Posts tagged with "health"

Lodge illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine

Springtime Backyarding

Spring Lawn Equipment: Get Ready for Backyarding in High Style This Year

Backyarding is the new trend that’s emerged during the pandemic. Our backyards are where we eat, work, play, relax and socialize, and the green spaces around our homes have proven to be vibrant places for connection and vital to maintaining mental health.

So how do you get ready for lots of springtime backyarding? You organize your yard and prepare your landscaping.

“Take some time to plan out your yard with your family. Once you know the purpose you want it to serve, it’s time to start working with it,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing outdoor power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf car and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.

“A well-cared for lawn and landscape provides the canvas for a year-round backyarding lifestyle. You’ll want to get out there with your outdoor power equipment, like your lawn mower and trimmers, as soon as spring arrives, and you want to do it safely,” said Kiser.

He offered the following tips to get lawn equipment ready for spring:

Refresh your knowledge. Read your equipment owner’s manuals and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines. If you find a manual online, save a digital copy for future reference.

Look over equipment. Lots can happen in a garage or storage shed over the winter. Check the air filter, oil level and gasoline tank. Watch for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. Replace any parts needed or take your equipment to a qualified service representative. Check you have the appropriate batteries.

Drain fuel tanks. If you didn’t empty the gasoline tank before storing equipment, drain it now. Fuel should never sit in outdoor power equipment for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer) will deteriorate, which may cause starting or running problems or damage the fuel system.

Protect your power. Use only E10 or less fuel in gasoline-powered outdoor power equipment. Most manufacturers recommend a fuel stabilizer be used, especially if you don’t use up all the fuel in the tank right away. Any fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol can damage small engine equipment not designed for it.

Store fuel safely. Label fuel cans with the date of purchase and ethanol content of the fuel. If you don’t know the date of purchase, dispose safely of the fuel and buy fresh gasoline. Always store fuel out of the reach of children or pets and in approved containers.

Don’t mix up your battery packs. For battery-powered equipment, use only the charger specified by the manufacturer. A charger that is suitable for one type of battery pack may create a risk of fire when used with another. Follow all charging instructions and do not charge the battery pack or tool outside the temperature range specified in the instructions.

Stash batteries safely. When the battery pack is not in use, keep it away from other metal objects, like paper clips, coins, keys, nails, screws or other small metal objects, that can make a connection from one terminal to another. Shorting the battery terminals together may cause burns or a fire.

Tidy up. Clean equipment will run more efficiently and last longer. Clean equipment and store it in a dry place. Remove dirt, oil or grass. Never store equipment in a place that is damp or wet.

For further information on safe fueling, go to Look Before You Pump’s website.
 

vegetables by Nicole salazar for 360 magazine

INSPIRING THE BEST YOU

Wellness Thought Leader/Podcaster of “Living Your Life Without Limits, Shannon Jackson, Reveals Tops Tips To Stay Well In 2021                       

2020 brought in a year of unprecedented loss and grief. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only epidemiological crisis, but also a psychological one that has provoked anxiety, stress, sadness, and pain. Although grief is a normal human emotion, it should be transitory– according to Los Angeles wellness thought leader, RN, philanthropist, and podcaster, Shannon Jackson. “2021 is the year for a turnaround. Maybe you are struggling to envision what your new season of good  fortune can look like. You’ve been stuck in your present circumstances for so long that it’s hard to imagine life being any different, but I believe there is hope,” says Jackson. 

Here are the entrepreneur’s top tips to help prepare for hope and a new chapter in 2021:

