Posts Tagged stress

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 and Associates

BizPsych

2017 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

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MINEs Archives

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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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Physical Wellbeing and Stress

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), being mindful of your physical wellbeing means recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. Physical wellbeing is an important concept on many levels as your level of physical health has a huge influence on other parts of your life such stress levels, optimal hormone production, and energy levels to name a few. In this blog, my intention is to look at how stress and physical wellbeing interact with each other on a day-to-day basis and explore some things that we can all do to boost our physical wellbeing and lower our stress levels at the same time.

What does Physical Wellbeing Look Like?

The choice to maintain your overall physical wellbeing is one of balance. It doesn’t mean that you need to eat a super strict diet and exercise every day. It is more about creating healthy habits that you do on a consistent basis. If you are mindful of what you eat and how much you exercise, you will naturally start to move towards the healthier path. The more you repeat the behavior, the more you will begin to see the effects and the easier it will become to develop a routine. As you choose the healthier path more often than not, the good habits will grow and soon you won’t have to think about it, eating healthy foods will become the norm and a day where you don’t exercise or do some type of physical activity will feel strange and unproductive.

Before we get ahead of ourselves it is important to remember that physical wellbeing is just as much about making good decisions as it is about avoiding bad ones. For example, excessive drinking and drugs will impact your physical wellbeing in a huge way, as will eating junk food or never exercising, so remain vigilant and avoid the dangerous stuff just as much as you seek out the healthy. If we learn to moderate and balance ourselves it can go a long way in managing the impact of one of the biggest health hazards around, stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. While the definition is pretty broad, how each of us experience stress, and the circumstances that may be responsible for our stress, can be very specific and personal. This is one of the reasons there is no “cure-all” or universal way to eliminate stress from your life. The important thing is to monitor yourself for signs of stress and manage any stress in a proactive way to minimize any effects on your wellbeing.

So, what happens when we don’t manage our stress in a healthy and proactive manner? Well, stress can lead to numerous negative effects that can impact our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Some signs of unmanaged stress include fatigue, nausea, muscle tremors, twitches, headaches, anxiety, guilt, grief, fear, depression, irritability, inability to rest, memory and attention problems, trouble sleeping, and more. Again, since each of us has our own unique sources of stress, it is important to understand how you as an individual react to stress and monitor yourself for signs.

How Physical Wellbeing Interacts with Stress

The good news is that there are things that we can do to manage and reduce the stress that we experience. For the purpose of this blog, I will focus on the physical wellbeing side, which includes physical activity, good nutrition, and sleep. Focusing on your physical wellbeing can both manage current stress as well as prevent future stressors such as disease and health conditions caused by poor physical wellbeing, so it really is a win/win situation!

Exercise

First, as a proactive management tool, exercise is one of the best and healthiest ways to manage the stressors of our daily lives. Exercise helps your muscles get rid of stress-induced tension and acids that build up, while also helping your body release feel-good endorphins that will help you relax. It will be important to develop an exercise routine that is aerobic, so you get all the heart-healthy benefits and make it fun so you’ll continue to enjoy doing it.

In addition to higher energy levels and relaxation benefits, another “pro” of regular exercise is a higher quantity and better quality of sleep. Now we will talk about sleep more in a bit, but for now I just wanted to note that it is important to stick to your exercise routine when you are stressed or tired. One of the reasons for this is that while we sleep our body uses this time to regulate chemicals in our body including neurotransmitters and hormones. When we don’t get enough sleep, those chemicals can be out of balance, but when we exercise it helps to balance out those same chemicals, meaning that when you don’t get enough sleep it becomes more important to exercise in order to keep your body in stasis.

Some exercise tips include:

  • Get a workout buddy. When you have a reliable partner to workout with, it makes exercise more fun. You can encourage and hold each other to the commitments that you have both made.
  • Talk to your doctor. A doctor can help gauge where your physical wellbeing is at now and help set healthy goals to strive for. This will also help you approach your goals in a safe and calculated way specific to your individual needs.
  • Avoid Boredom. Don’t set yourself up for failure by selecting activities you know you hate. If you can’t stand running in place on a treadmill, run outside or bike instead. Working out in solitary not your thing? Try group classes to shake things up.

Nutrition

Next up is nutrition. Good eating habits centered around eating regular, nutritious meals will further help your body stay chemically balanced, improve energy levels, and reduce the chances of stress causing disease caused from poor nutrition including obesity and diabetes.

