Wellbeing Design Diary: Process

Wellbeing Design Diary: Process

Design Diary
Which sounds appealing: Health By Program or Health By Process? Google defines 'program' as a planned series of future events, items, or performances. Alternatively, 'process' is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. Do programs engage creativity? Programs follow plans: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. A universal skill I learned as an industrial designer is design thinking. It's problem-solving process. First of all there is an idea. Also, there is a user. Finally, there is an accomplishment. Design thinking gets into the brains and guts of the details between those three. As a result are solutions that free user's to How To Be An Effective Multigenerational Workforce A process follows a series: a number of things, events, or people of a similar kind…
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Why I Look To The Trees For Design and Health Continuity

Why I Look To The Trees For Design and Health Continuity

Design Diary
Today there is an absorbent amount of information readily available for whatever issue is at hand. People are becoming more specialized and willingly ready or already sharing what they know. Since childhood, I look to the trees for continuity. Last year I heard Ed Catmul say "art is about seeing," as he explained how he created a culture without a power structure to eliminate barriers to truth. "You have to go (through failure) to get something you don't know." Trees communicate design intelligence. We see their uniqueness, alive or rotted, and hear them when it's windy. They morph into numerous shapes that range from solid to thin forms. Trees give and support my ability to be creative. Often their waste is the expense for my ideas to become tangible. Trees resemble their…
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Vanilla Is The New Superfood

Vanilla Is The New Superfood

Physical
Some of us at GIG have nixed sugar in support of improving performance. Seeking ways to get that 'sweet' something took a turn. It's not out of craving but joy. Jelly Belly's and licorice jelly beans are ultimate favorites. It's nearly impossible to push these past loves out of memory. Grocery stores stock end caps with every brand, flavor, and comic character. Matters get worse Easter season. Then...we rediscovered the vanilla bean. Immediately we dug into research about this saving sweet bean. Vanilla contains chemicals called vanilloids. They reduce inflammation. Stress causes inflammation which reduces mental performance. When stressed the body naturally releases an inflammatory protein (cytokine) to signal systemic inflammation behavior to other cells. Inflammation reduces brain function. The compounds in vanilla reduce stress when in its most natural state…
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Five Steps To Engage In A Healthy Lifestyle

Five Steps To Engage In A Healthy Lifestyle

Emotional
How do your thoughts articulate each moment you experience? “I'm confidently griping the handle of this heavy meeting-room door, stepping into this meeting that will shape and sharpen feelings of fulfillment in my life.” Thoughts vividly characterize the body's experience. Our body senses every tiny thing before describing it with words. This phenomenon directs behaviors. The brain encodes then decodes sensory stimuli then informs the nervous system how to respond. It then links to our subjective frame of mind. Since we're creatures of habit everything we currently avoid was first formulated through an unpleasant past experience. Behaviors demonstrate how the body stores then processes sensations into action. Awareness of your unique sensory response, understanding metaphors, your internal dialogue, and an abstract representation of your self mediates behavior response. How do you discover your…
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B.E.I.N.G. Is To Boldly Exist in Necessary Growth

B.E.I.N.G. Is To Boldly Exist in Necessary Growth

Occupational
Comfort and safety are needs we seek for wellbeing in the workplace, relationships, and home. Who's the expert defining your sense of belief in what is 'safe' or has 'comfort'? Some might say its the leader in a culture. Others may argue its trend-led. There are marketing messages, spiritual guides, and slogans that manifest the idea of what's comfortable and safe. My clinical and design work deduce all theories to this: the expert is the Experience. "If you're comfortable in life then you're not maturing." Anonymous Humans instinctually seek to feel safe but stretching outside of comfort may compromise quality of life beliefs. B.E.I.N.G. are five points for safety and comfort strategies that may improve performance and manage stress.  Here's how to Boldly Exist In Necessary Growth: Boldly   Occupational Justice is the…
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Lay Down Sleepy Head. You’ll Be Wiser For It.

Lay Down Sleepy Head. You’ll Be Wiser For It.

