How To Thrive When You Are Hypersensitive to Environments

How To Thrive When You Are Hypersensitive to Environments

Social, WholeBe Toolkit, Workplace
Does just thinking about being certain places exhaust you? If each has similar traits then you might be hypersensitive to environments. Knowing your sensory needs simplifies solving the connect between design factors and excelling performance. When a person is hypersensitive to an environment the most noticeable response will be avoidance. Interior design factors effecting the hypersensitive, including furnishing placement and object purposes, often may be modified. Also, there are tactics to mentally or physically prepare for these circumstances. Our hypersensitive community can reduce their anxiety and thrive once they understand how to manage their sensitivities. [caption id="attachment_7053" align="alignright" width="300"] Alignment Framework | Paolo Ragonethe[/caption] This feasibility study is specific to children's reaction to a dentist office. It builds the foundational understanding an environment contributes to what seems like an uncontrollable behavior. Wired.com shared dentist offices…
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Three Talent Management Strategies Developing Multi-generational Workforce

Three Talent Management Strategies Developing Multi-generational Workforce

Workplace
Across generations, creating meaning at work is key to being. We use Being here to capture identity, self-awareness, and tolerance. Talent management practices that engage a multi-generational workforce are informed by an understanding of the influences and values of each generation.  Incorporating trends such as: Baby Boomers crave contributing. Generation Xers seek clear logic for their work tasks. Millennials want to make a tangible difference. Optimal talent management transforms work into being meaningful.  Employees sharpen talent as they value being their whole-being. So, this includes use of their time, talent, and relationships. Also, they feel safe and supported in both relationships and surroundings. Reverse-mentoring, the corporate break place, and role-sharing are three strategies to support a strong multi-generational workforce. Established support network Mentoring is increasingly becoming structured and strategic, as organizations are noting its essential role in…
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These Benchmarking Tools Unify Employees

These Benchmarking Tools Unify Employees

Workplace
Hot days, less clothes, more irritable? Geographical climates probably influence behaviors including activity and mood levels. Much as everyone benefits from being prepared for weather adversities, businesses are learning same goes for the climate of the workplace. Benchmarking tools unify employees by being prepared so they become the vision, protect quality of work, and support healthy behaviors. Benchmarking is similar to becoming prepared for weather conditions. Fahrenheit, barometer, humidity, wind velocity are evidence-based measurements. Consequently, the reward is clarity. As a result, behaviors change or reward the becoming phase. Another is asset protection because humans, buildings, and land are valuable. Evidence-based measurements of being and doing prepare employees to becoming productive assets. In conclusion, benchmarking is one process to becoming transformative and tolerant of adverse behaviors. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] Image resource Melissa Tirado…
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How To Be An Effective Multigenerational Workforce

How To Be An Effective Multigenerational Workforce

Workplace
Managing an effective multigenerational workforce requires tolerance and transformative thinking. Our generation membership is a contextual factor that affects our communication and work styles, and also our values and perceptions. The Doing, Being, Becoming Model from occupational therapy offers an effective managerial approach. This model establishes a collaborative work environment that harnesses the strengths of each generation. Doing is observable. The act of doing includes a person's work ethic, work style, habits and routines. An especially relevant 'doing' action is communication. Baby Boomers tend to prefer face-to-face and telephone chatter, Generation Xers generally favor email and texting, and Millennials trend towards texts and instant messaging. When we observe others doing we have the opportunity to learn as well as judge our colleagues. So, at its best, understanding the doing of others can:…
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Workforces Creating Value Do Habits

Workforces Creating Value Do Habits

Workplace
Gallup reported 68% of United States employees in 2015 were not engaged. As a result employees are not doing their work. Workforces creating value do strengthening activities. So, their work ethic, work style, habits and routines are naturally creating organizational values. Observing others doing brings opportunities to understand their values. Therefore, it strengthens team-based performance, and also company-wide inclusivity and diversity. Thakor’s Competing Values Model describes four strategies for creating value: control, compete, create, and collaborate. These are all active processes; and, described respectively as doing things right, doing things fast, doing things first, and doing things together. As much as possible, do with an upstream focus. “Upstream” is a concept from public health. It means starting at the source. Getting things right from the start and preventing problems from arising later, downstream.…
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How do organizations change employee behaviors?

How do organizations change employee behaviors?

