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Total Wellbeing: March 2019

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Managing Change and Environmental Wellbeing

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we are looking at the concept of change and how a change in our environments such as our home or our workplace affect us. Change is inevitable but the good news is that that there are healthy ways to manage change and keep disruption to a minimum. Take a look at these helpful articles, free webinars, and the information below to learn how to be a master of change and react positively to changes as they occur in your life.

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

Environment, Change, and the Workplace

Work and home are most likely the two environments that you spend most of your time in, and change in either, welcomed or not, can take getting used to and, furthermore, can cause disruption in your day to day life. While this article focuses on change in the workplace, several of the principals can be applied to change in any of your life’s environments. To help minimize the disruption that change causes to your environmental wellbeing it is important to follow the 4 A’s. Awareness, acceptance, attitude, and action. Be Aware of the changes going on and seek out information to help understand the change. Accept the change as something that is part of your environment now. Adjust your Attitude to focus on the positive aspects of the change. Develop your Actions to respond positively to the change by asking questions, learning new skills, or developing a network of people to help navigate the change together.

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 are 3 things you can do right now to prepare for and adapt to changes going on in your life?

Quote of the Month

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

― Albert Einstein

Community and Global Perspective

Our global and community environments are under constant change. Some changes happen slowly while others happen very fast. Social trends, the political landscape, the layout of our neighborhoods and cities are all aspects of our environment that shift as the thinking of the people within them shift. Within this framework, it is important to take part in the things you can help control. Vote, stay informed and help educate others, make your own social statements and choices around the people you associate with and the trends and styles you follow. These are all ways that you can stay on top of, participate in, and help influence the changes in your environment and your place within it. As for the things you can’t control, such as other people’s actions, the weather, socio-political issues, among others, it is best to stay informed and educate yourself around these issues so that you are prepared for change. However, resisting these shifts or trying to control what you cannot will only bring stress and distract you from the domains that you do have control over. Change what you can, prepare for what you cannot.

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: Resilience in Times of Change

MINESblog:

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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Total Wellbeing: February 2019

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Tax Smarts and Financial Wellbeing

Welcome to the February 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. Tax season is fast approaching so we hope this month’s communication can help your financial wellbeing through the resources this month, like our free webinar and articles.

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. Just like last year, we will 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 that you may not have thought about before.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Art of Financial Wellbeing

Tax time is a time of year where our financial wellbeing is put to the test and can often have negative effects on our other areas of wellbeing. On one side, if it turns out you owe money after you file this can create an urgent situation around paying your taxes. This is why it is important to plan for this time of year and talk to your employer as well as financial professionals to make sure your tax set up is ideal for your living situation and income. On the flip side, if you are getting money back it can be very tempting to spend this money and treat it as “extra” money even though it isn’t. Either way some financial planning and smart money choices can go a long way. To help with this don’t forget you can use your EAP sessions to access financial counseling as well as you have access to tons of articles and resources on our website though PersonalAdvantage.

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 some great Tax tips and health 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 would be most helpful for you to know, and who do you know that can give you the information you need, to help you improve how you look at finances?

Quote of the Month

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Community and Global Perspective

Financial issues are definitely a personal topic for most people, and while this is true, it is also true that many aspects of our financial wellbeing are tied to the larger financial systems out there. None more so than the state, national, and global economies. This is important to recognize because, as individuals, there is very little we can do to sway the overall economy one way or the other. What we can control, however, is how we prepare ourselves for things like recessions, tax changes, stock market plunges and even natural disasters. This puts even more emphasis on why personal financial planning is important, especially when the economy is doing good and you have extra money to invest and save, to not just make decisions around your personal finances but to protect yourself from unforeseen and uncontrollable events. Again, contact MINES today if you would like to talk about resources available to you and your household member for financial planning and wellbeing.

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: Tax Savings Strategies

MINESblog:

What Police Officers Wish You Knew

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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Total Wellbeing: January 2019

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Getting Ahead This Year and Emotional Wellbeing

 

Happy New Year and welcome to the very first 2019 edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. To help start the year on the right foot, this edition will be focused on getting ahead and developing a “can-do” attitude. We hope that you find the resources this month, like our free webinar and info-packed articles, helpful for getting a head start on making 2019 a great year both personally and professionally.

