Wellness Connection

By interpreters for interpreters

MasterWord Services, Your partner for any Interpreting, Translation or Language Access needs.

Interpreters often work in stressful situations, such as medical emergencies or end of life conversation, and many others. In the course of our everyday work, we can be subjected to vicarious trauma and at risk of compassion fatigue. In a collaborative effort with our network of wellness professionals from a variety of backgrounds, the MasterWord team has developed an approach to help  interpreters mitigate the risk of vicarious trauma and reduce the impact of stressors we encounter at work.  

Mind

Body

Nutrition

Tips

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“I can’t meditate!” If you’ve ever said or thought this, this article is for you.

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One of my most valuable yoga lessons came from a beginner class, where the instructor said to all the First-Time Yogis, "When I hear people say, 'I can't do yoga,' I respond by asking, 'Can you breathe? Then you can do yoga.'" The Psychologist Belisa Vranich says the same for meditation. She calls breathing "meditation for those who can't meditate." This New York Times piece simplifies the yogic principle of Pranayama, or breath control, offering a guide to "controlled breathing" that is as complicated as: "Take a deep breath, expanding your belly. Pause. Exhale slowly to the count of five....
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Long hours in front of a computer? Then… you should know this!

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Linguists spend a lot of time in front of a computer, in a car and on their phones. In addition, not all of us have time or energy to work out.  Sometimes we say “Oh, well… It is not a big deal!” Think about it though.  Don’t’ you want to look and feel your best? It is safe to say that the answer is “YES” for most of us. Even a very expensive outfit will not look good if your posture is bad.  Just stop for a second and observe what your posture is like right now. If you are sitting,...
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7 healing herbs to help with stress and to restore your body naturally

7 healing herbs to help with stress and to restore your body naturally

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You''ll rarely meet a person today who is not stressed or constantly tired; some people just accept it as a part of life that can’t be avoided and just deal with it. It is impossible to eliminate stress completely, that’s for sure! But there are low-cost and effective herbs that can be used to reduce the negative impact of stress and lower the stress hormone Cortisol. Some of these herbs were used by cosmonauts, athletes and military personnel. “It’s likely that you’ve heard about the detrimental effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels and chronic stress can affect every physiological system...
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Taking Off: Three Benefits of Traveling

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As interpreters and translators, we are exposed to a variety of life situations. If you have been in this profession long enough, perhaps you have encountered specific cases in which you have felt extreme happiness and fulfillment about the job you do. I certainly have. However, I am sure that you have also lived through other experiences that have shaken you to the core. Interpreting end-of-life discussions, interpreting or translating the reports of rape victims, and re-telling the stories of refugees can bring a heavy toll in your overall well-being. These situations can cause compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma. If...
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Struggling with energy and mental clarity after lunch?

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Dr. Daniel G. Amen found “… that eliminating all simple carbohydrates at lunch (sugar, white bread or other products made from white flour such as bagels and white pasta, potatoes, and rice) can make a dramatic difference in energy and focus in the afternoon. An additional benefit of skipping sugar and simple carbohydrates at lunch is that most people do not feel hunger until dinnertime.”  He recommends eating lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and food rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as large cold water fish, walnuts, Brazil nuts, olive oil, and canola oil. Skip sugar and simple carbohydrates and don't...
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Surprising Ways Gratitude can Improve Your Life

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Thanksgiving is here. As Oprah Winfrey said “Be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more.” Genuine gratitude can have a tremendous effect on your work life; it boosts morale and promotes healthy culture. We should not hesitate to say “Thank you” in the office or anywhere, and if you think “Why should I?” then take a look at these “7 Scientifically-Proven Benefits of Gratitude…” published on this day in 2014 by Forbes Magazine. Learn how they can help you be more productive, improve physical health, and get more job satisfaction. Forbes also recently published a piece called “How an Authentic ‘Thank-You’…

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What are Emotional Germs?

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Dr. Tim VanDuivendyk spoke to us about the effects of others’ emotions when we are interpreting in difficult encounters. When we are privy to other peoples’ pain, suffering, and trauma, we are affected. Everyone is affected differently, but we are affected nonetheless. One strategy for coping with these so-called “emotional germs” is to find an unbiased, non-judgemental listening partner. It is important that this listening partner just let us vent, and will not tell us that he or she understands what we are going through, or offer advice. It is a cathartic and therapeutic release to simply talk through an…

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Meditation Pills

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© University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Friends of Integrative Medicine Stop what you’re doing and take a break. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever you wash your hands, use this time to wash your mind as well. As you focus on lathering and rinsing soap off your hands, take slow breaths and imagine that you are also cleansing your mind. Stretch your arms upward. As you lengthen your back, breathe deeply through your nose into your belly and back out through your nose. Lower your arms, place them on your lap, and take a few...
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