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Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category

Forget gurus. Learn how to live your best life from kids – Omaha World-Herald

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Editor's note: This is the first in a three-part series about how parents can learn some important life lessons from their kids.

If you want to live your best life, theres no shortage of social media gurus, self-help books or life advice memes. I should know, as one look at my Audible and Kindle library will reveal Im a bit of a self-help junkie. Amazon has even stopped recommending new self-help books and is starting to recommend I just get help.

Its not that Im a hot mess, per se; its just that Im obsessed with the pursuit of joy. And Ive learned its a choice, not a result. So I gobble up everything I can about taking responsibility for my life and learning how to be disciplined enough to make the right choices.

But Im starting to think the best education I can get on the topic isnt in a book, but in the child with a runny nose currently begging me to catch her boogers.

Ive learned three huge life lessons by simply observing my girls. Theres actually more than three, but my editor reminded me this was a column, not a book. So Ill break each lesson down into a short series.

The first lesson Ive learned is this: Love what is, rather than wanting what isnt.

For example, if one finds themselves insecure with low self-esteem, just watch a child catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror. Quick, find a pen! Youll want to take notes.

If there's one thing I know about my girls, it's that when they look in the mirror, they like what they see. Girlfriend's hair will be all matted up in the back like a neglected poodle, yet when she sees her reflection, she sees a rock star. A rock star who enjoys wearing her pink lip gloss a full inch off the lip, mind you. Thats how she rolls and she rolls good.

She grins, poses, prances and spins. She even gets inspired to pretend shes Elsa. I mean, whos gonna stop her?

Now, compare this to her own mothers reaction to her reflection. There are days when I completely avoid eye contact with my mirror, let alone light up like Lady Gagas in my house.

Children give us a glimpse of how its supposed to be. Their innocence shows us a beautiful side of our inherent humanness that, for so many of us, eventually gets soiled with pain. But the truth is still there, buried under our learned and experienced baggage. Children dont see imperfections because they arent aware they even exist. Theres no comparison; they delight in who they are. They simply celebrate what they have and shake what the good Lord gave em. Hair isnt too red, too brown, too straight or too curly. Eyes arent too big or too small or wide or narrow. They see themselves and think, Wow, here I am! And I dig it!

I wonder if I could learn to see through this lens of loving what is rather than wanting what isnt. Is it even possible, with all of our cultural programming? All the hurts, baggage and traumas that took our eyes away from the beauty thats there and started searching endlessly for what we wish was there instead?

I dont know, but I think Id like to try.

As a naturally ambitious person, I cant tell you how blind Ive become to the incredible life thats around me while my eyes scan for more. For better. Always better. Its not a lesson in settling, Ive learned. Its a lesson in enjoying, while trying.

I mean, listen. I can make positive changes to my health fueled by loathing the way my thighs rub together, or fueled by deep wonder that I even have these amazing thighs to rub together in the first place.

Kids choose wonder. Why cant I?

I can. If I choose to. And the first step is learning to love what is, rather than wanting new thighs.

Anna Lind Thomas is a humor writer and mom to daughters Lucy and Poppy and English bulldog Bruno, wife to Rob Thomas and founder of HaHas for HooHas. She writes for

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Forget gurus. Learn how to live your best life from kids - Omaha World-Herald

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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Why Self-Help Books Feature Authors on the Cover – Book Riot

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Self-help books have exploded this past decade, with offerings from renowned celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and even the late Elizabeth Taylor.

The genre focuses on the popular psychology of virtually any aspect of the human experience, from romantic relationships to spirituality. The ultimate goal is to get readers to optimize their self-awareness, so they can take action and achieve satisfaction with their lives.

This all sounds wonderful, but how can a publisher relay the goal of a self-help book to readers? Through the book cover of course. Theres a woman looking into the distance, a heavenly cloud with the sun peeping over it, and flowers of course.

Unfortunately, these dont tell readers anything about a books content. To be fair, there arent many images that loyally relay a 10-step plan to a better life without looking like a PowerPoint slide. The solution seems to be one of two things: an image of the author or text with the authors name clearly displayed.

