Good news for March 2018!

Another month of good news! Check out last month   here

SyfyWire – Here’s the Mind-Blowing Science Nasa Will Be Doing In Space

Mind-blowing? A bit clickbaity, but interesting read none the less. Spoiler alert. Medications in microgravity, gamma rays from Earth’s thunderstorms, treating injuries in space.

The Verge – Ideas for new NASA mission can now include spacecraft powered by plutonium

Nasa has lifted a ban on the use of plutonium-238, a type of radioactive material for the generation of electricity for deep space missions where sunlight and other methods are not an option. This long lasting type of electricity means that these projects can perform lengths and types of missions previously impossible. Ideas are being proposed for the next potential mission to use this method could launch in 2026.

Lonely Planet – Driverless cars in a gigantic green city: the future of air travel is coming to Oslo

Those darn Norwegians are at it again, making this world a better place. Oslo’s “Airport City” construction is slated to begin in 2019 and will focus on renewable energy and efficient lighting, self driving cars, a park, and business hub. It aims to be the world’s first “energy positive” with electricity surplus to sell to the surrounding area. Skol!

Popular Mechanics – The First Floating Wind Farm Is Ridiculously Efficient

Off the coast of Scotland, the Hywind wind farm is the world’s first floating wind farm using bouys and anchors rather than drilling them into the seabed. This method is ideal for locations where the sea is too deep for traditional off shore wind farms to be an option.

Newsweek – Scientists Create Wonder Substance That Can Kill Five Deadly Drug Resistant Superbugs

Being a healthcare provider , I’m all too aware of superbugs like MRSA that are antibiotic resistant. This is thought to be one of the most pressing issues in healthcare today. Scientists in Singapore have developed a new polymer that not only kills 5 different types of resistant bacteria, but will also biodegrade and will not remain in the body after 3 days.

Yahoo! News – Genetic tweak makes plants use 25% less water

According to this article, 2/3 of Earth’s population lives in a region where water is scarce and that by 2030 the word will face a 40% water deficit. Researchers in the UK have found a way to genetically modify plants to use 25% less water while keeping yield the same.

By Dr. Michael T Frasso PT, DPT, Co-Owner and CFO of Joy Energy Time

Know of any good stories? Email us at and we will include it in the next installment!

Check out last month    here

About The Monthly Good - Your monthly dose of good news from Joy Energy Time

Do you hate everyone on the internet? Is netflix and a snuggie your favorite pastime to escape from the depressingly soul-crushing real world? Feel like you are constantly force-fed nothing but depressing media until you are fat, sick, and sad? Want to recluse to a cabin in the woods?

Take your pick: Shootings, terrorism, politics, corporate greed, poisonous food, climate change…Feel like humanity has lost its way?

Here at Joy Energy Time, we want to help people, it’s at the core of our business model. We try our absolute best to help people cope with their burnout, stress, and anxiety by helping them cultivate more positivity and joy in their lives. What we found is that it’s easy to dwell on the negative , it’s everywhere, but we disagree that we’re all headed into a downward spiral. The world is actually a beautiful, rich place, full of people and stories that restore faith in humanity and its ability to move our society forward. That’s why we created this blog series. We were sick of being depressed every time we turned on the tv, read an article, or opened social media. The positive stories are out there, you just have to do some digging. Ok a lot of digging. Like Holes level digging. Fear and negativity sells, just look at the trending stories on any given day. The fact is, the world hasn’t taken a turn for the worse, the research shows that globally things have actually improved for the average person. It’s just that current information exchange has never been faster or easier, so you hear about everything. Again, fear and negativity sells.

What to expect each month: This blog series will be a monthly compilation of various stories/articles/videos etc. that focus on the people who foster progress and make you proud to be a human! Let’s focus on the good! Monthly! The Monthly Good! Get it?

If you know of anything that you think belongs here please message us and we will add it to the next installment! Email!

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By Anna Rodriguez, BSN, RN, CCRN

As an introvert, I sometimes find it exhausting to communicate with others (especially strangers, for some reason)! Do you ever have to give yourself a little pep talk before calling to make an appointment with a new doctor’s office? Do you ever stress about going to a party because you know there will be people wanting to do that small-talk chit-chat? And then you spend your weekend in solitude, perhaps reading a good book, trying to recharge your energy that you’ve been using all week to have all those interactions? Or maybe it’s just me?

