Today I had the honor of being interviewed by Meghan Jansen of Employee Wellness Solutions Network of London, Ontario, Canada. We spoke all things #workplace #stress and #burnout, as it pertains to my work with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (#CBT) originally developed by Dr. Albert Ellis. CBT aims to help people delve deeply into how they currently react to stress and then helps them to identify ways to change their stress behavior. Click here to see the whole interview.
SF Bay Area Wellness Association
The San Francisco Bay Area Wellness Association has been established for workplace wellness professionals to meet, network and learn from experts about various issues and best practices, affecting our industry. In addition to the common wellness concerns, physical fitness, nutrition, and weight loss, we will be looking at best practices in the areas of financial wellness, stress management, mindfulness, sleep health, welllness engagement, wellness champions, getting the C-suite on board, and more.
The next meeting will take place
Thursday, June 7th (New Date) • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
332 Pine Street, Suite 800
All are welcome and RSVP’s are required for building security. Light refreshments will be served.
RSVP to: Janice@JaniceLitvin.com or 415.518.2202.
LIKE us on Facebook – Bay Area Wellness Association or https://www.facebook.com/BAWASF/?ref=br_rs
Thank you to our location sponsor, Ginger.io.
CPR Saves Another Life: Toastmaster Contest Takes Dramatic Turn
It was a dramatic moment at the Toastmasters District 57 (of Northern California), Division F Speech Contest on April 18th in Danville, California (east of San Francisco).
The contestant, whom I’ll call Kumar to protect his identity, was in the middle of his contest speech, recounting his early days attending the University of Alabama, coming from India. As he spoke humorously of trying to fit in to the Crimson Roll Tide football culture, he began to step backwards. At first the audience thought the move was a gimmick to attract attention and woo the judges. But, alas, when he went tumbling down we all realized this was no joke. His wife shrieked, “he’s a heart patient! Someone help him!”
We all jumped into action, and the two of us who were CPR-Certified, knew exactly what to do. “You, go call 9-1-1!” “You, go outside and direct the paramedics to our building!” “You, go find the AED machine.”
As we got him into position on the floor we unsuccessfully found a pulse. This was the sign that it was time to get to work. Greg Kaufman, the CPR-certified, District 57 Public Relations manager, flew into action, and by doing so, saved Kumar’s life.
CPR stands for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, which is done by applying thirty deep pushes to massage the heart and two breaths. But it’s important to know exactly where and how to push. AED stands for Automatic Electric Defibrillator, which serves to find the heartbeat, if there is one, and then to re-regulate if there isn’t or if it is irregular.
Within a few minutes the local fire department arrived and took control to stabilize Kumar and get him to the hospital, where he is in good care today. Kumar’s doctors plan to implant a defibrillator to shock his heart if it goes into irregular rhythm again.
When asked how he remembered what to do, Kaufman replied, “all the training came flooding back, and I didn’t even have to think.”
According to the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest is an electrical disruption that suddenly causes the heart to beat irregularly and not be able to pump blood effectively to the rest of the body.
Of the more than 366,000 people in the U.S. who experience a cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, about 90 percent die. CPR, especially if administered immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
This author, another speech contestant, who is also CPR-certified recalled that “being CPR-certified allowed me to think quickly and not be afraid to act in the midst of an emergency.”
The American Heart Association urges everyone to get CPR-certified, particularly if you live with a heart patient. Kumar’s wife plans to get CPR-certified as soon as possible. For his bravery, Greg Kaufman will be honored with a Heartsaver Award in recognition of a great job for the first part of the Chain of Survival. For more information about CPR go to www.heart.org.
Janice Litvin writes and speaks about workplace wellness, stress, fitness, and healthy eating, and can be found at www.JaniceLitvin.com, Twitter: @JLitvin, or www.Linkedin.com/in/JaniceLitvin. To book Janice to speak for your organization email at: Janice@JaniceLitvin.com or call 415.518.2202
What does gratitude have to do with losing weight?
Taking time to acknowledge the positivity in your life so that you’re not always thinking negatively can have a profound effect on your overall well-being. I grew up with a critical mother and that was my role modeling. So I became critical. What I learned eventually is that when I have critical thoughts, that negativity is residing inside me. This idea resonates with many people.