  • Take time for spiritual renewal and mental clarity: Take time daily for moments of solitude and mental clarity so you can focus on what’s important: your vision of a more fulfilling life. Step away from mental chaos when possible by finding a quiet place to collect your thoughts and eliminate emotional clutter. Sometimes you have to steal these moments for yourself, but TAKE them—these moments can set the stage for true growth.
  • Embrace change: Do a soul-searching assessment of your life. If you see circumstances holding you back from growth or productivity, embrace the idea of making necessary changes. Relationships, jobs, and even environments may be holding you from your true potential. If you recognize an area of your life that’s keeping you confined, be honest enough with yourself to move on.
  • Think outside the box: Step outside of pre-established boundaries, try a new approach, and consider how to approach old challenges from a new direction. Problems sometime look much smaller from a new perspective or direction. For example, if you struggle to overcome self-doubt, taking on a totally new project or learning a new skill may help.
  • Recognize and eliminate personal negativity: Replace fear, insecurities, and self-doubt with positive encouragement instead. You can be your own stumbling block if you’re not careful. Listen to your inner voice, recognize what damaging things that voice may be saying, and replace those sentiments with positives. For example, instead of telling yourself, “you’re too weak,” tell yourself instead, “you are incredibly strong.”
  • Stay Persistent: One of the definitions of the word persistent states, “continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action, in spite of difficulty or opposition.” My definition of persistence is stubbornness with a purpose. That’s right, you heard it here from me. Despite the challenges and obstacles you may face or maybe facing in life, you must be determined and steadfast in pursuing your goals. So here are a few tips to make sure you stay on course:
  • Keep your attention on the long-term plan: Give your vision, your goals, and your priorities unwavering attention. Avoid focusing on what’s in the past and don’t get sidetracked by current challenges. It’s much easier to get where you want to be when you have a clear view of where you’re going at all times. If something in your life has no place in your long-term vision, let it go.
  • Drop irrelevant emotional weight and adjust your focus: Avoid focusing on resentment, worry, fear, or anger as you transition into your new life and focus on your goals. Learn how to recognize the emotional weight that is holding you back. When you’ve pinpointed this baggage, pulling it out of your everyday life makes all the difference.
  • Prioritize your day according to what’s most important: Prioritize your everyday tasks by making the important things most worth your time and energy your priority, and eliminating distractions in the way. Weave small steps into your daily plans that will eventually help you align with your vision. For example, if you want to see yourself become more healthy and capable, choose healthier actions and accomplish something new today. Remember, good days become good weeks, good months, and great years.
  • Reinforce spiritual foundations: Achieving optimism, positivity, and self-esteem with a strong spiritual foundation is key to emotional clarity and peace of mind. Do what it takes to feed your spiritual soul–whether that is meditating, praying, or reading divinely inspired text. Nurture your own spirituality to ensure it delivers stable ground for you to live your best life.
  • Most importantly, practice self-affirmation daily: Affirm your worthiness, your value, and your power every day with the power of your own tongue. Remind yourself of your importance to the world, your career, your family, and yourself. Remember, no one sees the true value in you unless you see it in yourself first.

In addition to practicing ways to stay healthy during these challenging times, the wellness coach created a “Living Your Life Without Limits” (LYLWL) wellness box to help those affected by COVID. After answering the call of duty as an essential worker in Los Angeles, she completed a two-month tour-of-duty as a Covid nurse in New York. Here, she witnessed first-hand the pandemic’s effect on people from all walks of life. She especially noticed how the outbreak has challenged people’s mental wellness, and was inspired to create the Wellness Box

Her professional and natural response was to put together her new LYLWL Wellness Box, serving as a specialty health-and-wellness support kit to share with your loved ones who wish to keep their wellness in check year round.   

“We are elated to give people what they need most in 2021” states Jackson. “My Wellness Box is designed to give the individuals we love the tools they need to help keep their own physical health and emotional well-being in check, particularly during these stressful times.”

With a unique combined background as a certified life coach and a registered nurse, Jackson understands how intrinsic staying healthy is to quality of life. “Staying healthy is a foundational necessity for living your best life possible, without limits. One must be armed with physical well-being to overcome challenges, both emotional and physical in nature.  The Wellness Box is full of important items–hand-picked and curated by me–to deliver the optimum essentials of what people need to monitor their wellness.” 

The beautifully packaged floral patterned LYLWL Wellness Box is filled with items all individuals need to keep their health a central focus in their everyday life. For $49.97, customers benefit from this gift that is ideal for themselves, their family and friends. This special gift of wellness contains Jackson’s carefully sourced tools ideal for today’s health-focused climate, including:

  • Meditation Music: The ideal emotional fix, this meditation music is selected to encourage positive love, calm the mood, inspire positive feelings.
  • Scented Candle: Take a time-out for self-love to achieve mental clarity and allow the dancing flame and soothing fragrance of this candle to calm one’s thoughts, re-center, and re-focus.
  • A First Aid Kit: The ideal kit to help treat minor scrapes, cuts, and burns with all the necessities for this process.  
  • Thermometer: Keep tabs on body temperature with this handy thermometer, which can signal many changes in one’s health.
  • Keep the Heart Beat Up | Blood Pressure Wristband and Magnet: Keep blood pressure levels in check with this convenient blood pressure wristband and companion magnet as daily reminders in case one feels especially stressed or winded.
  • LYLWL Wellness Journal and Ink Pen: Another Jackson inspired product, her LYLWL Wellness Journal is a mini self-help workshop in journal form helping to support and recognize self-awareness, gratitude for special moments, and staying on track for reaching personal goals.

Through Jackson’s weekly podcast, life-coaching skills, numerous hosted speaking appearances, and naturally inspiring energy, she has helped thousands of individuals to find clarity and reach their own levels of mastery in life.  The LYLWL Wellness Box is another way for Jackson to extend her feel-good help into the lives of people who need her.  Know anyone who could use some wellness, love, and “me time”?  The LYLWL Wellness Box is available for purchase here.

