Take a Holiday Pause

December 16th, 2014 by Sharon Kelly

Maybe it’s the change in the weather, all the relatives showing up at your house, or the crush of too much to do, too little time and way too much perfectionism that make the holiday season feel like a pressure cooker rather than a blissful event.

If you are feeling uptight, stretched thin and frazzled like a curly ribbon atop a holiday gift, then it is definitely time for a holiday pause!

A holiday pause takes only a minute but can bring you from boiling to calm in as quick as the twinkle in the bearded man’s eye! Here goes:

  • Remember what it’s all about.  Take a minute to jot down the real meaning of the season for you.  This will help you quickly reconnect to your authentic values and stop you from buying that thing that will bust your budget.
  • Stop right where you are and take a deep breath, really look around and notice the sights, sound and smells that surround you.  This will slow you down enough to catch your breath and maybe even get a glimpse of a holiday miracle right before your very eyes.
  • We all love our family traditions, but sometimes it is time for a change.  When we loosen our grip on the way we think things “should be,” we might be surprised to find that change can be the perfect spice in our eggnog.

Sharon Kelly, LCSW, is an account manager and counselor at CONCERN Behavioral and Management Solutions, an affiliate of Atlantic Health System.

December 16

Empowering Adaptable Communities

November 5th, 2014 by William D. Neigher Ph.D.

Empowering Adaptable CommunitiesWhat does it mean to be adaptable to change? What makes communities and individuals adaptable? What does adaptability have to do with health and health care?

At Atlantic Health System, our vision is to “empower our communities to be the healthiest in the nation.” We believe that health is more than just the absence of illness or injury. Although we can’t predict the future, the one thing we know for certain is that change is inevitable; whether the change is in personal health status, family structure, job situation, or weather – change happens to all of us, all the time. Those of us who can adapt and adjust to changes and challenges will survive and thrive. Therefore, in addition to prevention and health promotion activities, Atlantic Health System is investing our time and energy in understanding what makes communities adaptable. Read the rest of this entry »

November 05

Kids and Vitamin D

September 29th, 2014 by Barbara Minkowitz, MD

Kids runningYou may have read about studies that associate low vitamin D levels with the development of diseases and conditions that typically appear later in life, such as autoimmune disorders and osteoporosis.  But only rarely do researchers address the immediate impact vitamin D can have on our children. Read the rest of this entry »

September 29

The Importance of Depression and Suicide Awareness

September 5th, 2014 by Thomas Lane

DepressionDepression is a potentially life-threatening mood disorder that affects 1 in 6 people in the United States, or approximately 17.6 million Americans each year. To put that in perspective, the total number of people with depressive disorders in the United States exceeds the entire populations of many nations.

Two-thirds of people with depression do not realize that they have a behavioral health issue. In the United States, only 50 percent of people diagnosed with major depression receive any kind of treatment, and only 20 percent of those individuals receive treatment consistent with current practice guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association.  Imagine these low rates of treatment among patients who have cardiovascular disease, cancer or any other major illness.  But depression has detrimental health effects just as damaging as those of cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Estimates indicate that over the next 20 years, depression is projected to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and the leading cause of disability for industrialized nations, including the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

September 05

Red Flags Mean Danger Ahead

August 28th, 2014 by Denise Lang

danger flagIf you’ve spent time at the beach, you might know that two red flags with black squares in the middle are a signal of danger – an imminent hurricane. As we reach the end of August and look ahead to the fall, whether we’re on vacation or preparing to send students off to school, it is important to remember that “red flags” of another kind are often ignored in our lives. These are the danger signs that sometimes emerge in social situations and relationships. Ignoring them can lead to a spectrum of problems, including sexual assault.

Be Aware, Be Safe

During the last days of summer, many of us feel happy, ready to party, and more trusting of people around us. Unfortunately, this is often when predators and serial offenders take advantage of those with their guard down.  So when faced with new vacation locales, campuses or social groups, stay safe by observing these “red flags,” and be wary if a new person in your life: Read the rest of this entry »

August 28

Poison Ivy and Summertime Skin Rashes

July 29th, 2014 by Leonard Bielory

We are currently experiencing a summer time of “rashes” as skin allergies, especially to poison ivy, have started to increase due to extensive rain over the late spring and early summer. This also bodes for an increase in ragweed season, which normally starts in the end of August to early September, but now we expect the season to arrive in mid-August.

With the high rainfall, temperature, humidity and also noted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, the growth of poison ivy and ragweed have started and will likely continue to increase. One needs to be especially careful while picnicking or hiking though our parks this summer. The present conditions have essentially demonstrated the increase in the oily allergen produced by poison ivy plants when exposed to such weather conditions and increased carbon dioxide concentration such as we are presently experiencing in New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry »

July 29

Going Bananas

July 25th, 2014 by Rob Seman

Turns out these ARE good for you. Ah, the cruel irony.

I don’t like bananas. Really.

Yet, the other day, I found myself racing through the supermarket parking lot back to the car with a bag full of groceries. I closed the door and rifled through the bag of other produce in a mad search for the bunch of yellow bananas I had just purchased. I broke one off the bunch, peeled it and scarfed it.

As I folded up the peel and walked over to a garbage can to throw it away, I noticed I was receiving some odd looks from other shoppers. It wasn’t until I returned to my car that I caught my reflection in the window – and realized I had a bit of banana on the end of my nose.

And there it was. I had become the healthy-eating equivalent of Tony Montana. But while poor Tony was in the midst of a downward spiral, for me, this embarrassing moment was evidence of an upward climb in my health.

Read the rest of this entry »

July 25

Healthy Foods Are Always Healthy, Not Just During Trends

July 21st, 2014 by Sabrina Lombardi
Ask not whether kohlrabi is the next kale …

Whether it is kale, quinoa, coconut, or chia seeds it seems food trends are everywhere. While many of the latest trends promise a variety of health benefits ranging from increased fiber for heart health and blood sugar control to antioxidants for disease prevention, are these the only foods that make us healthy? And what is one to do if you just don’t like kale?

Read the rest of this entry »

July 21

Celebrating summer clean and sober

June 19th, 2014 by MSauer

Summer’s here. Going down the shore. Holidays and fireworks. Cookouts. Barbeques. Weekend parties. Booze and drugs. How do you handle celebrating when you want to remain clean and sober or more importantly, when you’re in a recovery program? It’s not easy when it seems like everyone around you is having a great time and under the influence of some chemical or other. Short of becoming a hermit, you may find yourself around people who are drinking heavily or using drugs, especially if you are going to all the summer cookouts. Avoiding friends and family members because you don’t want to have to explain why you’re not drinking or using drugs is sometimes not an option. So what do you do?

Read the rest of this entry »

June 19

Celebrating fathers and their role in our lives

June 15th, 2014 by Joe DiPaolo

Like a lot of Italian sons, I am named after my grandfather. He died when I was very young but he left an overwhelming presence in our house.

Happy Father's Day from Joe, Grace and Tom DiPaolo!

Although he was a stone mason and construction worker by trade, he loved art and literature and music. His name was a tribute to his adopted country as he was born in Philadelphia shortly after his parents arrived in America. Like my Irish grandfather, who was a police officer in Boston, their stories parallel in devotion to family, country, duty and God. Interestingly, my Italian grandfather and his family returned to Italy where my Dad was eventually born. That story will take a lot more time so I will save that for another day. Read the rest of this entry »

June 15