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Less Stress for a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

12/23/2019 8:00 AM | Deleted user

By Patrick Lowe, D.C.

There is one month of the year when stress multiplies, depression rates increase, and suicide rates skyrocket. The happiest season of the year is also the most stressful season for many. People just want to get through the holidays.  This e-zine will help you to have a happier, healthier, and more successful holiday season.

Where does all of this stress come from?

Time of Year!

First off, December is the darkest month of the year. The first day of winter occurs in December, providing the least amount of daylight time. Sunlight has many beneficial effects, including fighting off seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  We can't change the rotation of the planet. We can change our lightbulbs, which has a big effect. Using high-quality full-spectrum lightbulbs can make a big difference, less depression, and less stress. Another option is that you can move to the southern hemisphere.  Lightbulbs are much less expensive.

High Expectations

During the holidays, we have a lot more expectations for ourselves and other people. We are attending this party, buying for this person, and still trying to get our daily tasks completed. This all leads to more stress on our time and our finances.

Unsuccessful Expectations

Successful Expectations

Buying the perfect gift 

 Providing nice gifts

Having a perfect Christmas 

Having a good time

Making someone happy 

Providing an environment for happiness

Happiness occurs when reality exceeds expectations; disappointment occurs when expectations exceed our reality.  The "unsuccessful expectations" rarely occur, setting up an environment of unhappiness and stress. Highly successful people focus on the column on the right.  All of these expectations are achievable and lead to less stress.

Holiday Foods

More parties and social events mean more opportunities to eat tasty, sugary foods. Unfortunately, increased sugar intake skyrockets our stress hormones (cortisol).

The cure? Watch what you eat.  Eat small amounts of the sugary treats and maintain your exercise routine. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise burns off stress hormones and so does laughter.

Make it a point to laugh every day and enjoy your holiday season. Less stress for you means a more enjoyable holiday season for you and the people you care about. Have a successful month!

Kentucky’s New ‘Reentry’ Law Gives Employers Clearance to Hire Workers with Criminal Backgrounds

Under a new Kentucky law that will take effect in July 2021, employers can hire qualified applicants with criminal records without fearing legal barriers and liabilities. Specifically, House Bill 497 creates a certificate program that will give employers relief from civil liability for hiring an ex-offender who was trained for a particular job. The goal is to enhance the ability of formerly incarcerated people to get jobs once they are in the community to further aid in their rehabilitation and reintegration. The bill was signed by Governor Andy Beshear on April 5 after being unanimously passed by the Kentucky Legislature in late March. Here’s what Kentucky employers need to know about this new law.

What Are “Certificates” and How Are They Granted?

HB 497 requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to equip persons leaving incarceration with the necessary documents and paperwork to ease the process of reentry, including documentation of their criminal history, institutional history, and other relevant information. The law also encourages the DOC to provide support for incarcerated individuals in preparing and writing job resumes. 

Importantly, HB 497 establishes a certificate of employability program for eligible individuals to encourage second-chance employment opportunities upon reentry into society. To receive a “certificate of employability,” HB 497 requires incarcerated individuals to complete certain vocational and/or educational requirements, including passing a skills assessment test administered by the DOC. Certificates are only granted if the individual has successfully maintained a crime-free record for a legally prescribed waiting period preceding their release. The certificate of employability will not be issued to sex offenders, and there are other exclusions in the bill as well. Employers can request the certificate of employability from a job seeker and can check the validity of the certificate by contacting the DOC.

What Does This Mean (or Not Mean) for Kentucky Employers?

The new reentry bill does not mean that employers are required to accept an applicant with a criminal record. Understandably, some Kentucky employers are likely reluctant to hire candidates with certain criminal histories. 

The bill does, however, provide legal protection from negligent-hiring lawsuits if you do decide to hire certificate of employability holders. This immunity means that you can feel confident that hiring a person with a criminal record will not create a legal liability. Rather, it gives you the discretion to assess an individual with a certificate of employability based on their qualifications and to treat them like any other applicant. 

For those employers who do decide to utilize this new certification, be sure to educate your Human Resources department, supervisors, and higher-level managers regarding the new law. You may also need to adjust your policies for hiring persons formerly incarcerated or setting up a program to actively recruit candidates with criminal histories.

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