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JReisingerGuest Columnist...
Transitions

     As the autumn season arrives, you are likely to notice the crisp, cooler air that is seeping into your evening and swirling around your daily activities. Like many, it has caused you to stop, if only briefly, to reflect upon the changes of the new season. In the passing of long and sunny summer days into shimmering, serene, autumn afternoons, life's transitions surround us in patterns similar to the changing of the seasons. We intuitively know change is coming yet often we are surprised when it arrives.
Types of Life Transitions
     Patterns of change that are naturally occurring in life are changes such as becoming an adult, graduation, accepting a new job, marriage, having a child, becoming a grandparent and the death of a loved one. Changes that occur unexpectedly are events such as the death of a child, a sudden illness, divorce, changes in friendships and losing one's job. Changes of both types are natural life transitions. Often, we recognize a life transition as it is coming toward us but sometimes not until we are in the midst of it. The many changes we look forward to in life give us joy and hope yet come along with unexpected anxiety and stress. Changes that come suddenly can cause mental or physical pain. Therefore, it is important to address all types of change with appropriate coping skills and support.
Life Transition Resources
     The way a person reacts to a transition can depend on whether one is moving in, through or out of a transition. A beneficial process to apply when evaluating what resources might be available to cope with life's transitions is to review your personal situation, your self, available support and useable strategies. Everyone deals with change differently and coping with transition usually depends on available resources. Even though some transitions are out of our control, we can still control how we manage them and we can always strengthen our resources.
Taking Charge with Life Transition Resources
     This often means using coping skills that have worked in the past and sometimes trying something new. The following is a list of strategies that you may find helpful in navigating your life transition.
Possible Coping Strategies
Negotiating
Seeking advice
Asserting yourself
Brainstorming a new plan
Taking legal action (if needed)
Rehearsing
Rearranging priorities
Relabeling or reframing
Using humor
Having faith
Playing
Using relaxation, meditation, prayer
Doing physical activity
Reading
     Choosing a trusted professional counselor can often help you evaluate your personal situation. By using one or more of the above coping skills, along with the help of your counselor, you will experience a supportive journey through life's transitions and find a path to joy and peace in the changing seasons ahead.

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

JMcCasslin

Therapist's Corner...
Adapting the the "Change of Seasons" in Our Lives

     Fall is here and people often think of this season as a time of change. Leaves turn colors and fall to the ground. The harvest is brought in. We begin preparing for winter. We understand that things are changing. However, in life, we often fight change. It's difficult to accept the concept that things always change, but it is most difficult when the change is major, sudden, or unexpected.
     This last weekend my family and I traveled to my hometown to celebrate the wedding of my "baby" sister, as well as the 90th birthday of my grandfather. Both represent major milestones in life. They are also a good representation of flexibility, adaptability, and coping with change.
     The wedding preparation, ceremony, and reception had their share of mishaps. However, people adapted, and they tried to do it without stressing out the couple. Even when the unity candle refused to light, the couple laughed it off. In the end, they were still married, family and friends had a good time, and the couple is off on their life together.
     Fast-forward through the few hours that remained that night to the next day, where my family practiced the arts of flexibility and patience after a long day and short night while we prepared for my grandfather's 90th birthday party.
     The party went smoothly, even with my ornery grandfather teasing and making jokes. I have a difficult time imagining all he's lived through. A child during the great depression, world wars and other conflicts, assassinations of presidents, 9/11, the birth and lives of three children, the death of his first wife, a second marriage, several surgeries, and living the life of a farmer. He's a hunter and has gone on annual hunting trips up to several years ago, when his knees wouldn't allow it. But he adapted to his surgeries and is thinking about going deer hunting this year. He's an amazing man.
     Coping with change can be done in many ways. Exercise, eating healthy, getting the right amount of sleep, reading, journaling, yoga, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and SO MANY other examples are healthy ways to help your body handle the stress the accompanies change.
     Remember, our bodies are made to adapt to change, much like the trees adapt to the seasons. We shake off the "old leaves" in order to prepare for transitions, focus on strengthening our "roots" during the hard times, "bloom" when we "awake" after the difficult times, and "soak up the sun" during the times when things seem to be going the way we plan. All the while change is happening, even during the times we don't recognize it and it seems more subconscious. It's important to remember this when change is much "bigger" and "intervenes" more in our lives.

