LIFELINE

Call 1-800-284-7575

LIFELINE is a voluntary, confidential, FREE, service that provides benefits eligible employees and their dependents with counseling and referral services.  It is an employee benefit sponsored by HealthQuest, the State of Kansas employee health promotion program.

 

iCan HealthQuest Programs
September 2008

Do you ever wish you had a personal coach to help you focus on your goals and stay motivated to reach them?

Whether you're looking to

  • lose weight (iCan Change),
  • quit smoking (iCan Quit), or
  • cope with everyday stress (iCan Relax)…

The iCan programs provide you with your very own personal health coach, a workbook, and other tools to help you reach your goal.  Your coach will schedule phone calls with you to help you set goals and create a wellness plan that works for you. Also, you can call your health coach anytime and you can have an unlimited number of discussions with your coach using a secure online message board.  You participate from the privacy of your own home, at your own pace. HealthQuest offers the iCan programs at no cost to you.  To find out more about how health coaching can help you, go to http://www.khpa.ks.gov/healthquest/icanprograms.htm or call toll free 1-888-275-1205 today.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

  • Benefits eligible State and Non State employees who are enrolled in the state employee health plan or who have waived coverage in the plan
  • Retirees, spouses and dependents 18 years or older who are enrolled in the state employee health plan

Much of Lifestyle Change is Overcoming Procrastination

There are many ways to avoid the important things you wish to accomplish in life. Stop smoking, achieving a healthy weight, and doing a better job at managing all those stressors in your life are a few examples. As human beings, many of us are very reluctant to make lifestyle changes. Our habits are something we can count on, and they give us a sense of security and certainty about life. Attempting to break a bad habit or acquire a new one, even if it's for the better, can make us feel uncomfortable and lead us back to the familiar.

One of the most sure-fire ways to avoid those changes we know we should make is procrastination.  Procrastinators consistently sabotage themselves. They constantly put obstacles in their own path. 

"Many people don't realize procrastination is an automatic habit pattern they use to avoid tension," says William Knaus, Ed.D, a psychologist and author of "The Procrastination Workbook." "It's kicked off by some form of discomfort, such as feeling uncertain or insecure about something. These habit patterns are the barriers to overcoming procrastination."

Diversions from Lifestyle Change

Dr. Knaus divides these patterns into the following three diversions.

·        Mental Diversions

If you think, "I can't do it right now because I'm too tired. I'm not alert enough. I won't be able to concentrate well enough. I'll get to it later when I'm better prepared to think more clearly," then you've fallen into a procrastination trap known as the Manana Diversion (pronounced (mä-nyä'n?) meaning tomorrow or at an unspecified time in the future.   You've fooled yourself into thinking later is different from now, and that later will be better.

·        Action Diversions

With this barrier, you procrastinate by going to the water cooler, doodling, calling someone on the phone or doing something else on your computer.

·        Emotional Diversions

Many changes you want to make aren't inspiring or motivating--they're drudgery. If   you wait to be inspired to do something you consider a drag, you'll be waiting a long time.

Overcoming Diversions

The Five-Minute System

Commit to the change for five minutes. For example, tell yourself, "I'll work for the next five minutes on gathering the information for making this change."  At the end of that five minutes, decide whether you'll commit for another five. Continue this pattern until you complete the task, run out of time or have a good reason to stop.  "By doing the task for at least five minutes, you're already living through the frustrations that are a part of the change, and you're making a series of forward-moving decisions," says Dr. Knaus.

Plan in Reverse

Many people set goals to make changes in their life, but don't have a plan. To create a clear, directed and purposeful plan:  First, visualize your goal as a target and imagine shooting an arrow into the target's center. Imagine the arrow's trajectory as you pull it back, release and hit the center.  In other words, visualize your outcome first, then work back from there. Where do you want to end up? What do you do just before that, and before that?  By doing this, you're automatically creating a plan at the same time you're reminding yourself the plan is a series of small parts.

Building Frustration Tolerance

If you can develop a higher frustration tolerance, you'll achieve more in life because fewer things will burden your mind.  By persistently tackling challenging tasks until you complete them, you build frustration tolerance.

