Occupational Wellness: Yup, There’s An App For That…

Of course, anything that you need in the world, there is an app for your various aspects of your career. And I’m not going to lie…I’m pretty much going to leave the link here and a bit of information.

If you are looking for apps for the following, this link can be useful/interesting for you

Now I haven’t gone through and tested all of these, but I think some of these could come in handy and be useful. Let me know if you use any of these!

Overall Wellness: Does Location Really Dictate Wellness?

A little bit of info on me, I am originally from Iowa and moved to Kentucky for grad school and then moved to Kansas for my job. I tell you this because when I lived in Kentucky, my roommates got be hooked on a certain news station pretty much just for the morning weather guy. No lie. Anyway, I liked their page on Facebook back then and I never un-liked them and continue to keep up with the new (er robberies and murders) of that area. This is actually pertinent because recently, Gallup published a study about the top 10 worst places to live (aka places that have the lowest scores on their well-being finder). Kentucky, was ranked the 2nd worst place to live in the US. The local news station posted this and asked viewers to weigh in on how they felt about this ranking. Honestly, I just scrolled through some of the 300+ comments and there are massive mixed reviews.

But also interestingly enough, I was discussing with a co-worker yesterday at an event about how people feel being labeled the best worst thing. Some people see being told this as an opportunity to change while others will fight against the label. Is there really a right way to change this? I mean, a lot of Kentuckians are proud to be Kentuckians and believe that it is the greatest place on earth. Others still feel that way but can see where the state is lacking in some areas. Others still think the state is complete crap and can only rag on it at every chance they get. And there are a million different shades of grey between just those three categories.

It’s just interesting to think about if you state can have an effect on your well-being. Iowa is consistently in the top 10 of best places to live so I have lived in “the best” and “the worst”. And the only thing that I can tell you is that while there are somethings you can’t change, you still dictate how happy you are and how high your wellbeing is. There are different factors that are associated with wellbeing and if you can’t control and do anything to improve one aspect…think about concentrating on some of the others.

Mental Wellness: I Had No Idea

This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week:  I Had No Idea.

I wrote back in October about my own personal struggles with eating disorders.  Eating disorders are much more than just restricting or purging. There is so much more than the physical aspects of eating disorders. So many people had no idea that someone close to them is struggling with an eating disorder. And part of me feels like the stereotype that women are just never happy with their bodies and it is the norm to be on a diet helps perpetuate this secrecy. It’s not (or at least should not be) the norm to just be disgusted with your body and to restrict or purge or self medicate with food. Binge eating isn’t just about someone shoving their face full of food. That isn’t the problem at all. That is usually their solution to a bigger problem.

The stats from NEDA just make my stomach churn and my heart hurt for those that are struggling and who will be struggling. 50% of girls use unhealthy behaviors to lose weight. 50%. 50% are restricting, purging, smoking…are treating their bodies that crap just to be thin. What can start out as an innocent and simple diet can spiral out of control so much faster than anyone can imagine. My bout with restricting started out as an innocent little diet and spiraled down to eating some bread, carrots, and grapes that I would eat throughout the week. Stepping on the scale once a day turned into a total obsession and became 20 times a day and frustration that I had to be at school and couldn’t weigh myself. My first time purging was a simple solution to losing control and spiraled into purging every meal and barely being able to keep food down.

I never knew. I never ever knew that any of these things would lead down these paths. I never realized that critiquing and criticizing my body would turn into a complete a total obsession. I never knew that hating my reflection would turn into hating the person staring back at me. I never knew how far I would go and how much I would lose myself. I never knew how much it would change me.

Eating disorders are a real mental health issue. Please, if you get nothing from this, know that eating disorders are not to be joked about. They are a serious issue that should be taken seriously. If anyone ever opens up to you personally about their struggles. Don’t ever dismiss them. Please recognize their strength and how incredibly remarkable and strong that individual is. And support them. Whatever that means to them. The bottom line is love them. Because their eating disorder is a part of their story, not the entire story.

Mental Wellness: The Beauty in Defeat

It’s Sunday night as I am typing this up. And I am currently soaking in the last moments of the Sochi Olympics. I’m a self-proclaimed Olympics nerd (junkie?) and have even gone as far as stating that I plan on taking off the 2-ish weeks for the Rio Olympics and the only reason I didn’t take off for Sochi is because February is the absolutely busiest time of the year for my office. But that’s not the point in this post.

