A few weeks ago I posted about some simple ways to deal with stress and panic attacks, and I mentioned that I had received an adult coloring book from a friend and thought it was a great way to focus and relax my mind.
Apparently other people think so, too!
I just read this article in The Atlantic: The Zen of Adult Coloring Books
Several trend pieces about adult coloring books lump them in with other “childish” activities that grown-ups are apparently engaging in to regress back to their simpler youth, like adult preschool and adult summer camp. But
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Ted-Ed Talks just posted an excellent video on YouTube explaining How stress can make you sick. Occasional stress is normal and even helpful, but chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Because of the “brain-gut” connection, chronic stress can also affect digestion and lead to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and obesity.
Even worse, chronic stress can cause chromosomal damage and shorten our lives!
I’m sure this isn’t news to most people, but it’s a reminder that we need to regularly “check-in” on our emotional health and make … Continue reading
I’ve said it many times in this blog: Don’t go to the hospital alone! And don’t let your friends or family members go alone, either.
Having or being a patient advocate during a hospitalization can really improve communication among the patient, the patient’s family and the myriad of health care providers in modern hospitals.
Related story from KevinMD: There are too many cooks in the health care kitchen
Better communication is especially important at discharge time, when the doctor and nurses give you lots of instructions about your follow-up plan: Do you have new medications? Did you stop old medications? … Continue reading
When you go to the grocery store is your cart full of “free” foods, such as soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, etc.?
With so many of these products being heavily marketed, and poor health information being widely spread on the internet through Facebook, blogs and other social networking sites, it’s easy to make assumptions about food allergies for your and/or your children.
Common symptoms that everyone gets occasionally—nausea, diarrhea, acne, fatigue, weight gain, rashes, and sinusitis—are frequently misdiagnosed as food allergies or intolerances.
I have had many friends over the years who have told me they or one of … Continue reading
I’ve posted before about the frighteningly ill-advised health tips I see perpetuated on Pinterest: How NOT to whiten your teeth
Another non-scientific and potentially dangerous home treatment that I frequently see pinned is ear candling.
Ear candling involves placing a specially-designed candle (or cone) into one ear and lighting a wick at the other end. Theoretically, the heat from the flame creates a mild vacuum pressure that draws “impurities” out of the ear.
By impurities, one would immediately think ear wax, but proponents of ear candling believe it does so much more. A short list of of the “benefits” of … Continue reading
Most doctors will advise you to stay home from work or school if you are sick. Not only do you need the rest, but if you are contagious with a cold or the flu or a stomach bug, you will pass your germs to many more people.
Well, apparently doctors don’t take their own advice!
A recent survey showed that most doctors do go to work when sick, even though they know they could infect their co-workers or patients.
A full 96 percent said they would work if they had symptoms of a cold, 77 percent said they would
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Last week PBS aired a NOVA special on vaccinations: Vaccines—Calling the Shots
Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago—including whooping cough, measles, mumps—are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. Vaccines – Calling the Shots, a new NOVA special, takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, and shed light on the risks of opting out.
Like most NOVA specials, it focuses on the science behind vaccinations: How were they developed? How effective are they? How safe are they? And—perhaps … Continue reading
It’s October and time for my annual reminder for everyone age 6 months and older to get a flu shot!
Flu season typically runs from November to March, but no one can predict with accuracy exactly when the first cases will start showing up or when the season will end—sometimes as early as October to as late as May. It’s unpredictable as well how severe the upcoming flu season will be, so just assume it will be a bad and early flu season and prepare accordingly.
In other words, get your flu shot now. And remember to always wash your … Continue reading
I read a good article on BuzzFeed last week that offered simple tips to deal with anxiety and panic attacks: 31 Actually Helpful Tips For Dealing With Panic Attacks
I won’t list them all here, and you can check out the article for more details, but here are a few I thought especially helpful. (And I have suffered from panic attacks in the past, so I know what works for me.)
- Listen to songs with a slow rhythm to help control your breathing. Look through your playlists for music in the range of 60-70 beats per minute. Create a playlist
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Blue light pollution
Do you have trouble getting to sleep at night, and then feel sleepy and groggy in the morning?
“Blue light” from your TV, phone or tablet might be to blame. Do you watch TV or sit at your computer just before bed? Or take your phone, laptop or Kindle into bed with you?
These electronic devices all emit what’s known as blue light. Blue light is a specific part of the light spectrum. It’s why the sky is blue, and so our brains naturally associate blue light with day and become more alert, even if it’s time … Continue reading