~ Jessica McCaslin, Therapist

Lenz
From Our EAP...
Election Year: Protocols for Office Talk

     
Most are familiar with the old adage cautioning against discussing religion or politics in polite company, but a recent survey indicates that many are not heeding this advice when it comes to talking politics at the office. 

     According to a 2007 survey by Vault, 66% of respondents say that their co-workers discuss politics at work, while 46% have witnessed a political argument at the office. 
Passion and Politics
     With election season in full swing, impassioned political debate has the potential to escalate into conflict of a deeply personal nature, some of which may create bad will among co-workers that can far outlast the current issues of the day.
     While a certain amount of political discussion at work is unavoidable, it's not surprising that such talk often leads to heated and emotional argument. Political viewpoints often serve as umbrellas that cover a spectrum of deeply held personal beliefs that are formed by an individual's religion, culture, upbringing, economic class and other influences. 
Appropriateness: When and How
     Best practice dictates that employees avoid political discussion of any form during the regular conduct of business. Interjecting political commentary into meetings, work-related e-mail and/or other official communication is highly unprofessional and grossly inappropriate. Doing so drags down productivity, creates unnecessary distraction, and can potentially alienate fellow employees and/or clients.
     While the line is clear in the conduct of official business, it's not as clear when socializing with coworkers while on the job. The following are a few guidelines to help you steer clear of any unintended harmful side-effects that may come about when expressing your political views.
■ Be mindful of those around you. While a boisterous political discussion may seem to you to be the perfect way to spend your lunch break, others may not share your enthusiasm for politics.  Never take an individual's silence as agreement. It is equally likely to signal discomfort. 
■ Before launching into a political discussion, ask all within earshot two questions:1) Are you comfortable having a political discussion with me? 2) Do you mind overhearing me talk about politics?  If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it is not appropriate to continue.
■ Remember that others may feel as strongly as you.While it can be frustrating when someone refuses to be swayed by your seemingly reasonable arguments, it's important to remember that others have deeply and honestly held convictions as well. Bullying and/or pestering others until they come around to your viewpoint is inappropriate behavior and will likely create conflict, workplace disruption, and hard feelings.
     Avoiding escalation always begins with respecting the rights of others to believe differently than you. When in doubt, it's best to "agree to disagree" and drop the issue. 
■ Never make it personal. People of good faith can disagree on all manner of things. A particular political viewpoint is nothing more than a set of ideas and has no bearing on an individual's integrity or intelligence. 
     Never allow political disagreement to become personal. Always take care to avoid inflammatory language, personal insults, and sweeping generalizations.
     Allow your sensibilities to be guided by basic courtesy. A good rule of thumb is to follow the same conversational etiquette that you would follow if you were a dinner guest in your coworker's home.
Handling Harassment
     No employee should feel compelled to agree with or remain silent in the face of aggressive political advocacy.  Attempts to embarrass, ostracize, harass or punish employees for their political ideologies can create a hostile work environment.   If you are uncomfortable with the discussion of politics at your workplace, it's recommended that you make your feelings known and politely assert your wish to avoid political discussion at the office.  If met with resistance or retaliation, report your discomfort to a supervisor or a Human Resources representative. 
~ Lana Lenz, EAP Administrator (resource: Daniel Feerst, LISW-CP, WorkExcel.com)

FRGN Spotlight

Sept Think training

     Seanne Emerton, Carlene Headrick, Chris Klein, Jordan Allen and Dave Hoyt, clinicians with Family Resources of Greater NE, PC, attended mindfulness training entitled “Changing How We Feel by Changing How We Think”, presented by Paula Butterfield, Ph.D (Ohio State University) Dr. Butterfield is a nationally celebrated psychologist, clinician, researcher, author and instructor, and currently is the Director of Physician Leadership and Management Education for the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University. The training was held in Grand Island, NE on September 21, 2016.
     Based on the research that habitual beliefs influence how people experience stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, shame and emotional burnout, the training presented evidence based methods for helping people revise maladaptive narratives using the emerging science of mindsets. Attendees learned key strategies to helping others change a selected maladaptive mindset through practicing positive psychology and applying principles of habit transformation and mindfulness. Participants learned strategies to help achieve a greater sense of well being. Appointments can be made by calling Family Resources at 308.381.7487 or by going to www.family-resources.net

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