Why Alone Time May Improve Performance Outcomes

Why Alone Time May Improve Performance Outcomes

The word "alone" can mean different things. For instance, the single business, self-employed person may work alone. Going through a morning routine, doing a crossword puzzle, or cleaning the house are all activities that may be done during alone time. Often employees would be ecstatic to have alone time in place of work time around numerous or sometimes one person. However, there are other moments when being alone can be uncomfortable or down right scary. Being alone triggers spirit-based behaviors. Performance relies on the spirit of an individual. At GIG Design spiritual behavior is one part of design sensibility. It establishes actionable behaviors within purpose-seeking and existence. Examples of spiritual behaviors are hope, resiliency, and value-based support for discovering and acting on ways to thrive. Spirituality empowers meaningfulness within performance. Alone time is a health resource. We all experience it. What is done within that time may trigger growth and success. Questions to Ask: What is one role that has a clear direction...
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Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

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 because my eyes finally worked together.  Depth of perception changed and I was less tired when I read chapters on end. Although, double vision occurred with inadequate rest.  Reading in moderation was...
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Alone Time

Alone Time

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 the person who is holding things down at home.  I realized, with my fiancé being gone for two days now, I had done that myself. I wasn't thinking about the person at...
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Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Peers in the workplace that are recovering from trauma will have difficulty verbalizing their emotions or even a simple thought (VanderKolk, 2014).  There is an uncertainty about life that confuses as they sort through their trauma.  With time and repetition, their communication patterns will slowly form into crisp, clear, confidant responses. Confidence often comes after strategy. Chess is a great example of strategy. Wikipedia enlightens on the historical game of chess, once called curling: a great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. Workplace culture words optimize strategies. Teamwork helps but listening and comprehension is key.  A safe environment and it's objects enable trust. Interiors or dwelling spaces communicate a context to influence communication, confidence. 99% Invisible provides a concrete example of this. In his podcast on broken glass, Roman Mars concluded: ...architecture is personal.  The strangest part...
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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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The Best Way to Achieve Competitive Advantage

The Best Way to Achieve Competitive Advantage

A Psychology Today report offered a new perspective on the much talked about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The idea of 'Workplace' is shifting across all possibilities to support telecommuters plus lower work space costs. With this shift is less physical interface with colleagues. Steve Jobs and Harmut Esslinger kept working together in one space for their purpose. This is what Steve Denning, contributor to Forbes shares on the topic of working together to  collaborate: "In reality, Rutledge’s rewired version of psychological needs suggests a more realistic set of multiple paths, through social connection, to meet our varying psychology needs. What it implies, and the experience of radical management confirms, is that getting work done by people working together in self-organizing teams can meet most people’s psychological needs without positing unrealistic goals of self-actualization as the be-all and end-all of life." In the wellness industry, self-actualization is identified by industry terms like 'mindfulness', 'deep emotional work', 'letting go', or 'believe in the power within'. When terms are unfamiliar then initial...
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These Easy Breathing Patterns May Instantly Reward Aging

These Easy Breathing Patterns May Instantly Reward Aging

Right now the rose garden bares full, velvet red roses. They're irresistible to pass by without stepping off the path for my nose to gracefully greet them. Overtly fragrant. This was the one time today I noticed myself taking a deep breath, otherwise my deep belly sigh is a witness to fatigue or that feeling of being overwhelmed. Attention to breathing in moments to sigh or smell refreshes focus to body stress. Breathing is recognized in naturopathic remedies, yoga, and meditation. Medical practitioners frequently encourage their patients to breath deep in order to reduce or eliminate pain. Notice one practice is for skill and the other is prevention. Occupational therapy practitioners are enthusiasts of energy conversation techniques or ECTs. One ECT is breathing. Approximately 9 of 10 people I work with daily reduce their breathing pattern in times of difficulty. Some hold their breath during moments of exertion like push-ups or lifting a heavy box. Aging excels with poor breathing habits. Without adequate oxygen to the body one or all...
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Measured Movement

Measured Movement

Over the past few longer and sunnier days, I've found myself wanting to move more.  I seek being outside walking around instead of hibernating.  This sense of longing certainly comes and goes throughout the year - not due to a sports injury but instead due to my own lack of planning (around weather changes, ever changing schedule, not leaving gym clothes out, etc.) Over the past few years I have learned to be patient with myself during those times I am not exercising regularly and instead focus on what does work.  Focusing on phrases such as "I am willing/open to change" help to make this feeling turn into a thought then into a habitual action. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need roughly 2.5 hours a week of "moderate" intensity aerobic activity combined with 2 days focused on muscle strengthening activities to reap heart healthy, muscle strengthening benefits.  This can include a brisk walk, bike ride, tennis, water...
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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...
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3 Ways to Meditate

3 Ways to Meditate

Have you ever tried to sit still and be still? It’s actually pretty challenging to achieve. Aim for an absolute absence of thought, stopping all the noisy “mind chatters” or “inner voices”. Whether it is a bustling day with children running around, an endless to do list, stressful day at school or work, or simply feeling anxious, meditation may be a good tool and skill to stay centered, to feel grounded, or to find balance in life. It doesn't always happen, but people may even transcend their minds or experience enlightenment through the process. For people who are starting out to meditate, it is recommended that you sit in a quiet place, preferably dim, to dull out all the other senses. Tailor sitting or sitting in a lotus position on a meditation cushion, yoga mat or simply sitting on the floor is good enough. Just make sure you are comfortable.  Now close your eyes and totally relax. Here are three ways to meditate: 1. Focus on your...
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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...
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Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

Everyday Functioning For Kids and Adults With Sensory Concerns

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 what areas do you specialize in? Catherine: I have worked for several different school districts specializing with children with autism. I have also worked in preschools for the deaf and hard of hearing where I communicated...
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Texture Helps Us Make Sense of Our Environment

Texture Helps Us Make Sense of Our Environment

  Since being sold in the 1990s, the family farmhouse has changed hands twice and continues to be renovated. My German relatives originally came to NY in 1904 to start a farm and family.  This last week I was able to go back to visit with my Yaya (grandmother) and boyfriend.  All the memories of the interior were vivid but there was no longer that physical reminder.  Outside, the barns still stood but were certainly in a further state of collapse and seemed so much smaller compared to my memories. Over a diner breakfast, Yaya reminisced and mentioned that her favorite rooms in the house were her bedroom and the kitchen.   As she talked about why, she consistently got hung up on the feeling of the quilt, lighting, the kitchen mat she stood on while doing dishes, and the grooves in the wallpaper.  She also revisited some family traits – “The garage is made from wood from the toilet (outhouse)! They just...
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