Every two years when I get the joy of watching the Olympics (and I will watch any sport – I absolutely love the Olympics), I can’t help but think of the athletes that come to the Olympics after spending their lives preparing for this moment, go in the first run and don’t qualify for the finals or anything. The athletes that happen to have a bad day on the day of their competition. The athletes that do their absolute best but their best still doesn’t hold a candle to the best in the world. And they leave the Olympics with no medals. Or the athletes that finish in 4th or the ones that finish .1 behind the leader. Everyone seems to fixate around the athletes that won gold and they throw silver and bronze in their as well for good measure. But what always amazes me about these athletes is the respect that they have for each other and the absolute exquisite beauty they display in defeat. Sure, for some of them it is heart wrenching and an utter disappointment. But they always seem to be able to turn it around and respect their fellow athletes (provided that there isn’t a judging controversy…ahem).

At the end of the day, we all know that it feels amazing to be the best. To have the validation that you are the best. But more often than not (at least for me) we aren’t the best and it is important to see the beauty in defeat. To see what you can work on to improve. To respect those that have worked exceptionally hard to make their goals and to be successful.

I’m sad to see the Olympics be gone. But now the countdown is on for Rio 2016…893 days.  So in the mean time, I’ll keep working on learning more about the Olympics, and maybe someday I will get to use my Olympic knowledge for something exciting. But if not, helping friends win arguments or just being known as the Olympics geek among my friends is good enough (Ahem, MegRenSco, I’m looking at you).

Intellectual Wellness: Idk? Google It!

I have had this article from the New York Times sitting in my “Blog Post Ideas” bookmark for at least a month (check that, just over a month, it was published on January 14). I have ermed and ummed about writing this blog post because what I’m going to write about, I’m just as guilty of…

How many times have we relied on google for the answers? (Or even worse asking people on facebook a question you could easily just google yourself). We take the first couple of hits and get our answers and move on with life. The problem with taking goggle results at face value is that, well, they are often wrong or don’t contain the entire answer. It’s important to do further research. If you have ever read scientific research, just take a look at the reference section. Good solid research has a crap ton of references. And then look at the intro and then take a peak at the section between the abstract and the methods section. Allllllllllllllllllll of that stuff is reviewing all the previous research (and you know, establishing purpose and reason for the current research).

Here’s the deal. Use google. But make sure you look up a few different sources and that you are doing a little thing called fact checking.

Occupational Wellness: #Hired

This recent post by LearnVest is pretty much on target right now. Social media is huge right now. I’ll give you that I think social media is a fad and will fizzle out, but right now, companies are all over the Facebook and the Twitter and the Instagram and the Vine and the … the … TOO MUCH SOCIAL MEDIA! Bring it back Vanessa, bring it back. Ok, so yes social media is taking over the world, even the corporate world. Many companies are taking it to the social media streets announcing job openings, finding candidates (er stalking candidate?), branding their company…the list goes on and on.

We discussed this a few years back when I was in grad school and we use social media a ton at my current employer. In grad school, we discussed the legality of using social media and privacy issues. At work, we use it to brand ourselves and reach out to a specific demographic. I’m generally torn on the subject and can talk myself into circles on if companies should use social media or not.

What are your thoughts? Have you used social media to get a job? Do you use any of the tips that LearnVest suggests?

Physical Wellness: Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

I saw something on tumblr the other day. A man in a pair of shorts who was an amputee. Normally the comment underneath is something like “what’s your excuse” getting at why don’t you look like him? Look at the obstacles he has overcome to get this body, why can’t you.

But not this time.

This time the comment was, “It’s amazing when someone cares for their body like that.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to praise people for their hard work instead of shaming anyone else as to why they don’t have the same dedication?

Wouldn’t it be nice to reward hard work and dedication? To show how much work goes into sculpting a body in a healthy way? Instead of glamorizing restricting?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we loved our bodies enough to respect them and care for them and treat them properly instead of beating ourselves up for not seeing the numbers on the scale, measuring tape, weights lifting, minutes run, etc.?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we changed our mind from what we can’t do to what we can do?

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Mental Wellness: Goals

I was watching an ESPN documentary about professional athletes go broke. One of the people they interviewed made a really interesting statement…

Goals without plans are just dreams 

Setting goals is really important but if you don’t have a plan then how are you going to accomplish those goals? That’s one of the reasons I advocate for SMART goals. It is really important to set specific plans to your goals so that you can meet them.

Just a little something to think about today.