Mindfulness: Take Time to Think Amid the Rush

I had a teacher once who taught me the value and rewards of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a concept from eastern religion that simply involves the act of living in the moment and maintaining the clarity of though that so often is hard to achieve.  As we live our frenetic modern lives, with work, family, online study and 24/7 connectivity through ever improving social and communication technologies, it is hard to ever take a moment to fully focus on the task at hand.  When the task at hand is something important like driving safely on the freeway or something really important like interacting with the ones you love, mindfulness is key to avoiding unpleasant consequences.  It also has the positive benefit of helping one achieve positive goals with less strife and effort.This teacher of mine wasn’t a school teacher or spiritual figure.  Rather this teacher was someone I encountered in my personal struggle to change my relationship to my own body.  Learning to be mindful about my thoughts, words and actions (especially about eating and exercise) helped me to become significantly healthier than I had been.  Lately, I had fallen out of the practice of mindfulness in my affairs and have seen the predictable return of some unhealthy results.  But today, I have made the decision to again focus on being mindful in all aspects of life and I feel good about what this refocus will mean for me.  I thought it would be valuable for me to share some basic info on mindfulness to readers of this blog, as much for their own benefit as for my own. Read this excellent, brief description of what mindfulness means and how it benefits mind and body, written by Soren Gordhamer; an author who counsels individuals and groups on ways to live with less stress and more effectiveness in our technology-rich lives. He has been featured in various media, including GQ Magazine and Newsweek.com, and has taught classes on stress reduction to such diverse populations as youth in New York City juvenile halls, trauma workers in Rwanda, and to staff at Google.

Horrifying Ingredient List Artfully Presented

You know I have an affinity for whole foods.  Not Whole Foods the grocery store (which we refer to in my house as Whole Paycheck), but rather simple, healthy ingredients.  So much of what our diet consists of is adulterated, processed and downright chemical.  Case in point: the ham & cheese Hotpocket.  Don’t get me wrong, I will mac one of these at 2AM after a night of dancing and a few too many cocktails.  But I may think twice about even eating it on those rare occasions.  Have a look at this artwork, made of the ingredients in a single Hotpocket.

Its Never Too Late to Learn

The Great Recession of 2008-2010 has destroyed alot of formerly good-paying jobs.  Many reports indicate that even once employment begins to pick up again, many of the lost jobs are not likely to return.  Either rendered obsolete by automation technology or outsourced to lower cost labor markets overseas, some gigs are gone the way of the Dodo.This may be for some of our readers, the very reason they took the prescient step of seeking retraining in a new field; one that will not meet with the same fate.  For those who may be considering striking out in this bold direction, the task may seem frightening.  “Am I too old to learn a new career skill?”  “How can I choose a new career when my whole adult life I have always been a <insert your lost job title here>?”Well, buck up.  Consider the story of Hazel Soares of San Leandro, CA who just graduated from Mills College at the ripe old age of 93!  Read her story here and then gather up the courage that surely resides in every member of the human race and get going on your new career in medical billing and coding!

Flexibility is a Blessing but Structure is Important

Many online students point to the flexibility of online study as one of the main reasons they chose to go to school via the internet.  It is true for folks who juggle work, family and studies, being able to allocate one’s own time and formulate one’s own schedule is invaluable to succeeding in all these important tasks.  Sometimes, it is necessary to get creative with the schedule in order to accommodate the incidental issues that pop up in life.  In these cases, you may find yourself pushing study time into the late night slot, or scheduling family breakfasts instead of family suppers.  This may be a useful ability to have, but recent research seems to indicate that having a more stuctured daily routine is better for your mind and body.  Follow me over the fold for a synopsis and links to the research in question. Continue reading…

Good Resource for Job Seekers

While we’re still in a deep hole in terms of the huge numbers of jobs lost during the recession that began in 2008, we are definitely seeing unmistakable signs that the job losses have ceased.  In fact, for the last two months, the US economy has added jobs.  But we still have lots of lost ground to cover if we’re to simply return to pre-recessionary levels of employment.  For students of the Allen School Online who may be nearing the end of their course of study, thoughts are turning to where the jobs are in this very difficult environment.  To help, I have uncovered a very useful resource that I want to share with our users.  It’s called the Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-2011.  It is a website maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.For hundreds of different types of jobs—such as teacher, lawyer, and nurse—the Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you:
  • the training and education needed
  • earnings
  • expected job prospects
  • what workers do on the job
  • working conditions
In addition, the Handbook gives you job search tips, links to information about the job market in each State, and more. You can also view frequently asked questions about the Handbook.Have a look around this useful site for good, up-to-date info on ways you can supercharge your job search.

Making a Difference

Students of medical billing and coding, you are entering a field that holds enormous potential for you to do good works and make a positive impact on the lives of your fellow man.  People like you who dedicate their course of study and their careers to advancing public health are to be commended and celebrated.  It is a noble thing that they do.  Here’s the story of one student whose committment to study in the field of medicine has yielded an astonishing breakthrough that will surely help countless people in poor parts of the world struggling with wounds. Read how this student created a suction device that costs a mere $3.00 to manufacture and the impact this breakthrough will have on medicine worldwide.  Then feel good about what you’re working to achieve and know that every one of you shares the exact same potential to effect greatness through your course of study and the work you will be doing once you graduate.

Update: Non-Manufacturing Jobs Up

April 5 (Bloomberg) — Service industries expanded in March at the fastest pace since in more than three years, a sign the U.S. recovery is extending beyond manufacturing and starting to create jobs. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses, which make up almost 90 percent of the economy, rose to 55.4, the highest level since May 2006, from 53 in the prior month. Today’s figure exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Readings above 50 signal expansion.This is good news.  Read the whole article here.

In Case You Were Worried…

Have you ever had to defend your choice of online education to less than supportive family or friends?  Clearly, the Internet has upended many existing paradigms such as how we shop, socialize and study.  And while no one is suggesting that online studies are out of the mainstream, there is a certain newness to the practice of learning via the “tubes” that can raise the eyebrows of those more enamored of the orthodoxy of brick and mortar institutions of higher learning.  If you find yourself having to defend what is clearly a very savvy choice on your part, the following photo slide show can provide you with some truly unorthodox educational choices you can offer to provide some perspective to your debate opponent.  Follow me over the jump to learn more about such schools as Hamburger University and Clown College. Continue reading…

Time Management Strategies Essential to Work/Study Balance

Developing time management skills, like any other worthwhile endeavor, requires planning and then lots of practice. But the benefits of mastering your own schedule can be felt in all areas of your life; personal and professional. The overall point of focusing on time management is to become more aware of how you use your time and break your days up between work, study, family, social activities and sleep.clock Follow me past the jump for some ideas on how to begin the process and practice of better time management.Continue reading…

Don’t Let Heartburn Hurt Your Holidays

Guest Blogger – Zippi Dvash, Asst. VP of Public Affairs for Long Island College Hospital

heartburnHeartburn is a “burning” problem for over 60 million Americans each month. Recent surveys show that 66% of people experience heartburn symptoms after splurging on food and alcohol, such as the large meals, rich desserts and alcohol consumed around Christmas and New Year celebrations.  Do you suffer from this problem?  Follow me below the fold for some useful information. Continue reading…