Posts Tagged Tips

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Update 2019

November once again ushers in not only the holiday season, but National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.   Every November, I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you as we observe this period of heightened awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  In fact, this November is the 36th anniversary of this designation.  President Reagan, who later died of Alzheimer’s disease, initiated this month of awareness for dementia back in 1983.  We have learned a great deal about dementia since then and of course, since Alzheimer’s disease was originally discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer.  Over 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.  It is the 6th leading cause of death in our country and someone develops the disease every 65 seconds.

So look around you this November and you will see more buildings than ever lit in purple to call attention to Alzheimer’s.  Capitol domes across the nation will turn purple this month and sports venues will be bathed in purple as well to acknowledge the vast effect of dementia on American families.  You may notice Mayors and Governors sporting purple scarves or ties and awareness ads on television and social media.  It is hard to find anyone these days who has not been affected by dementia in their immediate or extended families or among their networks of friends and coworkers.

And so…as we take a moment to reflect on those people in our lives who have suffered from Alzheimer’s or other dementias, we can also acknowledge that optimism for a breakthrough has never been stronger.  Our National Alzheimer’s Plan calls for prevention, treatment, and cure by 2025 and many in the scientific and medical fields believe this goal is attainable.  I am a Public Policy Ambassador to Capitol Hill for the Alzheimer’s Association and can attest through my visits to Washington DC that this is a completely nonpartisan issue.  Congress is in complete agreement about the need to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease which costs our nation $290 billion each year caring for those with dementia.  Congress is allocating more and more funding each year, now providing around $2.6 billion to the National Institute of Health for dementia research.

As a reminder of why the goal for a world without Alzheimer’s is my passion, three of four parents in my immediate family were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s within a year and a half of each other.  They lived for 16, 14, and 11 years with the disease and I was their family caregiver throughout our dementia journey.  Our last “Lovie” left us five years ago, and I will never forget them.  I will also never forget the challenges we faced together through early, middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Of course with November also comes planning for Thanksgiving feasts and preparations for Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa celebrations.  It is a time of year when we share memories of holidays past with family and friends, but for some, those memories are difficult to recall due to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  Therefore, it is only fitting that as we anticipate the upcoming holiday season, we pause in November to heighten community awareness for memory-robbing diseases and renew our pledge to fight until these conditions have been eradicated.

This November in particular, I am filled with hope that dementia itself may someday soon become a distant memory.  I have never been more optimistic than I am right now that the breakthrough is on the horizon. There are more clinical dementia trials in Phase III than ever before.  The scientific and medical communities are thinking outside the box with regard to research.  A large pharmaceutical company has just approached the FDA for approval for a promising drug treatment.  Advancements in diagnostics are making the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease a reality.  We believe that one-quarter of all hospitalizations for those with dementia could be prevented by diagnosis.  Our loved ones with dementia can also stay independent longer if they are reminded to take medications for other health issues and if precautions are taken to remove fall hazards from their homes.

But while we wait for the big news of a breakthrough, (when it occurs, I am throwing a party for the whole world, so you will all be invited!), it is more important than ever to understand the warning signs for dementia and the lifestyle changes we can make to reduce our risk.

The key warning signs or symptoms are:

  • Memory loss
  • Challenges with Problem Solving
  • Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks
  • Confusion with Time or Place
  • Visual or Spatial Difficulties
  • Problems with Words
  • Increased Problems with Misplacing Things
  • Decreased or Poor Judgment
  • Withdrawal from Activities
  • Changes in Mood or Personality

If you see any of these signs on a regular basis in yourself or others, see a doctor immediately.  While it might not be Alzheimer’s or dementia, it could be something that requires immediate attention.  If it is dementia, there are many benefits to early detection and diagnosis.

And perhaps the most exciting news is that our lifestyle choices can have an impact on risk reduction or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Adopting the following twelve lifestyle habits “will probably” influence our risk for dementia versus the “might possibly” promises of the past.

Regular Cardio Exercise – Be sure to check with your physician before beginning an exercise regimen to make sure it is safe based on your overall health.

Diet – Eating fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins vs. fatty meats, fried, sugary or salty foods.  If you choose to consume alcohol, exercise moderation.  Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries!  A great food to fight inflammation and a great source for antioxidants.

Heart and Brain Awareness – If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain.  There is a correlation between cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and high blood pressure, and obesity and diabetes.