Next to her new Wellness Box, Jackson also has her signature Feel-Good Shop offering message-inspired items for added shopping value.

For more information, visit Jackson’s website, which provides her podcast announcements, guidance for forward-thinking individuals, and valuable free resources.

Lego Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LegoLand Discovery Center Westchester

BUILDING MEMORIES AGAIN – LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER REOPENS TO GUESTS ON MARCH 26

Attraction Welcomes Nominations for Deserving Family to be VIP Guests on Reopening Day and Invites Guests to Honor Local Healthcare Workers with Ticket Donations for Visits Shared on Social Media

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is thrilled to announce they will officially reopen its doors to guests on Friday, March 26th, welcoming fans back after over a year being closed due to local regulations. Guests can enjoy a day of family fun with signature experiences including MINILAND, LEGO® Racers: Build and Test, and LEGO® 4D Cinema! The ultimate indoor LEGO playground is looking for nominations for a deserving family to be the first to experience the attraction when it reopens. Nominations can be submitted on the attractions Facebook page or emailed to Westchester@LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com

Taking extra precautions for health and safety, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has implemented enhanced physical distancing measures, new limited capacity 2-hour playtimes, LEGO® bricks just for families to use during playtimes, and stringent cleaning protocols before each playtime following the guidance of local and national health officials.

“The health of our guests and employees is of utmost importance. We are taking proactive steps to provide visitors with a safe, comfortable environment when we welcome them back to LEGOLAND Discovery Center again,” said Laura Whitman, General Manager of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester. “After over a year spent social distancing, we hope to provide our fans with a day of togetherness, learning, creating, and carefree play.”

As part of the reopening, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will also honor the tireless work of local medical professionals by donating complimentary tickets to local organizations and their healthcare heroes. For every guest who tags the attraction in a social media post during their visit, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will donate one ticket to a local healthcare worker from a health care partner to be announced soon.

Families are encouraged to visit https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester as soon as next week to purchase tickets and check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester’s visit safety tips.

ABOUT LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and has 11 locations across North America including Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Toronto, and Westchester. Geared towards children ages 3 to 10 and their families, the attraction features millions of LEGO® bricks and multiple attractions including Master Builder Academy; Kingdom Quest Laser Ride; Merlin’s Apprentice Ride; LEGO® 4D Cinema; Build and Test; MINILAND™ featuring iconic landmarks; LEGO® Friends Heartlake City, and more.

Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center’s site for attraction info and locations. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a part of the Merlin Entertainments Group. 

About Merlin Entertainments plc 

Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 130 attractions, 19 hotels, and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries across four continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its 67 million guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its 28,000 employees (peak season).

Visit Merlin Entertainments site for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews

 

Problem Gambling Awareness Month: Dealing with Unseen Demons

By Adam Jablin

Transformational Life Coach and Recovery Mentor

Gambling addiction is real. Allow me to say that again– gambling addiction is a real thing. It’s not a lack of willpower. It’s an illness.

The medical community has four classifications to consider an illness a disease: it must be progressive, chronic, primary, and fatal. Gambling addiction fulfills all of the requirements. 

You see, it’s an uncontrollable urge—a phenomenon of cravings that one gets from a “high”. It’s as normal and necessary as needing air for you and I. 

Like a drug addict goes for a fix, or an alcoholic would thirst for that drink… the gambler chases the rush. That “rush” of dopamine is the same as a narcotic. Its an obsession of the mind that destroys families. 

Those addicted are constantly increasing the amounts for the thrill. They lie and scam to get more money, jeopardizing their most important and sacred relationships. They’re always trying to win the money back, stop all together, or resort to low measures like stealing and other fraudulent behaviors to continue their addiction. When the feel restless, irritable and discontent, they use gambling as an escape from reality. 

They may take it so far that it effects their physical health. Here is an excerpt from my book Lotsaholic: From A Sick To Sober Superman:

He lifted up his shirt and revealed a huge scar, from his upper belly across his chest and up into his armpit. “Three heart attacks. That’s how bad. I’m gonna die, kid, if I keep this up. That’s why I’ve been in here so long. I feel safe here.

I don’t trust myself out there, and I’m not ready to die.” As Tony reeled in his line, I noticed that he wasn’t wearing his fancy Rolex. Today he was wearing a simple Timex that carried the Caesars Palace logo.

“What’s with the new watch?”

