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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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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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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Wellbeing Design Diary: Sound

Wellbeing Design Diary: Sound

Design Diary
What's one sound that doesn't persuade you to look up from a task? Wellbeing design addresses sounds that distract and motivate. After all, our sensations are a necessary support. Creative wellbeing aligns sensory desires with goal achievements. One distractive sound addressed in recent years is smartphone notifications. How do you react when your favorite song is played? Or when a person is shouting from anger? Wellbeing improves through sound factors. Julian Treasure identifies how sound effects our physiological, psychological, cognitive, and behavior responses in his brief TED talk The 4 ways sound affects us. Additional  supportive research identifies changing, modifying, and masking sound agents will improve productivity, health, and wellbeing. Sound is found to effect all human achievements because or body responds to it in negative or positive ways. Diary Laughter…
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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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Remedies For The Pain To Stop

Remedies For The Pain To Stop

Intellectual
Prepare for severe, future health issues if pain or numbness in the hand, arm, leg or foot is ignored. Pain remedies may cause transference of the core issue at hand (pun intended). Below are three safe remedies for the pain stop. Googling remedies will bring an assortment of opinions and facts. How do you know who to believe or which to follow? Any body or mind symptom is best addressed by a skilled, licensed medical professional. Credit is due to alternative professionals that spend an exceeding amount of time in specific self-care realms. Although, without the proper education or training a mistreatment or misguidance may occur. 1) Weigh in multiple opinions with an interdisciplinary team. Specialized professionals may miss an alternative perspective. The value of a team approach reduces error. I've…
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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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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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Have You Seen Sensory Integration Improve Work Results?

Have You Seen Sensory Integration Improve Work Results?

Workplace
Recently I watched this hilarious story that James McAvoy shared on the BBC Graham Norton Show. In his attempt to vulnerably communicate to a recipient who spoke a different language he appeared to confess the forbidden. If you have seen or experienced sensory integration improve work results then James' experience is relatable. Sensations are like languages. Sensations affect the end result. Check out this list of sensory scenarios. When laying in bed while reading a book you become sleepy. When you smell coffee you want to taste it or become alert. When you put on formal clothing you become empowered. Every body has a unique inner-dialogue between sense and perception. Similar to a foreign language, an experience to one person is likely completely opposite to another but it's within the same…
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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 To Use Fear to Motivate Performance

How To Use Fear to Motivate Performance

Emotional
Shaming fear is squandering one's ability to thrive. Fear is common. How do you and your culture use it? An atmosphere the supports the wellbeing of their employees and their families allows fear into the workplace. This act is endorsed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Americans with Disabilities Act. Healthy initiatives breaks down lifestyle and disease barriers where fear presents itself. Addressing the need of how individuals problem-solve begins with how they are solving their own life issues. According to existing research a culture that invests in health and wellbeing knowledge-sharing has improved employee engagement. That affirms James' adventurous story to overcome his fear. The same research cited telecommuters as a more disciplined group to engage. The question is are they engaging in healthy resources? Who is facilitating directives that reduce…
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Think of Your Health As If It Were Your Employee

Think of Your Health As If It Were Your Employee

Occupational
Following 173 pages of short stories, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki instantly empowers.  At the time I read this finances were strained but there was a quick reveal for motion into better health by page two. Robert's first proficient fact: schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, not money or finance. Where the reveal occurred was as Robert shared the difference between two influential men to his upbringing. One, a father-figure he began to model. The second, his natural father who was loving but had a different way of living than the other. Robert compared the influence of his two fathers: ...one dad had a habit of saying, "I can't afford it." The other dad forbade those words to be used.  He insisted I ask, "How can I afford it?" One…
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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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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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30 Details On Health Costs

30 Details On Health Costs

Workplace
Health Benefits manager Lisa Mrozinski at Robert W. Baird & Company said, “You may think you’re really healthy, but until you go through the process we can provide, you may not be aware that you’re pre-diabetic or have high cholesterol.” This quote was cited in the book The Grassroots Health Care Revolution by John Torinus Jr. Do you or your employees have a process to learn if they are genuinely healthy then achieve personal goals? Here are 30 details on health costs John shared through his book to remind us of the integrity of providing health improvement services: United States of America health costs are 2x per capita of anywhere else in the world. Increased national health care costs then reduced money spent for education, research & development, public safety, environmental improvement,…
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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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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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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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Lighting Conditions

