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How programmers relieve stress and maintain mental health – Thrive Global

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Standards of Mental Health

Correct understanding of reality. Seeing the problem can be objective.

Self-knowledge, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. Be able to evaluate yourself realistically, but dont show too much that you dont deliberately please others. Accept both your strengths and your weaknesses. If a person does not like himself, how can he talk about like others?

Self-regulation. Being able to regulate ones behavior can not only restrain ones own impulses, but also mobilize ones physical and mental strength, and achieve his more advanced goals in practice.

Ability to build intimate relationships with people. Caring for others, good at cooperation, not demanding others to meet their own needs. Such people have close friends and close family members. Unhealthy people have tight interpersonal relationships and use others everywhere to achieve their goals.

Personality framework stability and coordination. This stability and coordination include the adjustment of the gap between ideal and reality, including the coordination of cognition and emotion.

Mental Health-Good Attitude

How to maintain a good attitude?

Vent the unhappiness in an appropriate pattern to relieve psychological stress. Dare to tell your close friends or relatives what you are unhappy about. Crying, reading poetry, writing a diary, watching movies, and listening to music are all common cathartic patterns when you are extremely sad. Cheerful music can inspire emotions.

Get in touch with people and get rid of loneliness. Everyone has a need to belong. They are used to seeing themselves as members of society and want to get love from fellowship. Studies have found that interpersonal communication contributes to physical and mental health. When you sincerely care for others to help others and selflessly dedicate your love, you will be glad to find that you get more than you give. Never isolate yourself from others because you are afraid of others being unhappy. Loneliness only worsens depression.

Mental health-facing setbacks

HEALTHCARE pieces ofjewelryare not just a nicejewelrythey really deliver a couple ofhealthbenefits and well-being

Calm and calm, not panic. Increase confidence and courage.

Review the situation and win roundabout. The so-called roundabout victory, that is, the goal remains the same, the method has changed.

Persevere and persevere. When you encounter setbacks, go ahead. Your stated goals remain the same, and your effort doubles.

Move flowers and trees, flexible. If the original goal that is too high cannot be achieved for a while, it can be replaced by a goal that is relatively easy to achieve. This is also a mode of adaptation.

Find the reason and sort out the ideas. When you are frustrated, first calm down to find out the possible causes, and then find a solution to the problem.

Learn to vent and get rid of stress. May wish to find one or two people who are close to you and understand you, and pour out all the words in your heart. From the perspective of mental health, catharsis can eliminate mental stress caused by frustration and reduce mental fatigue.

Seek psychological counseling if necessary. When people are frustrated and overwhelmed, they can turn to a counseling agency. The psychiatrist will be affectionate with you, understand the reason, guide it, and follow the good temptation, so that you will step into the realm of Liu a Hue Ming Yak Village from the predicament of the mountains and the rivers are in doubt.

Mental Health-Relieving Work Stress 1

How to relieve work stress?

Determine the direction and not take the wrong path: Think carefully about what the focus of this work is, and what results you hope to get. Do you really get the results you want after doing this, with your supervisor and the upstream and downstream processes? Colleagues discuss together before deciding the overall direction and process.

Looking at the problem positively is seen as a challenge: optimistic and positive work attitude is our magic weapon. Turning negative pressure into positive will yield surprising results.

Mental Health-Relieving Work Stress 2

Establish a good office relationship: Establish a beneficial and pleasant cooperative relationship with colleagues; establish an effective and supportive relationship with colleagues, understand colleagues problems and let colleagues understand your problems, understand yourself and colleagues at work Rights and obligations.

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Why an almost 107-year-old Utah woman exercises with her son every morning – KSL.com

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6:30PM: Why an almost 107-year-old Utah woman exercises with her son every morning

HIGHLAND The average person in Utah lives to be just shy of 80-years-old. That's chronological age, which measures how many years someone has lived on earth.

But biological age, or physiological age, is different. Intermountain Healthcares John Lassere, a geriatrician at Intermountain Healthcares Southridge Clinic, said it represents how quickly your body is aging.

He said he has 65-year-old patients who are very frail and patients in their 90s who play golf three times a week.

We met up with one of the oldest ladies in the state to find out her secret to longevity.

Mary Kawakami always starts her morning the same way. She has a warm breakfast with fresh fruit and veggies and waits until her 75-year-old son, Paul Kawakami, comes over to help her exercise.

"No mercy! Relentless! she said as she tossed an exercise ball back and forth with Paul.

She knows how to give him a hard time. "It isnt easy to exercise. He's a taskmaster! she said.

But at her age, she can do whatever she wants.

"How old am I? she asked. 1-0-6. I'll be 1-0-7 in two weeks!

Her birthday is Dec. 12, 1912.

Without fail, Paul comes over every morning to help his mom exercise. He's done it for more than 20 years.

That's why I've lived so long, Mary Kawakami said.

No, the reason mother has lived so long is because she is mean, Paul responded through laughs.

Paul Kawakami knows how to dish it back. But deep down inside, Mary said she is grateful to her son.

"He is an angel. God sent him to help me," she said.

Paul Kawakami explained, "Its a matter of something that I've done for a long time, so it's just become second nature. His father lived to be 100 years old before he died several years ago. He used to go on a walk with him every morning too.

Paul Kawakami teaches tai chi at Utah Valley University and knows the importance of staying physically active. In his eyes, age is only a number.

"I've checked her lungs. I've checked her, her heart rate. We've done all these things, and she's fine physically, he said.

I have nothing wrong with me, Mary Kawakami said. Her son agrees. "He says you can be 120 and still be 100. That's his philosophy, Mary said.

Shes had her fair share of challenges, though. Mary said shes overcome cancer twice.

Dr. Lassere said the rate at which people age varies. "Chronological age is just the clock, but physiological age is ... how healthy they are," he explained.

Lassere said lifestyle plays a role. We tend to lose 10% of our muscle mass and strength every decade after 60, he said.

Mary Kawakami is determined to not lose it. Anything I can conjure up, she gives it a try, Paul Kawakami said. So he puts her up to the challenge, including exercising with an 8-pound ball and resistance bands.

He means what he does, Mary Kawakami remarked. "After he finishes and goes home, I collapse!"

She's getting lazy, Paul Kawakami responded.

Mary Kawakami said she didn't think she'd live this long.

"I ask myself every day: Is today the day? and God says, 'No!' she said. "So I have another day walking or doing anything I can to help myself."

She believes her positive mental attitude has helped her live this long. You have to think that you are going to be OK.

She also loves to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and credits good genes. But she said she knows she is lucky to live this long. "Realistically, I am old! she said laughing.

