How To Stimulate Meaningful Performance Choices

How To Stimulate Meaningful Performance Choices

Choosing day-to-day activities become a quality of life that is meaningful to you. Occupational Therapists facilitate performance goal setting for achieving a desired quality of life. This includes leisure activities that are meaningful. Whether your leisure activity be cooking, painting, dancing or photography they stimulate meaningful performance. Leisure occupations improve performance through periods of rest to recuperate from taxing work roles. Meaningful choices become therapeutic to daily performance. Below are photos to provide examples of things that are meaningful to me. 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 to changes of the environment. Sunset over Elliot Bay. Seattle sunsets are beautiful. I remember the exact moment where I had to stop and take this photo because it gave me peace in the moment of chaos. The scene was just that perfect blue monochromatic frame. All I...
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The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

“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). 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). The workplace is a community I'm passionate about. Work demands are conditions part of my mission. Occupational justice is vague to most, yet sticks to my bones like muscles. Too many people understand occupation to mean career or job instead of a way of spending time. According to occupational science,...
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Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Methods to ‘Calm Down’

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 same. Mia Cinelli discovered pressure is one calming method that worked for her. Her idea is her unique calming language.  If that's not the case for you, what are one or two healthy...
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How to Blend Personal and Work Roles

How to Blend Personal and Work Roles

Are you in the right role? Role models are excellent resources to setting measurable standards. They help identify the set of skills and experiences necessary for a specific role. Identify the roles in the following story. Which shared similar skills as the king? 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 it could not bear grapes like the grapevine. The grapevine was determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and produce fruit as large as peaches.  The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.  And so it went throughout the garden. Yet coming to a violet, the...
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Performance Growth Once Boredom Is Detected

Performance Growth Once Boredom Is Detected

Boredom is an experience many people avoid. This clinician researched "doing, being and boredom" in 1,500 young subjects. His summary: they were bored 42% of the time with only 10% of their time being spent doing 'productive' work. The difference appeared to be how the recipients used their time: passive leisure self-care education, and labor force. In the Lego Movie the characters created an activity because they became bored in their relationships. Angry Dad hated his son's creativity. It interred with Dad's idea of play. At the end of the movie Dad identified his idea of being playful was a still scene of perfection. The son's idea of play was doing play. Once Dad understood the difference between their play perspectives his compassion moved them from a relationship that idolized boredom to one that appreciated doing and being creative play. Creativity engages doing play and being open to learning, caring, and alternative work behaviors. Questions to Ask:  ...
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Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Interior Design for Positive Aspects

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 wellbeing." Interior Design for positive aspects and results in your life.  Below are ideas that may kick start your creativity within to make some changes in and around your home or office. A...
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What Is In Sight May Distract You

What Is In Sight May Distract You

Try this: stand up, feet together, then close your eyes. Attempt to stay that way as long as your able to tolerate it while taking note to the feelings your body feeds you. Sight uses one of ten body structures in our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). It maintains and coordinates body functions. Researchers identified how sight effects organs phases of rest and activity. Below is the results (Willbarger and Willbarger 2012). Structure  | Rest & Digest | Fight-Flight Iris (eye muscle)| Pupil constriction | Pupil dilation Heart  | Rate & force decrease | Rate & force increase Stomach  | Increase peristalsis | Reduce peristalsis Lung  | Bronchial muscle contracts | Bronchial muscle relax Small Intestine | Digestion increase | Motility reduce Large Intestine  | Secretion/motility increase | Motility reduce Liver  | Antagonistic to glycogen | Conversion of glycogen ...
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Pain At My Shoulder

Pain At My Shoulder

This last Sunday I went to a yoga class filled with a variety of people.  Regardless of where you are at in life, the instructor gave the most simple and wholesome advice: know your body. It’s by knowing where you are strongest, where you have ached in the past, how you sleep every night, what your job tasks require, where your mind wanders. By knowing yourself, recognizing and being aware, we are able to evaluate and eventually bring changes. This leads me to my right shoulder. Over the past… 10 years… I have had on and off pain at my shoulder which has affected my posture and ability to walk long distances before experiencing pain. I know this of myself and at times I appreciate it and make changes and at other times, I carry a very large beach bag filled with books, drinks, laptops, etc. while wearing chintzy flip flops. Up until this point it has just been minor pain.  I do know...
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Sensation to React

Sensation to React

Being sensory defensive is a behavior response to stimulus - like noise, visual cues, textures, or touch. Certain stimulus may create barriers to performance. Occupational therapists are trained to identify ways to modulate the body or modify an environment for reducing the ugly effects or sensory defensive behaviors. We receive sensory defensiveness certification once we learn how to identify unique strategies that may change reactions to stimulus. Role-playing scenarios provides compassion for individuals struggling with defensive behaviors. One challenge was to lead a peer outdoors. Over ten minutes their eyes remained 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. The central nervous system gives the body an ability to sense the respond. Responsive behaviors are to foster feeling safe and comfortable. Coping techniques adjust feelings of fear or anxiety towards the sense of being calm and in control. Forms occupying work spaces may directly effect open or...
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Relaxing is Healthy

Relaxing is Healthy

How often do we need to remind ourself that relaxing is healthy? It's an activity worthy to schedule. Europeans do. They shut down businesses for up to 6 hours after noon. Sweden recently introduced a six hour working day (Matharu 2015).  Leisure is one way we occupy our time within those everyday life activities (AOTA 2014). This occupation is a role that holds significant value to work, household management, education, socializing, etc. Questions to Ask: How many times in one day is their a period of relaxation? Is it counterproductive to relax for five minutes an hour during a work day? What is involved in a period of relaxation? Does periods of relaxation cause the feeling of restlessness, as though it's 'waisting time'?   A recent study of 600,000 global men and women found those working 55 hours or more had a 33% greater risk of a stroke.  A visually inviting green space, a...
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Assure Freedom From Injury With This Effective Posture Checklist

Assure Freedom From Injury With This Effective Posture Checklist

I have a confession. I slouch when I use the computer. The longer I'm on the computer, the "slouchier" I get.  It's bad. I know.  Admitting the problem is half the battle. Alot of people use computers for work and/or leisure. It's practically a requirement for alot of jobs and for students. Though this instrumental activity of daily living (computer use) is also so common, we often dismiss the fundamentals of computer use. Forget the technical side of it. We are not talking about how good you're with excel or how savvy you are with social media.  Alot of computer classes may teach about computer use, but they rarely talk about posture and positioning of equipment. Lets focus on body alignment and posture.  These four resourceful questions liberate both mind and body before diving into each day of work: Are you slouching, leaning, hunched over, too close to the screen? Are you cocking your wrist while you type? Where is your monitor? ...
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Provoke Performance With Blissful Sensations

Provoke Performance With Blissful Sensations

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 leisurely tasks or sweating it out.  Given,there are things in life that are unpredictable as life can be but we can aim to prevention planning to some extent. Prevention is a powerful tool and...
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