He fiddled with his lure. “Tonight they take me outside for a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Every time I go, I wear this watch. This is the most expensive watch I own. It cost me 1.5 million dollars. I gave Caesars my cash; they gave me a suite, champagne, and this beautiful watch. It’s my personal souvenir to remind me of how bad I get. It and the scar.” He bobbed his fishing rod up and down. “Say, you want to come with me tonight? I always go alone, but I sure would love the company.”

“Sure!” Where else will I get to experience a Gamblers Anonymous meeting with a former gangster?

The room was compact and dim. There was a small podium with a GA banner and about seventy old, wooden folding chairs. And the room was full. I enjoyed hearing Tony and the others share their stories. I realized how strong the high from winning is. On the wall opposite me was a giant banner listing the twelve steps of Gamblers Anonymous, which were almost identical to those of Alcoholics Anonymous, with just the slightest differences in wording.

Step 1: Admitted we were powerless over gambling—that our lives had become unmanageable. Next to the banner was a bulletin board that displayed meeting times for a list of various twelve-step programs, including Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Co-Dependents Anonymous (coda), Heroin Anonymous (HA), and Al-Anon/Alateen, a group for friends and families of alcoholics. The list went on. It occurred to me that anybody in the world can use the basic approach of a twelve-step program to achieve freedom from addiction and greater connection to a higher power. I’d discovered a new world.

But there is help out there. Now, many treatment centers, like The Hanley Center and Future’s focus on gambling and treat it like any other addiction or mental illness. Gamblers Anonymous—the famous twelve-step community has had amazing results. The solution for these illnesses is truly spiritual. These obsessions lay in the mind. Once the spiritual malady is solved, the mind and body follow quickly. So, never lose hope. 

There is a way out! 

Art illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Transformed Grief – Estefana Johnson, LMSW

When COVID-19 hit, there was an instant collective response of panic. People rushed to fill their pantries with nonperishables and toilet paper.  Schools closed, businesses closed, and lives were flipped upside down as our routines were disrupted by lockdowns and uncertainty. In a moment in which we most needed comfort and connection, we were forced to isolate for fear of spreading the virus to our loved ones. I remember countless sleepless nights where I obsessively checked the dashboards and reviewed the little data provided on how this virus operated, who was being affected, and the odds of survival. I called my parents frequently to remind them to “stay home, wash your hands, wear your masks”. I knew then if my father were to become infected, he would not survive. He was elderly and his lungs had much damage from decades of exposure to dust and cement as a mason. 

My father was the humblest, hardest-working man with the biggest faith I’ve ever known. He taught me patience, integrity and to never take life seriously as it is but a journey in the span of our existence. As an emigrant from Mexico with an 8th grade education, he faced adversity with relentless courage, and boundless humor. When he contracted COVID in July 2020, my heart shattered and my heart plunged into agony. Even then, Dad persisted: “no te preocupes mija, todo va estar bien” (don’t worry, my daughter, all will be well.) And yet, on July 27th, he passed. 

How can things be “well” when our world is shattered as we face our worst fear? Grief is the price of love. Years of working with trauma survivors as a clinician have allowed me to see that not all people can withstand the weight of tragedy and loss. Grief rips away our sense of normalcy, leaving us feeling broken, raw, and exposed. Many people lapse into survival mode to weather grief, a constant battle of managing misery and pain. Unresolved anguish, like unattended mold, can weaken our body structure, infect our attitude with anger, cloud our vision with resentment and spread toxic spores of bitterness towards others. And yet, there are those who rise up in the midst of adversity, seemingly fueled by the pain, and transformed to a more resilient, truer self. Like steel, refined through the fire. But how?

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” The human race has continued to thrive through plagues, war, genocide, famine and tragedy. Death is not the only loss we experience; we also grieve the loss of hope, health, relationships, or such as in this pandemic, loss of “normalcy.” Loss creates change. Change is only constant in life and outside of our control. It is in the acceptance and embracing of change that we can refine and solidify the core of what defines us. Even in the face of death, my father’s courage did not relent as he reaffirmed his identity: “I am a soldier and I will fight till the end – bruised and battered, I will fight until I am called home.” And fight he did.

Just like many other ‘essential’ workers, my sisters, both of whom are nurses, and I had to return to work. With the raw pain of loss, we found ourselves facing others in the midst of the tragedy we had just endured. I had never felt such gratitude for the tool that had become my specialty: Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), an evidence-based technique that enables clients to reframe their memories of troubling events. Without ART, I could not have held space for the grief many clients brought to my office.  When we experience severe emotional events, the memory is imprinted into our subconscious mind through images. It is this deeply-rooted, emotionally-laden memory that causes our body to experience reactive responses such as extreme fear or panic long after the event has passed. Talking about painful memories can sometimes exacerbate symptoms since we cannot reason our way out of the pain. The subconscious does not speak in words; it speaks in images. Thus, metaphors are the language of emotion.  

