Healthcare Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Team Building’

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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3 Reasons Why You Must Take a Break

Posted by capcityspeakers on July 14, 2016

by Colette Carlson

keynote-inspirational-motivational-speaker-colette-carlson-shares-3-reasons-you-must-take-breaks-vacationAh…vacations… a necessary part of life for sanity and balance. Yet, research shows that stressed Americans aren’t taking the breaks they have earned despite noting the benefits of downtime. Ninety percent say time off helps them relax and recharge, but forty percent won’t go to avoid a “mountain of work” upon return.  Others may physically leave the office, but end up on a work-cation, constantly checking in rather than checking out.  With only seven weeks remaining before Labor Day, here are three compelling reasons why you must take a break.

1. Breaks now are better than breakdowns later. Be honest. If you just muttered “I don’t have time for a break,” when do you have time to get sick? After all, self-care costs you much less downtime and money than healthcare. True story: An overwhelmed meeting planner no-showed for our conference call. Turns out she had a heart-attack at her desk and luckily survived. Why wait for a catastrophe before putting some much needed and deserved space between you and the office?

2. Breaks create breakthroughs!  One in five small business owners thought up their idea while on vacation because time away from work provides the rare opportunity to think deeply and ignite your creative juices. Such was the case for Instagram’s Kevin Systrom who came up with the idea while walking on a beach in Mexico. Rather than sit at your screen and force yourself to find a needed solution, get off the grid and let the solution find you.

3. Breaks create connection. Should money limit a full-blown vacation, you can still opt for a staycation. Rather than disconnect from the world and binge on comfort foods and Netflix, choose to re-connect with pleasurable activities and people. Taking a walk in nature provides a host of health benefits, and even gardening or putzing around the house allows your mind to quietly wander, bringing you back to self. Spending time with people you enjoy, who make you laugh, or even randomly connecting with a stranger at Starbucks, fills our basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others. If life limits even a staycation, give yourself a break with a stillcation. Sit silently for ten minutes and focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders, simply bring your awareness back to your breath.

Give yourself a break today! Yes, the piles and emails will grow in your absence, but so will your clarity, concentration and productivity as a result.

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The Tug of Time

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 2, 2016

by Kathy Brown

Have you felt the tug of “too much to do in too little time” in too many areas of your life?

Temporary is the new “normal” so change is constant. That can be very wearing on our stressed out coping skills as we constantly adjust our lives to fit the variety of needs of our family and work place. Did lack of sleep and time to eat, much less cook something nutritious, get mentioned yet? Throw a pet into the mix just to keep things interesting. Let’s not forget our aging parents who may live near enough to be of some help OR need help themselves. How’s all that working for you so far?

Goal setting should be a lifestyle or it can simply be a tool to ensure progress. We need to constantly learn more efficient ways to work smarter not harder as our areas of responsibility increase . Collaboration of our time and resources both personally and professionally can set a positive emotional environment where we help one another achieve a greater balance while keeping each other accountable! Your joys get multiplied and your challenges get cut in half when you share your needs and goals with others who will support and encourage you.

Laughter ignites a healing balm of happy that soothes our soul and lubricates our lungs. It is both contagious and addicting. Smiles can infect others who willingly join your group of family members and friends who can then start an epidemic of joy. This will stamp out “hurry sickness” which thrives in the petrie dish of doing too much. Start managing and investing your time and energy into things that have the most significance to you. Take a humor break. Leave a legacy of love and laughter. Just be yourself. Everyone else is taken. :-)

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Three Powerful Ways to Prevent Stress

Posted by capcityspeakers on March 17, 2016

by Colette Carlson

three-ways-stress-lessDo you feel exhausted before the day is even half over? Stress drains us of our energy, weakens our focus, our immune system, and our brilliance. Research shows prevention is still the number one way to reduce stress beating out even exercise and meditation. Stop the stress from happening in the first place to start feeling more energized. Here’s three ways:

Stop Saying One More Thing – The conversation is almost over and you say one more thing. The long-winded coworker hears your last sentence as an invite to keep going instead of as a conversation close. One more quick question launches into a much longer discussion as the clock ticks and your other priorities are not completed. You finish the break room banter with one last funny phrase and now the exchange lasts several more minutes. Connect with your colleagues, build relationships, and make your point heard. However, be aware of the impact of saying one more thing. Is your message well-timed and well-received when your one last comment or concern expands the scope and length of a meeting or detours the topic? Be conscious of the impact of saying one more thing on your energy, productivity, and reputation.

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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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Five Great Things about Screwing Up

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 28, 2015

by Colette Carlson

colette-carlson-5-great-things-about-screwing-upWhat was your latest, greatest mistake? Was it when you attached the wrong client proposal, or maybe your idea for that leads campaign that went over budget and ended in record-low quarterly sales…? Or maybe you can’t even talk about it because it’s too embarrassing!

Understandable, but think about this for a moment: isn’t the shame you feel over your error, whatever it was, worse than simply admitting you were wrong and moving on? Shame causes us to try and hide our slip-ups, but keeping them locked in our heads actually feeds their power. The resulting anxiety drags us down by forcing us to cover up or overcompensate. Fear increases because, as most of us know, a cover up nearly always comes back to bite us…and usually at the most inopportune time possible.In truth, every mistake – big, small, or in-between – is actually a precious gift (even if its wrapping is revolting). Changing your attitude toward failure can help you face it and grow stronger as a result.

  • Making mistakes is a sign that we’re taking risks. People who don’t take risks trade learning and progress for safety. Feel good about trying and failing rather than doing nothing. In fact, sit down and create your own personal resume of flops. Be as detailed and thorough as possible. Now, think about what each item on your tally of turkeys taught you, or how something positive came from it. You may find that some of those on-the-job mishaps actually furthered your career.
  • The pain from making a mistake – dire consequences, embarrassment, whatever – is life’s built-in success training. Actually, the worse the fallout, the easier it will be to not repeat the blunder. This forges a path to the attitudes and behaviors that do work!
  • When you make a mistake and own it, you take the pressure off yourself to be “perfect.” Perfection is an illusion anyway. Black-and-white standards are impractical, angst-provoking, and make daily life into something like walking a tightrope. Living in the gray areas is genuine and a huge relief.
  • Mistakes show us the importance of humility and honesty, but only if we consciously take responsibility for them. If we do not, it’s possible that the character defect underlying the mistake will lead to a pattern of making similar gaffes. Those who avoid owning their flaws by habitually covering up or lying to others are also being dishonest with themselves. Untruthfulness catches up to us because it takes more and more effort to live with deceit. By the way, this often causes people to take on self-destructive habits to help distract them from reality and guilt.
  • Not only does owning mistakes provide a model of humbleness and integrity; it helps you judge your coworkers and friends less harshly when they mess up. This is an opportunity to develop empathy, as you grow to understand that mistakes are a direct hit to our ego and therefore difficult to handle – not only for you, but for everyone!

Hopefully, you’ll learn to take a kinder view of your “wrong” choices or miscalculations. But if all else fails and you’re spiraling into obsessive self-flagellation over something you did, remember this much at least: “A mistake a day keeps perfectionism at bay.”

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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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