Workplace
A multi-generational workplace is naturally diverse with good and maybe not-so-good behaviors. So, how do organizations change employee behaviors? Unify the people, environment, and brand with what is most relevant: each employee. Where clarity exists there's also a notion of rewarding conditions. Consequently, constancy of circumstances lead affective working conditions. Jocelyn Goldfein along with her executive team became haunted by experiencing this fact. They learned the valuable elements of how to be an effective multigenerational workforce. Furthermore, they united to become consistent in communication and surroundings because they desire rewarding work conditions. A determinant of how successful business will be is how successful each employee is. Following quarterly polls of 90,000 Americans, researchers conclude multi-generations want the same things: interesting work, opportunities to be rewarded and excel. The resulted feelings are the change agents, hence what motivates…
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Blame Or Matchmake? How To Improve Work Satisfaction and Performance

Blame Or Matchmake? How To Improve Work Satisfaction and Performance

Workplace
The fabric of cultural awareness in the workplace may be threaded towards blame or to matchmake satisfaction with performance. This interweaving includes three things: person, task, and environment. PERSON There are two overarching roles in the workplace: the leader and the employee. Gallup's How Millenials Want To Work And Live shared the "Big Six" changes the person or people in leadership need to make. It suggests it's time for leaders to adjust the culture from an 'old will' to a 'new will'. [caption id="attachment_6359" align="alignright" width="700"] Graph from Gallup abridged .pdf version, How Millennials Want to Work and Live[/caption]   Culture is learned and dependent on time and place. A person's cultural context are their customs, beliefs, activity patterns, behavior standards, and expectations accepted by the society of which the individual…
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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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Why Becoming Easily Distressed and Distracted Is Solvable

Why Becoming Easily Distressed and Distracted Is Solvable

Workplace
Does it seem there are more days then less when someone (maybe yourself) is avoiding activities to cope? Behaviors from being easily distracted and distressed have been researched since the 1960's with intense focus on the central nervous system's response to sensations. The results are a failure to modify sensory intake sufficiently and perceptual instability. In today's workplace health and wellbeing services are becoming more necessary. According to 2012 Aflac Workforces Report of 6,100 United States workers, those receiving health and wellbeing services reported a higher level of job satisfaction, feel happier with their employer, and are more satisfied with their overall benefits. Millennials are redefining what health and wellbeing means with 55% agreeing a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Sensations are mind fuel. Stimuli enters the body as…
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Why Individual’s Wellbeing Differ and How to Solve It

Why Individual’s Wellbeing Differ and How to Solve It

Workplace
It's easy to identify that person who's in the midst of something novel to the norm of every day life. The reinforcement appears in their dialogue that its something everyone needs. It could be a fresh approach to storing things or the empowerment from a new app. Although, swapping out something new for something old doesn't guarantee the same gratification for everyone. Individual's daily resources that constitute as their wellbeing inevitably differ. Do employer's know how to solve for diversity? This recent report included 487 employers and over 5,000 employee responses identifying their top health and productivity concerns. Employers pointed at technology and organizational issues. Employees reported those as least important with the greater issues on personal work experiences; work/life balance hit at #6. EMPLOYEES TOP 5 Inadequate Staffing Low…
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How To Commit To the Justice of a Quality Life

How To Commit To the Justice of a Quality Life

Emotional
When and where was the last time you experienced a creeping internal sensation of gnawing fury? It may be a feeling like you're doing too much of something. Another may be you don't have the resources to accomplish the task at hand. Occupational literacy is the first step to commit to the justice of a quality of life. Occupational Therapist Elizabeth Townsend defines this  as "a source of language and skills for persons at any age to adapt to diverse contexts and purposes." Sensations like fury and fear may be difficult for some to identify with words. Some confuse a feeling with a need. Two examples of this are suppression by consumption (shopping, food, alcohol) or silence (gossiping, lying, unrealistic perspective). This Globis 2013 survey identified how 200 leaders lack the language…
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How Do You Know If An Employee is Lazy or Value-driven?

How Do You Know If An Employee is Lazy or Value-driven?