Lighting Conditions

Occupational
My best friend is a lighting genius. Wherever we go, he is certain to make spot-on, insightful observations of the lighting.   He also has a keen ability to capture light in even the simplest of photos taken on his phone. Light was never something I paid much attention to. I knew that I loved to take outdoor breaks throughout the day, but I attributed the invigorating feeling to fresh air and soaking up some Vitamin D from the sun. Then, last year I found myself in a job where I spent a lot of time on the computer. I was in a tiny room with drawn blinds. The only source of light came from the undersurface of cabinets anchored above our work desks. For the first time in my life, I was…
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Communication Problems at Work

Communication Problems at Work

Social
"That's it! My sister and I are on a sabbatical!" These words were spoken over the phone the other day by someone near to my heart.  They were hard words to hear considering both persons are absolutely lovely. With that being said, we have all had times in our life where relationships have been toxic and the need for a timeout has been in order. Peers in the workplace bring diversity. It's difficult to put a timeout in place with them. Communication problems at work requires quick solutions for meeting common goals.  So how do you bring about healthy communication following a problem?   Answering these questions may help: Am I able to listen or am I still too heated? Am I aware of my tone? Aware of my language? Aware…
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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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Aesthetics and Functionality

Aesthetics and Functionality

Emotional
Do you believe what you see may change behavior?  Aesthetics engage our sight. We may identify with its beauty, coziness, charm. These words prime feelings.  Feeling that 'sense' of beauty responds with behaviors like hugging, tasting, smelling, or jumping up and down. There's a flip side. Sight also triggers behavior responses for safety, avoidance, or adversity. Cozy to one may be a deep-seeded threat to another. Interior design is an ideal way to nourish desires. When rooms or offices are designed without the user, it fragments personal needs based on opinions on aesthetics and functionality. Designer's opinions are helpful to convey a feeling, a 'look', and to support the functionality of a space. Pinterest, Houzzz, and  blogs may be helpful resources to piecing together a design plan. There's a story people buy…
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Eyes on Screens

Eyes on Screens

Occupational
This last week I've spent more time on my computer than usual.  I have certainly felt accomplished but after a few days in a row, I realized my eyes hurt.  For many working people, staring at a computer for several hours is the norm in the workplace. That means, hours of screen time not including late night television binges, texts to friends, or surfing the net for recipes. Some side effects of all this time spent with our eyes on screens can be eye strain, headaches, or vision changes. If continued long term it can lead to potential health risks. Below are some strategies for screen time usage: CONTEXT Connect -meet in an environment that supports listening to a person instead of texting; be certain any screen is at least 20-40 inches away; invest…
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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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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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Wake Up in the Morning

Wake Up in the Morning

Physical
Estimating time is a skill that improves as we age. Neuroscientists support through research that our brain triggers this skill while we sleep (Aritake and  Higuchi 2012). It helps us wake up on time. We are capable of ending sleep accurately, up to ten minutes from the desired wake up time without an alarm clock. Non-REM sleep is a slow-wave type of sleep necessary for normal physical and intellectual performance and behaviors. Sleep deprivation causes the brain to activate sleep rebound or pressure responses. Reduced daytime activity and sleep disruption will respond with poor daytime performance (Trinidad and Miguel 2011). REM sleep supports your mood and memory. This sleep stage occurs repeatedly. Sufficient REM can nix the need for your alarm clock. Wake up in the morning!  Do you want to make it easier? Pay attention to daytime activity…
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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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Regulating Your Own Emotions

Regulating Your Own Emotions

Emotional
Within hours of drafting this, the emotional stories from those I love fell on my heart. It's unsettling to listen to the ache in a loved ones voice. The pain conveyed in expressing their dilemma is palpable. How do you help? If it's your emotional dilemma, what do you do? Strip those pre-conceived ideas of meditation to fully understand the health benefits. Research continues to flood us with data on necessary development of our brain function. Meditation supports regulating your own emotions by helping the brain handle various dilemmas like the following: pain tolerance, emotional control, feelings of tension, external distractions, fear of unknowns, physical issues, absenteeism, awareness of genetic diseases. For emotional wellbeing consider how and what you invest your time and resources in. These add up as ways we medicate suffering or celebrate purpose. The investments to medicate with 'things' pays out…
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Why Context Is Most Important to Harmonize Censored Cultures

