I know, I know…you are already working diligently on your long to-do list and action steps to get you closer to your goals for 2017. I am so excited for you! I’m actually doing the exact same thing. However, you must add this very important thing to your 2017 goals list.
That thing is counseling. Yes, you read that correctly, counseling. I know as the year begins, we see and hear so many people committing to these elaborate plans. We attend vision board parties and leave motivated to find the cure for cancer. We scroll through countless Instagram posts with awesome inspirational quotes and Pin them to our Pinterest boards. This is all extremely cool and commendable, however, have you stopped to think if you have the mental fortitude to get the job done.
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed.” Well, there you have it. It is in the Bible that we should seek counsel or counseling. No matter who you are, you need it to get your mind right.
I know you got it all together with your fly and fabulous self. Your kids are super perfect, you have the best boyfriend or husband in the world and your bank account is overflowing with money. On the other hand, there are some of us, who have kids that are tripping in school and at home, we aren’t connecting with the men in our lives, and some of us refuse to answer the phone with a number we don’t know. Trust me, I’ve been there. I actually wrote a book about it.
I totally get the frustration and dread of facing these situations. When your home life is a mess, it is hard to stay motivated enough to get out the bed to grab the remote. There are just some things your sister and your girlfriends can’t help you with. I don’t care how many double stuffed Oreos you eat with your favorite wine or how many episodes of Insecure you binge on, life can still be overwhelming.
In 1st Kings 1:12, the Bible states, “So now come, please let me give you counsel and save your life and the life of your son Solomon.” This is powerful. Not only does the counseling help you but it helps your family too.
Here’s my suggestion to get you on track for 2017: dust off your insurance card, call the number on the back and ask about your EAP benefits.
According to OPM.gov, “Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems. EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.”
Most companies give you eight free sessions. And I use my sessions every year to get my mind back on track. Since Don switched jobs last year, I was able to get eight more free sessions. I used them over the summer while I went through a re-branding of my website. It was a stressful period for me and I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. The counselor was great and she loved hearing about the progress of The Real Wife Movement.
We’ve also used our EAP benefit for marriage counseling. I would highly suggest doing this to give your marriage an opportunity to hit the reset button if things are not where you want them to be. Our sixteen-year-old daughter used her sessions during the spring when she was struggling with school last year. My husband is even opting to get his free eight sessions this month to get clarity about what his 2017 will look like.
Counseling is one thing we don’t talk about in our community. It’s so taboo, but folks are suffering in silence. I implore you to look into using your free sessions for whatever you want. It can be for stress on the job, moving, having a new baby or, like I did, starting a brand-new business. Have this conversation with your honey, your family, and your friends. Let them know they are leaving free services on the table every single year.
And if you do not have insurance, then check with your local community health system. Many will be able to provide you with afford services.
So do yourself a favor, add some counseling sessions to your 2017 goal list. Allow a counselor to help you jumpstart your new year. You will be glad you did.
Have you ever heard of Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? What are your thoughts on counseling? Has it been beneficial in helping you with challenges that you experience in life? Let us know below.
*List of Work-Life Agency Coordinators for all federal government agencies. These people will answer any questions you may have about your EAP benefits.