Bedtime Strategies for 3 Different Sleep Issues

Bedtime Strategies for 3 Different Sleep Issues

Sleep hygiene a significant contributor to performance behaviors. Achieving optimal hygiene requires effort and perseverance. To illustrate how one might achieve sleep below are three stories about three different characters struggling with sleep: C. Want, C. Fear, and C. Loathe. “I want to sleep more.”  C. Want follows trends. Routines include variations of: caffeine to wake or to keep aroused, sugar for quick surges of energy, social media avenues to distract feelings, and typically saying ‘yes’ to everything. The body works naturally by following a biological clock that organizes by daylight patterns. Want an energetic rhythm. Set up necessary sleep hygiene for daytime napping and body-inspired bedtime cues. “I fear over-sleeping.” C. Fear delays going to bed. Routines include variations of: denying fatigue during evening hours, working more after dinner, laying in bed with the laptop or smartphone, and falls asleep on the...
Read More
Key Aspects to Achieving These Seven Leadership Values

Key Aspects to Achieving These Seven Leadership Values

Occupational therapy practitioners are found in a variety of industries outside of health care, including automotive, architecture and non-profit sectors. Jim Burns is a major in the U.S. Army as well as chief of O.T. at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado. He quoted Max Depree to support his opinion of what the key aspect of leadership is: selfless service. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality; the last is to say ‘Thank you.’ In between the two, the leader must become a servant." Burns integrates an abridged version of the U.S. Army's leadership development philosophy in his philosophy of these seven values: Discipline, Motivation, Altruism, Physical Fitness, Continuing Education, Creativity, and being Respectful. Values emphasize behavior patterns, goal setting, and communication. Each requires an internal force or the will to act. Collaboration and connection builds achievement. Social-being cues senses to form opinions. Design...
Read More
How Design Sensibility Impacts Performance Outcomes

How Design Sensibility Impacts Performance Outcomes

Dancing without music may appear as silly or odd. Dancing needs guided rhythm and music ignites an internal rhythm that may be expressed with movement. Design Sensibility unites mediums with sensations for best performance. The ability to improve performance through responses to sensations, complex emotional or aesthetic influences through the use of context, occupation and sense factors is design sensibility. Performance barriers may exist and misguide behavior responses including attention or situational discernment. Design sensibility offers the ability to detect an issue, identify an issue, then solve the issue. When athletes strengthen skill they first recognize their weakness. Scientists identify that when performance focused attention is externally rather than internally then performance is enhanced. If a sprinter's speed weakness then with design sensibility they may ignite a mindset to 'imagine the ground as a hotplate' in place of 'striking with your forefoot'. In parallel, an example to strengthen performance skill may be a mindset 'imagining words are ten dollars a piece' in...
Read More
Three Tips For Embracing Uncertainty to Improve Performance

Three Tips For Embracing Uncertainty to Improve Performance

Being open to the messiness of uncertainty is often difficult. Performance behaviors are patterns, routines, and habits. With challenges a natural course of reaction is common. An issue may be some behaviors are causing breaks in relationships, purpose, and health. With time and effort behaviors may change to repair and support teamwork, productivity, and competitive advantages. Performance sharpens by accepting ambiguity. Embracing mystery will build relationships, enhance purpose, and improve skills. Sensations following feelings to what may appear as a fuzzy or messy issue are often uncomfortable. Fear or doubt causes periods of rationalizing perceived risk factors. Sociology and psychologist author Malcolm Gladwell, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, and business woman Arianna Huffington revealed how sensations effect rational. Build Relationships "Good teaching is interactive. It engages the child individually. " Gladwell coined the Stickiness Factor towards a tipping point. Here he identifies building relationships to a child's learning process, which also mimics adult learning styles. "It uses all the senses. It responds to the child...once the advice became...
Read More
Gestalt Principles in Daily Life