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Avoid the holiday blues by following best health practices – The Oakland Press

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The holiday season can be a complicated time. For some, its full of joy and excitement while others experience sadness and anxiety. In fact, more than half of Americans (58 percent) consider the holidays more stressful than not. Here are some tips on how to navigate the season and avoid the holiday blues:

Eat a Balanced Diet: A healthy diet is critical to sustaining ones mental and physical health. Studies have found that diets high in refined sugar may worsen symptoms of mood disorders, including depression. Be sure to balance holiday treats with a variety of nutrient-dense foods.

Express Gratitude: To minimize negative thoughts or feelings, practice behaviors that promote positive thinking. Focus on people and experiences that promote joy and gratitude. By training the brain to actively replace negative thoughts with positive ones, a persons mindset can change over time.

Get Enough Sleep: The body needs adequate rest to recharge and function at its best. Yet, more than one-third of adults fail to get the recommended seven to nine hours. This can lead to various side effects like fatigue, irritability, confusion and reduced coordination. Make quality sleep a top priority.

Meditate: Historically, meditation has been used to increase focus and self-awareness. But it can also lead to reduced blood pressure as well as improved sleep and decision-making. This low-maintenance practice can be done anywhere, at any time, in just few minutes a day.

Monitor Symptoms: Its important to note changes in behavior and attitude during the holiday season. Chronic fatigue, drastic mood swings or forced isolation are signs a more serious issue may exist. If feelings become overwhelming and inhibit daily functions, embrace the opportunity to open up or seek professional help.

Schedule Time for Exercise: Thirty minutes of physical activity a day can improve overall health and boost mood. Taking a walk, stretching or making time for an exercise class can ease the mind and combat negative thoughts and feelings. Its a form of self-care that produces notable long and short-term benefits.

Set Boundaries: Avoid situations, environments or people who create feelings of sadness or anxiety. Dont feel obligated to abide by normal holiday arrangements, especially if they generate stress. Individuals who prioritize their mental health during this time are less likely to experience burnout.

Stick to a Budget: Eighty-two percent of Americans are stressed over holiday spending. Its one of the biggest contributors to increased anxiety. Prevent financial strain by creating a budget and sticking to it. Use a spending app, excel sheet or notepad to track new purchases. Documenting each item helps to avoid duplicates or unnecessary buying.

Volunteer: Combat feelings of loss or loneliness by giving back to others. Studies show volunteering has positive effects on overall well-being. It can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and provide a renewed sense of purpose. Look for opportunities at local food banks, homeless shelters, nursing homes and hospitals.

Dr. Kristyn Gregory, DO, is a medical director of behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more health tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.

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Dear Therapist: My Son Is Angry About the Way He Was Treated Last Christmas – The Atlantic

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Often, a tacit belief that depressed people shouldnt be as depressed as they are also leads family members to minimize the problem, especially as the person starts to get betteras you say your son has begun to do. The sentiment might be: Its been almost a year since the breakup, hes in grad school now, why is he still feeling like this? Why is he complaining about last Christmas? Weve offered so much support. When is this going to end?

I want you to consider that your son isnt self-absorbedhes in pain. And what hes telling you is that he felt his brothers were ignoring his pain, and nothing is lonelier than being utterly alone in ones pain. If your son had cancer, maybe hed feel angry if everyone at the dinner table ignored the fact that he was bald and couldnt eat and had lost 50 poundsbut maybe, too, these feelings would be more understandable to you. Likewise, ask yourself, if he had cancer, would you feel resentful of how hard youve worked to help him out? Would you compare him unfavorably with his brothers, as you have here by pointing out in your letter that his brothers are thriving in their relationships and careers in a way hes not? (Would you write, His brothers, who have never had cancer a day of their lives ?)

If you can begin to notice the ways you and your other sons may misunderstand mental-health issues, youll find it easier to interact with your son. For starters, theres a difference between walking on eggshells and listening to what hes experiencing. Communicating to him, either verbally or nonverbally, that his feelings are irrational or overblown will prevent him from being honest with you about what hes going through, and thats a dangerous situation, because you want a person in pain to reach out, not to isolate even more.

So what can you say? Try any of these: Im interested in how you feel. Tell me more about what bothered you last Christmas so that this year things go better. Im sorry youre having a bad daythat sucks. Im glad you got some restful sleep last night. (Progress that seems small to you will seem big to someone with depression.) Heres what I can do for you (for instance: help you research psychiatrists or therapists; drive you to your appointments so that you go consistently; have you over for dinner if you want some company; FaceTime with you if you need to talk; help you pay your therapy bills; check in to make sure you get out of bed on the weekends). Heres what I cant do (whatever feels like too much for you emotionally, financially, or logistically), but I can help you problem-solve so that you get those needs met. I know youre having a difficult time right now, but you still have to be kind when you talk with me. Im here for you. I know its really hard sometimes. I love you.

All of this sends a very different message from I cant believe how self-absorbed you are or You dont appreciate the help weve given you or Youre being overly sensitive about what happened at Christmas last yearyet it accomplishes something very important. It sets boundaries for what you can realistically do so that you arent neglecting your own care or sense of how youd like to be treated, and it communicates unequivocally that while depression can feel like a burden, your son himself is not a burdenand that you take him and your love for him seriously.

Dear Therapist is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental-health professional, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. By submitting a letter, you are agreeing to let The Atlantic use itin part or in fulland we may edit it for length and/or clarity.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

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A positive attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort – dealing with attitude at work, Part…

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So said German lithographer Herm Albright in a rare moments cynicism, but of course if you really want to get on your colleagues nerves, a hostile or negative attitude is far more to be commended.

So here is a question arising from a matter on which we were recently instructed. Clients employee has a persistently difficult attitude rude, micro-(and indeed macro-)aggressive, sullen, lots of tutting and sighing, a distinct snippiness to his tone and all this still in his probationary period. Off to a flier, clearly. When the employers concerns were raised with him, back came quite a lot more lip plus the assertion that it was all the product of some still unspecified mental health condition.

That may or may not be so in this particular case, but it begs a difficult question to what extent is an employer obliged to tolerate sub-standard attitude in the workplace if it has or may have its origin in a disability? The issue is particularly vexed where the employee is otherwise a perfectly decent technical performer and so the employer has no road in via capability.

Two parts of the Equality Act 2010 come into play here Section 20 (duty to make reasonable adjustments) and Section 15 (less favourable treatment on the grounds of something arising out of the disability). We need to look at each separately.

What reasonable adjustments can you make to assist someone with such a problem? None without the employees agreement, obviously, and probably none without his also agreeing that you can tell his colleagues about it, since it is they who will likely bear the brunt of his behaviour and any accommodations you make for it. In particular, can you and must ask other employees to tolerate attitude-type behaviours which would normally be unacceptable to them just because the individual in question is unwell?

