Why Inhaling Lavender or Coffee Effects Work

Why Inhaling Lavender or Coffee Effects Work

Occupational
Inhaling scents directly effects moodiness. A scent like coffee may become a game changer in the workplace. Yet, which scents are truly helping or hindering work? Unity, health, and confidence may be produced by just one scent. We may create a common place by using external factors because they effect each of our internal factors. This second annual bean report in celebration of Easter reveals inhaled effects from the scents of lavender and coffee. A bean and a bud captures the essence of Easter in a variety of ways. The emphasis here is the need to do: plant it to produce. Did you know 'GIG' is the acronym for 'Good Is Ground'? Similar to beans and buds, when the terrain is fitting the crop produces. Scent aids in changing behaviors. A drafted scent can produce improved performance. Within…
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Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Design Diary
How is mental and physical awareness important to health, relationships, a meaningful life? Wellbeing Design identifies the method and process used personally and shared as a consultant. Perfection is unattainable, so the method repurposes passion. In conclusion,  rewards of victory! There are effective nuggets of this method and process. This diary will share what, how and why wellbeing + design is effective. Creative wellbeing is the process of awareness of the person, tasks, and environments that play a part to current and future health. Furthermore, it's an exploration of physical, occupational (activities), intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional values. This process heightens awareness to health barriers, health resources and results in healthy habits. Disclaimer: This is my journey. A friend of mine shared a term one doctor uses to describe a person's lifestyle: circus.…
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The High Cost Of Work Burdening The Basic Need For Sleep

The High Cost Of Work Burdening The Basic Need For Sleep

Workplace
Imagine what your lifestyle will be like when you are ninety years old. Is it burdening basic needs due to the high cost life's chaos presents or is it polar opposite? Will you substitute work at ninety for other activities or will you reel in all that work from today as a trophy, to sit up high beside you while you rest in hammock with a cold beverage in hand? Older adults ability to feel satisfied and participate in meaningful activities or engage in social activities are protected by poor sleep. Their daytime inactivity, and poor health are contributors to poor sleep. What habits have been created to protect the basic need for sleep? We physically and mentally respond differently when sleep is poor. Adhering to sleep basics within younger years…
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Which of These Fuels the Ability to Focus?

Which of These Fuels the Ability to Focus?

Physical
It's the start of one of those work day's that required every effort to make it to the gym. There's the smell of coffee lingering at work mixed with the aroma of fresh bagels beside a buffet of cream cheese choices. The apples don't have any odor but their shiny appearance jogs memory of the juicy crunch behind it's skin. Which of these fuels the ability to focus? Recently we did an experiment with the various fuel octane types used to fuel the SUV. The manufacturer recommended 91 octane. With 89 Octane the fuel burned faster then what 93 provided. The recommended premium octane proved to save in efficiency at four more miles per gallon. Every vehicle manufacturer identifies what octane is optimal for vehicle performance. Claim your stake as being…
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How to Stop The Floundering Or Agonizing Meetings

How to Stop The Floundering Or Agonizing Meetings

Workplace
Finished projects bring moments of exhilaration for all involved. True joy arrives with quality outcomes. Do these feelings occur after collaborative meetings? Engaged individuals actively listening and vulnerably sharing empowers productive, creative progress. Collaborative engagement with everyone at the table produces quality end goals: powerful strategies, innovative products, increased revenue. A recent report shared Steelcase coined the phenomenon ‘Presence Disparity’. It was pointed out this compromises innovative workflow and timely productivity. Presence Disparity is when telecommuters physically experience a compromising difference when virtually collaborating. Examples included missing verbal and visual content due to background noises or poor quality live stream video. Mentally, physically, and emotionally taxed individuals lose productive opportunities for empowered creativity and revenue-building strategies. People fully engage when body senses are prepared to mentally interpret content. Presence Disparity is a macro-sensory productivity…
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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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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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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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Be Whoever She Wants To Be – A Meditation

Be Whoever She Wants To Be – A Meditation

Design Diary
Sleeping Beauty   No blanket can cover a hard days work Stories of strength behind each line Tucked between her furrowed brows   Rosy, rusty, deep bronze shadows Wiped clean. Flesh reveals her glow   She doesn't acknowledge This natural state. No powder, no grease, nor chiseled face;   All an illusion for power must prevail Twists and turns all night. It's a struggle Keeping it together. she could not fail.   Unwinding thoughts, broken spokes; Clock per ticks to hands awake.   Nothing and everything happens in between these hours. Fading fast. Glimpse of strings Connect alarming buzz in disguise repeated too soon cycled beautifully to open her glassy eyes.   Piercing glances, she picks up her Brush to paint her story. To face. She sees whom she cannot…
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Tea: An Inexpensive, Medicative Commodity

