QUIZ: How is Your Mental Health at Work?

Have you ever wondered about your mental health as it relates to your job?

 

Your mental health affects how you feel, think, and act. Take this quiz to see if it might be time to improve your mental health.

 

  • Read each question
  • Choose the response that most closely fits your situation
  • Upon completion, follow the instructions to reveal your level of mental health

(Don’t worry. If you’re a mess, we offer plenty of tips to get you back on track.

1. When you wake up in the morning, are you…

 

  1. a) Excited to get to work?
  2. b) Dreading the workday?
  3. c) Numb and just do what you have to do?

2. When you first get to work, do you…

  1. a) Jump right into a task?
  2. b) Procrastinate because you can’t bear to start?
  3. c) Take your time and eventually start working?

3. When a coworker talks to you, do you…

  1. a) Enjoy having communication?
  2. b) Cringe and want to be left alone?
  3. c) Smile, but move on?

4. When your boss or manager talks to you, do you…

  1. a) Appreciate the communication?
  2. b) Want to scream and run away?
  3. c) Listen politely and then carry on?

 

5. If you think of your workload, you think…

 

  1. a) ”I’m motivated by the challenge!”
  2. b) ”I just got tossed into the ocean with cement shoes”
  3. c) ”This is what my hamster must feel like on his wheel.”

 

6. When you think of your workspace, you think…

 

  1. a) “It’s really a pleasant space.”
  2. b) ”I’d rather be in a dungeon with rats and snakes.”
  3. c) ”I don’t pay much attention. It’s fine.”

 

7. Do you spend most of your workday thinking about…

 

  1. a) Your job, your family, and how you will spend the weekend?
  2. b) How miserable you are and how you can’t wait to get out of there?
  3. c) Your job, your family, and your problems?

 

8. Is your workspace…

 

  1. a) Neat and organized?
  2. b) Like the aftermath of a tornado site?
  3. c) Messy, but you can find things if you have to?

 

9. Do you feel appreciated or positively acknowledged for the work you do?

  1. a) Absolutely
  2. b) Never
  3. c) Sometimes

10. How many times in the past year have you taken sick days?

 

  1. a) between 0 and 3
  2. b) between 4 and 7
  3. c) between 8 and 15

 

11. Which best describes your daily experience at work?

 

  1. a) Grateful for the job and you typically enjoy your day
  2. b) Worst part of my day
  3. c) It is what it is

 

Congratulations on completing the test (and you didn’t even have to study!)

 

Tally up how many questions you answered with an “a”, “b”, and “c”.

 

If you answered all 12 questions with an “a”, then you are rockin’ it with an abundance of positive mental health. You also, seemingly, have a great job! Keep up the terrific attitude and may good health and many bonuses remain in your future.

 

If you answered 6 or more questions with an “a”, your mental health at work is in pretty good shape. It seems as if you like your job for the most part. Perhaps you have an occasional awkward moment with a coworker or manager. You can improve your well-being by using your break time to take a walk or read a book—find a quiet zone to relieve stress during the workday.

 

If you answered 8 or more questions with a “c”, you may feel a little disconnected. Your mental health could be improved. Perhaps you are too passive. Do you want to feel better at work? Do you want to enjoy your job? It might be time to improve your communication skills. Find ways to address what’s bothering you in an appropriate but direct way. Once you become a bigger part of your company, you will feel more alert and passionate.

 

If you answered mostly “a” and “c”, fret not, because your work mental health glass is still half-full. Although there are issues, you can improve your situation by altering a few small things. Perhaps you feel isolated on the job. Or, maybe you don’t feel properly trained or supported. Or maybe you are fairly motivated and others around you are dragging you down. Take a couple of minutes each day to “meditate” in your workspace. You don’t have to sit cross-legged—just close your eyes and go within. Take a few deep breaths. You will feel renewed and your mental energy will be boosted.

 

If you answered mostly “b” and “c”, you may be struggling more than you need to be. It appears you are not particularly happy, and you’ve given up caring somewhat. It will be a change, but the first step to improving your mental health at work is to focus on the good. It may be a challenge to come up with anything positive off the bat, but don’t stop searching. Even if you like the air conditioning, a particular customer, or that you don’t have to work on the weekend—pick something that pleases you. Also, if your workspace is messy, spend a little time getting organized. You will feel proud and will certainly be more productive.

 

If you answered 9 or more questions with a “b”, it might be time to seek new employment. But, before you blame all your anger or misery on your job, check to see if some of the negativity is coming from within. One thing you can do to improve your mental health at work is to focus on the present. Try not to think of all the distressing things bothering you outside of work. Attempt to stay in the moment and give the job (and yourself) a chance. Put warm, happy photos around your workspace. If you are permitted, play music in the background. There are many ways you can create a more positive experience for yourself, even if the environment isn’t ideal.