When developing your nutritional goals, it will be important to focus on foods low in fat, sodium, and refined sugars. Look for foods containing complex and complete carbohydrates such as whole wheat breads and flours. When purchasing meat, think about using leaner options such as turkey bacon and chicken over fat-heavy pork. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and limit alcohol consumption.

It can also be important how you eat. As much as you can help it, eating should not be a rushed or stressed endeavor. Try to set aside enough time that you don’t need to rush through your food. Not only will this lead to easier digestion, but mindful eating can be a time for relaxation and contemplation. For instance, try this mindful eating exercise next time you are having dinner. Begin by taking the time to look at your food and notice how it looks, if it’s a hot meal pay attention to how the steam rises from the dish, and how the colors of the various food items look. Take a single bite and focus on how the food tastes, what the texture is like, and what you enjoy about each bite. If you are eating with family members have them describe their own thoughts about the food and the eating experience. Mindful eating not only helps you appreciate the food and the overall experience of eating, it also has physical benefits such as easier digestion from the slower eating pace. Eating slower also means your body will have more time to tell you it’s full before you take those few extra bites. Of course, this is just one example of using a simple everyday activity as a mindfulness exercise, but it should get you thinking about other activities in your own day-to-day life that have mindful potential. Leveraging these small “mindful moments” can go a long way in helping you maintain perspective and stay present among all the external stressors in your life.

Some other nutrition tips include:

  • Do not go to the store hungry and stock only healthy foods at home. Not going to the store hungry and making sure to only buy healthy food means that when you are hungry and craving the junk food you will simply not have access to it. Over time you will begin to truly enjoy and crave the good, healthier options.
  • Make simple swaps for a leaner diet. Rather than eliminating foods you love, try simply making them healthier with a few substitutions. Prepare veggies without sauces or butter, reduce your fatty meat portions, grill instead of fry, dip food in sauce rather than smother it, and choose whole-grain, low-salt, and low-fat options when shopping.
  • Make a meal log. Keeping a list of the meals you eat can help you visualize your eating habits, identify patterns, and find opportunities for improvement. Sometimes you just don’t realize that you had 3 cheeseburgers already this week, but if you keep a list it becomes easier to find those bad habits you may not think about otherwise.

Sleep

Sleep can be a huge issue for many people, and the frustrating thing about the sleep/stress cycle is that stress can often be the cause of sleepless nights and in turn being tired makes you less resilient to the effects of stress. This can cause an exhausting spiral that can quickly take its toll on your wellbeing and other good habits such as your exercise routine, even though as I mentioned above, it’s even more important to exercise when you have had poor sleep.

In addition to magnifying the effects of stress, not getting enough sleep causes all sorts of negative effects and can be dangerous. Drowsiness can cause delayed reaction time, impaired judgement, poor vision quality, decreased motivation, irritability, and lack of focus. All of these side effects are bad by themselves but when combined with activities like driving or operating machinery, the risk factor goes way up. To combat these risks, you need to be mindful and purposeful of your sleeping routine. Make it a goal to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and build your bedtime routine around this effort. Begin by building a bedtime ritual that you start at the same time every night. Pick relaxing activities that help you wind down. This could be reading a book, meditating, taking a warm bath, journaling, or something else you find enjoyable and relaxing. Try to avoid any activities that involve a screen like a TV, computer, or mobile device as these screens can emit light within a specific spectrum that can interfere with, and alter, your sleep/wake cycle.

Some sleep tips include:

  • Keep to the same bedtime and wake time schedule, even on weekends.
  • Eliminate noise and light from your sleep environment (use eye masks and earplugs).
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and foods close to bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol; although it may seem to improve sleep initially, tolerance develops quickly and it will soon disturb sleep.

Other Considerations

By now you should have at least some idea around how stress and physical wellbeing interact with each other and may even have an idea of how you’re going to use your physical activities to help reduce stress. No matter what your physical and nutrition plan is, balance and moderation will be important. Don’t exercise yourself into exhaustion and don’t diet yourself into a nutrient deficiency. In fact, we would advise that you talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen or diet. Find out what path works for your unique set of needs and proceed slowly. Start developing those good habits while you scale back the bad ones and before you know it these changes you make will become habitual and most importantly, sustainable.

