Work-Life Advisor by r9O6R257


									Work-Life Advisor
  January 2010
  Volume 18, Issue 4
U.S Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

Happy New Year!
2009 was a particularly challenging year for a lot of people. While it is understandable to
have been weighed down by so many challenges, 2010 brings with it new opportunities
to improve the quality of our lives and look for new and improved ways to move forward.

It is our hope that this newsletter brings a bit of sunshine your way while providing helpful
hints about ways to make your life and work easier to manage. Our wish for you is the
most healthy and prosperous life both at home and at work.

Taking even small steps to live healthier, save money, work smarter, and find time for
those moments that are most important to you can make all the difference in living a
journey that makes us feel good and reboots our soul.

Here are some suggestions for your New Year’s Reboot found in the January 2010 issue of
Real Simple :

1. Make friends with fiber. Foods high in fiber such as apples and whole grains can jump-
start a sluggish digestive system and stop constipation, which can make your abdomen

2. If your exercise has lapsed, ease back into a routine. Go for a brisk 30 minute walk.
According to Amy Fox-Orenstein, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, this practice
will help stimulate your metabolism and drain excess fluids you are carrying.

3. Begin each day with breakfast. This gets your metabolism burning early in the day
and has been proven to help manage a healthy weight.

4. Make small steps count. Even those of us who exercise regularly at a particular time
may get only minimal physical activity the rest of the day. We sit in front of a computer,
we sit while commuting, we sit and eat, we sit and watch television…you get the idea.
Sneak exercise into your daily routine. Climb the steps at the metro, park at the far end
of the parking lot, while watching television, stretch, etc. There are lots of ways that you
can fit a bit more movement in your days.

5. If you find yourself in a bit of slump, simply take one slow deep breath in, count to four,
and then slowly exhale.

6. Get a full night’s sleep. Research shows that sleeping only 4 – 5 hours can affect the
body’s hormone levels, which can lead to increased hunger and weight gain, not to
mention making you cranky.
7. The average American household spends $50,486 annually. Find one new, clever way
to reduce an expense. Join a food co-op, start clipping coupons, use the web for
prescriptions, bike to work - be creative and enjoy the savings!

 “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your
 life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have
                                         defeated age.”
                                         ~Sophia Loren

The Importance of Sleep
Some 50 to 70 million American adults suffer from sleep and wakefulness disorders,
according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not getting enough
sleep has been tied to mental distress, depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension,
diabetes, high cholesterol and certain risk behaviors including cigarette smoking,
physical inactivity and heavy drinking.

-Getting at least seven hours of sleep results in greater alertness, better work
performance and better quality of life.

-People who sleep 5 or fewer hours per night are 5 times more likely to have hypertension
than those who get at least 6 hours of restful sleep, according to the Sleep journal.
-Restrictive sleep has been shown to be associated with increased appetite and
subsequent weight gain.

-Quality sleep lowers risk for diabetes. Study results presented at an American Heart
association conference last year indicated that people who averaged fewer than 6
hours of sleep per night were 4 times more likely to develop abnormal blood sugar levels,
a risk factor for diabetes.

For quality sleep:

1. Get to bed and wake at consistent times.
2. Practice conservative caffeine consumption.
3. Exercise more than 3 hours before bed time.
4. Minimize alcohol consumption in the evening.
5. Temperature of your bedroom is best between 66 and 68 degrees.

Glaucoma Awareness Month
Poor drainage of a person’s eye can lead to high eye pressure which is a cause of
glaucoma. The resulting vision loss can be devastating and drastically change the
quality of life for those who fall victim to the disease. Although nearly 3 million people
have glaucoma, half do not realize it because there are often no warning symptoms.

Most cases progress so slowly there are often no warning signs before damage occurs
inside the eye. In most cases, peripheral vision is noticeably affected. If not treated,
glaucoma leads to total blindness.
Detecting the disease early can save a person’s eyesight and can be done easily with a
medical eye exam.

Ophthalmologists can measure the pressure inside the eye with a quick test that can
be done right at the doctor’s office. The Glaucoma Eye Program promotes early
detection and treatment of glaucoma. People may call their help line at 1-800-391-EYES
(3937) anytime for themselves or another person that may benefit to see if they qualify for
a glaucoma eye exam or to request free eye care information.

Consider taking the time to set up your eye exam.

National Radon Action Month
National Radon Action Month helps to increase awareness about the risks from radon
exposure, how to test for radon, and how to fix a home that has high radon levels.

Ultimately this awareness saves lives from radon-induced lung cancer. Keep your home
healthy from the ground up and improve your home’s air quality to preserve your family’s
All homes should be tested for radon.

Fortunately, testing is easy and inexpensive. Visit the EPA for more information on how to
obtain your own radon testing kit. You may also visit EPA’s local radon information section
for help with finding a qualified radon tester.

For additional information about the risks of exposure, how to test for radon, and what to
do to get your radon levels fixed, go to

Mend Your Memory
Believe it or not many memory challenges can be reversed if you just know what to do.
Here are some helpful hints to mend your memory and help you to stay razor-sharp.

