First you endure your morning commute, then you sit for hours in your office chair, and then you cap it all off with a couple hours of sofa-surfing, sound about right? Yeah, you know you need to mix it up: move, stand, walk, breath, stretch. The big question: HOW to create the time and space for self-care at work.
Don’t be a statue: If you stay in the same position for hours, you may develop chronic pain. Use a simple timer, your smart watch, your even-smarter phone and set reminders to move: stand, stretch, haul-it down the halls, is strident on the stairs, tap dance in the aisles.
Find a Break-Buddy: ask a co-worker to take a walk & talk, call a “standing” meeting, wander outdoors for breaks, join co-workers in gentle-no-pain stretching.
Do a desk audit. Does your work station work for you? Adjust your screen at the proper angle and distance to avoid both strain and injury. Simple monitor adjustments help prevent both slouching and eye strain. Is the lighting bright but not glaring? Here’s a cool app for tweaking your space, how get it just right for your size.
Chair Check. Since you might spend 1/3 of your life in your work chair, are you two a good match? A chair can be good to you if it’s adjustable, supports your back, and allows you to rest your feet comfortably on the floor, a cushion or a foot rest. Negotiate a “swap” if yours isn’t working.
Own Your Space. Web-surf to discover some stretches, activities, tools that can help you create a more satisfying work space that works for YOU. If your boss can’t spring for a new chair or lighting, explore what you can do on your own, for you! Here’s one to get you started.
Things to keep in mind. One size chair, desk, keyboard setup does not fit all. Each body has different needs. To avoid injury while stretching, be gentle and slow, especially to start. Clear new exercises with a trusted healthcare advisor or professional familiar with your goals and your health. If your co-workers think you have gone nuts, ask them to subscribe to our newsletter (sign up on at the bottom of our home page).
There’s a fresh, healthy new look sprouting up in O’Town. Thanks to the ingenuity and passion of some talented local folks, urban farming and gardening is happening in Orlando. Communities and neighborhoods nationwide are re-thinking both the creativity and the practicality of growing fresh food, attracting pollinators and wildlife with native plants, adding fun and beauty in open spaces, right-of-ways, rooftops, vacant lots, medians and yards. Yard farms, urban gardening, permaculture, community gardens are just a few ways to brighten landscapes, draw people together, educate aspiring farmers and gardeners, provide habitat and shelter for Florida’s native Florida fliers and critters.
A popular in-town neighborhood, Audabon Park, with the support of the City of Orlando and the vision and organizing efforts of local residents is leading the way. One of the programs to emerge from these efforts is Fleet Farming, a bicycle-driven yard farming initiative. Another program run by the City of Orlando, has opened up neighborhood garden plots for city-dwellers who lack the space or light to grow veggies, flowers or fruit trees.
Whether you’re into veggies, trees, flowers for birds and bees, or just getting some fresh air and exercise, with a few spins on Google, you can find plentiful resources, inspiration, and like-minded folks to inspire you. Dig in!
The people of Denmark (a.k.a the “happiest country in Europe”) practice “Hygge” (pronounced hoo-ga). Danes burn the most candle wax per capita; obsess about lighting, treasure friendship and socializing, while surrounded by simple, comfy stuff. There’s also new research confirming the long-held theory that happiness benefits your health and contributes to longevity. A new field, Positive Psychology, continues to research and document the connections between happiness and health.
Since lighting a cozy fire and snuggling in angora aren’t particularly practical in Florida, check out The Little Book of Hygge for some adaptable ideas. Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute of Copenhagen, offers some great Hygge tips and ideas that could work in Florida. We especially like the idea of a garden for your office.
If you actually remember yours, congratulations, you may be a member of an elite group of achievers. While approximately 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, only about 8% of those resolvers actually achieve their goals. It’s also highly probable that you captured your resolutions in writing or in digital form as well. Keep up the good work and encourage a few friends to join you in 2017.
Nope, I don’t remember my 2016 resolutions!
Take some time to reflect. Then list the ideas, goals, projects, dreams you would like to pursue in 2017. From that list, select your top 5 (our fav number). Then share. Things we keep to ourselves or/do alone are often doomed to fail. Recruit a friend. Help each other. Each of you lists a few simple action steps for your top goal or goals to focus on for 2017. Then (the most important part) – each of you make a copy of your list and swap copies. Meet regularly over the year for coffee or lunch and share your progress (and your setbacks). Less stress, more fun and you’ll be amazed at your results.
Uh-oh, I didn’t resolve a darn thing in 2016!
You’re in good company – 38% of Americans don’t make any New Year’s Resolutions. Resolving is just too serious a business for some of us. Alternate strategy: Take Action. Make a list of things you’d like to eliminate from your life. Then get busy. Recycle, re-gift and/or discard what no longer works (or at least not for you), end/or repair relationships that drain you, or aren’t working. Eliminate things that burn your time and energy. Clean out – donate, dispose of stuff, pass on, get rid of clutter – release things that are no longer useful. It’s often said that “nature abhors a vacuum.” The simple act of creating physical space in your life will attract new things, new people and cool, new creative ideas to energize and inspire you in 2017. Pow!
Be a giver. Volunteering at your local animal shelter or children’s hospital, and/or donating money or goods to a charity you value, giving can help remind us all of the truly important things in life.
Make your list, check it twice. List everything you want to do: from the moments that build memories, to the chores that keep your life moving smoothly. Visually seeing everything you want or need to accomplish can help you choose your priorities and organize your time more efficiently.