Workplace
Every culture carries undertones of expectations or commonalities. For example, where there are four seasons it's common that productivity slows during summer months and the days between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Businesses reduce expectations with anticipation their employee's work performance will change. Is this a wise approach to managing production?  When we narrow productivity to the individual's responsibility of managing their daily performance we factor in basic quality of life choices. Lifestyle includes physical, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional aspects. Maintaining productivity within these six lifestyles simplifies with cultural support. An emotional example is when a culture shares a common language that invites fear responses. Under all circumstances this reduces the manifestation of workplace harassment. Presenteeism may appear as laziness. The result of an employee showing up to…
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15 Insights on How To Train Your Brain

15 Insights on How To Train Your Brain

Intellectual
Do you adhere daily to the fact that all you surround yourself with PLUS what you ingest trains or alters your brain? The optimistic person we share a space with, the composition of brass instruments in music, or salad verses fries can make all the difference. Cognitive science is linking biology with cultural experiences. Science is teaching us how to train our brain, so we are exploring the research. Below are questions, links, and action steps equaling 15 insights on how to train your brain to live healthy. Here Is What You Hear April science news shared a new part of the brain was revealed through auditory testing. Scientists say our brain has neuroplasticity. This leaves us with new evidence supporting the ability to change the way we think, feel,…
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Eighteen Tips For A Remarkably Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Eighteen Tips For A Remarkably Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Occupational
The holiday weekend is here! Does that mean scrap your healthy lifestyle? We're dishing and digging into our blog and Pinterest archives to share eighteen tips for a remarkably healthy Memorial Day weekend. Below are three awareness tips within the six lifestyle goals we collaborate with our Clients on. RAINY DAYS MAKES WAY FOR INDOOR PLAY Who said it has to be sunny to move and shake over the holiday? Holidays aren't an every day thing so be inventive. Turn up the music, look at your furniture with beginners mind, and let the laughter begin! If being indoors makes you want to eat more check this out to undo that mode of operation. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Free yourself to jump on the bed or couch. Every so often isn't…
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How Stress Spreads and Proven Methods to Stop It

How Stress Spreads and Proven Methods to Stop It

Social
Two employees walk into the office one regularly-scheduled work day morning. They respectfully go their separate desks, set down their belongings but cling to the  unnerving chaos experienced moments before work. Here are two cases of three people revealing how stress may spread along with methods to stop it. What are employees to do with those intangible belongings stuck to their brains and bones? I'm guessing most of you are thinking "they need to get over it." Fact is mental disorders are climbing far above heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Stress is reality. From the moment we came out of our mother's wombs we experienced stress from newness: bright lights, louder sounds and alarming sights...eeeks! Then the touch of a stranger? "Poor baby," isn't a helpful approach. Current points of…
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Workplace Abuse and the Secret Plot To Explode It

Workplace Abuse and the Secret Plot To Explode It

Workplace
The workplace seeks to build and fulfill marketplace relationships. It secures revenue. Is the character of marketing relationships similar to that in the workplace culture? Workplace cultures resemble the character of the founder. Courage, vision, discipline, and endurance breath cultural standards into the employees of a business. Oh, and one more trait…love. Love may be taboo to a list of entrepreneurial or workplace character traits but its equally important. Love sets the tone of how a culture relates to one another and the customer. It drives out adversity. Scandalous behaviors and provoked tragedies cost poor creativity and collaboration. Unmet deadlines, employees that quit, and lost customers sets a cultural norm. But those outcomes don’t have to be the norm. Norms define stability in the quest for revenue security. This new…
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A Seamstress Exhibiting Stress In The Workplace

A Seamstress Exhibiting Stress In The Workplace

Workplace
GIG Design's team discussed observations of a seamstress exhibiting stress in the workplace. Observations of the work environment included details of the lighting, noise, temperature, and peer engagement. The work space is an open area of approximately thirty seamstresses, all sitting at a sewing station actively engaging in production of a product. Observations of the seamstress were noted to be signs of distress as exhibited by facial expressions, frequent posturing with head tilted into hand through elbow support, uncharacteristic pauses of production. Following a lifestyle profile and sensory assessment she identified as under-responsive to sensations. Under-responsiveness This form of regulating the nervous system is categorized by muted, delayed responses, and low sensory registration. This individual passively regulates their nervous system, has a high threshold to sensory stimuli, and passively reacts to sensations.…
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Values Far Exceed Predictability When Without A Smartphone