Think Sheryl Sandberg leaning in with her right hand under her chin and Rachel Hollis kneeling next to a fire hydrant, drenched and smiling.

As bibliophiles, we are constantly warned to not judge books by their covers. But lets be honest, everyone does. Why? Because to a reader, a well-designed cover denotes quality. Publishers know this, so they carefully design covers to attract the right readers. For example, a fantasy book might have a warrior standing in front of a magical city, like on The Fall of Gondolin cover. Talk about selling a high fantasy book.

Self-help books relay personal philosophies of their authors, who rarely hold degrees in medicine or psychology, begging the question if they are qualified to give the advice in the first place (but thats a different story). The standard draw that a respected expert would have, such as Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, writing about the history of cancer in The Emperor of All Maladies or Sarah E. Hill, PhD, writing about the effects of birth control on the female brain in This Is Your Brain on Birth Control, does not exist for self-help authors. Instead, the draw is the authors public reputation and brand.

Take Lilly Singhs book How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life. As a fan of Lillys YouTube channel, her face is instantly recognizable to me. On her book cover, shes staring boldly at the camera, clad in a power suit. Her book is speckled with quotable self-help advice such as Dont give up before you even try and Words lie; actions can lie too. Consistency speaks the truth. This is all advice that is in line with her brand of a female being a bawse. The book cover reflects this because her confident portrait makes her look like a bawse, making a fan like me inclined to trust her advice.

Since the self-help industry is largely unregulated, the experts, who are mainly life coaches, successful business owners, and celebrities, rely on their reputations to convince audiences that their personal philosophies are sound. The self-help industry has no formal peer review process, so readers must trust the author to give sound personal philosophies.

In many cases, the authors image is recognizable and will attract potential readers, especially previous fans. Because authors arent certified experts in self-help, they rely on their relationship with readers. It is that relationship that gives readers confidence in the authors personal philosophies, like my aforementioned confidence in Lilly Singh.

Ive been a loyal listener of Rachel Holliss podcast Rise for two years now, so when her book Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals came out in 2019, I was immediately interested because I have a relationship with her work. It also helps that the image for her podcast is her portrait, so I recognized her image the book cover and associated its content with the branded self-help advice that Ive grown to enjoy on Rise.

Despite all the strategizing that goes into developing book covers, all that matters is the content. Two of the most famous self-help books of all time, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey, both with 4 stars from over 400,000 ratings on Goodreads, have arguably unattractive covers. And yet, it has been several* decades since they were published, and both still have consistent readerships. Why? Because the advice is solid.

Dont get me wrong, turning to a book in a time of need is an exercise in trust. I always turn to authors whose work Ive admired because I trust the quality of their work, and a cover that sports a friendly face is much more appealing than a nonsensical illustration. At the end of the day, a books cover is superficial to its content.

Editors Note: This post originally stated that close to two decades had passed since the publication ofHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.While the anniversary edition was published in 1998, it was originallypublished in 1936.

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Why Self-Help Books Feature Authors on the Cover - Book Riot

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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Local News Funding for 2 affordable housing complexes to be requested from SLO City Council Aja – KSBY San Luis Obispo News

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Money paid into a fund by housing developers who opted not to offer any affordable units may be made available Tuesday for a pair of new affordable apartment complexes in San Luis Obispo.

People's Self Help Housing will ask the San Luis Obispo City Council Tuesday to approve a loan worth $700,000 for the Tiburon Place apartments and $1.3 million for the Broad Street Place apartments.

Those dollars would be withdrawn from a fund that's comprised of in lieu fees, which are paid by housing developers who don't offer affordable units as required by state law.

Money in that fund is reserved for housing projects specifically designed to be affordable to low-income renters.

The two complexes presented by People's Self Help Housing will add over 100 affordable units: 68 units in the Tiburon Place complex and 40 units in the Broad Street Place apartments.