Clients often share an inability to forget the image of their loved one’s death as it haunts them both in their waking life through flashbacks. ART targets these images through a brief, succinct process called voluntary image replacement. Grief work enables us to redefine the connection to our loved ones through memories of their life, rather than their death.  ART helps to facilitate that process. It has enabled me to transform my suffering to fuel my purpose as I help others navigate through the process of healing and post-traumatic growth.  Post-traumatic growth is an undergoing of a significant shift in one’s relation with the self and the world. It’s the ability to extract wisdom from suffering, create purpose from the pain and become more of our truest, most powerful selves as we break through perceived limitations. It leads us to acceptance of reality and enables us to feel more connected to our own humanity and that of others as we embrace our vulnerability.

Through ART, I now hold the memory of my father in a space full of love and resoluteness. I see him sitting in my sister’s living room, watching his children chat and grandkids play with a look of blissful pride on his face. It brings comfort to the void left by his departure, a reminder that life is finite.  And every time a client returns to my office after an ART session and tells me “The images are gone –  all I see is my mother’s smile,” my heart is filled with hope.

For additional information on Estefana Johnson go here.

Herbalife article illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 magazine

The Entrepreneurs Top Tech Tools

Rhonda VetereChief Information Officer, Herbalife Nutrition

When the world shut down due to the pandemic, everything changed, especially for small businesses. Suddenly, the ability to connect to customers became even more critical, and the safe way to do so is through technology. While companies have long relied on email or text messaging to communicate, many entrepreneurs found they needed to expand their technology toolkit, becoming more creative and resourceful with how they conduct business and compete effectively. As a technology expert who advises more than 3.4 million entrepreneurs around the world on technology solutions that can help them serve their customers and manage their business, I recommend the following tech tips to help you power your business. 

Customer service 

We are living during a time of tremendous technology transformation. Gone are the days when people waited for what seemed an eternity to send or receive a message. Time has sped up, and with it is the demand from customers for immediate attention. According to recent research, 82% of consumers expect a quick response from brands. Keeping up or ahead of customers requires staying on top of technology trends and ensuring that you have the tools to compete in the digital age.  

For website support, many entrepreneurs use a live chat tool that can help customers with basic questions. Many of these tools can be used on social media as well. If paid chat options are price prohibitive, there are also useful and free tools, including Zoho Desk.

Communication and collaboration 

Video conferencing and video chat applications grew exponentially during the pandemic. In March, video conferencing apps saw 62 million downloads. Entrepreneurs are using video apps for connecting with customers, partners and vendors. While these tools are excellent for meetings, they are also useful for maintaining connections with industry organizations and networking groups. Many of the tools allow break-out rooms for a small meeting within a session, creating an intimate and collaborative space. 

As you continue to build your reputation as an expert in your industry, video conferencing can also be used to host a webinar for existing and potential customers. Many entrepreneurs are hosting panel discussions, bringing in other partners and collaborators. These sessions can be taped and repurposed as content for your social media channels, website and email marketing. There are many video conferencing options, including, Joinme, which has a free plan that lets you invite up to 10 video participants 

Social media 

Social media is not just for sharing videos and memes – it is a top business tool. Your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and Instagram. Once you identify which channels you want to use, you need to post engaging content. These can range from news about products, sales and impactful information. Posting across several channels every week can be daunting. Thankfully, many social media tools help you schedule and publish your content that can be calendared and posted automatically. These tools range from Hootsuite (which has a free option) to Zoho Social to Buffer

Slack  

More and more brands, companies and entrepreneurs use Slack to communicate with their customers. It’s a great place to provide relevant updates, tips and advisement, and new product announcements. It also gives your customers a place away from social media to share stories and entrepreneurs a place to connect with their team more visibly easily. 

Storage  

There is a lot of discussion about the term “the cloud.” Think of the cloud as an off-site storage locker, where all your critical information is safe and secure – and easily sharable. Google DriveDropbox, or Microsoft Sharepoint safeguard your backups and allow users access from any location. Moving your work to the cloud not only benefits you to work from anywhere and any device, but it also makes it easy to share content with your customers.  

Email Marketing 

Your marketing toolkit may contain a variety of options – one of which is email marketing. Sending professionally designed, informative newsletters to your customers is a great way to keep in touch. One of the most popular companies in the business is Mailchimp. Even better, If your company sends fewer than 12,000 email messages per month to fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s Forever Free plan. 

E-commerce 

The pandemic has changed how we shop. Overnight, people began to purchase everything from groceries to furniture online and in record numbers. Customers now expect to buy their products online. They expect the experience to be easy and fast. There are many great e-commerce platforms out there, such as Shopify, a one-stop-shop for setting up your e-commerce store, to Amazon’s beyond popular platform. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, and you can use it to chat with customers online, track orders and send invoices.  