Physical
We personally know Client Want, Client Fear, and Client Loathe. Which one are you? “I want to sleep more.”  Client Want follows trends. Their routines may include caffeine to wake or to keep aroused, sugar to quickly surge energy, social media to distract, or saying ‘yes’ to all things. The body works naturally by following a biological clock according to daylight patterns. Find this rhythm. Rest assured a full night of sleep will be the reward. Values in diet, exercise, creativity, spirituality, and social behaviors directly effect the body’s ability to lead a peaceful slumber. GIG Design identifies sleep as an 'occupation' within a physical lifestyle. It's fundamental to wellbeing. In solo pursuit of more sleep, begin a sleep diary. Log how and when daily values are applied and their outcomes. “I’m…
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Tea: An Inexpensive, Medicative Commodity

Tea: An Inexpensive, Medicative Commodity

Design Diary
There’s just something so nice about a hot cup of tea in your hand.  That cozy feeling with beautifully aroma of herbs, spices or clean green tea. At work there’s something that the chaplains provide called “Tea for the Soul”.  At first I thought it was just fun with a great supportive social aspect giving us a chance to sit, take a break, drink some tea and talk.  However, it had become my coping mechanism.  Just the other day, I was grieving about some losses and I couldn’t believe how comforting it was to have someone offer me tea.  It felt just as good as a long cry after a sappy movie or a breath of fresh air after being stuck in a room. It was definitely the next best thing. Allowing my senses to…
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Work Has Fragile Elements

Work Has Fragile Elements

Spiritual
Wellbeing is something I learned late in life. It was easier to avoid adversity by following desires for comfort. When I was a child I climbed a tree to escape. Avoidance behaviors kept me from becoming who I was meant to be. Here and now I'm profoundly thankful. Especially with reflection of people and experiences life brought. Awareness of each moment slowly drew me away from avoidance through comfort-seeking to becoming more aware of purpose-seeking. Wellbeing began with accepting I fall short. It taught me compassion, forgiveness, and to creatively self-express within all my life roles. Often I reflect on my ancestors and family influences. My grandfathers humbly invented or crafted objects. My grandmothers breathed a lineage of faith and morals into each of us. Dad was an engineer and academic while Mom's discipline…
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The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

Workplace
“I used to be exhausted all the time, I would come home from work and pass out on the sofa, but not now. I am much more alert: I have much more energy for my work, and also for family life.” These are the words of Lise-Lotte Pettersson, an assistant nurse and participant in a controlled trial of shorter work hours in Sweden. The results will be published in 2016, but so far results indicate nurses are less fatigued and more efficient (Crouch, 2015). How many hours do you work? Is it too few, too many, or just right? A 2014 Gallup survey of 1,200 American adults discovered that the average full time US employee works 47 hours per week and 18% work 60 hours or more (Green, 2015). I’ve been…
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Reclaim Joy In A Jubilant Quality of Life

Reclaim Joy In A Jubilant Quality of Life

WholeBe Toolkit
Below is a testimony 180 days following GIG Design's support... One of the reasons why I moved to the Pacific Northwest is because of the trees. Trees are everywhere - both beautiful and relatable. A tree must have been meticulously chosen for the WholeBe Toolkit. Its a visual metaphor that returns as a wellbeing tool to help one envision themselves at their greatest potential. I never thought of comparing myself as a tree. Organically, humans and plants are built so differently, but who's to say we can't learn from one another. Each gives in the exchange for being alive. One example is carbon dioxide gives fresh air to breathing plants; plants generously exchange it with oxygen for us. This is one magnificent exchange that is quick to forget. When I look…
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Mood In the Workplace

Mood In the Workplace

Emotional
Designers are slowly emerging with incredibly functional and stylish swings. A swing is a simple way to improve mood in the workplace. Swinging stimulates the vestibular system, the sensory system that contributes to balance and spatial orientation for overall coordination. This body system was found to modulate our mood states (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). When a swing moves in circles, twists or moves outside of the typical back and forth path it becomes a mechanism to excite! This is a great alternative for those who long to quit coffee or simply need to excite themselves to gain motivation. Somewhere it got lost in interpretation that swinging is a children's form of play.  Parents jump on a swing with their kids - why not for adult play? What are your thoughts…
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Distorted Thinking

Distorted Thinking

Emotional
Have you been educated on what a healthy relationship is? My parents modeled valuable aspects but they didn't sit me down as teachers of Relationships 101.  When I decided to research what 'healthy from the inside out' meant, I began to experience what healthy relating is. Healthy begins with an honest self assessment. It requires being prepared because it is a life-long journey. I say this because it takes work, time and awareness to identify then replace distorted information that your mind believes as truth...but it can be done. There are many layers to living honestly but here I expose a near-time experience known as distorted thinking. Author and professor Benjamin K. Bergen explains in his book Louder than Words that we simulate experiences, actions and performances in our mind through a scientifically…
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Design The Will to Act

