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A Powerful Behavior to Help You Regain Control

The Game-Changing Power of the Weekly Review

Statistics from the Pew Research Center indicate that 20 percent of Americans suffer from information overload. With constant exposure to advertisements, TV shows, podcasts and social media posts, it’s difficult to apply the information we encounter to our daily lives.

You may never absorb and fully utilize all of the information you encounter, but the right system can help you make the most of especially relevant stuff. Read on to learn about the power of the weekly review and how to integrate this key practice into your life:

Why a Weekly Review Helps

Your weekly review offers a valuable opportunity to organize an array of information in an easily digestible manner. Your chief goal? To reduce confusion and expedite the week ahead. Remember the analogy of sharpening the saw to expedite cutting down a tree? Think of this process as your version of sharpening the saw.

How to Conduct a Weekly Review

Begin by scheduling a time to review, free of distractions. Examine your current projects and rank them based on urgency. Look at your calendar, and jot down details as necessary. Think about projects for which you’ve struggled to set aside time, and determine how you can fit even small aspects of these tasks into your schedule for the next week.

Reviewing, Not Doing

The key to success in a weekly review: abiding by its name. Spend this special time reviewing, and not doing. Resist the urge to tackle items on your checklist, and instead, focus on prioritizing and scheduling. You’ll thank yourself later.

As you complete your weekly review, be sure to schedule in time for a consultation with Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP. Prompt legal counsel can reduce a huge source of mental burden and make you more effective in all aspects of your life. Call (770) 214-2500 to get started.

Healthy Living Ideas for Those on Social Security Disability

Better Habits For Better Health—Even (Or Especially) If You Have a Disability

Disabilities often prompt black and white thinking in regards to healthy living. Your health is already compromised, so why try?

Although understandable, this all or nothing thinking pattern ultimately destroys your health and happiness. Full health may be unattainable at this point, but the right habits can grant you more energy and vitality than you ever thought possible.

Avoid Sugar and Processed Carbs

Conflicting information makes it difficult to determine an appropriate daily diet. Researchers disagree heavily on the wisdom of various diets, but they almost universally agree that added sugars should be avoided whenever possible. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 20 grams of sugar per day. Men should only consume 36 grams of sugar each day.

Move Your Body

Your disability may make it difficult to exercise as often as recommended, but in all likelihood, you have more options than you think. Consider joining an adapted athletic team or an aerobics class specifically designed to suit disabled individuals. Yoga may also prove useful for both physical and mental health; instructors will encourage you to adapt poses as needed for your personal health and comfort.

Maintain Social Connections

Research indicates that isolation can be even more harmful than a bad diet or minimal exercise. Reaching out can be tough when you’re disabled, but it’s absolutely imperative. Get involved in a support group, or spend time in whatever social settings are most accessible. Chat with friends and family members on the phone. Even online discussions can help you feel less alone. Small changes sometimes prove the most effective as you seek a healthier and happier lifestyle.

As you focus on improving your physical health, let Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP handle your legal concerns. Call (770) 214-2500 to learn more.

On Social Security Disability and Making the Most of Time

Prioritizing What’s Really Important When Time Is Precious

Whether you’re terminally ill or simply busy managing a chronic disability, time is likely your most precious commodity. Instead of falling prey to grief or anxiety about your limited hours, optimize your schedule by highlighting a few priorities. Struggling to get started? Follow these simple suggestions:

Determine What Matters

Off the top of your head, name the three things that matter most in life. Now, dig deeper to determine why they matter. Do you devote as much time or attention to these priorities as they warrant? If you answered no, what stands in the way?

Cut Out the Non-essentials

Nobody ever feels as if they have enough time, but you enjoy even less room for unnecessary distraction than your peers. Identify time expenditures that fail to improve your quality of life or spur you towards accomplishing your goal. A prime example: social media. Does surfing Facebook or Instagram really make you happier, or does it incite envy? Block social media apps on your phone or delete your accounts altogether. Replace that time with meaningful activities that deliver true satisfaction.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

If Tim Ferriss teaches us anything in the acclaimed 4-Hour Workweek, it’s that more time does not always elicit better results. He’s all about deep work, in which you eliminate distractions to accomplish great things. Determine where your efforts are wasted, and how a few small tweaks could expedite work, chores, and other necessities.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

It’s impossible to accomplish all things at all times, especially if you’re dealing with severe illness or disability. Forgive yourself for your inability to do it all. Do what you can, when you can, and live in the moment.