Gestalt Principles in Daily Life

Gestalt isn't a regularly used term. Out WholeBeSM method repeatedly engages design sensibility to enable stress management. The following definitions explain why gestalt is so important and meaningful in your everyday life. The universal root + definition of Gestalt GERMAN | gestalt {form, shape} In 1920, German psychologists used this term when describing something that is greater or different than the sum of it's parts. Something that is unexplainable through depiction of it's parts. Unified in physical, psychological or symbolic elements to create a whole Charlotte Bunch once said, "Feminism is an entire world view or gestalt, not just a laundry list of women's issues." Artists and designers trigger "gestalt sightings" of something that isn't finished. However, your mind still connects it.  An example is: conn_ct_d   Your mind fills in the blanks. Our mind identifies a missing link and then completes it. This is something our  senses naturally do. Gestalt principles in daily life include continually filling in those blanks through being aware of...
Read More
Integrity in our Daily Life

Integrity in our Daily Life

Integrity is used to describe a person, place or thing. The WholebeSM process teaches integrity to act as a catalyst to design sensibility. The universal root + definition of Integrity LATIN | integer {intact} being morally upright the state of unity consistent in principal Zig Ziglar said, With integrity you have nothing to fear, nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt." Integrity in our daily life At some point in our lives we are tested.  In these moments our integrity is measured.  Integrity in our daily lives can be offensive to others. Examples of this are seen when activists stand by their principal, or artists remain sincere to their mission and are shunned. Our actions are based on our morals and determine our internal integrity. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-60245206-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); ...
Read More
Work May Trigger Repetitive Conflicts

Work May Trigger Repetitive Conflicts

Work behaviors are a distinct part of you. We may have control over our home environments but our work environments are a collaboration of peers. The workplace has a culture of unwritten values creating its community. Regardless of who or what sets the cultural tone, there will be things that trigger you out of your control into an unhealthy zone  (CompPsych 2013). There are strategies to prepare for this. Its those other ways you occupy your time that directly effect your behaviors. Sleep is one statistically proven strategy (Foster 2013). What other ways do you occupy your time? Play, the commute to work, or self-care routines are some.  When we walk over the threshold into the workplace we bring all of life's current events with us. This is natural with health consequences if avoided (Duke 2006). Relief to exist in the workplace includes evolving and creating strategies unique to your needs. The body functions to take in information, process it, then...
Read More
Smoking and Anxiety

Smoking and Anxiety

When I overlooked health to discover the joy of smoking there was an immediate bond. Not only did I have no desire to quit but it was a behavior that integrated into every one of my day-to-day functions. Habits may be useful, dominating, or impoverished. They may also interfere with performance in areas of occupation.* To support smoking I would dwell or create environments for it. Specific products suited for the behaviors of smoking were also in my surroundings. And that exceeds just ashtrays. I could smoke anywhere but the ideal experiences were in the comfort of it's suited intention: to distress, to relax, to problem-solve. A space, plus its surroundings - people included - supported my performance needs of smoking and anxiety. Alternatively to smoking and anxiety are those healthy-habit seeking reasons to create intentional environments in effort to achieve lifestyle goals. Our behaviors seek support in surrounding products, environments, and relationships. Identify one unhealthy lifestyle habit that may be domineering your performance. What's...
Read More
The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

Last night my brother-in-law asked my opinion on the blueprint for their kitchen. It's naked to the studs with an open map to plan task paths. We moved the location of light switches, refrigerator, dishwasher and talked through the ergonomics of a built-in nook. The emphasis here wasn't only ergonomics but their lifestyle, functionality and how to best conserve body energy . Built-in environments benefit from incorporating the wellbeing tactic of conserving energy.  This strategy reduces the onset of fatigue. Energy Conservation Techniques (ECT) prevent illness and injury. This occupational science study shares successful outcomes for a group who implemented ECT through occupational therapy guidance. Below are four principles the UofM Inpatient Acute Care team endorses: PACE Stop. Rest before you get fatigued.  It is easier to recover your energy by avoiding to work until fatigued.  Practice abdominal breathing during rest breaks.  Inhale through your nose while expanding your belly and exhale through your mouth while relaxing your belly. PLAN Before initiating an activity develop a plan. Include every detail. Include how much...
Read More
Pilates Workout

