Close

Archive for category: Solutions For Living

by

O-Tip of the Week: Try the ’10 Minute Rule’

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. 

Occupational Therapists are a vital part of a team of professionals that assist with the rehabilitation from brain injury.  For the month of June, Brain Injury Awareness Month, our series will be providing solutions to assist with some of the many symptoms of brain injury. 

Struggling to complete a daunting task?  Continuously pushing it to tomorrows to do list?  Try the 10 Minute Rule Instead of trying to complete this task all at once, set a timer and spend just 10 minutes a day on this task until you are able to finish it.

by

Computerized Cognitive Training – Does it Help?

How do you stay “mentally fit?”  In our previous post, Working up a Cognitive Sweat, we suggested some online ways to provide a “workout” for your brain through computer “brain training” programs or computerized cognitive training.  The following care of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal discusses research which confirms that these training programs do provide benefit, even to those who with mild cognitive impairment.   Learn more about this research below and take a look at our OT-V episode, Cognition and Aging — Keeping the Mind Sharp, for more ways to keep your brain cognitively fit!

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal:  Computer brain games for treating cognitive impairment

 

by

Stay Sharp with the 30 Day Healthy Brain Challenge

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month and, in recognition, Solutions for Living created the 30 Day Healthy Brain Challenge.  We challenge you to complete these 30 simple activities and tips which, when incorporated into your lifestyle, can help improve memory, boost mental health, prevent brain injury and reduce cognitive decline.

Try the 30 Day Healthy Brain Challenge and after the month let us know how many activities you were able to complete!

by

O-Tip of the Week: Encourage Active Kids with “Build Your Best Day”

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. 

Spring has finally sprung and it’s time than to add some healthy activity to your life.  So, for the month of May our series will be providing tips to help you get physical!

We came across this great tool for helping kids ensure they are meeting physical activity, screen time, and sleep recommendations each day.  Check out Build your Best Day by Participaction to help kids find fun ways to get the 60 minutes of physical activity they need each and every day!

Participaction: Build Your Best Day

by

Some Thoughts on Mindful Self-Compassion

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

For the last several weeks I have been enjoying a course in Mindfulness Self-Compassion.  Taught through the Program for Faculty Development at McMaster University, the course is for health professionals, but the strategies and teachings are very relatable to all of us in our daily lives.  While the course is not over, I wanted to share some of the main concepts I have found most helpful so far.

Here is the scenario:  you are heading home from work and you get a panicked call from a close friend or family member.  They are upset and really need your help.  How do you react?  Well, when I did this exercise I thought my reaction would probably include:  asking them what I could do that would be most helpful, clearing my evening schedule to go provide them with support, visiting with them to listen, offering support, helping to distract them through activity or fun if appropriate, assisting them to move through the situation, arranging for follow-up and checking in the next day.  Something like that.  But, what if the crisis is happening to me?  Would I react differently?  Well, historically, yes, I would.  In fact, I would probably treat myself very differently than I would my friend.  Or, more honestly, if I treated my friend the way I would treat myself, I wouldn’t have many friends.  My reaction to myself would be more like: “you don’t have time for this, get over it, there are bigger problems in the world”, or I would simply try to ignore the issue, bury the associated feelings and move on.  I probably would see my own name on the call display, roll my eyes, hit “decline” and wonder “why is she calling again”? Wow, what a difference.  Self-compassion then can be as simple as affording yourself the same compassion, love and respect that you afford to those around you.  Try it!

I also found it very helpful when the course addressed our “inner critic”.  This is the internal voice we all have that bully’s us into thinking we are not “good enough, smart enough, fit enough, competent enough” etc.  In truth, part of the reason I wanted to take the course in the first place was to try and sucker punch that bully and get her (mine is female) to leave me alone.  But when the course had me really evaluating the thoughts and feelings that my inner critic berates me with, I did come to realize that perhaps I should give her more credit.  Maybe it is my critic that ensures I complete 90% of my goals.  Maybe I need that critic for my willpower, drive and determination.  Perhaps some of my behavior is directed at proving her wrong (I am stubborn that way).  Because of the course I now have an increased appreciation for her and am now grateful that she keeps me in line.  By acknowledging that she exists and being open to her presence has actually diffused her, softened her approach, and now I find her voice more loving and supportive.  Go figure!

