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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Carissa's Blog

Carissa

Wrapping up the End of the Program >

by Carissa

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Time flies by so fast! I can’t believe that next week will be our last week of classes. Looking back at the semester, I feel that so much has happened and so much is still happening. My lifestyle redesign course has really helped me to work on balancing my personal routine and creating healthier habits. The results have been maintained for the past few months…I hope I can continue it outside of the structure of my school schedule! While experiencing this class as a client and student, I also learned many professional skills. Last week, I successfully held my first structured group on how to create a healthy workspace for optimal functioning. With regards to my research classes, I have been able to learn so much about creating an evidence-based practice. In my qualitative research course, I am currently finishing a group project where we interviewed several seniors who have experienced spousal loss. We were able to gain insight into their lives with their spouses, as well as their current lives in relation to their experience of occupation. I laughed and cried through the in-depth stories provided in the interviews. This is one amazing thing about occupational therapy: getting the chance to really get to know our clients and learn about the things that really matter to them. Also, in the process of learning about others, I have learned so much about myself. Our program has worked to build me as a professional and has also guided me into a greater understanding of myself. I am so thankful for the personal and professional skills that I will carry with me into my career and for the rest of my life.

Carissa

Working My Way to a Healthier Routine >

by Carissa

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Recently, I have been reflecting on how I can create a healthier lifestyle for myself. I realized that in order to create an exercise routine, I must take my aversion to the gym into consideration. I have tried to deal with it by going with a friend or bringing fun, energizing music. However, I always end up finding excuses not to go. It is a 20 minute walk from my apartment, and by the time I get there, my energy is already depleted, and I’m already thinking about going home. So this past week, rather than push the gym on myself any more, I bought myself exercise DVDs. With them, I don’t have to go anywhere to exercise. I have the privacy of my apartment. No energy is expended on picking out clothes to wear. I can jump in the shower as soon as I’m done. It is pretty amazing, as I was able to wake up early Saturday morning, complete the video, and have the time and energy to run errands and be productive the rest of the day. I feel like I can be much more successful with this routine than trying to include the gym in my day. Week 1 towards increased health 😊 Also, regarding the creation of a healthier routine, I realized that I finished some homework early (accidentally). It feels good to not procrastinate, even though it was not really intentional. I need to try that more often.

Carissa

Second Week of the Spring Semester >

by Carissa

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Back to the second week of school for the last semester of the Master’s program! This semester I am taking 2 research courses, courses on Lifestyle Redesign, ergonomics, and motivational interviewing. This should be a good combination of skills that I really hope to put to good use in my future work. So far so good. I am pretty excited for the Lifestyle Redesign course, as we’ll get to help each other to form more healthy habits and routines. Last week, we were paired up in class, and we performed initial interviews on each other. In this class we’ll be able to help each other reach our goals we have made for our lives over the course of the semester. How fun is that? It will definitely be interesting! I have decided that I really need to work on organizing my time so I do not always end up procrastinating. I have a poor habit of worrying about a deadline coming up, not being able to fully enjoy everything else I’m doing because the deadline is in the back of my mind, but still waiting until almost the last minute to get things done. I am generally efficient during those last few hours before it is due, but I am sure there is a better way to go about doing things. I definitely could use a bit more balance in my life. Luckily, we are told that it is never too late to change those bad habits. We’ll see how it goes!

Carissa

Happy holidays! >

by Carissa

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Happy holidays everyone! I have really enjoyed taking this time off to relax and spend time with my family. I hope you have enjoyed yours too. My family loves hosting holiday parties for our relatives and friends, but has always struggled with getting everyone engaged and interacting. However, while I am not usually the biggest fan of videogames, I must applaud the Wii. My brother, an avid videogame player, tends to keep to himself during these parties and tucks himself away in his room playing his games. However, this year, my sister and I decided to try to bring the Wii out to the living room and buy an extra remote control so that others could play with him. It was a big hit, and encouraged everyone to come together and interact, versus sitting on the sofa watching a movie. The biggest effect was on my usually shy brother, who was able to join and play the role as a leader and teacher during this time. He was all smiles, and I could tell he was having a great time. Playing the Wii created laughter, joy, entertainment, and exercise! I am continually amazed by the effect of different occupations in our lives.

Carissa

Exploring LA >

by Carissa

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Being originally from the Bay Area, I have loved exploring and being a tourist in Los Angeles. The next best thing to traveling is finding new local areas to visit. There is so much to do and see.  Here are some of the places I have enjoyed visiting to relax and re-energize myself for school:

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Venice Beach- With the scent of incense blending with the ocean, this eclectic area provides many forms of entertainment.

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Santa Monica Pier- Fabulous area for biking, walking, people watching, and shopping!

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Getty Museum- Place to enjoy art, architecture, and events

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Griffith Park- Perfect place for a hike!

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Big Bear- Just about a 2 hour drive to this great place for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing!

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Staples Center/LA Live- Home to amazing concerts and of course, the Lakers! Also, walk around to eat at the delicious restaurants or catch a movie at the nearby theater 😊

Love LA!

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