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Articles Posted in Health and Wellness

Earth-in-grass-300x200The COVID-19 pandemic may be putting our human lives on pause, but it hasn’t slowed nature down at all. In fact, in many instances around the world, the slowing of human activity has led to what many see as an opportunity for the Earth to rest and heal.

What a beautiful thing to ponder.

The slowing of industry in places like India and China has reduced pollution to its lowest levels in years. Many cities in India are being treated to views of the majestic Himalayas for the first time in three decades. Even Los Angeles has seen a striking drop in its trademark smog.

work-from-home-300x200If you are one of the millions of people suddenly working remotely from home as a result of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, you may still be trying to find your “WFH (work from home) groove.” While working from home has a certain appeal (casual Friday every day, canine office mates, no commute), it also creates quite a few challenges (a blurring of the line between home and work, lack of routine or structure, inability to focus).

Luckily for people who are new to remote working, there are entire networks of people who have been working from home for years. (Remote or “dispersed” teams were actually a growing trend long before the pandemic struck and changed the work landscape overnight.) These WFH veterans have plenty of advice to offer.

As our own team adjusts to the WFH lifestyle, we thought it might be helpful to share some of our favorite tips for becoming a WFH master.

AdobeStock_301232145-300x200With most of the country under stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus, even the most reluctant among us are becoming better acquainted with our kitchens. As you burn through your culinary repertoires (and continue to avoid trips to the market and/or find that grocery delivery services are running weeks behind), you may be looking for creative ways to add a little variety and excitement to your meals.

Just maybe, a meal kit delivery service is just the thing you need.

These services come in a variety of styles, price points, and skill levels. They are great for people who are just learning to cook, for people who are too busy to do their own meal planning, and for folks who just want to bust themselves out of a cooking rut. They are also an especially appealing option in these days of self isolation and social distancing because they deliver everything you need right to your home.

AdobeStock_295677330-300x206We are living in some pretty surreal times right now. Things are changing so quickly that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the news. Our daily routines have been upended, and our daily conversations with friends and family are all focused on the same topic: the coronavirus.

Few among us have ever lived through a crisis so intense and so global in nature. It’s no wonder that our stress and anxiety levels are through the roof.

But humans are amazingly resilient and adaptable creatures. Even in the midst of all the uncertainty and chaos, people are finding beautiful ways to extend small kindnesses and create joy.


AdobeStock_207729475-300x200Over the course of our lives, we feel a sense of purpose and pride for a variety of reasons, but most of them have to do with helping others. Whether we are parenting children, caring for aging parents, serving in a professional role, or fulfilling a philanthropic mission, we feel good when we are actively engaged in doing good work out in the world.

As we get older, it can feel like our worlds become a lot smaller. Opportunities to feel productive and useful start to dwindle. Kids move out, parents pass on, and we retire. Piece by piece, whole areas of our life are reshaped in a way that can—if we’re not careful—lead to social isolation and loneliness. 

Older adults who find themselves in this position are often at a much greater risk for a variety of serious mental and physical health issues, including anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. 

AdobeStock_56917751-300x200It’s never too late to explore your artistic side. In fact, many people discover that the second half of life is the perfect time to learn an art or craft.

Whether you decide to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush, sit down at a potter’s wheel, or strap on some dancing shoes, the arts offer countless opportunities for enrichment, fulfillment, and joy.

Many of our most beloved artists got their starts later in life. Monet didn’t get serious about painting until he was in his forties. Forty may be young by today’s standards, but in Monet’s day the average life expectancy hovered around the early sixties, making forty almost “venerable.”

With summer upon us, it’s time to take full advantage of all the beautiful and unique places and spaces Connecticut has to offer. We are lucky to have a truly outstanding array of destinations to choose from, here in the Nutmeg State. People come from all around to enjoy the charm of Mystic Seaport, photograph our iconic lighthouses, and live it up at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun.

While each of these high-profile locations offers a wonderful experience, some of our most delightful treasures are less well-known spots that are a little off the beaten path. Here are ten of our favorite “insider” destinations:

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Havenbook-rarae

AdobeStock_157195763-300x200What was the last book you read?

According to the most recent American Time Use Survey, leisure reading in the United States has hit an all-time low. Since 2003, the overall percent of people aged 15 and older reading for pleasure on any given day has dropped from 28 to 19 percent. And the decline in reading among people ages 65+ isn’t any less dramatic. 

It’s easy to blame the proliferation of digital devices for the decline of reading among younger generations, but how about among more mature audiences? Have we replaced reading books with watching television (as a long-term study from the Netherlands suggests), or does the reason have less to do with other media types and more to do with either a lack of time or maybe compromised eyesight?

AdobeStock_46432121-300x290Spring is nearly here, and with it the urge to do some spring cleaning. To make your seasonal chores more enjoyable, you might want to consider spicing things up with one of the two latest trends in decluttering and setting things to rights: The KonMari MethodTM or Swedish death cleaning.

Get Joyful and Tidied Up with Marie Kondo

In case you haven’t read her book or caught her Netflix show or read one of her gazillion interviews, let me first introduce you to Marie Kondo, the diminutive organizing enchantress from Japan who is leading the charge on the global tidying movement.

AdobeStock_44262084-300x200How do you feel when you’ve had a poor night’s sleep?

I imagine it’s the same for us all. Everything is affected – our mood, our energy, our decision-making. Our entire day!

So it’s no surprise that science has discovered that disrupted sleep does considerable damage to the brain, which suffers from unbalanced thinking and an inability to regulate emotional responses.

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