Law and practice diverge here. Paragraph 6.35 of the Equalities & Human Rights Commission Code of Practice says that Colleagues as well as managers may have an important role in helping ensure that a reasonable adjustment is carried out in practice and then that subject to considerations about confidentiality, employers must ensure this happens. Must is a very strong word, particularly when coupled with the Codes assertion that it will rarely be an excuse for not making a particular adjustment that other colleagues are unhelpful or resistant to it. The Code cautions that any such resistance must be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. But is this realistic? Our reactions to behaviours we perceive as hostile are immediate and instinctive (the old fight or flight issue) and not something you can easily train away or suppress just because your manager tells you to. Disciplining an employee who has reacted completely normally to the abnormal provocation of a colleagues behaviour seems very harsh, since that reaction is no more the fault of that employee than the initial rudeness or aggression is the fault of the other one.

We have the additional problem in procuring adjustments that a disability leading to behavioural issues in the workplace is likely to be otherwise invisible. If I see a colleague with some obvious physical impairment then of course I will try to work around that, even at some minor inconvenience to myself. But otherwise I am always going to ask myself why some apparently evil-tempered but otherwise physically sound colleague is entitled to be tip-toed around almost regardless of his conduct towards me. I am not convinced that my instinctive reactions to behaviours I reasonably perceive as aggressive or rude are going to be much modified by being told that he doesnt mean it. Requiring tolerance and forbearance is all very easy for a manager who does not have daily contact with the disabled employee, but much less so for the individual at the adjoining work station.

And aside from my staff, do I as employer have to put up with attitude-type conduct from an actually or potentially disabled employee which I would not wear if he were not? The EHRC Code tells employers that You must also think about whether you should make reasonable adjustments to the standards you apply to workers where those standards place disabled workers at a substantial disadvantage. The accompanying example talks about standards of behaviour as opposed to performance, but as there may well be only a thin line between the two, this reinforces the need to demonstrate some give in what the employer will put up with. Its harder task is to persuade the employees colleagues that they must demonstrate that level of tolerance also.

Next week (probably), the impact of Section 15 on handing attitude problems at work.

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Commuter hell: My daily commute is affecting my mental health – The Irish Times

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We asked our readers to share their commuting stories after the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland warned homebuyers were being forced to live further and further away from their place of work because of price pressures in the Dublin property market.

In response to our call-out we heard many tales of commuting woes, but also some stories of domestic bliss from those living outside of Dublin.

In its housing market monitor, the banking lobby group highlighted a significant increase in house sales in Dublins commuter belt counties Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. It said this was because prospective buyers were being priced out of the Dublin market.

We moved out to Sallins, Co Kildare early in the year as we could no longer stay in our cramped one-bedroom apartment without working heating. Rents were so high when we looked for a two-bedroom in Dublin that we decided to make the move out to Sallins.

It looked like a good move on paper, with the train line going to Heuston and Connolly, but the transport links are incredibly poor and have left us feeling stranded. Monday to Friday the trains are packed to the point that it is not only impossible to get a seat for the entire journey, but often impossible to even hold on to anything.

The trains on these routes are not made for commuting, there are no handles for standing passengers to hold on to and the windows dont open, leaving people stumbling and stifled. Trains on Sunday are every two to three hours starting at 11:30am, with the last train back from Dublin at 7:30pm, meaning we cant go to family occasions in Dublin on Sunday evenings.

There are bus routes to and from Naas. However, the most frequent bus does not pick up or drop off in Sallins except on Sundays and bank holidays and the other service doesnt take Leap Card and frequently doesnt show up at all. We have problems with other logistics also.

Pharmacies and doctors are closed before we get back in the evenings, often leaving us stuck if our toddler gets sick unexpectedly. There are no doctors in Sallins willing to take on children under six as they are oversubscribed. We cannot avail of childcare in the area because the creches dont open early enough, or close late enough, for us to drop off or pick up our daughter, meaning were taking her on to the packed, airless train to Dublin with us every day.

We had envisioned a fresh start outside of Dublin and Sallins is a picturesque village so we were hopeful about the move, but spending 20 hours a week commuting on a transport service that is not fit for purpose has us regretting our choice. Laura Guilfoyle, Co Kildare

Nearly four years ago my wife and I moved into a granny flat in my parents house in Co Meath for what we thought would be six months. Since then our second child was born and the space feels smaller and smaller. We are saving for a mortgage and are getting closer. We really hope we can get something closer to town. Our dream is to reclaim some time so we can start living our lives again.

We are luckier than many, but I lose nearly four hours a day to commuting. Nearly 20 hours a week. The Bus ireann service is okay, but underfunded. Often buses dont show up because none are available. The drivers are decent and usually apologetic. They, like us, are caught in a bad system. The real killer is all the time spent sitting in traffic. Bus lanes are few and far between on the route in and they tend to stop and start. It is time public transport was prioritised over cars. Bad housing policy and bad transport policy are the bane of commuters lives. Sustainable social and environmental policy would deliver decent and affordable public transport and housing. Instead, profit driven development places burden after burden on working families. Shane Faherty, Co Meath

I commute from Navan, Co Meath, to Booterstown, Dublin, every day by car or bus; we have no train line. A usual day is to get up at 5.45am for a shower and if driving I am now leaving at 6.15am to try and get to work for about 7.30am. Due to additional traffic I now have a 10-15 minute delay at Kilmoon Cross on the N2.

This is due to the installation of traffic lights for Tayto Park several years ago. By the time I get to Finglas traffic is at a snails pace. I used to go down Gardiner Street but due to installation of a cycle lane on Butt Bridge there can be another 10-minute delay.

Many mornings I head down East Wall road and cross to the south side via the toll bridge. Twelve months ago my commute would have been 75 minutes. Now it is usually 90 minutes and can be longer on a bad wet morning. If I left at 6.30am it could take two hours plus! Returning home I usually stay in the office till at least 6.30pm and travel home via the M50, a one-way journey of 75km.

Some days I go via east link, port tunnel and M3. This involves three tolls costing 6 each way! How a train to Navan would ease congestion and reduce our stress levels! Martin Casey, Co Meath

I live in Dalkey and commute to Dublin 1 for work. The quickest way in is cycling 30-40 minutes door-to-door, depending on conditions. Its a nice cycle with beautiful views. I get the train when the weather is a bit dodgy, it takes about an hour door-to-door, only about 35 minutes on the actual train. I drive in very rarely as traffic makes it the slowest option, so I only do that when a need to go somewhere in the car arises immediately after work.

Everything has got busier since the recession. Theres more bikes, way more cars on the road and its standing room only on the train from Dalkey at rush hour even though its only the fourth stop. Im lucky to have a job where I can stagger my start/finish time to miss the peak rush hour jams, dealing with that is like a pure rat race.

