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Will You Wear Out? Or Rust Out?

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 9, 2016

by Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW

After foot surgery last November, I was forced to sit for months while the bones in my left foot healed.  A relatively minor procedure, I was amazed how long it took me to recover and get moving again.  It seemed that everyday I was sitting around, I had new aches, pains and stiffness.  I mentioned this to the Dr. on a recent visit and he said, “You can either wear out or rust out. People that sit all the time rust out.”

I thought about what he said and it is really true.  The longer I sat around, the less I felt like doing. Because my foot would swell up whenever I tried to be active, it was an easy excuse to sit.  But I quickly realized that everything was starting to break down. Now my back and neck hurt, my legs were stiff and I had no energy.  Realizing that I was rusting, I forced myself to get up, get to the pool and start moving.

Now I try to do at least 10,000 steps per day and weight training twice per week.  I can tell that my stamina is coming back and I have dropped the 10 pounds I gained over the winter.  Talking with other folks a lot older than me, all say that the key is to be active.  Keep moving, and fight the rust.

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, is the People Pro.  A workplace cutlure expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol City Speakers Bureau.

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The Secret to Success? Could be a good nights sleep

Posted by capcityspeakers on May 26, 2016

by Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW

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What do Matthew McConaughey, Cameron Diaz and Warren Buffet have in common?

They all believe strongly in the value of a good nights sleep.  It may surprise you to learn that chronic sleep deprivation significantly affects your health, performance, safety, and pocketbook.

Some of the consequences of missing your shuteye include:

  •  Decreased performance and alertness.  Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as  one and a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime  alertness by as much as 32%.
  •  Memory and cognitive impairment.  Decreased alertness will impair your memory  and your ability to think and process information.
  •  Stress and relationship problems.  Let’s face it, you just might be crabby.
  •  Poor quality of life.  You may be unable to participate in activities that requre  attention or physical stamina.
  •  Occupational injury.  There is more than a twofold higher risk of sustaining an  occupational injury when fatigued.

Sleep just might make you more attractive as well. Swedish researcher say there’s an important link between sleep and your physical appearance.  In a study in the British Medical Journal, researcher John Axelsson and his team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that sleep-deprived individuals appear less healthy, more tired, and less attractive than those who have received a full night’s worth of sleep.

“Sleep is the body’s natural beauty treatment,” Axelsson siad.  “It’s probably more effective than any other treatment you could buy.”

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW is the People Pro.  A workplace culture expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol Speakers Bureau.

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Do You Have Toxic Worry?

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 18, 2015

by Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, CSP

The psychology of the mind changes when the human moment vanishes.  At its worse, paranoia fills the vacuum.  But for most of us, the human moment is replaced by worry.  Electronic communication does not convey the cues that typically alleviate worry such as body language, tone of voice and facial expression.  Human contact is like a safe place for the psych where we feel understood and grounded.

Little misunderstandings are common as the number of human moments decrease. Wrong impressions from a misunderstood e-mail, or voice mail are the result of vanishing human moments.  People may take offense and question the motive of others when they discover they are not on a certain circulation list or included on a memo.

The human moment appears to be a “regulator.”  When it is not present, people’s primitive instincts become more apparent.  Just like calm, stable people can become road raged in the anonymity of their automobiles, so too can courtesy be thrown out the window at the computer keyboard.

High tech work habits can dull our brains and our performance.  The human brain, like every other muscle, needs rest and variation for peak performance.  Long and monotonous hours on-screen or on-line, leave the user feeling tired and fatigued.  Searching to refuel, the brain needs rest and human contact.  By late afternoon, most workers are in a brain dead state from the tedium of technology.  That is why people get up and wander the corridors with a cup of coffee.

Reduce your worry by connecting with others.  Often what seems to be overwhelming can become an amusing story when shared with friends.  Connections protect us from being isolated and alone.  Spend the extra time to build and maintain relationships.

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, is the People Pro.  A workplace culture expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol City Speakers Bureau.

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Can a Bad Attitude Kill You?

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 14, 2015

by Barbara Bartlein

We all know that stress is not good for our health but can our attitude kill us?  Dr. Hilary Tindle, a physician and researcher at Vanderbilt University, has conducted a massive study that points to the power of just being hopeful.

Tindle analyzed data from 97,253 women who had filled out questionnaires for the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative, trying to correlate hopefulness and mortality.  Women who had scored high on optimism–being hopeful about the future-had significantly lower rates of heart diease, cancare and mortality than women who scored high on pessimism.

The study also focused on cynicism, described as feelings of pessimism about other people.  Women with lower cynicism, compared with those who viewed most other people with suspicion, had lower risk of death.

In a previous study by Dr. Tindle, she compared more than 430 people who had coronary bypass surgery–284 of whom were diagnosed with clinical depression and 146 of whom were not.  Within eight months of the surgery, the depressed pessimists had more than twice the complication and rehoispitalization rate than the optimistic group.

While not always easy to change, an investment in your attitude can pay dividends with better health and a longer and happier life.  Start with the basics;  good food, exercise, sleep and positive people in your life.  Do activities that “tune up” your attitude.  These include great music, art, reading, and getting out to nature.  You will be amazed how much better you feel.  And remember, enjoy each day and you just may get more of them.

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, is the People Pro.  A workplace culture expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol City Speakers Bureau: www.capcityspeakers.com

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Looking For Happiness? Try Saying Thanks

Posted by capcityspeakers on August 17, 2015

By Barbara Bartlein

Researchers who study positive psychology have long know that people who practice gratitude tend to be happier. They are focused on what they have, not on what they want or what others have. Gratitude is an attitude that helps people buffer the affluenza of our consumer driven culture.

After all, billions of dollars are spent on advertising every year to convince you that you need more, need bigger, and need better. And we all DO have more. Since 1960, we have added electric garage openers, computers, cell phones, flat screen TVs, microwaves, dishwashers, and hundreds of other gadgets to make our lives “easier.” We all have so much stuff now that we have to rent storage units to keep it all.

One in 11 American households, according to a recent survey, owns self-storage space–an increase of 75 percent from 1995 to present. The USA now has some 1.875 billion square feet of personal storage. Even during the recession, the storage business has grown at a dramatic rate for both personal and business use. Just how much stuff do we need?

Being content with what you have is sometimes viewed as a lack of ambition or drive. Afterall, doesn’t everyone want a brand new Lexus in their driveway for X-Mas? Not me. I noticed long ago that the more I had, the more I became owned by posessions. More maintenence, more expense and more to worry about.

These days, I’m purging and downsizing. The simpler my life, the less I have to worry about.  I am getting rid of things, stuff and negative people in my life.

You can actively build your gratitude by taking a few moments each morning and listing all that you are grateful for. The happiest people actually write them down or make a mental note. Every night as you go to bed, review what wonderful things happened to you during the day. Those great thoughts will float around in your dreams.

Some other things to do this Holiday Season:

  • Look up one of your teachers and thank them
  • Take a dinner over to an elderly neighbor
  • Go Xmas caroling around the neighborhood
  • Buy someone a cup a coffee for no reason
  • Send a card with a personal note to someone who is special

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW is the People Pro.  A workplace culture expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol City Speakers Bureau at 800-397-3183.

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