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.
Making Lifestyle Changes
If you've ever made a New Year's resolution on January 1 and abandoned it on January 2, you understand how reluctant human beings are 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. Here are a few suggestions on how some people have been successful at making lifestyle changes.
Much of lifestyle change is emotional. It’s often very difficult to begin eating healthier, get more exercise, stop smoking or look for better ways to deal with life’s stressors. You probably know how it goes: it’s always easier to rationalize roadblocks or to simply give up when the going gets tough. Research consistently shows, however, that your emotional readiness is directly related to success. To help you succeed in making those positive lifestyle changes, give yourself plenty of time to get ready psychologically. Work for a few of days to change your mind set and begin building emotional strength. Taking the initial time to prepare mentally will greatly increase your ability to achieve your goal.
Give Yourself Time
Habits take time to acquire; and it takes some time to revise, eliminate or add new habits. The key to behavior change is to define exactly the behavior you want to change, set realistic goals to change it, take small steps toward achieving those goals and reward yourself for every movement toward change.
Take Small Steps
Thinking about the effort and work needed to change your lifestyle can stop you before you start. Instead of picturing the change as overwhelming, remember that change begins with that first small step. It's with the accumulation of all those little steps that you'll be able to change.
The statement "I want to get some exercise" is a start toward defining the behavior change, but it doesn't set forth exactly how you're going to accomplish it. On the other hand, "I will schedule 20 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings to take a walk" is a much more specific plan with a realistic goal. Later, if you want to increase the time you spend walking, you will have already taken the first small step toward your goal by getting in the habit of taking a short walk three times a week. After one week of meeting your commitment, remember to reward yourself with something you enjoy.
Share Your Results
Always share your results with a friend or loved one. Positive feedback does wonders for motivation. Most of all, show enthusiasm for what you're doing and keep a sense of humor. Before you know it, you will have gained a positive habit and the skills necessary to take on other lifestyle changes!
Sometimes a Little Help Can be Useful
The LIFELINE Program understands how hard it can be to make significant changes in your life. Every year LIFELINE helps hundreds of employees and their family members make meaningful change. Please call LIFELINE confidentially at 800-284-7575 if you would like to make an appointment.
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.