Cycling in after 9am is ideal. Nice to work in an office with great shower facilities and a towel service too, those two things make cycling very practical. Robbie Payne, Co Dublin

It seems like destiny that you should request commuter stories after my debacle last night trying to get home to Maynooth, Co Kildare. I left work in the north city centre at 16:20 but did not get home until around 18:30. I spent almost 50 minutes standing on Wellington Quay waiting for a single bus to stop and pick up passengers.

No less than seven buses were full to bursting point while passing the stop on Wellington Quay, including an express bus that originated at Westmoreland Street, with my stop meant to be its second route stop. Having struggled with a Dublin commute since the summer of 2017, I have reached the point where my daily commute is now affecting my mental health, being on the verge of tears most evenings standing in the cold watching my lift home pass me by.

I have sent numerous comment forms and emails to Dublin Bus regarding the level of service to the commuter belt areas, but have seen no improvement or even a hint of any intention to address the issues affecting so many people. Bernie Byrne, Co Kildare

The Government wants us to use public transport. If you live in Midleton and had to be in Dublin for a meeting at 9am you would have to get the 6.15am train from Cork city which seems okay. But to get to the train station in Cork using public transport the first bus leaves Midleton at 7.24am so you cant use that.

The first train leaves Midleton at 6.15am so you cant use that. So to use public transport only you need to leave Midleton the night before and stay overnight in Cork city. This kind of a stupid transport system in this day and age is ridiculous. Public transport in other countries runs 24 hours so that it can actually be used by those who need it. Keith McCarthy, Co Cork

I have the misfortune of having to use Bus ireann to commute from Drogheda, Co Louth, to Leeson Street, Dublin. I have a plethora of stories I could share about my commuting hell . . . I am more than frustrated . . . but understandably. It has provided me with some hum-dingers of stories on occasion though, Ive had many a laugh from years commuting.

That being said, if I could work closer to home, I would gladly say goodbye to the smelly red and white capsule in which I spend far too much of my life. Jenny, Co Louth

Living in Killester, Clontarf or Raheny for the past 14 years (and finally settling in the latter), I have used the Dart and happily continue to do so frequenting Connolly, Tara and Pearse to and from work. Being a culchie (my partner is an honorary culchie), I dont like apartments and like a garden which to some degree I have always had.

On the north side, no matter where I lived or in the city centre, no matter where I worked, from door-to-door, it always seems to take just over one hour including 20 minutes on the Dart. I have never seen commuting as wasted or dead time as I enjoy walking to and from stations to stay fit and as I absolutely love reading, the time on the train allows me to indulge. As a bonus, my current company pays for travel. While some may find commuting boring, when not reading, I enjoy observing peoples behaviour and reactions (including my own) to interesting situations.

Every so often, something unexpected will happen: be it the novelty of seeing a commuter ferry a tiny pooch in a rucksack or duffle bag; camaraderie and humour found in a shared circumstance such as suffering a loud phone calling fellow commuter; looking on as people scrum into an already jammed train despite the driver announcing that there is a train two minutes behind; hearing people rant to themselves about bankers with golden parachutes . . . observe the compassion and professionalism with which Irish Rail employees have dealt with very trying anti-social situations.

Thanks to having to commute an hour each way, I get to stay healthier, read daily and (mostly) see the best in people which, after a tough day at work, can help renew my faith in humanity. I also get some time to myself to think and even meditate. Living too far from work, and Id probably have to drive, miss much of the above and probably gain a different, albeit more lonesome, experience. Living too close and Id probably miss it all including the garden! Jason Dolan, Dublin

Recently moved to working in city centre and commuting by bus instead of by car which I have done since 2004. I find the headspace and the extra walking Ive been doing having a really positive affect on me and my work attitude.

My aggressive driving style and volumes of traffic on the M50 were really affecting my happiness unnecessarily. I am really supportive now of public transport improvements for all areas and feel this should be a key priority ahead of any other road projects in Dublin city and give people no other option than to leave the car at home or at the perimeter of the city/park & ride Alex McDwyer

I live in Dublin 15 and work in Trinity College. We are spoiled for choice in my neck of the woods as we have a bus route and the Maynooth train line nearby. However I have chosen to get on my bike, and for the last 15 years have been happily flying in and out of work every day without delay, stress or injury. The 11km route takes me about 30-40 minutes, depending on wind and weather, but not on traffic as I gently pass those lost souls stranded in their vehicles. On the few occasions when I do drive, it takes about one hour 20 minutes for the same journey.

I sit there trying to empathise with other motorists, wondering how bad it has to get for them to leave the cars behind. Even when I take public transport, I cant help observing the awkward coping strategies commuters have developed to survive their journey in the company of their fellow travellers. In any case, I feel cheated if I cant ride my bike.

I get to work wide awake, unstressed and generally happy, and Ive probably saved a fortune. There is one less car on the road, less CO2 in the air and less junk in the trunk too. Better cycle lanes would probably help entice more people out on their bikes. But even so it is so much faster and better than any alternative I cant understand why more people arent cycling every day. Chris Murray, Dublin

I am a civil servant living living outside Dublin but working in Dublin city centre. I have two young children, my wife works full time (civil servant too) and had to move down here years ago due to failed decentralisation.

Both of us in financial mess from properties in Dublin that are still in massive negative equity. One is in the process of being handed back to the bank with massive unsustainable debt (and possible bankruptcy), the other mortgage has been taken over. Both of us have good jobs with good pay but we dont have a penny due to our costs and my travelling to Dublin. We break up the trip by staying in Dublin at times but that causes difficulty for my wife with home pressures being left to her. Civil servant

I worked in the service industry in Dublin. I had lived close to the city centre in college (worked full time to afford it), but the apartment I had been living in was renovated and the rent pushed up to unaffordable level.

I dont drive and am an avid cyclist. Always thought it seemed costly and unnecessary and like most of my friends living in or near the city I had little interest [in driving]. I had to move back in with my mother in a village outside Naas, Co Kildare, called Caragh, after I couldnt find an affordable place. My nightly routine was (in all weather) a cycle (usually between 12:30am and 3:30am) from the city centre to the Red Cow. Then wait for the airport link (went every hour but could often be late). I would ride this with my bike underneath in the hatch for 30-plus minutes to Naas.

After getting off I would have another 8km cycle to my home. The combination of vigorous physical exercise and waiting in the cold would often make me fall ill, despite trying to have the correct equipment. During the day I could take the train or bus directly into the city centre (although the average time it takes the 126 from Naas to the city centre during the day is close to two hours and Bus ireann has also begun to add a 10 charge for putting your bicycle in the hatch on a bus where no one takes luggage).

