Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

Making Resolutions That Last

It’s that time again. An entire year has come and gone and we are left with an opportunity to examine what we have done and how far we have come this year. After some investigation, it appears that only 30% of individuals will actually set New Year Resolutions - meaning less than half of Americans will set healthy and obtainable goals for the new year. People may vow to eat better, lose weight, improve relationships, and even learn to cook; possibilities are endless.
Currently, the diet industry worth is over $60 billion and the fitness industry is a $25 billion dollar industry. With so many options and “fixes” promised by some organizations, it can be even more challenging for those wanting to change poor habits for healthier ones.

Here are some ideas for you this new year to achieve those resolutions you desire to change.

First, create a resolution that you really want. If you are creating a goal that others want for you, but you do not want for yourself, it is not going to work. Tr…

Holidays, Relatives, and Keeping Our Sanity

It’s that time of year where family and friends gather for festivities and holiday cheer. But sometimes, cheer is in short supply, especially when relationships experience conflicts. Turmoil within our closest relationships can sometimes make or break our holiday spirit. It does not matter how old you are, get-togethers can be challenging. So as the holidays progress, here are some helpful reminders of improving and maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family to enjoy the most of this season and the end of 2014.
First off, believe and understand that you are not the only one having a difficult time. By acknowledging that others may be experiencing similar difficulties, it may help reduce feelings of inadequacy or self-criticism when you engage with friends and family.

Next, consider your current emotional state and ask yourself if you typically feel frustrated or aggravated with those around you. It’s a difficult task, but if you are reacting and responding to others dif…

The challenge of sitting with our thoughts

Photo Credit One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, once said, "My mind is a bad neighborhood I try not to go into alone." It seems that more and more of us are finding that being alone with our thoughts can be a truly terrifying activity. When was the last time you spent time doing nothing? Take out the social media and electronic distractions, and what do you have left when you are alone? Where does your mind go?

I came across a study recently that was too fascinating not to share. Many of you may have already read about it, but it got me thinking about how our minds work. The article was published in Science magazine, and the title was "Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind." In this article, authors looked at 11 different scientific studies, and found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think. They found that the participants enjoyed doing mundane external activities much…

Handling Holiday Weight Gain

In the midst of the holiday season, food is heavy topic. Between cookie exchanges, holiday parties and family dinners, many people find themselves eating more. Over 35% of Americans report family celebrations and feasts are a source of weight gain. On average, between Thanksgiving and New Years, Americans will gain anywhere from five to ten pounds (that’s one dress size!). Typically, people consume 32% more during holiday dinners and even more if holidays fall on the weekend.
For this season, limiting overall consumption of unhealthy or unnecessary foods will be key. Surrounded by increased choices of food and desserts, it can be challenging and difficult to say no. In an effort to keep those holiday pounds off and maintain healthy lifestyles, here are several suggestions to consider. Planning ahead will be a simple and effective tool for you.

Know what types of food will be available and what you can eat. If several of your favorite dishes will be offered, choose beforehand which one…

In the Spotlight: Sjogren's Syndrome

Dr. Taft's blog entry yesterday on surviving the holidays could not be more timely. This is the month of December, and I am just now writing the November post for our Rare Disease of the Month blog. This month we're discussing Sjogren's Syndrome. Although you may have never heard of it, the disease currently affects over 4 million Americans. In case you're wondering (like I was), it is pronounced "SHOW-grins." It was named after the man who discovered it in 1933, Dr. Henrik Sjogren. One well-known celebrity with Sjogren's Syndrome is the tennis player Venus Williams.  


Photo credit: What If Gourmet
Snapshot:  Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disease where the person's white cells are attacking the body's moisture-producing glands. Nine out of ten patients are women, and half of the time it occurs  in the presence of another autoimmune disease such as lupus or arthritis. The hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, but since this diseases…

Dealing with the Holiday Blues

It’s December and ‘tis the season to be jolly. Thanksgiving has passed with Christmas and Hanukah quickly approaching. You cannot leave home without being reminded of holiday spirit. Radio stations are filled with holiday carols and business fronts show support of holiday celebrations. However, anticipation of holiday cheer leave many feeling anything but jolly. 

The “holiday blues” create feelings of sadness, anxiety, stress and loneliness for many people. So let’s look at some of the reasons holiday blues develop. 

A leading cause to holiday blues begins with feeling pressured to be “merry.” Everywhere you go there are holiday reminders, decorations and greetings filled with cheer and positive regard. But if you’re not feeling cheerful, internal pressure begins to stir. Many feel forced to “be merry” which can create increased feelings of sadness or guilt and lead to isolation.

Also, some individuals reflect on past gatherings with friends and family. Whether it’s consciously or uncons…