Values Far Exceed Predictability When Without A Smartphone

Design Diary, Social
People spend a great deal of time in front of a television, computer, and cell phones.  I’ve been cutting down on the usage of technology for the last few weeks, but find myself craving to use my smartphone.  When it was unavailable for 2 weeks something felt like it was missing. Land line phones, emails and others smartphones allowed me to go about my everyday life. Rarely did I complain. It was odd that people I see daily questioned when I would get my smartphone back. It was also an inconvenience for those frequent smartphone correspondents.  Not knowing what time I’d be home for dinner, whether the dog had been walked, or to plan for activities required more organization. A plan was necessary for those moments we were out of touch…
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Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

Workplace
There is a jolting difference in cultural motivation on 'sick care' and 'health care'. Sick care is reactionary, providing individuals support with onset of an injury, health or mental conditions. Sick care recipients pay for medical bills instead of luxuries. Their employers pay for loss of production or new hire training. Health care recipients pay for health resources that reduce the onset of uncommunicable diseases, depression, injury. Their employers pay out bonuses and employee rewards due to improved profit. Is your employer providing sick care or health care? Move health care awareness from knowledge to action. Sharing stories on health movement builds the belief its possible. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shared several stories of national communities that acted on health care. It's understood raw data in percentages or dollar signs build…
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20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

Physical
In response to the statement "employers can educate shift workers about how to improve sleep" in the NBC Health's reveal we aren't getting enough sleep, here are 20 questions to get started. Answers are provided at the end. How many hours of sleep per night do you suspect the average American gets during the week? How do you think this ranked with the other countries: Japan, UK, Germany, Canada, Mexico? How about on the weekend: U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Mexico? Questionnaire respondents were asked: How much sleep do you need to function best? What do you suspect they answered: U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Mexico? What do you think differences existed amongst different countries? How does culture effect sleep? How many hours of sleep are recommended for adults ages 18-64? How about older adults…
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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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One Toilet Paper Square Improves Performance

One Toilet Paper Square Improves Performance

Intellectual
Health experts often recommend routines to build healthy habits. What do you do when the unexpected destructs that routine diet, exercise plan, or stress relief plan? Enter: toilet paper. We use it routinely. It's designed to roll, to tear, for comfort, for hygiene, and for biodegradable properties that keep plumbing free from clogs. Do these features come to mind every time you spin a roll of TP? If this analogy makes you uncomfortable then its likely you have sensitivities worthy to explore. This link connects to experts trained in sensitivity endeavors. Awareness is necessary to engage in a task. Performance outcomes depend on insight and awareness. Toilet paper is a universal reality. Most may agree its an intuitive product, no instruction required. So, do you measure use with the perforation? And how does measuring T.P. squares affect your…
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Let It Be Meaningful To You

Let It Be Meaningful To You

Design Diary
There's a choice to pick activities that are meaningful to you. Occupational Therapists often create goals for work life balance. Choose leisure activities that are meaningful. Whether your leisure activity be cooking, painting, dancing or photography, let it be meaningful to you. Here's an example of some photos that I had taken recently. I took photos that are meaningful to me and find it very therapeutic. Life starts somewhere. [caption id="attachment_5237" align="aligncenter" width="287"] This photo was taken at a local Seattle farmer’s market (Fremont) where artisans created these beautiful pentagon potteries to hold the plants.[/caption] In the Chinese and Japanese Culture pentagons are symbolic for the 5 elements of life:metal, wood, water, fire and earth. I chose succulents and air plants as my subject because these plants are very resilient…
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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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Reacting to Stress

Reacting to Stress

Physical
This past weekend while on a walk my converse slipped on a bank covered with wet leaves. Friends and I had a good belly laugh due to the sight and unexpectedness of it all.  If I relived that experience with out my friends beside me I wouldn't have laughed. As an infant we learn how to protect our body from falls, how to react to words or people's tone of voice, and how to interact while in different moods. These are all learned behaviors. Reactions to stress stem from learned childhood behaviors. Let's use stairs as a metaphor.  To our physical needs we need to balance on one foot in order to lift the other in motion upward or downward. Eventually both feet land on one surface. Much the same,…
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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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Job Stress

Job Stress

Occupational
One-fourth of all employees view their job as the number one stress in their lives. ¹  Yale University found that twenty-six percent workers report they are "often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. ² Health care expenditures are nearly fifty percent greater for workers who report high levels of stress. ³ The National Institute of Occupational Science and Health state that job stress is: the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. Identifying the varied signs of job stress are what occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at. Stress is rarely seen as serious by both employees and employers. It's become a societal norm that people simply refer to their day as 'so busy'.…
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Active Listening in Cultural Differences

