Tag Archives: Life Values

Taking Care of Ourselves and Others: Preventing Suicide

Two celebrities took their lives in May 2018 – designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain. Suicide is a cause of death that is both preventable and on the rise. According to the CDC, suicide rates in this country increased by 25% between 1999 and 2016. 

In times like these, where suicide is once again a topic of national conversation, we must be vigilant about the threat of contagion. This is a real and dangerous phenomenon that leads to a measurable spike in suicides following significant media exposure and public discussion of prominent suicides.

This happened in my small town in Connecticut. Several years ago a popular and well-known athlete hung himself in the family home only to be discovered by his younger brother. The news of his death spread like wildfire through the town. It was a tragedy felt by all. Within 24 hours, a second boy took his life in the same manner. His mother was in another part of the house at the time. Within two days following the second suicide, a third child, a girl, attempted to end her life but failed, thankfully. These children attended the same school and were very close in age. As a result, all of the children in the school were closely monitored for fear that there was a “suicide pact.” 

To halt the spread of suicidal ideation, and to care for ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors effectively, we must be fully informed about the specific ways in which we can help prevent suicide. Here are some tips for winning the fight against suicide. First, learn the risk factors. There are a number of factors that can place an individual at increased risk of suicide. If you or someone you know has one or more of these risk factors, proactive and preventative measures are even more important. These risk facts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • History of depression or other serious mental health conditions
  • Serious physical health concerns such as pain, chronic conditions, and the like
  • History of prior suicide attempts or a family history of suicide
  • Stressful life events such as financial strain, divorce, loss of a loved one, relocating to an unfamiliar place, job loss, and natural disaster
  • Traumatic life events or history such as bullying, physical abuse and sexual assault
  • Access to firearms or other lethal weapons
  • Impaired judgment due to substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol
  • Past or current work in a high-risk industry such as military veterans, healthcare workers, or farmers
  • Heavy exposure to suicides such as first responders  

Second, watch for the signs. If you suspect that a loved one or neighbor is at risk for suicide, watch for these warning signs:

  • Words that express a desire to kill oneself, even in a joking manner, a feeling of hopelessness, having no reason to live, being a burden on others, or feeling trapped in a difficult situation
  • Behaviors such as increased use of substances such as drugs or alcohol, looking for suicide tips or methods online or in conversation with others, withdrawing from favorite activities, isolating from family or friends, sleep changes, giving away prized possession, or saying goodbye 
  • Moods such as depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, shame, rage or uncontrollable anger, agitation, or a sudden sense of relief after a prolonged depression
  • Mood changes, including a sudden elevation in mood
  • Rage or uncontrollable anger

Third, don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone who is exhibiting the warning signs and may be at risk for suicide. When you’ve identified risk factors and/or warning signs, don’t be afraid to initiate a conversation to directly address the issue with the person. The following tips from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline may be helpful:

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide
  • Be willing to listen. Allow your expressions of feelings to show and accept the feelings that you are having while listing to your loved one or neighbor
  • Do not judge. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Do not lecture on the value of life
  • Don’t agree to keep your concerns secret. Seek support from professionals or others
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available, not glib reassurance
  • Take action by removing weapons, pills, alcohol, and other means for acting on suicidal ideation 

Fourth, be proactive about your own emotional health. According to the Campaign for Change Director, there are five general habits that each of us should repeat consistently for good emotional health. They are:

  • Take care of yourself physically by eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and getting good sleep
  • Check in with family, friends, and counselors on a regular basis
  • Engage with others in a meaningful way. After all, you cannot be healthy if your relationships are unhealthy
  • Relax with mediation, gently activity, gardening, cooking, and other activities that bring you pleasure and gratification
  • Know the signs and symptoms of emotional suffering in yourself and others

Finally, stay informed and involved. Seek out additional resources to educate yourself on the ways that you can take action to help prevent suicide. If you or someone you know is in danger, take it seriously and act appropriately. 

  • Call 211 Infoline for the names of counselors and for guidance and support
  • Call (800) 273.8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (press 1 for veterans)
  • Call 911 if it is a true emergency requiring immediate response
  • Call (800) (On Facebook Messenger: using the “send message” button at facebook.com/crisistextline will connect you to a live crisis counselor

Take care of yourself and those around you . . .

This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. I am not expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Are You Moving Towards a More Organized Life?

I don’t know about you but I feel busier than ever.  My family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers also seem to be in a great rush.

With all the pressure to GET THINGS DONE, I am often distracted, preoccupied, and worried. I start projects but do not finish them. I spend way too much time worrying rather than organizing and planning for the future. And my payoff for all of this stress is poor time management and a shortage of “me” time.

The following are some simple things that you can do to reverse the causes of disorganization and achieve a more organized life:

Worry less, set goals. A goal is more than a statement of something you would like to achieve. A goal is a plan that provides the framework of what and how you will achieve your vision. Behavioral goals are how-tos that help you reach your outcome goals. Outcome goals are aimed specifically at achieving a result.