One final note. As a technologist, I remind everyone that interaction with your customers is up to you. Nothing supplants human interaction and connection. With limits on our in-person meetings, it is even more essential to find ways to build businesses. Mix up how you connect with others – pick up the phone, or schedule a Zoom, to call a handful of customers every day. Don’t forego a personal email that is not meant to sell a customer or colleague – but to check-in with them and see how they are doing. Technology is a fantastic tool that helps small businesses act big. The challenge is to make the technology connections feel more three-dimensional vs two-dimensional. Technology can help us be more efficient and productive, and while it can enhance our communication, it will never replace the incredible power of the human relationship. That part is up to you.  

Yoga illustration for 360 Magazine

The Roots Between Yoga and Plants

Yoga is a way for humans to connect with nature, and plants play a pivotal role in that. Plants increase mood, they can help heal the body, and some plants can also clean the air, which can make a pretty big difference in how people feel as they practice yoga. According to Adam Husler, one of the UK’s most sought after yoga instructors, having a green, plant-filled space adds multiple benefits to your yoga practice. As Adam states it, plants bring four major attributes to one’s yoga practice: Air purity, Form and Structure, Mood lifting, and Meditation Anchors.

Air Purity

Breathing is the foundation of yoga, which allows plants to play a huge role as they purify the air. Living plants are natural air purifiers, removing carbon dioxide from the air and producing oxygen during the day. There’s nothing like an oxygen-producing plant to bring life, and fresh air, to an indoor room. This offers a healthy environment for your practice, and allows you to intake the good stuff and less of the bad.

Form and Structure

Yoga is about form, self-enquiry and exploring various shapes and poses. For the ultimate balance, this should also be reflected in your space through combining yin and yang, masculine and feminine colors and shapes. Plants with interesting structure amongst robust leafy plants can help balance the look and feel of your space and improve your practice.

Mood Lifting

Did you know that different plants have almost instantaneous effects on your mood? Creating a green space sanctuary can really lift your mood. Mixing plants and positioning plants in various locations instantly creates an urban-jungle vibe, which encourages a sense of calm and happiness. Some of these include Aloe vera, Ferns, and Lavender (for direct light areas inside). According to a study published in the “Journal of Environmental Psychology,” people reported higher levels of mood and perceived comfort when plants were present than when they were not.

Meditation Anchors

Plants are soothing and add to one’s calmness. The foliage from plants make for great meditation anchors – their leaves are intricate and hypnotic to look at, you can easily get lost in them. And how about a little fragrance! Adding a little fragrance to meditation has a very powerful, positive and supportive effect on any type of meditation and becomes a way of helping our mind to become focused, clear, balanced and peaceful.

Lively Root recommends the following plants for your yoga studio:
White Bird Dragon Tree (Dracaena warneckii ‘White Stripe’)
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Variegated Snake Plants (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
ZZ Plant/Eternity Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum ‘Petra’)
Peacock Plant (Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’)
Bromeliad

Perhaps the most low maintenance plants on our list are the ZZ Plant & the Snake Plant. They can grow in almost any location regardless of the lighting conditions. These plants, like the peace lily, have been shown to filter harsh toxins from the air including formaldehyde, toluene and benzene. As we said earlier, there’s nothing like oxygen-producing plants to bring life, and fresh air, to an indoor room.

For more information, please visit Lively Root’s website.

More about Lively Root
At Lively Root, the green spaces created have been instrumental in developing an ideal green space. Lively Root’s plants are home grown and full-scale fulfillment centers. They only sell eco-friendly products that are packaged and delivered right to your doorstep. Founding members have over a century of horticultural experience as growers, retailers, and landscapers, ranging from small plants, to indoor plants, outdoor plants, large trees, and flowering shrubs. They have planted & maintained trees on residential and commercial properties. Plants improve health by purifying the air, soothing stress, making people feel happier, and offering style and ambiance.

Green covid by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Tuberculosis Bacteria Paradox

TB-causing bacteria remember prior stress, react quickly to new stress

Tuberculosis bacteria have evolved to remember stressful encounters and react quickly to future stress, according to a study by computational bioengineers at Rice University and infectious disease experts at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS).

Published online in the open-access journal mSystems, the research identifies a genetic mechanism that allows the TB-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to respond to stress rapidly and in manner that is “history-dependent,” said corresponding author Oleg Igoshin, a professor of bioengineering at Rice.

Researchers have long suspected that the ability of TB bacteria to remain dormant, sometimes for decades, stems from their ability to behave based upon past experience.