It is practically impossible to avoid stress in our daily lives, and we must accept that many things are outside our control. However, by maintaining the facets of our lives we do have control over, we can be infinitely better prepared to handle the stressors that inevitably come our way. It is crucial that we maintain healthy habits that will build “positive spirals” in our lifestyle and overall health. The journey is not always an easy one but the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to your social network of friends and family and see who wants to take the journey with you or is at least willing to encourage you and help you stick to your convictions. Read self-help books on topics your struggling with, talk to others that may have experience, and try out local support groups.

If your employer offers one, you can also reach out to your Employee Assistance Program to see what resources they can offer to help such as MINES’ wellness programs or online portal, PersonalAdvantage, that provides articles, assessments, tips, trainings, and other resources on fitness, nutrition, stress, and much more. Call us at 1-800-873-7138 or email us at communications@minesandassociates.com if you have any questions.

 

To your wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

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Suicide in the Workplace

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. Consider that number for a moment.  Imagine someone asked you to count 1 million toothpicks.  How long would it take?  Most Americans have been impacted by suicide.  The topic of suicide and the workplace is not frequently talked about and often gets overlooked.

A colleague or employee contemplating suicide can be overwhelming for HR representatives, supervisors, and managers.  You may not know what your role is or how to offer support without overstepping professional and personal boundaries.  One of the most difficult questions has to do with assessment.  How does one determine if a person is really at risk for suicide, and if a risk is detected what is the most effective way to intervene?

This blog provides a brief reference, or starting point, for developing strategies to manage suicide in the work place.   It addresses warning signs, prevention tips, and postvention tips.  It also offers suggestions for what you can do to support those who have lost an employee or co-worker to suicide.

When a person is contemplating taking their own life, they often will not voluntarily tell anybody.  They may, however, reach out in non-direct ways.  Below are some warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide:

  1. Talking, writing about suicide/death. The phrases, “I wish I were dead” or “the world would be better off without me” are common examples of things suicidal people might say.
  2. Someone might be suicidal if they begin actively seeking access to guns or other weapons, pills, etc.
  3. They begin putting their affairs in order. Things like making a will, or tying up loose ends as not to be a further burden on friends and family might be a sign that they are contemplating leaving for good.
  4. A person who appears down, depressed, or hopeless.
  5. Isolating themselves from others. Somebody who normally engages socially might become isolated or start to withdraw from co-workers, work engagements and other social obligations might be suffering from major depression.
  6. Increase in risky behavior. If a person significantly increases alcohol, or drug use, incidents of unsafe sex, calling into work, reckless driving, or a host of other harmful activities, they are demonstrating unsafe behaviors and may have given up.

If you witness one or more of the above behaviors the next step is to determine their risk.  It is helpful to consider multiple factors that could increase ones risk.  The brief list below is a place to start.

  1. Biopsychosocial factors: The individual is at higher risk if they have a history of trauma or abuse, alcohol or drug addiction, or mental health issues–especially those that have gone undiagnosed or untreated.  If there have been previous attempts and/or a family history of suicide then this would increase the likelihood that someone would seriously complete suicide.
  2. Sociocultural factors: Being part of a stigmatized, non-dominate group in society like LBGTQ can cause a person to feel isolated especially if they do not have the support of friends and family.  The person may have been in a social environment where suicide is normalized, they may have had friends or family complete suicide which makes suicide contemplative.  Barriers to mental healthcare associated with socioeconomic issues prevent individuals obtaining the help and early intervention they need.
  3. Environmental factors: These might include a recent job loss, dropping out of school, or loss of a loved one or relationship.  The person may live in an environment where access to guns or pills is readily available increasing their means–subsequently increasing risk.
  4. Does the person have a plan, intent or means to commit suicide? If somebody discloses that they have a specific plan to harm themselves, high motivation to do so, and a way to do it, they are at high risk for committing suicide.

If you have seen the warning signs in someone and determine that they are at high risk and you feel they are in imminent danger you should get them to a mental health professional, call 911, or take them to the nearest emergency room.  For long-term suicide prevention tips in the workplace see the ideas below.

