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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What No One Tells You About Your Cravings

What No One Tells You About Your Cravings

Physical
Do you have an insatiable drive for enhanced experiences? This magical central nervous system response coined in the occupational therapy field as Sensory Craving, may also bring distress. Over the past 20 years I've facilitated sensory needs for the mild to severe cases in adults and children. Fortunate for me...because I'm a mild Sensory Craver. I've witnessed the havoc and joy in managing sensory responses. Craver's desire the excitable - blinking lights, rollercoasters, or a lifestyle like being an entrepreneur or overextended work loads. Adversely, there's also the need to continuously be engaged. For sanity sake a body needs it's rest! The superior advantage of the central nervous system is it triggers behaviors that appear as natural cravings. An example of a craving is body exertion through movement. Pushing, pulling,…
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B.E.I.N.G. Is To Boldly Exist in Necessary Growth

B.E.I.N.G. Is To Boldly Exist in Necessary Growth

Occupational
Comfort and safety are needs we seek for wellbeing in the workplace, relationships, and home. Who's the expert defining your sense of belief in what is 'safe' or has 'comfort'? Some might say its the leader in a culture. Others may argue its trend-led. There are marketing messages, spiritual guides, and slogans that manifest the idea of what's comfortable and safe. My clinical and design work deduce all theories to this: the expert is the Experience. "If you're comfortable in life then you're not maturing." Anonymous Humans instinctually seek to feel safe but stretching outside of comfort may compromise quality of life beliefs. B.E.I.N.G. are five points for safety and comfort strategies that may improve performance and manage stress.  Here's how to Boldly Exist In Necessary Growth: Boldly   Occupational Justice is the…
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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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Reacting to Stress

Reacting to Stress

Physical
This past weekend while on a walk my converse slipped on a bank covered with wet leaves. Friends and I had a good belly laugh due to the sight and unexpectedness of it all.  If I relived that experience with out my friends beside me I wouldn't have laughed. As an infant we learn how to protect our body from falls, how to react to words or people's tone of voice, and how to interact while in different moods. These are all learned behaviors. Reactions to stress stem from learned childhood behaviors. Let's use stairs as a metaphor.  To our physical needs we need to balance on one foot in order to lift the other in motion upward or downward. Eventually both feet land on one surface. Much the same,…
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Mood In the Workplace

Mood In the Workplace

Emotional
Designers are slowly emerging with incredibly functional and stylish swings. A swing is a simple way to improve mood in the workplace. Swinging stimulates the vestibular system, the sensory system that contributes to balance and spatial orientation for overall coordination. This body system was found to modulate our mood states (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). When a swing moves in circles, twists or moves outside of the typical back and forth path it becomes a mechanism to excite! This is a great alternative for those who long to quit coffee or simply need to excite themselves to gain motivation. Somewhere it got lost in interpretation that swinging is a children's form of play.  Parents jump on a swing with their kids - why not for adult play? What are your thoughts…
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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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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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Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Spiritual
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…
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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…
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Talking to Yourself

Talking to Yourself

Social
First mail out those letters sitting on the table, make dinner, and take the dog out. Then think about the rest of my life. Those thoughts became words quickly without hesitation one day. I didn’t even realize I had said them until they were muttered. They were reassuring, focusing words that lead to true responsiveness. Talking to yourself throughout our day is not abnormal. In fact, there is even a term that defines this phenomenon known as private speech. We often learn to do it as kids. Kids talk to themselves while playing.  It serves as an important part of their development. As we get older, it allows us to cement memories or visualize what we are thinking. Buy carrots for the soup. Oh those keys..hmmm. Sometimes it helps us socially.  When we come up with…
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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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Seeking Pleasure or Avoiding Pain

Seeking Pleasure or Avoiding Pain

Emotional
The influence of our senses supports our need to cope and celebrate life. We don't need a doctor to prescribe certain sensations. What's needed is simply observing our behaviors when seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. Through childhood I walked hard and loudly. I sucked my thumb while twirling my hair.  Comfort equated to being tucked in tightly or to be nestled up in a corner. I loved forts. On the swings or playground bar I hung upside down. I excelled in sports requiring heavy muscle pressure like softball, volleyball, and soccer. All those pleasure-seeking sensations were coping strategies to manage feelings that I was told by my elders were bad. Each was a simply way to respond to what most wouldn't classify as dangerous. Although, my nervous system recognized them as…
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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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Growing Through Boredom