Strong legal representation should be a priority. Let Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP handle your concerns so you can focus on living your life to the fullest while you still can. Call (770) 214-2500 for more information.

Sick and in Need of Social Security Disability: Dealing with the Holidays

Celebrating the Holidays When You Are Profoundly Injured or Sick

Ill health can make it difficult to enjoy many of the trappings of a festive holiday season. Limited mobility might prevent you from traveling to loved ones’ homes to celebrate. Social media images and braggadocious Christmas letters spark feelings of envy. No matter your circumstances, happy holidays are possible—you simply need to adjust your mindset and, perhaps, your plans.

Host a Laid-Back Holiday Party

Unable to travel for the holidays? Why not bring the festivities to your place? No matter the size or state of your home, you can always host a wonderful party. Invite friends and family members over for a potluck or game night. Not comfortable at home? Meet up with friends at a local restaurant and let someone else do all the work.

Find a New Way to Exchange Gifts

The cliché about presence outranking presents definitely applies, especially if limited mobility and financial difficulties prevent traditional gift giving. Find a new way to give. Examples could include setting a dollar limit on gifts, playing a white elephant exchange game, exchanging homemade (or better yet, home-baked) gifts, or forgoing gift giving altogether.

Give Back

Remember—as bad as you have it, others are likely suffering even more than you are this holiday season. Gratitude and giving can alleviate much of your current turmoil. Get involved in a Toys for Tots drive, or if you’re able, volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Mobility and budgeting issues may limit your ability to assist your community, but even something as simple as a few cents for Salvation Army collectors can make a difference.

The holiday season may be in full swing, but there’s no better time to seek legal support. Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP today at (770) 214-2500 to seek feedback on your SSDI case.

Changing the Caregiver Experience to Meet Your Needs

Envisioning How You Want the Caregiving Experience to Change—And Figuring Out What to Do About It

If you’re anything like the typical caregiver, you experience significant mental turmoil, to the point that your physical health also takes a hit. From anxiety about your injured family member to sleepless nights spent addressing emergency situations, your caretaking difficulties never seem to end. Now that you’ve identified these challenges, you can take proactive steps to improve your life, while still helping a loved one in need.

Classify Changes As Acceptable Or Unacceptable

Some challenges may not be entirely problematic. Determine which aspects of the caregiving experience you can handle—or even actively enjoy—and which warrant changes. For example, you might have less time now for social outings, but perhaps you always dreaded going out on the town—and your caretaking duties give you an excuse to stay home. Health problems such as back pain from caretaking-related heavy lifting, however, are unacceptable.

Develop Steps to Change Unacceptable Circumstances

Once you’ve determined which aspects of caregiving require prompt changes, develop actionable steps that will lead you to a healthier and more satisfying life. Begin by prioritizing—don’t tackle everything at once. What about the caregiving lifestyle bothers you most?

If caregiving duties keep you too busy to sleep or partake in favorite hobbies, consider outsourcing certain tasks. There’s no shame in asking for help. Budget for equipment that will reduce heavy lifting or other burdens that could harm your health. A variety of strategies can ease every aspect of daily life for you and the person you assist.

The simple knowledge that your loved one enjoys strong legal support will reduce your mental burden as caregiver. Contact a Georgia car accident lawyer at Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP at (770) 214-2500 to learn more.

Caregiving for a Georgia Car Accident Victim: Reflections

Reflecting On Your Caregiving Experience Thus Far

Everything changed when your loved one suffered a devastating car accident. Suddenly, you found yourself playing the simultaneous roles of chauffeur, nurse, and therapist. You feel tired, stressed, and perhaps, underappreciated… and yet, if you’re like some caregivers, there’s a certain satisfaction in being able to help a loved one in a time of need. There’s always room for improvement, however, as you’ll see when you reflect on your life as a caregiver.

Identify What Has Changed In Your Life—Good Or Bad

Acknowledge that you’ve experienced moments of great turmoil, but also moments of hope. Begin by recording negative changes; if you’re currently frustrated, this might make you feel better. Examples could include:

  • Late night care leaves you exhausted
  • You no longer have time for favorite hobbies
  • The surprising physicality of caregiving causes soreness or even injury
  • You frequently suffer anxiety
  • Your finances have taken a hit

It’s not all bad, however. While you would obviously prefer for your loved one regain full health, you just might observe a few silver linings. For example:

  • After spending so much time together, you and the injured person now enjoy a stronger relationship
  • You are more appreciative of your own good health
  • You are more empathetic to the needs of those with severe illnesses or injuries

Recording Changes in Your Life

Find a way to examine your life that makes sense to you. For many people, this means grabbing a notebook and pencil to record recent changes. Others prefer drawing sketches or forming collages. Express yourself as you see fit—your insights will help you down the road.

