It’s Scary Out There

I was talking with a friend the other day about meeting for coffee. We are both vaccinated. It didn’t seem reckless, but as we anxiously confirmed the details, it sounded like we were complete newbies to the coffee meet-up. A friend’s kid who is in high school told me he

Heart Health & Mental Health

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day is all about love, cupid and fluttering hearts.  All year long, another story about our hearts is taking place – the story of heart health and mental health. While mental illness is the leading cause of disability worldwide, heart disease is the

Punxsutawney Phil & Superstition

Punxsutawney Phil is the seer of seers of groundhogs. Each year, his singular job is to emerge on February 2nd and predict whether we are in for another six weeks of winter. If he sees his shadow, we need to brace ourselves for frigid temperatures and more snow. No shadow

Hugs

2021 is here. It’s been a rocky start. Expletives of dismay, exasperation, despair, disgust, and fear fill the airwaves of personal conversations, social media posts, newspaper articles and televised broadcasts. Surely there will be thoughtful and important analyses of the vaccine’s slow and fragmented rollout, the new strain of the

Light

We lit the first candle of Hanukkah yesterday. White match head pressed against the rough side of the box. Swift strike. Flame ignites. Gentle touch. Wick burns. Candle glows. The light is mesmerizing. Hanukkah is in good company. Around this time of year, all over the world, people are also

Roman Tritz

World War II bomber pilot Roman Tritz died earlier this year at the age of 97. He was the last known survivor of a U.S. government program that lobotomized combat veterans who suffered from treatment-resistant forms of mental illness, including profound depression, anxiety and psychosis. As we honor our veterans

The Rabbit Effect

What do rabbits have to do with mental health? In her recent book, The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness, Columbia psychiatrist Dr. Kelli Harding makes the connection quite clearly. We were fortunate to have Kelli join us for a Zoom discussion of

Challah

With more of us at home and less frequent trips to the grocery store since we have been sheltering in place, Friday has become a day for challah making (not just eating) in my family. Different members of our pod have taken turns each week. As my great niece and

Mental Health in our Gardens

Like many of you, I have been spending more time in the garden this year. Planting lavender everywhere, giving tomatoes one more try, and even experimenting with corn. I am not sure about the corn since our dog, Nike, has decided the leaves make for a delicious afternoon snack, but

Why a Mask is Not Just a Mask

To mask or not to mask. That has been an evolving question in the throes of COVID-19. Until now, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization have advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. National practices and

Why I Love Ms. Pac-Man

I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted from the deluge of discussions this week about hand sanitizer and health care policy, travel bans and super delegates. No doubt that coronavirus and the US Democratic primaries are serious topics worthy of our attention and thoughtful consideration. But sometimes we

2020 Tracy Challenge

Yes, folks, it is that time again: the Tracy Challenge. Here are the rules. My friend, Tracy, sends me a list of five things that do not immediately appear to have anything to do with mental health, and my mission is to make them all about mental health. Tracy’s Challenge