Archive for wellness

Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

by Jessi Cargill

Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

Its that time of year: Shopping, parties, dinners, and traveling to see family & friends. Unfortunately, it also means a lot of opportunity for predators.

So here’s 10 ways you can keep you and your family safe this holiday season:)

1) Walk confidently and with purpose. Observe those around you. Assertive body language can help keep you out of the target pool.

2) Keep your head up. This is NOT the time to be on the phone texting, talking, checking off lists, or updating your status on social media. Distraction makes for easier targets.

3) Be wary of anyone approaching you in parking lots or any area slightly away from the bulk of the crowds.

4) There’s safety in numbers. So whether its shopping, a night out on the town, or traveling, go with a group when possible.

5) Don’t leave valuables (purses, tablets, wallets, gifts,etc) visible in the car while you are shopping. If you have to leave them, hide them before getting to the parking lot.

6) Park in well lit, high traffic areas. Avoid parking near anything that might limit visibility.

7) Carry only the credit cards and ID that you need. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Cards can be replaced, cash cannot. Also, be aware of what you’re wearing. Wearing big, or lots of ‘sparkly” jewelry may draw unwanted attention.

8) Keep doors locked and windows up & locked if you are sitting in your car waiting to pick someone up. (Also, still not a good time to be distracted by your phone. It can wait…go back to #2)

9) Do not post your travel plans on social media.

10) As always – be sure and trust your instincts. If you see or feel anything suspicious, there is a reason to pay attention to those feelings. Don’t be embarrassed to go back inside and ask someone to escort you to your car or to be loud (yell, scream, honk your horn) and draw attention to your situation.

#awareness #befearless #mysafetymyresponsibility #designingasaferwoman 

Making December Great Again!

“The secret to bigger change is usually found in those small things you do daily. Small steps, and smart daily choices, add up. Healthy and happy is found in the daily details of lifestyle.”

by: Lisa Harrington

December is here, and for many, it is the most wonderful time of the year. However, when it comes to sticking to wellness goals during the month of December, sometimes we don’t make our smartest decisions. December is a challenge for all of us, routines are disrupted and old, unhealthy choices can come creeping in, making the wellness challenge ever trickier. Try following these 3 strategies to maintain healthy goals over the winter holidays.

  1. Identify Your Wellness Strengths and Weaknesses: We all have them, so take time to identify yours. Once you have considered that, then you can develop strategies to adapt and improvise; helping yourself achieve a happier, and healthier holiday outcome. For example, if you do not like walking in cold weather then perhaps you can put together a winter walking uniform that will keep you warm. Then give it a name, like “Mom’s Indomitable Snowman Suit” and enjoy bringing your family or friends a few smiles every time you engage in your physical activity goals! Use your imagination!

If you know that baked goods with added sugars/fats are your pitfall, then you might offer to bring a healthier (but still tasty!) tray to work and family gatherings. A small, smart decision like this leads to other daily, small smart decisions on health. And you are most likely going to give in to a craving, either with too little movement, or too much food. It’s alright; just know that you can get back on track with your next smart, healthy decision!

  1. Watch Portions Closer than Ever: Portion control is the best way to still have a little fun with food while focusing on your health so that you will be around to enjoy many more holidays!  Look for smaller sized plates or spread your food selections out on a larger plate.  Focus more on the people and conversations at food gatherings and eat slower, savoring every bite.  Think, “less is more” with certain holiday favorites. Take sample size bites of the starchy foods, such as casseroles, stuffing and rolls and share desserts with another person.  Take a breath and think through your portions—you can do this!
  1. Be Present in the Moment: Do not wait until January to pick back up on your health and wellness goals.  Diet and lifestyle change is an ongoing process—think of it as slowly un-locking a part of you that is trying to break out and exist. We all have some capacity to fill our mouths with more nutritious foods or lead more active lifestyles, so it is up to each of us to give that person within us a chance to live. Do not lock your healthy, active self away until next month.  December can, in fact be one of the most wonderful times of the year!  So bring your best self out now to engage with your family, play with your friends and serve your community.

Remember, we want to help you achieve your nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle goals—this December and all throughout the year!  Now get out there and make it a happy, healthy holiday!

~Lisa

It’s not how fast you know; it’s how well you know fast.

how well you know

by: runhers women’s association

“It’s not how fast you know; it’s how well you know fast.”  Let’s break that statement down. Fast learning is good, as long as you are drilling straight into the facts. Or getting to the heart of the matter quickly with good information. You don’t need more info. You need the right info, at the right time.

Reading a headline, or seeing an image on the television, in the paper, or on social media, doesn’t automatically mean it is true. So, you may ‘know’ something, but it may not be actually or even partially true –  or it could be a twisted opinion of something. And in many cases, it’s a flat out lie. Often times it is a clickbait type attention grabbing headline designed to get an advertisement (or three) in front of you. Willful ignorance is the not the way out, especially when setting examples to kids, or others you may have influence with.

Speaking of influence, many experts, leaders and celebrities are not educating you – they are being paid to sell you specific products. In fact, most sports stars and celebrities are endorsing unhealthy food and drinks.  Even our ‘peers’ are now selling out to companies who will provide them a few dollars of free product – in exchange for endorsements, which the company writes, on their social media feed. The more ‘likes’ (analytics) you can generate, the better. And marketers believe that peer to peer selling is the most effective way to move product right now.  So, be careful what you allow yourself to know fast – and don’t fall for all the ‘10 things you are doing wrong’ links. You’re NOT doing everything wrong!

If you are interesting in knowing more on the social media ‘influence factor’ – this is a good start. “Being A Social Media ‘Influencer’ Is Officially Meaningless.” http://www.vocativ.com/332174/social-media-influencers-lol/

On the opposite side, how ‘well’ you know fast, is a more robust view and understanding of what you are reading or seeing.  At IBM, Tom Watson had one word posted around the campus – think. Steve Jobs said at Apple that we have to make the details unforgettable, even intuitive. They knew, along with many other talented thinkers, that it is well worth the extra step, staying with a problem a little longer, to get through the clutter and find clarity. They actually did question almost everything.

Others insulting our intelligence is not the answer. Yet, every day we are bombarded with words, statements, and advertisements that do insult our intelligence. Our bullshit radar is on high alert almost full time these days. Or we have been habituated to filter and ignore, or accept the noise. So, science is faked (pseudoscience), health claims are unsubstantiated, research and studies are completely biased, or the number of participants in a ‘study’ is very low (non-conclusive) – and on and on.

So, how do you find clarity and truth in all of this? It’s not always easy. Of course there are things you don’t know, or are doing wrong. That’s the case with all of us. We can all do better. As women, when the hair stands up on the back of our necks in a social situation, we know something/someone is just not right. It’s sensory, and very real. You call bullshit, or leave that environment. It’s nearly the same thing with continued learning, whether it’s personal – or you are learning to help your family. Both are very important.

One way to getting to the root of an issue is using Sakichi Toyoda’s “5 Whys” technique – a simple but powerful tool for quickly uncovering the root of a problem, so that you can deal with it once and for all. Ask why 5 times on the matter at hand.  It can produce amazing results.

So, open your mind, and trust your instincts! Be your own best advocate, and that will take you a long way. And by the way, science says you think better when you have a run, or a walk – which only cost you a little time!  Not to mention all the other good feels!