Wellbeing Design Diary: Process

Wellbeing Design Diary: Process

Design Diary
Which sounds appealing: Health By Program or Health By Process? Google defines 'program' as a planned series of future events, items, or performances. Alternatively, 'process' is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. Do programs engage creativity? Programs follow plans: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. A universal skill I learned as an industrial designer is design thinking. It's problem-solving process. First of all there is an idea. Also, there is a user. Finally, there is an accomplishment. Design thinking gets into the brains and guts of the details between those three. As a result are solutions that free user's to How To Be An Effective Multigenerational Workforce A process follows a series: a number of things, events, or people of a similar kind…
Read More
Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Design Diary
How is mental and physical awareness important to health, relationships, a meaningful life? WholeBeSM is a process used personally and shared as a coach. 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. Design Sensibility 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. So, by using this…
Read More
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…
Read More
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,…
Read More
18 Diet Resources That Will Empower Your Life

18 Diet Resources That Will Empower Your Life

Physical
Are you fed up with your eating habits? Are you tired of feeling bloated or depleted of energy? We've got 18 diet resources listed below that will empower your life. Doctor Norm Boeve has witnessed the strain obesity contributes to a person's skeletal system and overall health. "Everything you put in your mouth works toward either health or disease. Think 'Is this bad for me'?" Doctor Boeve is a retired orthopedic surgeon who now spends a portion of his time writing in publications and presenting on the importance of choosing to live a lifestyle for health prevention. Below are diet books and websites Boeve recommends.   The best "Starter Book"   How Not to Die (Prematurely) by Michael Gregor Excellent General Book    Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD For those seeking information…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Vanilla Is The New Superfood

Vanilla Is The New Superfood

Physical
Some of us at GIG have nixed sugar in support of improving performance. Seeking ways to get that 'sweet' something took a turn. It's not out of craving but joy. Jelly Belly's and licorice jelly beans are ultimate favorites. It's nearly impossible to push these past loves out of memory. Grocery stores stock end caps with every brand, flavor, and comic character. Matters get worse Easter season. Then...we rediscovered the vanilla bean. Immediately we dug into research about this saving sweet bean. Vanilla contains chemicals called vanilloids. They reduce inflammation. Stress causes inflammation which reduces mental performance. When stressed the body naturally releases an inflammatory protein (cytokine) to signal systemic inflammation behavior to other cells. Inflammation reduces brain function. The compounds in vanilla reduce stress when in its most natural state…
Read More
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…
Read More
Surrounded by Four Walls

Surrounded by Four Walls

Occupational
The best canvas in a room is a wall. Instead of believing you're surrounded by four walls, consider the ways you could put writing on the wall.  It's a designed greeting to direct the success you imagine. Below are ideas to get your creative started... [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"] DESIGN^under-responsive | Resting room designed with consideration for your best self if muted or delayed responses to daily sensory events[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="736"] DESIGN^sensory craving | bedroom design consideration to achieve your best self if with an insatiable drive for enhanced sensory experiences[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="736"] DESIGN^taste | ideas relevant to negative, avoidant, aversive, or defensive behaviors for food prep sensitivities.[/caption]
Read More
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…
Read More
Definition of Exploration

Definition of Exploration

Design Diary
I am exploring. I imagine “exploration” to be out at sea, going into caves or walking on lands I haven't even heard of.  I imagine screaming, “Ahoy captain! Take me to the closest island. I want to claim it as mine!”  I'm peering through a pair of binoculars. The island that I imagine is filled with an abundance of food, a toilet and all the amenities of typical American life. That island that I imagine probably doesn’t even exist and if it does, it probably belongs to some wealthy billionaire or royal heir.  I'll call these large scale explorations.  I'm outgrowing my sadness as I notice my definition of exploration is a lot different from "Indiana Jones" or "Gilligan’s Island". The scale of this world seems so much smaller. Maybe that’s a…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Earth Sets A Standard To Our Indoor Experiences

Earth Sets A Standard To Our Indoor Experiences

Design Diary
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of earth tones is: any of various rich colors containing some brown. This past week I drove across the country from Lake Havasu City, AZ back to upstate NY.  Despite the overflow of boxes, a hermit crab cage and toiletries from the backseat, we had an amazing trip.  The outside scenery flew by and changed frequently from day to day; everything from the desert to a slow and steady rain cloud that followed us.  We finally drove into New York in the middle of the night with nothing but black surrounding us with a soft hue of the moon covered by clouds. On The Drive, I realized how visually influenced I am.  It sets the tone for everything to follow.  The sight and sound…
Read More
What Is In Sight May Distract You

What Is In Sight May Distract You

Emotional
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…
Read More
Focus and Conquer Those Daily Intentions

