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

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

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

Work Has Fragile Elements

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

The Power of Walking

Design Diary
Let's rewind to early morning this last week. Imagine being shaken awake for a sunrise walk. A walk! Initially, I was startled but threw my shoes on and made my way outside anyways. While walking through the park, looking at the trees and the pond, several things changed. My outlook towards the day was suddenly one of adventure and my body felt restored and recharged. I took a few deep breaths and kept walking along, taking in my surroundings. The power of walking and not only walking but walking outdoors is correlated to enhance overall well-being (Bratman et al 2015). Unfortunately, even just walking has to be built into our day. But what if we change our outlook on being outdoors and even walking. There's opportunity. It could be included…
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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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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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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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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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Increase Your Creativity

Increase Your Creativity

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

Social
I found myself in several situations this past week where I paused after speaking with someone. Suddenly, I wanted to know their story.  How they overcame and where they persevered.  Often, it seems a snapshot is all we get.  Pausing before venturing into deeper waters, sensitive to their time or hardships. I have been told that I ask questions others may not. For example, “What’s in your hands?” to the man in front of me at lunch.  “What is home to you?” to a friend moving across the country. Initially, I think of the long line of slightly nosey ladies in our family and the people standing next to them that shake their head slowly.  But these questions have power. So where is the line drawn between nosey and curious in relationships? Like so many areas…
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Two Behaviors Will Turn The Tables On Pointless Discomfort

Two Behaviors Will Turn The Tables On Pointless Discomfort

Social
If you don't own a dog, imagine your dog-sitting. Does the dog sleep in the bed with you? Now, enter this dilemma with an opposing view - the person who shares your bed. What do you do? The larger part of social happiness isn't emotion. It's mental arithmetic. The sum of your expectations, your ideals, and your acceptance of what you can't change determines everyday habits and choices. It steers wellbeing. Everyone's sum is unique.  Two behaviors will turn the tables on pointless discomfort. A healthy mind set and active listening are fundamental relationship skills. Flourish wellbeing towards happiness by empowering 'on-demand' mental shifting. Back to the dog dilemma. A flexible response is to share your sense of discomfort about the sleeping arrangements with your best friend who owns a dog and not…
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Role Models

Role Models

Social
Do you have a sense that you are in the right role? A role model sets measurable standards, yet your set of skills and experiences prepare you for a specific role. To start, consider what common values you have with your friends. Then consider who you enjoy spending your leisure time with the most. Those who reinvigorate you are fulfilling your genuine leisure role. Now, how does a leisure role show as healthy or harmful? There is a story of a king who went to his garden one morning, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was.  The oak said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine was troubled because…
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Losing Things Anxiety

Losing Things Anxiety

Design Diary
While on a laidback visit with family in Delaware, I came to a hard realization.  Something was not working. I was losing items left and right.  I was losing things like my jacket, the dog dish, and my glasses.  It was a wakeup call.  I became aware things needed to change because I knew it was my anxiety creeping in. Slowly, I put the pieces together to try and wrap my head around this. You would’ve thought that would be obvious after being on my sixth pair of sunglasses and looking at a jewelry box filled with missing earrings.  However, some lessons take longer to learn than others. Keeping track of things can be a full time job.  Luckily, I surround myself with very observant people and a boyfriend who always checks the couch cushion…
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Alone Time

Alone Time

Design Diary
While driving down I-90 with the music low, I took in everything new. Then I watched the yellow line patterns and the steady row of trucks chugging along.  It went from feeling fresh to quickly becoming monotonous. I grew eager to just be home. In that moment, I felt for those traveling as part of daily life - whether long trips on the road, maybe flying or just a timely commute. Over the past two years this has been the norm for my fiancé.  Fortunately, he handles this well because he connects quickly with new people and takes time to explore new places. Upon returning home, people often ask about stories from his travels and new experiences. More often than not in relationships in which one travels, other people tend to overlook…
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Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Physical
Have you read the book, The Five Love Languages? A psychologist recommended I read it in preparation for dating. One friend learned I read this book and exclaimed: 'That book is the wedding gift I buy for everyone!' It's understandable because Dr Chapman teaches a simple, physical aspect to relationship - 'love language'. “...Expressing love in the right language. We tend to speak our own love language, to express love to others in a language that would make us feel loved. But if it is not his/her primary love language, it will not mean to them what it would mean to us.” Dr. Gary Chapman What does this have to do with methods to 'calm down'? Love needs 'language' to emphasize its relational, an expression, an action. Calm needs 'down' to emphasize the…
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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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Respond to Anger with Kindness

