Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Holiday Season Self-care
The holiday season can be fun, but demanding. To make this holiday season more joyful and fulfilling, there are some healthy ways to deal with stress. One way is to try to have more realistic expectations about your holiday experiences. Unrealistic expectations can have the potential of disappointing you (e.g., everyone needs to have the best experience). Also, it is alright to ask for help with holiday planning and activities, especially if you feel overwhelmed with all that needs to get done. In addition, when you are engaging in holiday activities with family and friends, try to enjoy the moment instead of getting distracted by past or future events in order to enjoy your holiday experiences and avoid additional stress. Finally, balancing healthy food options with the holiday treats, keeping up with exercise when possible, and trying to get adequate sleep can help you get the most out of the holiday season.
For assistance with information, assessment or referrals during this holiday season or anytime, contact your agency EAP coordinator. To find your EAP coordinator, consult the agency coordinator listing or call 1-800-822-0244. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Getting Service Credit for Past Military Service
Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) allows some veterans to obtain retirement service credit for their past military service. In most cases, adding military service to your retirement system membership would result in a permanent increase in your monthly pension benefit. For more information about getting credit for military service, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit the Military Service Credit section of the retirement system website: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/members/military-service-credit.php.
For more information on your pension benefits call toll-free (866) 805-0990 or visit www.osc.state.ny.us/retire.
For more Pre-Retirement Planning information, go to: Pre-Retirement Planning.
Network Child Care Centers
Seven ways to prevent holiday stress for your children
The holidays can be hectic and tense. Between buying presents, holiday events, entertaining, traveling, and family gatherings, what should be fun has a way of becoming stressful. It can be stressful for kids, too.
Here are seven ways to prevent and reduce holiday stress for children this season.
1. Manage your own stress. Not only are you setting an example, there’s just no way to stop your children from sensing your stress and being affected by it. You’re no good to anyone if you can’t function. Set aside time for yourself and get enough sleep.
2. As much as possible, keep routines the same. Children do best when routines are predictable and healthy. This is particularly true for sleep. As tempting as it may be to let kids stay up late and sleep late throughout the holidays, try to stay within an hour of usual times. And the same goes for keeping your routine for mealtimes.
3. Manage expectations. Let children know what they can and can’t expect. You can sit together, look at the calendar, and let them know what activities are possible during the holiday season.
4. Keep children active. Exercise is a known stress-buster. Get outside, go to the park, take advantage of free swim time at the local YMCA, and go for walks together.
5. Spend some time together. Going to the movies or having a family movie night is fine, but try to do things that involve actual interaction like playing games together, visiting a museum together, and baking cookies.
6. Build some family holiday traditions. Create things you can do together every year that are meaningful and fun. There are plenty of things you have to do. Make your family traditions things you want to do.
7. Choose something to do as a family that helps others. Choose toys for a toy drive. Go through clothes in the closet and bring gently used ones to a shelter or clothing drive. Donating money to causes is always great, but look for things in which your children can actively participate. Try not to think of it as another family chore. Instead, think of it as a way to not only teach kindness, but to keep perspective on the holidays.
That’s a perspective we all need — and the perspective that could save all of us a lot of stress.
Information Sources: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/7-ways-prevent-holiday-stress-children-2017112812809.
For information on the Network Child Care Centers, go to: Network Child Care Centers.
Welcome to the Family Packet
Work-Life Services offers a Welcome to the Family Packet. Raising a child is an exciting and challenging experience. Today’s families often face unique circumstances trying to balance their work and family responsibilities. As a New York State Executive Branch employee, you are entitled to several negotiated benefits designed to assist you with balancing work and life. The Welcome to the Family Packet will outline these benefit programs as well as provide informative resources to support you through the rewarding experience of raising a child. We invite you to request a Welcome to the Family Packet for yourself or a family member who has recently welcomed a child into their family. Email your request along with your name and home mailing address to: [email protected]y.gov.
For more information on the Network Child Care Centers, go to: Network Child Care Centers.
Elder Care Resources
Are you caring for an elderly family member or close friend?
Today’s families face unique circumstances trying to balance the responsibilities of caring for an elderly loved one while managing other demands. Work-Life Services now offers Caring for Your Elderly Loved One, an educational resource packet for employees who are caring for an elderly person. The packet includes a comprehensive guide to resources for older New Yorkers as well as information about memory loss, legal and financial planning for people with Alzheimer’s disease, older drivers, Medicare, long-distance caregiving, advanced care planning, end of life decisions, and much more.
To request a Caring for Your Elderly Loved One educational resource packet, click on the email link under Contact Us on the left side of the Work-Life Services homepage or email [email protected] to request the educational resource packet. You will need to provide your name and home mailing address.