Prevention tips:

  1. Make help accessible by posting suicide prevention hotlines in lunchrooms, break rooms, and bathrooms.
  2. Raise awareness regarding resources; make sure employees know that they have an employee assistance program (EAP) and that using the benefit is confidential. Post flyers with numbers to the EAP so that number is accessible to everyone. Oftentimes EAP programs are accessible to human resource representatives, mangers, and supervisors; take advantage and seek advice.  Have a list of community resources that offer mental health services.  Let employees know that they can also talk with their human resources representative.
  3. Educate employees by destigmatizing mental health and substance abuse issues by offering lunch and learns or trainings on various topics such as suicide, healthy coping skills for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse issues.
  4. Create a balanced work environment by allowing for “mental health” days or offering work from home days if it’s possible. Managers and supervisors can help by assisting in resolving work problems as they arise and managing conflict effectively between co-workers, managers, and supervisors.

If your company has experienced a suicide, the loss of a colleague or employee can be shocking and traumatic. Below are a series postvention tips that might be helpful in the event of a workplace suicide.

Postvention tips:

  1. Acknowledge that your employees may have strong emotions surrounding the suicide and will need opportunities to express their feelings.
  2. Supervisors and managers should be on alert for PTSD symptoms. A drastic change in behavior may be a sign that a person is having a hard time dealing with the incident.
  3. Encourage healthy grieving by providing a basic understanding of the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.  The stages of grief affect individuals differently at various rates.   Some employees may express their grief as sadness or anger over a long period of time, while others may get back to their normal lives rather quickly.
  4. Offering empathetic and compassionate listening will give employees permission to talk openly with their supervisors and managers and will give them the opportunity to ask for what they might need in their grief. Being accessible to employees lets them know that they are not alone and that they are supported
  5. Become a role model for healthy grieving by being open with your feelings surrounding the suicide.

The purpose of this blog is not only to help employers notice the warning signs of suicide and help them assess their employee’s risk for suicide, it also serves as a basic framework on how to instill awareness regarding suicide, prevention and postvention tips in the workplace.  It is likely that if there is early recognition and intervention of a person who is contemplating suicide, that there can be a positive outcome.  In honor of suicide prevention month remember, asking someone “how are you doing” or “are you ok” should reach farther than the project they’re working on.  By asking and being open to talk, you can save a person’s life.

Helpful resources:

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://www.crisischat.org/

http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/sites/actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/files/Managers-Guidebook-To-Suicide-Postvention-Web.pdf

Crisis Lines:

1-800-273-TALK (8255):  This number will connect you with a mental health professional who will be able to assist you.

Apps:

Ask:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ask-prevent-suicide/id419595716?mt=8

The Jason Foundation:  http://jasonfoundation.com/get-involved/student/a-friend-asks-app/

MY3:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/my3-app.aspx

Alea Makley, MA
Case Manager
MINES & Associates

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TotalWellbeing: April 2015

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April 2015:  Be Aware of Your Intellectual Wellbeing

Wellness through Awareness!

Welcome to the April issue of TotalWellbeing! This month we’ve got our eyes on Intellectual Wellbeing. As with most of the areas of wellbeing we talk about, intellectual wellbeing is something that you cultivate and nurture throughout your entire life, constantly building on new ideas, experiences, and ways of thought. Practice makes perfect and intelligence is no exception. In order to expand your knowledge and nurture your brain, you have to step out of your comfort zone and seek out new ideas and fresh experiences. To explore this dimension more closely please read The Path, below.

Swing on over to the MINES blog to check out our latest post by Dr. Robert Mines which takes a look at incivility and bullying in the workplace. We can’t stress enough about the importance of creating a comfortable, trusting work environment where people feel safe. When employees have to work in fear of being bullied or discriminated against it is not only toxic to the company’s productivity, but the employees’ mental and physical wellbeing is also at risk.

Don’t forget to check out  important resources such as our blog and LinkedIn showcase pages to make sure you don’t miss anything.

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

Intellectual wellbeing is something that you must use or loose. The brain is just like any other part of your body, if you fail to use it then it will atrophy. Intelligence is critical to understanding your place in the world, and making the world we live in a better place for all. So to truly nurture your intellect, you owe it to yourself to constantly seek out knowledge and be open to new ideas. Studying various subjects, talking to new people, learning a new language or instrument, and going out and seeing new places are all great ways to gain insight and shine a light on the corners of your brain that were once dark.

Intellectual Wellbeing resources: Check out what the neuroscience department of Macalester College has to say about the various types of intelligence and left vs. right brain interaction!Read Article Here

Jumpstart your own pursuit of knowledge with some tips from Wikihow.com on how to boost brain activity with everyday activities!

