It’s Monday, so take a deep breath. Well, not too deep. As it turns out, the way you breathe has a lot to do with stress relief, and you’re probably doing it wrong. With America and the globe going through an incredibly stressful moment, today’s Daily Dose takes a step back to look at the world of wellness — with fresh tips for the time-crunched, a look at new advances in medicine and even a diet that will help you fight Alzheimer’s. Exhale, you’re going to make it.
You do it constantly without thinking, but it’s time to take note. Breathing correctly can go a long way toward easing stress and anxiety, and most people are doing it wrong, says breathing expert James Nestor. You’re probably breathing too deeply and not using your nose enough. One trick to get on the right track? Humming for five minutes a day, which increases your nitric oxide intake, improving your mood, circulation and more.
There are all sorts of ways to wedge self-care into that frantic schedule of yours, even if you don’t think you can pull it off. Start with these tips, including a 10-minute sound bath, creating a small ritual with an undisturbed cup of tea or even self-administering some acupressure. It’s remarkable what you can accomplish in the small moments.
Given how moving can be a strain on your mental well-being, the ultimate form of self-care can be a well-planned and well-executed homestead transition. Check out how fashionista and influencer Rachel Mooreland gets her new place into shape, by starting from scratch with her furniture and decor.
You may have deduced this from the ads you get on Instagram, but there’s now a formal consumer demographic: “the self-care aficionado.” According to influential research firm Euromonitor International, about 5 percent of consumers can be categorized as self-care aficionados, who spend a lot of their time and cash on fitness, vitamins or wellness trends, rather than material goods.
There’s a persistent, yawning racial gap in mental health. Black people are historically less inclined to seek therapy than their white peers, not to mention less able to afford it. Luckily, a new group of activists and practitioners are jumping into the breach, meeting a growing need in a year that’s hitting everyone hard. Rachel Cargle’s Loveland Foundation raises money for culturally competent therapy sessions for young Black women. There’s also Minka Brooklyn, a virtual healing space centered around people of color.
As mental health problems seem to keep getting worse, not better, despite the growth of the industry, the anti-psychiatry and critical psychiatry movements are gaining steam. The gist? The industry overmedicates its patients, and involuntary commitment can be cruel and ineffective, so it’s past time to find a different path, one that acknowledges the broader factors surrounding a mental health diagnosis.
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The best-known treatments for the coronavirus — the antiviral drug remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone — are deployed when patients are already hospitalized. But a new fund is accelerating research on therapies that could block or shut down the virus in its early stages. A drug called camostat mesylate, for example, is used to treat pancreatitis but it could also stop the coronavirus from fusing with membranes inside the lung cells. An influenza pill called favipiravir — already approved for emergency use against the coronavirus in China, India and Russia — could block the virus from spreading by mimicking its RNA.
2. Don’t Try This at Home
“The Greatest Discovery in Depression Treatment in Years!” blares the ad on Instagram. They’re talking about ketamine, a psychedelic party drug that in recent years has been approved in a different version to treat depression in the U.S. and U.K. There have been some successes, but experts worry that the slick social media marketing will push consumers to self-medicate, particularly during the pandemic. And the effects could be severe for a drug that’s considerably more dangerous than marijuana or psilocybin mushrooms.
It turns out you can get decades ahead of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing insulin levels. That way, the body doesn’t develop “insulin resistance,” which forces the pancreas to pump out more insulin and results in the deterioration of your brain’s memory center. Get ahead of the problem: Some of the best ways to reduce insulin are intermittent fasting and the low-carb, high-fat keto diet.
2. Autumn Garden Guide
Home vegetable gardens have become a thing during the pandemic. But maybe you didn’t get in on the first wave and aren’t savoring a juicy homegrown tomato right now. Fear not, fall is ahead. If you start now, you can get a jump on growing spinach, carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts and more for harvest in the colder months. And it’s so much more satisfying than paying for produce at the store.
The impact of food trends can be felt in many surprising ways. Consider your overpriced coconut water or Impossible Burger — made with coconut oil — which are marketed as sustainable products. But on the other end of the supply chain in Indonesia and the Philippines, a desperate situation is emerging for coconut farmers, according to the latest OZY investigation.
Is this the new yoga? From brands to retreats, an industry that introduces the principles of meditation to goal-oriented runners is emerging. The goal is to marry the mental health and aerobic effects of running to get the most out of the activity. Ditch the music and smartwatch and focus on yourself, tuning into your body’s feedback.
What about the old yoga, but in a new way? Meet your artificial intelligence yoga mat. Using light and pressure sensors, the mat can sense your yoga pose as it relates to the personalized program developed for you by the connected app and will — politely, of course — correct you if need be. With multiple companies jumping into the space, they’re betting this could be the Peloton of namaste.