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JoyceTherapist’s Corner...

      Retirement…what does that word mean to you? For me right now, the word is taking on very personal meaning. For many, the word retirement symbolizes increased time and freedom to invest in family, interests, and passions. For others, the thought of retirement may bring up a sense of dread and loss. 
     Research shows that solid financial planning, as well as planning for the social and psychological aspects of retirement, will assure the greatest sense of well-being. Studies also show that more people are delaying retirement to be able to better able to achieve retirement financial security. Financial and psychological aspects lead some to re-enter the workforce on a full or part-time basis, either in their previous line of work, or in a new field. 
     Typical emotions surrounding retirement may include excitement, fear, ambivalence, elation, sadness, worry, joy, relief, and numerous other possible feelings. It is important to “lean into” all emotions, for they are important to the process. Ideally, there will be a very real sense of accomplishment and gratitude for all that has been. 
     It is challenging for some to give up one’s identity and independence as a wage-earning, productive member of society, and to relinquish the rewards of a successful and fulfilling career. Retirement involves re-defining our identity and purpose. What have you always wanted to learn or do, but didn’t have the time? Now IS the time! 
     For those of us in a marital or partner relationship, it is important for both to discuss potential changing roles and expectations. My clients have shared that the increased “together time” can create conflict about how the time is to be spent. What about individual needs for “space”? How will you negotiate and compromise?
     Retirement signifies endings, but is also a great time of opportunity and beginnings. For me, as I enter into new routines and experiences, I will try to remain mindful in each moment…much easier said than done…and to always nurture my body, mind and spirit. In the moving forward, I will seek to “blueprint” the amazing essence of Family Resources of Greater Nebraska in all aspects of my life. THANK YOU Family Resources for the wonderful years of fulfillment, relationship, beauty, joy, peace and abundance! Namaste!

~ Joyce Heger, Therapist


Therapist’s Corner…
The Masks We Wear

     By the time you read this, Halloween will be over. Parents will have searched through all the candy, tossing the really gross or suspicious-looking things into the trash, taking some candy to work, putting other candy away for “special treats,” and hiding the really good stuff to eat for themselves (aka, candy tax). Costumes will be put away to sell next year, to reuse, or donated to thrift stores.
     However, how many of us will have taken off our masks? During that one night a year, we get to pretend to be something else but for the other 364 days out of the year, do you really stop pretending?
     It can be difficult to be yourself, and to be excited about it. I’ve been known to sit around and bemoan the fact that I’m not rich, not drop-dead gorgeous, not working, working too much, etc, etc.
     I’ve been known to put on a mask and pretend to be something that I’m not. My world may be crashing down around me but if someone asks how it’s going, I’m most likely to answer “Fine.”
     Sure, putting on different costumes is part of our daily lives, too. Many of us have multiple roles in our communities. We’re parents, volunteers, bosses, workers, coaches—the list goes on!
     I’m reminded of the movie Moana. Her parents keep trying to get her to “fit” into a role. Even she tries to make herself “fit” that role but her heart keeps telling her there is more to whom she is on the inside. She learns to be herself and this enables her to embrace her role in society. It takes a bit of searching and adventure on her part, but we can all look inside and find out who we are.
     I can’t forget to mention the masks that we wear because we don’t like something about ourselves. We look within and find something in which we are disappointed or a trauma or something of which we fear. For example, depression. The stigma is that it isn’t okay to be not okay. You shouldn’t be depressed. You should always be smiling and happy and in love with life. The reality is sometimes people aren’t.
     Here’s where many people put on a mask. They pretend to be okay when they are not. They pretend to feel happy while fighting a battle within themselves. They hide the hardship but may express it in other ways—alcohol or drugs, bullying others, fighting, yelling, exercising, food, silence. Again, the list is endless.
     What masks do you wear? When do you wear them? Why do you put them on? What is it you are trying to hide? What would happen if you removed the mask?
     These are scary questions because most of us don’t know the answers to them. We make assumptions about how others would react or what would happen to us “if they only knew.” Many times it’s these assumptions that hold us back from reaching our true potential. Examining these questions and others that may arise while you do so can help you understand who you are. If things turn up that you don’t like about yourself, you have the opportunities to make those changes.
     Our “self” is a changing, evolving being. You aren’t stuck. You can move forward. You can put away that mask and be the person you want to be.

~ Jessica McCaslin, Therapist


Tips from Our  EAP...
Bully Bosses Lose

     A business scholar at Michigan State University recently completed a study that shows being a jerk to employees will enhance a supervisor’s sense of well-being.
     For about a week, that is.
     There are lots of resources out there that show the negative effects of bully bosses on their employees, as well as the benefits of a boss or supervisor who has a good relationship with employees and treats them well.
     So why do we continue to hear stories about mean bosses in the workplace?
     The study conducted at Michigan State found that bosses engaged in bully-like behaviors because it gave them a perceived benefit or reinforcement.
     Bosses thrive on trust, support, and productivity from their employees. Sometimes supervisors are left to deal with less-than-pleasing work or attitudes and they resort to bullying techniques to get the job done.
     Then they feel better because it took less mental resources to be a jerk than it would if they would have tried to refrain from the abusive tactics.
     However, after about a week, the mental resources that are saved through the avenue of being a jerk are overcome by the mistrust, lack of support, and counterproductivity the employees begin to exhibit.
     In other words, being a jerk comes back to haunt the supervisors because the employees start fighting back—usually in passive-aggressive ways because they are afraid of a direct confrontation. The supervisor must then use more energy to address these issues, and if he/she has gotten into the habit of bullying, it’s likely to spiral downward from there.
     If your business is experiencing a downward spiral, we’re here to help you identify the problem and work towards solutions. Contact your Family Resources EAP for help.

Lana Lenz, EAP Coordinator (adapted from September 28, 2017 MSU Today article by  Russell Johnson and  Andy Henion)

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