After 11pm there are very few transport options out of the city centre to major satellite towns, which makes it difficult for people in the large service sector (or any late working jobs for that matter) to commute or survive. I had to work in the city centre because it was the only place that could provide the wine training I have now completed.

I am a US citizen so first chance I got I emigrated and now live in Brooklyn relatively cheaply in respect to my wages (I work as a wine buyer). Most of my social life was in Dublin and I want to eventually raise a family in Ireland but I dont think its tenable to move back for at least 10 years. Fergus McArdle, New York, US

Three or four times a week I make the trip from Co Laois to the far side of Dublin city centre, down by the Docklands. I get a train from Portarlington station at 7.13am (a two-minute drive from my home or a 12-minute walk away). I get a seat each morning, as does everyone who gets on the train so far from Dublin. I arrive in Heuston for 8am where I use my 25 per annum Dublin Bikes card to get a rental bike from one of the five depots at Heuston to cycle across the city to the source of the Grand Canal.

It takes 15 minutes on the bike (12 minutes if I cycle as fast as possible, 15 minutes taking my time). I walk into work at 8.20am having left the house at 7.10am potentially. Returning home, I leave the office at 5pm, then cycle down the quays to catch the 5.25pm Limerick train, which stops once in Kildare on the way to Portarlington, arriving at the station (a few minutes delayed generally) for 6.05pm. Daily, Ill cover 70km quicker than my colleagues travelling 7km to Castleknock, be it by bus or car.

A house price in Portarlington is less than 200,000 for a three-bed semi-detached and is probably 25,000 cheaper than an equivalent home in Monasterevin, which despite being closer to Dublin and Heuston has a longer average train journey (and less frequent) than trains from Portarlington.

I enjoy my commute. Ive got a decent data plan on my phone to watch video content or listen to podcasts. Ive a coffee drip on a timer, so I leave the house for the station with a fresh thermos of coffee to enjoy on my way and I can take out my laptop and get some work done in advance of reaching the office. The commute works out at under 200 per month with the tax saver ticket and aside from having to stand for half of the journey on the way home half of the time from lack of seating, I really wouldnt change it other than asking for increased carriages in the morning as soon as theyre available. Ciarn Fallon, Co Laois

There are seven apartment blocks and housing estates beside Portmarnock train station. In the past two years 350 new builds were added and there are several hundred houses and apartments either approved for planning or already under construction.

There are hundreds of people packed on to the platform every morning and evening. Commuters were dismayed last year when Irish Rail took the decision to remove all diesel commuter trains from servicing Portmarnock. This coincided with the introduction of the 10-minute Dart timetable change which benefited almost every station except Clongriffin and Portmarnock arguably two stations with an ever increasing catchment of commuters.

Locals complained and managed to secure the restoration of a small number of diesel commuter services, but ultimately Portmarnock and Clongriffin have seen a reduction in the number of services despite the huge increase in people living beside the train stations.

This makes no sense. To my knowledge there are no new apartments being built next to other train stations. Clongriffin and Portmarnock are prime examples of stations that deserve additional services. Im gobsmacked that Irish Rail took this decision. I live one minute from a train station but now drive to work. Only in Ireland. Alan Kenna, Dublin

After 14 years of living in and enjoying London, and reading the Irish Sunday papers available locally, I learned in 1999 of the streets being paved with gold back home. This was a complete turnabout of the old song Mountains of Mourne. After decades of social decay and lack of opportunities , the banana republic was now booming. My wife and I decided to move back to family and provincial Ireland. We bought a beautiful house near Ardee, Co Louth, and obtained a good job in Intel. All was great . . . [fast] forward a few years and I started working in Dublin and the daily commute on the M1/M50 was very doable. After the crash the continual increase in road traffic was causing motorway traffic jams at Donabate and the Port Tunnel.

The only practical option for commuting was by private bus operator as trains were packed from Drogheda and car travel and parking was a nightmare. Now in 2019 road congestion and bus lanes along the north quay is markedly worse . We need a decent integrated rapid public transport system in our capital with radial links and large park and ride car parks. I believe the suffering will only get worse. It takes 1 hours for my commute . . . and getting worse!! John, Co Louth

I commute every day via train for the past 15 years. I actually love living in the country and working in the city (which I am from originally). I moved principally for house prices and family connections. I love the quality of life in the country. Mullingar is a great town. I also enjoy the commute and the train gives me the space to read and listen to music every day, while avoiding traffic. There is a community of fellow travellers and all nice people.

If I was to criticise, there needs to be an additional line after Maynooth. Having to wait because another train is delayed can be frustrating. The Irish Rail staff on the train and in Mullingar are very friendly. The service however is often late and rarely runs to schedule.

There is no real time arrival display at stations, and communication is very haphazard, when it works. Tony Hutchinson, Co Westmeath

I was lucky enough to be in a position to buy a property. Ive lived in Bray, Co Wicklow, most of my life and work there now, however the property prices were far too high for myself and my partner. We moved to Rathnew, where we could afford a house that should suit us as a forever home and its only a 30-minute commute by car to my job (one way).

Unfortunately we cannot afford a second car at the moment so I am at the mercy of the Bus ireann 133. I honestly feel like Im wasting my life commuting on it. The first bus to Bray in the mornings is 9.15am. If Im lucky that will arrive 10-15 minutes late every day. If Im unlucky, Ill be waiting until the 10.10am. If I miss the 6pm bus, Im stuck until the one at 7.42pm. Again, thats if Im lucky enough for the bus to turn up on time instead of late or not turn up at all. Myself and many others are often left waiting anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours for a bus.

Its an absolute disgrace considering how many new houses and developments are being built down in Wicklow. All across the country, we are being penalised for owning cars but the Government is doing nothing to improve public transport. Its either completely impractical or extremely expensive. Im paying over 50 a week for a service that rarely shows up on time and often doesnt show at all. Commuting in this country is getting harder and harder. Something has to be done. But will they ever think of the average person? Probably not. Rachael McCracken, Co Wicklow

I live in Kinnegad, Co Westmeath. I commute to work everyday to the city centre. It takes me more than two hours each way. I drive to the Maynooth train station. Park the car in the parking area, catch a train to Dublin and then walk to work. The drive to Maynooth is about 30 minutes and the train journey another hour. The train service is very good.

There are a good few trains leaving from Maynooth in the morning. The parking area at the Maynooth station is hell. It is dark, narrow and driving through it is a scary experience. The situation has improved slightly with the addition of 40 spaces on the other side of the track. However, this parking area is in dire need of improvements: more lighting, better line markings and paving. Sandeep Vaidya, Co Westmeath

I travel frequently from Cork to Dublin on Irish Rail. Rather than rely on the woeful Dublin Bike scheme at Houston Station (there are rarely any bikes) I tried to bring my own bike with me on the train, but alas Irish Rail make it so difficult as you have to book ahead.

