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  • Five easy-to-implement habits for improving your mental health at work

    Person in a zen pose with stacks of paper around

    You may be feeling the added pressure at work these days, and most days it probably feels like everyone wants some of your time. Here are a few easy tips for maintaining your positive attitude and protecting your headspace in your professional life. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup!

    1. Set manageable boundaries. Blocking your calendar for lunch or focus time and not responding to emails after hours are great ways to protect your “downtime”. Last-minute meetings, impossible deadlines, and covering staffing shortages are all common occurrences in today’s world but reducing as many of them as you can and setting clear boundaries for your valuable time can help give you some sense of control over your day.
    2. Take regular “brain breaks”. While our smartphones are often dubbed “tools of mass distraction”, they can be an invaluable means of temporary escape. Taking short, regular breaks can help reset your brain, increasing your overall productivity. Download a few quick games that interest you or keep a light read loaded on an e-reader app and allow yourself a few minutes to decompress when the opportunity strikes.
    3. Tackle one thing at a time. If your to-do list should be relabeled as a “must-do-NOW" list, remember that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Prioritizing your tasks, writing them down, and crossing them off in order of importance can give you some sense of control over your day and keep you focused.
    4. Help your neighbor. While this advice may seem counterintuitive to #1, taking some time to voluntarily help a coworker — instead of being “voluntold” to do so — feels good! If you see someone struggling under the weight of their obligations, ask if there’s anything you can do to help them. Even if you simply shine a little light on a task that seems overwhelming to them, the resulting sense of community will brighten the day for both of you!
    5. Keep your visual spaces clear. Much like the chair full of clean laundry mocking us from the corner of our bedroom, we’ve all got “that pile” of paperwork on our desk that’s begging to be dealt with. Just looking at it probably makes you stressed! Schedule 15 to 30 minutes every day to tackle that pesky pile, and (if possible) keep it out of sight.

    If you find these tips to be helpful, check out our previous Five tips for improving your mental health post!  

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  • Five daily habits that reduce anxiety and improve mental health

    Person in a zen pose with musical notes around

    After decades of battling the stigma associated with mental health and anxiety, we are finally seeing a change in the tide. Every day, more people than ever are seeking help and support for these concerns, and those who once suffered in silence are finding their voice and advocating for themselves and their loved ones. Many others are experiencing “situational anxiety” due to increased stressors at home and work. It can be difficult to eliminate these stressors completely, but there are some ways to reduce their effects, beginning with our daily habits. Here are five tried-and-true daily habits that can help.

    1. Dream on. An agile, resilient mind needs its rest. Creating a bedtime ritual (e.g., turn off devices, have a cup of herbal tea, journal, and read a book) can help you “power down” and relax before your head ever hits the pillow. Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep — you might need slightly more or less than eight hours — but ensuring you’re getting enough sleep helps your brain “reset” and prepare for a new day.
    2. Gonna get physical! Well, now that you’ll be singing that song all day, let it inspire you! An exercise routine you can stick to will not only help maintain your physical health, it will also prompt your body to increase endorphins, your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters.
    3. I feel the Earth move... under my feet. If you work at a desk, get up and move as often as you can. If you’re already on your feet, a quick walk is a great way to take a brain break, even if it’s to the parking lot and back. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to gain a fresh perspective!
    4. All I can do is write about it. Journaling is a great way to process the events of your day. Find one with some inspirational quotes and prompts to help you get started and keep it on your nightstand and at the ready! Getting your thoughts and feelings out on paper helps to purge the negative and reinforce the positive.
    5. On the radio... According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), music’s rhythmic and repetitive aspects engage the neocortex of your brain, calming you and reducing impulsivity. Lyrics can also affect your mood, so choosing familiar songs with a positive angle can help propel you to a more positive frame of mind. Create a positive mindset playlist and press “Play” whenever you need to change your perspective. Singing along is optional, but definitely adds to the fun!

    We hope this musically inspired list helps you find and maintain your positive headspace. If you find yourself in need of mental health support, please contact a provider in your area. We wish you all the best!

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  • Pearson and Multi-Health Systems Announce Product Transfer Agreement

    Illustration of clapping hands

    Our entire Pearson Assessment team upholds a commitment to ensuring our portfolio of assessments is aligned with the needs of our customers. To that end, we are happy to announce that Pearson and Multi-Health Systems, Inc. (MHS) have entered into an agreement to transfer ownership and distribution of a few select products. 