Talk to Your Doctor – Ask your doctor to ask you about your cognitive health each year during your annual wellness visit or physical.  82% of older adults believe their cognition should be tested annually, yet only 16% are actually getting these tests.

Mind Your Mental Health – Discuss depression with your doctor and manage your stress.  Consider meditation, yoga, or even grown-up coloring books as a way to bring peace and calm into your busy life.

Stop Smoking – There is a direct correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and smoking…enough said.

Continual Learning – Continue to learn new things.  Take a class at a community college or online.  Learn a musical instrument or a language.

Stimulate Your Brain – While not every brain game may have science behind it, many do.  Challenge yourself with puzzles and games and pay special attention to games that exercise your peripheral vision, which is at risk for decline through cognitive impairment.

Socialize – In this day of social media, make sure you interact personally with others.  Social integration is important for brain health.  Volunteer, take dance lessons or join clubs.

The Importance of Sleep – Sound, natural sleep gives your brain a chance to rid itself of toxins.  Remove devices from the bedroom and create a cool and dark environment to promote sleep.  Some sleep aids may actually increase your risk for dementia, so check with your doctor before using medications.

Treat Hearing Loss – There is an increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia in those with untreated hearing loss in middle age.  Your brain cannot process what you never heard to begin with.  See a doctor about hearing loss.  There should be no stigma about hearing devices.

Protect Your Brain – As active adults, we are sliding up, down and around something summer and winter.  Seatbelts, seatbelts, seatbelts!   Helmets, helmets, helmets!

And as we wait for the breakthrough, it is also more important than ever to know how to get help. I have been with Mines and Associates for five years now and present a learning session called Alzheimer’s/Dementia A to Z to our client groups.  I am noticing attendees of all ages in these sessions as interest is growing in how we can maintain healthy brains beginning in our 20s and 30s. I am also seeing an increase in those employees who seek coaching on the topic of Alzheimer’s/Dementia through the Employee Assistance Plan benefits that their employers provide.  Mines clients can schedule free one hour sessions with me for dementia coaching as they put together plans to care for aging parents, relatives or friends.

Another organization that I am involved with is also at the forefront of trying to improve the quality of life for those living with all forms of dementia and their family care partners.  I serve as the Volunteer Community Chair for Dementia Friendly Denver, a part of Dementia Friendly America, a not for profit, grassroots, all-volunteer initiative that was introduced at the White House Conference on Aging in 2015.  Our volunteer team is working on eight projects in the greater Denver area and you can check them l am out at dementiafriendlydenver.org. The goal of the projects is to make our community more dementia-friendly and to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic of dementia.  Our team provides a free one-hour learning session to business, government, academic, faith and community groups titled Dementia 101 – Reducing Your Risk.  To schedule a free session for your group, contact me at dementiafriendlycolorado@gmail.com

And please remember that you can still enjoy the holidays if you are caring for family members with dementia.  Just take the “Holiday Lite” approach.  Details don’t need to be extravagant or perfect.  Plan holiday activities and outings to be shorter in length.  Remember that our Lovies wear out faster than we do, as an hour for us is like five hours for them.  Be prepared for upsets due to the disruption of routines and provide rest periods for everyone!

And so, as we enter National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, most importantly, remember that you are not alone.  Utilizing the dementia resources available through Mines and Associates can help you get organized and become knowledgeable.  In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association provides a 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.  And finally, for all of you who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, be sure to take care of yourself first!  This will help you provide better care for your Lovies.  I wish you a peaceful holiday season and remember that hope abounds!!!

 

JJ Jordan

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Total Wellbeing: November 2019

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Managing Financial Stress & Physical Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the November 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we will look at managing financial stress and staying mindful of your physical wellbeing during the holidays. With all the get-togethers, parties, and gift-giving this time of year, it is all too easy to spend too much and eat too much during the holiday season. The key here is to stay mindful and not let the fast-paced nature of the season and all the events distract you from your financial and wellness goals. The year is almost over, don’t let yourself drop the ball now. Stay mindful, stay strong. For more information on managing financial stress check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

It is also Alzheimer’s awareness month. Alzheimer’s affects many people all over the world both those who have the disease and those that care for them. Please take time to read this month’s blog post for an update on the state of Alzheimer’s research and resources. And remember that MINES is here to help. If you are a caregiver and need to talk to someone, need help finding resources, or are grieving a loved one with the disease, please call us.

