stress levels.  Rather than cursing the freeways and inanity of one’s fellow drivers, a person can leave home in the morning 30 minutes early; they could put on their favorite music while sipping a nice hot beverage of their choice.  This might make the commute more tolerable, possibly even enjoyable.

 

  1. Personal space: Another aspect of environment has to do with your physical environment.   When you walk into your house after a long day of work how does it feel?  When you sit at your desk at work all day how does it feel?  What can you do to make your spaces feel better, healthier, and more supportive for you?  Everyone is different. For some, having pictures of loved ones on your desk makes a big difference.  For others, keeping your desk or home uncluttered and clean has a huge effect on their sense of control and wellbeing.  Maybe others like to have lots of live green plants around to liven things up, or like to light incense or a candle to clear the air.  Maybe you don’t have a window in your office, but is it possible to make sure you take a few small breaks during the day and go outside for a couple minutes to keep you grounded and feel some sunshine?  Although these may seem like small efforts, they make a big difference in your emotional health and overall wellbeing.

 

  1. We can limit our exposure to environmental stressors. If you are someone who is agitated by listening to or reading the news, you can choose to limit your time doing that activity.  We all know that the news tends to focus on negative stories and violence, and it may be beneficial to substitute an activity that is more calming.  Limiting our exposure to unrealistic images of beauty that can be found on most magazine covers can lead to higher self-esteem.  Perhaps bypassing the tabloid magazine for the bestseller at Barnes & Noble will give you a necessary break to develop self-compassion and inner peace.  Things like pesticides, toxins, and pollutants are out of our control, but we can limit our exposure by eating more organic foods, drinking filtered water, and filtering our air with a HEPA filter.  Things like noise pollution can be out of our control, but installing a white noise machine can drown out the unpleasant noise.

 

Social stressors can also weigh heavy in a person’s life.  An ideal social environment would include meaningful relationships, positive support, and mutual respect.  However, sometimes we are forced to learn how to best relate with individuals we encounter who may manipulate, try to exert control over us, or are emotionally or physically abusive.

 

  1. Boundaries: Create and maintain strong boundaries.  It is okay to limit time with a problematic individual.  It is also permissible to say “no” at times.  It often feels difficult to set boundaries because the person may be angry or upset; however, in the long run boundaries actually help build much stronger relationships.

 

  1. Social support system: Although in some cases we don’t have control over the people in our lives, such as family and coworkers, we do have control over who we invite into our lives for a social support network.   A person’s circle of friends has a strong influence on emotional health and overall wellbeing.  If someone wants to think more positively and then they surround themselves with people who think negatively, they are likely not meeting their goal.  Or take for example a person who wants to get healthier both physically and mentally by partying less.  But that person’s friends put pressure on them to drink and go out during the weekends.  The person in search of health might feel “out of control” or destined to constantly party.  This furthers emotional and physical discomfort while simultaneously being held back from evolving and reaching your goals.  You have a choice who to bring into your support system. You can bring people in who lift you up, inspire you, support you, and help you grow.  Intimate relationships are another area you have choices in.  If your partner is always putting you down or is abusive in any way, they may create a toxic environment that negatively influences your physical and emtional wellbeing.

 

  1. EAP and Counseling: Another way to get some support around social and environmental stressors is through counseling or your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Counseling is a safe, non-judgemental place to get support around things you are struggling with in your life — whether they are related to work or not. Sometimes counseling is helpful just to gain another perspective or to attain some new coping skills.  EAP is completely confidential and provides a great way to access free counseling services through your benefits.  EAPs often offer telephonic or video sessions if you are too busy to go in for an appointment.

 

Remember:  Our reactions to an environmental or social stressor can determine its impact.  It’s always possible to reduce stress levels by consciously responding to these stressors in a way that can balance their effects.  By practicing this skill often, you will begin to know yourself well enough to tell if an environmental or social stressor is negatively impacting your wellbeing, and you will be able to promptly take steps to improve your emotional and physical health.

 

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Alea Makley, MA – Clinical Case Manager

Alex Rothchild, MA, LPC – Clinical Case Manager

The MINES Clinical Case Management Team

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