Friday, April 21, 2017

Coping with Loss by Thelma McGranahan, CM 107

How do you cope with the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job for that matter? There are many different ways, but at the same time, there are also different stages of it. I know this from personal experience all too well. When I was five months pregnant with my son, my mother passed away from lung cancer. A month later, my cousin that was honestly more like a brother, was beaten to death. Four days after my four year old son was born, tragedy struck again when my 36 year old sister passed away. Unfortunately, I have not taken the time to grieve or learned to cope. 
             I do know along with coping difficulty comes depression. In my experience I fell in a deep depression. With the depression came changes in weight: weight loss, weight gain, appetite increase, appetite loss. Sleeping hours came too few and far in between. It was horrible. Coping with loss does not necessarily mean the loss of a loved one. It can be loss of a job, loss of house, financial change, just anything drastic. Either way, it is not an easy process to go through. As I mentioned earlier, I have not taken the time really to grieve any of the loss; this oversight is actually common. They call this detachment or Cognitive Disorder.
            Most people just mourn and accept the fact of the loss. Well, with this disorder, it is more like just pretending that you have accepted the fact and moved on. Me, for example, with my mother I was 5 months pregnant and still in my senior year of high school. I cried of course, more like bawled like a child just wanting their mother to hold them. I went back to school and pushed through it. It hurt so badly to face everyone, but I did it for my baby. Still being in high school when he was born was not an option for me. That was my distraction. Four days after I graduated I had Damian. Still, I did not grieve. I was a mommy; I did not have time to think about me. I started working taking and care of my sister just to stay busy. ReNae had cancer just like mommy. In 2012, I had my second child, Caden. Four days after he was born, she passed away. Just like before, I cried but I never took time to really grieve. I had two now, work, and just whatever else I could find to keep my mind off of them. I would call my sister every day, just like before, just to find they had shut off her phone. I would still catch myself talking about my mother and sister like they were still here. Now I have accepted that they are gone, but I will not allow myself to grieve.
            . You may be asking what is grieving. Well grieving is learning to live without something. Everyone is different. There is no correct or incorrect way to go about it. Just actually doing it. I hope that this reaches somebody and lets them know it is okay to deal with loss. Just do not let it over take you. Do not let it just bottle up for years and let it eat at you. It has been almost 8 years for my mother and 5 for my sister, and I didn’t take time then. Now I suffer from insomnia at times, severe depression, and certain things trigger all of that. Songs that we would sing together are now nothing but tears falling. Pictures just let me think they are still here. Videos are unbearable. Please don’t let this become you. Not saying every now and then you can just let it out, but for me it is daily.
Image result for grief  public domain
Public Domain Image


            

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Stress for Success by Dustin Jessip

Stress for Success
What is Stress?

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Stress is an everyday obstacle in life. Whether it be mild, moderate or severe, stress is present in virtually every aspect of any given situation imaginable. Nobody is immune to stress, and everybody experiences it one way or another. Staying on top of stress can help individuals build relationships, careers, and even themselves. Stress can be good or bad, no matter how intense or docile. There are three (3) different categories, or degrees of stress.
Starting with the most common, is acute stress. Anybody that might be running late for work or school, or maybe forgot to grab their coffee in the morning are likely to suffer from acute stress. These are the small, but manageable situations that cause us to derail from our presumed routines for just a few moments. It happens to everybody, and individuals typically move on without much reluctance. The next kinds of stress are considered to be more moderate to severe, respectively. Sometimes they are preventable, and sometimes they are not. Episodic acute stress is when several acute stress situations are strung together into a more habitual series. An example would be forgetting to grab a coffee, while running late to work, and the car has no gas to get all the way to the workplace. The difference between regular “acute stress” and “episodic acute stress” is the reoccurring scenarios, like the example, would be a daily routine. Individuals that suffer from episodic acute stress are those that are simply used to this way of life. To them, that is just how life is, and they often fail to see anything wrong with it. These individuals are one of two personality types: aggressive, and abrupt, or careless and low energy. Regardless of which type an individual may be, they can only change their lifestyles with a conscious effort inhibited by persistent reassurance that they are doing the right thing.  Lastly, the most severe cases of stress that is detrimental to not only the victim suffering, but people that are around them as well. Chronic stress is life changing. Violence, Suicide, and even cancer are common factors when dealing with chronic stress. This is the most serious kind of stress that a human can experience. If it can be deemed “treatable”, then it is highly recommended that treatment is accepted and embraced.

Conclusion

Stress management is important for those that want to achieve happiness, and be successful in life. No matter how simple or severe the stress may be, dealing with it in a positive manner will encourage others to do the same. You can be the benefactor for stressed people all around you. You can make a difference, and for your own benefit, you should always try.