Read Tips

 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: Crown and Third-Eye Chakras

In order to support your intellectual wellbeing it will be important to be aware of and nurture your Crown and Third-Eye Chakras. Located on the top of your head and in the middle of your head respectively, these energy centers act as your conduits for intelligence, wisdom, intuition, and perception, among many other aspects. You can nurture your Crown and Third-Eye Chakras by keeping your mind open to new ideas, by stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring new experiences, reading new books, and generally seeking out interests and hobbies. Now get out there, 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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Psychology of Performance #50: Easy Access to Healthcare and Work Performance, Call A Doctor Plus

 

How long does it take you to get into see your physician when you have an illness such as a sore throat, the flu, when your child has an ear ache, or similar type of medical problem? How many times have you wished you could talk to a doctor just to get an informed opinion about drug side effects, or how to manage an injury? How much time away from work do these appointments cost you? If you go after hours to urgent care or emergency care when a simple call would have allowed you to manage a problem, what did it cost you in time and money?

This is a true story. A friend of mine has a two year old with a history of earaches. Her child had an ear ache at two in the morning. She called her pediatrician and asked him to write a prescription for the child. He had prescribed for this child, for this problem before. He refused to do it over the phone and she had to go to an emergency room to get the prescription. She had a high deductible and $1,400 later she had her prescription. She could have saved this money completely, plus the stress of taking a two year old out in the middle of the night, if she had the CADR+ services. If you were her employer, how productive do you think she was the next day with the level of sleep deprivation she incurred? What did it cost you as an employer to have her distracted by the financial stress and fatigue?

MINES is committed to early access to care whether it is for behavioral health or medical issues. To that end, MINES has partnered with Call A Doctor Plus (CADR+, powered by Teledoc) to provide 24/7 access to physician care for non-emergency medical advice and care with no co-pay. The reason MINES is offering this is to reduce the stress of trying to access care in most medical systems, help individual employees and their families manage the high deductibles that are ubiquitous in most employer or exchange plans, and to get people on the path to health as early as possible to reduce the overall costs to their employers. MINES’ CADR+ program also has a wellness card powered by Welldyne that gives discounts on dental, vision, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies. Furthermore, MINES’ product can also offer free legal/financial consults for a half-hour plus a discount with the attorney or financial professional if further services are needed.

Telemedicine is an important innovation in healthcare delivery on both the behavioral and medical sides, and currently all but two states allow it.

How does CADR+ fit in with your organization’s productivity and performance strategy? CADR+ can be purchased by the employer for all employees, can be offered as a voluntary benefit, or purchased individually. All enrollees in the CADR+ program can also cover up to 5 additional family members with unlimited consultations a year. Please contact us if you would to improve your organization’s performance related to managing medical issues before they get out of hand.

Remember! Allow yourself to be calm, centered, and serene as you extend kindness to everyone you meet today.

Bob

Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist

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TotalWellbeing: January 2015

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January 2015: Be Aware of Your Physical Wellbeing

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Wellness through Awareness!

Happy New Year and welcome to the January issue of TotalWellbeing! To start the year off right we wanted to introduce you to the new layout of TotalWellbeing. This year we will focus on one of the dimensions of wellbeing per month and focus on being aware of wellness in your everyday life in order to keep your minAd on track and your body in balance. This month we focus on the ever important realm of Physical Wellbeing. Keeping your body healthy is one of the most basic elements of healthy living and is at the very core of keeping yourself at an optimal level of wellbeing.  To explore this dimension more closely please read The Path, below.

Last month on the MINES blog we saw some excellent content from our experts here at MINES. With the New Year upon us, we posted some great ideas to help you be successful with your resolution in 2015 and beyond. We also highlighted a very generous program that a client of ours utilized to bring a little extra holiday joy to their employees who needed it.

In the spirit of awareness, this year we want to hear from you, yes that’s right, you! Please send any inspiring stories, wellbeing techniques that you use, or any other fantastic ways you’ve found to stay mindful and balanced to communications@minesandassociates.com or just click one of our Share buttons. Not only will the best wellbeing stories each month be featured in the quarterly BalancedLiving Magazine but authors may also receive a $5 gift card! Don’t miss out and share today!

