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Archive for the ‘Smart Living’ Category

Winning Attitudes

August 16th, 2010

Over the years I’ve noticed a number of traits and behaviors among correctional workers who manage to stay healthy and effective on and off the job. Read more…

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From Shut Down to Alive!

October 15th, 2009

 
The other day my friend Paul, a corrections professional, told me that he once was a tender-hearted, warm person. “Now,” he mused, “after 16 years in corrections, I feel shut down. If somebody really hassled me I might feel some anger. Otherwise I’m a flat line. I can’t feel much inside, either good or bad. In a way it’s easier not to be getting worked up over things, but I know something’s not right!” He added, “Linda keeps complaining that I’m too distant with her and the kids.”

“What do you think happened?” I asked.

Paul’s answer came after a long pause. “I think I just got too used to keeping myself under control in order to remain professional.” Read more…

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Two Sheets of Music

July 16th, 2009

Recently two correctional workers and I were discussing what helps staff stay “sane.” Without hesitation both said, “Correctional workers must be able to switch their mindset from work to home.” One added, “I learned how to live in two very different worlds and still not lose ‘me’.”

Indeed, corrections personnel live in two worlds. These worlds are like two sheets of music. Daily staff is asked to switch from one tune to the other. These two worlds involve very different assumptions about what is expected, how people must behave, and what constitutes a “good day.”

Read more…

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Creating Happiness

May 31st, 2009

When asked want they want out of life, most people would say that they want to be happy or that they want their loved ones to be happy. The pursuit of happiness is even at the heart of the Constitution of the United States of America.

The million dollar question however for most of us is, how do we go about successfully pursuing and finding happiness in our everyday lives?

According to psychologist Martin Seligman, Ph.D., there are three distinct routes to attaining happiness. Read more…

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Thriving in Corrections

May 30th, 2009

Whenever I come across well-functioning correctional staff, I ask them about the “secret of their success.” Here is some of what I’ve heard over the years. It is divided in three categories which correspond to the three areas DWCO targets in its mission—the occupational, personal and family well-being of corrections staff. Read more…

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Undoing the Stress Response

April 10th, 2009

by Caterina Spinaris Tudor, Ph.D.

Imagine being ambushed by a mountain lion while hiking through the Colorado Rockies. As soon as the big cat knocks you to the ground, you automatically go into fighting mode. Your heart rate and blood pressure shoot up, sending extra blood to your limbs so you can have the strength to fight. Glycogen in your liver and muscles becomes converted to glucose to give you extra energy. Digestion stops. Cholesterol is released in your bloodstream to be an additional source of energy. Blood clotting factors kick into action, so you won’t bleed to death. Endorphins flood your brain to enable you to ignore the pain of bites and broken bones, so you can continue to fight. The adrenaline that floods your system increases your aggression, helping you maintain your fierce determination to survive. This simplified description of physiological changes that occur during a life-threatening attack constitutes “the stress response.”

Read more…

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