References

Stress-Kinds.  Retrieved from:  http://apa.org/helpcenter/stress-kinds.aspx 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Expressing Yourself Informally- Blog Post by Jennifer Secoy



 
 
 
Expressing Yourself Informally- Blog Post
Jennifer Secoy
Kaplan University
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: “Do you have a handle on your employees?  Get with the Times, Become a Modernized Leader Today!”
Is my business up with the times? What can I do to make my business run smoother?  Do I have my employees under control? Are these some of the questions you ask yourself? It can often be frustrating running or managing a business. Hopefully this post will help put those frustrations to rest. I am an office manager for an entertainment company, and have been in a few difficult situations. Recently,  I have read an article titled; Today’s Rapid Pace of Change Demands Modernized Leadership” by Bruce Tempkin,  (Link will be provided below),  that made me realize, we can now see different aspects of our business. This is due to the change in technology over the past few years. Right now, you may think that just hiring somebody and training them, should be enough for them to be able to do their job. Maybe you are even thinking that if you pay them well enough, they will do well enough. That does not seem to be the case anymore. The younger generations, like myself, seem to be interested in more than just wealth. Appreciation and acknowledgement can go a long way. Instead of telling your employees what to do all the time, give them a greater reason for doing this task. Example: You know every morning the employee stocks the kitchen, and they find themselves behind and stressed. Have a meeting, engage with the employees. Let them know you are all in this together. If the person who closed the kitchen at night would stock, then the morning person will not be so overwhelmed. In turn the kitchen will be ready for the night person when they come in, and the night crew will have time to prepare for the morning crew. This can also prevent customers from having a bad experience.  
Now, do not let the technology of being able to see more customer reviews scare you, or blind you from your future business plans. Use the reviews as insight. If multiple reviews say that a certain employee is unpleasant, you need to use that information. Observe that employee and point out their strengths, understand what they are going through. Show that you appreciate what they have done. Listen to your employees; if you have unhappy employees, then you are going to have unhappy customers. If you have a great environment, where the workers are happy, it is contagious.   I always thought of those employees as toxic, meaning they make everyone unhappy, and to remove them from the problem. This article states to not look at the problems, look at solutions. Customers are more likely to ignore the price of things if the environment is worth it. Now if you have Mr. or Mrs. Grouch as the first thing they experience when they walk into your establishment, your customer is immediately affected. Would you want to spend money in a place where you felt uncomfortable or unhappy? You will find that often pointing out what an employee is doing wrong, or not engaging yourself with the employees, you will have unhappy employees on your hands. Like I said earlier, customers are affected by your employees and environment. Learn and adjust to your business, do not spend your time strategizing on what to do. Go ahead, use technology, use those customer reviews. Make the customers a part of your business. They may not always be right, but they definitely have a point of view that you do not get. Are you still; commanding, tracking, pointing out the bad? Maybe it is time for you to try; engaging, observing, appreciating and empowering your employees. You may see a difference sooner that you know it! I hope this has put some ease to your frustrations.

 
 
References
 
Tempkin, B. (2017, January 7). “Today’s Rapid Pace of Change Demands Modernized Leadership” http://chiefexecutive.net/rapid-pace-change-demands-modernized-leadership/
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Teeter Tottering for Adults

"Teeter Tottering for Adults" as explained by Ashley Hupp

In this article, the author Tony Schwartz traveled to Austin, TX for a conference to discuss “fueling sustainable productivity by balancing periods of fully absorbed attention with intermittent renewal”. He says that, “we need a series of deliberate practices to counter the powerful forces so accelerating our lives”. I found his choice of words to be very powerful and they immediately caught my attention.
We all struggle daily trying to balance out work and our personal life. Time. There never seems to be enough of it. So, my intentions for writing this post are to provide some insight into turning the dream of balance into reality. Perfect balance, I do not believe, is an achievable goal. But working to find a balance that fits your life and work is attainable.
One way is to say “no” Learn to prioritize and say “no.” Most of us are already on overload between work, school, family, etc. Most often,  we bite off more than we can chew, but  there is a solution for that. Are there ways to delegate responsibilities? Are there things we are doing that we can move to the bottom of the list to make room for what is most important? Say no to taking on new. There is already enough on our life to-do list, piling up more responsibility is just going to exhaust you.
Write it down! Writing out ideas or thoughts throughout the day will help to keep our minds from being on overload and will make focusing more easily. Creating more space in our days allows us to take a step back and refocus. You may be wondering how that could be possible with your busy schedule, but try fitting in small breaks to absorb everything. Studies show that human beings are not meant to multi-task. We do far better finishing one task and moving on to the next. The quality of work is far superior and we are more likely to retain what we learn.
Another topic the author brings up is, Revisit and Reevaluate. He talks about keeping journals and occasionally going back to revisit some of his ideas. Revisiting ideas allows you to look them over with a fresh point of view. Sometimes allowing you to weed out what will work and what will not. Never a bad idea to reevaluate your approach to a task or idea. And the author’s final piece of advice is to take regular breaks from technology. Disconnect. While trying to manage your time and your schedule, try to fit in breaks from your phone, laptop, etc. We are an era that relies heavily on digital devices. Getting away from those for even small amounts of time, allows us to accomplish other tasks. Such as, spending time with your spouse and/or children, finally fixing that leaky faucet, or finishing up the last few chapters in the book you have been reading for a month.