 

Dr. Dave Campbell Commentary:

 

The Surgeon General of the United States has described the categories of well-being that affect quality-of-life. Self-perceived health, social-connectedness as well as physical and mental health are three of them. Each can be fostered by a healthy, happy and productive workplace. As a physician, I have many patients tell me something like, “Doc, it feels like I’m always at work with no time for myself or my family and friends”.  Odds are that nearly as much time of your time is spent on the job as at home-awake that is.

Remind yourself that it could be worse. Many countries are not as prosperous as the United States. Many people in this country and across the world don’t even have jobs to go to. Take a hard look at your own circumstances in the workplace. Look for the good and foster them. Identify those factors that make for a bad day at work and make them better-with effort.

 

For more information about your mental health, check out GetThrive.com today!

 

 

Weight Loss Quiz: Do You Know What’s Working and What’s Not?

It seems like a never-ending process. You try to lose weight, and no matter what you do, the pounds just don’t shed the way you’d like. It’s possible that what you think you’re doing right, may not be right for you—or your waistline.

Check out the Weight Loss Quiz below. Peruse the Answer Key afterwards to see how you might be able to up your game and lower your weight by making a couple of informed adjustments.

 

1.) The best way to start your day is to…

  1. a) Skip breakfast
  2. b) Eat a large meal to tide you over until lunch
  3. c) Drink coffee to wake you up and thwart your appetite
  4. d) Eat a balance of protein, good fat, fruit, and/or whole grains

 

2.) Carbohydrates are…

  1. a) Poison
  2. b) OK if they are complex
  3. c) Best derived from bread and pasta

 

3.) The perfect amount of sleep for me is…

  1. a) Six hours. I’m not too cranky, but I can still function
  2. b) Somewhere between four and seven hours
  3. c) Between eight and nine hours

 

4.) A good source of fat is…

  1. a) Tortilla chips and potato chips
  2. b) Almonds, peanuts, and walnuts
  3. c) Olives and dark chocolate

 

5.) On the subject of fiber…

  1. a) Fiber is found in oatmeal and wheat products
  2. b) Vegetables and fruit contain tons of fiber
  3. c) Fiber is only for people who are prone to constipation

 

Answers:

1.) It seems like a no-brainer, but many of us, even knowing what’s best, opt for a different choice. Answer “d”—Eat a balance of protein, good fat, fruit, and/or whole grains makes sense and aids in a weight-loss program. Ideally, to shed pounds, you cut out “bad” foods. Believe it or not, you can slim down simply by mixing and matching the “good” foods—along with exercising.

Starting your day with a hard-boiled egg, a small serving of plain Greek yogurt with berries, and a spoonful of almond butter or a slice of organic whole grain wheat bread will keep your brain and body functioning at peak performance. You won’t feel like snacking (and if you do, have some carrots or celery), and you won’t feel deprived.

If you answered “a”, skip breakfast, you are setting yourself up for weight gain (because you get so hungry you binge eat or eat the first thing you see, which is often on the naughty list of foods.) If you answered “b”, eat a large meal, you’d be acting counter-productively. Your body would expend all its energy on digestion rather than the tasks you have at hand.

2.) Carbohydrates are not the devil or poison. (If they are full of saturated, trans fats, or GMOs, then they are unhealthy and can actually make you sick and/or gain weight.) But, healthy carbs are absolutely necessary to balance your blood sugar levels. (You can find these in fresh fruits and other natural sources.)

So, the answer “b” is correct in that complex carbohydrates help extend the energy you need to access, especially when balanced with protein. (Some excellent choices are: oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes.) Option “c” (bread and pasta) are fine if they are 100% whole grain organic. Otherwise, toss them to the curb, along with corn and white potatoes.

3.) It’s been proven (and it’s obvious), that lack of sleep makes us irritable. We do not make the most rational choices with limited rest time. If you answered “b”, 4-7 hours of sleep per night, there is no way your body or mind will allow you to lose weight. Researchers have found that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night have a harder time losing weight, and, unfortunately, actually gain more weight over time.

Less sleep has also been linked to lessened behavior control. If you’re tired, you’re more apt to say, “ What the heck!” and treat yourself to a fattening or an unhealthy meal or treat.

Less sleep also means more stress—which means your body holds onto fat because it’s in fight-or-flight mode. Between 8 and 9 hours of sleep are ideal if you want your body to process the nutrients you’ve ingested in the most beneficial, relaxed way.

