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Author: Meredith Mitchell

Panic vs. Anxiety

Panic vs. Anxiety

Many, if not all of us have experienced some form of anxiety or panic in our lives.  This email is going to provide you with information about the signs and symptoms of anxiety/panic attacks, how you can deal with them and successfully find relief .

Panic vs. anxiety

  • Panic
    • Symptoms are sudden and extremely intense
    • “out of the blue” peak within 10 minutes
    • Keyed up the rest of the day
  • Anxiety
    • Intensifies over a period of time
    • Correlated with excessive worry about potential “danger”
    • Persistent and very long lasting
  • Panic attacks = the actual attack and symptoms
  • Panic disorder = fear of the panic attack


Ways to deal with the symptoms:

  • Learn about anxiety
  • Anxiety is normal and adaptive
  • It becomes a problem when your body reacts to no real danger – be aware
  • Relaxation
  • ***Talk to a professional***
    • Call the EAP for assistance with finding a therapist or counselor– 1-877-595-5284 (once they give you a referral and you speak with a therapist, be sure to confirm the therapist is a Cigna In Network provider)
      • There are different types of therapy to choose from.  Below are two examples:
        • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
        • DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
          • Helps those suffering from mood disorders and those who need to change patterns of behavior
          • Helps people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states
    • Crisis hotline:
      • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Crisis text line:
      • Text NAMI to 741-741
Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Dear Mckinley Family,

May is Mental Health Month and we want to take some time to recognize this with an email series. This can be a tough topic to talk about but it’s very real and more people deal with some type of mental illness than you might be aware of. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.

Click the following link for more stats:

  • Mental Health Facts – NAMI: National Alliance on Mental …

We have all experienced stressful situations in our lives and sometimes it can be so overwhelming that we need help. It can be hard to ask for help so we want to encourage you and remind you that it is a sign of strength when you can recognize you need help and are proactive about getting the help you need. Whether you or someone you love is dealing with anxiety, panic, or depression, these emails are for you. Please take the time to read them and feel to reach out if you have questions or would like more resources.

In this series, we will cover the following:

1. Signs and symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks and the difference between everyday stress and chronic anxiety:
• How to deal with or manage them
• Who to call and how to find help

2. Signs and symptoms of depression (seasonal, situational or chronic)
• How to deal with or manage depression
• Who to call and how to find help

3. How to offer support to someone who suffers from a mental illness:
• Co-workers
• Friends
• Spouse
• Kids


Strengthen Your Heart (pss…and earn some points)

Strengthen Your Heart (pss…and earn some points)

Hello McKinley!

How’s your heart today???  While this may seem like a weird question, it’s a very important one.  I hope most if not all of you are aware of your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI) so you have a good idea of how your heart is doing J.  Once you know your numbers, even if you are in perfect health, it’s important for you to continue to keep your heart healthy.  There are many simple things you can do every day to improve and maintain your heart health but for now, I want to highlight physical activity.  Not only will you be strengthening your heart, you’ll also be earning points towards your $50 gift card for the McKinley Wellness Challenge!!!!!!

Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories. Think of the basics: walking, running, biking, swimming, dancing etc. Think beyond the basics: Zumba, Spinning, HIIT, Circuit Training, Boxing etc.

The American Heart Association recommends the following amounts of physical activity to maintain cardiovascular health:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes OR
  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.


  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

  • An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

AHA has several resources for Heart-Healthy Exercise, click the link to check it out:

One more thing, if you ever find yourself short on time or energy…WALK!!  The infographic below reveals some really cool benefits that come from just WALKING!!
aha activity

Life’s a Balancing Act

Life’s a Balancing Act


This week I would like to talk about balance. In the monthbalancing dr seuss February, the “New Year, New Me” attitude starts to fade with our daily grind taking its place. In March it doesn’t get much better.  Guess what… that’s not such a terrible thing. It’s a challenge to make changes no matter how small they are. So, instead of feeling guilty about falling off the Change Wagon let’s not.