"There's always more work, as you know there's a housing crisis in California," People's Self Help Housing CEO John Fowler said. "We need all the housing we can get. There's different numbers but we're falling behind 100,000 homes per year in California, that's been happening over a decade. So it's going to take us a while to dig out of that deficit of housing for not only market rate housing but affordable housing as well."

The Tiburon place apartments, which is slated for 3750 Bullock Lane, will include offer units at rent 30 to 60 percent of the average monthly rent for SLO.

And the Broad Street Place apartments being built at 3720 Broad Street across from Damon Garcia Sports Field will feature units at rates that are affordable for low, very low, and extremely low renters.

"Affordable housing is usually defined by "is it affordable for the people living there, is it affordable for them?'" Fowler said. "The clientele we're talking about, residents we're talking about, are making somewhere between 30 and 60 percent of the median income so on the lower end of the stratosphere, if you will."

According to Fowler, the units will vary in size from studio to 2-bedroom and range from $400 to $1,200 per month in rent for eligible renters.

Fowler said People's Self Help Housing plans to deliver about 700 affordable units to San Luis Obispo County over the next three to five years, with about 200 of the units slated for the City of San Luis Obispo.

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Local News Funding for 2 affordable housing complexes to be requested from SLO City Council Aja - KSBY San Luis Obispo News

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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A self-help book from 1936 is New York Public Librarys most-borrowed non-fiction title everheres why its still relevant today – Well+Good

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While most advice gets lost as the years go by, certain wisdom proves timeless. First published in 1936, Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends & Influence People is widely considered one of, if not the best self-help books to date. According to the New York Public Library, its one of 10 most-borrowed titles in the storied institutions history, and the only non-fiction book to make the list.

For decades, readers have taken the sentiment of the books subhead to heart: The only book you need to lead you to success. The librarys records show that 284,524 readers have scanned their library cards to snatch up Carnegies recommendationsand we can certainly understand why.The author writes that his mission is to help the reader navigate a mental rut, make friends quickly, avoid arguments, and improve public speaking skills, among others. In other words, his insight spans multiple topics, including work, criticism, relationships, and more.

In the realm of work, one of Carnegies most chattered about tips is to get the person youre trying to influence to say Yes to you immediately. If youre pitching a project at work, you can kick off a meeting on common ground so that your colleagues are already agreeing with you beforeyou get to your actual idea. That way, says Carnegie, theyll be saying Yes! Yes! Yes! before youve even divulged your idea.

To be sure, even a tactic as smart as this one may not score you the go-ahead from a higher-up. And in that case, youll need to get familiar with giving criticism in a kind, effective manner. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a persons precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment, writes Carnegie. That means that you should lead with what people have done right. And when you do acknowledge mistakes, make sure that you communicate the errors you made in a situation first. That way, you place yourself on level ground with the person (i.e, youre not talking down to them).

As for relationships, one auspicious piece of Carnegies advice stands out: Have a sincere and genuine interest in others. Some of the most magnetic, kind people Ive met are those who ask about me in way that surpasses How are you? or some version of What can you do for me? When people remember that you play a rowdy game of Catan with your friends on Tuesday, or that you have a particular interest in pottery, it makes you feel seen. And it makes you want to make others feel seen, too. Timeless advice indeed.

If youre not taking reading breaks at parties yet, Id highly recommend it. Heres a booklist to get you started.

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A self-help book from 1936 is New York Public Librarys most-borrowed non-fiction title everheres why its still relevant today - Well+Good

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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FOR YOUR HEALTH: Five Self-Care Tips To Enhance Well-Being – Town Line

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(NAPSI)In a world that moves so quickly, people can sometimes forget to take time for themselves. Self-care is a way to slow down and focus on taking care of your own well-being. Regular self-care also can have a strong effect on mental health, preventing burnout, reducing the negative effects of stress and helping you refocus.

Self-care is less about treating yourself as popularized in pop culture and has more to do with creating sustainable and attainable wellness for your whole self. Taking the time to intentionally care for your whole selfbody, mind and soulcan keep you energized and can improve your mental health. And when you care for yourself, theres more you can offer to others and you can help create wellness for the community around you.

