Overall Wellness: Dream Big, Dream Bold. Dream Smart.

In my little schpeel on my blog, I say I am a dreamer. And while I have always had my feet firmly on the ground and kept a realistic view of myself and my world, it has never stopped me from dreaming and dreaming big. When I was younger, that dream was to be a world champion gymnast. I never was that, not even close. The most gymnastics I did was tumbling classes and making everything a beam.

When I decided to take the step to create this blog, I decided to just push through the insecurity and develop this blog. I have been blogging for about 3 years with my private, personal blog and always wanted to create a more professional blog to share my passion. I decided to take the leap and to follow my dream of sharing my passion of wellness with the internets (yes, I call the internet “the internets”…I also refer to google as “the google machine”…I think I’m hilariously funny. Most people think I’m mostly an idiot).

Anyway, there is a point to this post..

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This morning I found a post from Fitness and Wellness News about a few tips about following your dreams. 

1.) Make some concrete goals and decisions in regards to your dream.

2.) Be prepared to get some tough love and criticism. Make sure to remember your goals and your dream.

3.) Set yourself up to be successful. Set those awesome SMART goals. Be prepared for some setbacks and know how to deal with them.  Know who you are and use it to your advantage. Make sure to keep yourself in check and be realistic. Let people know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

4.) Finally, take pride and joy in those accomplishments. I can’t tell you how much I was jumping off the wall when I had 10 followers on this blog. Find joy in your accomplishments and hard work.

There are TONS of different tips and tricks of how to follow your  dreams. This was just an article that resonated with me and that I wanted to share.

I wanted to share with you one of my dreams (beyond being a gymnast…). I dream that one day wellness will be more than a side project or hobby of mine. I dream that wellness will be my career. And I don’t necessarily mean that running my blog will be my career because I run this blog to share with you my thoughts on wellness and some research and news about wellness. Right now, at this point in my life, being a wellness consultant is something I would consider as a “dream job” and something that I am continually working towards achieving that dream.

What are some of your dreams?

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Occupational Wellness: Is Your Job Killing You?

One of my co-workers and I sometimes joke about how we want a treadmill desk (we have gone as far to look it up on Amazon…) but THIS article in the Washington Post really sparked my interest. I try to make sure I don’t spend too much time sitting at my desk at work as I know that it is bad for your body, your eyes, and your mind to just be sitting at your computer for hours on end. I will admit though when I get into a project and start analyzing data…I forget that I need to get up and move. My supervisor in my GA and I would actually go on “wellness walks” throughout the day (partly to get up and move and partly to just get out of the office and soak up some sun).

Anyway, more about the research and less about me. This study looks like a longitudinal (14 years) study looking at 100k+ workers and analyzed their mortality rate on the basis of how long they were sitting during a day (6+ hours a day versus 3 or less hours a day). Even taking into consideration diet, participants (are they really participants?? hmmm) who sat for more hours had a higher rate of mortality than those who sat for fewer hours (oh and as an added bonus ladies, we are more likely to kick the bucket than guys…34% vs. 17%…)

Some Australian researchers also did a little research and found that for adults (25+), every hour you spend plopped in front of the TV watching your favorite guilty pleasure show (I swear I won’t be watching The Bachelorette tonight…) you can shave 22 minutes off of your life. So…if I were to watch the Bachelorette tonight…which is 2 hours … I not only lose 2 hours of my life watching the drama unfold but I also am looking at losing 44 minutes of my life. Literally. (I tend to sit and watch the show and then during commercials do my dishes, clean, pack my bag for the next day, etc.)

So what is the bottom line? We know we need to eat healthy and work out. But can’t you just knock that workout out before/after work? I mean…if I am analyzing some data…not to throw a meme in this or anything but…

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Well…you got time for that if you want to keep your life expectancy up. So instead of taking on long break, take so shorter breaks. Problem solve to figure out what you could do to get up and get active without losing work time. For instance, instead of having a printer in my office, I use the big printer and have to walk to it every time I print something.

What are some other ways you can get moving during the work day? Share in the comments below or on my Facebook, Twitter or email me at wellnessblogging.outlook.com!

Overall Wellness: 15 Tips/Ideas to Boost Your Wellness

A bit of a disclaimer:  these are taken from the book, Wellbeing:  The Five Essential Elements (citation will be at the end of this post) with some personal information interwoven in.

Career Wellbeing 

  • Figure out what your strengths are and make sure that you are utilizing your strengths every. single. day.
  • Find a mentor/role model and start interacting with them.
  • Find a friend/some friends at work and make time to chat with them.

Social Wellbeing 

  • Deep breath. Get 6 hours (that’s right, 360 minutes) of social interaction. Email a friend. Grab lunch w/ someone at work. Make weird faces at your boyfriend (is that just me that does that? Oh, alright then…moving on)
  • Those friends of friends that everyone has? Work on those connections too! Work on strengthening your network.
  • Still trying to figure out how in the world you are supposed to work, sleep, workout, AND get 6 hours of social time into every single day? Try working out w/ a friend. The whole “kill two birds with one stone” but minus bird murder.

Financial Wellbeing 

  • Don’t buy stuff. But experiences. I still to this day share some of my Alaska trip experiences with people. But I rarely chat about my haul from the Nike outlet mall.
  • When you can, work on giving back to others. Again, the experience of buying something for someone else can have a more lasting impact on you than buying a new watch.
  • Make saving idiot proof. Before you even see your paycheck, have x amount chucked into a hard to get to savings account of some sort.