Traveling with kids. Prep for long trips by letting your kids open a present before leaving. Then they’ll have something new to play with. Pack healthy snacks. Plan stops for stretch breaks to dissuade and soothe crabby moods for kids and their adults!
Holidays Are Messy. Clean as you go and keep clutter at bay. That cuts down on the time needed to clean later on. Consumer Reports has a great list for some classic holiday “oops” moments and tricks for cleaning them up.
Savor the Sweet. So much is lost in the shuffle when we’re busy. Practicing mindfulness helps us stay present and “be in the moment”. Savor the food you eat, appreciate time spent with loved ones, really see the sights, sniff the spruce, and inhale the fresh air (link)
Take a deep breath and don’t slip and fall into the “perfection trap”. Holidays come every year. Decide what’s important, what you can skip, and what can be postponed til next year. And then plan your calendar accordingly. To stay well get adequate sleep and exercise, and maintain a balanced diet.
And remember what every Santa needs…
EVERY SANTA NEEDS A CHAIR MASSAGE, A SNACK & A NAP
We all want to leave Thanksgiving dinner feeling grateful, happy and satiated, especially after all the political drama we are experiencing this year. To reduce the potential for experiencing undue stress, we’d like to share some “question deflection” strategies.
Answer a question with a question.
Q: How’s your love life?
A: Why do you ask?
Turn the question around.
Q: What are you planning to do with your degree in Victorian Literature?
A: Wow, I was about to ask you: how did you find your first job in Applied Physics?
Expand the time frame (somewhere between now and never).
Q: Who did you vote for?
A: I did a lot of research and made my own choice, so I’m keeping it to myself for the next few years to see how it goes.
Anticipate routine questions – rehearse your answers (humor is always good).
Q: Can we expect the pitter-patter of little feet soon?
A: We thought you might be wondering about that, so we’re agreed to let you know – we’re adopting a puppy next year.
Establish boundaries: decide in advance which questions you will politely decline to answer at all.
Q: How much money are you pulling in these days? Are you planning to lose weight?
A: That’s actually personal and I really need to leave it at that!
We wish you a happy, memorable and peaceful Thanksgiving. Take 5 Massage is closed Thanksgiving Day, we’ll be there the day before and then back on the Friday after. We can soothe your spirit and aid your digestion. Happy Thanksgiving.
Floridians enjoy a four season climate: Tourist season, Hurricane season, Football season and HalloThanxChrisNuYears. That said, we reverently pay homage to the seasons in absentia like Fall and Winter.
August 5th 2016 marks the beginning of the Summer Olympics. Thousands of athletes from around the world will march in the opening ceremony. On the sidelines and in the gyms, you will find doctors, athletic trainers, and physical therapists ready to assist. You will also find many qualified, skilled massage therapists, ready to provide sports massage, a type of specialized bodywork tailored to the specific needs of athletes.
Sports Massage at the Olympics
Sports massage gained momentum in the 1970’s when Olympian Lasse Viren (a.k.a. “The Flying Finn”) credited his back-to-back Olympic Gold Medals to the sports massage he received between training sessions. While there are many subtypes of sports massage, the basic protocols target specific muscle groups, utilize specialized strokes, and incorporate stretching and range-of-motion exercises. The ultimate goal for sports massage is peak performance and the avoidance or reduction of injuries.
Uniquely, sports massage is segmented into pre- and/or post-event sessions (each lasting 10-30 thirty minutes). Pre-event massage prepares an athlete to compete. It warms up the muscles, stimulates the nervous system, and increases blood flow to targeted areas. Friction, vigorous compression, and tapotement are common massage strokes utilized in pre-event massage. Post-event massage, performed after the event and a cool down, soothes the athlete’s muscles and calms the central nervous system. Gentle compression, effleurage, and stretching are effective bodywork techniques frequently utilized in post-event massage to aid in an athlete’s recovery.
Whether you’re an Olympian, an aspiring Olympian, a professional, or an amateur weekend warrior, you could benefit from sports massage. If you or someone you know is looking for professional sports massage in Central Florida, ask your Take 5 Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) for advice or for a potential referral.
One of the awesome licensed massage therapists we discovered heading to the Rio Olympics is Lori-Ann Gallant-Heilborn, LMT, a four-time massage veteran of the Olympic Games. In an interview with Massage Magazine, Gallant-Heilborn stressed the importance of sports therapists knowing the muscles, muscle groups, and how to gain the desired effects from soft tissue manipulation. You can follow her journey at the 2016 Olympics at http://www.ultimate-sports-massage.com.
Lori-Ann Gallant-Heilborn, LMT Four Time Olympic Massage Therapist
Compassion fatigue is a common hazard that care-givers face and is often the result of chronic stress that accompanies care-giving. Mother Teresa once wrote to her superiors, that it was imperative that her nuns take an entire year off to allow them to restore their own health and sense of well-being after long stints of caring for others.
Characterized by waking up tired, emotional exhaustion, loss of sense of self, isolation, feeling frustrated or easily irritated, aches, pains, and illness, compassion fatigue can take weeks to surface. The path back to wellness lies in self-care: getting adequate rest, moderate exercise, healthy food, and spending time socializing with family and friends.
The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project created a “The Caregiver’s Bill of Rights” a helpful guide to self-care and wellness for professional caregivers.