Here are five things you can do to take care of your well-being:

Incorporate your own activities and enjoy the journey as you engage in meaningful self-care practices. Visit http://www.eachmindmatters.orgfor more information about self-care and mental health.

The Town Line is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation, and all donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Service code.

To help, please visit our online donation page or mail a check payable to The Town Line, POBox 89, South China, ME 04358. Your contribution is appreciated!

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FOR YOUR HEALTH: Five Self-Care Tips To Enhance Well-Being - Town Line

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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After the death of her newborn daughter, this New Berlin mom made it her mission to help other bereaved parents – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Brandon and Lisa Price of New Berlin have two children, Chase and Ari. Ari had Trisomy 13 and died less than 10 hours after she was born in 2017.(Photo: Submitted/ Lori Williamson)

Ari Harper Price was born at 12:24 a.m. April 13, 2017, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital.

She never cried, wanted to be fed or wet her diaper.

At 14 weeks gestation, she was diagnosed withTrisomy 13, or Patau syndrome.

Trisomy 13 is a chromosomal condition associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body, according to theU.S. National Library of Medicine.

Only 5 percent to 10 percentof children with this condition live past their first year.

Ari was not one of them. She died at her home in New Berlin less than 10 hours after she was born.

"She passedaway in my arms," said Lisa Price, Ari's mom.

Now, Price has made it her life's mission to help other bereaved parents move forward.

With Price's first pregnancy, she didn't experience morning sickness or even painful contractions during labor.

"I think my body was meant to be pregnant," Price said.

She said her son Chase's birth, in August 2012, was"one of the best days" of her life.

In August 2016, Price found out she was pregnant again and told her husband, Brandon, in an anniversary card.

"Everything felt very similar to my first pregnancy," she said.

When she went to a routine doctor's appointment, her doctor suggested theadvanced maternal age screening test, since she was 36 years old.

With no family history ofchromosomal disorders, diseases or disabilities, Price said theyweren't concerned going into the test.

Then, the results came back positive for a chromosomal disorder.

There was an 80 percentchance that it was a false positive, so Price underwent more testing.

While Price was at the park with Chase and friends, she got thecall with the baby's diagnosis.

"I literally dropped to my knees," Price said. "I was like, this isn't real. This can't be happening."

As the pregnancy progressed, the baby developed holes in her heart, was growing slowly and at one point, had fluid building up on her lungs.

Despite all of this, the baby didn't give up.

For her strength, bravery and courage, the Prices decided to name her Ari, which means "lion of God."

When Lisa and Brandon told their then 4-year-old son about his sister's condition, his response was, "Mom, don't worry. We'll see her again in heaven."

"It was very profound of him to say that," Price said.

Ari Harper Price was born at 12:24 a.m. April 13, 2017 at Waukesha Memorial Hospital.(Photo: Submitted/ Lori Williamson)

After Ari'sdeath, the Prices looked for grief support groups.

Lisa quickly discovered that most of them met at night or Saturday mornings, which conflicted with her job as a dance teacher atYoung Dance AcademyInc. in Oak Creek, where she started taking lessons at 8 years old.

Since a group setting wasn't going to work,Price started seeing a therapist. Butit got to be too expensive, since mental health isn't covered by the family's insurance.

"All of these factors made me realize that there's not enough tangible, consistent, constructive resources that are affordable," she said.

The resources that ended uphelping Price werephysical activity such as lyrical dance and fitness classes,reading books and listening to podcasts about grief,journaling, working with a life coachand her faith.

Price took what she learned through her own grieving and combined it with research to create the4:13 MOVE:ment Method, an online course designed to help other grieving parents.

The course was named after Ari'sbirth/death date, and a Bible verse, Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Price also structured the course to focus on four pillars that span13 weeks.

"People want to hear from somebody who has been through what they're going through and can share their experience," Price said. "It's not the same, but at least they get an idea from what you've been through and the lessons you've learned."