Physical Wellbeing 

  • Get moving. At least 20 minutes a day.
  • Get sleeping. The right amount. Not too much. Not too little. Goldilocks that sleep cycle. (Didn’t know you could use Goldilocks as a verb did ya?)
  • Make eating healthy idiot proof as well. When you buy groceries, don’t buy temptations. Stock up on those whole foods and healthy options.

Community Wellbeing 

  • Figure out your personal mission. Now figure out how your personal mission and you yourself can help out the community. Then do it.
  • Let your personal mission be known. Let people know what you are passionate about. Connect w/ relevant groups.
  • Start now. It can be small but just start getting involved with your community.

Rath, T. & Harter, J. (2010). Wellbeing:  The five essential elements. New York City, New York:  Gallup Press. 

Physical Wellness: That Infamous Line from “Legally Blonde”

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Was Elle Woods correct? Well, I’m not sure if she was entirely correct in her reasoning…but yes. Exercise does indeed improve your mood. In fact, getting just 20 minutes of activity every day has been shown to bump up your mood (even more so when you get active in the morning!)

I’m one of those people that I can read scientific research and think, “Uh yeah, I guess.” but I have a hard time believing it until I see it with my two eyes. While I was gone on vacation, I went for a run a couple times, but not everyday. My friend that I was staying with said something that made me think of this Legally Blonde quote. She said that I seem “better” on days that I work out. And that got me thinking and reflecting of during the winter when I would do 30 minutes of pilates every morning and how my mood was affected by that. On days that I wasn’t too tired and had gotten enough sleep, doing pilates in the morning was a great way to start my day. On days when I had gotten to bed late or had a restless night of sleep…it was labored and detrimental to my day and mood.

While reading about physical wellbeing in my Gallup book over vacation, they mentioned that getting some sort of activity at least 20 minutes a day can improve your mood. The mood enhancers were one of the reasons why I wanted to be active every day this month and while I fell short a bit on that during vacation, I have been able to jump right back into my active lifestyle and reap the mood benefits of getting my workout on.

Do you notice a difference in yourself on days you are active vs. when you are not active?

 

Apologies.

I have learned my lesson to make sure I have some posts in drafts to easily post up on days like today…but I am jet lagged, vacation lagged, and feeling really ill today…so I don’t have a wellness post and I am really sorry about that.

I finished reading the wellbeing book by Gallup last night on my flight and I made a ton of notes and scribbles so expect a new blog post tomorrow. But for today, I am going to learn my lesson and take some time to get back to feeling better.

Spiritual Wellness: What’s Faith Got to Do, Got to Do with It?

For some reason, I am all about reading articles this week…hopefully ya’ll enjoy a mix of personal posts and posts reflecting on either research or published articles. Today’s article that I found discusses the affect that faith can have on therapy. While I am not religious, I can see the parallels in faith and therapy. There tends to be a negative stigma that is attached to therapy and I can see how having a strong belief in a higher power could contribute to having belief in therapy. Dr. McCabe linked faith and therapy really with belief. It all stems from one’s attitude and it seems, from some of the research presented in this article, that when you have a strong belief in God (or any other deity) it can have a positive impact on one’s progress in therapy.

Dr. Rosmarin offered further explanation for why religious faith might aid psychiatric treatment. “There’s a vulnerability associated with physicality,” he said. “I think people, psychiatric patients in particular, might recognize that vulnerability and recognize that things can’t be counted on. “Sometimes medications don’t work, and sometimes psychotherapy doesn’t work,” he continued. “But if someone believes in something that is metaphysical, if someone believes in something spiritual, which would ostensibly be eternal, permanent, unwavering, omnipotent, then that could be an important resource to them, particularly in times of emotional distress.”

Obviously it is going to be hard to do extensive research with a good research design since you cannot just randomly assign participants to a faith/no faith condition and it depends on the strength of one’s faith as well as what one is in therapy for…there are just a great number of conditions that cannot be controlled for in this research, but it is an interesting concept.

What are your thoughts on faith and therapy? Do you think there is a link?

Physical Wellness: Where Are the Stairs?

I gotta say…I kind of really love Mayor Bloomberg and his push for health and wellness in NYC. I don’t think I realized just how much he has done for the city until reading THIS article which outlines how he wants to make taking the stairs a more inviting and easy option. The article briefly touched on other initiatives that Bloomberg has worked on such as improving the bike program, banning smoking in restaurants (thank goodness I’m from Iowa which is a smoke free state!) as well as his fairly infamous initiative to reduce soft drink cup sizes.

Anyway, Bloomberg essentially wants to make taking the stairs an easier option for New Yorkers by making the stairs more visible and less of that “am I going to be murdered and no one will find me for 50 years in here” feeling. I love this! I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into a building and been searching for the stairs and I can’t find them or they are locked and I have to take the elevator. And then I feel like a complete goob because I’m taking the elevator to the 3rd floor or something.

I think my favorite part of this article (besides absolutely every single sentence) was when a reporter asked if Bloomberg took the stairs in his 5 story building. And all 71 years of Bloomberg (in my mind smiled knowlingly) and said that there is a nice elevator in his building, but he takes the stairs.

What are your thoughts on this new initiative? He mentioned in the article about what they would be doing to make sure that having the stairways was still compliant with fire code (having the doors that will shut if the fire alarms go off and having fire escape windows in the stairwell), but are there other things that he needs to take into consideration? How would this type of initiative go over where you live? Would people be supportive of this or resist this change? Sometimes I think I get so excited to hear about a great health/wellness initiative that I forget that people don’t necessarily want to change the way the live… For example, when Iowa because smoke free, a large number of people in my hometown were completely outraged. Whereas I was like, “it’s about time!”

PS: I just wanted to share this picture quickly w/ ya’ll! I went up to the mountains yesterday!

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