Focus and Conquer Those Daily Intentions

Design Diary
During occupational therapy sessions this last week at the preschool we created a “Determine Your Session” game. The student was given a ball and had to throw it at one of the numbers located on the therapy mat. Once the number was determined, then that child had to do the activity that many times. For example, trace you name in four different colors, jump seven times on the trampoline or roll eight play dough snowballs. This got me thinking – how often does this realistically happen in life? Sometimes we are given several choices throughout our day or faced with daily options that are not too enjoyable. This tactic can help focus and conquer those great intentions. Recently, I was working with kids that have oral defensiveness and the thought…
Read More
The Value of Using Sick Days For Emotional Wellbeing

The Value of Using Sick Days For Emotional Wellbeing

Emotional
Through great adoration of my genealogy I commonly seek what the Dutch culture does in situations I'm faced with. The recent flu shot requirements in health care led me searching. The question here is what's the most effective way to prevent getting the flu? Illness arrives from a poorly kept immune system. Stress management, healthy diet, adequate exercise, an invigorating social life are excellent flu prevention tactics. The Dutch weigh in: "Loneliness could perhaps be overcome if the elderly helped pre-school children with language impairments improve their reading," was drafted into legislation as a proposal then posted in the Volkskrant newspaper. "Or a retired accountant in a wheelchair could help out at the local council's debt advice service." (the Telegraph) The Telegraph's Bruno Waterfield informed readers that Dutch health minister Martin van Rijn drafted…
Read More
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…
Read More
Creating a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Creating a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Physical
It's the process that creates a perfect cup of coffee...the aroma, color, shape, sounds and the movement and the location of where the coffee beans are stored or the drive to the cafe. It's all sensory data that is registered in your brain. RadioLab airs how the brain interprets this by using the metaphor music.  The entire broadcast is worth the hour listen, but if your short on time skip forty-four minutes into RadioLabs play-by-play of creating a cup of coffee within the sensory interpretation. Coffee-lovers are stimulated when they hear the word coffee.  Nutritionally, its a completely different playing field. My focus here isn't on how coffee nourishes but to begin a conversation about the effect of creating a cup (or four) may be equally gratifying without drinking it.…
Read More
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…
Read More
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. …
Read More
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!"…
Read More
Food Can Be A Trigger

Food Can Be A Trigger

Physical
It is that season when there is always something baking in the oven or a tea kettle boiling for tea or cocoa. Family mealtimes are emphasized and social gatherings are regularly scheduled. The work offices are stocked up with cookies or treats in shining, foil wrappers. Holiday treats and celebrations bring a sense of community, nurture our bodies and feed our soul. But what about those who have difficulties or disordered eating habits? The increase in food can be a trigger or stir up anxieties. Recently, I found out a person very close to me was having such difficulties.  She reported always having such emotional pain followed by physical pain of overeating and then ultimately this effected her self-worth.  This was difficult to discuss and shows bravery on her part.…
Read More
Health Significance of the Fall Season

Health Significance of the Fall Season

Physical
The fall season begs for the sight of leaves changing color, cool air and sweaters. In warmer climates fall nods to seasonal produce, like pomegranates, brussels sprouts, and pumpkins.  Everywhere, school buses and shorter days hint to a summer gone. The health significance of the fall season lies in transitioning. Change may take form as a battle of self-control. Since transition is adjusting to change like paying heating bills, eating starchy foods, or rising earlier to miss heavy traffic it may bring feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness. Food may be your friend for transitioning to change. Since food is a daily relationship it may be a simple starting point to attend health significance of the fall season. Consider incorporating these three categories of food into your balanced diet.  ALERTING FOODS…
Read More
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…
Read More
Connect the Dots to Relief

Connect the Dots to Relief

Intellectual
This past week, I attended a course that focuses on preventing and managing undesirable behaviors.  As part of the exercise it stated: Connect all dots using two lines: . . .   Fairly easy. It creates a line.  Next was connecting two rows of dots, for a total of six dots.  The instructions read: Connect using 4 lines: .             . .             . .             .   It created a square.  Not too challenging just yet.  The last challenge was to still only: Use four lines to connect 9 circles:   I am a very literal person so I assumed the idea was to have every dot connecting to every other dot.  Therefore it…
Read More
Our Gut Brain

Our Gut Brain

Physical
Who said we feed more than one brain? The butterflies. Those feelings that begin in our stomach plays one part by our second brain. That's right - the one in our gut. Here's how this breaks down. Our gut houses a system called the enteric nervous system. It communicates to our head brain feelings that exceed hunger. Our head brain directly communicates to our gut brain the conversion of sensations to feelings. This information exchange regulates hormone secretion. Stress strains our mood-regulating hormone, serotonin, by a whooping 95%! Organs suffer from that much serotonin. Stress is as common as life choices. It's not bad. The culprit is how we prepare for stress and manage it when it happens. Take action with healthy votes. One is preparing for stress like proper nutrition, the sight…
Read More
Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

Social
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…
Read More