Need help? Check your Employee Assistance Programme

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We’re sharing some free financial wellbeing resources to support you through this period of economic uncertainty, including EAPs and how to access them

Need help? Check your Employee Assistance Programme

The cost of living is on the rise and financial hardship is placing a burden on our mental wellbeing. Managing finances can cause stress for many people; trying to balance the cost of energy bills, rent or mortgage repayments, whilst many are having to decide between heating and eating.

Recent announcements are all the more confusing, worrying and, quite frankly, tiring. However you’re feeling right now, know that you are not alone. Below, we examine the benefits of EAPs - including what they are and how you can access them - as well as some additional support systems and free financial wellbeing resources.

What are EAPs?

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are a type of employee benefit that many employers offer their staff. In an effort to minimise lower levels of productivity, EAPs are designed to help staff with personal problems that could impact their performance, physical and mental health, and wellbeing.

Generally, EAPs provide services such as face-to-face, online or telephone counselling and expert support for employees and their immediate families. The service is provided for little to no cost and is confidential.

While EAP schemes used to be predominantly for issues such as alcohol or substance misuse and family problems, they now often cover a broad range including legal problems, wellness advice, stress management and financial concerns, which makes them a useful resource during the cost of living crisis.

According to People Management, almost all businesses nowadays have an Employee Assistance Programme in place, but only an average of 5% of employees are utilising them.

Whilst EAPs provide a number of benefits to companies, including reduced absenteeism and higher productivity, their key benefit lies in the ability to promote wellness and help employees through personal challenges.

How can EAPs help during the cost of living crisis?

The Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA) outlines four ways in which EAPs can support people during the current cost of living crisis.

1. Providing financial information and support

EAPs are available 24/7 and are there to provide unbiased advice and support for those struggling with finances. They can be especially useful in our society where we still struggle to have open and honest conversations about money, particularly with our employers. Having access to an EAP means individuals are able to find the support they need in confidence.

2. Offering financial help

Whilst some companies are offering bonuses to their staff to help them through the toughest period of the crisis, many businesses are also affected by the economic downturn. EAPs often offer employees benefits such as discounts and vouchers for retailers and groceries, which can go some way to supporting those struggling to feed their families.

3. Access to mental health services

As financial stress has been known to increase anxiety and Read more

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for the Kids

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Sharing holiday gift ideas for the kids this year! We tend to stick to the purchasing strategy of: “ Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.” 

Hi friends! Happy Thursday! How’s the week treating ya? It’s been a busy on over here and I’m currently in Phoenix for a mastermind trip. I’ll share more details in Fri Faves tomorrow!

I’m really excited for today’s gift guide because kiddos really bring the magic to Christmastime. I’m basically like Buddy the Elf and thought that nothing could possibly make the season more enjoyable… and then we had kids. They just magnify all of the magic of the holidays. We’re getting our holiday shopping done early, so I wanted to put some ideas out there if you’re doing the same thing.

 

More gift guides from this year:

For Her

For Him

When we holiday shop for the kiddos, we keep things on the simpler side. They get their Santa gifts and stocking stuffers, and then from us, we stick to the “something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.” This checks all of the main boxes and keeps things from getting too bananas with gifts from my parents and their other relatives. [Another hack: any gifts that aren’t opened in the first couple of days are stocked away in the playroom. I bring them out on a rainy day or when the kids say they’re looking for something to do.]

Today, I’m sharing some of the things on their personal wish lists, along with tried and true favorites if you’re shopping for kids their ages (5 and almost 9) this holiday season!! I’d love to hear your kids’ gift requests in the comments and any ideas you have!

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for the Kids

Something they want:

Karaoke system

Kids’ digital camera

Read more

Grandpa’s Date Nut Roll

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This Date Nut Roll brings me directly back to my childhood. I remember watching my grandpa roll this on the kitchen counter every holiday when we visited.

Crushed graham crackers, marshmallows, dates, pecans, and a splash of cream: none of these ingredients are remarkable on their own, but when combined they become something special.

Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Date Nut Roll

I can’t recall another occasion for which my grandpa ever worked in the kitchen. However, making the Date Nut Roll was his domain every Christmas. He passed away when I was just ten years old and I hadn’t thought of his Date Nut Roll in years.

When I found this recipe last year and made it for the first time as an adult, it was like I was standing in my grandparents’ kitchen once again.

Some food memories stick with us more than others, and I am so glad I have this one to pass on to my boys.

Date Nut Roll Recipe

  1. Place the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, dates, and pecans in a mixing bowl and toss to coat everything in the crumbs.
  2. Slowly add the cream, a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine. Add liquid just until the mixture is wet enough to hold together when you press it with a spoon.
  3. Spread two large sheets of parchment or wax paper on the counter and divide the mixture on top of them. Press it into a log with your hands and sprinkle lightly with the remaining crumbs to coat all around.
  4. Roll it tightly in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends tightly and chill until firm, at least 2-6 hours. Slice into pieces with a very sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Old Fashioned Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I’m all about easy no-bake treats for some of my holiday treat-making. As much as I love cookies and fancier holiday desserts, sometimes it’s just plain fun to pull together a whole bunch of delicious treats in very little time.

With just a few of these options, you can have platters of Christmas goodies at your fingertips to deliver to friends or share at a party.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this Peanut Butter Fudge is one of the best fudges I’ve ever tasted. Rich, creamy, over-the-top fudge that is so easy to make, you might laugh.