Active Listening in Cultural Differences

Social
Right in the the middle of an important task that has a deadline you get interrupted by your Fellow. What do you do? This scenario begs for the least amount of listening. Some may just use a body gesture, like a hand in the air without diverting the eyes from task. This action isn't a normal listening behavior. Active listening in cultural differences fosters healthy relationships. C'mon, giving the hand is on the selfish side of relaying information. (Grohol 2013) One might hope those that interrupt would pause in anticipation for a body gesture of approval. This isn't always the case. This is a social dilemma which happens in a variety of occupational scenarios. Let's look at an example of cultural diversity when in play - like a break from work…
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Creating Routines in your Life

Creating Routines in your Life

Intellectual
Creating routines in your life is important.  It is something I have been slowly integrating into my life. I am curious by nature.  Therefore, I tend to drift off the path more often than I should. It brings initial excitement but results in suffering. I know that, for better or for worse, routines promote commitment.  At times, it may be cultural or temporary.  However, routines are patterns of behavior that are observable, regular, repetitive and provide structure for daily life.* In this Psychology Today blog, the author presents how people often change in unpredictable ways over time.  "Ultimately, of course, we bear the responsibility for who we are. But the way we influence who we are isn't by simply deciding to be different. We have to be clever. We have to pull levers—arrange positive influences—that actually…
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No Means No; Yes Means Yes

No Means No; Yes Means Yes

Spiritual
Does your 'no' mean no? Does your 'yes' mean yes? Oh, I've been here.  In fact, I just recovered from this. When in the throws of life, action may readily happen before time allows deep thought about the implications. Rest assured, this is normal and happens to us all. Confusion may set in, but what we choose to do in the midst of it will determine the affect on all of our core aspects. Yet, this spiritual aspect is worth nestling into. No means no; yes means yes. Several years ago, I wrote down nine questions the book Boundaries nudged me to consider. Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? How do I answer someone…
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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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Cultural Context

Cultural Context

Spiritual
Is it difficult for you to perform at your best while working at the office? This was my experience at an internship. It was customary for employees to work by shift and to keep the environment conservative. The standards in the culture was a quiet work space. However, I thrived around moving bodies and sounds of life. Customs, beliefs and behavior standards are just a few cultural contexts. Activity patterns, expectations, ethnicity, values, political aspects are also included.  The premise of cultural context includes opportunities for education, employment and economic support that are accepted by the society in which one is a member. Work as an occupational therapy practitioner has guided me to understand my sensory self - or how my sensations respond to stress. I'm aware that I have low arousal.…
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Seeking Pleasure or Avoiding Pain

Seeking Pleasure or Avoiding Pain

Emotional
The influence of our senses supports our need to cope and celebrate life. We don't need a doctor to prescribe certain sensations. What's needed is simply observing our behaviors when seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. Through childhood I walked hard and loudly. I sucked my thumb while twirling my hair.  Comfort equated to being tucked in tightly or to be nestled up in a corner. I loved forts. On the swings or playground bar I hung upside down. I excelled in sports requiring heavy muscle pressure like softball, volleyball, and soccer. All those pleasure-seeking sensations were coping strategies to manage feelings that I was told by my elders were bad. Each was a simply way to respond to what most wouldn't classify as dangerous. Although, my nervous system recognized them as…
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Your Number One Strength

Your Number One Strength

Spiritual
Heroic stories begin with a disadvantaged person due to the unthinkable or uncontrollable.  The characters in those stories always overcome their obstacles. That's what we're after here. What is your steadfast, never fail advantage? Without fail, change happens. So, let the air out of your tires for testing sake. Take what you believe is your number one strength into the following three scenarios: 1) You have arthritis in your fingers, knees, and neck. 2) A natural disaster destroyed everything you own. 3) The person you trust the most confessed they abused a child. In the above situations, did your number one strength prevail? The state of being strong is a guaranteed lifelong test. Recently the acclaimed author Elizabeth Gilbert posted on Instagram a telling image. Vulnerably, she shares, in beating herself up for not being…
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Stand Up For Your Health at Work

