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Author Archive for: jentwistle

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Snow Removal O-Tip of the Week: Snowblower Safety Considerations

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of February, our O-Tip series will help you to practice safe and efficient snow removal this winter.

If you are fortunate enough to have a snow blower you have less heaving lifting to do, however, there are still dangers that this more efficient method can pose.   Here are some tips to ensure you are being safe while blowing snow:

  • Do not let children operate the machine
  • Do not wear loose clothing which could get caught in the machinery
  • Pace yourself – even when snow blowing you can overexert yourself in the cold, leading to the risk of heart attack
  • Operate the machine only outside as inside a shed or garage could put you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Add fuel outdoors, before starting, and never add fuel while the machine is running
  • Never leave it unattended when it is running
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Reducing Risk of Strain Due to Repetitive Movements

Julie Entwistle, C.Dir. (c), MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

Repetitive activity using improper posture and body mechanics can result in excess energy expenditure, fatigue, pain and even injury or damage to muscles and joints over time.  Therefore, it’s important to know the proper body mechanics required when completing everyday tasks and activities, at home, at play or at work or school.

The following episode of our Occupational Therapy Video Series:  OT-V discusses how to ensure you are using proper body mechanics with respect to:

·    workspace design

·    lifting and repetitive muscle use

·    excessive standing

·    excessive sitting

·    hand movements

·    excessive energy output.

Take a look to learn how an OT can help you improve body mechanics and reduce the risk of injury and pain in the long-term.  Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for access to this and other great OT-V videos!

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Self-Esteem Boosting Tips

We all seem to have a tendency to look in the mirror and focus on the negative; however, it is known that the power of positivity can help boost self-esteem.  The following article from Today’s Parent discusses the importance of building self-esteem in children from a young age and tips on how to boost their confidence so they can happily look themselves in the mirror every day.

Today’s Parent:  How To Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

These tips aren’t just great for boosting self-esteem in kids, but can work for adults too!

 

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Snow Removal O-Tip of the Week: A Solution for Sticky Situations

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of February, our O-Tip series will help you to practice safe and efficient snow removal this winter.

When snow is wet and heavy it often will stick to your shovel, making it increasingly difficult to clear.  Try this simple hack to lighten the load by ensuring the snow won’t stick to your shovel.  Before you begin, spray your shovel with a light layer of cooking oil (like Pam) to create a non-stick surface.  Please ensure the spray does not get on the ground which could create a slipping hazard.

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How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

I have four daughters – three in high school and one in University.  That is a lot of estrogen in our house.  Yet it is an interesting time for our family – as our girls are navigating the perils of adolescence, I too am finding myself in a stage I am calling “adultescence” whereby my thoughts, feelings, and emotions are changing as theirs are.  This creates an interesting ebb and flow of all of us learning together what it all means as a teen girl to “grow up” and as an adult to start “letting go”.

I had one of those adultescent “aha” moments the other day with one of my teen daughters.  She is very socially driven and relationships are very important to her.  Over the last few months, as school has resumed, she has been struggling with some of her friendships.  One girl just suddenly stopped responding to messages, one takes pleasure in forwarding hurtful messages, and another treats my daughter as the weekend “last resort”.  In talking to my daughter about these events, my “aha” moment came when I realized that my daughter, already, is highly emotionally intelligent.  She has the ability to put herself in the position of others and regulates her own behavior (so far) on how she would feel as the recipient.  This is a gift for her but puts her at a relationship disadvantage as many of her peers are not there yet.   She “feels” in a relationship like she is 25, but is trying to rationalize the emotional behavior of kids 16 and 17.

According to psychology today, Emotional Intelligence includes three skills:

1. Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others;

2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving;

3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.

Emotional intelligence then includes:  self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.  It can affect: personal relationships, workplace (or school) performance, physical and mental health, and how you deal with situations such as loss or disability.

The good news is that experts believe that emotional intelligence can be learned, even in adults.  How do you know if you are emotionally intelligent?  Perhaps reflect on your relationships – are you able to sustain positive and loving bonds with others?  Can you empathize and relate to people during their struggles, and do they know that you “get it” and are emotionally available to them?  Do you regulate your own behavior based on how others might feel if you act a certain way, or say certain things?  Before sending that text, email or calling someone in anger do you consider how you want them to “feel” following your interaction?  Do you take pleasure in being right even if that makes others feel bad?  If you want to test your level of emotional intelligence, or raise your emotional IQ, take a quiz to see where you’re at:  Emotional Intelligence Quotient Quiz.

Do you think you need to improve in this area?  Some suggestions include:

·    practice mindfulness – in social situations, at work, at home with family relationships.

·    Stay in touch with your feelings through journaling or meditation “check-ins”.

·    Connect your feelings to the situation and try to separate the person from their behavior.

·    Check your thoughts – how you think can become how you feel, and the good news is you can change how you think!

·    Communicate with others and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable to those close to you to help sort through feelings, thoughts and emotions.

·    And if you can, don’t take the comments of others personally.  Their thoughts about you do not need to become the thoughts you have about yourself.

 

Originally posted November 2016

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Weekly Mind Bender

There is a clothing store in Shelbyville. The owner has devised her own method of pricing items. A vest costs $20, socks cost $25, a tie costs $15 and a blouse costs $30. Using the method, how much would a pair of underwear cost?

$45

The pricing method consists of charging $5 for each letter required to spell the item.

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Occupational Therapy and Heart Health

Being diagnosed with heart disease is a life-altering event, often requiring permanent lifestyle changes.    Occupational therapists can help people to recover from the initial incident, to rebuild a life of function, and to promote change that will help with prevention.

Learn more about how Occupational Therapy can assist those recovering from heart disease in the following infographic:

 

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Snow Removal O-Tip of the Week: Don’t Wait for the Storm to Subside

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of February, our O-Tip series will help you to practice safe and efficient snow removal this winter.

Snow shoveling can be very strenuous work, especially when dealing with large amounts.  Therefore, as long as it is safe to be outside, it is suggested that you try to tackle the snow in stages.  This may mean going out and shoveling multiple times throughout a snowfall.  Waiting until all the snow has fallen will make the snow harder to move, which can increase the chance of injury.  Set yourself a timer and go out every 2 hours or so and reward yourself with a cup of hot cocoa each when you finish!