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FAA WorkLife Wisdom: Support Systems – What’s in Your Kitbag?

(Aug. 10, 2018)

Definition of support system: A network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support (Merriam-Webster).

Whether it is a family (social) support system or a support system at work, everyone agrees that having support systems can make your life easier or more manageable. Research has proven that having a support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills and a longer and healthier life. Studies have also shown that social support can reduce depression and anxiety.

A familial support system can be between immediate family members, or a mix between extended and immediate family members. Most family research suggests that healthy, supportive families typically have the following qualities:

Share appreciation: Show your family members that you care about them. If a family member does something impressive, at home or at work, let them know! It can be something as simple as thanking them for making you laugh or spending time with you.

Quality family time: This might be an occasional family meal time, supporting each other’s hobbies or recreational time together. There are countless quality ways to spend time with your family. Don’t confuse that with quantity time. Give your family your full attention when spending time together. Turn off your phone and really make an effort to get to know your family member.

Healthy communication: Communication can be hard in your family, especially when there are so many places to be and things to do throughout the day. The more you express your unwavering support for them, the more comfortable they will be to come to your with their problems, concerns and triumphs.

Develop strong problem-solving skills: As a parent, you have the opportunity to show your children productive ways of how to handle problems. Children learn from their parents how to interact with the world around them, including how to handle challenges in their life. Parents need to model positive ways to handle life’s everyday challenges but allow children some autonomy to solve their own problems. There are some times when you will need to intervene in your child’s challenges, but giving them the opportunity to solve their own problem helps them develop skills that they will benefit from the rest of their life.

Consider some of the suggestions above, both at work and at home and see if you can change the quality of your support system.

Accessible 24/7, your FAA WorkLife Solutions Program offers many resources and services to help you and your family. Options available through the program include concierge services to help with everyday events needing your time and attention, child and elder care options, legal and financial services, in-person counseling, and much more. Call your program at 1-800-234-1327, TTY Users: 1-800-456-4006, or log on to www.MagellanHealth.com/Member to begin accessing these services.

Additional source: Intermountain Healthcare

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