Stand Up For Your Health at Work

Occupational
There is still buzz about standing or sitting with work. That conversation with your colleagues may have begun with your employer. This is good! Ask where they get their health data. The internet is full of health and wellness recommendations. Is the information from a credible healthcare professional?   Beware when it comes to health advice. Work isn't a foreign concept. It's just that our bodies are not designed to stay in one position for a long period of time. This applies to sleep, too. Historians have proven the recommended 8 hours isn't what our bodies naturally need. It was a forced decision as documented in 1829 to sleep in one shift, not two. So who do you follow when it comes to health and wellness? First, listen to your body. Recognize an ache…
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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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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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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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Ways To Relaxation On A Daily Basis

Ways To Relaxation On A Daily Basis

Design Diary
We asked about twenty people what they took away form a circus experience.  Responses were diverse: sticky, smelly, animal-abuse!, lights, colorful tents, childhood memories, and overall wonder. Our culture diversity gives way to our social perspectives on things. Mardi Gras or masquerades...even family reunions, no? Sometimes putting on a show lasts for weeks when schedules are hectic and agendas are jam-packed.  Often our internal cues are not addressed, let alone recognized.  This can build up and lead to stress related concerns, crashing, fatigue and eventually burnout.  Unfortunately, this has become all too familiar and accepted in our society. This past summer, I have had the luxury of taking naps. Girlfriends who are pregnant, friends that are moving, and all my employed friends either don't understand, sigh in jealousy or regard…
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5 Ideas To Endure Sitting At A Desk For 8 Hours

5 Ideas To Endure Sitting At A Desk For 8 Hours

Occupational
As I was whistling-while-I worked today, an alarming thought gave me pause: could I survive sitting eight hours at a desk? Today was a good day because I didn't sit.  I accomplished all of my things-to-do from my list of the things I love-to-do, moving about creatively and solving problems. Without movement, interaction, and creative thinking I lose energy and interest.  Pamela Crooke at social thinking recently shared this about what my brain might weigh-in on this matter: Our brains are pretty resistant when it comes to changing something we’ve done for awhile or something we find pleasurable. In fact, a professor from Stanford recently published a book on willpower and describes the brain as something that operates on the levels of “I will”, “I won’t”, and “I want” (McGonigal, 2012). If…
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Work May Trigger Repetitive Conflicts

Work May Trigger Repetitive Conflicts

Workplace
Work behaviors are a distinct part of you. We may have control over our home environments but our work environments are a collaboration of peers. The workplace has a culture of unwritten values creating its community. Regardless of who or what sets the cultural tone, there will be things that trigger you out of your control into an unhealthy zone  (CompPsych 2013). There are strategies to prepare for this. Its those other ways you occupy your time that directly effect your behaviors. Sleep is one statistically proven strategy (Foster 2013). What other ways do you occupy your time? Play, the commute to work, or self-care routines are some.  When we walk over the threshold into the workplace we bring all of life's current events with us. This is natural with…
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Selflessness as Free Medicine

Selflessness as Free Medicine

Occupational
When you get stuck in a rut and are so so stressed out how do you feel? At a pivotal point in my life ten years ago my feelings kicked me into action mode. I believed the stride required being alone but chose environments that supported healthy healing to cope through the stress. Loneliness lengthened my healing process. We are relational beings. Once I learned a method to break down self-judgement and shame I slowly invited others into my life. This action taught selflessness. Lets look at how research supports selflessness as free medicine to mind, body, soul. Giving or sharing is an innate feeling (Brown 2003). Like all other behaviors it requires acting on the feeling over time to become a skill, habit, pattern. Sharing space with others improves the…
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Provoke Approval With This Assuring Body Posture

Provoke Approval With This Assuring Body Posture

Social
Have you lived within a culture that isn't your own? Over the years I've been personally challenged through unfamiliar cultures. A few examples of cultures I need to adapt to includes an indian reservation, farming community, tourist town, and middle-eastern religions. Beyond the smells, language or customs just transitioning from a geographical move is tough! Overcoming adversity presents two choices: be open to it, or deny it. Choosing which path is the power that ultimately steers life health. Forethought is a natural impulse that digs into personal values, morals, and beliefs. That of openness or denial begins the body, mind and spirit path. Even choosing an openness to drink from a new water source goest through the natural impulse of forethought. It subjects the digestive system to work through a new…
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The Sit or Stand Ordeal Is Suspicious to Research Bias