I suppose you can imagine then, sometimes my work as a nurse can be overwhelming. I’m communicating with co-workers, doctors, managers, patients and their families, just to name a few. Communication can be stressful AF, especially when someone’s life is on the line! The stress response in the body can actually negatively affect your communication abilities- some people clam up and go silent, others get angry and blow up. I want to share a few things that I learned early on that will help you manage your stress so you can communicate effectively.

1. Be clear. Be concise. Stick to the script.

As a nurse, I’ve seen all sorts of communication tools that various employers have recommended.  It’s mostly tools to help staff communicate with patients, like AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank), GREAT (Greet, Relate, Explain, Ask, Thank), or SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation). It doesn’t matter what tool you use, what matters is that you gather your information and you communicate with purpose and intention. You can reduce the anxiety you feel by mentally or physically preparing your “script.” If you’re about to call a doctor about an elevated blood pressure, it would be helpful to know what the heart rate is and what medications the patient is taking that effects the blood pressure BEFORE you call, because you don’t want to have a doctor on hold while you look up information they’re likely to ask for. So be prepared and remember that with anything, you get better with practice!

2. Be an Advocate

Don’t let people with, let’s say, “difficult personalities,” stop you from communicating! You are the patient advocate and you are their voice. If you’re every having to diffuse a tense family situation or call a grumpy doctor at night, it’s okay to remind them that we’re all on the same team and return the focus back to the patient. If you’re having difficulty getting your message across or if someone is “taking it out on the messenger,” feel free to work up your chain of command. The charge nurse, the manager, the supervisor- whoever your resources are, don’t hesitate to use them when you need to! I hate confrontation, so having those kind of conversations can be hard and a HUGE source of stress. Never, ever take it personally. While there’s no excuse for incivility, recognize the stress those families and physicians are under and know that their reaction would’ve been directed at anyone in your position and it’s not a reflection of YOU as a person.

3. You Can Never Over-Communicate

In my opinion and experience, there can never be too much communication. It’s why we learn to use closed-loop communication for code blue situations. It’s why we check back with the people we delegate things to and make sure it got completed. It’s why we read back physician orders on the phone to make sure we got it taken down correctly. It’s also why we fill out white boards in the patient’s room so they (and their family) will remember who their medical team is and what the goals of the day are. And it’s why we do a “time-out” prior to performing a procedure to verify that we have the right patient and performing the right procedure to the right body part. Mistakes happen, we’re all human, but the quality of our communication can help reduce those errors.

4. Use Terms that They'll Understand

It also helps to use terms that the person you’re speaking to will understand. I remember one instance when things escalated with a daughter of a patient who had suffered a heart attack. The medical team had been using words like “coronary occlusion” and “myocardial infarction (MI),” and it wasn’t until someone used the words “heart attack” that she fully understood what was happening. Taking time to have the patient or family repeat back what they heard is a useful tool in ensuring that they understand what’s being said.

5. Know When to Zip It

There are moments when the best form of communication is not saying anything at all. Instead of stressing about how to respond, simply LISTEN. I’ve found that you can learn all sorts of stuff about a person by just letting them talk about whatever is on their mind. To be fair, some of the things that come out of a person’s mouth are things you really didn’t want or need to know! Other times it can be extremely helpful. You may think their biggest concern is getting their infection treated, but they might be anxious about their cat at home or how they’ll get the trees pruned if they’re stuck in the hospital. Even if you can’t actually do anything to address their concern, maybe a listening ear and acknowledgment is what they need in that moment.

There will be difficult moments when you won’t know what to say. It’s okay to say nothing and just be with them. Have you ever watched the Empathy TED talk from Dr. Brené Brown? It’s like, 3 minutes, go check it out.  I love the part when the bear says to the fox, “I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m just so glad you told me.” Because, like she says, a response rarely makes something better. A connection on the other hand, now THAT can make a difference.