Also, just another friendly that you can now access your counseling services with MINES through an online text and messaging platform! It’s counseling whenever, wherever! Call us anytime for more info or to get set up!

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

How to Lower Your Financial Stress

Living with too much of any kind of pressure on a daily basis can take an emotional and physical toll, contributing to sleepless nights, backaches or headaches or, over time, even life-threatening diseases, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Financial troubles are no different. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) recommends a two-prong approach; relax and take action.

Relax, take a breath:

  • Focus on what you have, not on how much you’re lacking. List all your possessions, including material things, your health, and your relationships.
  • Eliminate clutter in your life. Tossing out what you don’t need and organizing the rest also can tidy up your emotions. Meditating or sharing your feelings with a nonjudgmental person can do the same.
  • Take care of yourself physically. Exercise is one of the best stress reducers. Eat a balanced, healthy diet.

Take Action:

  • Set up a budget. Write down where all your money is going — mortgage and car payments, food, gas, telephone, clothing. Then, see what can be adjusted so you can live within your means. Create a new spending plan and stick with it. If there’s nothing left to trim from your budget, you may need to think about new income sources.
  • Stop taking on new debt, immediately. If this means not eating out, not indulging in expensive entertainment or giving up a second car and taking public transportation, then so be it. Learn if you qualify for public or private financial assistance. Use low-interest savings to pay down high-interest debt. Debt can be very expensive to carry; once it’s paid off, your payments can go to savings instead.

Check out this article for a full breakdown of financial tips.

Remember that you and your household members have financial benefits, including financial coaching and free 30-minute consults for financial matters, available through the EAP. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What is one compromise you can make this year to lower your biggest sources of financial stress around the holidays?

Quote of the Month

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

Staying Mindful

At holiday parties, you don’t always have control over the types of foods available. Make the best of your choices and cut back on portions:

  • Take only a sliver of your favorite desserts.
  • If you’re having pie, don’t eat all the crust, unless it’s made from crushed graham crackers.
  • Sample the fresh fruit platter.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy meal before the party so that you don’t overindulge.

When you bring a dish to share, keep in mind that the guests may also be watching their eating habits. Offer healthy alternatives to feel good about what you’re serving.

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

This Month’s Focus

Free Webinar:

Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking Your Wallet

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Update 2019

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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Total Wellbeing: October 2019

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Healthy Holidays & Financial Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the October 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we would like to begin again by reminding everyone that you can now access your counseling services with MINES through an online text and messaging platform! It’s counseling whenever, wherever! Call us anytime for more info or to get set up!

This month we will look at keeping the holidays as stress-free as possible and how to support your financial wellbeing. The holidays can be a tough time for a variety of reasons. To ensure a successful holiday season that’s not too rough on your finances, or your wellbeing, make sure to set realistic expectations, and don’t overextend yourself or schedule too many events. Know that it is perfectly okay to say “no” to plans if you already have too much going on and don’t feel obligated to buy too many gifts. The more you plan in advance and the better limits you set in terms of time and spending money, the more in control you will feel and the less stressed you will be. For more information on financial wellbeing check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Ways to Keep the Holidays Stress-Free

While this article covers a full 12 strategies to keep the stress levels low this fall, let’s take a moment to look at some of the key points across several of the holiday season’s primary activities; eating, shopping, and partying.

  1. Shop smart – Give yourself plenty of time to complete your holiday shopping. Shop with an itemized list of what you’ll buy for each person and a ballpark figure of what you’ll spend.
  2. Eat smart – Don’t feel obligated to eat everything on your plate or to have dessert. And think twice before going back for seconds. If you overeat, get right back into your normal routine the next day.
  3. Party smart – Keep parties simple by having a buffet instead of a formal sit-down dinner. Serve uncomplicated dishes (made with six ingredients or less) that you’ve made before.

Remember that you and your household members have financial benefits, including financial coaching and free 30-minute consults for financial matters, available through the EAP. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

What is your number one source of holiday stress? What are some ways the tips from this newsletter may help you limit the stress this year?