You cannot just show up with your bike at the station like every other European city. If there is no room on board then I of course take that risk. My schedule is always uncertain and hence I always buy an open 30-day return which gives me maximum flexibility to travel as necessary at short notice (which you can only buy at the station and not online another oddity from Irish Rail). Accordingly when I arrive at the station to buy my ticket, I cannot bring my bike on board, as I havent booked ahead online. As far as Irish Rail is concerned I can be flexible but not my bike. Pearse Sreenan, Cork

I live in Glasthule, Co Dublin, working in Park West. The stress and anticipation of sitting in aggressive, congested traffic and being a prisoner in the car is affecting my mood. A journey that should take 25 minutes regularly takes more than an hour unless I leave home before 7am.

Public transport is an option, but will take even longer than the worst case car scenario as it involves a Dart to Grand Canal, then a frustratingly slow train via the city centre, loop around the north of the city, through Heuston and on to Park West. Door-to-door the public transport option takes one hour 25 minutes. I have made the decision to move to Cork in the medium term to get away from this rat race hell. Mark, Co Dublin

As first-time buyers earlier this year we were delighted to land our dream home only 30km from the Red Cow. With my husband working in Citywest and I just off the M50 in Sandyford, wed be in work in no time the joy of a city job and the smugness of finally getting on the property ladder! Fast forward six months and we face a 90-minute trip to complete both drop-offs in the morning. We car pool to gain some back time together.

The real joy, however, must be the M50 in the afternoon, where one is lucky to drive for 30 metres without coming to a complete stop. Its easier to count the days where traffic is not at a standstill between Junction 13 and Junction 9. Spending an hour to get through this 11km stretch is often akin to the Hunger Games, the hard shoulder is a free for all and God forbid you leave a safe driving distance between you and the the car in front. That space will be taken by an eager commuter whose time is more valuable than yours. Deborah Kinsella, Dublin

I used to live (rent) in Bray, and could take the Dart from there to what was my workplace, on Merrion Road. The Dart is so frequent, it worked quite well, even if I didnt always get a seat (I have a slipped disc and having to stand up and keep from moving while the train speeds up or slows down really makes the back ache).

The realities of buying a home meant that I had to move to Dublin 15 and this turned the commute into hell. Commuter trains, unlike Darts, are not very frequent. On the Maynooth line, they are also packed to capacity before ever reaching my stop. The number of people I witness fainting on a regular basis especially on hot days, or in virus season is crazy. In addition to the crowded and infrequent trains there was the issue that only a couple of trains would go past Pearse and I would have to change to a Dart to get to Merrion Road.

Each way took about one hour 15 minutes on days without delays far from the worst commute in Dublin, but still 2 hours I could have spent with my children, or going to the gym, etc. Eventually, I took a new job in the city centre, and now I take the train some days . . . and cycle on others.

Cycling along the quays can be a really terrifying experience. The cycle lanes are in bone-shakingly bad condition, strewn with potholes and slippery manhole covers. There are eejits of every stripe on the road, cyclists included, but we are so exposed and people are in such a rush to gain a half a second here or a couple of feet there, that its scary to think of what might happen. I imagine someone calling my wife, the kids having to come see me in hospital or worse. All because our transport infrastructure is so bad that unnecessary numbers choose the car. We have become so insular and litigious as a society that we could not begin to even contemplate a car-pooling initiative, or anything similar, to relieve the problem.

This BusConnects scheme has done nothing to help, every bus still going from D15 takes a route that seems to pass through each housing estate on the way. Until the Maynooth train line is electrified (supposedly that is the plan), the infrequent and packed trains will be a problem. You can cycle from the city to Castleknock, and from Coolmine to Maynooth but theres no way on the canal from Coolmine to Castleknock so its not viable to use that.

The city centre cycle infrastructure is a mess and Ill believe in this 5km quays cycle route when I see it. For now, all I can do is hope to stay in one piece on the bike, fight for a spot on the train and work from home when I can! Graeme Carter, Co Dublin

Commuter hell meant I had to go back to college, retrain and set up my own business. Financially I am not as well of at all, but mentally I am way better off. I moved to Banagher-Birr, Co Offaly, from Dublin where I was born and raised.

I worked in the IT industry over 12 years with big Irish brands. I carved out a very successful career. On paper, everything looked great amazing salary, great perks, working alongside and learning from talented individuals. My commute was 30 minutes into work by bus or car and my social life was brilliant. Friends and family would joke that I was living the Sex In The City lifestyle: work hard, play hard and always socialising, eating out, shopping, exercise classes after work etc; and I loved it all.

Fast forward to 2017 when I moved to the Midlands to be with my partner, while retaining my career in Dublin. I would drive up on a Monday morning, back down Thursday evening and work remotely on a Friday; a perk of working in the IT sector. The average Monday meant the alarm going off at 5.20am, on the road by 6am and then it would take about two hours 20 minuts to get to work, then face into a nine- or 10-hour day, wrecked! Lack of well-linked, reliable public transport meant that wasnt an option.

Thursday would come along [and] Id be in the office early to try and get out early to avoid the really heavy traffic on the N4. Usually it would take about two hours 30 minutes to get home. If there was a accident on the way up to Dublin or on the way home it could easily take three-plus hours. Exhausting mentally and physically. Jobs in IT . . . were sparse in the midlands so after 18 months it was time to assess what I really wanted and make decisions a long commute, with good money, living out of a suitcase and being tired all the time, or something else?

I chose something else. Earlier this year I went back to college at weekends, quit my job and set up my own business. I still travel to Dublin every second week for work because thats where my network is which is helping to build my business, but I schedule meetings to avoid peak travel times because being self employed, I now have flexibility. Financially I took a big hit but I have just one wardrobe and now the suitcase is saved for holidays only. Gillian Lennox, Co Offaly

I commute from Glenageary, Co Dublin, to Dublin Pearse on a daily basis. I am in my 50s and have chronic heart disease, which among other things means that I get fatigued on a regular basis . Not all disabilities are visible and often at times I struggle when standing on packed Darts.

I endeavour to take later trains in the morning and evening to avoid the rush but quite often the trains are packed during school term. I realise that there are designated disabled seats but as my disability isnt visible I have in the past been shouted at for occupying a reserved seat.