Price consulted withNichole Stangel, bereavement coordinator at Children's Wisconsin, to make sure her content, from word choices to concepts,was "clinically sound," Stangel said.

"You can tell she really took her time and thought about grief, thought about her talents and how they would relate to helping somebody walk through that grief process," Stangel said.

Lisa Price of New Berlin took what she learned through her own grieving and combined it with research to create the4:13 MOVE:ment Method, an online course designed to help other grieving parents.(Photo: Hannah Kirby/ Now News Group)

The first pillar of the course gives an education on grief.

"Everybody experiences it (grief) differently," Price said. "Even if you're grieving over the same person, you feel so alone."

The content starts with understanding grief, then dives into additional facets, includingbuilding a team of supporters, creating healthy boundaries, communicating needs, emotional fitness, self care, relationships, triggers, scheduling time for griefand setting goals.

"I think it could be really helpful for a parent to walk through," Stangel said. "She's coming from experience, so she can get at very specific things that a parent might be experiencing, and then what might be helpful when you're experiencing that."

For Pillar 2, Price leads the course's participants in 14 group coaching calls.

"It's working through being your own advocate and actively participating in your healing," Price said. "It's building up their grief tool kit, so they feel empowered to make choices that serve them well."

The third pillar is centered around creating community, using a private Facebook group for those involved in the course.

"There's so much healing power, not only for yourself, but for other people, when you open up and share what's happened, so you're able to be a guiding light for other people," Price said.

The fourth pillar is about continuing bonds and connection with the child who has died.

"It's coming up with ways we can continue to incorporate them in our daily routines," Price said.

The course, which launched in December, costs $197.

After the completion of the course, Price offers one-on-one coaching and additional content for additional costs.

The course can be found at

"I just know from my life experience, I had something to share," Price said. "To hold it in would be a disservice to any other parent going through this."

In addition to the course, Price's Better Not Bitter Mom's website has a blog, andresources for bereaved parents andsupporters.

Price also authored an e-book, "At a Loss for Words: What to Say to a Bereaved Parent After the Death of Their Child."

Lisa Price's Better Not Bitter Mom's website has a blog, resources for bereaved parents andsupporters, and a course.(Photo: Hannah Kirby/ Now News Group)

To raise funds for Children's Hospital in honor of the Better Not Bitter Mom's mission, New Berlin Barre District, 14260 W. National Ave., New Berlin, plans to hosta class at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 19.

"If this speaks to you please sign up. Please show up. And if you feel called- please share," the Facebook event said.

The cost is $10, and all of the proceeds will be given to the hospital.Sign-up can be done on theMindBody App.

In the future, Price has aspirations tobuild a bereavement barn "where grief is welcome and welcome to be spoken about."

It would offer grieving parents outlets for healing, including art therapy, restorative yoga,dance, gardeningand cooking, and would have a clinical staff available for consultations.

"If she (Ari) could do all the things she did to make it here to meet us, literallyI can do anything," Price said.

Contact Hannah Kirby at Follow her on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at


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After the death of her newborn daughter, this New Berlin mom made it her mission to help other bereaved parents - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Ethmoid sinusitis: Causes, symptoms, and treatment – Medical News Today

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Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. Ethmoid sinusitis is the inflammation of a specific group of sinuses the ethmoid sinuses which sit between the nose and eyes.

The ethmoid sinuses are hollow spaces in the bones around the nose. They have a lining of mucus to help prevent the nose from drying out. Inflammation of the ethmoid sinuses can lead to pressure and pain around the nose and between the eyes.

In this article, we look at the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of ethmoid sinusitis and when to see a doctor. We also discuss how to treat and prevent ethmoid sinusitis.

The mucous lining of the sinuses traps dust, germs, and pollutants. When the sinuses become inflamed, the mucus cannot flow normally. Tissue swelling traps mucus in the sinuses, which can allow germs to grow.