No-Bake Cookies have met their match with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bites. It doesn’t get much easier than just stirring everything together and pouring it into a pan.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Ritz Cookies are the sweet, salty, chocolatey snack you need in your life. With zero baking required and just three ingredients–chocolate, Ritz crackers, and peanut butter–they’re a perfect last-minute addition to your holiday cookie tray or party menu.

Happy accidents: discover how to turn mistakes into valuable lessons

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When things go wrong, it can be tempting to throw in the towel. But before you do that, consider the ways you can turn mistakes into valuable lessons

Happy accidents: discover how to turn mistakes into valuable lessons

We’re all familiar with the stomach-sinking feelings that come with the realisation that we’ve got something wrong. It could be at work, in our relationships, or out and about in the world – and big or small, these things can stick with us.

Neurologically speaking, there’s a lot going on in our brains when we put a foot wrong. In a 2018 study, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology traced how mistakes set off a chain reaction of brain activity and, rapidly, the brain lights up with the kind of activity that deeply encodes information.

But while the face-palming, cringing, and frustrating feelings that accompany mistakes aren’t generally pleasant, there are positives to our missteps.

“Mistakes can add huge value to our lives, and everyone has made at least one mistake in their lifetime,” says life coach Adam Craft. “Mistakes are our opportunity to grow and to gain knowledge. Many people say that they wouldn’t have been where they were in life without making mistakes. The all-important part, though, is learning from them, and understanding how to extract the positives from something that many view as a negative.”

It’s true that we need to reframe the way we feel about mistakes. In fact, a study published in the journal Memory in 2018 found that ‘near-miss’ mistakes can help a person learn faster than if they were to make no errors at all. And another study, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, found that making deliberate mistakes – such as writing down the wrong answer to a question and then correcting it – can help improve our memory.

All that said, whether it comes from perfectionism or people-pleasing tendencies, many of us struggle in the face of our mistakes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you gone wrong somewhere down the line? Follow this roadmap to turning mistakes into lessons.

Happy accidents: discover how to turn mistakes into valuable lessons

Acknowledge and accept

“Sounds easy right?” Adam says. “You may feel guilty when you make a mistake, but that guilt will be a lot stronger if you don’t properly take responsibility for it. Acknowledging this to others (including yourself) will ease that guilt, helping you to start learning from your mistakes.”

For some of us, this first step might be going against our instincts. In the moment, we might look to start explaining away the mistake by diving into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of its origin. We might point to a series of events, or another person, that could take the fall for us. And though this might offer us some instant relief, it might not necessarily help us move forward.

This is also an important point if you find yourself constantly returning to, and ruminating on, a mistake you made in the past. There’s nothing you can do now, so once you’ve accepted that, what should you do next?

Reframe

As Adam says, mistakes don’t have to feel negative &

5 compassionate ways to deal with grief-related guilt

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Following a bereavement, you can become overwhelmed with difficult emotions. Addressing them head-on can be the key to working through them

5 compassionate ways to deal with grief-related guilt

Losing someone is never easy. Death doesn’t wait until everything is resolved; it strikes when people are in the middle of living, or still trying to work through unresolved emotions. Even long-term illnesses don’t give people time to truly prepare for grief. This often leaves us with guilt, but there are ways to work through this.

Facing the guilt

If you lose someone, it’s common to run through your last moments with them, past conversations, and everything you did or could have done. Your own words can come back to haunt you, or you may wonder if you should have been there more often. These feelings can be overwhelming, so trying to avoid them is a natural reaction. If you suppress them, or find other ways to ignore them, they will have to resurface eventually. So, finding ways to face your guilt and address it is best for your long-term mental health.

Exploring therapy

Therapy is a good first step in dealing with grief and other emotions related to your loss. Instead of having the thoughts circling in your head, it helps to get these out, if only to hear yourself say them. The things we feel guilty about after a loved one’s death don’t always make sense outside of our own minds. Expressing this can help you realise that the guilt is unfounded.

In group therapy, you can hear others who, despite having different experiences, have the same emotions around death and grief. If hearing your own regrets spoken out loud doesn’t help you take a step back, hearing others talk about guilt might help you realise that we all have regrets.

Finding resources to help

If you don’t feel confident enough to go to therapy, or you need extra help, there are resources you can use. Your doctor should be top of your list, as they can offer advice, prescribe temporary medication if necessary, and tell you about other options you have.

You can also find websites, podcasts, and books written about grief, from professionals or those who have experienced it themselves. These can help you realise you aren’t alone in how you feel. While hearing vastly different stories across all these platforms, you’ll notice the common feeling of guilt. Some websites have chat functions, or social media pages, where you can share experiences with other recently bereaved people. If you find yourself telling others they have nothing to feel guilty about, try applying this same kindness and understanding to yourself.

Accepting the past

Accepting the past isn’t easy, but accepting it can’t be changed, is one step towards moving on. Then you need to think about everything you did right, the happy times you shared, and the bigger picture. Taking a step back can help you see things more clearly. This takes time, because, during the first stages of grief, emotions can be overwhelming, with many conflicting feelings all vying for your attention. Separating these and trying to work through them is almost impossible during the early stages of the grieving process.

Forgiving yourself

This is the final step, because it takes time an

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