Latent TB is an enormous global problem. While TB kills about 1.5 million people each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 2-3 billion people are infected with a dormant form of the TB bacterium.

“There’s some sort of peace treaty between the immune system and bacteria,” Igoshin said. “The bacteria don’t grow, and the immune system doesn’t kill them. But if people get immunocompromised due to malnutrition or AIDS, the bacteria can be reactivated.”

One of the most likely candidates for a genetic switch that can toggle TB bacteria into a dormant state is a regulatory network that is activated by the stress caused by immune cell attacks. The network responds by activating several dozen genes the bacteria use to survive the stress. Based on a Rice computational model, Igoshin and his longtime Rutgers NJMS collaborator Maria Laura Gennaro and colleagues predicted just such a switch in 2010. According to the theory, the switch contained an ultrasensitive control mechanism that worked in combination with multiple feedback loops to allow hysteresis, or history-dependent behavior.

“The idea is that if we expose cells to intermediate values of stress, starting from their happy state, they don’t have that much of a response,” Igoshin explained. “But if you stress them enough to stop their growth, and then reduce the stress level back to an intermediate level, they remain stressed. And even if you fully remove the stress, the gene expression pathway stays active, maintaining a base level of activity in case the stress comes back.”

In later experiments, Gennaro’s team found no evidence of the predicted control mechanism in Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close relative of the TB bacterium. Since both organisms use the same regulatory network, it looked like the prediction was wrong. Finding out why took years of follow-up studies. Gennaro and Igoshin’s teams found that the TB bacterium, unlike their noninfectious cousins, had the hysteresis control mechanism, but it didn’t behave as expected.

“Hysteretic switches are known to be very slow, and this wasn’t,” Igoshin said. “There was hysteresis, a history-dependent response, to intermediate levels of stress. But when stress went from low to high or from high to low, the response was relatively fast. For this paper, we were trying to understand these somewhat contradictory results. ”

Igoshin and study co-author Satyajit Rao, a Rice doctoral student who graduated last year, revisited the 2010 model and considered how it might be modified to explain the paradox. Studies within the past decade had found a protein called DnaK played a role in activating the stress-response network. Based on what was known about DnaK, Igoshin and Rao added it to their model of the dormant-active switch.

“We didn’t discover it, but we proposed a particular mechanism for it that could explain the rapid, history-dependent switching we’d observed,” Igoshin said. “What happens is, when cells are stressed, their membranes get damaged, and they start accumulating unfolded proteins. Those unfolded proteins start competing for DnaK.”

DnaK was known to play the role of chaperone in helping rid cells of unfolded proteins, but it plays an additional role in the stress-response network by keeping its sensor protein in an inactive state.

“When there are too many unfolded proteins, DnaK has to let go of the sensor protein, which is an activation input for our network,” Igoshin said. “So once there are enough unfolded proteins to ‘distract’ DnaK, the organism responds to the stress.”

Gennaro and co-author Pratik Datta conducted experiments at NJMS to confirm DnaK behaved as predicted. But Igoshin said it is not clear how the findings might impact TB treatment or control strategies. For example, the switch responds to short-term biochemical changes inside the cell, and it’s unclear what connection, if any, it may have with long-term behaviors like TB latency, he said.

“The immediate first step is to really try and see whether this hysteresis is important during the infection,” Igoshin said. “Is it just a peculiar thing we see in our experiments, or is it really important for patient outcomes? Given that it is not seen in the noninfectious cousin of the TB bacterium, it is tempting to speculate it is related to survival inside the host.”

Gennaro is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Igoshin is a senior investigator at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.

The research was supported by the Welch Foundation (C-1995) and the National Institutes of Health (GM096189, AI122309, AI104615, HL149450).

relationship illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

How to Heal a Strained or Severed Relationship

In Your Personal × Professional Life

By: Allison Kelly Jones, Author of Measure Twice, Cut Once, Navigating Negativity in Toxic Relationships

Sometimes we find ourselves in personal or professional relationships that sour for various reasons, but there are always two players in the strain. Some people continue to engage in “tit for tat” behaviors deploying everything from the silent treatment to guilt or passive/aggressive conduct which is never a good way to “conduct” ourselves. So how do you get past the hurt? How do you reconcile the issues while being true to yourself? How do you “move the needle” towards reconciliation in your personal relationships or resolution in your professional ones?