Reader’s Digest tells us to watch for these signs:

1. Your blood sugar is high. MRI scans of volunteers’ brains suggest that high blood sugar
might damage parts of the brain that deal with memory. Eating well and staying active
helps prevent high blood sugar and diabetes.

2. You’re pushing too hard. Our brains need adequate sleep to keep our memories top-
notch and it is surprising just how little missed sleep can have an effect. One study
showed that while volunteers who slept 6 hours nightly for just 2 weeks didn’t feel sleep
deprived, but they performed substantially worse on tests of short-term memory. Make
adequate rest a priority.

3. You snore. You may have sleep apnea in which your airway gets blocked during
sleep, cutting off oxygen for seconds at a time, starving brain cells. If you’re a loud
snorer and constantly fatigued, ask your doctor if you should be tested for apnea.

4. You feel manic or sluggish. Thyroid hormones control your metabolism, but too much
or too little can disrupt the normal chatter between brain cells. An overactive thyroid
creates so much static that it’s hard for the brain’s messages to get through, while a
sluggish thyroid slows brain messages to a crawl. Talk to your doctor about bothersome
5. You’re depressed. People with severe depression lose brain cells. Early treatment may
be key. A 2008 study suggested that people who had longer episodes of depression
were less likely to show memory improvement after their mood lifted.

6. You take an allergy drug or a sleeping pill. Mental fuzziness after starting these or any
meds should prompt a talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

                  For last year's words belong to last year's language
                      And next year's words await another voice.
                     And to make an end is to make a beginning.
                                     ~T.S. Eliot,
                                    "Little Gidding"

Goal Setting
Success comes first from the ability to recognize opportunity and then to form plans and
strategies that leverage the opportunity.

Success, of course, is individualistic. Your definition of success may be very different from
another person’s. Yet, the underlying steps toward successfully achieving your goals are
basically the same.

Whether you are trying to loose weight, improve your finances, be more productive, or
anything in between, apply these tips:

1. Start with one goal and keep it reasonably simple. Choose a small specific goal or
take a larger one and break it down into small pieces that can be done on a daily basis.
Big successes start with little ones.

2. Put your goal in writing. Place it where you will see it several times a day. Having your
goal in writing solidifies it and having the words visible frequently inspires you to stay on
the right track.

3. Keep track of your progress every day. Everything we accomplish takes steps and
daily steps can turn goals into habits.

4. You have to want it. If you don't really want to do it, you won't succeed. Pick goals you
want to achieve or change your attitude so you REALLY do want it.

5. Schedule time. Prioritize, say no, make time.

6. Be firm, yet flexible. Be willing to use an alternative plan when things don’t work as

7. Be positive. Doubting thoughts, and words, will crush your goal. Think and say positive
things. Leadership development expert Robin S. Sharma's suggestion is to "Talk to Yourself"
by picking a positive, "phrase that you will train your mind to focus on at different times
throughout the day until it begins to dominate your awareness and reshape the person
you are."
8. Continue to re-evaluate your progress. Consider if your goal has changed. Give
yourself time to contemplate if the original goal is still fitting or if it needs to be modified or
a new goal needs to be identified.

The Little Things Count
These links can help you save BIG when it comes to living well for less. – You can save between 50 – 90% on this site which offers daily sales on
spa services, museum memberships, activities and more in over 25 cities. Check it out. – Here you can find the best price on just about anything. Results are
pulled from user submissions as well as other search engines. – When you plug in your zip code you can find the nearest high-
yield checking account (some up to 6%) – Compare rates, rewards, and rebates on more than 1,000 credit cards.

January 18, 2010 - Martin Luther King’s Birthday celebration is 3 days after what would
have been the civil Rights Leader’s actual 81st birthday on January 15th.

Since 1994 Martin Luther King’s Birthday has also been known as Martin Luther King Day
of Service. Many Americans take advantage of this day off to volunteer in their
communities on this holiday. To check out volunteer opportunities go to: www.dc-

                                      January 2010 Events

                                            January 5
                                           January 12
                                           January 19
                                           January 26

                                            5:00 PM

                         See conference center bulletin board for room

                                          January 12
                                      12:00 noon - 1:00 PM

                                   DOT Headquarters
                                    Conference Center
                                         Room 5
                                  Manage Your Taxes.
                        Use the Opportunities in Current Tax Laws

                                          January 19
                                      12:00 noon - 1:00 PM
                                       DOT Headquarters
                                    Conference Center Room 3

    Systematic Training for Effective Parenting for Parents of School Age Children
                                            January 26
                                        12:00 noon - 1:00 PM
                                         DOT Headquarters
                                          Conference Center
                                               Room 3
                                   Cancer Survivors Group Meeting

The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to providing equal access to workshops for all
participants. If you need alternative formats or services, please call 202.366.6389 or contact via email with your request by close of business 5 days previous to the event.

                        More DOT Work-Life Supports
                                       Lactation Room E12-390
                            To use the room register with the Work-Life Advisor.

                                                  EAP - FOH
                                        Legal & Financial Services
                   Initial 60 minute consultation is free. Discounted professional services.
                                   For more information call 800-222-0364

                                       Nutrition Tip of the Week
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