- Take a deep breath. Stress causes our breathing to become shallow and allows for less oxygen to be pumped into the body, which can reduce energy levels and mental clarity. Close your eyes and focus on the rhythm of your breathing. Breathe in for 3 counts (1-2-3) and hold the breath before slowly exhaling for 3 counts 1-2-3). Pause and count to 3 before inhaling again, and repeat. You should feel your abdomen expanding when you inhale, and emptying when you exhale.
- Leave the tension behind. Sometimes, muscle tension can be difficult to consciously notice, but it is one of our bodies’ most common responses to stress. Choose a comfortable position, and gently close your eyes and slowly tense the mucsles of the face. Hold for a few seconds before slowly and gently relaxing the mucsles, letting go of the tension. Continue this with other muscle groups, and work your way down to your feet.
- Meditate. Achieving peace of mind can be accomplished by the popular method of meditation. Choose a quiet spot, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Relax your muscles from head to feet and become aware of the tension as you breathe in and let it go as out breathe out. Continue for 5-15 minutes.
- Self check-in: “By becoming aware of your mental state, you have the option to choose the state you want to be in during the meeting.” Many of the cues that you give when interacting with people are non-verbal, so being mindful of your inner state can help you give positive and appropriate cues to others.
- Group check-in: Asking people to reflect on their attitudes with the group prior to a meeting can be very useful for bringing everyone’s attention into the present moment. Invite people to a meeting a few minutes earlier before the actual beginning of the meeting so that they have time to get themselves ready and present for the meeting, such as taking a few deep breaths.
- State your intentions: The leader of the meeting should always indicate the purpose and goals of the meeting that are often specific and go beyond. For example, some meetings may have a particular focus on building relationships between colleagues, so stating that would encourage folks to interact with each other more.
- Distinguish the parts: Be clear about the structure of the meeting so that the meeting doesn’t seem like a big blur for those who attend. For example, the first part of the meeting could be identifying problems; the second part could be generating ideas; and the third could be planning next steps. Communicate with individuals about which part of the meeting you are in to ensure that they are on the same page.
- Wrap it up: Ensure that you wrap up the meeting with a clear summary of the meeting and provide instructions about steps in the future. Some questions to consider could be: “What have we decided here today?” or “How will we resolve the issues that are still open?” This ensures that the meeting is productive and there is an agreement about future plans.
For more information and to see the full article, please visit this link here.
July is relaxation month, why not take a break from your busy schedule and book yourself a massage.
There are many health advantages to recharging your body, mind and soul – you owe it to yourself and family to take some time out for you.
Registered massage therapists are eligible practitioners under Dalhousie’s health spending account: http://web.medavie.bluecross.ca/en/groups/additional-options/health-spending-accounts-hsa
To find a registered massage therapist visit: http://www.mtans.ca/member-directory/
Mindfulness is a practice of being attentive, aware and present to one’s sensations and thoughts, in the moment.
Here are some of the ways mindfulness can improve your life:
- Reduces stress
- Improves memory and concentration
- Lessens emotional reactivity
- Increases empathy
Read the full article with some “how to” information at:
Hello blog readers (and I hope you are out there!)
So, for a variety of reasons, I will admit to my personal skeptism about support groups. However, from the exploration of resources for people with Pain, I came to the understanding they can indeed have value.
Why do I say that? I very recently had my first experience as part of a support group (and I didn’t even know it was happening!). To make a long story short, to prepare for the possibility of being directly involved with a group on campus, I attended a facilitators workshop for group leaders and a conference for health care professionals. I am still trying to digest what I learned and the stories that I heard!! One thing stood out – it was a community effort. As the contributors were sharing, I could see a vision for a working support group unfold.
The support group leaders came from different backgrounds, experiences and geographic locations. Their individual and collective journeys of Chronic Pain filled with heartbreak and triumph, anger and frustration, gratitude and humor. This strong group of leaders talked of issues with treatments, wait times, sleep, injury, relationships, careers, quality of life, stigma and more. Some had great successes with their groups, some less so. But I personally felt overwhelming support, warmth and welcome in the most non-judgmental way. (Hmmm, maybe they are on to something here??)
After much careful thought and consideration and as a follow-up to the events taking place in November, we (Dalhousie HR) are launching a support group for Chronic Pain. The group will be shaped much like the one that’s on-campus for Caregivers (See Today@Dal: http://www.dal.ca/news/2016/05/25/dal-recognizes-caregivers-with-appreciation-day.html ). A portion of the group’s time together will be sharing for constructive support, with the remainder allotted to a guest speaker to present on a relevant topic. Much of how the sessions evolve will depend on the group’s interests. Confidentiality is expected by all – a support group is a safe space.
Learn more and register at: https://events-tm.dal.ca/workshop.php?id=1901.
PS Check out the Enviromental Health and Safety Expo https://www.dal.ca/news/today/2016/10/24/2nd_annual_environmental_health___safety_expo.html.