the girl in HR other interests

I’m Stressing the Children I Don’t Even Have Yet

Photo credit: Olimpia Zagnoli

I lead a pretty stressful life — I like to work, I like to work hard, and I like to be involved in a lot of activities — coupled with a high sense of responsibility and accomplishment — yup, I have a lot of stress.

So imagine my “stress” when I read this article in the NY Times,
Inheriting Stress, which explores the question: Can children inherit stress from their mother? My initial thought, “YIKES!”

WE intuitively understand, and scientific studies confirm, that if a woman experiences stress during her pregnancy, it can affect the health of her baby. But what about stress that a woman experiences before getting pregnant — perhaps long before?

It may seem unlikely that the effects of such stress could be directly transmitted to the child. After all, stress experienced before pregnancy is not part of a mother’s DNA, nor does it overlap with the nine months of fetal development.

Nonetheless, it is undeniable that stress experienced during a person’s lifetime is often correlated with stress-related problems in that person’s offspring — and even in the offspring’s offspring. Perhaps the best-studied example is that of the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Research shows that survivors’ children have greater-than-average chances of having stress-related psychiatric illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder, even without being exposed to higher levels of stress in their own lives. — excerpt from article http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/can-children-inherit-stress.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

Okay, okay, okay. So I don’t have any kind of post-traumatic stress, but the piece goes on to explore if the stress has an impact on parenting style?

I’m always concerned about the amount of stress in my life–  barring the impact to my future children, I know that its not very helpful to me, but the thought of my stress potentially having this kind of ripple effect, takes stress management to a whole… ‘nother.. level.

I met with a friend last week and she swears by yoga and feels that it has made positive changes to her life and her sense of stress. I’ve always viewed it as just a means of exercise, but she urged me to get into the meditative pieces of it as well (maybe Bikram is out?), but silly as it may sound, I have a new found motivation.

Even if there is no link — we all know the benefits of a life with less stress.

The battle goes on… how to “relax, relate, release” … but still maintain my “intense” and competitive edge with my career. Could meditating be the answer?

Do you have employees who have this truly mastered, or is just as elusive as a purple cow?

Still searching… 🙂

Yours,

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Olimpia Zagnoli

 

30 Second Video – Networking Takeaways

I started a mentoring program with my local SHRM chapter (SAHRMA) for current students and new HR professionals. This is the second cohort of the program and since I have some folks now to help me conduct the program I decided to take on a mentoring group myself.
Being in the mentoring group with the program creator may not be easy since I use my group as guinea pigs … but I wanted to pilot virtual mentoring sessions so we met using Google Hangouts. We had only a few hiccups but otherwise it was a great session. Our topic for the session was about, “How and Why to Network.”
I made a short video to play around with some animation tools (always testing something new — I tried “GoAnimate“) and record some notes in a fun way. Well… success… kinda… I could only make a 30 second video (which kinda sucks, but hey, its free, so ya get what you get) but I think some good takeaways nonetheless. Next meeting — I think I’m going to record the hangout and continue to find some other software to use to do some video recapping (30 seconds is pretty short, but 60 seconds would be about the right ballpark).
Anyhoo — here after all that buildup — here is the recap video!

In other news, GoAnimate is, meh, okay… at least the free version (time limit and the embed links don’t work — I had to get kinda creative with that image and link above). Have suggestions of other animation software I should try?

Get your network on — and share your tips here or on our Facebook groups!

Making the HR connection, yours,

Its News and a Distraction: Mack Brown from the POV of a Player

A little detour to bring you my, “Its not news, its a distractions” piece– and depending on who you are, you may or may not disagree. I’m a huge Texas fan — and when I think of my days  growing up in Austin and attending UT, Texas Football is often on f those memories — and particularly, Mack Brown.

I haven’t said much either way about Texas Football — and imagine that many of you probably don’t care — but I was still a little bummed to hear that Brown had resigned. I came across this piece that a former player wrote, “Mack Brown, My Coach, A Player’s Perspective”— and it struck me as exactly all the things that I liked about Coach Brown and his program.  I’m gonna miss him and wonder what all will be next for him.

http://chrishall.org/post/70188867939/mack-brown-my-coach-a-players-perspective

How to Have a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend

Getting some much needed rest and relaxation is on my mind (again) — This is one of my struggles as I still can’t find the balance. However, I’ve learned a few times over my working career, and once again as recently as last week, that if you don’t take the time to slow down and rest, your body will do it for you. I’ve been sick the last 13 days — twice! And while I’m starting to finally feel like “myself” I know that I largely got sick because I’d over extended myself for too long.

Still my challenge to overcome so I maintain committed to finding the balance — and sharing with you want I find. I found this great article from Debbie Woodbury with some great tips:

1. Change your mindset, if only for the weekend. If you have a workaholic, productivity-proves-validity mindset, like me, you don’t relax easily. Why not try changing your mindset for just a weekend? Everyone needs time to relax and recharge, and anyone who thinks they are productive 24/7 is just kidding themselves anyway. So go ahead, throw relentless productivity to the wind and resolve to be blissfully unproductive this weekend. You can always go back to being a crazed workaholic on Monday.

2. Unplug from your electronics. Put the stresses and obligations of the workweek on hold by separating yourself from your cell phone, tablet or laptop. Deliberately unplugging makes a statement to yourself and others, “I choose to relax and be blissfully unproductive for a few days.”

