A new study found girls were significantly more likely than boys to return to play the same day following a soccer-related concussion, placing them at risk for more significant injury. More than half of girls in the study resumed playing in a game or practice the same day as their injury, compared to just 17 percent of boys.
Loss of muscle is an inevitable consequence of aging that can lead to frailty, falls or mobility problems. Eating enough protein is one way to remedy it, but it would seem that spreading protein equally among the three daily meals could be linked to greater mass and muscle strength in the elderly.
Researchers have conducted one of the largest and longest studies to find out if it is possible to reduce sedentary time and if the reduction will result in any health benefits during one year. A tailored counseling helped busy office workers with young children to decrease their sedentary leisure time 21 minutes per day, which was enough to improve some biomarkers and to maintain muscle mass during one year.
Detecting food and cosmetic spoilage and contamination. Identifying new medicinal plants in a remote jungle. Authenticating tea and wine. Scientists have developed a low-cost, portable, paper-based sensor that can potentially carry out all of these functions with easy-to-read results.
Whether to perform surgery on a fetus is a heart-wrenching decision. This type of surgery involves penetrating the delicate amniotic sac, increasing health risks to the fetus. Now researchers report the development of a glue, inspired by the tenacious grip of mussels on slippery rocks, that could one day help save the lives of the youngest patients.
Corporate wellness programs have been shown to save companies money by reducing absenteeism and health insurance costs. Researchers have now quantified an additional benefit to companies’ bottom line, showing that a wellness program they studied resulted in higher productivity for all participating employees. This improvement was dramatic: approximately equal to an additional productive work day per month for the average worker.
Bless Amazon Prime Day, a made-up pseudo holiday that’s all about shopping. The amazonian glory of the site means that there’s something to discover in every category, from beauty to fashion to home. Here, professional picks from ELLEDecor.com’s Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson.
Intent on making 2017 your Best Year Ever? We can help with that, thanks to our 2017 Coach of the Month series. For June, Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens, authors of the just-released book, Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech, offer a four-week course in professional acumen, designed to serve you whether you’re a tech founder, an artist, or anything in between. In the third installment, Walravens encourages us not only to give ourselves downtime to think, but also to find the best, individually tailored way to spend your creativity-promoting quiet time.
Running a billion dollar business while raising two young children is not for the faint of heart, but Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz has managed to juggle both for the past 11 years, since she and husband Kevin started the online ticketing company out of a windowless warehouse in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill district.
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From the outset, Hartz was intentional in building a workplace culture that recognized that all employees have a life outside the office. “At Eventbrite, we care about the whole you, not just the skill set or the employee you,” she explains.
Hartz has also learned the importance of building downtime into her busy day. She wakes up at 6 a.m., does a Pilates class, grabs a green smoothie to go, and is home by 6 p.m. most nights to have dinner with her family. Most importantly, she never gets on the computer after 9 p.m.
“I am garbage after 9:00 p.m.,” Hartz admits. “I’m cranky, I’m distracted, I don’t want to be working.”
Studies show that the demands of today’s “always-on” workplace can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health if checks are not put in place. Setting aside downtime each day to disconnect from your devices and decompress is critical to reduce stress and avoid burnout. Here are four simple ways you can “power down” and recharge your personal battery.
#1: Schedule downtime in your calendar
When you’re planning your week, make a point to schedule not just work meetings, but also personal time with family and friends, especially doing activities that help you reenergize. Whether it’s a walk with a friend or dinner with your spouse, you’ll have something to look forward to and a reason to get your work done on time.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder and CEO of Joyus and mother of three, sets aside time to bake with her children. “Baking is something I enjoy and the kids enjoy doing with me.” Cassidy also makes a point not to schedule kids’ activities on the weekend and says she’s “dreading the day” they become so good at something that they have to show up for a tournament. “Five days a week, I work. Two days a week, I just don’t want to schedule.”
Sarah Leary, co-founder and VP of marketing and operations at Nextdoor, tries to “front load” her downtime into the morning. Calling her cell phone a “terrible distraction,” she relishes her ten-minute commute to work on her Vespa, where she has to be 100% focused on the road. “Obviously I don’t touch my phone when I’m on the Vespa. It also makes me feel like I’m in Italy for ten minutes each day!”
