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Addictive Eating: Are You Powerless Over Food?

The holidays of winter often bring to mind the image of a full table—and a full stomach. We gather with friends and family and feast merrily on pies and potatoes, turkey and ham and all of the fixings that many of us dearly enjoy.

There is another side to that pretty picture, however.

What if our extra consumption of calories during the winter is fueled not by good cheer and companionship, but by anxiety? And, further, what if it’s not the gathering of loved ones that we most look forward to, but the food that we can’t get out of our minds?

Also, while we may welcome gatherings with friends and family, they do bring with them extra stress and preparation. Add to the mix the anxiety caused by a sputtering economy, and many of us might find ourselves reaching for “comfort” food.

An anxiety-provoked behavior, such as overeating, is an attempt to cope with that anxiety, but as with most such behaviors, it can become a problem itself. Overeating can become a...

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Quiz: How Well Do You Manage Stress?

The impact of stress accumulates, and, beyond the ongoing, regular stress that comes from living in our high-impact culture, specific life events can really knock us for a loop. Even happy changes can cause bumps in the road, which we register both physically and emotionally. While we can’t eliminate stress from our lives, we can learn where our hot spots are and how to best reduce and manage the stress we do experience.

You won’t be scored at the end, but answer true or false to the following questions, and elaborate a bit on those that feel especially relevant.

T /F   1. I set the pace for the day by beginning with peaceful thinking either through reading an inspiring passage, saying a prayer or acknowledging the gift of a fresh, new day.

T /F   2. Throughout the day I live in the moment. I don’t brood about a past event or fret about the future.

T /F   3. Each day I do something physical even if it’s just a walk around the...

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Burnout

“My candle burns at both ends/it will not last the night.” —Edna St. Vincent Millay

Burnout resists simple definition because it affects so many aspects of an individual’s life. In their book, Beyond Burnout, authors David Welch, Donald Medeiros and George Tate, describe burnout as a condition that affects us physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

One of the first physical symptoms of burnout is fatigue. Intellectually, there may be a loss of creativity and sharpness in problem solving; cynicism may replace enthusiasm. Emotionally, the loss of dreams and expectations can result in feelings of helplessness and depression. In the social realm, isolation overtakes feeling of involvement, and spiritually, the person experiencing burnout may feel a lack of meaning or purposelessness to her life.

According to a recent study, one in three Americans is expected to burn out on the job in the near future and, in the two years preceding...

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