Eight Ways to Drive Yourself Calm, Not Crazy

by Diane Berenbaum

Between your work, errands, and family commitments, you may not realize how much stress you’re under. However, your body is well aware of it. According to Henry Emmons, MD, author of The Chemistry of Calm,“When you repeatedly get stressed, your nervous system stays keyed up, so even small amounts of stress can make you feel overwhelmed.” All that tension can disrupt your thinking, wear you down, and may even start a chain reaction of health problems.

Yet, you can bring more calm to your hectic life. Here are eight ways to drive yourself calm, instead of crazy:

1. Identify your stressors, and strive to avoid them
How often do you purposely avoid the things that stress you out? And, how many times do you succeed in these endeavors? If you made a list of the top stressors in your daily life, you might be surprised to find that many of them can be avoided. Or, they can be altered to make them less debilitating.

For example, perhaps your day would run more smoothly if you structured your workday so that you missed rush-hour. Or, be clear about your schedule, so others are aware of your availability. Consider ways you can change your habits or adjust your routine, so you feel less stressed.

2. Do what brings you joy
Think about what makes you happy, and then pursue it…relentlessly! Do what brings you joy. It can be anything, from volunteering your time, to walks with friends, to playing with puppies. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it makes you feel good, do more of it! It will give you a broader perspective and lift you up.

3. Do one thing at a time
Our attention is essentially binary; in other words, we can usuallyl only focus on one thing at a time in any given moment. We often multitask to some degree, but delude ourselves about how well we do it. Yet, research shows that doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task, takes a toll on productivity and performance.

Plus, multi-tasking is exhausting. Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University, found that “switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing.”

4. Say “no,” when appropriate
Some people are uncomfortable saying “no” to other people. In fact, they’d rather inconvenience themselves than say “no” to someone else.

Our inability to say “no” is at the root of a lot of people’s stress. After all, if you were able to say no and feel great about it, odds are that you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. You might even be at a point where you’re psyched about all the things on your plate… and when you’re truly excited about your projects, it doesn’t feel so overpowering.

5. Exercise—work it out with a workout

The Mayo Clinic found that exercise increases your overall health and sense of well-being, And, it has some direct stress-busting benefits:

  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike can also contribute to this same feeling.
  • It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements.
  • As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do.
  • It improves your mood and your health.  Regular exercise can not only increase your fitness level, it can also build self-confidence and relax you. Exercise can also improve sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

6. Get more sleep
A lack of sleep can be debilitating. Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, which could mean you’re less able to fight off illness. You may also experience more headaches and pains, and you may even experience memory loss.

Consider setting your alarm for 10pm to remind you to get ready for bed. Aim to close your eyes and be asleep by 10:30, or a time that is aligned with your body clock. Your mind and body will be grateful for the respite.
7. Write down your thoughts, dreams, and aspirations
There’s just something about the process of sitting with your thoughts and gathering them into logical sentences that switches your brain into a very deep, almost meditative state. It forces you to think seriously, but at the same time enables you to zoom out and see the bigger picture. I have had many of my greatest realizations (and revelations) sitting somewhere with a pen in my hand.

8. Shift your focus; Focus on what soothes you and don’t forget to breathe
Joseph Campbell once said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” When you’re feeling tense, you may get the (unproductive) urge to mentally replay what went wrong, over and over in your mind. Dr. Emmons recommends shifting your focus to your body instead. Find a quiet place to sit down, then take long, deep breaths from your diaphragm, and exhale through your mouth.

We may not realize it, but when we’re stressed out, we sometimes forget to breathe. We’re still getting air into our lungs, but we’re not breathing properly or in a way that is beneficial to our health. Instead of shallow breaths, make them deep and meaningful! When you breathe slowly, deeply and deliberately, your body shifts to a relaxed state.

Exhaling longer than you inhale deepens your breathing, which helps calm your nervous system. Emmons also noted that “You can even practice your breathing when you’re not stressed, so you know exactly what deep-breathing counts soothe you.”

So, take a moment, right now, and breathe in deeply. Exhale slowly. Then, breathe again and repeat. Feeling better already?

How Better Data Can Help Colleges Re-engage Those Who Leave Without a Degree

“Every number is a student, and every student has a story.”