Quote of the Month

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” ― Jonathan Swift

Community and Global Perspective

Most every country and culture in the world has a set of holidays, traditions, and rituals. Many of these holidays can bring with them an overwhelming number of events, social interaction, and obligations. No matter where you are during the holidays there are some things that you can do to keep peace of mind and keep your cool! Make a daily to-do list. Start each day by planning what you want to do and setting priorities. Even if you don’t get everything done, the process is important. Maximize your physical health. Being “all that you can be” increases your confidence and sense of control. A healthful diet, regular physical activity and enough sleep all help you feel up to daily challenges. Speak respectfully to everyone. Simple courtesies set the stage for constructive interactions. Consider how others will respond to what you’re about to say. If it’s likely to cause hurt or anger, find a more positive way to make your point. There are many more things you can do to help, but practice just these first principles and you will be well on your way to a peaceful holiday season.

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

This Month’s Focus

Funding College: 5 Steps Every Family Can Use to Build a Successful Plan

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Suicide Prevention in the Workplace

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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Suicide Prevention 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 information provides a brief reference, or starting point, for developing strategies to manage suicide in the workplace. 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.

Warning signs

  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 one’s 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 don’t have the support of friends or 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, managers, 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 of postvention tips that might be helpful in the event of 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 article 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, there can be a positive outcome. Remember that 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 talking, you can save a person’s life.

Resources:

Apps:

Crisis lines

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

To view or download a more comprehensive list of hotlines please see our mental health resources list on our website here: http://www.minesandassociates.com/documents/MentalHealthAwareness_Infographic_Resources.pdf

To your wellbeing,

-The MINES Team

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Total Wellbeing: July 2019

 

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Interpersonal Relationships and Social Wellbeing

 

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we will be exploring our interpersonal relationships and ways to enhance our social wellbeing. Our daily interaction with other people is a critical aspect of all our lives. It is important to remember that we can learn from both positive and negative interactions and that by learning from these encounters we become better at understanding others as well as being understood ourselves. For more information on interpersonal communications and social wellbeing check out these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

Remember you can always catch past issues of TotalWellbeing on our newsletters page. This newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. If you have any thoughts, questions, or content you would like to see covered here please get in contact with us. You can email us directly by clicking here.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Accepting criticism

Accepting constructive criticism from others can be tough. It’s hard to learn from it and even harder not to take it personally. While this article goes more in-depth, we look at some of the key factors that go into learning from our mistakes and improving ourselves through external feedback.

  • Anticipate – Accept the fact that everyone makes mistakes and that you’ll probably be criticized for yours. That way, criticism won’t come as a surprise.
  • Ask – Asking questions accomplishes two things: It gives you specific information on how you can improve, and it teaches people they’ll have to be specific when they criticize you.
  • Agree – When you agree with one part of the criticism, you become open to learning. An easy way to agree is to say something like this: “You might be right; my report doesn’t have all the details.”
  • Analyze – You need time to process the information, determine if it’s a valid criticism and decide what you’ll do to solve the problem or correct the mistake.

If you or a household member has anything they would like to talk to a counselor about, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

Can you think of a negative interaction you have had with someone recently? What did you learn from it? Would you do anything differently if you could go back and have the interaction again?

Quote of the Month

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.” – Ralph Nichols

Community and Global Perspective

This one goes without saying as interpersonal relationships and social wellbeing is at the heart of community building. As members of a community, we should strive to build personal and professional connections with others that will help enrich our communities and our lives. Especially in turbulent times, it is critical to come together and find common ground. What’s true is that the people around us are not going anywhere so the more we can unite the better. Strive to connect with those likeminded as well as those that have differences. It is only through dialogue, understanding, and compromise can we build lasting relationships and communities that will last our lifetimes and beyond.

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

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar: Interpersonal Relationships

MINESblog:

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

PTSD Awareness and Resources

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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Total Wellbeing: May 2019

 

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Eating Healthy and Physical Wellbeing

Welcome to the May 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we will look at two topics that are very closely related and while the importance of them may seem obvious, they can still be a bit tricky. We are talking of course about eating healthy and your physical wellbeing. Again, these topics may seem easy, but it can actually be very difficult to keep up your good wellbeing habits up around healthy eating especially in times of stress, when you’re at work, on the go like on vacation, and around holidays, even though these are some of the most important times to keep up the hard work. To help you stay mindful of your healthy eating habits take a look at these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below.