If you missed us last month, last year, or if you are completely 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. Just like last year, we will focus on looking at each facet of wellbeing from a small, personal level and then examine 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 that you may not have thought about before. And as always, if you have questions or have ideas for topics you’d like to see don’t hesitate to email us using the link in the right column.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Your Emotional Wellbeing

Since we are headed into a new year it may be a good time for a refresher on what Emotional Wellbeing actually is. According to SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration), Emotional Wellbeing is your ability to effectively cope with life stressors and create and maintain satisfying relationships. From this definition, it is easy to see how your emotional state and wellbeing could be connected to your ability to be productive, execute plans to reach goals, and nurture relationships. This is because before you can take care of others’ needs, you must first take care of your own. This year, as you plan on how to make 2019 a great year, first think about the emotional needs and barriers you may have that need to be addressed before you can begin exerting your energy outward. Then, once you are in a good place emotionally, think about how you can use that stability and positivity to channel your energy into productive and social ventures to build your external wellbeing. All of this will help create a foundation ripe for growth that will serve you for the rest of the year and beyond.

Enhancing your emotional wellbeing can be hard. But the good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Call MINES any time of day to get set up with a counselor or wellness coach to talk about reaching your goals, countering stressors, and busting down barriers. Please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away.

Question of the Month

What are 3 goals that, if achieved, would help make 2019 a great year?

Quote of the Month

“Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of wellbeing.”

– Greg Anderson

Community and Global Perspective

Making the most of a day, a week, a month, or a whole year is largely a combination of goals, good habits, and your state of mind. However, not everything is in our control. There are plenty of things out there in the world that we encounter daily that can impede our personal efforts. Negative or positive news on TV, things going on in your social circles, work-based items that eat up a significant amount of time or cause stress, and any other number of things that life throws our way, can often distract and discourage us from our goals. This is why it is important to monitor your feelings and to think critically about how you react to things out of your control. By paying attention to this aspect of your mind you can identify sources of stress and counter them as they come rather than let things build up and compound the negative effect they have over you. Being aware of your feelings in this way is also great mindfulness practice that will become easier over time, and as you become more in touch with yourself you will reinforce your emotional resilience making you a stronger person overall.

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 webinar:

Do Your Bucket List: 7 Ways to Focus on the Things that Matter

MINESblog:

Coming soon: National Law Enforcement Day post (Jan. 9th)

New to TW? Check out our past Blogs!

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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: November 2018

 

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Physical Wellbeing, Happiness, and Your Workplace

Welcome to the November edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. The focus this month will be on the importance of your physical wellbeing and how to maintain good physical health and happiness while at your workplace. We will look at ways to focus on your health while at the workplace as well as the role that your employer plays in providing resources that you can utilize to reach your goals. This month is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. This is an important topic for all of us because the prevalence of Alzheimer’s means that almost everyone has someone in their life impacted by this disease at some point in their lives. Whether you are a caretaker, suffer from a form of dementia yourself, or know someone who is, take a look at our latest blog post here for updated information and resources that may help you or someone you know.

If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As a reminder, 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 our everyday life. As we near the end of the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Physical Wellbeing and Your Workplace

Physical wellbeing can be closely tied to your workplace. If you have a job where you are very active such as a construction type job or a job that keeps you on your feet all day then your job likely supports your physical wellbeing. However, if you have a job that requires long periods of sitting or requires strenuous positions or activity like getting into crawl spaces, or lots of repetitive motion, your physical wellbeing may suffer as a result of your work. If that is the case make sure you are being mindful and taking time out of your day to get up and stretch or are taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself from harm such as proper lifting techniques, back supports, knee pads, ergonomic workstations, or whatever it is that your particular job requires to lessen the impact on your body. If an opportunity to do these things is not available please make sure to ask your employer what can be done to provide you with the time, space, and resources to protect your physical wellbeing, in a reasonable way, while at work.

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 some great Happiness at Work tips and webinars this month to focus on your wellbeing while also being productive at work. For more be sure to check out our “Assertiveness in the Workplace” infographic.

Question of the Month

What do you feel your limitations are in maintaining your physical wellbeing at work, and how might your co-workers and employer help you overcome these obstacles?