Design The Will to Act

Intellectual
Occupational therapy practitioners are found in a variety of industries outside of health care, including automotive, architecture and non-profit sectors. Jim Burns is a major in the U.S. Army as well as chief of O.T. at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado. He quoted Max Depree to support his opinion of what the key aspect of leadership is: selfless service. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality; the last is to say ‘Thank you.’ In between the two, the leader must become a servant. MAX DEPREE Burns integrates an abridged version of the U.S. Army's leadership development philosophy, which he goes into more detail about in his article about defining reality.  His philosophy includes seven values: Discipline, Motivation, Altruism, Physical Fitness, Continuing Education, Creativity, Respectful. Within these values he emphasized behavior patterns, goal setting, and communication. Each requires…
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Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Spiritual
The first reflection of a person is said to be witnessed in a still, calm body of water. Following, craftsmen caught onto the fact that a polished stone, like copper and bronze, provided much sought after mirrors for grooming. Today the task of mirrors reaches beyond your reflection to reflect your best self in metaphor or form. Reflection also takes shape as a thought, value or goal. When your arrow aims at healthy roles, habits and performance, then design your environment to support following through at your very best.  Steelcase recently blogged on their 360 Research page that wellbeing is systematic and holistic. "The team went on to conclude that the places where people come together to work can be designed to have a positive impact on a variety of dimensions of worker…
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Surrounded by Four Walls

Surrounded by Four Walls

Occupational
The best canvas in a room is a wall. Instead of believing you're surrounded by four walls, consider the ways you could put writing on the wall.  It's a designed greeting to direct the success you imagine. Below are ideas to get your creative started... [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"] DESIGN^under-responsive | Resting room designed with consideration for your best self if muted or delayed responses to daily sensory events[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="736"] DESIGN^sensory craving | bedroom design consideration to achieve your best self if with an insatiable drive for enhanced sensory experiences[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="736"] DESIGN^taste | ideas relevant to negative, avoidant, aversive, or defensive behaviors for food prep sensitivities.[/caption]
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Wall Alerts

Wall Alerts

Intellectual
I don't know about you but when I need to change without waiver I need the end goal to be on repeat in my mind. To do this I surround myself with what will inspire change. The first time I knowingly created wall alerts was when I was in middle school. Every inch of my walls were covered with images and words that inspired me to be more creative, to be more healthy.  Perhaps,  not the most glamorous work of art at the time but I genuinely reached my heart through various mediums to gain loving self-support towards change. Thirty years later I still do this because it works! Creative wall alerts may be designed unique to your need and style while exploring the use of a variety of mediums.…
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Definition of Exploration

Definition of Exploration

Design Diary
I am exploring. I imagine “exploration” to be out at sea, going into caves or walking on lands I haven't even heard of.  I imagine screaming, “Ahoy captain! Take me to the closest island. I want to claim it as mine!”  I'm peering through a pair of binoculars. The island that I imagine is filled with an abundance of food, a toilet and all the amenities of typical American life. That island that I imagine probably doesn’t even exist and if it does, it probably belongs to some wealthy billionaire or royal heir.  I'll call these large scale explorations.  I'm outgrowing my sadness as I notice my definition of exploration is a lot different from "Indiana Jones" or "Gilligan’s Island". The scale of this world seems so much smaller. Maybe that’s a…
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Increase Your Creativity

Increase Your Creativity

Physical
Do you believe it's possible to reduce or increase your creativity? Recently a friend challenged me to try the following formula: 30+ minutes of movement + outdoors + listening solely to the sounds of the natural surroundings = a boost of creativity by 90%! Initially, this came as no surprise. Does it to you? Research continues to prove that we can enhance our natural creativity. In addition to regulating sleep, body temperature and libido, Serotonin is also proven to increase creativity.*  Serotonin levels increase with exposure to bright light, exercise, diet (chickpeas and wild seeds vs meat proteins), and self-induced changes in mood.** My friend's formula falls right in line with these four natural ways to get a creative boost. So, why is it important to increase your creativity? Harvard Business Review…
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Forming Mental Images

Forming Mental Images

Intellectual
Sometimes I find it strange when I'm surrounded by quiet people.  It seems that I am surrounded by "noisy brains". Of course, I need to quiet my head-talk to get to that thought. One comforting idea is, what if everyone replaced listening to their head-talk by watching a picture-reel. Imagine their words becoming images. Are you able to form mental pictures? We often mistake 'play' as a child's act.  However, adults play too. The pattern of play begins with imagination. It follows a life cycle from that conceptive mental moment on to nourishing spiritual, creative, and relational habits. In fact, shame is linked to experiences of creative failure. Adults that deny shame have banked on the pattern of play. To us, play is coined as abductive reasoning. The way our bodies are wired includes the ability to change. Consider…
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Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Social
Last week a group of women I socialize with began to discuss relational stress. By sharing our experiences, we learned the cause of our core stress was poor communication. The countless ways to immediately contact one another today including the computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are taking the place of connecting in person. Our conversation covered how we move less from one floor to another within a building, a home, or a drive across town. Rarely do we use our pencils, paper, and scissors. Most of us turn to social media to respond to others. Anxiety is rising and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). In the midst of our feelings we…
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Abstraction Helps To Strategize