In ethmoid sinusitis, this inflammation affects the ethmoid sinuses. People have four groups of sinuses, each of which can become inflamed:

The causes of ethmoid sinusitis will typically be similar to those of other forms of sinusitis. They may include:

A person with ethmoid sinusitis may experience many symptoms common to all sinus infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these can include:

In addition, they may experience symptoms specific to ethmoid sinusitis because of the position of these sinuses near the eyes. These symptoms include a swollen, red, or painful eye.

Sinusitis can either be acute, meaning that a person has it for only a short time, or chronic, where it lasts for more than 12 weeks, even with treatment.

As with other types of sinusitis, the most common cause of ethmoid sinusitis is a virus, such as the common cold. In these cases, it will often resolve without a person needing to see a doctor.

According to the CDC, a person should speak to a doctor if:

When diagnosing ethmoid sinusitis, a doctor will ask the person how they have been feeling and carry out a physical examination to look for the characteristic signs and symptoms of sinusitis. These may include:

The doctor may also look into the person's nose, throat, or ears for visible signs of inflammation. After this examination, if the doctor is not certain about the correct diagnosis, they may also insert a thin tube with a light and a camera on the end into the nose to examine the sinus tissues.

Occasionally, a doctor may recommend an X-ray or a CT scan to determine the likely cause of the person's symptoms.

According to the CDC, a person's sinus infection will usually get better on its own. However, if a doctor suspects a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics.

The doctor may also prescribe:

The CDC also note that home remedies may help some people. They recommend putting a warm compress over the affected area or breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water or a shower.

Read more about how to treat sinus infections here.

People can often prevent sinus infections by taking steps to stay healthy and to help others stay healthy. These include:

Most people should find that ethmoid sinusitis resolves on its own with some basic self-care and home remedies. If a doctor thinks that ethmoid sinusitis is due to a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics, which are usually very effective.

According to an article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, if nasal polyps or a problem with the structure of a person's nasal passage is causing their ethmoid sinusitis, they may require surgery to reduce the likelihood of their ethmoid sinusitis reoccurring.

People may wish to see their doctor for more information about the causes, treatment, and prevention of sinusitis, particularly if the condition is chronic.

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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Read and chill: This anti-self-help book will help fix your everyday woes – Livemint

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If you wake up feeling like the exploding head emoji every morning, journalist Naomi Dattas new book may be what the doctor ordered. How To Be A Likeable Bigot (Penguin Random House, 299) is A Handbook For The Savvy Survivor. Surviving what? Most things that creep upon our urban, 9-5 grind, as we sit at our desks stewing in misery or dreaming of greener pastures. Some of the chapter titles: How To Contribute Nothing To Team Meetings And Not Let Anyone Catch On", How To Crack Woke Jokes". Read this if you want to be a sulking liberal", a chronic feel-gooder" or a Kangaroo Dad". Datta says the book is meant for those who want to live in relative peace, without being too wound up all the time". Now who wouldnt like to get good at that?

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Read and chill: This anti-self-help book will help fix your everyday woes - Livemint

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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Nailbiter to keen runner: the three secrets to turning a bad habit into a good one – The Guardian

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Nailbiting its disgusting. Photograph: AndreyPopov/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I am going to talk to Wendy Wood about my bad habits. Professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, Wood researches how habits guide behaviour and has written a new book about it: Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick. Not market-driven self-help, it is based on research, data, actual science. I hope she will help me to understand my bad habits, change them, and maybe even pick up a few good ones.

What are my unwanted habits, though, since I quit smoking? I should probably look at Twitter a little less, but thats everyone, right? Or Facebook, Instagram; whatever it is you look at your phone for. There is a chapter at the end of Woods book, How to Stop Looking at Your Phone So Often. You have to start off by noticing you are doing it, then use some of the tools you have hopefully picked up in the preceding pages, such as controlling the cues to the behaviour, adding friction ... we will get to some of that.

