Published on February 14, 2014
LifeServices EAP* “Personal Service, Every Time” “Stress & Today‟s Economy” …the real COST of stress! Margie Roop, Regional Director, LPCC-S; CEAP; SAP 1-800-822-4847 *LifeServices EAP is a company-sponsored employee benefit
Stressed these days?? Of course you‟re stressed……! Job insecurity Changes at work Debt Being pulled in a million directions College education costs; kids‟ futures Health care costs Crime Rising costs of living Family issues
When was the last time you felt like this? Hey, it‟s New Year‟s Eve all over again…yeh, right!
Ya, but….. • I am more worried than I have ever been! • I feel more pressure to contribute to the family. • Life is less enjoyable • I feel inadequate • I feel powerless • I am very frustrated, angry & depressed!
Hold up! Time Out: Isn‟t Perspective Everything? •We STILL live in the richest country in the world! • Our democratic form of government ensures our human rights, freedoms, & “representation of the people for the people” (our Constitution). •Everyone can go to school: FREE public primary & secondary school systems.
Or, how about a global perspective? ¾ of the world lives in unconscionable poverty! No clean water systems No sanitation systems No public school systems No democratic forms of government No safe police forces Civil unrest; “survival of the fittest”; lack of safety.
They have next to nothing… Lack of: • Infrastructure for transportation & utilities (water, electric, gas, sanitation) • Minimal health care; not accessible; lack of preventative education Very weak: Economies Trade Agreements Work Rules Democracies, if that! Military and security forces Ability to advocate for selves
Try: Gratitude •Can be a life saver! •Helps us to put many things into perspective. •Allows us to be stewards to those less fortunate. •When you give you get! •We each have so much & so much to give, no matter how “horrible” we may think of our circumstances. •We need to “get over” ourselves!
What do you mean: “Get over Ourselves?” Needless Worry Self-loathing, pity & guilt only fosters more negative thoughts which creates negative behaviors. NEWS FLASH….You are NOT the center of the universe! There are many others with situations which are bigger, worse off, and more in need than YOU!! And, how will I will solve this?
OK, so what are some more ideas…?
Consider Giving “Giving” a Try! •You will feel good about yourself. •You will feel grateful for what you DO HAVE versus others. •You will see others as your brothers & sisters on this earth. •You will feel a “connectedness” to others that will obliterate loneliness.
We all possess a talent! •When we share our talents with others we “get outside of ourselves” focusing attention away from our problems. •Focusing attention away from us and onto others allows us to get perspective. •Perspective is a form of objectivity, and THAT can be a life-saver when we THINK we are so bad off!
I can appreciate that, but what can I do right now? Let‟s take time to do a truthful self-inventory of our current status, and our wants and needs. Let‟s look at how today‟s economic situation offers us endless opportunities to “right our personal ship.” Let‟s pick our heads up, do some research, and take action. Let‟s build a plan and get on with it!
Consider the following… How badly do I NEED that sweater in four different colors? Why do I NEED to go to every Macy‟s 60% off sale? Why does acquiring things make me feel good, then bad? Why MUST I get the newest, most up-to-date “gadget”? Do we really need ESPN & HBO? Do we each need a cell phone in our family? It costs when you lose receipts, don‟t budget and/or don‟t maintain your purchases!
We confuse WANTS with NEEDS, don‟t we? The media & the influence of others directly impacts and convinces us that what we want we have to have=NEED!
•Magazines, TV, billboards, internet, surround us. •The main message being: BUY! •Why? You deserve it; you will look & feel BETTER! •You will have the “edge” on the competition. •You will be able to forget all your problems. •It will SOLVE all your problems. The Media
Plus, we become easily influenced when we are: Tired Distracted Stressed out Over-worked Depressed Anxious Over-committed Sick Lonely
That pretty new purse, car, stereo… Looks good to us and makes us feel good at the time. Gives us a sense of control. Acquiring, even if putting us in debt, makes us feel like “it‟s mine.” Feel more in control when I “own” something. But, it‟s a short-lived sense of well-being. Guilt sets in. Lying…possibly to ourselves about our ability to afford it. Finding ourselves wondering why all of a sudden I need to work more hours!