I would love to see the introduction of I have a disability badges along the lines of the Baby on Board ones that have been recently introduced. In the main my journeys are fine but sometimes can be hell, especially in the evening when I am tired. Derek Darcy, Co Dublin

I run commute. Its a great way to keep fit, train for the Dublin Marathon, and beat the traffic on the Blackrock Road any day, 10km each way. Shame there is no Run 2 Work scheme to offset the cost of the running gear, because running is not free! Ultan OBroin, Dublin

My daily commute is over three hours. Celbridge is not too far from Dublin but it takes at least one hour and 30 minutes to get to Merrion Square. The buses are packed and uncomfortable with the train station beyond walking distance outside the town.

There is a feeder bus but it is tiny and only comes at certain times. The train usually takes 45-50 minutes just to reach Pearse station. We have a long way to go as a country as regards public transport. Alan Hall, Co Kildare

I lived in Dublin city from 1994 until 2010 and would love to have been able to afford a house in the area I was living. But this was the end of the Celtic Tiger and house prices were at a premium. I grew up in a small town so moving to Ashbourne was appealing and affordable. I am about 10 miles outside Dublin, but as I work on the north side of the city, I can get to and from work in about 40 minutes, each trip.

Ashbourne is on the edge of Meath countryside which is extremely picturesque and full of tourist attractions. I frequently visit the coffee shop by the hill of Tara, which has amazing views . . . As Blanchardstown and Drogheda are a 20-minute drive away, I find myself travelling into the city less and less. Buses regularly leave the town for the city centre so leaving the car behind for a trip into Dublin is very doable.

My 20-something self could not have envisaged living outside Dublin but my 40-something self would now prefer to live in the commuter belt where, I believe, my husband and I have the best of both worlds. The city is on our doorstep and the countryside is a five minutes drive away. Paraic Elliott, Dublin

I lived in Dublin for many years before I got married. My husband and I moved to Mayo 10 years ago for a better quality of life for our children. The downside to moving away from the capital has always been a lack of decent career options.

This is changing. Remote working and co-working spaces are providing choices for individuals/families to live and work in their hometown or move out of the capital. I work in a co-working space in Castlebar as a graphic designer, I can walk my children to school and then continue on to my office which is just off the main street. It may not have the buzz of a large city but its my domestic (car-free) bliss! Eileen Basquille, Co Mayo

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Commuter hell: My daily commute is affecting my mental health - The Irish Times

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Doctors’ Attitude toward A Treatment May Influence A Patient’s Reaction to It – ThirdAge

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When you take medicine, your expectation about how well it will work can affect how much relief you get from your symptoms. This is called the placebo effect.

It can even make a treatment that has no biological effect feel like it works because you think it will. And a health care providers style interacting with you can impact how you feel about a treatment. But how can a doctors expectation affect their patients symptom relief?

In a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), investigators led by Drs. Pin-Hao A. Chen, Tor D. Wager, and Luke J. Chang at Dartmouth College carried out three clinical simulation studies. These were designed to evaluate how one persons belief about a pain remedy affects the others feelings of pain relief. The results were published online in Nature Human Behaviour.

According to the NIMH, the studies enrolled a total of 194 students. Participants were randomly assigned to play the role of either doctor or patient. Those playing the doctor were first asked to rate their experience of pain relief after applying two creams on their arm: one called Thermedol and the other a control cream. The creams were actually the same. But the doctors were led to believe that one cream was effective and the other was not.

Next, the researchers tested the patients experience of pain in response to a heat sensation after the subjects playing the doctors applied the creams. The patients reported feeling less pain and showed lower responses to pain with Thermedol.

The team analyzed both the doctors and patients facial expressions using a camera and computer software that modeled painful expressions. How much pain the doctors facial expressions displayed affected the patients overall pain rating and the patients own facial expressions of pain, according to the NIMH. The patients reported that the doctors seemed more empathetic when delivering Thermedol.

Similar results were found when scientists ran slightly modified experiments in two follow-up studies. These findings show how subtle social interactions can impact outcomes. However, what the subtle social cues were conveying to patients is unclear. They may have helped the patients know what to expect, increased their own confidence in the treatment, or simply given them more reassurance.

When the doctor thought that the treatment was going to work, the patient reported feeling that the doctor was more empathetic. The doctor may have come across as warmer or more attentive. Yet, we dont know exactly what the doctor was doing differently to convey these beliefs that a treatment works. Thats the next thing that were going to explore, Chang says. What we do know, though, is that these expectations are not being conveyed verbally but through subtle social cues.

To learn more about NIMH and its work, click here to visit the agencys website.

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Doctors' Attitude toward A Treatment May Influence A Patient's Reaction to It - ThirdAge

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When Depression Shows Up in the Workplace – Michigan Medicine

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One in five Americans experience symptoms of depression during their lifetime. And yet, a distinct stigma still exists around the topic, especially in the workplace, according to the book Mental Health in the Workplace, co-authored by psychiatrist Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., associate director of Michigan Medicines Comprehensive Depression Center.

Employees may be hesitant to speak up about mental health issues for fear of being unfairly judged or worries that it may lead to a reduction in job status, loss of future opportunities or termination.

However, as awareness continues to spread, the conversation is changing, and its an important one, says Riba.

Many adults spend their waking life at work, so its important to determine if we have the safest and healthiest work space for people, Riba explains. Employees and employers need to create this environment together its not top-down or bottom-up. And it needs to be addressed jointly, she says, and thought about in advance before any emergencies occur.

But beyond the negative personal impacts that stress, anxiety or depression can cause, it can actually take a toll on the business itself. According to Ribas book, depressed, anxious, stressed, sleep-deprived, or substance using workers can be unproductive and accident-prone.

"People who arent feeling present may not be able to perform their job. They may be distracted and not concentrating, Riba explains. If its a service organization, they may not be able to work effectively with customers or they may be out more, which can interfere with productivity; its a domino effect.

However, there are ways you as a colleague or supervisor can help in these delicate situations. Below, Riba discusses signs of depression to be aware of, how to respond appropriately and what resources to have in place when it comes to employee mental health.

Signs of workplace depression

Depression in the workplace can be invisible and go undetected. However, there are noticeable signs that could initiate a conversation.

Perhaps youve noticed a colleague whos been keeping to themselves lately, or an employee whos been coming late to meetings or missing them entirely, or someone whos been absent more than theyre in the office? If so, it may be time to delve a little deeper. But keep in mind that signs of depression vary based on the individual and situation.

Its important for people to ask and have regular, non-threatening ways for employers and employees to talk to one another and give feedback to each other about both the positives and negatives about work, Riba says.

One Michigan Medicine employee, who asked to remain anonymous, recently wrote about her personal experience with depression at work in the midst of dealing with a divorce and several other personal situations:

My usual, upbeat personality became withdrawn and sullen. My office door went from open and welcoming to closed and uninviting. I would keep my head down to avoid eye contact with those I passed so they couldnt see my red, puffy eyes. I wasnt me anymore, and I knew it. I was unsure how to remedy my feelings and my work started to reflect my feelings.

