Monthly Archives: December 2016

The 5 daily rituals that will make you happy

Happiness is a goal that everyone desires but few obtain. Studies have shown that only 17% of people lead truly meaningful, fulfilling and happy lives. The reason revolves around both what we do and what we don’t do. Developing the right daily rituals, habits and minimizing stress can make a big difference. There are 5 daily rituals in this article that can dramatically increase the quality of your life. Read on to find out what they are.

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4 Ways to Leave Work On Time Without Feeling Guilty

Today’s world is busy, and people are working longer hours each and every year. It seems no matter how much work we get done during the day there is always more and many of us work much longer hours than we should. It seems it’s impossible to leave the office on time. What if there was a way through better organization and time management to leave the office on time guilt free?

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Mental Illness and the Workplace Part 1 of 5: An Introduction

Editor’s note: This is part one of a five-part series addressing mental illness in the workplace. Part one explores mental illness in the United States, part two explains ways in which mental illness affects work, part three explains when and how to tell a manager about a mental illness, part four addresses how managers should best proceed with an employee who has a mental illness, and part five makes the connection between the dental industry and depression.

In order to address this topic, we first need to get something out in the open, and that something is mental illness. It’s well-known that mental illness carries a stigma within any society, but I’ve been noticing a recent push to bring it more to the forefront, which is a good thing. Most notably and in the news are celebrities that have been openly discussing their struggles in hopes to normalize the issue and help others who are fighting their own battles know they are not alone. In the last couple years, actress Kristen Bell has talked about her anxiety, singer Demi Lovato went public with her bulimia, actor Russel Brand has referred to his bipolar disorder in his writing and performances, and Olympic athletes Michael Phelps and Simone Biles have talked about how ADHD has affected their lives.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reported in 2014 that about 43.6 million adults ages 18 or older in the United States were living with some form of mental illness. While this is a large number, the 43.6 million–18.1 percent of all U.S. adults–includes only those who have sought medical attention, which tells you there are likely millions of others who have gone undiagnosed. NIMH also reported that stigma is the main reason three-quarters of all people with a mental illness do not seek treatment. Another sobering statistic comes from PBS, which reported that one of every two Americans develops a mental illness at some point in their lives. With that said, at any moment in time, about 20 percent of the population has a mental illness. This holds true for all developed countries.

In the PBS Newshour article “How Your Mental Health may be Impacting Your Career,” reporter Christopher Prinz writes that very little is known about why so many people suffer from depression, anxiety or addiction to drugs and alcohol. What is known, however, is that mental illness has severe consequences on the life of those who are diagnosed both socially and economically. “In the U.S., people with a mental illness are two to three times more likely to be unemployed, and their employment rate is 15 percentage points lower than for those without mental health problems,” Prinz writes. “They are also more likely to call-in sick, often for longer periods, and to under-perform at work.”

According to “Mental Health Problems in the Workplace,” an article published by Harvard Medical School, symptoms of mental illness affect many of those who are currently employed–a fact that is usually overlooked, as these disorders tend to be hidden at work. Because of the stigma, many employees are reluctant to seek treatment out of fear of their jobs becoming jeopardized and, therefore, don’t receive the help they need to make their work life easier. But the employees who opt to get help solely because their work is suffering may still not receive the proper treatment. Clinicians seeing patients who are suffering at work may find themselves simultaneously trying to treat a patient for mental illness while providing advice about dealing with the symptoms at work, which doesn’t allow them to adequately address the root of the problem. “As a result, mental health disorders often go unrecognized and untreated — not only damaging an individual’s health and career, but also reducing productivity at work,” the article reads. “Adequate treatment, on the other hand, can alleviate symptoms for the employee and improve job performance. But accomplishing these aims requires a shift in attitudes about the nature of mental disorders and the recognition that such a worthwhile achievement takes effort and time.”

In this four-part mental illness series, I’ll be expanding upon the above information while exploring the actions necessary–from both the employee and the employer–to best serve the needs of a person with mental illness. If you or someone in your office is struggling with mental illness, be sure to follow this series for ways to address it.


The Tooth Fairy Jar

I had the opportunity recently to visit a new local, trendy coffee shop in Philadelphia, Kawaii Kitty Café.  Yes, a coffee shop and cats under the same roof, and with special reservations I booked myself a one-hour time slot to enjoy a little feline time, too. Since we travel often and pets are not an option for us, this was the next best thing. Who ever thought of this had a fantastic idea! And because the coffee shop’s tenants feel more comfortable with a small amount of people, only a certain number of customers can be in the special living room with them at the same time.

The day I went was damp and rainy, so I found myself hailing a cab instead of walking. The storefront was appealing, with a huge street front window where onlookers could peer in and watch all the happenings. As I walked through the entryway and down the narrow hall, past the special living room, I reached the café area where I was greeted by a cheerful smile. To my delight, they served up delicious thick grain toast with toppings. My choice: brie cheese, apples and fig. Ordering coffee took me a bit longer with all the yummy flavors to choose from.  You know you have arrived when the froth has art work designed in the foam!

Then something caught my eye … a small jar sitting on the counter with the words Tooth Fairy written on it. They were taking up a collection for Mr. Charlie Bucket. His teeth were in a bad way and in need of treatment. They were hoping to raise enough funds to help him out. Since dentistry is my world, I felt the strong desire to make a donation to the cause and gave with joy.

Mr. Charlie Bucket lounging at the Kawaii Kitty Café

With the stroke of 1:00 p.m. it was time for me to go into the special living room. Upon entering, I set down my coffee and who should appear but Mr. Charlie Bucket himself. I was over the moon excited. Upon close inspection, I could tell he definitely needed to have dental work done. After our initial meeting, we spent an hour together with 11 of his best friends.

My visit to Kawaii Kitty Café was the most therapeutic lunch hour I have ever had in my life! In order to gain the full experience of this place, you book online beforehand to reserve your one-hour spot in a seat in a room with 12 cats. One of the best parts about this coffee shop is that all of the cats are up for adoption, and they have a wonderful track record when it comes to getting their cats adopted.  I’m happy to report that Mr. Charlie Bucket was adopted and happy and healthy living in his forever home.