4.) If you chose chips, you’re in big-time denial. Corn and potatoes are huge sources of sugar, which will never lead to weight loss (or optimum health, for that matter.)

Answers “b” and “c” are both correct. Nuts are an amazing source of good fat. We need it! In moderation, and in conjunction with other food sources, good fats such as olives (and olive oil), avocados, and even dark chocolate (because of its prebiotic benefits) can actually boost metabolism, helping us to lose the weight we want gone.

5.) Some studies report that eating 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily assist with weight loss as well as helping to lower blood pressure. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. You can reap a bountiful fiber intake from eating a balanced diet from fresh and unprocessed foods.

Higher fiber diets have been shown to prevent type-2 diabetes. That proof suggests that balanced blood sugar (because of proper fiber intake) can help with weight loss and maintenance of a healthy body weight. If you answered “a” and “b”, you’re on the right track. If you’re constipated, it may be quite possible that fiber is lacking in your diet (which would make it understandable why you’d choose “c”.)

 

There is a deluge of information (and also speculation) on how to lose weight. Our bodies, however, will respond, each time, to proper nutrition and exercise. This is the inevitable fool-proof way to see lower numbers on the scale and shorter measurements on the tape or on our clothing size. Above and beyond the desire to shed pounds, the mission should be towards attaining optimum physical and mental health. Losing weight is one thing, but adding years to our lifespan is a greater, positive step.

GetThrive.com! offers many more articles and blogs centered towards living a healthy, clean lifestyle. For more information on weight loss, health practices, and tips for long living, check out our site. And while you’re there, feel free to sign up for our weekly Newsletter. You have nothing to lose, and only a healthier, happier life to gain.

Sources:

https://healthyeater.com/carb-protein-fat-rich-foods

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/sleep-weight-loss

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parent Quiz: Do You Know What Your Teen is Up To?

Many of us would like to think we know what our teen is doing. Even using the barometer of “I was a teenager once” may help us to better understand their behaviors and actions. But, still, … these are different times.

What our kids are up to may surprise us, even if we feel informed. Check out the Parent Quiz below. See the Answer Key afterwards to see how you ranked and for explanations and details.

 

Questions:

 

1.) The Rational Part of the Brain Isn’t Fully Developed Until…

a) a person turns 18

b) a person turns around 25

c) a student gets a high score on the SATs

 

2.) Teenagers Drive More Recklessly When They Are…

a) with a parent

b) with a peerc) alone

c) alone

 

3.) On the Subject of Marijuana…

a) Over 35% of high school students report having used it at least once

b) Over 100 deaths a year are attributed to marijuana overdose

c) It can have permanent effects on the developing brain, especially with heavy or regular use

 

4.) On the Subject of Alcohol…

a) By 18, around 60% of teens have had at least 1 drink

b) More adolescents use alcohol than cigarettes or marijuana

c) Over 5 million adolescents reported binge drinking at least once in the past month.

 

5.) On the Subject of Sex…

a) Over 40% of high school students have engaged in sexual relations

b) About 15% of teens having sex do not use condoms or birth control

c) Almost 10 million new STD cases reported each year are among youngsters between the ages of 15 to 24.

 

Answers:

1.) The answer is b; the rational part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) isn’t fully developed until people are in their mid-20s. Teens often respond to situations with the amygdala (the emotional, primitive part of the brain). It’s for this reason that teenagers can often be impulsive and seemingly act reckless. They don’t yet have the capability to respond with the best judgment. Often, they are unable to understand long-term consequences.

2.) Because the prefrontal cortex of the brain is not fully developed, a teenager does not have the “adult” capacity to self-regulate. Additionally, adolescents are greatly motivated by peer influence. A teenager is more likely to drive recklessly when he/she has another peer in the vehicle. They often engage in risky behavior because they do not want to feel excluded by their peers. (It’s emotionally based.) The answer is b.

3.) If you answered a and c, you are correct. The CDC reports that 38% of high schoolers have tried or use marijuana. And yes, abusing the drug can increase risk of negative effects on the developing brain. However, there are no reported deaths attributed directly to marijuana; it is almost impossible to overdose from it.  (There have been reports where accidents have been cause by marijuana use, but in and of itself, it is not deadly.)

4.) All answers a, b, and c are correct. According to the National Institutes of Health, teenage alcohol use is rampant. Accidents are the number one cause of teenage death; alcohol and/or drugs are often a contributing factor to the unintentional deaths. (Binge drinking, by the way, entails 5 or more drinks for males and 4 or more for females within a few hours.)

