Tag Archives: adults

National Depression Education & Awareness Month

National Depression Education & Awareness Month

It’s National Depression Education & Awareness Month, and depression affects over 19 million people in the U.S.

There are several types of depression, but the most common one is major depression. Symptoms of major depression stop you from enjoying your daily life for at least 2 weeks straight.

Major Depression

 

Postpartum depression affects mothers after giving birth and can make it difficult to bond with or even care for their new babies.

Postpartum Depression

 

Seasonal affective disorder is a common kind of depression where your mood is affected by the changes in the seasons, and the colder months of the year drain you of energy.

Fighting SAD

 

Depression can be caused by genetics, trauma, stress, brain structure, brain chemistry, substance abuse, and even other conditions like sleep issues, ADHD, and chronic pain.

Reasons for Depression

 

While symptoms can vary, adults suffering from depression usually feel overwhelmed with sadness. Children and teens are more likely to be irritable. Women also tend to note anxiety, while men report aggression.

The Differences in Depression Symptom

 

80 to 90% of those who seek depression treatment will get the help they need. Antidepressants are a powerful treatment, and there are more treatment options than ever, from therapy to meditation and yoga.

How Treatment Can Help Depression

 

Depression is tied to a higher risk of suicidal behavior. If you or someone you love is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it’s important to talk to a doctor.

If you need to talk to someone immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Getting Help for Suicidal Thoughts

Down the Rabbit Hole to Play

Long View: Disappearing Down Rabbit Holes

A few years back, some friends and I were camping just after Halloween at Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska.

The prior weekend, the park had hosted a “haunted” park drive-through where ghouls and ghosts good-naturedly jumped out to scare you in good, old-fashioned Halloween fun. While hiking on some trails high up above one of the park roads, we came across a straw-stuffed witch on a broom tied up by a rope to a tree. Untying the rope let this funny-looking witch fly out over the road and spook any car driving by. You can guess what happened next.

Brenda and Cathy (both grandmothers, by the way) agreed to be lookouts for approaching cars from around the bend. Vicki and Jackie lay down on their stomachs in the weeds to hide and relay the “get ready” sign. My buddy Fara and I held tight to the rope waiting for the “go” sign. When a car came up the road, we let our witch fly, shrieking with glee like 8-year-old naughty little boys and waving furiously at the cars we’d managed to scare below. Later, Fara marveled that she had not “played” like that in years. That statement has stuck with me all these years.

Why don’t adults play anymore? We pay money to take yoga and tai chi classes to try and clear our minds of the clutter of life. Self-help gurus tout their books about “living in the moment” or striving to “be present.” Really, isn’t that just playing? To me, playing is a special state of being where one loses all track of time and disappears down a rabbit hole that has nothing to do with lists, responsibilities, or errands. Playing definitely has nothing to do with CNN, the newspaper, or our Facebook page. Playing is the single-minded pursuit of something that does nothing but make us happy or relaxed or at peace.

I recently traveled down a rabbit hole on a Sunday afternoon and found myself wandering through a small-town cemetery looking for the graves of my great-grandparents Benjamin Hugo and Millie. I didn’t wake up with that idea on my agenda. I actually woke up that Sunday with no agenda at all. My yellow lab, Harvey Benjamin (named after my grandfather), and I had a lovely afternoon just wandering up and down the rows looking at names and noting dates and family connections. Happily, I not only found Benjamin Hugo and Millie’s graves but also the grave of my great-great-great-grandfather Hans Detlef, who was born in Germany in 1800 and died in Iowa in 1887.

No timelines, no reasons, just hanging out in a cemetery, which is probably weird to some, I agree, but it was a special day spent thinking about nothing much for me. It felt wonderful. It was like those worn-out areas of my brain that have to plan and decide and be a grown-up got a chance to power down for a while, to rest and recharge while running on power save mode in the background.

The amazing thing about it was I was deep into writer’s block at that point. I had no idea what I was going to write about for this monthly column. While that part of my brain was running on power save mode, the topic presented itself. Isn’t that cool? I also think my next dog might be named Hugo, although I recently found some ancestors in my tree named Ichabod and Wubba, so I might need a lot more dogs.

There is actual science behind the value of adults taking the time to play every now and then to reduce stress and improve their overall well-being, so let’s start playing.

Lora Felger is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. She is the mother of 2 terrific boys, a world traveler, and a major Iowa State Cyclones fan.

National Arthritis Awareness Month

National Arthritis Awareness Month

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, and arthritis is America’s number one cause of disability. There are also nearly 1 million hospitalizations each year because of arthritis.

Coping with Arthritis

 

Nearly 53 million adults and almost 300,000 babies, kids, and teens have arthritis or a rheumatic condition. Learn more about arthritis.

People with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis miss 172 million days of work per year. Learn about the different kinds of arthritis and be prepared.