There are never any innocent bystanders in toxic relationships and being honest about our role in conflict is the first step and it starts with first admitting our behavior in the situation. If a person says or does something to upset you and you swallow your feelings, gossip instead of confronting it or try to ignore it (which causes inner turmoil), you too are playing a role in the dysfunction whether that of a martyr or the passive/aggressive person. An insult or act against you isn’t solely about the other person, so an honest internal check of how it feels in your body is in order and let it be your guide. Decide if you want to nurture the relationship and build or if the relationship has run its course and you may need to cut the relationship with kindness. In my book, “Measure Twice, Cut Once, Navigating Negativity in Toxic Relationships” I discuss the behaviors that identify toxic behaviors in ourselves and others as we decide how to proceed when engaging with difficult people and situations. If you decide to engage and nurture, it starts with forgiveness and forgiveness doesn’t require you to forget the offense, it only matters that you decide to accept that what has happened has occurred and you are letting go of resentment or vindictive thinking or behavior by separating the person from the offense. Taking accountability for your role and communicating how the other person’s behavior affected you and their responsibility for wounding you, doesn’t minimize or validate wrongdoing, it allows you to move into a space of healing. 

Secondly, Look for the good in the person. We all fall from grace and we all need it in our lives at different times. Who hasn’t done something wrong to another person? Lied on someone. Took credit or too much credit for something we shouldn’t have. Said something insensitive. Did something purely out of spite. We would do well to remember that everyone needs grace and hopefully got it. When you are upset with someone, it’s hard to see past an offense and separate the person from the offense, but if you could remember times they were in a more positive light or a time when you were viewed similarly can help reign in feelings of resentment. 

Next, try on some empathy by seeing the other persons point of view because there are always points to ponder from the other side. You are not always right. Keep in mind that our ego wants us want to be unkind, but we should be mindful that compassion can go a long way in being an effective advocate for resolution in any matter, personal or professional. 

Afterwards, identify the real issue. Conflict doesn’t just “pop up” and it seldom comes without warning. There are always behaviors that occur that sow discord over time. The real source of clashing may not be miscommunication, rather it is usually based on perception of an issue. Separating fact from fiction from feelings can help.  Ask yourself what the real issue is that’s bothering you, meaning solid concrete tangible things, e.g., “Allan yells at me at work (Fact) and it feels belittling (Feelings) and people may think I’m weak (Fiction)”. Ask questions of yourself first and then Clarify, Verify and Communicate your need. 

When communicating your need use “I” language because you are only responsible for what is in your span of control. Trying to defuse a situation by pointing fingers usually blows the issue up further. “I’ don’t like when you yell at me” – “I don’t understand what you mean.”  Next, confirm what you are hearing from them. “So, let me make sure I understand” I think what I hear you saying is…”  Communicating what your needs are and listening for the message on the other end is important to resolve the issue or reconcile the relationship. 

Finally, give it time and space if needed. If your attempts at resolution are rejected allow the time and space for the other person to discern, decipher and decide what they would like to do without pressure is important. Next, reach out occasionally and ask for smaller measurements like a 15-minute coffee break or a text as a reminder that you really want to try to resolve the issue. Be consistent until you can’t.  

If all else fails and you have to break from the relationship, let the other person know in a letter or a call/message that you really wanted to move the needle to make everyone comfortable, but your efforts have gone without merit and you are now choosing to let go without resentment.  With family try to offer ongoing family therapy both on your own or together, but have no expectations, simply know that with time all things heal or work out for the greater good because not all relationships are intended to endure. Some are there for a blessing or a lesson, but it’s always for your growth.

BIO: 

Allison Kelly Jones is a southside Chicago native who joined the military after high school and traveled the country as a federal contractor and subject matter expert in human resources, business development and federal personnel programs. She was the on-air talent for her eponymous business show on CBS AM, “The Big Talker” in Washington D.C. Allison spent a vast amount of her career mentoring and coaching many people to personal and business success and has been sought after to deliver powerful and contemporary lectures on topics that engage, empower, and inspire people to live their most genuine and happy lives. Her philosophy is, “we are here to learn who we are and what we are here to do and whatever it is, it is to be shared.” 

Manifestation is truly the only way to have the life you desire most, and Allison instructs people on how to manifest their dreams, doing so as a personal and business coach and also as a professor of business in Arizona.  

For More Information visit HERE.

 “Measure Twice, Cut Once: Navigating Negativity in Toxic Relationships” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Food illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders in COVID-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders, and these tendencies can be exacerbated due to the coronavirus. The difficulty of accessing specific foods and the discourse surrounding weight gain in quarantine can make those who struggle with eating disorders feel out of control and helpless. COVID-19 can be a nightmare for them because of the following triggers:

 

·      Empty grocery shelves

·      Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control

·      Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

 

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

 

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

 

·       9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime

·       Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa

·       Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa

·       Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder. Unlike more widely known eating disorders which disproportionately effect women, 40% of those with BED are men.

·       10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result

·       Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses

·       About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

 

However, if you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, talking to a licensed professional and receiving treatment can help.