Respond to Anger with Kindness

Occupational
We are unique! Our behaviors respond in different ways. At work leaders may tell you to respond to anger with kindness.  Effective communication is often interpreted as kindness. Put down the mental shot gun of using feelings about the subject, current mood, and impressions to achieve this (Kahneman 2011). Begin with understanding one's true nature. We respond with harmony or discord. Understanding one's personality and temperament helps develop healthy relationships. It enhances goal achievement. It enables you to respond to anger with kindness! If knowing one's true nature sounds like a winning solution to you, below is personality and temperament descriptives. Personality A collective of an individual's attitudes, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, social roles and other individual traits that are innate, predisposed and endure over a long period of time. We recharge one…
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Sensation to React

Sensation to React

Occupational
Sensory Defensiveness results in behaviors that create barriers to lifestyle performance. Occupational therapists are trained to reduce its ugly effects. At a Sensory Defensiveness certification we used role-playing to gain compassion to this behavior. We were challenged to lead one of our peers around the conference grounds for a total of ten minutes. The peer had to keep their eyes closed while the leader had free reign to command them to reach, stoop, step...any action to challenge a sensory experience into feeling lost or without defense. Humans have the ability to sense then behave through actions for safe, healthy cope techniques with all feelings. What we choose to put into our space may have a direct effect to being open or defensive (Cox, Burns, Savage 2004). It varies with each person.…
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Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

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

Journaling Proved To Heal Shame Trapped in the Past

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

How I Dynamically Liberate Spunk Day or Night

Design Diary
A good friend of mine once asked if I was a night owl or a morning lark.  This reference to my energy patterns was certainly thought provoking. After talking with many people – I realized how many people regard being a morning or evening person as part of their identity.  Lark verses night owl identities significantly results cultural meaning. Essentially, this relational category helps us gravitate towards specific relationships and accomplishments. My energy bursts seem to be in the morning, so one may say I'm a Lark. Sometimes I like to get myself organized and complete all essential tasks (laundry, cleaning, e-mails, workout) that expend a lot of physical or mental energy in this time frame. Evenings are always more geared to the quieter things I enjoy, including going for…
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Relationships By Unstable Expectations Creates Danger

Relationships By Unstable Expectations Creates Danger

Intellectual
Has Hollywood identified your ideal relationship? It did me. In 1999 Santa introduced me to Sex in the City. I got the full first season on VHS and those girls had me 15 minutes into Episode One. I was hooked! Freedom and vulnerability between women is like clean air to my lungs. These dynamics in friendship is euphoric. : Miranda: Why didn't I use a condom? Carrie: You didn't use a condom? Miranda: He has one ball, and I have a lazy ovary! In what twisted world does that create a baby? It's like the Special Olympics of conception. Although, setting up the 'ideal' relationship with expectations creates danger. No one is perfect. Consider an existing role within a quarrelsome friendship. Flush out all evidence of expectations of that person. Whats'…
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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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Eat To Be a Vigorous, Energetic Person

Eat To Be a Vigorous, Energetic Person

Physical
Home management and meal preparation are two tasks that are becoming a lost art. Women and men are prioritizing their career, parenthood, social life, exercise - prescribed chaos a minimum of 4 times a week without time to cook. Being well requires adjusting to new social norms. How do you manage food resources with new social norms?  Children's understanding of meals have evolved.  Take for instance juicing as a meal substitute. Nourishment is evolving.  Nutritional plans prioritize body needs with time management. Fiber is a major missing contributor to each meal. Juicing that extracts the whole food loses the fiber necessary for healthy digestion. No fiber equals havoc on the liver and hormones. Try one of these three ideas to keep nourishment in check with performance: Co-cook through a favorite cookbook…
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12 Posture Tips To Energize, Add Grace, Ease Aging

12 Posture Tips To Energize, Add Grace, Ease Aging

Occupational
Growing up I always remember my mother saying “Stand up straight!” or “Sit up!”  I certainly always tried to be conscious of this – especially since I only reached a maximum of only 5’ 4”.  My sister who hit an early growth spurt was a little more defiant. She hunched, slouched and bent over to be the height of her friends in photos and to meet classmates eye-to-eye. Now that wisdom has set in, I understand my posture will energize, add grace, and ease my aging process. Here are 12 posture tips I share with my clients. Posture portrays a lot. Postures often are circumstantial. Playing with kids versus meeting a new business partner secures a difference. Centering yourself during meditation is genuine posturing. Physical body appearance may portray confidence,…
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How To Stop Pathetic Future Meltdowns From Stress

How To Stop Pathetic Future Meltdowns From Stress

Spiritual
She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. -Elizabeth Edwards Spreading newspapers and pulling out handfuls of goopy seeds are the welcomed precursors to carving a pumpkin.  Next, time will be spent together at a large table, calling dibs on a favored leg or wing to eat while simultaneously someone slowly carves the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The next two months holds such focus on others: giving presents, cooking and creating New Year’s resolutions to better ourselves, the community and the organizations we believe in.  Carving time in our schedules for ourselves quickly goes by the wayside. It is easy to schedule a massage or a hair appointment and denote that time as “me time.” Often it is spread out,…
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Why Storytelling Results In A Creative Wellbeing

Why Storytelling Results In A Creative Wellbeing

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