Abstraction Helps To Strategize

WholeBe Toolkit
The word abstract describes an object, is an object, or describes a feeling. Our WholeBeSM method includes abstraction to trigger Creative Wellbeing. The universal root + definition of abstract LATIN | ab {from}  trahere {draw off} -» abstracts {drawn away} Considered separate from concrete existence Not actual but theoretical to remove to summarize in written form detached attitude or view that is intellectual and affective in form Pablo Picasso on Abstract: "There is no abstract art. You must always start with something." Abstract ideas Often an abstract idea ends once it's expressed by action. It doesn't always take form as in something to hold.  Perhaps, it's an expression that's heard or seen. Abstract in life is a method to personalize creative ideas. Start by detaching form from function.  Like, separating walking from legs. To exercise  abstraction, repeat walking then freely…
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Loyalty in Life

Loyalty in Life

WholeBe Toolkit
The word "loyalty" has deep roots. "Loyalty in life" involves perception and emotion. It's similar to allegiance and includes a sense of duty. At times our behavior isn't loyal to our values. Like snapping at someone you love because you are sleep deprived or hungry. This is an example of how loyalty can waver due to poor self-regulation. Sleep is one of the first things to go as a result of job deadlines, travel or family obligations. Anxiety becomes the antagonist to lack of loyalty! GIG Design's WholeBeSM method recognizes the following six core aspects: Physical Occupational Intellectual Spiritual Social Emotional The first step is to recognize your self-regulation issues. Loyalty in life directly affects your health, your relationships, and your success. Creative Wellbeing begins with our WholeBe Toolkits. Read more…
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Originality In Life

Originality In Life

WholeBe Toolkit
The universal use of the word "originality" is as a noun. Our WholeBeSM method triggers doing, being, and becoming original. The universal root + definition of originality LATIN | oriri {to rise} novice or beginning, initial individuality of aspect, thought, or imagination distinctiveness of style, and design Ansel Adams once said, "Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit." Originality in life Look at a flower. From a seed, a root will rise. Originality is the course a root takes. It's a novice in the dirt. The same is true of a habit. Originality in life is a method to creatively break a tiresome habit with…
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The World Is Changing and So Must Our Classrooms

The World Is Changing and So Must Our Classrooms

Intellectual
The world is changing and so must our classrooms. Teachers, designers, and the like, have taken a critical eye to classroom aesthetics. Learning and teaching styles have shifted from a desk style to active movement and virtual problem solving. Thanks to entrepreneurs, our academics now include blended learning, diverse charter schools and various home schooling approaches. Let's take a peek into how future thinkers turned teachers provide education think tanks to hold together all learning styles. Below is an offering of Silicon Valley's most recent academies and customized programs: Academies Brightworks Kids do any activity that is mind-expanding, including welding and filming movies. Gever Tulley has a goal of 70 to 80 students in future academic years, which is variable due to parents acceptance of unconstrained environment, with grades and…
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Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Intellectual
Healthy relationships rely on effective communication strategies. The most effective communicators are also good listeners (Zemke et al 2000). With objective communication a relationship is based on respect not power, manipulation, or punishment. Below are objective communication examples. Effective communication tactics enable us to be better listeners while we help our client's achieve their goals. RESPOND EMPATHETICALLY Listen with full attention, eye contact and body language Acknowledge feelings with a word Give their feelings a name. Reflect back their feelings Give them their wishes in fantasy Start with an empathetic word ("this is tough/sad/too bad") and then ask gently, "what are you going to do?" or "What can you do?" Deliver empathy and state the limit ENGAGE COOPERATION Non-productive: blaming and accusing, name calling, threats, commands, lectures and moralizing, warnings,…
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Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Occupational
Peers in the workplace that are recovering from trauma will have difficulty verbalizing their emotions or even a simple thought (VanderKolk, 2014).  There is an uncertainty about life that confuses as they sort through their trauma.  With time and repetition, their communication patterns will slowly form into crisp, clear, confidant responses. Confidence often comes after strategy. Chess is a great example of strategy. Wikipedia enlightens on the historical game of chess, once called curling: a great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. Workplace culture words optimize strategies. Teamwork helps but listening and comprehension is key.  A safe environment and it's objects enable trust.…
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Why Steve Jobs and Harmut Esslinger: Going The Best Way Together

