Don’t Let This One Habit Undermine Your Career and Mental Health

Raise your hand if you’ve complained to a friend the night before an interview, “I can’t stand talking about myself!”

Or felt your face turn Elmo-red when your boss singled out your contributions to the last product launch in front of everyone.

Or hastily said, “Everyone had their part,” when your manager remarked on the calm and decisiveness with which you led your team to meet the last deadline. 

You believe it’s important not to be full of yourself. I get it. As a kid you were told not to toot your own horn. Perhaps you were even told that being proud of yourself was a sin.

So you deflect praise instinctively. You brush it off, saying “It’s nothing” or “It’s wasn’t a big deal” even when you applied yourself, put in several hours of overtime and worked your butt off.

But here’s the thing: downplaying your achievements hinders not just your career health, but your mental health.

Humility Is Not What You Think It Is

Contrary to what many of us believe, humility is not having a low view of yourself. Humility is having an accurate view of yourself.

Terry Real (2018) defines a healthy self-esteem as being able to hold yourself in warm regard while acknowledging your flaws. 

A misconception about mental health is it’s your ability how to cope with uncomfortable feelings, like those that come with anxiety or depression. But an essential component of your mental health is your ability to take in what is good and going well, known as your receptive affective capacity (Fosha, 2000). 

If you can’t trust any of the good that comes your way, that gives the negative more holding power.

What happens when you can’t take in your achievements? You zero in on your mistakes, criticism is more

Read More

Rising temperatures: How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths – Harvard Health Blog

In Boston, we believe warmer is better. Our cravings for warmth are formed in the cold, dark winter nights when the prospect of summer seems impossibly remote. But with July temperatures reaching near 100° F, our winter dreams are becoming a summertime nightmare. Dangerous heat exposures in Boston and other cities across the US aren’t felt equally. Urban areas with less green space and more pavement can be up to 15 degrees hotter than other, greener places. These urban heat islands are much more likely to be poor, minority neighborhoods, and their origins can be traced straight back to redlining that began in the 1930s.

This summer, the disparate heat risk these communities face has piled onto the outsized harm that COVID-19 has already wrought upon them. The good news is that we can take actions that protect our most vulnerable urban neighbors and ourselves from COVID-19 and extreme heat.

What is heat-related illness?

Our ability to cool off has limits. When the heat is too strong, our bodies overheat. When that happens, we can get headaches and muscle cramps, and vomit. Severe overheating, when body temperature reaches 104° F or higher, can lead to heatstroke that can damage kidneys, brains, and muscles.

Even for people who are healthy, heat can be dangerous and cause heat-related illness. Outdoor workers, athletes (especially football players and young athletes), and women who are pregnant should be especially careful when it’s hot outside.

Who is at greater risk from high temperatures?

Heat can be a risk for those who are healthy, but it’s particularly risky for people who have existing health problems. It can even be lethal. Decades of research show that people die during heat waves, and that these deaths are not occurring among people who were likely to die soon anyway.

Many

Read More

Pregnancy Empowerment in the Time of Covid Isolation

At a time of an unprecedented global pandemic, there is an increase anxiety in interfacing with any medical appointment. For some this means concerns in accessing medical care coming forward, fears of not being able to receive the treatment needed with hospitals over capacity. For others, it reflects a time of concern of contamination of getting COVID if one does not already have it. For a unique group, there is an intersection and special loneliness of accessing medical care in the time of pregnancy and delivery.

With the barriers in place regarding not having partners present for appointments, the first heart beat, and in some cases the birth or time in the hospital afterward, there is a new wave of women navigating these intense moments, throughout their appointments, pregnancies, and births — on their own. 

It’s important to find moments of unity in this process, so that even though the mother may be physically separated, she can remain intimately connected with her partner and not be emotionally alone.

Pregnancy can be an intangible time for nonpregnant partners. Going to medical appointments are usually a way to connect through this process. With their presence not currently allowed in most hospitals, here are some ways to keep connected and calm throughout the pregnancy:

Bring your screen.

Using FaceTime with partner during appointments or taking pictures or videos of the baby are ways to connect and visualize the baby that is growing. 

Celebrate on your own. 

Buy a doppler to hear the heartbeat on your own. Being able to listen to the heartbeat in the comfort of your living room with your partner can make for potentially more intimate experience than being in the hospital or doctor’s office.

Enjoy your own intimacy with the baby,

Try to focus on your thoughts. If you

Read More

School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 – Harvard Health Blog

As some youth sports teams get started again, some summer camps and daycares are opening up, and we begin to think about school (or some form of it) in the fall, many parents are wondering: what do I do about getting that physical form I need for my child?

Understandably, many families do not want to go to the doctor right now. They are worried about going anywhere, and especially worried about going to a medical office, where they are concerned they may end up around sick people.

I want to say up front that most medical facilities are very aware of the risk, and take measures to make sure that patients can safely get the medical care they need. But when it comes to forms for physicals, in some cases families may not need to leave their homes at all — or if they do, they may be able to do it in a limited way.

What questions should parents ask about forms for sports, daycare, or school?

Do I even need a form?

  • In many school districts, forms are not required every year but rather at certain times, such as kindergarten or middle school entry. Parents should check and find out; it may not be an issue at all.
  • Some activities and facilities that the child has attended in the past may be willing to use a previously submitted form. It’s worth asking.
  • Because of the pandemic, there may be some wiggle room or a grace period allowed for forms. Again, parents should check.

Would my child’s last appointment suffice for the form?

  • Very often, what is required is documentation of a check-up within the past one to two years. If your child had a check-up within that time frame, you may be able to just get a
Read More