Back Pain is No Joke

Composed of 33 vertebrae with discs in between, nerves connecting your body, and ligaments and tendons throughout it, it is no understatement that our backs are complex. So complex, actually, that there are many factors that may contribute to your back pain. Understanding what causes your back to hurt and how you may prevent it can help you feel better as well as more productive.

Your Lifestyle

It should be no surprise your daily activities also play a role in your back pain. After being sedentary at work for most of the week, intesive workouts on weekends are not advised. Instead, you should make an effort to exercise moderately everyday.  Some activities you may consider include yoga, tai chi, or any weight-bearing exercise that challenges your balance while helping your posture.

Will it ever stop?

By making small changes to your routine, your back pain is likely to go away on its own. If you experience numbness or tingling, if the pain is not subsiding with medication and rest after 3 days, or if you suffer pain after a fall or injury, you should visit your doctor. Seek immediate attention if your back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as unintentional weight loss, trouble urinating, or fever. Such symptoms could mean something more serious.

Where to Start

To begin, you may consider what it is you do day-in and day-out – your occupation. A common factor related to back pain at work is exerting too much force on your back, such as lifting. Other factors include the repetition of certain movements, as well as bad posture. Some tips to alleviate pain at your desk include:

  • Adjusting your chair’s back, armrests, and height.
  • Setting up your office ergonomically.
  • Doing exercises or stretches for the muscles you use most at work.
  • Walking 10-15 minutes periodically throughout the day.
  • Resting one foot on a stool and switching intermittently if your job requires you to stand for long periods.
  • Lifting heavy objects with your knees and tightening core muscles.
  • Talking on a headset if you are on the phone a lot.
  • Taking medicines as needed. Be sure to talk with your boss if they may make you sleepy, such as narcotic pain relievers or muscle relaxants.

All in all, it is important that you listen to your body. If you feel you are putting stress on your back try correcting your posture, taking a short break from the activity, or asking for assistance.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic and National Institutes of Health

 

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How to Combat Procrastination

Procrastination

So I thought the whole procrastination thing was a high school thing, then a college thing, and then even a senior thing (senioritis). Regretfully, I am here to tell you that it never really ends… Even in the professional world, procrastination lingers.

At Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., I have had the opportunity to listen to respected professionals in weekly webinars. I’ve learned so much over the past three months here, and today I want to share some tips on procrastination. Below are 2 excuses we chose to procrastinate, and how you can conquer it. Other reasons include: you’re waiting for the right moment or you fear failure.

♤ You Don’t Like The Task

If you find this to be your reason, you should consider setting up a reward for completing, or even making headway, in the project.

Another way to overcome this type of procrastination is by seeking an accountability partner. We hate to disappoint.

Still procrastinating?? Write down the consequences for putting off this task, you will eventually feel so bad you will talk yourself into doing it. If you put it off for an hour, you stay at the office late, you miss your favorite TV show, you eat dinner late, you go to bed late, you feel worse tomorrow with less sleep. You get the idea!

♡ The Task is Overwhelming

You’re thinking you only have one hour, you won’t be able to get it done now, but that is because you’re looking at it in a macro perspective. Try breaking it down into smaller tasks, and assign deadlines to these. You will feel more accomplished in the short term, and will be able to tackle the large task in good time.

The most difficult step to take is the first. So set a 10 minute timer on your phone, and work on it for only 10 minutes! Sure it won’t be done in that amount of time, but you have made moves in the right direction. Stats show that 7 out of 10 times, you will actually keep working on it.

Get to Work!

 

 

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Love Notes to Someone I’m Close* To

My heart races when you walk through the door, captivating my thoughts from 6 pm to 6 am. As you come home from work, my time spent alone is no longer just mine. Prancing from one side of the apartment to another, you never seem to make up your mind and rest. It seems I have enough time to rest for the both of us! However, with you in my life, I will never be able to rest enough for just myself.

As nighttime creeps up, you remain unfazed. Therefore, I too am unaffected as I must follow your routine day in and day out.

Even before the sun rises, you are up! Sadly, I am unable to sleep when you are awake, so my morning begins wondering what it is you are doing in your apartment. You walk from the closet, to the bathroom sink, to the closet, and return yet again to the sink. Is it 3 or 4 outfits you try on? It is no matter, as walking in circles is your passion, and I get that.