It‟s a vicious cycle •Until I come clean with myself about my wants versus my needs, I remain on this treadmill. •I keep perpetuating a false reality of my life. •I continue to feel guilty, and it just keeps going on and on… •I need to wake up and face my reality.
The Economy: Glass half empty or half full? • Today‟s economic crises: possibly, a true “wake-up call” for many of us!? • An opportunity to do things better? • Or, is it just my “dumb luck?” • It‟s what always seems to happen to me…! • What‟s YOUR perspective on it?
When you‟re “Needy”… What happens? You feel anxious You feel sad You feel alone You feel “out-of-it” You get clingy You get compulsive You feel uncertain You feel angry You feel impatient Is this you?
Then, you want to….. Actions Shop „til you drop? Go on eBay? Drink more alcohol? Gamble? Pull out the credit cards? Travel? Make more phone calls? Drive around aimlessly? Been there, done that?
Your behaviors can cost you! •Using illegal drugs •Abuse of prescription drugs=sudden “pains.” •Stealing from friends, family or employer. •Getting so distracted don‟t pay the bills on time; lose the bills. •Too trusting of others because of the “meal ticket” they may provide . •Staying in a bad relationship=dependency issues.
Your decisions can cost you too! •Positive drug screen-could get you fired •Drink & drive= get a DUI •Bypass safety steps=accidents. • Leave car unlocked=theft of personal items •Associate with known criminals=risk safety, reputation, freedom •Fail to plan=plan to fail!
Effects on your family: •Irresponsible behavior is like stealing directly from your family. •Are you a contributor to the family or a liability? •Do you “get” that as a parent you are rolemodeling behaviors?
Challenge yourself to get creative! • Decide that you are OK with what you have in terms of your basic needs. • Decide to start taking care of your emotional needs in ways that are healthier than acquiring “things.” • Recognize WHEN you are NEEDY and slow things down before you ACQUIRE! • Feel great about finding new ways to take care of yourself that do NOT involve acquiring!
Try this instead: •Recognize your sense of “neediness” which may present as a number of different feelings previously mentioned. •Write it down, if you can; if not, stop and give 10 minutes thought to what is troubling you. •Call a trusted friend or “buddy” in getting help! •Call LifeServices!
Get into a new habit! •Record how much you just saved by not indulging your neediness through acquiring. •Set a goal for saving a certain amount. •Once you meet that goal, i.e., in a two-week timeframe…. •Reward yourself with something relaxing & which doesn‟t cost much! •Take turns with a “buddy”!
Creativity: Acquiring • Re-cycle-there are so many ways to re-use many things in your life….Take pride in your creativity! Clip coupons-many people do! Take the time to study the sales for items NEEDED. Go to re-sale shops: Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc… Barter or trade something for something with a relative, coworker, or neighbor. Borrow rather than buy, especially if the want OR need appears temporary.
Creative Acquiring •Will help you to reduce your debt. •Provides extra cash. •Establishes a new habit that will be hard to change once you see the results! •Increases your self-esteem. •Demonstrates how resourceful you can be!
Creativity: Increasing Revenue Convert a hobby into cash: sewing, carpentry, candlemaking, jewelry-making, woodworking, car repairs, computer repair, landscaping, etc.. Provide a service: baby-sitting, house/pet-sitting, lawn mowing, pool cleaning, house cleaning, pet walking, etc… Sell what you don‟t NEED anymore. If you work extra hours, passively (electronically )deposit extra $$$ into a money market checking account which is less accessible.
What did the “Greatest Generation” do? When acquiring? Made something out of nothing. “Made do” with what they had (didn‟t even know they were “poor”!). Every family member was responsible for a task which contributed to the family‟s “bottom-line.” Made everything last. When increasing revenue? Everyone worked outside the home to contribute to the family income. Community utilized one another for their “specialty”, i.e., seamstress, bakers, cooks, housekeeper s, carpenters, etc.. They saved, saved, saved!