    Effective immediately, MHS will transfer ownership of their “Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale” (PANSS) and “Profile of Mood States” (POMS) products to Pearson. In exchange, Pearson will transfer ownership to MHS of the Stanford Achievement Test, 10th Edition (SAT10), Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, 8th Edition (OLSAT-8) and Aprenda® La Prueba de Logros en Español Tercera edición (APR3). Pearson will continue to distribute and provide customer support for these products.

    This partnership ensures the continuity of support for these measures and paves the way for future enhancements while enabling us to continue building a well-rounded family of assessments. We are grateful for the trust you place in us to provide the relevant products and support you rely on as you help those in your care achieve their goals.
     

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  • Meet Rashonda Harris, Customer Experience Specialist — US Customer Service Team

    Meet Rashonda Harris, Customer Experience Specialist

    “Making someone’s life easier starts with a smile.”

    Rashonda Harris doesn’t view her customers as “just another voice on the phone”. She sees each interaction as a chance to connect with her customers, discover their needs, and find the best way to help them — all with a smile. In her opinion, “When you’re the first person a customer speaks to, you’re the ‘face’ of the company and it’s important to make them feel welcome. A smile is contagious; people can’t help but smile back. Even in a remote environment, people can feel a smile... they can hear it in your voice.” Rashonda is the kind of person you want to work with, bringing excellent customer service, tenacity, courtesy, poise, friendliness, and boundless energy to our clients as well as her teammates.

    With that being said, she brings more than a smile to her role. Focusing on her customers’ satisfaction brings out the best in Rashonda, highlighting her resourcefulness, humility, and perpetual willingness to listen and research in order to find the best possible solution for each of the customers she interacts with. Rashonda brings out the best in other people as well, and never hesitates to put the customer’s needs and feelings before her own.  

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  • Meet Ellen Veazie, Customer Experience Specialist – US customer service team

    Ellen Veazie, Customer Experience Specialist – US customer service team

    The innovator

    Ellen constantly challenges herself and is always learning.

    Ellen was thinking outside the box before thinking outside the box was cool. In her career as a teacher, she was one of three educators in the state of Louisiana who earned an award from the Senator. Through her leadership, Ellen’s students developed a school-based enterprise — the complete business model through marketing and advertising. The coffee shop they “built” gained local fame and was recognized by politicians and other officials who were proud to hold their meetings there to show off what the students had accomplished.

    An avid DIY-er, Ellen knows how great it feels to do things herself. She enjoys planting seeds in her organic garden and watching them grow, then from that harvest, creating a meal. She also turned one of her hobbies into a business on Etsy. Ellen believes in the adage “bloom where you’re planted” and uses that as her guidepost. Every day she strives to do her best, take advantage of opportunities when they come her way, and from those opportunities, continues to bloom.

    The advocate

    Helping you find the best in those you serve.

    After she earned her Master’s in guidance and counseling, Ellen became committed to learning how to use the assessments that could help her identify the needs of her students. She soon realized that without these invaluable tools, it’s not always apparent that an adolescent is struggling with depression or a low self-concept... or not performing to their full potential.

    Today, Ellen gets to enjoy the best of both worlds by assisting customers just like you with discovering the value of assessment. She can relate to what you’re ordering and knows how assessment can help you best serve your students and clients.

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  • Have you registered for Science to Practice?

    by Kristina Breaux, PhD, Senior Research Director

    Kristina Breaux, PhD

    Full disclosure: Yes, I will be presenting at S2P 2021, LDA’s inaugural Science to Practice virtual conference January 21–24, 2021. That being said, even if I weren’t presenting, this event would be on my short list of conferences to attend.

    Here’s why...

    S2P is laser focused on research and practice.

    An entire conference — not just a track — dedicated to LD research and practice! This defined area of focus allows us to go so much deeper into the issues, and as an added bonus, S2P isn’t afraid to address the controversies! As a researcher, I’m so excited to participate in a conference that will address issues from all sides.

    It’s THE who’s who in SLD identification — all together at one conference!

    What other conference allows you to hear from LD experts like H. Lee Swanson and Doug Fuchs? I’ve been in this field for a long time and I’d typically have to attend multiple conferences to have access to all these experts!

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  • Behind the scenes with fellow SLP, Nancy Castilleja

    Nancy Castilleja, SLP

    Nancy, a fellow speech-language pathologist, worked in clinical practice for many years before coming to Pearson. She didn't simply happen upon her career as an SLP. Perhaps like you, Nancy’s interest in following a path to help people with communication disorders was sparked by her experiences with some very special people in her life.

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