If you missed us last month, last year, or you are new to TotalWellbeing, you can catch up on our newsletters page. Remember, this newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. We will continue to focus on looking at each facet of wellbeing from a small, personal, level and then look at how it connects to the bigger community level as we explore how our wellbeing is tied to the world around us in often surprising ways.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Sustainable habits, for lifelong health

We have said it before on this newsletter and we will say it again because it warrants repeating: Lifelong wellbeing is about creating healthy sustainable habits while working to eliminate the bad ones. Healthy eating is no different. You should strive to build healthy eating habits that will support you for your entire life. Short-term diets yield short-term results, but if you want to be able to maintain your health in the long-term, you must build eating habits that you do every day. Of course, we aren’t saying that you can’t splurge occasionally, but you should always strive to be mindful of what you are eating and what impact it may have on your health. Limit fast food, build your arsenal of healthy recipes, and set yourself up for success by filling your fridge and cupboards with good nutritious food and toss away the junk. By building this healthy and nutritious foundation we promise you will feel better, have more energy, get sick less often, and the benefits will continue to spread throughout your life. And if you’re already doing these things, GREAT! KEEP IT UP!

If you would like to talk to a counselor or wellness coach about eating better, exercising, or other ways you can work on your physical wellbeing, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has a ton of great resources and FREE webinars this month to help you focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work and home.

Question of the Month

When is your healthy eating habits the most vulnerable? What are your junk food triggers, and what can you do to counter them?

Quote of the Month

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

Community and Global Perspective

One of the best and easiest ways to connect to other cultures around the world is through food. So, while you are exploring ways to enhance your healthy eating habits, take time to look at cultures and cuisines from around the world that you are interested in and borrow dishes, cooking methods, and ingredients from the stuff you find in your research. This sort of world tour of foods is a great way to expose yourself to new foods, new ideas, and new habits that will help inspire you in the kitchen and is a great way to connect with other people as 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.

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar: Letting Your Emotions Interfere with Eating

MINESblog:

Stress Infographic #1: Workplace Stress

Stress Infographic #2: Stress/Health Connection

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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The Stress/Health Connection

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Workplace Stress Infographic

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Total Wellbeing: April 2019

 Total Wellbeing Icon

De-cluttering Your Life and Spiritual Wellbeing

Welcome to the April 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month’s focus is on de-cluttering which involves getting rid of stuff you don’t need that distracts you from what you actually want to focus on. We will also touch on Spiritual Wellbeing which is your overall sense of purpose and connection to the world around you. First, clutter can be physical, but it can also be mental or emotional. The important thing to remember is that clutter in any form can get in your way and overcomplicate issues that you may be dealing with. Too much clutter and your sense of purpose and motivation can suffer. By simplifying areas of your life, finding solutions and reaching goals become much easier, and the path to success much clearer. Take a look at these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below for ways to connect better with the world around you and help you get rid of the pesky clutter that’s distracting you from your wellbeing.

If you missed us last month, last year, or you are new to TotalWellbeing, you can catch up on our newsletters page. Remember, this newsletter is aimed at providing helpful information about various aspects of your wellbeing and then connecting it all back to important and relevant parts of everyday life. We will continue to focus on looking at each facet of wellbeing from a small, personal, level and then look at how it connects to the bigger community level as we explore how our wellbeing is tied to the world around us in often surprising ways.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Less is more, stay mindful

One way to simplify your life is to practice mindfulness — to slow down and recognize and appreciate the simple things in life. To be mindful instead of mindless, stay in the moment and be conscious of what you’re doing. Don’t think ahead or look back.

When we look ahead constantly, we not only rush through the less pleasant tasks, we also tend to hurry through the things we love to do, because we’re always thinking or worrying about what we have to do next.

A good way to practice being in the moment is to follow your breath, a technique that doesn’t require any special training or self-consciousness. To breathe mindfully, take notice of your breaths and try to make them as calm and even as possible. Your breaths should be long and slow and should come from your diaphragm rather than your upper chest. Pay attention to each breath, letting thoughts fall away. For more check out this article.

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

Question of the Month

What is one small thing you can start doing every day to help de-clutter your work or living spaces?

Quote of the Month

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” — Confucius

Community and Global Perspective

A simple way of enhancing your Spiritual wellbeing is by connecting with others around you and getting a sense of their feelings about their own purpose and meaning. Connect with friends, neighbors, and family members. What are their goals? What drives them? How do they approach each day with purpose? On one hand, you may find inspiration and shared meaning with those that mirror your aspirations, and on the other hand, you may be able to help others find what they need to renew their own sense of connection and meaning. By connecting with more people you will be exposed to a variety of viewpoints, beliefs, and lifestyles that will open your mind to new ideas as well as reinforce what’s already inside you strengthening your own sense of purpose at the same time.