And as usual make sure to follow us on our blog and LinkedIn showcase pages to make sure to get all the resources we have for you in 2015.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path

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Physical wellbeing, a concept that pretty much every one of us has thought about from time to time. Whether you run, do yoga, hike, or bike to work, we have many options in front of us to help keep our bodies healthy. If you already exercise, that’s great, and as the year progresses we will bring you resources to help challenge yourself further. If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry, we will help you get off to a great start down the road to wellbeing this year. Because if you take care of your physical self, the mental part of your wellbeing will benefit and help you become happier and more well-balanced as a result.

Healthy Eating

Physical Wellbeing Resources:

Better your understanding of the benefits of physical activity with this CDC article on physical health!

Read Article Here

Engage your body with these perfect workout routines for people on the go by Livestrong.com!

Full Recipe Here

New! Chakra To Your Senses New!

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: Root and Solar Plexus

In order to support your physical well being it will be important to be aware of and nurture your Root and Solar Plexus Chakras. Your Root Chakra, located in the base of your spine, acts as your storage for physical vitality and can be nurtured through keeping yourself physically active and choosing activities that stimulate creativity. Your Solar Plexus Chakra is located in your upper abdomen and is connected to self-confidence and self-esteem; choose fun social activities that keep you moving, like dancing, to nurture this part of yourself. 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 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: December 2014

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Social & Spiritual Wellbeing

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Peace on Earth, and of mind!

Welcome to the December issue of TotalWellbeing! Here we find ourselves in the last month of the year and therefore the last wellbeing connection for the 2014 season. This month we chose to focus on social and spiritual wellbeing as those will be important concepts to focus on during the holiday season. This time of year can be tough as we balance personal traditions and beliefs with social events and sharing. This balance can lead to stress but can also open up channels of communication and bonding unique to this time of year.  To explore this relationship more closely please read The Connection, below.

November was National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and to honor this important cause out latest post on MINESblog discussed some important considerations for Alzheimer’s and the caregivers that help those that suffer from this horrible disease.

Next month we will be back with a fresh format and new content ready to start 2015 off with a bang. You can look forward to new resources and new ways to support your wellbeing. 2015 isn’t going to be all about what MINES has to say, we want to hear from you! That’s right, we will be calling on you to share your own wellbeing stories and triumphs. Don’t worry though, there will be interesting incentives to make sure you have a reason to share and have your voice heard.

Please follow our blog and LinkedIn showcase pages as we move into the new year. 2015 is already shaping up to be filled with more information, resources, helpful tips, and inspiration than ever and we don’t want you to miss anything!

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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The Connection:

Social & Spiritual Wellbeing

Social and Spiritual wellbeing are a tough connection. While most people would say that their spirituality is a personal detail of their lives, spirituality has the power to bring people together. Whether it be a yoga class, a church group, a or even a Buddhist monastery, what we do by ourselves to enrich our own spirituality has the power to bring us together and even form communities around this very personal aspect of our lives. And in turn our social connections can open our eyes to new ways to see the world and fresh ideas on how to nurture the spiritual need within.

Social Wellbeing

Spiritual Wellbeing

How to Avoid Being Socially Awkward

Head in Hands

Why is Spirituality Important?

Niagara Falls

Once you realize that everyone is afraid of being socially awkward and that there are ways to move on from awkward situations with grace and confidence, you’ll be on your way to embracing social interactions instead of dreading them. If you want to know how to avoid being socially awkward, check out these easy steps from WikiHow.com.To read the full article, click here. Every day studies are showing more ways that spiritual wellbeing is important to overall health. Find out what some of these benefits are and why spirituality is important to nurture so you can learn to be mindful of your own spirituality in your everyday life.To read the full article, click here.
 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: November 2014

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Emotional & Social Wellbeing

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Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

BizPsych

Upcoming Work/Life Webinar:
Delightfully Dealing with Difficult Children

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn Showcase Pages

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

communications@MINESandAssociates.com

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

Heart Blue

The Connection:

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.

Social Wellbeing

Emotional Wellbeing

Social & Emotional Development of Children with Working Parents1396842_16444743

How to Do Emotional Clearing

sad business man

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_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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Marcia’s reFrame #3: An invitation to a better 1440

1440

That’s an important number.

It’s the number of minutes we have each day.

Today, I attended the 7th Annual Colorado Culture of Health Conference. One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Wendy Lynch, who was recently named in Forbes “One of Thirteen to Watch in 2013: Unsung Heroes Changing Healthcare Forever,” Her message about the balance of work and wellbeing was compelling.