Pilates Workout

The pilates workout was developed by Mr. Joseph Pilates. Legend says that he called his method "contrology." Sound familiar? You are correct. It means "control." The instructors are usually hyper aware of body mechanics, body awareness, and very well versed with their musculatures. Although, all the minuscule movements are often very precise and slow moving, it's actually engaging muscles that people often dismiss. Pilates focus on a lot of core work and spinal alignment. With dedication, people who practice Pilates on regular basis can achieve long lean muscles instead of bulky muscles. There's definitely a lot of isotonic movements and/or resistance as much as it is needed. You can do a lot of core work (AKA "powerhouse" with Pilates jargon), strengthening, stretching, and coordination. The "core" is engaged with majority of the exercises. HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS FROM CORE STRENTHENING: -Spinal protection -Improve posture for sitting and standing -Minimize injuries for lifting and other various physical activities -Enhances balance and stability -Improve physical physique (this is secondary) People...
Read More
Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

A task that we all do, all too often, is email and texting. Before smartphones and laptops occupational therapists were steadily treating carpal tunnel. We still are, yet smaller devices increased rehab needs for Repetitive Strain Injury's or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis diagnosis. Carol Leynse Harpold offers Ergonomics and Texting Thumbs interventions. Design for ergonomic positioning and pacing with one or more of these creative techniques:   Eclectic Home Office design by San Francisco Architect Nick Noyes Architecture   Pacing: a work setting that provides various spaces to take a break, change body position. Pacing: reduce text time by setting a timer Pacing: If limiting time or taking a break isn't an option consider using a keyboard Position: to accommodate back and neck posture in task with arms rested at a height suitable to view, Aeron provides swift armrest adjusting as posture changes between tasks Technique: cut key input and go with your voice Exercises: OTS With Apps offer good resources...I highly recommend you add a tattoo   (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ...
Read More
12 Posture Tips To Energize, Add Grace, Ease Aging

12 Posture Tips To Energize, Add Grace, Ease Aging

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. 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, a state of relaxation and a certain amount of poise. Posture is a habit. Standing brings postural rebellion. Here are 12 posture tips I share with my clients: Practice habitual 'check-ins' to spinal alignment. Posture prevents back pain, arthritis and stress on muscles...
Read More
People, Places, Things: Be Exposed to the Vibrant

People, Places, Things: Be Exposed to the Vibrant

A good friend of mine called me to recite her new health goals.  As suspected, they were the the same ones I've heard over the past few years: lose weight, save more, be nicer to her boyfriend. I completely support her in all of these but I had to wonder, why is it that we (certainly myself included!) focus intently on the same things and seemingly end up right where we started? Life is filled with several natural new beginnings. Feelings of renewal and focus, a chance to start anew and have a sense of a fresh clean slate occur often. We are creatures of habit. Many of the things we are interested in changing are engrained within our environment we surround ourselves in. What happens around us becomes a critical piece of the puzzle. Change occurs within the dynamic system we live in not in a simple concern-then-solution vacuum. Rag-to-riches poster child Jim Rohn once stated "You are the average of the 5...
Read More
How Sounds Reclaim Life, Boosts Performance, and Surrenders Agony

How Sounds Reclaim Life, Boosts Performance, and Surrenders Agony

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.  BOB MARLEY Our inner ear provides us with a lot of information about the world around us. This sound travels through the ear by means of the auditory nerve, then to be processed by our brain. Even if we were blindfolded, we would be able to identify if we were in a large stadium versus a small confined room based on the sounds and how that sound travels through space. Music has the ability to produce an orienting response. Sounds reclaim life, boosts performance, and energizes perception. Picture grandma dropping a pan and automatically everyone in the room turns to see what it is - they orient towards that sound. Although we usually view loud noises as environmental noise pollution other types of more organized music have the ability to provide us with an orienting response in a more subtle way. When feeling sluggish, anxious, or overwhelmed it is common to go into...
Read More
Undo Cruel Food Obsession. Seize Life With These Five Tactics.

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

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!" or "I'm filled with sadness." Feelings fill bodies in the same way food fills the stomach. In 1863 Americans attested that soulful meant they were 'full of feeling'. A half decade later it meant...
Read More
How To Stop Pathetic Future Meltdowns From Stress

How To Stop Pathetic Future Meltdowns From Stress

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, forgotten or squeezed between errands. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty; therefore it is best to plan ahead.  This is certainly easier said than done but taking ten minutes right now may save some future meltdowns. What time...
Read More
Connect the Dots to Relief

Connect the Dots to Relief

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 made this equation impossible. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. Over thinking.  Sometimes we complicate things to the...
Read More