5.) Again, if you guessed answers a, b, and c, you would be correct. The CDC conducted a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance in 2015 amongst adolescents, teens, and young adults. The figures are staggering when it comes to the amount of unsafe sexual activity that is occurring. About half of all teens between the ages of 15 and 19 reported that they have participated in oral sex, most without protection from STDs.

 

While some of these questions and their respective answers do not come as a surprise to some parents, to others, it can be dumbfounding. We cannot be with our teenagers 24/7, nor do any of us want it that way. It’s for this reason that it’s essential you and your adolescent try and maintain an open line of communication.

Listening and trust will be the pillars of your ability to stay connected with your teen. As a parent, it’s our job to impart important information. How that is handled will define how your child receives it. You and your family’s position on the addressed topic will, no doubt, have certain rules or belief systems. Regardless, it will help to keep in mind that your teen’s brain may yet be incapable of self-monitoring, rationalizing, and emotional impulse control.

Information, care, guidance, and a mature perspective may be the optimal service we can offer to our teens to keep them safe and flourish into responsible, healthy adults. No one said raising teens was going to be easy!

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-wide-wide-world-psychology/201506/why-are-teen-brains-designed-risk-taking

Chein, J., Albert, D., O’Brien, L., Uckert, K., & Steinberg, L. (2011). Peers increase adolescent risk taking by enhancing activity in the brain’s reward circuitry. Developmental Science, 14, F1-F10.

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/underagedrinking/underagefact.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-teens-508.pdf

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051

http://www.livestrong.com/article/1003934-leading-causes-death-us-among-teens/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/sexualbehaviors/

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition Quiz: Are You Really Eating Healthy?

How much do you really know about healthy eating? We believe certain foods are good (or bad) for us, but then, sometimes, we find out otherwise. Advertising and/or outdated studies can often misguide us in our quest to eat nutritiously. Take the quick Healthy-Eating Quiz and see how well you’re doing!

 

  1. Which are “good fats”?
  2. Saturated fats
  3. Trans fats
  4. Monounsaturated fats
  5. Polyunsaturated fats

 

  1. Which are whole grains?
  2. Oatmeal
  3. White rice
  4. Barley
  5. Quinoa

 

  1. What nutrients do eggs contain?
  2. Protein
  3. Vitamin B12
  4. Vitamin D
  5. Lutein

 

  1. Which are great sources of fiber?
  2. Artichokes
  3. Chia seeds
  4. Pancakes
  5. Black beans

 

  1. Which are low in sugar content?
  2. Tonic water
  3. Vanilla yogurt
  4. Bananas
  5. Almond butter

 

Now check and compare your answers with ours.

 

Answers:

1.) c and d. The worst are trans fats, for example, hydrogenated oils. Saturated fats aren’t horrible when eaten in slim moderation. These include: cheese, whole milk, and red meat. Your good fats will be monounsaturated (i.e. olive oil, avocados, sunflower oil) and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential fats (omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, seeds, nuts, etc.)

2.) a and c. Whole grains contain bran, germ, and endosperm—the entire grain kernel. That is precisely what oatmeal and barley are. White rice is processed and not a whole grain; however, brown and wild rice are considered whole grains. Quinoa, although quite nutritionally potent, is really a seed (though some still categorize it as a grain).

3.) a, b, c, and d. Two medium eggs offer about 14 grams of protein. Over 50% of the daily-recommended intake of vitamin B12 is included as well. Eggs are a great source of vitamin D for bone health and lutein for eye health.

4.) a, b, and d. Pancakes, especially those prepared with white, refined flour have virtually no fiber benefit. (If they were made with a whole grain, like Buckwheat, now we’re talkin’.) One medium artichoke has about 10 grams of fiber—and brother broccoli is not far behind. Chia seeds, as well as flax and other seeds, can have up to 6 grams of fiber in one tablespoon. Black beans (and lima and lentils) are fiber royalty with up to 15 grams per cup, cooked.

5.) d. Almond butter made solely from nuts (with no sugar added), may have as few as 2 grams of sugar per serving. (Other nut butters without additives are also low in sugar. Generic tonic water and flavored yogurts can have up to 40 grams of sugar per serving. Yikes! Bananas are one of the most calorie-dense fruits. Of course because the sugar is from a natural source, it is better for your health any day over eating a processed food with added sugar.

Keep seeking out and following your path to healthy eating. You will feel rewarded in body, mind, and spirit!

 

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good

https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/grain-month-calendar/quinoa-%E2%80%93-march-grain-month

https://www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/nutrition-a-z/Eggs/What-do-eggs-contain-

https://greatist.com/health/surprising-high-fiber-foods