Nele Hempel-Lamer, director of the CSU’s new Certificate Program in Student Success Analytics, offered this insight in her welcoming remarks at a recent convening at which we were invited to speak. It was an important reminder to those in the room who were starting on a pilot program to learn new skills in using predictive analytics to better serve students that the data they are looking at have a rich context that surrounds them. As the faculty and staff members from CSU East Bay and San Francisco State discussed current practices and issues in using student data, it was clear that there is a lot of innovation happening on the ground as well as a lot of room for improvement in the quality and breadth of the data that are collected.

Whichever way you choose to look at the data, there is a large population of adults that are ripe for outreach to be brought back into the fold of higher education…

As we discussed where California stands in closing the degree gap and what role the CSU specifically has in closing that gap, we looked at the large number of Californians in the workforce who have not completed college. There are many ways that this number can be cut: 2.5 million Californians aged 25-34 are in the workforce with only a high school diploma. 5.6 million adults over the age of 25 started college but never finished. Whichever way you choose to look at the data, there is a large population of adults that are ripe for outreach to be brought back into the fold of higher education, if they are going to keep pace with the increasing demand for degrees and credentials in California’s economy.

Lande Ajose presenting at CSU East Bay on February 2, 2018

Participants in the room gasped at these data. They asked very insightful questions about how we track the students who have left college before completing, what the mechanisms are for letting them know that they only need a few more classes to complete a degree, or that they may have already completed a degree and just need to declare it. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to their questions. The reality is that our data systems currently make it difficult to track students when they move across institutional boundaries. When a student leaves a CSU and then re-enrolls for a semester at a community college but leaves again just short of completing an associate’s degree, there is not a system for the institutions to combine their records to complete a degree audit, and it’s not clear who would be responsible for reaching out to the student to invite them back.

This seemingly simple dilemma highlights the need for three of California Competes’ policy priorities.

First, we need strategies for re-engaging students with some college but no degree and helping them toward completion. We could close a significant portion of the degree and credential gap by helping them toward completion. Second, we need an integrated data system that spans all of California’s higher education system. Finally, none of these strategies or data systems will be possible without a coordinating entity that spans all three segments of California’s higher education system.

Moving policy on all of three of these fronts can ensure that there are systems and processes in place to empower faculty and staff to have and utilize the data they need to create more positive stories behind their data.

What were the biggest challenges of relocating?

 

The biggest challenge is the impact the relocation has on your personal relationships. However, you can mitigate this by making a concerted effort to regularly stay in touch with friends and family back home.

When relocating with your partner, for the relocation to be successful, you both have to be successful. Often, a relocation occurs because one of you has secured a new job. That involves a lot of uprooting for your partner, and it is actually more stressful for them as a result of the numerous unknowns.

Whatever you can do to help your partner succeed – be it introducing them to your colleagues’ network in the new location, or simply being emotional support when things are not working out as expected – will pay dividends.

The physical relocation process isn’t that hard. Granted, it’s a lot of menial tasks, which suck up time and initially seem daunting. I personally find packing a nightmare. However, it’s a good opportunity to figure out what really matters to you and for you to prioritise what’s worth keeping in your life.

What are the major differences between San Francisco and Melbourne?

There’s a greater mix of people in Melbourne than in San Francisco, whether that’s people working in different industries, from different backgrounds or past experiences.

It’s nice to meet people who do something entirely different to you. I think that is also a contributing factor to why I find the quality of life to be better in Melbourne than in San Francisco.

How do your working life and other supports help to make you feel at home there?

I work with a great team in Melbourne. The office is such a positive environment that it only seems natural to bring your whole self to work.

Teammates have welcomed me with open arms, allowing me to meet new people and make friends with ease, in and outside of the workplace.

Additionally, my partner has been a great support. There’s always someone you can speak with who knows exactly what you’re going through.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

Melbourne has a relaxed, healthy vibe. Work is not the only thing going on in people’s lives and people make the time to stay fit and mentally balanced. I also like the crazy weather. It can go from 40C to 18C in a few hours.

What advice would you give to others who are planning to relocate for work?

It obviously depends on your personal situation but, if it’s feasible, I say you should jump at the opportunity. Nothing compares to having the experience of working in a new country and adapting to your new surroundings.

When evaluating your offer of employment in a new location, I have found it helpful to look for local salary benchmarks for the role and to speak with any contacts you have in the location to validate how it compares to the market rate.

