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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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Life Hacks

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Getting Back In The Water ⟩
, by Paula

Getting Involved Life Hacks

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to engage in a neglected occupation of mine at the annual Team KC Swimathon: swimming! Team KC, a Livermore-based organization, was created to honor and remember an inspiring young girl and friend of mine, Korrine Croghan. Korrine was diagnosed with choriocarcinoma in December of 2007 and fought vigorously until she passed away in October of 2008. She had a dream to raise money for other children fighting cancer in order to supply them and their families cope with everything they are dealing with and providing assistance with rent, bills, gas cards, coffee cards, etc. The Swimathon is an annual event which raises money to help meet the immediate needs of these pediatric cancer patients and their families.

I have been pushing away from this activity which used to be a component of each day for many years of my life and I always give the excuse that it is because of time, money and location. Although I know that I have many resources to look into to develop this occupation back to what it once was, I often find multiple excuses as to why I should not make these changes. Overall, regardless of what workout I do, it is not the same as swimming and I only feel completely content with a workout if I have had a challenging swim also. The Swimathon was a perfect reminder of the community which I grew up in and the relationships formed through all of the years of swimming. Once again, Korrine has inspired me to engage further and to reassess my reasoning for not swimming when I have the opportunity. She was always a motivator and I think that she would have made an amazing OT. ;]

If any of you are interested in more information about Team KC or Korrine’s story, you can check out the Facebook page, or go to Korrine’s Blog.

Go out and engage in something you have been meaning to. Live life to its fullest!

(Also, a big THANK YOU to all of you who supported Team KC throughout this process and who remembered Korrine by donating to my swim. It means the world!)


Take a day . . . ⟩
, by Ricky

Life Hacks School/Life Balance What are OS/OT?

So I was faced with a dilemma yesterday. I woke up feeling under the weather — it seems the cold I had been fending off had started to get the best of me. It was my second day of fieldwork, though; still in the trying-to-make-a-good-impression-phase. What was I to do? I wasn’t full on sick, but my body was pretty beat. I got all did-up and was about to walk out the door, but then I did something that was out of character for me: I went back to bed. After going back-and-forth in my mind, I decided to take a sick day. I reasoned that it was in all parties’ interest if I just stayed away. I think what really did it, though, was how bad I’d feel if I were to get one of the little kids at my clinic sick (even though they might be the ones who introduced the bug to me). I mean, how messed up would it be if I was working really hard in session to help these little guys enjoy more independent and meaningful lives, and then go and give them a cold. Anyhow, I took sick day, and it was GREAT!

Usually, when I take a sick day, I feel like a bum for not going to work and I try to make up for it by running a bunch of errands and/or trying to catch up on school work. I don’t really rest. However, yesterday was different. I thought to myself, “enough!” I told myself that this was the real deal, and that I would treat this as if I was at a resort for nothing more than relaxation and “me-time.” I slept until my body said no more. I meditated. I did yoga (yes, guys do yoga). I limited TV-intake to just 2 Friends episodes for a lil comic relief. I ate right to support my immune system (except for those 2 Chips A’hoy that snuck by). And I still managed to get some errands and school work done, and go to bed at a decent time. Come to think of it, it may have well been the most productive sick day ever — and it was possible because I told myself not to worry, and I put myself and my health needs first. I think it’s like hitting the gym at the end of a long day — you really don’t want to, but end up going and feel better and more alert for doing so. I guess that’s how it goes with all things. You gotta pay attention to what your body’s asking for and maintain a healthy balance.

If any of you feel like your life is hopelessly out of balance, you may want to enlist the help of an OT and fill out an Occupational Questionnaire or Balance Wheel. A neat thing I’ve learned recently in my OT 504 course (Health Promotion and Wellness) is that balance will look different for each of us. What does your occupational day-to-day look like? Do you need to take a day?


Time Well Spent With Me Myself and I ⟩
, by Floyd

Life Hacks School/Life Balance

I can only please one person a day, and today, I choose me.

Sometimes you just need time for yourself without any distractions of deadlines, projects, and assignments. And this weekend, I did just that . . . nothing! All weekend, I had the “Don’t bother me unless I am needed for surgery” mentality. It was awesome!!!

I got to sleep in, catch up on TV shows, read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, and ate ice cream. It feels great because I am refreshed and reenergized for the week to come. I know there will be a lot to do this week, but I don’t let it stress me because I know it will come and go in a flash. Hopefully I make the most of the last few weeks of school. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am skipping along, while stopping to smell the roses. Gosh they smell good!


Me vs. the Gym ⟩
, by Floyd

Life Hacks

So this is it. It’s time to get back into a regular exercise routine. I used to be very active and go to the gym regularly; however, [insert excuses here]. No more excuses, it’s time to get back to it.

I am not going to do the “gym thing” because I am not willing to shell out the monetary funds to support something I can do on my own for free. I think the only reason why I am writing this blog because it will motivate me to follow-through with my commitment. For my sake, let’s hope that it will bloom into fruition. I would love to do something like P-90X but I have no one in my house! There I go again with my excuses . . .

Let’s see . . . I can do push-ups and sit-ups on my yoga mat at home. My room is really cluttered so I would have to do some organization and kill two birds with one stone (clean my room and exercise, yay!). Plank exercises are good right? Maybe some of those will be good. Oh, I can throw in some free weights! This way, I can watch TV and do some lifting. Ok, I know myself. I know if I put too much on my plate, I will not do it. So maybe just the free weights for now. Then throwing in some push-ups and so on.

Now what to do with scheduling this exercise in. I think 3 times a week is a good start. Hey, it’s better than the nothing I’m doing now.

That’s me down there . . . the T-REX!


Penny the Kitten ⟩
, by Alix

Life Hacks

Last week we adopted a new kitten! Her name is Penny. She’s extremely adorable. She’s also completely fearless, which makes her the opposite of our other cat, Jimmy. (He is afraid of anything bigger than a bottle cap and/or anything that moves.) We read a lot of horror stories about two cats living in the same household and hating each other, so we were nervous about how Penny and Jimmy would get along. But I am happy to report that they are best friends already. They follow each other around all day long and play hide-and-seek. The only problem happens when Penny tries to play with Jimmy’s favorite toy, a fuzzy plush tick (yes, a tick), which he would protect with his life. Here’s a picture of Penny in her favorite little house. Welcome to the family, Penny.

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