Maintain what you own! • Your home •Your cars •Your appliances •Your lawn •Your clothing •Your office equipment •Your insurance policies
How well do you take care of things? Do you change the oil on your car when you should? Rotate the tires for optimal performance/save on gas? Conserve on energy: electric, heat, water usage? Balance your checkbook each month? Change furnace filters when indicated? Purchase warranties on major appliances? Clean out the rain gutters? Keep valuables in a safe?
Other maintenance issues Respect the acquisition! Keep it clean Keep it running smoothly Allow only those responsible enough to use or be around it! Make sure instructions for use are followed. If it calls for adult supervision, then provide it! Abuse it, you’ll lose it! Keep all receipts in a file. Note the return policies when you purchase. Note: final sale/no return ads. Advocate for self politely but assertively if you feel you have good reason to return outside of their policy.
Take care of your body! •No need to join a health club…get outside and walk! •Invest in a physical exam appointment with your doctor. •Meet with or research proper nutrition & buy the appropriate foods (using your coupons, of course!) •Set limits for you can/WILL do in a day…enlist support! •Have an agenda each day of what you want to accomplish and stick to it!
Decisions regarding your Health •Do you : smoke cigarettes, use illegal drugs, overeat, eat the wrong things, gamble, drink too much, abuse Rx drugs, not follow MD‟s orders, forgo regular health exams, overwork, not relax?
Support Systems…do you have one? Loved ones help us with balance, feeling needed, energized, & affirmed. •Activities with loved ones can save us money as simple socializing (card games, dinner gatherings, watching DVDs, traveling) can lower costs vs. if done alone! • Loved ones keep us grounded and remind us of what‟s important in terms of wants & needs!
Nurture your Relationships •Are they healthy? •Do you spend quality time with them? •Respect their wants & needs. •Own your responsibility as a role model to your children. •Address your unhealthy behaviors, if not for yourself, then for THEM!
Relationships Your choices With whom do you choose to associate? Are they hooked on alcohol or drugs? Are they responsible with finances? Is there domestic violence? Irresponsibility costs!
Everyone has Spirituality! •That belief that there is a force beyond us which we can look to for help. •Whether it is God, Allah, Buddha, or a Higher Power accessed via religion, a support group, nature, family or friends. •Persons who have trust or security issues may struggle with concept of spirituality.; get help for those issues.
Finances:…..is NOT a four-letter word! Clean up your debt and decide to work towards having to pay only those bills you NEED TO: Utilities & mortgage (but, work towards paying that off too!) Consult with an expert on how to pay off your debt.
“Do not be afraid of that man behind the curtain….!”! Do you have goals? Pay off credit card bills Own home & cars Send kids to college Retire early Have “x” amount in retirement account Leave “x” amount to loved ones Travel the world. How will you meet them? Set up a budget to pay-off bills Meet with a LifeServices‟ financial expert. Adopt new ways to acquire & increase revenue. Get real about NEEDS vs. WANTS. Identify amount to direct deposit money market every paycheck.
Who has control? YOU DO! Never, ever stop believing this, because no one else is responsible for what you decide to do!
LifeServices Financial Consultation Dedicated, private, one-on-one telephonic consultation with our professionals who work for US not the credit card companies or banks! A plan of action will be established after a thorough assessment of your situation.
Financial Services: the entire household is covered! Financial coaching How to avoid bankruptcy How to balance a checkbook How to save How to establish & manage a budget How to invest How to pay off credit cards Dedicated website with document downloads!
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Opportunities abound today! •Which one is presenting to YOU? • What does your personal inventory tell you about YOUR wants vs. NEEDS? • Get help with creativity: acquiring, increasing revenue & maintenance. • Call LifeServices to address your “neediness” based on emotions
Remember, it doesn‟t COST a lot to be happy….
But it WILL cost you a lot to not take care of yourself! Call LifeServices EAP: 800-822-4847
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