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

This Month’s Focus

Check out this month’s webinar: Clear Your Clutter

MINESblog:

Sleep and Nutrition Go Hand in Hand

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2019 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

Email MINES

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

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Good Sleep and Nutrition Go Hand In Hand

This is going to be a mish/mash of topics because not only is this whole month National Nutrition Month, but National Sleep Awareness Week is also going on (March 11th – 17th). What I hope to accomplish here is show how sleep and nutrition work together to impact your wellbeing in a positive or negative way depending on your habits and to provide resources to help improve your sleeping and eating habits. First up, nutrition.

Nutrition, back to basics

Its common knowledge that nutrition plays a key role in your wellbeing. So why is it that good nutrition habits seem to be so hard to maintain? The answer is mostly about cost and convenience. Good, healthy, nutritious food can be pricey, can take time to prepare, and is rarely found when dining out unless you go to places where healthy food is “their thing” and even then, the results can be sketchy. That said there are some basic food principals that you can keep in mind that can help guide you and assist in building healthy, and most importantly, sustainable eating habits. I use the term “habits” intentionally because just like with exercise, breaking bad habits and creating and nurturing good habits is key. Simply put, short-term diets accomplish short-term goals. For life-long wellbeing, you need to create good eating habits that you do all the time while also working to get rid of bad habits like eating a donut with your coffee every morning or drinking energy drinks in lieu of getting enough sleep. Here are some goals to strive for.

Calories. While I am not telling you to start counting every calorie you intake during a day it is important to understand that every day you need a certain amount of calories for your body to function. Variables such as age, gender, activity level, and weight goals, will affect how many calories you should aim to consume in a 24-hour period. There are various calculators online and other tools out there that can help you come up with a rough number. However, it may be best to talk with a doctor or nutritionist to develop a plan that truly fits your body and your goals. Once you know how many calories to shoot for you can begin to approach meal time in a more objective way.

Eat more fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are very nutritious and are often the best, and sometimes only, source for certain vitamins and minerals. Supplements exist but data suggests that when we take things like daily multi-vitamins our bodies may not actually be able to absorb a lot of it. This is why it is important to make sure you are eating a balanced intake of plant-based foods to ensure you don’t become deficient in any vitamins or minerals which can cause mild to severe health issues down the line. Plus, studies show that a diet high in nutrient-rich vegetables can help prevent certain types of diseases such as certain cancers and diabetes. Here are some tips for increasing your intake:

  • Have a daily fruit snack.
  • Try to eat at least 5 ½ cups a day of fruits and vegetables, especially those with the most color, which is an indication of high nutrient content.
  • Tuck a banana, apple, orange, some raisins or other dried fruit in your bag for a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Use sliced fresh fruit as a topping for pancakes, waffles, and fresh yogurt.
  • Substitute chopped vegetables for some of the meat in your recipes. For example: Add carrots, celery, and green and red peppers to meatloaf; mushrooms and spinach to lasagna; and celery, zucchini and yellow squash to spaghetti sauce.
  • Drink a glass of 100 percent fruit juice with your meals. Make sure it is 100% juice as many juice brands contain added sugar and other fillers.
  • Top hot or cold cereal with sliced bananas, fresh berries, raisins, or other fruit.
  • Top lettuce-leaf salads with generous amounts of tomato, cucumber, celery, mushroom slices, onions, beets, radishes, green peppers, broccoli, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, or fresh fruit.
  • Add chopped green, yellow, or red peppers, broccoli, celery, onions, and cherry tomatoes to rice and pasta salads.

Eat a variety of foods. It’s easy to find yourself eating the same stuff every week or even every day sometimes. But if you’re not shaking things up you could be limiting the variety of nutrients you’re getting and could find yourself becoming deficient in many important micro (vitamins/minerals) and macro (fat/protein/carbs) nutrients. This is why it’s important to be mindful about eating a good variety of food.

