Wellness Wednesday – 9/30/20
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
What to Do If You Suffer Parental Burnout
Parents today are expected to provide optimal nutrition for their kids while also encouraging participation in sports, extracurricular activities and educational tutoring. Combine this with being a round-the-clock chauffeur, and it’s no wonder why parental exhaustion affects upwards of 20% of parents.
Academically, the term parental burnout has a specific meaning. In 2018, Belgian researchers developed the Parental Burnout Assessment, which comprises four factors: exhaustion, self-doubt, feeling fed up and emotional distancing from one’s children.
By this definition, burnout is more than just stress, worry, or fatigue, which all parents experience sometimes. MarksDailyApple.com describes it as a deep weariness that drains one’s ability to parent effectively. Left unchecked, it can lead to parental neglect and violence.
To combat this, experts recommend taking the time each day to focus on what went right, instead of resorting to self-deprecation. This might mean going around the dinner table and each naming something that made you happy, or writing a simple gratitude statement in your journal each night.
Additionally, it’s important to actively reject the intensive parenting ideal. Tt’s ok if the laundry isn’t done, your kid is five minutes late to soccer practice, you forgot to brush their hair on school picture day or the Tooth Fairy failed to pick up the tooth last night.
This is not an overnight process, but it helps to realize that a lot of burnout stems from buying into societal standards — standards that you don’t have to live up to to be a kind and loving parent.
Death by Black Licorice
A recent article from the New England Journal of Medicine describing the death of a middle-aged construction worker from eating black licorice will make you think twice about binging on your Halloween spoils.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that it was aware the naturally occurring compound found in black licorice can have adverse health effects.
The FDA advises that no matter what your age, you should not eat large quantities of black licorice; if you have muscle weakness or an irregular heartbeat, you should stop eating it and call your doctor. And you should consult your doctor about interactions it may have with your other medications.
In the case of the 54-year-old Massachusetts construction worker, described Wednesday in the medical journal, eating one or two large bags a day for three weeks threw his nutrients out of whack and caused his heart to stop. He collapsed at midday at a fast-food restaurant.
The problem is glycyrrhizic acid, found in black licorice and in many other foods and dietary supplements containing licorice root extract. It can cause potentially deadly mineral imbalances.
The doctors treating him found he had dangerously low potassium, which led to heart rhythm and other problems. Emergency responders did CPR and revived him but he died the next day.
Meditation for Mind-Control
Carnegie Mellon Biomedical Engineering Department Head Bin He and his team have discovered that mindful meditation can help subjects learn and improve the ability to mind-control brain computer interfaces (BCIs), MedicalXpress.com reports.
A BCI is an apparatus that allows an individual to control a machine or computer directly from their brain.
He and collaborators conducted a large-scale human study enrolling subjects in a weekly 8-week course in simple, widely-practiced meditation techniques, to test their effect as a potential training tool for BCI control.
He’s work shows that humans with just eight lessons in mindfulness-based attention and training (MBAT) demonstrated significant advantages compared to those with no prior meditation training, both in their initial ability to control BCI’s and in the time it took for them to achieve full proficiency.
The work of He and his team presents a new application for a well-known and widely practiced form of meditation, and may even offer insights into the neurological effects of meditation and how it may be adapted for better BCI training. This study offers novel information for researchers of BCI’s and presents a new tool for both understanding the brain and preparing subjects to use a BCI.
Teddy Roosevelt’s Inhuman Coffee Consumption
With his naval expertise, domination in physical competitions and expeditions through Africa and North America, Teddy epitomized manliness. What fueled the 26th president more than anything else was his coffee, CoffeeOrDie.com reports.
In fact, Roosevelt loved to imbibe his coffee from a cup that was “more in the nature of a bathtub,” according to his son, Theodore Jr.
For the president, his breakfast coffee was half coffee, half milk, and he poured the cups for everyone else as well. It didn’t stop at breakfast, however. Roosevelt drank coffee all day long, adding five to seven lumps of sugar to each cup. The National Park Service, which oversees Roosevelt’s birthplace, says the president drank up to a gallon of coffee every single day. One witness even claimed to have seen the president down 40 cups in one day — that’s two and a half gallons.
When little Teddy was 5 years old, the most widely prescribed remedy for asthma was drinking an insane amount of coffee and puffing on a cigar. While the tobacco habit didn’t stick with the future president, the coffee definitely did.
It should surprise no one that the next generation of Roosevelts loved the black bean as much as their famous father. He was pouring it out to them over breakfast every day. The young Roosevelts loved it so much that they started their own chain of coffee houses in New York City called The Brazilian Coffee House. It was later changed to The Double R Coffee House.