I bite my nails, habitually. It is gross, I know. But apart from that, I am struggling to think of anything. I will just confirm that I am otherwise perfect, with my girlfriend

Ah, so it seems there are a couple more quite a long list, actually. I wont bore you with the details (most of it isnt even true). Top of her list, though, is something I do recognise: I suck air in through my teeth sporadically when Im talking, especially if Im concentrating. It makes a noise. And sometimes I do something with my face at the same time, kind of screw it up.

You know, to be honest, it kind of sounds charming, says Wood, down the line from Baja California in Mexico, where she is on holiday. I dont know why you would want to change that, but I suppose if it bothers your family then that would be something to work on.

You know what, no, Im going to leave it. Being bothered by it is the only problem here. A leading expert on habits says that this one sounds charming, and Im taking that. Next!

Wood asks which of my bad habits I would most like to change. Change is challenging and motivation will add to the chance of success. Lets tackle the nailbiting, then, because I admit to it and it is disgusting.

I cant tell you about the origins of your nailbiting except that most people develop the habit when they are anxious and it distracts them, she says. Because its a little bit of pain and it makes you focus away from the anxiety, it is rewarding. So the next time you feel anxious, you go back to biting your nails.

That figures. She asks me about the cues that activate the behaviour. Are there particular times and places it happens? Is it anxiety from work, sitting at the desk, trying to write and generate stuff? I think so, yeah, my high-pressure media job, calling up eminent scientists during their Mexican holidays.

She explains that habit memories change only slowly, if at all; that habits keep being triggered by the circumstances around you; and that your habit automatically comes to mind before you have a chance to do something else. All of this makes our habits resistant to change. Oh dear, no quick fix, it seems. But the way forward can be pared down into three parts.

So I could wear gloves at times of high-nailbiting likelihood. Or coat them with that foul-tasting stuff they used to and may still give to kids. Another possibility is to sit on your hands, suggests Woods. Might make writing tricky.

What women do, and theres no reason why you shouldnt consider this, is get a nice manicure, she says. That makes it more difficult for you to bite your nails because it is really obvious, plus youll have just spent a lot of money. I could get extensions, she suggests. They wouldnt have to be long, if I didnt fancy going the full Selena Gomez.

If it is my work environment that is triggering the behaviour, could I change that? Maybe getting a standing desk would make it less likely that you bite your nails, she says. She tells me about a colleague of hers who got a treadmill desk, after which he was surprisingly productive. A treadmill desk! I like it, and that might even encourage one of my other good-habit targets; to do a bit of exercise.

Something to do with my hands, instead of chewing them. Are fidget-spinners still a thing? A stress ball, perhaps, or an executive toy. I will think about it. The thing to bear in mind is that willpower is going to get you started, but there is good research that it doesnt stick around long enough for us to be successful when we are trying to change a strong habit. Think about that diet that went the way of the one before. Or the gym membership that didnt become a habit. We need the situation to help as well.

What about the positive changes, then? How am I going to turn my occasional, reluctant run into a habit? It is something Wood did. It wasnt easy, getting up early that was the only time to fit the run in. But she liked feeling fit and it helped her to control her weight. Goals and rewards help in starting to do something. It took time, too. She says she struggled for about a year with that one. A year!

Again, the suggestion is to use the environment to make the challenge easier. I started sleeping in my running clothes and I would put my running shoes by the door, she says. And I had a dog at the time, whom I started running with. She loved it; she would come and wake me up.

Great. Im desperate for a dog and if it can help develop good-habit formation, thats an added bonus. It might be tricky to get past the rest of my family, who want a cat. Im not sure how sleeping in my running gear is going to go down either.

Talking to Wood is making me think about my relationship. There is a bit in her book where she talks about what she calls habituation in long-term relationships, whereby partners repeatedly do the same things together, settling into each others presence and it is striking a chord. Its a good thing, she says. It means you are dependent on each other. But it can also get to a point where you are not feeling a whole lot in a relationship.

How do I change that? Do something new together, that creates new patterns and allows you to experience your partner in new ways. It could be as simple as cooking classes. Yes, we like to cook; stick a dim-sum course on the list.

