Guest Blogger

Posts by Guest Blogger

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Can grief morph into depression?

Grief can look a lot like depression. Both can make people cry, feel down, have trouble sleeping or eating, and may not feel like doing anything or take pleasure in anything. One key difference is that individuals with major depression tend to be isolated and feel disconnected from others, and may shun support and assistance from others. Some people who are grieving find that an antidepressant helps restore sleep and appetite. Others find it inhibits the grieving process. In general, the grieving process should be allowed to naturally run its course unless a person experiences thoughts of suicide, serious weight loss, or is unable to perform daily functions such as getting out of bed or going to work for more than a day here or there.

Guest Blogger

Therapy dog offers stress relief at work

One of the newest therapists at Harvard Medical School is Cooper, a 4-year-old Shih-Tzu who recently joined the school’s Countway Library as a registered therapy dog. From the confines of his very own office, Cooper is on duty at the Countway to help students, staff, and faculty members who need a little mid-day stress relief. They can spend up to 30 minutes at a time with Cooper by showing their ID at the reference desk. Before becoming a therapy dog, Cooper underwent training with an organization called Caring Canines, where he works when he’s not at Harvard. Studies going back to the early 1980s support the idea that dogs—and other pets—have enormous health benefits for people.

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Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Keep it going

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” may have come to the end of the plan, but both are just beginning their independent journeys to a lifetime of healthy eating. Helen Hoart and Tonya Phillips talk about the goals they set for themselves, whether they achieved them, and their dietary plans for the future.

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Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Making sense of snacks

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” describe following Week 5 of the plan: Making sense of snacks. Both related the challenge of avoiding the bowl of M&Ms in the office. Tonya realized how many calories she got from snacking each day, while Helen made herself some simple rules, like planning her snacks and drinking water first if she thinks she’s hungry.

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Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Making dinner a winner

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” describe following Week 4 of the plan: Make dinner a winner. Week 4 came at a tough time for Helen, since she had several business dinners. She describes how she navigated restaurant menus and big portions in ways that fit the 6-Week Plan. Tonya, who often eats out, made a week’s worth of dinners and discovered that eating at the table, instead of in front of the television, has its rewards.

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Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Reality strikes on the Jersey Turnpike

Helen and Tonya, two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating,” share their experiences from week three, which focuses on healthier lunches. Helen writes about trouble finding healthy lunch options at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, and the importance of planning for lunch the day before. Tonya relied on salads, with one small break–a bit of fried calamari she purloined from a lunch buddy.

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Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Week 2 — Longing for bacon but eating mindfully

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” share their experiences from week two. Helen Hoart writes about her efforts to eat more mindfully and to have a healthy breakfast every day. Tonya Phillips regretted starting week two on Easter Sunday. She talks about her efforts to swap a breakfast bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for multi-grain toast and some fruit or toast and oatmeal with fruit, as well as getting more exercise by walking up and down the stairs at work.

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Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating goes live! You can participate, too

Two volunteers are testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating.” This plan offers week-by-week steps to help you analyze your diet, establish goals for healthy meals and snacks, and incorporate practical changes to make your healthy diet a reality. Each week builds on what you accomplished in the previous weeks. At the end, you’ll have made important changes that can last a lifetime. Tonya Phillips and Helen Hoart share their experience from Week 1 of the 6-week plan.

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Guest Blogger

End-of-life planning makes it easier to say goodbye

By Barbara Okun and Joseph Nowinski. Saying goodbye as the end of life approaches can be difficult, even for someone like writer Joyce Carol Oates. Her recent essay in The New Yorker about the impending death of her husband highlights the need for each of us to think about death and dying—and discuss them with loved ones—long before they become a likelihood.