Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find tips from the field, websites and information, home is where the hooch is suggestions, upcoming programs and events and follow our book club. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Watch Online Today: Coping with the Stress of Change Webinar


The Family Liaison Office (FLO) and MHN (a Health Net company specializing in behavioral health) recently hosted the webinar, Coping with the Stress of Change

One of the greatest sources of stress can be change; change of location, change of routine, change of lifestyle, change of parenting skills, changes in relationships due to separation, and the list goes on. 

Watch the webinar online today to learn about coping skills for dealing with this stress. 

Visit FLO’s Counseling Resources and Referral Services webpage and email  FLOAskUT@state.gov with questions. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wednesday, April 27th

"Coping with the Stress of Change" Webinar

Coping with the Stress of Change

      Wednesday, April 27 @ 0900-1000 (ET)




S – T – R – E – S – S….it comes at all of us in one form or another.  However one of the greatest sources of stress is change
The FLO Unaccompanied Tour Support Team knows all about change.
 
Change of location, change of routine, change of lifestyle, change of parenting skills, changes in relationships due to separation, and the list goes on. 

This webinar is open to all employees and adult family members.
We hope you’ll join us to discuss coping skills in dealing with change and the stress that comes along with it at our next webinar.
Virtual participants will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection and computer speakers. The “chat” function will allow virtual participants to post questions during the presentation.
To participate in the webinar visit:  Department of State Webinar Enter as a guest; type your first name and your current or future post. 
A digital link to a workbook to accompany the “Coping with the Stress of Change” webinar is available upon request by writing to FLOAskUT@state.gov.

No matter what kind of change you’re dealing with there’s no reason to let it get the better of you. FLO UT Team is here to help! The webinar session will be led by our partners at MHN
 Any questions please contact us at FLOAskUT@state.gov or call 202-647-1076

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tough Under Pressure? Join the FLO Team!

Attention family members returning to Washington, DC, FLO 

has an opening for a full-time Crisis Management Officer 

(GS-12). Help design and run programs for employees and

their family members facing evacuations from post,

 separation from family members, and other issues. 

The application deadline for this position is 11:59 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 27, 2016

For details and application instructions, please visit FLO’s website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Relocation, On The Move


Whether you’re moving back to the U.S. or across the world, WorkLife4You knows all the shortcuts.

Receive a free personalized relocation packet.
Get tips, checklists, and in-depth articles to help with every aspect of your move.

The team of highly qualified specialists at WorkLife4You is available 24/7.
For additional  information, please contact them by calling 866-552-4748 or by
Specialist@LifeCare.com.

Please note, this service is only available to Department of State employees; those outside of the State Department should contact their respective agency to inquire about the availability of similar programs


Monday, April 18, 2016

FLO Website Feature: The Unaccompanied Tours Decision Tree


As you are preparing for or thinking about bidding on an Unaccompanied Tour (UT) post, check out FLO’s Decision Tree, a guide to help you decide where your family will live while you are serving on an unaccompanied tour. FLOAskUT@state.gov with questions and visit www.state.gov/flo/ut for information on all of FLO’s UT support services.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Transition Center Training Division


FREE Evening Seminar – Encouraging Resilience in the Foreign Service Child (MQ500)

May 4, 2016, 6:00pm–8:30pm | This evening seminar is a valued added resource for all parents in the foreign affairs community. Participants will hear from both parents of children who were raised overseas and the Third Culture Kids themselves. Discussions will address the characteristics of an internationally mobile childhood; influences on cultural identity; characteristics of families living overseas; and strategies for raising resilient children.

FREE Evening Seminar – Legal Considerations in the Foreign Service (MQ854)

May 18, 2016, 6:00pm–8:30pm | The mobile foreign affairs lifestyle gives rise to unique legal implications for foreign affairs agency employees and their family members. This seminar includes a panel of experts provided by the American Foreign Service Protective Association to discuss contingency planning. Participants will learn steps in creating wills, trusts and powers of attorney; as well as identify legal responsibilities in owning real estate.


Career Transition Center


Early/Mid-Career Retirement Planning Seminar (RV 105)

Note new name: take this course early in your career!


Are you in the early-to-mid stages of your career and more than ten years away from retirement eligibility? This two-day future-oriented seminar is for you; it covers TSP, annuities, financial management, estate planning and more!

Course Dates
May 3–4, 2016
June 8–9, 2016
November 7-8, 2016 (FY 2017)

Retirement Planning Seminar (RV 101)

Do you have between one and ten years until you leave federal employment? Don't wait; prepare by attending the four-day seminar as soon as possible.


