How Can We Laugh?

I gave a talk earlier this week for the World Health Organization as part of their weekly series on mental health. This initiative is part of their expanded efforts to support the mental health of their global workforce. The discussion topic was managing stress during challenging times.  We talked about

Doing Less for Mental Health

The holiday season brings with it excitement, merriment, and joy. Gatherings with friends and family provide time together and a sense of connection. But this time of year can also deliver a hefty dose of stress as a result of jam-packed schedules, last-minute holiday shopping, late-night parties, delayed flights, and

Mental Gymnastics

I frequently get recommendations for Five on Friday topics from readers, friends, family, and colleagues. So I wasn’t surprised to hear from my brother when Simone Biles, “the greatest gymnast of all time,” withdrew from the individual all-around competition at the Olympics last week “to take care of her mental

The Confess Project

Hair. It’s a major strand in the braid of our pandemic stories. Women have gone gray. Men have gone from crew cut to ponytail. People are cutting and coloring their own hair (at their own peril). Some have feverishly tracked daily public health notices, jumping at the first available appointment

Conversations on Freedom

As the sun goes down tomorrow, the Jewish holiday of Passover begins, and it begins with a story. The story of the exodus of the Israelites from the land Egypt. From slavery to freedom. Essential to Passover is the retelling of the story of the exodus as if it we,

Power of Community

Something happened every day this week that reminded me of the power of community to protect and promote mental health.  It’s not just that being connected in community is good for our mental health, which it is. It was the aha moment – both familiar and new – that when

Another Side of Technology

Your mic is muted. You catch a glimpse of your hair and wish you washed it last night. Your connection is unstable. You are feeling fatigued and have a slight headache. You send a message about your doctor’s appointment to “Everyone” that you meant to send only to your friend

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

Who Heals?

When we are patients in the hospital, we know that doctors and nurses will be poking and prodding and taking our vitals with every intention of employing their professional training to restore our health. But what can someone who is not a healthcare provider do to help us feel better

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

Stress and Coping

It is cold and windy in New York. We even saw a few snow flurries today. COVID-19 cases are surging in the world. Right now, a new case is being reported every second. In the past twenty-four hours, I have received 56 emails and 31 texts about the election. We

Vacation Anyone?

I tried earlier this summer to take vacation. I started with two weeks. Before the first day of the scheduled time off, I had already made a few exceptions to the plan and agreed to join several work calls for some time-sensitive projects. Without other plans in place, I checked