Tea: An Inexpensive, Medicative Commodity

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

Getting to Bed

Physical
Of course it is best to get those seven to eight hours of sleep in for the next day to run smoothly. The tricky part in achieving this is to pulling yourself away from your to-do list or the mindless moment prior to bed time. Recently, chronobiologists found that we have two types of body clocks. One reason getting to bed may be difficult is because your personal clock is socially directed toward your body's opposite needs (Keller and Smith 2014). This means practicing self-control when it comes to your attention and effort. To say, "I'm getting to bed early tonight," is a start, yet self-control requires physical methods to make a set bedtime a reality. Our brain works by patterns. To activate change it needs an inter-connection across the non-conscious and conscious domains (Charlesworth and Morton…
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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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Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Design Diary
It took me awhile to figure out why I hated wearing my glasses, why my eyes got so tired as a young girl.  I was born with medial strabismus, a hereditary trait that causes cross-eye.  With modern day surgical techniques I was able to follow family footsteps in correcting ocular alignment. My brother's surgery resulted with an eye infection. Subsequently, he had permanent damage with blindness in one eye for his lifetime. My 'cosmetic' surgery was considered successful, still risky, leaving me with residual visual issues. One is intermittent reading. As a toddler I wore eye glasses or eye patches and followed the nagging of my mother to do eye exercises. These techniques strengthened my ocular muscles.  At one years old I had my first surgical procedure. The second at age sixteen brought self confidence…
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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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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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Sensibility

Sensibility

Spiritual
Have you danced without music? Recently, in the midst of what I hoped to be a long pause with online radio, I continued to dance without music. My hope was 'my sensibility will improve'. Just what is sensibility? It's the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences. A lack of sensibility may impede performance with misguided responses, lack of attention, or situational discernment. So how does one strengthen sensibility? When athletes strengthen skill they first recognize their weakness. Scientists have proven that when a performer focuses attention externally rather than internally then performance is enhanced. If it's a sprinter with a speed weakness then their mindset is 'imagining the ground as a hotplate' not 'striking with your forefoot'. In parallel, an example to strengthen a work…
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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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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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Awareness of the Passage of Time

Awareness of the Passage of Time

Intellectual
Awareness of the passage of time will determine how you spend your time. "Even in the absence of time pressure, maintaining a coherent train of thought requires discipline." Awareness of the passage of time requires intellectual work. It's easy to get distracted by your surroundings. The above is a quote from the book "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. His research (identified as 'system 2') on awareness shines light on why we make certain decisions. Kahneman writes, "People who are cognitively busy are also more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations. Memorizing and repeating digits loosens the hold of System 2 on behavior, but of course cognitive load is not the only cause of weakened self-control. A few drinks have…
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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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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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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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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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What It Takes To Sleep

What It Takes To Sleep

Physical
Our sleep patterns are effected by stress, our daily activities and prep-for-bed routines. Here's what it takes to sleep by visiting our sleep environments: The National Sleep Foundation Sleep Report Card states that 90% people watch TV before going to bed, 33% are on the computer.  Their Fact Sheet states the bedroom is for two things only: sleep and sex. Their tip: Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable. Think window treatment fabric and quality, materials to dampen sound (i.e.: carpet, wall insulation, noise-reduction product). OT Idea: Know sleep and rest are an occupation you're responsible for. Understand your sensory needs then create sleep and rest environments to support an ease into sleep, to maintain sleep without disturbance, to accomplish a full night (7 to 8 hours) of sleep. Examples…
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Overcome Floundering With These Seven Sleep Basics

Overcome Floundering With These Seven Sleep Basics

Design Diary
The American Occupational Therapy Association dedicated an entire issue to sleep.  Rightfully so, it usually takes up a third of our day, if you're lucky.  Within the article, it is cited that 10-15% of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia and 5% suffer from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Those statistics are alarming - there are a lot of sleep-deprived people driving, working and attempting to function in everyday life.  Certainly good habits around sleep are important but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sleep Basics Make sure the bedroom is a restful place.  Have inviting comfortable linens, a heavy blanket, your favorite pillows. Avoid stimulants or exercising 2 hours before bed.  But do be sure to include exercise daily to help establish an appropriate sleep rhythm. Establish a consistent nighttime routine and…
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Undo Cruel Food Obsession. Seize Life With These Five Tactics.

Undo Cruel Food Obsession. Seize Life With These Five Tactics.

Physical
The day began with a mess of disorganization. Our team was out of synch and it cost valuable time. Every hour that morning another issue arose. The climax was financial catastrophe! This stress lead the team to emotional behaviors which created a different kind of work. Internal body regulating and mind work. The challenge was to remain calm through it all. Being overwhelmed with stressful feelings causes confusion. Emotions are a vital part of us to sort through problem-solving.  Suffering rears emotions from childhood experiences then initiates personal boundaries - healthy or unhealthy. Our primal instinct is to act for safety in seeking feelings of comfort. Feelings are stimulated by our senses. Our behavior is the reaction. Often people express a reaction by being "full of" an overwhelming feeling. "I'm full of excitement!"…
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Boost Sleep

Boost Sleep

Physical
All this social media talk about sleep. Is it overrated? Sleep is an occupation that directly supports its counterpart occupations like work, self-care, participation, education, and interdependent relationships. When you're unable to sleep an average of 7.5 hours daily occupations may face an uphill climb to simply focus then act. The less or more sleep the steeper the hill to being productive or to be at your best performance (Hublin et al 2013). Recently, I've been burrowing stress and it's surfacing. I can't fall asleep! Do you sympathize? Share your story in the comment section below with that remedy (or others) that worked. Perhaps, you're a pro! Any routine may remedy next day blahs. But is it creating a healthy lifestyle for gracefully aging? Let's beginning with the notion of…
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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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