"Even if you don't overcome the discomfort, you've lived through the frustration, which creates this powerful message: You can organize and direct your activities for a productive result, and you do have control over yourself," says Dr. Knaus. "It's better to recognize that doing reasonable things, in a reasonable way, within a reasonable time, gets things done--and you end up doing rather than stewing."

It’s not unusual after a hard day to seek solace in a bowl of ice cream or a slice of pizza. If you find yourself seeking comfort in food a little too often, you may be eating in response to your emotions, rather than to hunger. 

Occasional emotional eating isn’t a problem for most people. After all, that’s what makes comfort food so appealing. But turning to food every time you have unpleasant feelings -- or even positive ones -- can lead to weight gain, says the American Dietetic Association (ADA).  Being overweight can increase your risk for obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. And it can take a big toll on your self-esteem and emotional health. 

Understand Your Cravings

The ADA suggests that the first step in dealing with emotional eating is to learn to recognize the difference between emotional and physical hunger. Here are some clues that can help you identify emotional eating:

  • Sudden or unexplained hunger when you have eaten recently.
  • Craving one specific type of food, such as pizza, because no other food  will satisfy your hunger
  • Difficulty stopping eating once you are full
  • Feeling guilty after eating
  • Eating to reward or nurture yourself

What You Can Do

Once you learn to identify emotional eating, it helps to keep track of those things that trigger you to eat when you are not hungry, the ADA says. Many people often eat in response to feeling sad, anxious, depressed or lonely. If this happens to you, try to think of alternatives. For example, take a walk, call a friend, engage in a hobby or do anything else that can distract you from wanting to eat. It also helps to replace unhealthy comfort foods with healthy ones and practice portion control. You don’t need to completely give up foods that comfort you, just eat less of them.

 

If You Need Extra Help

Check with your doctor

If you’ve been an emotional eater for a long time, you may find it difficult to stop on your own. Talking with your family doctor about your concerns is a good place to start.  If you are depressed or have low self-esteem, it may even be helpful to talk with a counselor.  Finding a support group for people dealing with similar concerns can also provide needed guidance for dealing with emotional eating.

Call LIFELINE                   

Since 1989, the HealthQuest LIFELINE Employee Assistance Program has been helping State of Kansas employees with life’s challenges.   If one of your challenges is emotional eating give LIFELINE a call confidentially at 1-800-284-7575.

Call iCan to speak with a health coach

Do you ever wish you had a personal coach to help you focus on your goals and stay motivated to reach them? Whether you’re looking to …

  • lose weight,
  • quit smoking, or
  • cope with everyday stress . . .

The iCan program provides you with your very own personal health coach, a workbook, and other tools to help you reach your goal.  Your coach will schedule phone calls with you to help you set goals and create a wellness plan that works for you. Also, you can call your health coach anytime and you can have an unlimited number of discussions with your coach using a secure online message board.  You participate from the privacy of your own home, at your own pace. To find out more about how health coaching can help you, call toll free 1-888-275-1205 today.

 

Summary of CORE LIFELINE Employee Assistance Services

Call LIFELINE 1-800-284-7575 at any time, day or night 7 days a week for help handling life's stresses. State of Kansas benefits eligible employees and their dependent children can receive the following benefits:

1-4 face-to-face sessions (per issue) with an EAP counseling service for a wide variety of problems:

  • Day-to-day stresses
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Major life traumas
  • Problems with co-workers or supervisor
  • Stress due to layoffs or furloughs
  • Marital and family issues
  • Drug and alcohol issues

The following services are also available:

  • Elder care consultations with an elder care specialist
  • Legal consultation with an attorney - one per year
  • Financial consultations with a professional
  • Extended benefit for employees and immediate family members for 6 months after any layoff action.
  • Healthy Life Programs
    • Life Coaching (employee only)
    • Healthy Weight Program (employee and dependents)

Take advantage of this valuable employee benefit. For help with the day-to-day stressors of life, simply call LIFELINE at 1-800-284-7575 any time, day or night 7 days a week. That's all you need to do. Just pick up the phone. Your call with be completely confidential.