So what I have learned about having an attitude of gratitude is that when I have a positive attitude I am happier and so are the people around me.
Thinking about gratitude also helps with weight loss because when you experience a setback, such as a plateau or even a temporary gain, you can get frustrated and give up. Instead, if you think about gratitude for what you have already accomplished you can maintain a longer term perspective.
To take the practice one step further, writing down what you are grateful for can have an even more profound impact. Research shows that people who journal their gratitude move more than those who don’t. This one act can improve body image & self esteem which helps you keep the weight off.
The best thing about gratitude is that it takes only 5 minutes per day.
So the next time you are feeling frustrated with your weight loss journey, take five minutes to stop and think about the positivity in your life and you will change your mind.
Shawn Achor, social scientist, researcher, and author of The Happiness Advantage says that the practice of gratitude over time can literally change your brain chemistry.
San Francisco-based Janice Litvin is available for keynotes and wellness programs. Besides being a Weight Watcher Leader, she also helps companies strategize how their wellness programs can be more engaging. Find Janice at www.JaniceLitvin.com or Janice@JaniceLitvin.com. Her book, Working Well: Innovations in Workplace Wellness is due out by December, 2018.
How Does Being Outdoors Support Weight Loss?
Most stress-busting research today talks about tools like mindfulness, meditation, physical activity, talking with a friend or journaling to help relieve stress. On May 30th the Sierra Club published an article entitled “Can Getting Outside Really Improve Your Mental Wellness?” by Katherine Wei, in which Wei states that getting outside is proven to keep your mind healthy and relaxed. Several studies were discussed and in every case being outside was shown to have a strong influence on mood and overall outlook.
The Sierra Club article went on to support the notion that engaging in any form of physical activity in nature can boost one’s mood.
In another recent study, it was shown that walking in the afternoon, when many think of turning to caffeine can give you just the mental jolt you need to plow through the remainder of the day.1
A 2011 study quoted in the June 2nd edition of Weight Watcher Freestyle Weekly showed that “taking a stroll outdoors is associated with improved self-esteem, engagement, vitality, and revitalization – as well as feelings of energy, pleasure, and delight.”2
It is a well-known fact that aerobic activity improves mood, quality of life, self-esteem, sleep quality, and overall ability to handle stress.
As I have said before in this blog, choosing a physical activity, particularly an outdoor activity that one considers fun and a friend to join you will enhance the intrinsic motivators needed to sustain a physically fit lifestyle.3
To take this research a step further, I looked at how I could apply the above ideas to supporting healthy eating.
When an overeater gets stressed, the idea of food simply jumps into their mind. Who ever conceived of being outside as a curative for overeating?
The notion that being outdoors creates a feeling of enhanced mood or happiness can help reduce emotional food cravings.
So similar to using mindful meditation to create a feeling of calm or inner peace, the great outdoors can also enhance that peaceful feeling. And that is when an overeater’s food trigger gets reduced or even eliminated, when they are not stressed.
When applied to the workplace, this notion of reducing stress by going outdoors is powerful. Many American workers experience some level of stress during most workweeks. So why not encourage outdoor activities, like a daily walk around the block or an outdoor walking meeting to reduce workplace stress?
1 Derek D. Randolph, Patrick J. O’Connor. Stair walking is more energizing than low dose caffeine in sleep deprived young women, Physiology & Behavior (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.013
2 Environmental Science Technology “Does Participating in Physical Activity in Outdoor Natural Environments Have a greater Effect on Physical and Mental Wellbeing than Physical Activity Indoors?” This research
3 “Making Fitness Resolutions Stick,” (1/1/2018), http://www.janicelitvin.com/make-fitness-resolutions-stick-in-2018-3-tips-from-a-fitness-instructor/
San Francisco-based Janice Litvin is available for keynotes or workplace wellness programs. Contact her via email at Janice@JaniceLitvin.com or by calling 415.518.2202. Look for her upcoming book, Working Well: How to Succeed at Workplace Wellness, due out by December, 2018.