  • Mix up the types of protein you eat. While it’s important to limit the amount of red or processed meat you consume for all sorts of reasons, try to make sure you are balancing your lean protein between all types of meat including chicken, fish, turkey, and plant-based proteins like tofu and beans.
  • Add color to your diet. Even if you’re getting a lot of fruits and veggies, make sure there is plenty of variety in those as well. Strive to eat veggies of different colors as a simplistic guide. Get plenty of green, red, yellow, orange, brown, purple, etc. into your diet. The colors of fruits and veggies represent the chemical content in them meaning different color, different nutrients. The more color on your plate the better!
  • Try recipes from new cookbooks or search the internet for sites with healthful recipes you can download. Check out a new restaurant or recipe each week or pick one night a week to create a meal you’ve never tried.

Limit the “bad” types of carbs you eat and eat more of the “good” carbohydrates. Eighty percent of your total carbohydrate intake should come from nutrient-dense carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole-grain products (breads, cereals, pasta), barley, couscous, oatmeal, and potatoes. Stay away from the processed sugars in soda, candy, white rice, white bread, white pasta, in fact, as a friend and colleague of mine says, “if it’s white, don’t bite!”

Sleep, it does the body (and mind) good

I think it’s fair to say that we all have nights when we don’t sleep very well. While it’s fine to be a little tired every now and then, chronic sleeplessness can have drastic effects on your wellbeing far beyond simply being a little tired in the morning and can increase your risk of many physical and mental health issues that no can of energy drink is going to be able to fix. Sleep is when our body carries out important tasks such as resting, repair of the body, processing of short- and long-term memories, and hormonal regulation to name a few. To give ourselves time to carry out these tasks when we sleep, adults need to get 7-10 hours of sleep per night consistently. Being tired can even be dangerous. Driving, operating machinery, dosing out medication, and other tasks we may encounter on the job or in daily life can be risky or even deadly. In fact, the data shows that driving while tired can be just as dangerous or more so than driving under the influence of alcohol.

Unfortunately, our busy lives can prevent us from having the time to get enough sleep, too much anxiety to sleep at all, or secretly sabotage our quality sleep without our awareness through things like blue light from our mobile phone, TV, and computer screens which can impact our sleeping patterns drastically. But don’t despair, there are lots of actions we can take to help support our sleep and remove distractions and disruptors from our sleepy time.

Tips for sleep

Getting good sleep is all about setting up a good routine, being mindful of when and what you eat, and avoiding distractions around bedtime. Here are some tips to help you set yourself up for a good night’s rest:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. I know this one is hard for me too, especially on the weekends, but strive to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Don’t exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime. The activity combined with the chemicals released during exercise can wake you up when you should be winding down.
  • Avoid nicotine and caffeine. Both chemicals are stimulants and can cause sleep issues.
  • Avoid late night snacks or beverages before sleep. Indigestion can cause sleep issues as can frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • If possible, take medications that can disrupt sleep in the morning. Of course, if you have a strict medication schedule this may not be possible. Ask your doctor about this one if you have any medication caused sleep issues.
  • Limit napping to early in the day. A 5 o’clock nap may sound good, but it may make it hard to relax come bedtime.
  • Relax before bed. Read, listen to calm music, meditate, take a hot bath, or do whatever relaxes you and gets you ready for sleep. Stay away from screens though, the light coming from them can disrupt our body’s sleep cycles.
  • Maintain a good sleep environment. Make your bedroom dark, comfortable, and distraction free. Keep daytime activities out, this means no TV or computers. Train your brain that the bedroom is only for sleep and other bedroom exclusive activities.
  • Get out during the day. Getting exposure to the sun at least 30-minutes a day can help calibrate our internal clocks.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake. Get up and do something relaxing to help keep the anxiety of not being able to sleep at bay.

To further tie nutrition and sleep together here are a few more ways the two interact in both positive and negative ways:

  • Sleep and food are our primary sources of energy/fuel. They both support our ability to function in different and important ways. One cannot substitute for the other, however.
  • Sleep regulates how your body uses energy and poor sleep can lead to higher risk of obesity and diabetes.
  • Energy drinks are not sleep in a can!
  • While some food and drinks can hurt your sleep quality, some things like decaf tea and other foods can help relax the body and mind for sleep.

Resources

For more information or helpful resources check out:

MINES Can Help

Hopefully, you can use this information help make National Nutrition Month (and National Sleep Week) a new milestone in your healthy habit goals for 2019. And remember if MINES is your EAP, you have access to a ton more resources through your online benefit PersonalAdvantage. If you don’t know your company’s login information, please contact MINES or your Human Resources department. MINES also has an extensive training selection for sleep, nutrition, and many more wellbeing, employee, and development topics.

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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