Growing Through Boredom

Intellectual
Boredom is something not everyone experiences. When you do, are you able to create your own activity? An occupational therapist 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 appears to be how the recipients used their time: passive leisure self-care education, and labor force. Do either of these sound like how you use your time? Lack of challenge is the underlining issue. The Lego Movie is a good example of creating an activity, plus a relational challenge. Dad is angered by his son's choice of an activity he created. It is at the expense of the Dad's play activity. We learn Dad created this activity for being perfect. Son created this…
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Forming Mental Images

Forming Mental Images

Intellectual
Sometimes I find it strange when I'm surrounded by quiet people.  It seems that I am surrounded by "noisy brains". Of course, I need to quiet my head-talk to get to that thought. One comforting idea is, what if everyone replaced listening to their head-talk by watching a picture-reel. Imagine their words becoming images. Are you able to form mental pictures? We often mistake 'play' as a child's act.  However, adults play too. The pattern of play begins with imagination. It follows a life cycle from that conceptive mental moment on to nourishing spiritual, creative, and relational habits. In fact, shame is linked to experiences of creative failure. Adults that deny shame have banked on the pattern of play. To us, play is coined as abductive reasoning. The way our bodies are wired includes the ability to change. Consider…
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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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Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Social
Last week a group of women I socialize with began to discuss relational stress. By sharing our experiences, we learned the cause of our core stress was poor communication. The countless ways to immediately contact one another today including the computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are taking the place of connecting in person. Our conversation covered how we move less from one floor to another within a building, a home, or a drive across town. Rarely do we use our pencils, paper, and scissors. Most of us turn to social media to respond to others. Anxiety is rising and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). In the midst of our feelings we…
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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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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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Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Physical
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…
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Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Intellectual
Healthy relationships rely on effective communication strategies. The most effective communicators are also good listeners (Zemke et al 2000). With objective communication a relationship is based on respect not power, manipulation, or punishment. Below are objective communication examples. Effective communication tactics enable us to be better listeners while we help our client's achieve their goals. RESPOND EMPATHETICALLY Listen with full attention, eye contact and body language Acknowledge feelings with a word Give their feelings a name. Reflect back their feelings Give them their wishes in fantasy Start with an empathetic word ("this is tough/sad/too bad") and then ask gently, "what are you going to do?" or "What can you do?" Deliver empathy and state the limit ENGAGE COOPERATION Non-productive: blaming and accusing, name calling, threats, commands, lectures and moralizing, warnings,…
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Why Self-monitoring Is Most Important to Measure Responsiveness

Why Self-monitoring Is Most Important to Measure Responsiveness

Emotional
A thirty-one year old Client was being supplemented by three liters of oxygen 24 hours a day. One day the tank wasn't turned on for the first thirty minutes of our time together. This occurrence is equivalent to a healthy body surviving one day on three ounces of water - including shower water. Have you heard of a pulsoximeter? It's a handheld device that hugs a finger tip to measure the percentage of oxygen in your blood stream. They are everywhere in the health care industry but used most often for those that require oxygen supplemented. The body's oxygen saturation is adequate for the organs to thrive when it registers above 96%. Oxygen reduces pain, nourishes blood, feeds your immune system, keeps your brain healthy, provides energy...only to name a few…
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How Do Persuasive Rules Target the Bravery of Living By Values?

How Do Persuasive Rules Target the Bravery of Living By Values?

Spiritual
We kick around the terms wise and expert when claiming a person's character. The word 'Ecclesiastes' means teacher. This biblical book endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life.  Wisdom is acquiring knowledge by experiencing and exploring all the resources. Expertise claims being the best of systematic thinking or beliefs. Individuals who are wise aren't necessarily experts. Health claims about products, strategies, or environmental effects aren't all in agreement. One individual may follow their curiosity with discernment to challenge their doubts and beliefs. Another may follow curiosity along one belief, quick to deny entertaining alternatives. Some examples are health supplements, medication, diet, or types of fitness. The art of persuasion is a daily occurrence. Internal conflict is experienced when a behavior is scolded from a resource that is…
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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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