Additionally, I would also research the cost-of-living indexes and do a simplistic yearly budget based on expected costs in my new location to see how my take-home pay would change as a result of the relocation.

Part of the offer to relocate should include a relocation package. The more you can get from your sponsoring company, the fewer headaches and financial costs for yourself.

In a relocation package, I would aim for full coverage of visa costs (ideally for yourself and your partner), return flights to your new location, tax preparation services for at least your first year in the new location, a relocation allowance to cover shipping costs or packing services, and assistance with finding a new home upon your arrival. I would expect this package to multiply if relocating with children.

Ed Melton

EVP- Corporate Moving: 916-563-7472/

 

Want to know what it’s really like relocating for work?

 

Relocating for work can be both exciting and daunting in equal measure. Want to know what it’s really like? Ask someone who has done it before. Toby Roger has done it twice.

Sometimes, successful employees can be offered the chance to relocate for work within their company. Alternatively, you could come across the opportunity of a lifetime in a completely new company abroad.

But relocating for work can feel a lot more daunting than simply moving job. There are a lot of components to think about, from the city you’re moving to and the cost of living there, to how you can maintain your relationships at home.

He then relocated for a second time to the other side of the world. Roger moved to Australia to work for employee analytics start-up Culture Amp. He spoke to Siliconrepublic.com about his experience of relocating and shared his advice for those thinking of making the move.

Where are you from?

I’m from a tiny village in rural Kent, England, called Brookland. My family are raspberry farmers so I grew up in a very different environment to the one I find myself in today. It’s a sleepy village where sheep outnumber people and the only amenity is a local pub.

How long ago did you relocate and what prompted your decision?

My career started with Zendesk in 2012 when the team was around 200 people globally. In 2015, I relocated from the London office to the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. The biggest draw was to learn from and to be closer to my peers in the product marketing team.

Additionally, the lifestyle of northern California was a big draw and the opportunity to experience something new. After five years at Zendesk, and with the company being 2,000 people strong, I made the decision to relocate again from San Francisco to Melbourne, Australia, to join a rapidly growing start-up called Culture Amp.

I was drawn to the chance to enjoy a better quality of life, to work in a more diversified city and to join a company at an earlier stage to maximise my impact.

Describe your role in Culture Amp.

My day-to-day focus is on what we call buyer and sales enablement, which ultimately involves a bunch of initiatives to help our buyers to buy and to help our sales team to sell.

Examples of these initiatives include defining how we pitch our platform, creating assets that help inform our buyers, conducting competitive research, and measuring the success of sales in terms of their win rates, how long it takes to close deals and the time taken to ramp up new salespeople.

I can also leverage my years in the Zendesk product marketing team to offer guidance on our product launches, and other strategic functions of the team.

What do you like most about your job?

I’m really motivated by Culture Amp’s mission to help companies around the globe learn faster through their employee feedback. We have all experienced working in a toxic environment and often, it can be boiled down to a lack of candid feedback between fellow employees and management.

Unfortunately, a poor working environment takes a significant toll on our personal lives. When I can help a company like Culture Amp to further their mission, I feel empowered to know there’s a chance we’re making people’s working lives – and, hopefully, their personal lives – better.

TOP 5 WAYS MILLENNIALS ARE DRIVING OFFICE DESIGN TRENDS

If there’s one well-known distinction separating Millennials from previous generations, it’s that they don’t live to work – they work to live. Priorities have shifted, so at the end of the day, it might not be the paycheck that matters most but rather the culture and a better work-life balance that keeps them loyal to a company. As more Millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce, the offices of the past are evolving into a more relaxed, open-minded, and hands-on environment that better suits the personality of newer generations. They’re driving office design trends that are bringing the workplace fully into the 21st century.

1. THEY’RE KNOCKING DOWN THE WALLS

Millennials prefer a collaborative, social environment, so the days of cubicles are over… long over. In its place has arrived the open floor plan concept. No more walls. No more dividers. No more disconnect betw

een employees. Simply a group of desks grouped together. An open floor plan encourages communication, building strong team connections and fostering camaraderie between employees. And the best part about this from a business perspective? Frequent interactions and collaborations can lead to innovative ideas and developments that benefit the company in its entirety.