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#2: Don’t be afraid to delegate
“Many hands make light work,” my grandmother used to say. While the kitchen may not be as clean as you like if you let your kids pick up after dinner, handing off responsibilities like this will help free up some downtime in your busy day. Ask for help and politely refuse taking on more than you can handle, without guilt or excuses. Much of the stress of our lives comes from perfectionism and a false sense that we’re irreplaceable in everything that needs to be done.
Clara Shih, CEO and co-founder of Hearsay and board member at Starbucks, says she’s gotten really good at saying “no” over the years. “I used to be terrible. I used to feel bad, and I would agonize, and then I would over-commit to way too many things,” she explains. “Now I’m really good at saying ‘no,’ and that has been a huge help.”
Shih has also learned to push back when somebody asks her for something, and have them drive the next step, in order to lighten her load. “If somebody wants my help, instead of just offering to follow up with help, I ask them to come back with specific questions, and to prioritize what they want from me. Then they have to put some skin in the game, versus me just blankly offering help.”
#3: Take 5 minutes to meditate
Yunha Kim, founder and CEO of Simple Habit, was in the throes of burnout at her previous startup, Locket, which was acquired by e-commerce company Wish in 2015. “We had changed our business model and I had to lay off almost half of our team,” she explains. “I felt incredibly sad during that time, because I considered many of them my own friends.”
That’s when she tried meditating. At the outset, meditation helped Kim treat herself with greater compassion and not absorb all the guilt for her company’s woes. From there on, she started practicing daily meditation for 5 minutes, a few times a day.
Despite being back in startup mode at her new company, Simple Habit, which, not surprisingly, is an on-demand meditation platform, Kim says that meditating has taught her how to be grateful and enjoy life more. She has also noticed a huge difference in how she handles stress. “I’m much less overwhelmed and exhausted by work; in fact, I’m more energized and excited about getting things done.”
#4: Get moving
Making time for exercise isn’t easy when your schedule is jam-packed, but experts say that it may increase your productivity in the end by boosting your energy level and helping you to be more alert.
If the person you’re meeting is also active, make a sweat date where you go do yoga or hit the gym together, then grab coffee after.
Exercise doesn’t require going to a gym or taking a class. Sarah Kunst, CEO of ProDay, is a big fan of “walking meetings,” where you can get some fresh air, exercise, and get work done at the same time. “If the person you’re meeting is also active, make a sweat date where you go do yoga or hit the gym together, then grab coffee after, “Kunst explains. “It helps connect with people in new ways and makes you look forward to your meeting.”
Shanna Tellerman, CEO of Modsy, takes time for a run or yoga class, usually first thing in the morning. “I find that this active alone time allows me to process my thoughts and work out the stress and tension that can build up in your mind and body.”
I first met Meg years ago—a chance encounter at Yankee Stadium—but we lost each other in the rush to get on the subway. I checked every single subway car, but she wasn’t there. An hour later, as luck would have it, we bumped into each other again in midtown. This time I made sure to get her number. We were married 3 years later.
We had a baby. We moved to the suburbs. Meg was pregnant with our second daughter and when we saw her on the ultrasound this past February, she looked at us and blinked, clear as day. It was wild. Meg was due on May 18, the week after Mother’s Day, and we couldn’t wait for our little family of three—Meg, me and our Thomas the Train loving toddler Isabelle —to grow.
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But everything changed unexpectedly the morning of March 3, 2017, when Meg was six and a half months pregnant. Meg left before I did—I was in the shower—so she said goodbye and we said “I love you.” And when I headed to work a little later, I noticed the street was closed near our house, just by the bus stop where Meg and her brother Derek catch the bus to New York City. A little while later, Meg’s mom called me and told me Derek had been in an accident and they couldn’t get in touch with Meg. Soon my father called and told me to come home, and immediately, right then, I knew exactly what happened.
The first time I said my daughter Addy’s name out loud was when the coroner called. Meg and I had traded a bunch of emails and texts about names, and Adaline was the one we would have picked, even if we both hadn’t admitted that yet. It felt so weird to make a decision like this without her. I still look at the emails and texts she’s sent me, or listen to her voice on a voicemail. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s comforting. But I’m glad I have them.
I still look at the emails and texts she’s sent me, or listen to her voice on a voicemail. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s comforting. But I’m glad I have them.