“We work hard, we eat right, we exercise, pay our bills, care for our families…
So even though it’s hard to break the pattern, be fine with eating some extra bread, taking a few days off, or sleeping in.
These are not rewards, they’re simply a balancing effect of diligence.
You won’t crumble.
You won’t fall apart.
And you’ll be a more adaptable human being”. -Jessica York




2017 McKinley Wellness Challenge

2017 McKinley Wellness Challenge

“A new year is a time to get your options clear and to make a significant decision to do what it is that makes you really happy. The real issue here is that you must take each day as a new opportunity to keep moving towards what you want. Do not look at what will happen in a year but more what will you do each day you awake to change, to move forward, to put into action knowing that each day wasted can never be found again. Each day is a new beginning, the chance to do with it what should be done and not to be seen as simply another day to put in time”
~ Catherine Pulsifer

Happy New Year McKinley!!
We have something very exciting for you all to get involved in this year…The 2017 McKinley Wellness Challenge!!! For this challenge you will have the opportunity to complete whole being wellness activities that focus on financial, emotional, physical and social wellbeing to earn points. Once you reach 100 points, you will receive a $50 gift card of your choice and your name will be placed into the end of the year drawing for a MacBook Pro!!!
Below you will find the spreadsheet with the list of activities and their point values. You will keep track of your own points on the spreadsheet and submit your spreadsheet to me once you have earned your 100 points. Starting January, 1st 2017 you will have the entire year to earn your 100 points. However, I realize there are some of you go-getters out there that will reach your goal in the first quarter:-). To keep you motivated to continue doing whole being wellness activities, for every 100 points you earn your name will be entered again into the end of the year drawing!!

Leaders, please pass this along to the rest of your team and make sure they are aware of this awesome opportunity. Feel free to reach out with any questions you have.
Before you ring in the New Year, I want to encourage you to read the quote at the top of the email a few times…maybe even print it out and put it on your bathroom mirror:-).

Yours in Health and Wellness,



Individual Quarterly Cardio Challenge

Individual Quarterly Cardio Challenge

Hi Everyone!!

Are you ready to participate in the Individual Quarterly Cardio Challenge?!?!? If you are – the first 25 people who meet the mileage/minute requirements for the quarter will earn a $50 gift card of their choice!!!!!!! Enter the challenge by emailing me at the beginning of the quarter to say “I’m IN!!!!”

***We added a discipline – Exercise Classes!!!!***

There are several of you who take exercise classes that don’t necessarily include “getting your miles in”.  For this reason, we are adding Exercise Classes as one of the disciplines that will be based on minutes.  Here are some examples of classes you can take for the minutes to count:

  • Spinning, Cardio Drumming, HIIT, Circuit Training, Jazzercise, Boot Camp, Orange Theory, Line Dancing, Salsa or Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Water Aerobics.

Mileage/Minute Requirements For the Cardio Challenge– The 4 Disciplines:
• The 4 Disciplines are running (you can choose to walk, jog or run), cycling, swimming and exercise classes. You can choose to do 1, 2, 3 or 4 of the disciplines. The mileage/minute requirements are below for each single discipline or combination. If you choose to do 1 discipline, your goal will be the mileage/minutes listed beside #1 for that discipline. If you choose to do 2 disciplines, your goal will be 2 of the 4 mileage/minutes listed beside #2 for each discipline. If you choose to do 3 disciplines, your goal will be 3 of the 4 mileage/minutes listed beside #3 for each discipline. You will keep track of your own miles/minutes and submit them to me through email as soon as you complete the requirements.  I will send out an email at the beginning and end of every quarter to remind you to submit your miles or your entry for the challenge.

If you have NEVER completed a Quarterly Cardio Challenge, these are your mileage/minute requirements:

1. 200 Miles
2. 100 Miles
3. 67 Miles

1. 500 Miles
2. 250 Miles
3. 167 Miles

1. 60,000 Meters
2. 30,000 Meters
3. 20,000 Meters

  • Exercise Class Minutes:
    1. 1800
    2. 900
    3. 600

If you DID complete the Cardio Challenge for the previous quarter, your mileage requirements are below:

• Walk/Jog/Run:
1. 240 Miles
2. 130 Miles
3. 90 Miles

1. 565 Miles
2. 285 Miles
3. 195 Miles

1. 90,000 Meters
2. 50,000 Meters
3. 30,000 Meters

  • Exercise Class Minutes:
    1. 1800
    2. 900
    3. 600

Email me with any questions 🙂

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Meredith Mitchell