And that is probably enough for now, for 2020. Its going to take time to form new habits. Its true, old habits do indeed die hard. But I have a better understanding of how it works and some new tools. Im going to create new patterns and pork dumplings with my partner, and this will enable us to experience each other in new and emotional ways.

Im going to spice things up further by sleeping in my tracksuit. We will have a dog, too, not just for Christmas, and it will run with me every morning and that will feel eventually not like a chore but normal and good.

Ill also run on a treadmill as I work. And Im booking myself into a nail bar for a set of top-of-the-range acrylic extensions. But I will continue to suck air through my teeth. And to gurn, charmingly.

Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood is published by Pan Macmillan. To buy for 17.60 (RRP 20) go to or call 0203 176 3837. P&P charges may apply.

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Nailbiter to keen runner: the three secrets to turning a bad habit into a good one - The Guardian

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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Choosing the Best Therapy for Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia –

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With many targeted treatment options for patients with CLL to use upfront, the question arises as to which one is best for the individual.

Targeted therapies, such as Imbruvica (ibrutinib), Calquence (acalabrutinib) and Venclexta (venetoclax) plus Gazyva (obinutuzumab), have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have shown to keep patients in remission or reduce the risk of disease progression or death.

The most recent study is the ELEVATE-TN study, which led to the approval of acalabrutinib, Woyach, an associate professor at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer CenterJames, said in an interview with OncLive, a sister publication of CURE. That study was (Leukeran [chlorambucil])/obinutuzumab versus acalabrutinib alone versus acalabrutinib plus obinutuzumab. Acalabrutinib and acalabrutinib/obinutuzumab had significantly improved (progression free survival [PFS]) with about a 90% two-year PFS rate.

In addition to using these medications alone, researchers are studying their use in combination with other drugs, such as Venclexta with Imbruvica, a type of Brutons tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor. BTK inhibitors work by keeping the cancer cells from growing and have shown great results in CLL.

One study looked at combining venetoclax with the BTK inhibitor (Imbruvica) to see if you can both capitalize on the efficacy of the two agents, and then potentially get patients into such deep remissions that they can come off therapy, she said. At the 2019 ASH Annual Meeting, we had the follow-up of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center study in both the frontline and relapsed/refractory settings, in which the majority of patients are getting minimal residual disease-negative responses. There are a lot of complete responses with fairly limited follow-up off treatment. Most patients are still in remission.

Side effect profile and patient preference can be used to help guide oncologists on which treatment is best to start with, Woyach explained. We have the discussion for patients who are very high-risk, meaning those with TP53 mutations or 17p deletions, she said. The data with the BTK inhibitors looks a little bit stronger compared with that fixed duration of venetoclax/obinutuzumab. For those patients, I'm still trying to steer them towards the BTK inhibitor; however, it's not wrong to (give) venetoclax/obinutuzumab to those patients either.

Imbruvica has the stronger safety and efficacy data, Woyach added. However, with longer follow-up, Imbruvica has more side effects, such as hypertension; bleeding risk; and atrial fibrillation (AFib), or an irregular heartbeat, which has been seen in 10% to 15% of patients, generally those who are older. In addition, arthralgia, myalgia, diarrhea, bruising and gastrointestinal issues can also been experience by patients treated with Imbruvica.

Although patients have to take Calquence twice a day, the medication has fewer side effects, including less cases of AFib and hypertension. The same bleeding risk as Imbruvica is present, Woyach said. She added that the downside to the Venclexta and Gazyva combination is that they are time consuming.

Overall, these therapies continue to show great promise, but if a patient relapses or becomes resistant to therapy, Woyach explained that reversible BTK inhibitors are in development. A few of those reversible molecules (were presented) at the 2019 ASH Annual Meeting and showed very interesting efficacy; these included ARQ 531 and LOXO-305, she said.

This article was adapted from an article that originally appeared on OncLive, titled Woyach Highlights Progress and Next Steps in CLL Paradigm.

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Choosing the Best Therapy for Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia -

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January 17th, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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