Lastly, I found the half-day silent retreat very refreshing.  While I had been on a silent retreat before, this time I was sure to be much more mindful throughout the process and the results were more enjoyable.  Not being pressured to talk or engage verbally with others really helped me to calm my thinking, slow my brain waves and see things that I usually ignore.  Nature, food and silence have never before been so enjoyable.  I left there with feelings equivalent to a restful nights’ sleep, a relaxing vacation, or a good meal with friend.  Soothing, comforting and rejuvenating.  Silence is definitely something I am going to work into my life more regularly.  My brain requires it.

While there have been other helpful and impactful parts of this course, I have highlighted my favorite three so far.  And though I am still learning the art of mindfulness (and am not yet “practicing” as much as I should), and I still struggle with meditation and working this into my day, the benefits of this course are many and the teachings important.  Mindfulness, self-compassion and human kindness are all pivotal concepts in this course that this world so desperately needs us all to embrace.  I am enjoying learning more about them all.

To close, here is one of my favorite poems from the course:

Allow

by: Danna Foulds

 

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightening bolt,

containing a tornado. Dam a

stream and it will create a new

channel. Resist, and the tide

will sweep you off your feet.

 

Allow, and grace will carry

you to higher ground. The only

safety lies in letting it all in –

the wild and the weak; fear,

fantasies, failures and success.

 

When loss rips off the doors of

the heart, or sadness veils your

vision with despair, practice

becomes simply bearing the truth.

 

In the choice to let go of your

known way of being, the whole

world is revealed to your new eyes.

by

O-Tip of the Week: Not Enough Exercise? Sneak it in!

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. 

Spring has finally sprung and it’s time to add some healthy activity to your life.  So, for the month of May, our series will be providing tips to help you get physical!

You don’t have to spend an hour each day at the gym to be active.  There are many ways you can “sneak exercise” into your busy day.  Some examples include:

  • Walking or biking to work
  • Taking a walking lunch or a walking meeting
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Parking a little further away so you can have a short walk
  • Walking every aisle in a store, instead of just the one you need

How do you “sneak” exercise into your day?  Share with us as we’d love to hear some new and fun ways to get moving! 

by

O-Tip of the Week: Simple Ways to Turn of the Tech and Get Kids Moving!

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. 

Spring has finally sprung and what better time than to add some healthy activity to your life.  So, for the month of May, our series will be providing tips to help you get physical!

Do you struggle to get your kids to power down and get active?  Devices can be addictive and detrimental to mental and physical health so it’s important to create a healthy balance.  Our Printable Technology Pass can help parents get their kids to power down and get active!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn additional tips to tame the technology habit in our post The Detriments of Screen Time and a FREE “Technology Pass.”

by

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy: Key Differences and Similarities

The differences and similarities between Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy have long been confused.  Although both Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physiotherapy (PT) are registered healthcare professions specifically in the domain of rehabilitation, each profession has it’s unique role and purpose in one’s recovery following injury or illness, as well as in the prevention of disease, further injury, and disability. 

Learn more about the key differences and similarities of these two extremely valuable therapies in the following infographic:

by

Innovative New Medication Management Solutions

We love to share new and innovative technology that can assist in day to day living.  Managing medications for yourself or someone you care about can often be tricky, especially if cognitive deficits are present.  A great new product, Memo Box, is a smart technology that can vastly improve how medications are managed.  Memo Box is a digital pill box that syncs with multiple devices to track, remind, and send alerts to family members about medications and more.  Take a look and ask your health professional if you think this device might be helpful for you or your loved one.

Memo Box