Mardi Gras

New Year, New You

Five New Year’s Resolutions Worth Sticking With

by Sydni Boyd, Director of Business Development and Marketing

We all know what it’s like to begin a new year with a determination to make some changes in your lifestyle. Whether it’s committing to a new diet, a new exercise routine, or even a new hairdo, New Year’s resolutions can be both exciting and daunting. Health Magazine reports that while 75% of Americans stick to their goals for at least a week, only 46% of those people are actually still on target six months later. I believe part of the problem is setting too many unrealistic goals. We set ourselves up for failure when we expect too much of ourselves at one time. So how can you best prepare yourself for success in sticking with your goals? Here are five New Year’s Resolutions that are both doable and worth sticking with:

1. Count More Sheep: They don’t call it beauty rest for nothing. Sleep not only improves your appearance, it also improves your memory and sharpens your attention. So make a decision to go to bed earlier or squeeze a nap in on your lunch break- sweet dreams!

2. Address Your Stress: Stress is part of life, but eliminating unnecessary stressors in your life can definitely improve your overall health. Whether it be work, relationship, or financial strains, make a conscious decision to address those issues and work to resolve them.

3. Fatten Up Your Piggybank (not your waistline): Saving money can seem both challenging and overwhelming, but there are several easy ways to control your costs and increase your bottom line. Planning out your meals for a week saves money at the grocery store and reduces the likelihood of eating takeout. Getting coffee from your favorite local spot adds up, so make your coffee at home. Cable and Satellite TV are costly, so consider less expensive options like Hulu or Netflix. Many of us don’t even realize where all of our money actually goes, so track your spending and come up with creative solutions to work around or eliminate unnecessary costs.

4. Keep Up with Your Connections: I’m not talking about your Wi-Fi connection. In fact, decide to spend less time on social media and actually spend more face to face time with your friends and family. According to Health Magazine, research suggests that people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t. So, when you’re tempted to keep up with someone only through Facebook or Instagram, ask that person to meet up for lunch or a movie. You may recall how much fun it is to actually talk to someone rather than simply “like” their pictures.

5. Don’t Wait to Lose Weight: If the word “diet” throws you off, think of it less as what you can’t eat and more of what you can eat that’s healthier for your body. Make good choices in your snacks and meals and cut out unnecessary eating. Drink more water and eat your food more slowly. Also, don’t get discouraged when you don’t see overnight results. Losing weight takes time and commitment, so pace yourself and celebrate every pound lost!

 

Here’s to new beginnings and a new you!

The Three Gifts of Occupational Therapy

By Ryan McDonald, LOTR
Louisiana Area Manager, The Summit Rehab 

As Christmas approaches, we are surrounded by many “Gifts of the Season”.  Everywhere we go, we are greeted by lights, decorations, and celebrations. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget the true meaning of Christmas- the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And just as the wise men brought three gifts to the baby born in Bethlehem, Christmas allows me the chance to consider three gifts I can offer my clients as an Occupational Therapist.

Motivation

Working in occupational therapy, I sometimes find that even the most motivated patients can lose some of their enthusiasm over time when complications arise or their recovery takes longer than they expected. As their therapist, I can play a critical role in not just their physical progress, but their emotional and mental commitment to continuing to work towards their goal. By finding strategies to encourage patients to keep going when they want to quit, I see better results and likely form a trusting relationship in the process.

When the going gets tough, here are four ways to help motivate your occupational therapy patients to overcome the challenges that they face:

  1. Find a Purpose – Purposeful activity is the key to Occupational Therapy.  It is what our profession was founded upon during and after World War I. If we can help a client answer “Why?”, then they can progress to step 2.
  2. Establish Goals – Occupational Therapy should always be “client-centered”. We should always consult with our clients on what goals they want to achieve.
  3. Encourage Honesty – It is very important to have an open and honest relationship with your client.  They need to be truthful about their pain, home exercise program, frustrations with diagnosis, etc.  And you as the therapists need to be honest about their progress, potential, road blocks, etc.
  4. Make a Discharge Plan – Discharge planning always begins day 1.  If you and your client continue to focus on the discharge vision, it can continue to motivate them through the therapy process.

Inspiration

Many times I get clients who are depressed about their current situation.  It is part of my job to inspire these clients so they can reach their fullest potential. Three ways we can inspire clients are:

  1. Promote Independence – Many times when a client is depressed, it is easy for them to depend on others for their basic needs.  By assisting them in being as independent as possible, we can give them meaning in life.
  2. Encourage Self-Worth – When a client has a disability, it may be hard to find self-worth.  Every life has value and it is our job to help our clients find their worth in spite of their disability.
  3. Develop a Spirit of “Finding a Way” – When a client is faced with a barrier, both physically and mentally, they often times quit. Occupational Therapists can help teach clients strategies to overcome these obstacles.  We may not address the specific barrier, but we can help clients learn ways to think through obstacles.

Innovation

Occupational Therapists are constantly developing new ideas and approaches to help our clients reach their goals.  By thinking outside of the box, we are constantly pushing the boundaries and expectations of therapy.

  1. Technology – Over the last few decades, technology has completely changed our way of life.   There are so many technological options available for our clients, both simple and very complex.  Many therapists are beginning to use virtual reality headsets in their practice.   A therapist can also consult with a client through their television or phone.
  2. Collaboration/Networking – Forming a network with like minded therapists, locally, nationally, and even worldwide can provide therapists new, innovative ideas for their clients.  Social media allows us to connect with other therapists and we are able to discuss successes and failures with other professionals.
  3. Emerging Practice Areas – Occupational Therapy is continually exploring new areas of practice.  Many OTs are developing ideas for Health and Wellness to prevent illnesses before they occur. OTs can work with companies in designing work environments to prevent injuries.  They can also assist in helping families address childhood obesity issues.  The list is endless on new and exciting areas of intervention.

Motivation, Inspiration, and Innovation- three gifts I can offer my clients not only at Christmastime, but all throughout the year. May your Christmas be one that inspires you to continually strive for excellence in the service you provide to others.