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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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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Work Has Fragile Elements

Work Has Fragile Elements

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

The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

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

Tolerance in Day to Day Life

WholeBe Toolkit
The word "tolerance" is used in many ways. On the largest of scales, we have seen it used as a stepping stone for social issues.  Change begins with tolerance then leads to awareness of differences, integration, and celebration of these differences. What role does tolerance play in your day to day life? Sometimes it is a bad movie, or  the extra pile of laundry.  You fit in an extra errand in before making it home.  Often these little areas are “tolerated” but is that enough?  To go day-in-day-out just tolerating may be limiting us in the long run.  One day, a stack of laundry may be the final straw that causes you to snap.  The bad movie may turn into frustration overload.  The extra errand could lead to exhaustion, falling asleep at the wheel, or…
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Lifestyle Impact

Lifestyle Impact

Physical
Consider this: your daily lifestyle begins and builds upon what you see and seek. Do you agree? If yes, you are in the company of medical generalists such as family practice physicians and pediatricians who graduated from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. The American Medical Association is on board with ACLM's mission to change daily living patterns and habits that support improvements to our health. Occupational therapy practitioners also agree. Traditionally our focus includes preventive contexts of daily activities, habits, patterns and routines. Lifestyle impact exceeds co-dependency on self-help books or eastern medicine. Our idea here is first a genuine self-assessment of your senses to benefit healthy lifestyle impact. This can be accomplished through the sensory impact of the products and spaces you use. Know your behaviors then begin…
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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 is Healthy

Alone Time is Healthy

Spiritual
The word "alone" can mean different things. For instance, the self-employed person uses "alone time". Going through your morning routine, doing a crossword puzzle, or cleaning the house are all activities done during "alone time". Most parents would be ecstatic to have an hour of alone time. However, there are other times that being alone can be uncomfortable or down right scary. Being alone can resonate with our spiritual core. We believe our health depends on spirituality. It helps us establish values, adhere to our beliefs, and discover ways to thrive. Spirituality empowers us as we find our purpose. Alone time is healthy. We all experience it. It is what we do with it that can help us grow and succeed. So, if you're not utilizing your "alone time" to…
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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 process 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. Design Sensibility is taught with our WholeBeSM Toolkits.…
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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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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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Base Color on Emotional Solution

Base Color on Emotional Solution

Emotional
If you have the time, go to Google Images to search 'earth tones'.  The top 10 images include graphic design, tile, fabric, craft ink, stamp ink, fine art, a social website, makeup, and the Earthtones CD cover is, of course, earth tones. Creative use of color may be one tool to living healthier. Here are five considerations to base color on emotional solutions. When it comes to bedroom design, the Home Buying Institute says, "Earth tones are always a safe color that will appeal to the majority." The San Francisco Gate nods to this idea, including that "earth tones are frequently used in craftsman, bungalow and modern architecture. Light earth tones in shades of sand or beige help a small bedroom look larger and brighter." In fashion, earth tones are ever present. They…
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Four Remarkable Movements to Avoid Standing Fatigue

Four Remarkable Movements to Avoid Standing Fatigue

Occupational
We've been blogging on the huge trend for using standing tables. One type of modified stance we need to bring in to conversation is to lock the knees. There have been incidences where individuals had fainted after locking their knees when standing for long periods of time. Occupational therapy practitioners teach individuals about fall prevention and also educate people about safe postures. For someone who is anemic or have hypotensive(low blood pressure),  they are more susceptible to “orthostatic hypotension”.  Some call it dizzy spells, orthostasis, postural, headrush or lightheadedness.  Basically, what happens is that blood pools downwards down to your feet and not to enough to the brain (cerebral perfusion) when there’s a change in body position.  Usually, it may take about a minute for the blood pressure to equalize. Four movements that relieve standing…
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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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Six Ways to Be Brave With Siblings

Six Ways to Be Brave With Siblings

Social
The sibling bond is instrumental to health. According to the Prevention Research Center: in childhood and adolescence, siblings spend considerable time together, and siblings' characteristics and sibling dynamics substantially influence developmental trajectories and outcomes. A friendly acquaintance is much more tolerable than a sibling acquaintance. There's no history of who made dad angry! So, how do you get to know your siblings? There may be an early relationship history with less contact once in college. I've been utterly appalled to witness the power of family maliciousness at times of trauma or illness. Standing over a loved one being aggressive or violent is poor support during hospitalization. Are you resentful of your sibling? A worthwhile mental health question is: am I holding a grudge? Make a list to confess the anger. I keep an ongoing list then cross…
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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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Five Lunch Packing Ideas For Time Management

Five Lunch Packing Ideas For Time Management

Physical
I used to either eat out or eat garbage - frozen lunches with high nitrate and sodium - but then I would see my colleague with an array of or colorful vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Some signs of disservice to myself that I had noticed after lunch was that I was extremely lethargic and craved salt. Two sure signs of dehydration. Being able to time manage and pack a decent lunch is becoming less and less common. People find themselves with malnutrition, high cholesterol, and all that comes with a poor diet.  However, just like any other occupation, OT's view meal prep as part of instrumental activities of daily living. Throwing a frozen burrito or TV dinner in your lunch bag is not necessarily meal prep. It's conveniently lazy. …
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Quit Being Pathetic. Plan To Provoke Leisure With Blissful Sensations.

Quit Being Pathetic. Plan To Provoke Leisure With Blissful Sensations.

Intellectual
It seems there are times in the year that just seem chaotic.  It can be an increased momentum within your personal life, a sudden heavy load professionally or certain once-in-a-lifetime events.  Wedding season, anyone? Planning comes naturally to some.  I grew up in a family where a little bound book documented everyone’s life.  We all knew where we needed to be if we saw the initial to our first name within the family planner. But certainly this may not be genetic or even learned for some of us. Many people plan to prevent, such as preventing bankruptcy during retirement or even preventing an empty fridge by stopping at the grocery store at the end of the work day. Often overlooked is planning to take care of ourselves - whether through…
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