I hope these tips help you with your communication at work! It’s all about managing your stress and channeling that energy to help you effectively communicate your message. You got this!

BONUS: Take this quiz to see what your style under stress is!

By Anna Rodriguez, BSN, RN, CCRN

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What’s the difference between stress and burnout and what defines burnout?

Let’s begin by defining burnout. Burnout in a nutshell is a constant depletion of mental, physical and emotional energy – without expected or real needs being met. Burnout is a gradual process that builds up over time- sometimes without you even knowing. It can be caused by a mismatch between work and person which leads to outcomes of disrupted work performance and personal factors.

These personal factors can include stress, depression, fatigue, whereas work performance like time management and work ability and productivity can suffer. Burnout affects both areas. It includes three basic dimensions: overwhelming exhaustion, which includes what I mentioned earlier with a depletion of mental, physical, and emotional energy; feelings of cynicism and detachment from your job; and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. The best way I can describe burnout is having that pit in your stomach of constant dread. It becomes about when too much of your life is draining and not enough is fulfilling, then a sense of hopelessness takes over.

Stress and Burnout are NOT the same thing.

Burnout is also not the same as depression, because burnout is associated with work and depression can be independent of work. Burnout is also not the same as exhaustion. It includes those other dimensions of cynicism and decreased self-efficacy or feelings of accomplishment.

The negative effects of burnout can spill over into every area of life—including your home, work, and social life. Burnout carries a significant weight of hopelessness or powerlessness. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu . Are you experiencing any of these symptoms: low energy, muscle tension, headaches, digestive disorders, frequent colds, or changes in sleep patterns? Mental symptoms include feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, loss of meaning, boredom, frustration, sadness, irritability, feeling unappreciated or trapped. The outcomes of these symptoms can include withdrawal, increased sick days, presenteeism, accidents, crying or increased used of alcohol or food to self soothe.

Let’s focus our attention on stress!

When the body is stressed, the sympathetic nervous system generates what is known as the “fight or flight” response.

The body shifts all of its energy resources toward fighting off a life threat, or fleeing from an enemy. The sympathetic nervous system signals the adrenal glands to release hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. Stress signals from the hypothalamus cause the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol and the adrenal medulla to produce adrenaline. This starts the process that gives your body the energy to run from danger. These hormones cause the heart to beat faster, respiration rate to increase, blood vessels in the arms and legs to dilate, digestive process to change and glucose levels in the bloodstream to increase to deal with the emergency. Oh my gosh! Can you imagine this happening over a prolonged period?

Experiencing stressors over a prolonged period of time, can result in a long-term drain on the body. Duh. As the sympathetic nervous system continues to trigger physical reactions, it causes a wear-and-tear on the body. It’s not so much what chronic stress does to the nervous system, but what continuous activation of the nervous system does to other bodily systems that become a huge problem. Stress can involve a sense of urgency and hyperactivity, being over engaged and over active, and more physical consequences, whereas burnout aligns more with disengagement, helplessness and hopelessness, feelings of detachment, and more emotional consequences.  Stress increases our need to respond to whatever is stressing us out, creating anxiety in the process. In burnout, we respond less to the things that are stressing us out, which may lead to depression.

You can definitely be stressed, but not burnt out, but if you’re burnt out, it’s a result of unrelenting stress. Stress is not a disorder in and of itself, while burnout is, and that’s why there is such a thing as burnout syndrome. Since chronic stress can lead to burnout, stress management techniques can sometimes be helpful in managing burnout, like meditating, deep breathing, spa days, exercise, etc. But that’s only if we can get ourselves to actually do them, which is the challenge, right?

We may know what to do, and tell ourselves that we’re going to make changes but don’t. Having the motivation to do it or perceiving that you don’t have the time can really be frustrating.

To help with some of these problems, we created a mini-course called Revamp Your Joy. In this course, we address these things in greater detail, and teach you how to use and cultivate and increased level of joy in your life to decrease feelings of stress and burnout

If you want more on how to increase your joy, energy, and time to do the things in life that mean the most to you, subscribe to my site for weekly updates on new posts, freebies, announcements, and more!! Can’t wait to see ya again :)

xx, Erika

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