Why Steve Jobs and Harmut Esslinger: Going The Best Way Together

Intellectual
A Psychology Today report offered a new perspective on the much talked about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The idea of 'Workplace' is shifting across all possibilities to support telecommuters plus lower work space costs. With this shift is less physical interface with colleagues. Steve Jobs and Harmut Esslinger kept working together in one space for their purpose. This is what Steve Denning, contributor to Forbes shares on the topic of working together to  collaborate: "In reality, Rutledge’s rewired version of psychological needs suggests a more realistic set of multiple paths, through social connection, to meet our varying psychology needs. What it implies, and the experience of radical management confirms, is that getting work done by people working together in self-organizing teams can meet most people’s psychological needs without positing unrealistic goals of self-actualization as the be-all…
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Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Physical
Neurosicentist Russell Foster nailed the facts on sleep in his most this TED talk. His advice rings true and in line with wellbeing education and strategies we facilitate. Sleep rebuilds bodily needs that logic is unable to do. Here are Foster's facts on sleep: Retaining information while sleep-deprived creates a self-battle - 'smashed' is how Russell described the war. Sleeping enhances creativity because while sleeping that function is strengthened (creativity = problem-solving). What we burn up during the day is restored while we sleep. What we burn up during the day is restored while we sleep. It's worth re-typing. Fatigued brains crave strategies to wake it up like drugs or stimulants. Caffeine represents the stimulant of choice across much of the Western world. The other stimulant is nicotine. Fueling a waking state with…
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Journaling Proved To Heal Shame Trapped in the Past

Journaling Proved To Heal Shame Trapped in the Past

Intellectual
Journaling has been my inconsistent therapeutic remedy. Its evidence my first journal was truly a diary. At age nine my way of communicating was blathering about nothings in between short stories of play dates or family folly. Friends allowed to read my Diary represented a sort-of friendship hierarchy. It was evident I was first emotionally inept from heavy hand, dark-leaded big words or a scribbled frenzy of characters and shapes. Some pages have a word written over and over until the page forced an end to that silliness. Over time a diary became a journal, stories took shape with meaning and depth. The discovery of my emotional journey was in part to chronologically reading them as a script to my life. Sadness overtook me when an eighth of the pages were…
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Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Occupational
A task that we all do, all too often, is email and texting. Before smartphones and laptops occupational therapists were steadily treating carpal tunnel. We still are, yet smaller devices increased rehab needs for Repetitive Strain Injury's or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis diagnosis. Carol Leynse Harpold offers Ergonomics and Texting Thumbs interventions. Below we offer Carol's and our OT ideas to design for ergonomic positioning, pacing, along with other creative techniques.   Eclectic Home Office design by San Francisco Architect Nick Noyes Architecture   Pacing: a work setting that provides various spaces to take a break, change body position. Pacing: reduce text time by setting a timer Pacing: If limiting time or taking a break isn't an option consider using a keyboard Position: to accommodate back and neck posture in task with arms rested at a height suitable to…
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When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

Design Diary
Sometimes I'm scared of my body.  I'm not always sure what pains I will wake up to or what thoughts will wander into my head or even what colors will come out of my nose.  This past year, I've become more in tune with this while living in the Mojave desert.  Lake Havasu City is a very different climate compared to back east - coming in at about 10-18% humidity according to my hermit crabs' barometer.  This has left me at times dehydrated, congested, raspy, and/or wiped out.  Nonetheless, it has helped me become very aware of any changes internally and how the environment affects me. This is something I'm glad I'm beginning to realize now.  It's important knowing who you are and how you react under the most trying…
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Why Storytelling Results In A Creative Wellbeing

Why Storytelling Results In A Creative Wellbeing

Design Diary
As a kid, on the weekends we use to break out the dress-up box and slip on dresses, fur coats, trench coats & top off our look with an old lady church hat. Between the five girls on the Baxterly Ave block, we would throw double weddings or funerals or explore the backyard filling containers with worms and twigs or lightning bugs. Every day was another adventure and a chance to create a new story. This played a huge role in life. Stories bring us understanding and give us freedom from ourselves.  They let us explore another world without leaving the comforts of our everyday life.  In essence, we all have our own story.  We tell stories every day.  Although now there are no longer elaborate dress-up tea parties or…
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