Having a clear picture of your desired future will provide direction and pave a clear path to success.

  1. Establish a clear vision
  2. Create short-term (three-month) and long-term (yearly) goals
  3. Identify obstacles and strategies
  4. Define your motivation
  5. Set smaller, weekly goals

SMART goals:  Specific and small, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, and Time-oriented

Examples:  Your outcome goal is to be in better health. Your behavorial goals are to exercise more, eat better, and avoid stress so that you achieve your goal of better health. Your outcome goal is to save more money. Your behavioral goals are to reduce expenses and spend less money.

Organize and plan ahead. You may find more “you” time if you are more organized and plan ahead. Use whatever you can to keep your organized. Think about the next day and what you need to do today in order to make tomorrow easier and more successful.

 

  • Use technology. Schedule important dates and times on your calendar, set email reminders, utilize planning websites. Use financial programs for organizing your bills and monitoring spending.
  • Purchase an organizer. Note pads, boxes, folders, shelves, calendars, planners, etc. will help you get and stay organized.
  • Make lists and stick to them.
  • Carry your “to-do” list with you.

Manage your time effectively. We misuse time when:

  • Our goals and objectives are unclear,
  • We are uncertain about our priorities,
  • We are tired or have low energy,
  • Misuse down time,
  • Have a perectionist mentality, or
  • Cannot say “no.”

To better manage your time:

  • Establish priorities. List your priorities in order of importance.
  • Use the 80-20 rule: spend the most time on what’s most important
  • Avoid perfectionism. Do the best you can, given the circumstances. Set goals that are realistic and achievable.
  • Put off procrastination.
  • Work on challenging tasks first. Tackle your hardest or most time consuming objective/task first. Do not leave it for the end of the day or the end of the week.
  • Do not spread yourself too thin. Learn to say “no” to your unrealistic expectations and to the unnecessary requests or obligations of others. Learn to set healthy boundaries.
  • Build flexibility into your schedule.
  • Be prepared for delays and use delays to your advantage. Bring work or reading material to appointments so that you will have something to do if people you are meeting with are delayed.
  • Get up earlier. An extra hour every day for a year is the equivalent of nine (9) weeks.
  • Delegate. Be willing to give up some control to others.

Make time for you. Find ways to recapture energy, practice stress-relieving activities, exercise, socialize, and enjoy your life.

  • Balance activities that require energy with time to renew energy.
  • Build rituals into your day that renew your energy
    • At home — list to soothing music, read, or soak in the tub
    • Work — take mini breaks every 60 to 90 minutes
    • Leisure — exercise, garden, dance, take walks
  • Do not over-book yourself.
  • Schedule time for leisure activities such as exercise, a night out with friends, or vacations/weekend getaways
  • Prepare ahead of time for leisure
    • pack a gym bag and keep it in your car
    • email friends/make reservations
    • schedule time off from work

What to do today to get moving toward your more organized life:

  • Achieve at least one major objective each day
  • Set time limits for each task
  • Eliminate one time-wasting or unimportant activity this week
  • Build “you” time into each day
  • Apply one time-saving tip you today

Now, get to it . . .

This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Stress Management Tips by Mayo Clinic Staff

240_f_53775217_ubr6vq04d6piu9mpsgygfao9ef1fafwuStress can ruin your job search and your holiday celebrations. It is best to prevent stress in the first place rather than to have to stop, rethink what you are doing, and regroup. The key is to be realistic about your feelings and what you can accomplish during this time, planning ahead, and seeking support to stave off stress and depression.

Mayo Clinic Staff offer the following tips for coping with stress and depression and the possible outcomes to your physical and mental health during the holiday season.

240_f_77544622_w1eixjvacemfdtkmunytdg24nc2ywfxiAcknowledge your feelings. If sometime difficult is happening in your life, please realize that it is normal to feel sadness and grief. It is okay to take time to grieve and express your feelings. You should not try to force yourself to be happy just because it is the holiday season.

Reach out. Seek out community, religious, or other event for support and companionship if you are feeling lonely or isolated. Also, volunteering to help others is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your network.

Be realistic. The holidays do not have to be perfrect or to be a repeat of previous years. As our families grow and change so will traditions and rituals. Choose a few to hold on to but be open to creating new traditions and rituals. For example, if you cannot be with someones you love, use Skype or Facetime to share the holiday.

Set aside differences. Accept other people for who they are even if they do not live up to your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. Be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are that they too may be feeling the effect of holiday stress and depression.

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Stick to a budget. Decide how much money you can afford to spend before you go gift or food shopping. Then stick to your budget no matter what you find. Avoid impulse purchases.

Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends, and other activities. Plan you menus and make a shopping list so that you remember everything you need. Do not be afraid to ask for help from family or friends.