Meg was special. She was beautiful and smart, an amazing softball player and the kind of person who loved impromptu dance parties in the kitchen. She went to church on Sundays, even if we had been out on Saturday night. She loved her parents. She was patient and kind, the kind of person you thanked God for every single day. I still do. I was lucky to have 10 years with Meg, and I know that. And sometimes when I look at Izzy, I see Meg. Like her mother, Izzy has possibly the worst poker face on the planet. If she’s excited, it’s all right there; she’s bursting. And if she’s mad, well, good luck. There’s no hiding that either. It would always make me laugh with Meg, because she could never pretend to like a gift, or a meal at a restaurant. The words might say one thing—she was always so gracious and lovely—but her face said another.
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Telling Izzy that Meg had passed was one of the hardest parts of all of this. She was so little, just a month before her 2nd birthday. And it’s hard for me to accept that she will grow up without a mother. I mean, maybe I’ll have some perspective over time, but the world is not a better place without her. I talked to a lot of experts to make sure I said the right things to Izzy—I used the word “died,” not “sleeping,” because I didn’t want her to think Meg would wake up. I didn’t tell her she was with Jesus, because she associates going to church on Sundays with visiting Jesus. Truth is, I didn’t want to give her more than she needs, but I also wanted to make sure she understood that Meg wasn’t coming back, even though some days I have trouble understanding that.
The hardest parts are the little things, like going to bed at night. Multiple times a day I think: “I can’t wait to tell Meg this story.” It might be something that happened at work or a teacher says something about Isabelle at daycare and I just want to share it with Meg. That’s the most difficult stuff, where for a split moment you forget she’s not there anymore. In those moments I kind of just shake my head and try to smile and look up.
But I can’t always muster a smile, there are many times where I am enraged and frustrated, always keeping those emotions from Izzy, knowing that it could have been different for us. Izzy and I talk about Meg all the time—if we’re talking about favorite colors, we’ll do daddy’s, Izzy’s and mommy’s—and there are pictures everywhere in our house. I used to buy Meg flowers every week and I still do. When I bring them home, Izzy says they are for mommy and we put them in the familiar places. When Izzy brings Meg up, just recently she said, “Mommy, mommy, I miss mommy,” I tell her it’s OK to miss her and I miss her too. I have to remind her we won’t see her again, but I also reassure her that I am not going anywhere.
The hardest parts are the little things, like going to bed at night. Multiple times a day I think: “I can’t wait to tell Meg this story.”
I needed to be direct and honest with her, which was difficult, but I needed her to hear it from me. She is surrounded by love—me, my parents, Meg’s parents, Meg’s brother Derek, and my siblings—and that means everything. (Our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and strangers have all been so incredibly supportive, and while I haven’t had the chance to thank them all, it’s really so appreciated.) Now when Izzy cries—she’s a 2-year-old, it’s part of the toddler experience—she says daddy, but every now and again she says “mommy,” although she catches herself. I know she misses her.
I know Meg isn’t coming back, but I still feel like we’re raising Isabelle together. For Mother’s Day, while most of the kids made cards for their moms, Izzy made them for her grandmothers. They both went to her mommy and me event at school, too. I know that she will look for female role models —I can see it already. And while no one will replace Meg, we’re so lucky to have my mother-in-law, my mom, my sister, my brother’s girlfriend and my brother’s wife around. If I have to make a decision, I often think, ‘what would Meg do?’. That doesn’t mean I do exactly what she would have done, but I play it out—what I would have said, what she would have said, and where we would have ended up. I still tag Meg in everything on Facebook, too. She has friends that I’m not friends with and I want them to see Izzy and still be a part of our life.
This Mother’s Day, and every other day, I want Izzy to know how loved she is by me, how much Meg loved her and how important she was to Meg. I want her to know the compassionate, loving, and brilliant woman her mother was, the foods she loved and the songs she liked. I want her to know that she has a mother, someone who loved the title of ‘Izzy’s mommy’ above all else.I don’t ever feel alone and I don’t want Izzy too either. Meg and I are raising our child together and the three of us are still a family.
To an always-on-the-go Virgo, Valentine’s Day is less about the sweets, and more about what you’ll be doing, ahem, afterwards. Instead of indulging in chocolates, you’d rather get a pack of mints — particularly ones like Altoids, where the ingredients are straightforward — so you’re all prepped for an inevitable makeout sesh, should Cupid strike. Practical and prepared.