Why Context Is Most Important to Harmonize Censored Cultures

Workplace
What do you do when you experience stress from a colleagues behavior? In childhood, we learned through our community and at home what to do with bullies or annoying people. Those environments created our socioeconomic and fraternal personality features. Any feature of yourself that is not part of a health condition or health status is defined as the personal context that influences performance (WHO 2001). GIG Design Consultants observe and service all of the following contextual factors: Expectations of Culture, Personal Beliefs and Customs, Behavioral Standards, Demographics, Stage of Life and History, Relationship to Time, and The Non-Physical: Simulated, Real-time, and Near-time. Our gender and education level are demographics that overlap into personal beliefs and customs. Personal context at an organizational level includes stages of life including millennial, retired or…
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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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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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Create a Trust Environment

Create a Trust Environment

Intellectual
I remember what I was wearing, the room I was in, the furniture, the color...the smells. Past memories surface when least expected. In a fleeting moment confusion may occur. The mind races towards how to direct behavior. A task or person may trigger past trauma, pain, or uneasy sensory memories. Aware or not, everything registers in to the brain as a memory (ASA 2014). So colors, objects, people, patterns - anything in the line of sight (and peripherally), smell, taste - all registers as 'data'. The brain organizes this information to use as a response behavior. Trust is included in the life memory bank. Comfort, safety, restful environments or things are included as trustful. This intellectually driven method aids to establish trust. Conflict resists trust. The brain organizes conflict into 'fight'…
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How to Empower Your Destiny by Seizing These Helpless Moments

How to Empower Your Destiny by Seizing These Helpless Moments

Social
I love receiving packages in the mail.  With every opened package it feels like an undocumented holiday.  This last week my laptop was fixed and shipped back to me thus making last Wednesday officially Laptop Day for me! Thank goodness the delivery persons truly did handle my laptop with care so that it could be returned safely from across the country. This last week, I heard someone mention that we should handle all living things with care – including ourselves. This sounded so very simple. From the get-go the social golden rule was to always say “please”.  Being mindful of this throughout the week, I realized how much deeper it was than that. When the alarm went off, I wanted to sleep in and I initially thought Wow, second time this week! Twice during…
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Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

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Life is constantly changing around us.  Things like the temperature, lighting, and noises are always being processed.  Although a lot of this happens on an autonomic level, for persons with sensory processing concerns, standing still can be overwhelming and effect everyday function. Occupational therapist Catherine Armani-Munn, MS OTR/L explores the challenges of everyday functioning for kids and adults with sensory concerns. Bethany: What year & where did you graduate? Catherine: I graduated from Keuka College in a 5 yr masters program.  My undergrad was in Occupational Science and in 2010 I graduated with my masters in Occupational Therapy. I also got a minor in ASL (American Sign Language) in college which has helped me a lot in the field, especially working with the autism population. Bethany: What is  your background and…
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Texture Helps Us Make Sense of Our Environment

Texture Helps Us Make Sense of Our Environment

Design Diary
  Since being sold in the 1990s, the family farmhouse has changed hands twice and continues to be renovated. My German relatives originally came to NY in 1904 to start a farm and family.  This last week I was able to go back to visit with my Yaya (grandmother) and boyfriend.  All the memories of the interior were vivid but there was no longer that physical reminder.  Outside, the barns still stood but were certainly in a further state of collapse and seemed so much smaller compared to my memories. Over a diner breakfast, Yaya reminisced and mentioned that her favorite rooms in the house were her bedroom and the kitchen.   As she talked about why, she consistently got hung up on the feeling of the quilt, lighting, the kitchen…
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Contribute to the Wellbeing in Your Community

Contribute to the Wellbeing in Your Community

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Wellbeing is similar to a life novel. Each year is a new chapter. Every experience is etched into our brain's fibers. The nervous system relies on each etching like the blind depend on brail to read. This flow - experience, brain processing, behavior output by the nervous system - creates a life rhythm. As life plays out it artfully ascends into metaphors or teachable moments for onlookers. Self-awareness may rattle that life rhythm when a discovery parallels one's own circumstances. Do you document your life experiences? Family trees, journaling, painting, scrapbooking only name a few ways people document their joy and pain. How might your experiences be connected to past family members? Is your ancestries hardship or joy etched into your being? There's beauty to a statuesque pile of journals…
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