You can provide support for many facets of your loved one’s post-accident life, but only a skilled attorney can take care of the ensuing legal complications. Seek guidance from Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP; call (770) 214-2500 today.

Stories of Grace After a Car Accident

Stories of Rebound: How Others Have Found Grace and Insight After Someone They Love Was Hurt in a Car Crash

Car accidents significantly change relationships, but not always for the worse. Despite suffering physical trauma and mental anguish, victims and their loved ones often go on to enjoy stronger relationships and a new sense of appreciation for life’s gifts, as evidenced by these remarkable stories:

Meredith from The Office: Repairing Friendships

This example may be fictitious, but it resembles enough real-world situations to be compelling. In a memorable episode of The Office, Michael Scott hit Meredith with his car. The crash occurred at low speed, but led to a hospital stay. Although inconvenient, it proved life-saving—Meredith discovered that she had rabies. Michael, of course, took credit for the diagnosis. Ultimately, their interactions in the hospital led to a stronger friendship.

Scott: The Spark For a Unique Collection

After he and his mother were involved in a car crash (thankfully only sustaining minor injuries), Jalopnik reader Scott fell in love with child safety seats. He now boasts a strong following on Pinterest, where he showcases his vast collection. His hobby may strike others as odd, but he finds it deeply satisfying.

Car Accident, Then Wedding Bells

A devastating accident involving a drunk driver left then newly-engaged Anna Claire Waldrop a quadriplegic, but that didn’t stop her from marrying the man of her dreams. The childhood sweethearts somehow managed to wed on the date they’d originally booked for their nuptials. This special event granted them great healing. Her husband claims that their relationship is “a thousand times stronger” than before the accident.

Did a loved one recently endure a terrifying car accident? Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP can guide you through all phases of the legal process to ensure the best possible outcome. Call (770) 214-2500 for more information.

Creating the Life You Deserve, in Spite of a Back Injury

Getting From A to B [After Your Back Injury]

If you’ve gone through the exercises we suggested in our last two posts, you’ve now hopefully clarified two key things:

  • What’s true now in your life, after your workplace back injury.
  • Your vision for what you want to achieve in the months ahead.

Now, it’s time to bridge the gap between planning and doing. Ask yourself these three questions, and write down the answers in a journal—and/or work through them with the help of a coach.

  1. To reach my goals, what is the absolute minimum that needs to get done? Often, when we think about goals, we assume that the pathway must follow some specific contour. But in making those assumptions, we give ourselves lots of extra work. For instance, let’s say one of your goals is to minimize your child care obligations (because of your hurt back) to 2 hours a day. You may assume that you’ll need to hire a nanny, and in order to do that, you’ll need a source of funds. And in order to get funds to afford a nanny, you’ll need a new source of income. And so on. However, if you focus on the goal instead of on the presumed path to the goal, you might find shortcuts. Maybe the absolute minimum would involve asking your sister to move in with you for a few months to assist with the child care. That would circumvent the need for the nanny/funds/second job.
  2. How can I succeed in spite of my injury? We covered this a bit in our previous post, but it’s an idea worth exploring in depth. Your back is hurt. Maybe you’re in constant paid due to fibromyalgia symptoms you developed after a grueling desk job. Maybe your lower back is in constant, shooting pain. Okay. That may be true. But if you want to (for instance) get back into your hobby of carving wooden figurines, you can find workarounds. Maybe the pain will prevent you from sitting more that two hours at a time. No problem. Adjust your workflow to accommodate. Maybe you need to invest in more ergonomic equipment. Etc. The point is, you can almost certainly benefit from thinking through how to succeed in spite of your limitations.
  3. Who can help me get to my goals? It’s impossible to do anything truly amazing in this world without support. Now’s the time to lean on good people. For instance, strong legal representation with your Georgia workers’ compensation case can make a world of difference. (The Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP team is here to help at (770) 214-2500.)

Determine Your First Step—And Take It!

Break down your top goal into actionable steps. For example: maybe you want to become a social worker, and you need extra education to make this dream a reality. Start by researching a few local colleges with social work programs. Determine admission requirements for these schools. Gather high school or college transcripts. These simple steps will snowball into real progress.