Course Dates
April 11 – 14, 2016
June 20 – 23, 2016
July 25 – 28, 2016
September 26 – 29, 2016
November 28 – December 1, 2016 (FY 2017) 

Friday, April 8, 2016

"Coping with the Stress of Change" Webinar

Coping with the Stress of Change

      Wednesday, April 27 @ 0900-1000 (ET)




S – T – R – E – S – S….it comes at all of us in one form or another.  However one of the greatest sources of stress is change! 
The FLO Unaccompanied Tour Support Team knows all about change.
 
Change of location, change of routine, change of lifestyle, change of parenting skills, changes in relationships due to separation, and the list goes on. 

This webinar is open to all employees and adult family members.
We hope you’ll join us to discuss coping skills in dealing with change and the stress that comes along with it at our next webinar.
Virtual participants will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection and computer speakers. The “chat” function will allow virtual participants to post questions during the presentation.
To participate in the webinar visit:  Department of State Webinar Enter as a guest; type your first name and your current or future post. 
A digital link to a workbook to accompany the “Coping with the Stress of Change” webinar is available upon request by writing to FLOAskUT@state.gov.

No matter what kind of change you’re dealing with there’s no reason to let it get the better of you. FLO UT Team is here to help! The webinar session will be led by our partners at MHN
 Any questions please contact us at FLOAskUT@state.gov or call 202-647-1076 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Problem-solving techniques for stress management
Posted by Radhika Mathur














Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. Most adults report being under increasing levels of stress. Modern life is filled with change and uncertainty, complicated relationships, urgent deadlines, and long workdays. Developing your problem-solving skills can help make life’s challenges more manageable.
Problem-solving is the process of identifying stressors and creating strategies to manage them. It’s a powerful tool to add to your stress management toolbox. You can brush up on your problem-solving skills with these simple steps. Like any skill, the more you practice the more effective you’ll be.
Identify the problem
Before you can attack a problem successfully, you have to understand it. This means looking at the problem from all sides. Write down a brief description of the problem you want to solve. Then ask yourself these questions:
What is happening?
Where and when is it happening?
Is it happening around certain people or in specific situations?
How do you feel about it?

Be specific and focus on issues. Try to avoid assigning blame. Now take a step back. Consider these questions to determine if the problem deserves the time you’ll spend resolving it:
Is the problem really that big? Would others think so?
If you could solve this problem, would your life improve?
   Is there any part of the problem over which you have control?
You can’t change everything, so it’s best to focus on issues you can realistically change and that will make a real difference in your level of stress. In other words: Choose your battles.
Brainstorm ideas
Now that you have a well-defined problem, it’s time to think about solutions. Think of all the ways in which you might solve your problem. The sky’s the limit. Now isn’t the time to judge whether one solution is better than another. Not sure where to begin? Try these tips:
Recall past problems that you were able to solve. Could a similar solution work for this problem, too?
Ask friends, family and people you trust for advice.

If you’re still having trouble, perhaps your problem is too complicated. In that case, try to divide and conquer. Break the problem into smaller parts you can more easily tackle.
Remember, consider everything that pops into your head — even ideas that initially seem silly. Your stress-reduction plan may include a little zaniness. Maybe taking a salsa dancing class after work a few days a week will help you to unwind better than would quiet meditation.
Select a solution
Of all your creative ideas — silly or serious — which has the most potential? You might want to consider:
Do you realistically think it will solve the problem?
How will using this solution make you feel in the end?
What are the possible positive and negative consequences?

When you’ve chosen what looks like the best solution, take another couple of minutes to think it through. Even the best solution may require fine-tuning. You might ponder:
Do you have the resources and, more important, the will to carry out your plan?
What new problems, if any, might the solution create?
What might go wrong? Can you correct this part of the plan?

Don’t be discouraged if your plan isn’t perfect. A good long-term solution may temporarily generate new problems. That doesn’t mean you should give up the plan, just that you need to be prepared to make course corrections or even switch to a plan B.
Put your plan into action
It may help to write down the details of your plan. Be sure to really commit to it before giving up or trying something else. Believe in yourself and go for it.
Reflect on your experience
You’re not done problem-solving quite yet. Experience is a great teacher, if you’re willing to take a little time for reflection.
Did your solution solve the problem?
If not, what issues remain unresolved?
What would you do differently the next time?

Mission accomplished?
Problem-solving is a natural human talent. We’re born solving problems from our first attempts as babies to grasp and crawl. We may not count the thousands of choices we make each day as problem-solving, but that’s what they are. So when you focus on solving more complicated problems, have the confidence of knowing that you’ve got plenty of experience behind you.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
2013-07-23

© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.
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