Quote of the Month

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”

– Bruce Lee

MINES Updates/Community World View

The daily commute to work is something most people throughout the world do and represents a distinct connection between the workplace and physical wellbeing. How people get to work directly affects their health. People who walk or bike to work or take public transit that requires walking to a bus stop or train station, tend to be in better physical health than those who drive or work from home with no commute. So how can those of us who must drive get the same benefit as those who have a more labor-intensive journey each day? Try changing up your routine and try biking once a week or more to work. Too far to bike? Try parking farther away from your workplace to give yourself a little walk time. Not only can this be a great chance to get your heart rate up, it can give you time to practice some mindfulness exercises to mentally prepare for the day, or even destress with some mindful walking and breathing exercises after a busy day. Looking for other ways to enhance you your Physical wellbeing but need motivation? Try looking for community support. Join a fun run or participate in national bike to work day with co-workers. Try organizing workout groups with friends and family or look online for community events.

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: 5 Generations in 1 Workplace

MINESblog:

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Update

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

LinkedIn

MINEs Archives

Contact Us

 

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: September 2018

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Financial Wellbeing, Elder Care, and Community

 

Welcome to the September edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we are going to take a look at your Financial wellbeing, as well as community support, and eldercare. Check out the segments below to see how your financial wellbeing is connected to your community and how the overall wellbeing of your community is tied to the support that community members put in. Community is a big pie, we all have to help cook it! If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As a reminder, 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 our everyday life. As we make it through the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

Financial Wellbeing and Supporting Others in Your Community

The communities that we live in are only as good, as safe, and as supportive as the members of the community make them. Therefore, it is imperative that each member of a community strive to make a contribution in their own way. Whether it’s a neighborhood, a school, or even an entire city, every little part matters and adds to the greater whole in some way. As a member of your own communities, you should always be looking for opportunities to give back in meaningful ways. It can be something like working at a local homeless shelter or organizing a clothing drive. It can be something as simple as taking time out of your day to talk with or play a game with a lonely elderly neighbor. It can even be a financial act such as donating to a local charity or supporting l­­ocal businesses that you believe bring value to the people they serve. Providing support like this will help you make a bigger impact as well as enhance your own sense of community.

Financial wellbeing has a big connection to your surrounding community as well. The type of community in which you live affects the types of goods, services, and prices that are in the marketplace. Additionally, the ways in which you spend your money within the community affects how you live. For a community to thrive it is important that its members provide financial activity to keep it going. This includes the buying of goods and services, business investments, employees being paid, and even friends and family helping each other out with money problems from time to time.

Your financial wellbeing is made of many categories and it is just as important to give back to causes close to your heart as it is to make sure you are saving money for retirement.

If you would like to talk to a financial counselor about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away or you can use your coaching sessions to work on your financial goals. Also, PersonalAdvantage has some great planning tips and webinars this month to improve your knowledge around a wide variety of financial topics and elder care. For more be sure to check out our “Elder Communication” infographic.

Question of the Month

Do you have an estate plan set up for yourself? What about any aging loved ones?

Quote of the Month

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

– Mother Theresa

MINES Updates/Community World View

From the information above it is easy to see that financial wellbeing is one of the most scalable areas of wellbeing. From your personal bank account to the global economy, everything is connected. The more income you have the more you can buy, save, and invest. In turn this supports your community and affects the health of your local economy. From there the financial actions of your local businesses, service organizations, and bigger corporations make up the larger state and national economies. These along with the national economies from around the world make up the global market that is reflected in the stock market. The performance of these entities directly affects all of us in the form of pay rates, job markets, returns on investments and retirement plans, tax spending, and so on. This makes the old saying “every penny counts” take on a whole new perspective. So, the next time you are thinking of spending your hard-earned money, make sure you consider the down/upstream consequences on both a personal and community level.

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 on Managing Toxic People

MINESblog Review:

The Importance of Walking and Talking

Break Free from Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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: July 2018

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Social Media, Family, and Your Intellectual Wellbeing

Welcome to the July edition of TotalWellbeing, your guide to the 8 dimensions of wellbeing. This month we are going to take a look at intellectual wellbeing with a focus on social media and your family. If you missed us last month you can catch up on our newsletters page. As we make it through the year we will continue to emphasize the concept of community and look at how our actions affect our community, country, and in some cases the rest of the world.