2. THEY’RE DECORATING WITH PIZAZZ

Beige walls. Beige carpet. Beige desks – a.k.a. boring, boring, and boring. Modern, comfortable, eclectic – those sound better, don’t they? Yes? Then let’s kick the drab shades to the curb and breathe life into the space where people spend more than eight hours a day. Influenced by Millennials’ desire for an appealing workspace, offices are getting a makeover from floor to ceiling. It’s time for businesses to decorate with pizazz whether they’re drawing influence from the company’s values or inspiration from employees’ personalities. When your office is a medley of vibrant and engaging hues, it increases employee productiveness, so a splash of color really can make all the difference.

3. THEY’RE REPLACING THE OLD TECH WITH THE NEW

Born into the new era of technology between 1977 and ’95, Millennials are the definition of “tech savvy,” so they’re expecting a technologically up-to-date office space. Gone are the clunky desktops and miles of wires commandeering desk space, and in its place are sleek laptops and tablets. These devices can be easily transported from one side of the office to the other (Can you do that with a PC? I think not.), and all the information an employee needs is always right at their fingertips. Using the latest technology also streamlines and automates what were once time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to be more efficient and productive!

4. THEY’RE CREATING A VARIETY OF SPACES

Variety is the spice of life, and Millennials agree – especially in the workplace. Creating a variety of work spaces inspires a more engaging environment. Consider a large conference space with modern tables and chairs for important meetings. A collaborative room with a standup table and monitors for internal discussions. A small, sunlit area with large windows and a cozy couch for an employee seeking peace and quiet. When presented with numerous rooms and areas, employees can find the space that helps them be the most productive for the task at hand.

5. THEY’RE MAKING WORK FUN

The last and certainly the most important office space trend influenced by Millennials is quite simple: make the workplace fun! Remember, Millennials place a lot of emphasis on a company’s culture – will they be expected to work around the clock, or does the company believe in a work/play balance? Whether you put a pool table in the lunch room, place a ping pong table in a spare room, or hang up a hammock in a quiet room, providing engaging activities around the office will help your employees rest and reset their busy brains. After their break is over, they’ll feel mentally refreshed and ready to tackle what the rest of the day has to offer. Who says you can’t live a little at work?

Chipman Acquires American Relocation & Logistics

It’s still early in the year, but we have great news: Chipman Corporation has acquired select assets of American Relocation & Logistics to further strengthen the level of quality and service for our Orange County and LA audience in nearby Garden Grove, CA. We strongly believe that this acquisition will keep our local operating division growing and positioned to be an even more-effective market leader. By strengthening workplace services, warehousing and distribution, and residential relocations, we’re excited about where our future is headed.

Our Thoughts On American Relocation & Logistics

For over two decades, American Relocation & Logistics was a successful single Mayflower agency in Santa Fe Springs, CA. As we competed against them, we grew to admire their continuous success in their workplace services marketplace as well as their achievements on the sales side, increasing their bookings and revenue across interstate line-haul services. On top of that, American has always held a reputation for delivering quality service, and their dedicated service providers and employees are the heart of this successful culture.

What’s Next For Chipman Garden Grove?

In making this deal, Chipman is now a dual agent (United 449 and Mayflower 2880) in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino County. M2880 is our new Mayflower agency, operating out of Chipman’s Los Angeles & Orange County Service Center at 7372 Doig Dr, Garden Grove, CA. We’ll be merging over 900 storage vaults, along with trailers, forklifts, commercial equipment, and other moving and logistical support equipment from American into our Garden Grove facility.

Once the transitional paperwork is completed, we’ll on-board local contractors and over-the-road drivers from American that will haul within the Chipman Dedicated Fleet. Just as importantly, 15 members of their Sales, Coordination, Billing, and Operations Team agreed to join Chipman on January 2nd, providing us with expertise and know-how.

Special Thanks To Our People – Teamwork & Excellence

We would like to acknowledge the people who made this monumental merger a reality by integrating American assets, technology, finances, and support staff. Their teamwork and pursuit of continuous improvement is why we succeed in our quest to provide premier levels of service each and every time.

Without their hard work, none of this would have been possible. We’d also like to thank the Garden Grove team for welcoming the American team with open arms, allowing for our newest employees to join our organization with the same vision, same goals, and a matched desire to provide the levels of service that our customers have come to expect.

Chipman Moves Onward To 2018