Broaching the subject

Although you might notice a change, it may feel difficult or awkward to inquire about, and how you do it should be based on your relationship to the employee, Riba advises.

For a coworker, it depends on how close you are with the individual, but offering to go out for lunch or meet outside work for tea or coffee to talk privately may be a good starting point, she says. Also, volunteering to help the individual on a project may increase trust and relieve stress.

Try to be a listener and sounding board. Offer them collegial help to get them the right attention and their needs met, Riba suggests, which may mean looking into specific insurance information for themor talking them through a particular personal issue. It depends on the situation, but asking whats going on or what can I do to help you can feel supportive to them.

Managers should create opportunities for confidential, nonjudgmental conversations, like weekly or biweekly one-on-ones, where theycan openly ask the individual whats going on and how theycan help, while assuring them its a safe place to chat. While some people may not open up to their supervisors for fear of judgement and job security, a simple thank you for your work on this is an easy way to express appreciation for that individual's work. Kindness from a manager could shift the trajectory of someones day.

Remember that each scenario is different, though. Ifyou feel that a colleague or an employee that you supervise is unsafe, and you dont feel comfortable addressing the person directly, Riba recommends speaking privately with another supervisor or with a human resources officer.

Maintaining an open-ended conversation

Employees should feel supported 100% of the time by their colleagues and bosses, especially during personal hardships, Riba says. Encouraging an open-ended conversation allows employees to feel comfortable in freely approaching the subject, or a new one, whenever needed.

But once addressed, how do you appropriately, and respectfully, check back in?

Riba explains that these should be ongoing conversations, especially if you havent seen any changes or improvements in the coworker or employees attitude or behavior. But depending on what the problem is, a check-in may not be required.

If someone needs to be seen for physical or mental health, help figure out the best way to refer them; make sure they have time to go and get the time off they need to get that help, she says.

Offering a book, or sharing an article or video are also indirect helpful ways to maintain a conversation and build trust.

Providing effective mental health resources at work

Nows the time to review what mental health resources are available at your company, regardless of whether youre employed at a large corporation or a local coffee shop.

Every organization needs to look at itself Are there regular educational seminars or information being made available online or in pamphlets, guest speaker events or other ways employees can get information on physical and mental health issues? Riba asks. A company could already have a bunch of brochures on a table, but if theyre in a room no one goes into, then whats the point?

In smaller businesses, sometimes the benefits officer is a colleague and confidentiality might not be trusted.

Employers and employees may not think about this aspect during the hiring process, but what happens when a difficult life issue occurs, like an unexpected disability? Even for smaller organizations, there can be significant ramifications on the business, Riba says.

How can upper management help with this component? Consider creating a survey to find out if employees understand what resources are available and how to access them, Riba suggests. Out of your comfort zone? Outside firms can be hired to come in to assess the environment and ensure whats being provided is getting to employees in the right way.

There should be opportunities for workers to seek help, and not from just the immediate supervisor, but from employee assistance or other ways the organization has set up, Riba explains. It should be clearly acknowledged how one does this, making signs and materials easily accessible so that people know where to go and what to ask in a confidential manner.

Sometimes one person can help shift an entire culture. If you see that your company or organization is lacking in support of those dealing with mental health issues, be the person to help change the stigma and impact your works environment. The first step in helping could be asking, Are you OK?

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The following awards and recognitions were recently presented to Barr-Reeve athletes who participated in Boys Tennis this past Fall sports season.

Blue Chip All Conference Kayden Graber, Nathan Hunt, Tommy Kidwell, Aaron Wagler, Hagen Knepp, Logan Graber, Most Valuable Player Kayden Graber;

Best Overall Team Records Kayden Graber, Hagen Knepp, Logan Graber; Team Mental Attitude Award Brycen Graber; Senior Leadership Awards Nathan Hunt, Jaeden Lengacher, Jayce Raber, Dalton Whitehead; Senior Manager Award Moriah Bullock, Most Improved Player Jayden Graber; Varsity Tennis Letter Winners Brycen Graber (3), Tommy Kidwell (3) Nathan Hunt (3), Logan Graber (3), Kayden Graber (2), Hagen Knepp (1), Aaron Wagler (1); Tennis Doubles Team Tommy Kidwell & Aaron Wagler Named All District 7; Indiana HSTC Academic All State HM Nathan Hunt; Team Academic All State Honor -Brycen Graber, Kayden Graber, Nathan Hunt, Tommy Kidwell, Aaron Wagler, Hagen Knepp, Logan Graber; District 7 Coach of the Year Brock Higgins; Boys Tennis Season Team Success Season Record 18-1; Blue Chip Conference Champions 5-0, IHSAA Tennis Sectional Semi-Finalist.

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BR Tennis awards - Washington Times Herald

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Abi Smith looking forward to ‘invaluable’ experience at HSBC UK | National Track Championships – British Cycling

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Smith will tackle the endurance events at Januarys HSBC UK | National Track Championships, and despite retaining a preference for road racing, says that being thrown in at the deep end against Britains elite will stand her in good stead.

Ahead of the championships, she says:

Track nationals is so important in terms of gaining more experience. It simulates some of the highest level of racing there is, which is so invaluable as the best in the world are in the bunch.

There is an infinite amount to learn from these experienced, world-level riders, from their micro-movements within the bunch to their mental attitude and preparation around events and training. I am in awe of their achievements, knowing what it takes to get to that level. Fingers crossed, I will one day!

For 17-year-old Smith, selection as part the Great Britain team for the junior womens road race at Yorkshire 2019 was a big step on that ladder to the top of the sport. Having assessed that race from a personal point of view, the Ripon rider has set herself goals on both track and road for 2020.

She explains:

At Yorkshire, having a domestique role highlighted to me what I need to improve on in a supporting role, but also where I might have my own strengths as a future team leader.

I have some pretty big personal goals on the road for the next year to have a crack at a podium in both British and international road races, and hopefully to be selected to go to the road world championships again.

There is no doubt that I currently prefer riding on the road and getting out into the Yorkshire countryside, but Im working hard on the track, and it is growing on me! I make sure that theres a mix of sessions and races throughout the calendar to try to do my best in both disciplines and keep my options open.

On the track, Id love to make the squad to go to junior track world or European championships, as well as trying to retain my junior national points race champion jersey. At nationals, Id love to meet the qualifying time for the individual pursuit, and aim for a top 10 in the bunch races.

The HSBC UK | National Track Championships take place over the weekend of January 24-26. Tickets are available here.

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Abi Smith looking forward to 'invaluable' experience at HSBC UK | National Track Championships - British Cycling

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