 

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The impact of social media on your family and intellectual wellbeing

Social media is a key part of our culture, our expression, and our connectivity. From using social media as a platform for expressing opinions to sharing pictures with family and friends, social media has many applications. Your intellectual wellbeing can be improved by social media by giving you access to information and topics of interest to you. It also allows you to look at things differently and to explore topics that pique your interest you may not have investigated otherwise. Using social media with your family allows you to connect in different ways, stay close if you are far apart, and to keep up with their new adventures or read about their experiences. It is also important to remember that Social Media can impact your intellectual wellbeing negatively. As we have been reminded in the last several months, your preferences are tracked throughout social media and the articles you choose to read may influence the other articles that show up in your news feed or advertisements in your apps. This can help shift your perspective one way or another and unless you are vigilant to check out information outside of your readily available feed to find out the whole story. It is also important to take time away from social media or using the internet to engage in good old-fashioned face to face time with your friends and family members. Don’t forget that these people in your life can engage your intellect as well. Learn new and amazing things from the children in your life. They can have a fresh perspective or may be studying something new and cool in school they can share. Or take advantage of one of the most popular knowledge sharing methods of human history and tap into the vast life experience of your older family members. It doesn’t always have to be about shares and likes!

If you would like to talk to a counselor about these topics, please call us at 1-800-873-7138 to get connected right away. Also, PersonalAdvantage has some great tools and webinars this month to improve your knowledge around dealing with stress and maximizing your life by reducing worry. For more be sure to check out our “Internet Mindfulness” infographic.

Question of the Month

When was the last time you asked a family member how they would handle a situation?

Quote of the Month

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

– Benjamin Franklin

MINES Updates/Community World View

There is so much knowledge that each culture and community has to share, from tricks to make the best pasta to how to clean off stains from clothing, to traditions around how to engage your family. Take time this month to talk to a co-worker, friend, or family member and see what you can learn from them to help improve your intellectual wellbeing and what tidbits you can impart on them 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 on Harnessing the Power of Social Media

MINESblog Review:

Foster Families and Mental Health

John Oliver: Rehab, Last Week Tonight Psychology of Performance

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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: February 2018

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The Relationship Between Nutrition and Environmental Wellbeing

For 2018, we at MINES wanted to find a new way to promote the 8 areas of wellbeing. In order to do this, we decided to switch up our monthly communication into areas that you can copy and send out to your employees or give you suggestions around trainings that relate to this wellbeing topic. We also want to continue on from last year’s emphasis on the community and look at how what we do can affect those around us and that affects your community, your state, and even other countries.

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

How Nutrition Affects Your Environmental Wellbeing

Your environment involves everything around you. This includes your home environment from what food you have around your home to the expectations you have for those you live with. What better time than now to look at how you can improve your environmental wellbeing by looking at your food habits and how that impacts your family, your health, and your overall wellbeing. Take this month to examine how to incorporate healthy foods into your family dinners, look up great recipes on PersonalAdvantage if you have it, or use your wellness sessions through MINES to speak to a coach. If you surround yourself with unhealthy food and temptations, it only makes it harder to help your whole family stay healthy.

MINES also offers Wellness Sessions if you have EAP benefits with us so call us and see how you can access these. Personal Advantage has some great tools and webinars this month to improve your Nutrition Know How and Environmental Wellbeing or check out our “Nutrition Tune-up” infographic.

Question of the Month

What “toxins” (unhealthy temptations) can you remove from your environment to help support your nutrition goals?

Quote of the Month

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.”

– American Indian Proverb

MINES Updates/Community World View

Nutrition can cover a lot of ground – from eating healthy and what type of processed products are ok, to what your individual body needs or, on the flip side, can’t tolerate. If you have knowledge around a certain area of nutrition, why not share that knowledge in a community group or help those who may be dealing with the same health concerns? Take this month to share your knowledge around nutrition with someone else and see what you can learn from them as well. You might find a new favorite, healthier recipe, or you might learn why you are not feeling great after you eat a certain food. Each community has a vast array of cultures and backgrounds so this is a great time to look at other culture’s food prep and choice ingredients to see what you can learn about how others may look at nutrition.

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 on Nutrition

MINES blogs last month:

Don’t Feed the Trolls

Check out this Month’s Infographic

Important Links

Visit our BLOG

MINES and Associates

2018 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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Publication Update December 2017

Just a quick update.

Dr. Robert Mines (chairman and psychologist) and Dr. Dani Kimlinger (CEO) from the MINES Team were honored to contribute to an article by Bruce Shutan in this month’s issue of The Self-Insurer. The article is called Beyond Opioids and covers how EAPs, like MINES, and good benefit-plan design can help treat addictions and other substance use issues in an employee population as well as control overall health care spending.

The issue can be viewed here:

 

Check out other Self-Insurer publications here: https://goo.gl/2TjaUV

And check out other MINES publications here: www.minesandassociates.com/about_staff_publications.html

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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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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