I do not accept that there is a reason work and/or school should overshadow other aspects of your life. With a little work, or in some cases a lot of work, I believe that everyone can eventually find their balance.

How to Ensure Strong Customer Service

Blog post; would include header and title page, but removed for blog.
Tracy Meyer
How to Ensure Strong Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction
By Barb Lyon from Management Help.org.
Everyone is a consumer and everyone experiences customer service on a daily basis. As a manager or an employee that works with the public it is very important  to ensure strong customer service and customer satisfaction. Lyon’s article is written to train managers on the basics of how to handle mistakes and customer complaints, customer service metrics and how to know if your customers are satisfied.
According to Lyon, if a customer is complaining about a mistake that’s been made it is important to act fast to contact the customer whether face to face, a phone call or an email. Let the customer know that you are aware of the mistake and that you are working on a solution to fix the mistake. Even if you do not have an answer yet, the customer will be happy that you contacted them right away and will respect you for doing that.
Keeping in contact with your customers after their purchase to show you appreciate their business will help build customer return and retention. A lot of retail stores will send you mailers with coupons or upcoming sales or will ask for your email at the time of purchase to email discounts and promotions, this will keep them coming back and know that they are appreciated as a customer.
Customer satisfaction is another factor in the customer service experience. You have to ask your customers if they are satisfied. If you are not asking them you are missing an opportunity to improve or to grow your business. If you are losing customers, you need to find out why. You ask your customers to fill out surveys about their experience, or even just ask them face to face. This can be as simple as asking when they are checking out if they have any questions or if there is anything else you can help them with.
Most of these suggestions in the article are common sense but it is amazing how many businesses do not practice any of this. It is surprising with competition being so tough, that they would not want to go above and beyond for their customers. I agree with everything in the article and I really like all of the links to go deeper into the suggestions and elaborate. Customer service and satisfaction are the biggest part to any purchase or service and should be a top priority for every business.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to Talk to Your Children About Terrorism by Abby Price

