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Thibault Sarah for webTherapist's Corner...
Slow Down for Life

Those last few weeks of winter can be grueling.  The holidays are over and the distractions of family gatherings, gift buying and decorating for the season have now come to a halt.  For many, the idea of six more weeks of winter after hearing that a certain furry friend saw his shadow can be excruciating.  We are focused on waiting for spring and summer, the next best thing, and become increasingly discontent with the present moment.

I recently read a book titled 10% Happier by ABC news correspondent, Dan Harris.  In the book, he discusses his own lifelong struggles with anxiety, negative self talk and general unhappiness with life.  He very candidly opens up about his journey towards healing and how the practice of mindfulness, or purposefully keeping our attention in the present moment, has helped him to “tame the voices” in his head.  In the book, Dan discusses how oftentimes we view the present as an “obstacle that we need to overcome in order to get to the next moment”.   Unfortunately, this is so often the truth. 

We are so busy.  Our minds are constantly cluttered with to-do lists or worries and anxieties about the future that we rarely slow down to take note of the present moment.  What oftentimes happens is that our minds are so full of what we need to take care of tomorrow that we miss the beauty of today.  There is not enough room in our brains to stop and notice a sunset or the wonder of our children playing when we are focused on when the laundry is going to get done or when we will complete a work project.

What if instead of viewing our present, anything from the season of the year to the season of our life, as a hurdle to jump over we instead slow down and take it all in? Even in the bleakness of late winter there are positive moments to just notice, appreciate and even relish in.  Perhaps try starting small and take five minutes every day to stop and just notice something that brings you joy in that present moment.  Maybe it is that the day is uncharacteristically warm for this time of year or that the sun is shining.  Maybe it is something as simple as your warm morning cup of coffee or a pleasant conversation with a coworker over lunch break.  Whatever it is, try to slow down enough to notice what is bringing you joy and sit in that moment for just a bit longer.  Rushing through life does not make time go by faster but it definitely prevents us from noticing the beauty in it.  

~ Sarah Thibault, Therapist

JReisingerGuest Columnist...
Exposing Oneself to New Experiences 

Have you ever found yourself caught on the running wheel?  You feel like you just keep running around and around in a small confined space?  If so, it could be that you are in need of boosting your Intellectual Wellness dimension of life.  If you are like me, over 50, then it’s a special time in life for increasing your intellectual dimension.

One of the easiest ways to boosting intellectual wellness is to try something new!  Not just one something new but multiple new things.  According to Erik Erikson, a famous psychosocial analyst who is best known for his theory on the 8 stages of development, when a person is in their 50’s they are most concerned with whether or not they can make their life count.  This stage of life is called generativity vs. stagnation.

Have you ever looked at the people around you in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and thought, “well, there’s a woman who acts a lot younger than she appears” or, “there’s a guy who looks as if he’s on his last leg”.  Wonder what the difference is?  Most likely the woman in this example is taking care of herself by doing things with focus on achieving social responsibility, deepening her relationship with her mate, relinquishing her central role in the lives of her grown children and maintaining and improving her healthy life patterns.  While the guy in this example has refused to accept the changes in his aging body, he’s become enmeshed in the lives of his adult children, his greatest activity is drinking beers while sitting in the recliner every night and he has lost interest in his mate.

Most people in this stage of life are focused on the future of the environment, equality for all people and what kind of world they will leave behind for the next generation.  This leads to bountiful opportunities to allow yourself to try new things if you choose to grow your creativity versus stagnate into old age.

If you are in this stage of life one of the easiest ways to try new things is to break it down so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  You don’t have to spend a bunch of money and time to go on a huge trip to somewhere new or go out and buy some new high-tech toy to try out or go to a social event with a bunch of new people that you are scared to talk to.  Instead, take a week or two living your life the way you usually do but take note of at least one new thing you do each day.

You will want to get out a small notebook and each morning take 5 minutes to reflect on the previous day, writing down at least one thing from that day that was new to you.  It can be meeting someone new in the grocery store check-out line or searching for a new recipe and trying it or taking a different route on your way to work.  If you are having trouble discovering something new for each day, break it down even further and train your focus to each hour of the day.  Examine that hour and pick out something new that happened in your normal routine.  Maybe your shower lasted 10 minutes versus the normal 5 minutes and express how glorious that felt.  Or maybe you ate supper with your adult daughter and she made the meal this time versus you making the meal.  Wasn’t that delightful?!  At the end of the week, marvel in all the new things that entered your life.  Repeat and build on this each new week ahead.

The key is opening your life to new experiences.  Whether these new experiences are socially focused or creative in your work, play or family, you will become aware of the newness in your life and continue to build towards leaving a better world for those that come after you.

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing”.  ~ William Butler Yeats

~ Joni Reisinger, Guest Columnist, www.womansbestlife.com

 

HainAFrom Our EAP...
Dealing with Debt & Credit Problems

Credit Repair Service Scams 
The Federal Trade Commission says don’t believe advertisements heard on radio, newspapers, TV, and the Internet that offer to erase, for a fee, accurate negative information in your credit file. Some of these companies promise to show you how to create a new credit history using a new employer identification number. Then, they advise you to use it instead of your social security number when you apply for credit. Misrepresenting your social security number is illegal. The FTC says that virtually everything a credit repair service can do legally, you can do yourself.

What about Debt Repayment Services?
Debt repayment services can work, but you should review the options available in your community. Before you do business with any company, check it out with your local consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau in the company’s location. Some debt counseling service firms may charge high fees and fail to follow through on the services they sell. Others may misrepresent the terms of a debt consolidation loan, failing either to explain certain costs or to mention that you are signing over your home as collateral.

What the EAP can do. 
The EAP can refer you to services in the community where you can obtain help for problems with debt. The EAP has information on where to find budgeting and money management help, debt repayment services, and financial counseling programs. These services can help you develop budget, spending, and debt payment plans.

Federal Laws that Govern Debt and Credit Services
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: Governs the business practices of debt collection companies and protects consumers against illegal methods and invasion of privacy.
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2004: Provides for a free credit report upon request once per year from Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union credit bureaus.
Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act: Governs the business practices of credit repair organizations and the services and information they provide to consumers.
Federal Telemarketing Sales Rule: Addresses business practices of companies offering loans by phone and promising a loan for an advanced payment or fee.
Fair Credit Reporting Act: Governs the management of information associated with consumer credit, reporting, dissemination of information, consumer rights to dispute errors, and time limits on the reporting of negative accurate information about credit.

~ Anna Hain, EAP Coordinator 

Family Resources Highlights!!!

Feb anniv

 

They say you can tell how reliable and good a business is by the length of time their employees have been there...and this February, Carlene is celebrating 10 years with FRGN and Linda is celebrating her 16th year with us! Amazing! Thank you, ladies, for your dedication, talents and care for your clients and to FRGN!

 

military training


Our therapists Dave Hoyt, Chris Klein and Jessica McCaslin attended the "No Wrong Door" Conference in Grand Island. The day was spent in sessions learning how to help returning service members or veterans who have brain injury or PTSD. 

 

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