The Sit or Stand Ordeal Is Suspicious to Research Bias

Occupational
Lately the question to stand or sit at a desk has been a hot topic in research. Conclusively, consumers hear it's better to stand than to sit or that sitting is bad for you. Before identifying whether its good for you to sit or stand lets first unravel research bias. In the Brain Science Podcast 97 on Nueroanthropology, Dr. Downey (neuroscience) and Dr. Lende (anthropology) explained that they met while debating points over their cubicle. Ten years later and over hundreds of miles between one another they instinctively began to contact one another. The gesture was to compare points in order to glean off from one another's expertise. Research may be where it becomes skewed says Dr. Downey: There's a whole emergence, for example, of cultural neuroscience; of research teams, that often times…
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The Clear Advantage To a Furnished Space with Inspiring Objects

The Clear Advantage To a Furnished Space with Inspiring Objects

Spiritual
What's to do with years of old memorabilia?  Often I strongly consider burying my journals and random objects of meaning in a time capsule. Are objects worthwhile to keep for security of feelings? Five years ago this month I began to travel with only one carry-on. The trail-hopping between furnished temporary living quarters was freeing and challenging. Prior to leaving my home state I shed furnishings, products, and clothes to simplify my valuables into as few storage bins as possible.  Recently all six bins shipped from Michigan to Los Angeles. Immediately I sold the emptied bins on Craigslist for a bundle deal of $50. The need to rekindle with my old belongings was met. An outpour of feelings while combing through old memorabilia caused questioning: Why keep past objects within view? The energy that…
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8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

Occupational
Adjusting to work conditions as a telecommuter has its challenges. Good fortune may bring a flat surface wide enough to support a laptop. Typically, its propped across the legs with occasional havoc if they're crossed. The back bumper of a car may become a chair. A work surface may be the cost of a warm beverage. Sometimes the price jacks-up when there's the unfortunate parking ticket. Of course, there is that occasional back corner desk that costs musty smells from trash-worthy office furnishings. A spirited stress-less performance while on the road depends on adaption.  This doesn't mean to desensitize postural or mental supremacy. These costs become epidemic to musculoskeletal disorders to the spine or hips or suppressive anxiety beatings. The occasional is an exception but retirement may span into later years if hospital bills or…
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Clarity On The Meaning To Fulfill Wellness Within

Clarity On The Meaning To Fulfill Wellness Within

Design Diary
What do you consider being well? Is it the ability to run a 5k? To take your dog for a walk? To play with your kids? To sit outside? Wellness is all those things.  It goes beyond those healthy resources to living a meaningful, full life.  It covers having symptoms, signs, maybe even a disease which may require treatment.  But it also includes being mindful, aware, educated and achieving growth to who you want to be on a daily basis. I remember as  a kid always wanting to strive for a vibrant life when I grew up.  This included being outside, being active, having close friends and family and learning as much as I could about the world around me.  Those little insights I had at a young age have helped…
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The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

Physical
Last night my brother-in-law asked my opinion on the blueprint for their kitchen. It's naked to the studs with an open map to plan task paths. We moved the location of light switches, refrigerator, dishwasher and talked through the ergonomics of a built-in nook. The emphasis here wasn't only ergonomics but their lifestyle, functionality and how to best conserve body energy . Built-in environments benefit from incorporating the wellbeing tactic of conserving energy.  This strategy reduces the onset of fatigue. Clients that incorporate Energy Conservation Techniques (ECT) prevent illness and injury. This occupational science study shares successful outcomes for a group who implemented ECT through an OTs guidance. Below are four principles the UofM Inpatient Acute Care team endorses: PACE  Stop. Rest before you get fatigued.  It is easier to recover your energy by avoiding to…
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Relaxing is Healthy

Relaxing is Healthy

Occupational
How often do we need to remind ourself that relaxing is healthy? It's an activity worthy to be scheduled in. Europeans do. They shut down businesses for up to 6 hours after noon. Sweden recently introduced a six hour working day (Matharu 2015).  Leisure is one way we occupy our time within those everyday life activities (AOTA 2014). This occupation role holds significance value as with work, household management, education, socializing, etc. Improve health and productivity by incorporating the occupation of leisure into your occupational lifestyle. A recent study of 600,000 global men and women found those working 55 hours or more had a 33% greater risk of a stroke.  A visually inviting green space, a flower filled office rest area, or even a nearby stoop by a bush creates a sense…
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