from Katharina TheisBröhl
Have a wonderful week
from Katharina TheisBröhl
Have a wonderful week
Have you ever lost your job or do you know someone who lost their job?
I was in my teens when my dad lost his job. He was not fired, he was not made redundant. Simply the state research institute he was working in vanished one day during perestroika, leaving over 2,000 employees unemployed with no redundancy payments, no unemployment benefits. Nothing, absolutely nothing…
There were hardly any other jobs around at that time. Factories were closing one after another. Those who managed somehow to keep their jobs were often forced to take unpaid leave for 2-3 days a week or were not paid at all for months and months and months… They kept getting monthly payslips without pay.
“We’ll be OK”, my dad said, shrugging his shoulders and putting away his business suit, “I’ll find some work”.
Dad started his career in one of the deepest and most dangerous coal mines in the world working at the depth of 720 meters. All his family and mates were coal miners.
As he was a very bright young man, he was selected to go to the University where he got a degree in electrical engineering. Gradually he worked his way up to the executive level in the crown research institute.
He always stayed in touch with his old mates from the coal mine and University friends with whom he has done lots of odd jobs to support himself through the University years. Now he was worried about them. His old coal mine was closed with all coal miners left without jobs.
Some of his University friends, who ended up in different parts of the USSR after graduating from the University, not only lost their jobs but were also forced to leave places where they lived with their families for a few decades.
“At least we still have a roof over our heads. They are less lucky than us,” my dad sighed.
I felt sorry for him and his mates, who were working so hard all their lives to lose everything…. How can you be a man if you can’t financially support your family? Old traditional views on gender roles were adding insult to injury, putting even more pressure on the men of my dad’s generation. Not surprisingly, suicide became prevalent among middle-aged men at that time…
Dad was also worried about his secretary, who was close to the retirement age. She had no chance of finding another job.
“I can always go back to working as an electrician or get some odd jobs. It will be so much harder for her,” he sighed.
Since then, I’ve seen lots more people going through painful experience of losing a job. My own family was not spared with my spouse losing jobs twice in the last 15 years.
First experience was particularly painful, as it was our only source of income and we were expecting our first child. Second time was so much easier, as I was in a workforce then and therefore was in a much better position to support our family through that painful experience. We’ve also learnt a lot by then about all DO’s and DON’Ts of losing a job, summarised very well in Shannon Smith’s article:
1. DON’T panic: There are always options, and the key is to let yourself have the time and space to determine what those are;
2. DO accept our situation: Once you’ve given your emotions space to exist, you can start to see the big picture more clearly, enabling you to act in ways that will help you and your career.
3. DON’T clamp up: The shame of job loss can scare people away from healthy and productive social interactions. But that only increases the negative pressure on an already stressful situation. Whether you participate in social networking, real-life networking in your industry, volunteering or taking a class, putting yourself out in the world is often the path to new ideas, opportunities and energy. Yes, even when you’d rather retreat and stay home alone.
4. DO rethink your priorities: separate your wants from your needs and make the necessary changes to reflect your new financial reality.
5. DON’T neglect your well-being: Watch your stress levels, whether that means taking up meditation, yoga, or simply trying to smile more.
6. DO take a balanced view of your situation: refocus on the positive aspects of your life, your nearest and dearest….
“…We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got…
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…”
Image 1: from http://www.itrelease.com
Image 3: from http://www.photosight.ru/photos/1787191/
Image 2 and 5: from http://englishrussia.com
Image 4: from http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Image 6: from http://www.bluefrogtravel.eu/bluefrog/index.php?dosanddonts
Many of us experience stress in life, whether this is in the short term from one-off projects, or long-term stress from a high-pressure career.
Not only can this be profoundly unpleasant, it can seriously affect our health and our work. However, it is possible to manage stress, if you use the right tools and techniques.
A widely accepted definition of stress, attributed to psychologist and professor Richard Lazarus, is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”
This means that we experience stress if we believe that we don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to handle a situation. In short, we experience stress when we feel “out of control.”
This also means that different people handle stress differently, in different situations: you’ll handle stress better if you’re confident in your abilities, if you can change the situation to take control, and if you feel that you have the help and support needed to do a good job.
Everyone reacts to stress differently. However, some common signs and symptoms include:
The first step in managing stress is to understand where these feeling are coming from.
Keep a stress diary to identify the causes of short-term or frequent stress in your life. As you write down events, think about why this situation stresses you out. Also, use the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to identify specific events that could put you at risk of long-term stress.
Then, consider using some of the approaches below to manage your stress. You’ll likely be able to use a mix of strategies from each area.
1. Action-Oriented Approaches
With action-oriented approaches, you take action to change the stressful situations, e.g.:
2. Emotion-Oriented Approaches
Emotion-oriented approaches are useful when the stress you’re experiencing comes from the way that you perceive a situation.
To change how you think about stressful situations:
3. Acceptance-Oriented Approaches
Acceptance-oriented approaches apply to situations where you have no power to change what happens, and where situations are genuinely bad.
To build your defenses against stress:
How are you coping with stress in your life?
What approach helps you the most?
“Sometimes all you need is a hug from the right person… and all your stress will melt away.”
Have a HUGfull and stressFREE week 🙂
In recent years, a wave of studies has documented some incredible emotional and physical health benefits that come from touch. This research is suggesting that touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.
The benefits of touch start from the moment we’re born. A review of research, conducted by Tiffany Field, a leader in the field of touch, found that preterm newborns who received just three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for 5-10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who’d received standard medical treatment.
As Kelly Bartlett points out, being regularly physically affectionate with kids of all ages helps maintain the emotional connection they share with their parents. When that bond remains strong, challenging behavioral situations decrease and discipline becomes less intense overall.
Games involving person-to-person contact (e.g. horsey rides, piggy back rides, wrestling, tag etc.) promote the release of positive brain chemicals and bring families closer together in a fun, physical way.
As children grow and become more independent and social, opportunities for cuddling naturally diminish, and it becomes important for parents to take extra effort to find ways to physically connect with them. Reading to a child or even watching a movie on the couch is a wonderful way to get close, as it invites leaning into, lying on, snuggling, touching, and arm-wrapping.
And educators, take note: A study by French psychologist Nicolas Gueguen has found that when teachers pat students in a friendly way, those students are three times as likely to speak up in class.
Touch is very important for adults too. According to scientists, touch reduces both physiological and perceived stress; touch causes one’s stress hormones, such as cortisol, to decrease while causing other hormones, like oxytocin, to increase which promote social bonding and wellness.
According to Dacher Keltner, touch is our primary language of compassion, and a primary means for spreading compassion. In fact, in his research he has found that people can not only identify love, gratitude, and compassion from touches but can differentiate between those kinds of touch, something people haven’t done as well in studies of facial and vocal communication.
Interestingly enough, two gender differences have been identified in Dacher Keltner’s research:
It might seem surprising, but touch may mean more to men than they let on: A 2011 study by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction polled more than 1,000 men and their female partners in five countries about the power of touch and found that for men between the ages of 40 and 70, regular cuddling was more important than sex. The more men hugged and kissed, the happier they considered their relationships.
There are times—during intense grief or fear, but also in ecstatic moments of joy or love—when only the language of touch can fully express what we feel. This video is an invitation for people to relearn the power of touch. There’s much to be gained from embracing our tactile sense—in particular, more positive interactions and a deeper sense of connection with others.
Did you touch someone today?
It’s been a long and busy week. Time to have some rest 😉
From Live & Learn