The thing is, I am not stalking you on my own accord. It is just that you stomp around so much no matter the hour giving no respect to anyone in your own merry world. I am your neighbor downstairs. If you would like to have the peace of mind that a stranger doesn’t know your routine, then walk softer, have a heart. Thank you.

*in proximity

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3 Easy Steps to Promote Your Brand Online

This week, I was offered the opportunity to take part in a Presentation Skills Workshop with P2 Enterprises’ Patricia Pippert. It was a two day workshop that required me to present a topic I was passionate about on the last day. I chose to talk about Lon Safko’s ‘Social Media Trinity’ as he lays out in his book, The Social Media Bible. You can view my practice presentation on YouTube, or just view my Prezi. Keep in mind this is a practice run, and I was given LOTS of feedback afterwards to incorporate if I were to represent this topic. This is not my best run!

SimplyMeret Prezi

Step 1- Blog

Blog Banner

To break it down, the first step is creating a blog. This site differs from your typical website in that it is run by an individual who posts their thoughts, ideas, and commentary regularly and incorporates rich media, such as graphics, videos, or audio. THIS page itself is a prime example!

Blogs are beneficial to you in that they provide a place for conversation. Your customers and clients love talking to the boss, and love getting their voices heard. A blog allows such interaction through the comments at the bottom of each post. Search engines also love blogs because they are frequently updated. The search engine spiders crawl over your site just as frequently as you post, indexing it every time. The more they index it, the higher your blog will show on the search results. This is why blogs come up first on your search query, before traditional websites. Blogs also allow you to begin an email list of your customers where they are able to opt-in to recieve newsletters of your recent posts. This puts your brand on their mind more often and also courages them to visit your blog through the links. Personally, I use WordPress, but there are other blogging platforms available for you to use as well.

Step 2- Twitter

Twitter BannerAfter your blog is up and running, your brand should begin tweeting under its own handle. As you can see from my presentation, Twitter is very, very important to grow your blogs traffic. There is number of twitter accounts is growing exponentially, and your brand needs to hurry to claim the handle that is right for it! If you don’t already know, Twitter is a type of ‘micro-blog’ with posts that are under 140 characters. These posts need to be clever to take advantage of the small space provided to grab the customer’s attention. Because they are so short, a user can easily skim through the posts and pick and chose which they want to delve deeper in. I used the analogy of a movie preview, the tweet, inticing the customer to watch the entire movie, or read the full blog post.

I encourage you to share your blog’s posts on twitter right when you publish them -Wordpress has a great widget to do this with. You can also go back and share older posts, if the content is still relevant.  Don’t be afraid to share the same link many times a week, just reword the tweet itself. The more you share the blog post on Twitter, the greater the audience is that will visit your blog. I will reference this point later when I begin talking about Facebook. I would like to note that not all of your posts should be directing followers to your blog. Be sure to incorporate plain text tweets, tweets with photos, and tweets with questions as well!

Other perks of using Twitter is the constant feedback, which is more constant than what your blog offers. You are also able to see trends in your industry, such as what people are saying about Obamacare. Simply search #obamacare and see what is being said around the world, not only people you follow. Furthermore, you can see what is being said about your brand, and even your competition.

Facebook BannerStep 3- Facebook

Last but not least, your brand should build it’s presence on social networks. Facebook Fan Pages are a great tool for your brand as it allows all users to look at it, not only your friends, and not only people that are logged in. For those that are logged in, they are able to see how credible your brand is by seeing how many of their friends have ‘liked’ your page. Building this ‘social proof’ is vital! As I mentioned earlier, Twitter allows you to post the same link many times in a period. Facebook is different and should not be used this way as it’s profile page is better organized for clients to reference older posts. Instead, post a link to the blog post periodically so to not seem redundant.

You’re Ready!

To wrap things up, having a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook Fan Page can help your brand reach maximum exposure, build your audience, create brand loyalty, and offers feedback. Be sure to connect all of your sites to each other, and cross reference posts to encourage traffic to the other sites.

Futher Commentary

It’s not difficult to create these networks, but does require time and patience. Tools such as Hootsuite and Klout allow you to schedule posts on Twitter and Facebook, which will make it so you are not having to manually post the information. Instead you can sit down one day and plan what will be said in the coming week, or even month. These sites, along with Google Analytics and others, offer you the ability to see how your sites are doing in regards to the traffic, click-through-rates, and other important aspects.

Good luck!