Record Your Efforts

Every day, do at least one thing to take you closer to executing each long-term goal. You don’t necessarily have to make grand gestures. For example, if you’re saving for a down payment on a house, skip that Starbucks latte and prepare coffee at home instead.

Each day, record your successes and any areas in which you could improve. Read these daily entries regularly to determine whether you’re consistently making progress towards your goal, or whether it’s time to reassess.

Questions For Reflection

Reflect on these in your journal:

  • What holds me back from taking action and executing on the plans I’ve carefully drafted?
  • What motivates me most to pursue my dreams?
  • What simple steps can I take to make progress every day?

Beyond Your Back Injury: Planning the Future

Looking Forward in Time After a Back Injury: Where Do You Want to Go?

Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems. –Leroy Hood
Life may look different following a back injury, but there’s no need to spend the rest of your days moping. Yes, you’ll face challenges that once seemed unimaginable, but you’ll tackle them head-on and emerge stronger than ever. These suggestions can help:

Sketch Out Your Idea of a Dream Life

What would you do if your disability didn’t get in the way? Be specific. At minimum, determine how you’d one day like to feel. Key adjectives may include fulfilled, energetic, calm, or loved. If it helps, capture ideas about your future with quotes or images.

Don’t Edit Your Ideas (At Least at This Stage)

One of the reasons people struggle to create a vision is that they get locked in certain modes of thinking, known as “paradigms.” These ways of filtering the world reduce information overload, but they also limit your creativity. For instance, let’s say one of your goals is to (one day) climb Mount Kilimanjaro. You’ve had that on your list since you were a teenager—back when you were younger and healthier. Now that your back’s blown out, perhaps that goal seems less realistic than ever. You might be tempted to cross it off your list and never revisit it. However, in spite of your injury, you still may be able to do it. Perhaps there are special trips to Mount Kilimanjaro reserved for people with disabilities—maybe you could even qualify for a sponsorship to get paid to hike! Or maybe your injury will prompt you to invest more in personal fitness. You’ll recover to a higher level of fitness than you had before the accident—and be on target to go mountaineering. The point is that you don’t want to edit your brainstorming prematurely. At some point, your dreams need to come into contact with reality, but first give yourself space to dream big.

Key Questions For Reflection

  • If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I immediately try to achieve?
  • Imagine looking back at your success from after the completion date. What does that look and feel like?
  • What secret resources do I have available to help me?
  • What am I most afraid of? What would happen if those fears came true? (Surface both your big dreams and your big fears, so you have a complete inventory of what matters to you.)

In our next post, we’ll discuss how to connect the dots between your current reality (what you explored and wrote down after working through the last post) and your ideal vision.

Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP today at (770) 214-2500 to learn more about how to collect workers’ compensation in Georgia.

How Has Your Life Changed Since You Got Hurt at Work?

Looking Back on the Time Since Your Workplace Accident: How Has Your Life Changed?

There’s no denying it—your workplace injury changed everything. Whether you currently suffer physical pain or anxiety about your future, life no longer looks quite like it did before your accident. The key to moving forward in peace? Acknowledging and accepting what’s true now. As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, eloquently put it: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Follow these suggestions to get your life back on track:

Determine What’s Different Now

Take a few minutes to think carefully about your day-to-day life and how it’s changed since the accident. Examples may include:

  • An inability to pursue previous hobbies
  • Fewer social outings and an ensuing sense of social isolation
  • Limited mobility if you can no longer drive
  • You may no longer feel as if you contribute positively to your community or society at large

Clarify Your True Feelings and Needs

Once you’ve determined how life differs today, delve into your true feelings about the situation, and your plans to move forward. In your journal, reflect on the following questions:

  • Are there any silver linings to my situation? Any small ways in which my life is better today than it was before?
  • What stands in the way of the goals I set for myself prior to the accident?
  • How could my goals change to reflect my new reality while still allowing me to move forward with full satisfaction?

A little reflection can make a big difference as you determine how to proceed. Life might not look exactly like it did before your workplace accident, but there’s still plenty to accomplish and plenty to celebrate.

No matter how your life has changed—whether a lower back injury has made it impossible to lift your young child without pain or whiplash from a construction accident has caused you to rack up thousands in chiropractor bills—you can count on Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP for support. Call (770) 214-2500 today to learn how we can assist you with your Georgia workers’ compensation case.