How to Talk to Your Children About Terrorism
     As adults, when we hear about terrorism we have to sort through all of the sadness, anger, anxiety, fear or anything else that we may feel. As adults, most are able to pick through the biases of different news coverage and understand that some coverage is made to heighten fear and anxiety. Children, on the other hand, are not developed enough to do that on their own. The article, "The Orlando Nightclub Shooting: How to Talk to Your Child about Terrorism" written by Mary L. Pulido, Ph.D and can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-l-pulido-phd/the-orlando-nightclub-sho_b_10428582.html, has great suggestions to help parents learn healthy ways to address terrorism, specifically the attacks on the Orlando Nightclub Pulse.
     Pulido gives several suggestions and scenarios to help parents be more comfortable talking about these kinds of situations. One example of those suggestions is to frame it in a way that is not producing unnecessary fear and anxiety.  Keep the conversation age-appropriate.  Pulido explains that news coverage on terrorist attacks can worsen that fear and anxiety, which makes monitoring what your child watches very important. A child that may be following the coverage of the Orlando Nightclub could be getting several different versions of the story and could be exposed to very graphic, disturbing images. Pulido states that, "A person cannot "unsee" something." Seeing those kinds of images can cause a lot of emotions for a child who is unable to process it. Pulido gives an example of research study, which can be found at: http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/cyf/disaster.aspx  that shows more children who watched continuous new coverage had more PTSD symptoms.
     When a child hears about terrorist attacks, she may want to talk about how it makes her feel or not. Either reaction is okay. Whether she wants to talk or not, let her know that you are there to listen to what she has to say about the situation, their fears, and to answer any questions. It is important to praise them for showing their emotions and to validate what children are saying. For example, if they express that they are sad to hear about all the people who were hurt, one appropriate response would be, "Yes, what happened makes a lot of people very sad too. It's okay to feel sad." Pulido thinks that it is beneficial to ask about what their fears are and address it. Don't try to correct them, any fear or feelings that they may have are important and valid, even if it isn't what you think is a "normal" reaction. Remind them about the first responders, the firefighters, the police officers and the medical staff helping those who were hurt and helping keep the rest of us safe.
     Because children will be hearing so many different versions of the story from so many different sources, it is important to stick to facts when explaining scary situations. After discussing all of the not-so-fun things, ask them what will make them feel better, and try to accommodate. Overall, I agree with Pulido's suggestions. I have seen how doing things this way is more beneficial and help in the long run than avoiding these difficult, touchy subjects. I think it is important to keep the race/religion of the attacker out of the conversation. Break down the word "Terrorist" for them. Explain that it is someone who wants to hurt and scare people. The fact that that person was white, Jewish, Muslim, or a person of color is not relevant to helping the child. That will just give unnecessary fear or dislike towards a certain group of people. The issues that this article is trying to address is the lack of knowledge parents may have on dealing with questions about scary, real subjects in a healthy way.
      Children are very impressionable.  It is so vital that we, as parents, keep a tab on ourselves and not influence any of our own feeling of anger or hatred onto the child.  As children,  parents intentionally and unintentionally influence their children's fears, thoughts, opinions, wants, desires, tastes, and actions. I grew up with my grandparents. My grandfather loved the Chicago Bulls basketball team and the Miami Dolphins NFL team. As a child, I also was a big fan of those teams. My grandmother loves to cook and take care of people, both traits I picked up and kept with me my whole life. My grandmother is also very emotional. She cries very easily, she is very sensitive, and very submissive. I also learned these from her. Both grandparents, because of other influences they had, were very prejudice towards any person from the Middle East. Unfortunately, I was influenced by this tremendously. I do not think it was intentional at all, but I was consistently hearing scary conversations about Muslims and the Middle East and we were not aloud to buy anything made in the Middle East. I learned in my early adulthood that there were several good things that I was taught and some very bad things. I kept the good things and I actively try to build on them. I have taken the bad things and replaced them with love for people from all over the world. I am now a huge advocate and protester for the oppressed.
     It is important to realize the influences your parents had on you so you can understand the kind of influence you will have on your children. Many people do not like to admit that we are so impressionable as children or adults. So many feel that if they accept that, then they are no longer unique or an individual. We are influenced by everyone around us. Social media, trends, religious groups, politicians, news channels, friends, teachers, and family. What religion are you? Is that the same religion of your parents? The decision to be that particular religion was probably very influenced by what religion your parents are. What is your favorite sports teams? Are they similar to your father's or uncle's? Do you automatically say "Thank you" when someone does something nice for you?  Is your home messy or very tidy? Do you do exactly what you are told at work or always try to go above and beyond? How do you react to confrontation? Every answer was a result of your environment growing up. 

     In conclusion, as parents, we are responsible for helping our children through the scary subject of terrorism. There are many great ways to talk to your child about what terrorism is, what we are doing to keep each other safe, and what to do to help lesson the fear and anxiety. Children are very impressionable and it is also our job as parents to influence them with goodness and not negative biases. Difficult conversations will come up. Do not leave your child feeling alone or invalidated. Learn and find ways to help yourself be more confident and comfortable helping your children through these anxious and scary situations. 

Will there be enough teachers for future generations? By: Destinee Howard

Will there be enough teachers for future generations?
By: Destinee Howard

The number of future teachers has reached an all-time low. While I was looking to see the popularity of the education field, I came across an article by Mary Ellen Flannery. In this article, she gave not only statistics on the popularity of teaching, but she gave possible solutions to fix the problem. You can access this article at http://neatoday.org/2016/03/15/future-teachers-at-all-time-low/.
            Teaching is something you must have a passion for, but one of the solutions Mary talked about was raising their pay and revamping the program to where they can work with teachers faster and get into the field quicker. Even though money shouldn’t be what you are focused on when you are picking your career, I feel that’s what most people do when they are deciding what degree they would like to receive. In the article, Number of Future Teachers at all time low, the author Mary Ellen Flannery states, “In a 2016 national survey of college freshman, the number of students who say they will major in education has reached its lowest point in 45 years. Just 4.2 percent intend to major in education—a typical first step to becoming a teacher—compared to 11 percent in 2000; 10 percent in 1990; and 11 percent in 1971, according to data gathered by the UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program.” (http://neatoday.org/2016/03/15/future-teachers-at-all-time-low/) Imagine what is going to happen when your children grow up. Are they going to have enough teachers?

            In conclusion, I feel that if they raised the pay for teachers that more students would consider majoring in education. The population is constantly growing, so we need more people to think about choosing to go into the education field. Education is the most important thing to life because without any education we wouldn’t be anything. Everyone must learn how to do various things. It all starts with the ones who choose to educate. The people who realize that education is important are going to be the ones that understand how much we are in a desired need for educators.