The presentation focused on human capital and human capital currency. She defined human capital as a set of assets that we all have; our skills, health and motivation. No one can make us increase our skills, become healthier or more motivated without our own involvement. We own our assets!

Think about a time when you made a change in your health, learned a new skill or searched for a source of motivation.  You might have had encouragement, been given a compelling reason to make an adjustment or an ultimatum to make a drastic change.  In the end, it was your choosing and your doing. You are the owner of your assets when it comes to your health, skills and motivation.

Human capital currency is our energy, attention and time. We share that currency when we contribute at work, participate at home and engage in recreational pursuits. We spend our currency because we believe that we will get something in exchange. Typically, we do something because it creates value: a satisfying experience, an intrinsic reward, an extrinsic affirmation or a monetary gain.

Dr. Lynch suggested that wellness is a time preference issue. Consider the following:

  • 50% of Americans feel the biggest thing lacking in their lives is time – not money.
  • During the week, only 47% of all calories are consumed while “only eating” is our sole activity.  The other 53% are consumed while we’re multi-tasking.
  • 4 out of 5 smart phone owners check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up!
  • Adults, 18-64 years of age, only do 17 minutes of fitness activities per day.
  • Of Americans 25 years of age and older, 6.6% engage in health-related self-care each day.

Did these statistics get your attention? They got mine. I had to ask myself if I was spending my 1440 wisely. Not an easy question. If I’m being truthful with myself, my answer varies from an unequivocal “yes” to a resounding “no”.

Time is a fixed resource, constrained and finite. It’s not something I want to squander away or waste. When I engage in activities that are aligned with my values, I know I’m spending my currency wisely! My sense of well being improves; I get motivated to take action and can feel myself thrive.

For this month, I invite you to be healthy, be well and thrive. Be sure to spend a part of your 1440 currency engaging in activities that lift the heart and engage the spirit! And, if you’re interested in how to bring balance and wellbeing into your workplace, give me a call!

 

To Your Health and Wellbeing,

– Marcia

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Psychology of Performance 46: Overcoming Adversity

I had the opportunity to directly observe a number of positive psychology tactics in action during a hike in the Cordillera Real of Bolivia last week. My son Matt and his wife Emily and I hiked in an area that went up to around 16,000 feet. It was a beautiful, glaciated area with numerous llamas free ranging, a beautiful blue sky, and almost perfect hiking temperature. That being said, we were not optimally healthy. Matt was recovering from flu like symptoms plus significant GI distress the night before and was feeling weak. I also was recovering from GI distress (I know, TMI) two days before. Emily and our guide were doing well. We did the hike up to 15,340 which was a personal best for me. We had lunch and given how we were feeling decided to go back down instead of the next 700 feet. I thought this was a great lab to understand how Matt and I were able to succeed despite the adversity of weakened physiology and the altitude the last 500 plus feet.

For me, the altitude became a factor despite acclimating to it for a number of days and being from Colorado where it is a bit of a point of pride to be able to adjust to altitude (eventually in my case). I found myself using the following strategies. I knew where we were going and broke the hike into smaller and smaller segments. I told myself I just needed to get from point A to B and then re-evaluate. As the altitude increased I changed it to “I just need to take this step and then breathe until I was ready for the next step,” while breathing, to take the time for mindful awareness of the beauty surrounding us.  The self-talk also included “going back was not an option because we were doing a circuit.” Our guide helped us understand that one. I also visualized myself sitting down at the lunch spot feeling satisfied about getting that far.

Matt used very similar strategies including relying on his extensive mountain hiking experience. This came in handy for him as a framework for knowing what he can do, not engaging in negative self-talk, and continuing to move forward. For Matt, a well-timed nutrition break also helped on a blood glucose level resulting in an increase of energy from the half-way point on. In addition, the social support and encouragement was helpful. We took turns carrying the packs for each other.

In summary, our performance was enhanced by use of the following psychological techniques:

  1. Goal setting and breaking the goal into discrete, manageable, measure steps (literally in this case).
  2. Visualization of positive outcome.
  3. Burning our ship on the beach, knowing we could not go back helped us stay focused and not think about other options.
  4. Positive self-talk, refuting negative self-talk.
  5. Relying on experience and prior knowledge to focus energy where it was needed and to relax about the challenges rather than stress about them.
  6. Engage social support.

 

Have a day filled with compassion and loving kindness,

Bob

Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist

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