Go one step further and seek out silence. As Deepak Chopra said, “Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”

3. Stay in the moment. As hard as it is to unplug from your electronics, it’s even harder to unplug from your monkey mind. You know what monkey mind is — the incessant chatter of worry, “shoulds,” “what ifs” and a past/future focus. When the chatter starts building, take a breath and stop. In that moment of awareness, you create a gap that allows you to recognize the noise for what it is, before it takes you away with it. Practicing “catch and release” of your monkey-mind thoughts keeps you present in the here and now and focuses your mind on one thing at a time.

4. Play. Play is not a luxury. Let me repeat. Play is not a luxury. In fact, play is vital to health and increased productivity. Spontaneous play and the fun it elicits are transformative, and happen more often when you’re in the moment. Planning play is as important as planning your meals. And play takes all kinds of forms — run through the sprinkler, have sex, read a fun book, take a hammock nap or just jump up and down! Play doesn’t have to be big and noisy. Play is whatever feeds your soul and makes you feel more alive. Go play!

5. Reconnect with loved ones. Sometimes we’re so overwhelmed with obligations, schedules, responsibilities and appointments that we forget to really be with the people we love. If you turn off the TV, phone and laptop — if you stay in the moment and open yourself to play and fun — guess where you’ll end up? Reconnecting with friends and family!

via 5 Steps to a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend | Debbie Woodbury.

Seems like its just 5 simple things, but some of these are still going to be a real challenge for me. I think I’ll have to take it one at a time and work my way up to all 5 at once :).

Relaxing, relating, and releasing — thanks for joining me on the journey to better work life balance! Making the HR connection, yours

Its Not News, Its a Distraction: 12th Doctor Revealed Live on TV

“Who” am I kidding (pun intended)  I LOVE Dr. Who!!! Those who know me, know I’m a Whovian! I’m giddy with excitement and thought that this was too cool NOT to share — the Twelfth Doctor to be Revealed This Sunday — Live on TV! How novel is that?!?  Want to know what I’ll be doing to “relax, relate, release” this weekend — wonder no more! 

Be it “man, woman, otter,” Matt Smith just wants to see the right person take the role of the Twelfth Doctor, and it looks like that person may have been found as the Whovian rumor mill revved into gear Thursday with word that the next Doctor will be announced during a BBC special airing this weekend, which the BBC confirmed as true much to fans’ relief.

via http://www.geeksugar.com/Doctor-Who-Next-Doctor-Rumors-31076114

Guesses as to who the next doctor will be? … and while we’re chatting, got a favorite doctor?

Taking a lil break, from making the HR connection (DON’T BLINK), yours,

I Just Might be Tootsie! Should I Care?

I’ve come across this video a few times in my news-feed this week and finally got the chance to watch it.  I posted a blog – years ago- about the beauty premium and I thought about that as I finished up the video clip.

I’ve listened to the end about 5 times and the line “…that was never a comedy for me” just really sticks with me.

Ladies — do you feel it? A pressure to be “attractive” or more attractive than you are or at least as attractive as you can be?

Do you feel like you are treated differently depending on how “attractive you are?”

Yesterday,  I would have said, “I’m a lady who doesn’t care about looks and I’d be silly to care.  What you see is what you get. I want to be judged on my mind and personality, not on what I look like.” I rarely wear makeup, except mascara and lip gloss/chapstick. I often wear my hair in a ponytail or bun to work. I wear t shirts and flip flops to the office (yup still can’t shake those flip flops). My sense of fashion has been questioned on more than one occasion (I call it “power clashing” or “the messy professor”). I get dolled up for special occasions. People do a double take when they see photos of my from when I’m outside of work and I have my hair done and makeup on and they ask, “is that you?!?!”

But today, after watching the video and giving it some thought — Am I a Tootsie?  Do I wear the badge of ugly duckling proudly because I’ve given in and been brainwashed too. “Hey I don’t measure up to society’s thoughts of attractiveness, but look at my big brain and incredibly quick wit?” Or am I just proudly waving my freak flag and keeping it weird? Its Saturday morning and I’m confused. 🙂

Confusion is a good thing because that leads to discussion! I want to delve a bit deeper into the role of attractiveness and how we perceive ourselves and others? Is there really a difference? And let’s reprise the topic of the “beauty premium.”

The Girl in HR Gets Creative — Hello Kitty Inspired Cake Pops

Baking is relaxing to me — what kind of hobbies do you have that also relax you — maybe try baking or making cake pops!

Plus an easy and cheap way to give my team a little treat — they look funny, but its the thought that counts (and they actually taste WONDERFUL)

The Sunday Domestic Diva

I made these for a co-worker this week for a co-worker who loves Hello Kitty — it was her birthday and I thought that it would be a sweet (and fun) sentiment.

It was much more challenging than I thought it would be — I don’t think that I have all the proper tools to do this kind of detail work — but still, I had fun with it and they didn’t turn out too bad. And they taste DELISH — but I’m still working on my presentation! 🙂

I only had the energy to make 6 “Hello Kitty” pops — and then I made 12 others that were simpler (which actually turned out AWESOME — they were just coated with a dollop of frosting and a cute little topper on them — either a chocolate chip or another decoration.

I’m looking forward to making more and continuing to perfect…

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