Fighting Back Against Arthritis

 

Many people with arthritis also have other serious conditions. 57% of adults with heart disease, 52% of those with diabetes, and 44% of those with high blood pressure, have arthritis. Learn more about arthritis research.

Struggling with Arthritis and Health Conditions

 

1/3 of adults with arthritis who would normally be working have limitations in their ability to work, and overall, they’re less likely to be employed than those without arthritis. If you have arthritis, learn more about managing your pain.

Arthritis & Work-Life Limitations

 

Arthritis and its related conditions account for over $156 billion in yearly lost wages and medical expenses. If you have arthritis though, you have treatment options.

The Cost of Arthritis

 

If you need support emotionally or the tools and resources to make healthy changes like exercise and diet that can improve your arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation can help.

The Arthritis Support You Need

Caffeine Awareness Month

Caffeine Awareness Month

It’s Caffeine Awareness Month, and we’ll have tips to help you make sure you’re using caffeine safely.

Caffeine is usually safe for adults, but pregnant women shouldn’t use it, and children should avoid it.

Up to 400 mg of caffeine a day is usually safe for healthy adults. That’s about 4 cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola, or 2 energy shots.

How Much Caffeine is Safe?

 

While the caffeine in 10 cans of cola is still at a safe limit, it would have over 90 teaspoons of sugar. You should be shooting for no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. Be aware of the sugar you take in with your caffeine.

Watching Sugar with Caffeine

 

Avoid mixing caffeine with other substances like alcohol. Their effects can compound each another, making them more dangerous.

Avoid Mixing Caffeine

 

You may want to cut back on caffeine if you’re experiencing side effects like migraines, insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, a fast or uneven heatbeat, or jittery muscle tremors.

Side Effects of Caffeine

 

Caffeine usually takes an effect on most people within 15 to 45 minutes, so don’t drink more just because you don’t immediately feel its effects.

Caffeine Takes Effect

 

Caffeine isn’t safe for dogs, so don’t let them get into chocolate or caffeinated drinks.

Caffeine and Dogs

Get a Safe Ride for National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. As you get ready to celebrate the new year, make sure you’re prepared to get home safely, too.

Driving services like Lyft and Uber can get you home safely during the holidays.

Get Home Safe for the Holidays

 

In an average year, 30 million Americans drive drunk. Choose a designated driver before you go out.

Celebrate Smart

 

The holidays raise the risk. On average, 25 people were killed per day from alcohol-impaired driving in December 2010.

Buzzed Driving Stats

 

In December 2010, 21- to 34-year-olds were involved in more fatal alcohol-impaired crashes than any other age group.

11.8% of adults over age 26 drive drunk in a year. Call a cab, friend, or family member instead.

Safe Driving in the Holiday Season

 

19.5% of people 16 to 25 years old drive under the influence of alcohol. Talk to your kids about underage drinking.

Talk Underage Drinking

 

A DUI costs an average of $10,000. Uber rides cost just cents per minute.

Uber Instead

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Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month! Headaches are actually common for children. Do you know how to help?

Rule Your Headache

 

Between 4% and 10% of kids get migraines, and most adults with migraines started getting them as kids.

Children Get Headaches Too!

 

Migraines usually run in the family, so knowing how they affect your family can help you and your doctor find the right treatment.

Migraines can stop you from participating in life’s activities and can be a significant health problem. Talk to your doctor!

Headaches Affecting Your Life

 

There are many types of headaches. Read more about them to identify yours.

What's Your Headache?

 

There are many kinds of treatment available for headaches, including preventive treatment. Learn more.

Getting Help with Headaches

 

Only 1 in 3 migraine sufferers talk to their doctor about them. Getting diagnosed can get you the treatment you need to improve your life.

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Snacks for Adults

Healthy Snacks for Adults

Sick of grabbing your kids’ snacks on-the-go because that’s handier? This week, try making these healthy snacks for adults that will be perfect for you.

First up are homemade Oven-Baked Honey Barbecue Sweet Potato Chips you can’t resist.

Oven-Baked Honey Barbecue Sweet Potato Chips
Image and Recipe via mandyashcraft.com

 

This Edamame with Citrus Salt is a protein-rich snack to fuel you through your afternoon slump.

Edamame with Citrus Salt
Image and Recipe via Kitchen Treaty

 

These Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites can help satisfy your year-round Starbucks frap cravings.

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites
Image and Recipe via Gimme Some Oven

 

Make Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce for an adult version of fast food.

Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Image and Recipe via Cookin Canuck

 

These Raspberry Fig Bars will satisfy your sweet tooth while you’re on the move.

Raspberry Fig Bars
Image and Recipe via Dora Daily

 

Baked Rosemary Parmesan Chickpeas are a tasty and light protein boost you’ll love.

Baked Rosemary Parmesan Chickpeas
Image and Recipe via BlogLovin’

 

Easy Homemade Flatbread Crackers are the salty snack you crave without the guilt.

Easy Homemade Flatbread Crackers

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