How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19

Thinking differently about leisure time can help you get a family getaway despite the pandemic, say experts

How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19How do we keep COVID-19 from ruining our precious vacation time, with international borders closed to travellers, festivals cancelled, parks, camping and cottage visits limited, and even small events like garage sales forbidden? There are ways to salvage summer plans – but it means thinking differently about our leisure time, say University of Alberta experts.…

The importance of social connection in a time of isolation

Social isolation has become a defining feature of modern Western societies and there’s a growing concern about its effects

The importance of social connection in a time of isolationWhen people look back at this pandemic, they will remember many things, but perhaps most of all they will recall the changes in social behaviour. There’s the obsessive washing of hands, not touching our face, forgoing handshakes, hoarding toilet paper, wearing masks, working from home and, of course, social distancing – or, more accurately, physical…

Why baking is therapeutic in times of crisis

Arts and crafts provide healthy ways to deal with our disrupted daily lives, says U of A occupational therapist

Why baking is therapeutic in times of crisisBy Rob Curtis Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine University of Alberta There’s a good reason people are buying all the baking supplies in grocery stores and posting their freshly made bread, buns and desserts on social media as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, says an occupational therapist and associate professor at the University of Alberta. “Engaging…

Taming the irrational beast called anger

When strong negative emotions kidnap the thinking brain, we become scarcely more coherent than a wild animal

Taming the irrational beast called angerYou may have seen a video recently of a man punching a fellow pedestrian who he felt took his photo without authorization. Once the video was released, the man came forward and apologized for what he called his uncharacteristic behaviour. Whether it’s a result of stress, the state of the world or a variety of…

Suffering from chronic pain? Don’t give up hope

Many people have ongoing pain where there is no obvious injury, or continue to have pain at the site of an injury long after it has healed

Suffering from chronic pain? Don’t give up hopeChronic pain impacts the lives of many Canadians every day. Thousands wake up every morning to pain, deal with it throughout the day and don’t even escape its clutches as they sleep. Neuropathic pain is a very common chronic condition that poses a challenge for doctors. It's the result of a primary lesion or dysfunction in…

Depressed after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown?

Entrepreneurs can feel extraordinary pressure. But there are steps you can take to find an emotional equilibrium

Depressed after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown?I was in a funk this week and couldn’t shake it. I was disillusioned, grumpy, lethargic. I was tired of being stuck with my family, sick of hearing the news repeat itself, worried about one of my investments and fed up with a lack of progress on some projects. At least one whole day was…

Human cost high from pandemic-driven joblessness

As government responds to COVID-19, it needs to think about the non-financial consequences of being out of work

Human cost high from pandemic-driven joblessnessGovernment needs to keep the non-monetary aspects of work in mind while supporting those rendered jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic. Concern about COVID-19 has ravaged Canada’s labour market. Staggering unemployment numbers and the number of applicants for federal aid for laid-off workers dominate headlines. The unprecedented effort to make up for lost wages has been admirable and…

Women are twice as likely as men to experience mood disorders

Not only are women more likely to have a mood disorder, but women experience different symptoms than men

Women are twice as likely as men to experience mood disordersAlmost anyone can attest to the fact that men and women are different in many ways. Scores of books – which have achieved varying degrees of success and acclaim – have been published that attempt to quantify and explain the differences. In the field of psychiatry, gender differences are an important phenomenon as men and…

Campground cops could help us regain a simple summer pleasure

Campground cops could help us regain a simple summer pleasureMost springs, Canadians are overjoyed just to hear the words “sun” and “temperatures in the pluses.” But this year, they’ve been supplanted by one simple phrase: “We’re flattening the curve.” We are feeling cautious optimism that the very worst of the COVID-19 threat has passed, and that our country is beginning to gain some ground…

Is a hypochondriac faking it?

A hypochondriac is suffering a disorder of the mind rather than a disorder of the body

Is a hypochondriac faking it?Almost every physician has got one – the person who repeatedly comes in with a concern about having or getting a serious illness. They obsess about health related issues and behaviours and may frequently check their body for signs of illness. Physicians often complain these patients, with their unending problems, are a nuisance and clog…