Learn to say no. Saying yes when you want to say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Do not overextend yourself. Friends and colleagues will understand if you cannot participate in every project or activity.

Do not abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence will add to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before going to holiday parties so that you do not go overboard on sweets, cheese, or drinks. Get plenty of rest. Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.

Take a breather. Remember to make time for yourself. Spending even a few minutes alone, without distraction, will refresh and energize you so that you can attend to everything you need to do. Read a book, get a message or facial, listen to soothing music, or take a walk in the moonlight to clear your mind, slow your breathing, and restore your inner calm.

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Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts you may still find yourself feeling sad or anxious, unable to attend to daily chores, or shying away from social activities, seek professional help from your doctor or a mental health professional.

Do not let the holidays become something that you dread or what to avoid. Take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays.

Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

Article from Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle. Viewed on November 20, 2016.

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Take a break from your job search and laugh

How about a change of pace from my usual posts? How about a joke?

 

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I hope you found this funny and laughed. I thought it was “acute joke”.

Now, get back to your job search . . .

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This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

You Are The Boss Of Your Work Happiness

Good days don’t just happen, they are made.

Caroline Webb, an expert in behavioral science and author of the book, How to Have a Good Day, believes that “there is so much people can do to create good moments in every day. Even if you can’t make a really unpleasant job feel wonderful, you can learn to work within the constraints you have to make a situation better.” Source: Cosmopolitan magazine, February 2016.

fotolia_74038494Here are Caroline Webb’s 12 tips for achieving happiness in the workplace:

  1. Start your day by setting an intention. Setting an intention is the process of deciding what you want to achieve, forming a clear picture of it, and then allowing your subconscious to lead you to it. Setting an intention activates your power and energy toward the achievement of your goals.
    • Each morning, think about the day ahead.
    • Acknowledge your feelings — are you grumpy, sad, happy, expectant, etc? — so that you can understand how you are affected by your feelings.
    • Write down your intention so that you can remind yourself of it throughout the day.
  2. Plan a peak. Decide what you are most looking forward to each day, however small or mundane. According to Webb, “small becomes bigger when you think about it.”fotolia_72016274
  3. Imagine your best you. Envision the most important task of the day and picture yourself successfully completing that task. Visualize each step you will take and the potential outcome.
  4. Protect your thinking time. Set aside uninterrupted, distraction-free, time to work on your most complex or difficult task. Group similar activities together, like answering phone calls or responding to emails, working on finances, or preparing for meetings. Complete one activity before moving on to the next. fotolia_84576891
  5. Express appreciation. Compliment or thank someone and tell them why you are praising them. Noticing that you have made someone’s day better will boost your own morale.
  6. Head off work conflicts. Nothing spoils your day like a work interaction gone horribly wrong. Stay calm and acknowledge the other person’s frustration. Offer solutions to resolve the conflict in a way that benefits both of you.
  7. Connect with a friend. Use your time on the bus or train, on a work break, or at lunch to network or connect with other people. You don’t have to meet in person, you can use technology to text, email, or video chat.fotolia_100527985
  8. Fake a good mood. Smiling is the new power pose. According to Webb, breathing slowly and smiling can trick your brain into a better mood.
  9. Label your frustrations. Writing down a problem will help you to move past it. When you feel angry or upset, write out the facts of the situation and how you feel with stark objectivity and honesty. Then read what you have written and decide what your best self would do to resolve the situation.
  10. Get out of your chair. Movement improves mood, memory and focus. Keep it simple – take the stairs, do stretches, walk the long-way to the water fountain or restroom, sit on an exercise ball for an hour, do lunges in your cubicle, etc.  fotolia_94580166
  11. Express gratitude. Identify three things from your day for which you are grateful – no matter how small or mundane. Write them down, tell them to your partner, or simply reflect on them in a quiet moment. You can keep a gratitude journal so that you can look back at all of the things for which you were grateful.
  12. Power down at night. Before bedtime, turn off the screens, put away your phone, and take off the headphones. Take a few minutes to do a calming activity like yoga or a crossword puzzle to wind down before bed so that you sleep restfully and wake refreshed.

You can find more information in Cosmopolitan magazine for February 2016 at pages 161 through 163.

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Let 2016 Be The Year That You Get to Know Yourself

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EXERCISE:

It is important to recognize the values that are the most important to you.

Begin by prioritizing the life (personal and professional) values that are important to you. Rank your values on a scale from 1 to 16 (1 being the most important and 16 being the least important).

Then identify how each value will be of importance to you, both personally and professionally, in your next job or role. Feel free to add to this list so that you are sure to identify your top 5 life values.


RANKING                                                        PERSONAL                                                  PROFESSIONAL              


                          Advancement


                           Benefits


                           Challenge


                            Creativity


                            Flexibility


                            Free Time


                            Helping Others


                            Independence


                            Location


                            Money


                            Problem solving


                            Relationships


                             Stability


                             Status


                             Travel


                              Variety


Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in CT. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.