Category

Health & Wellness
As our theme this month is all about parenting, I thought we would discuss how to optimize your caregiving when caring for your children. My expertise is in guiding adults to care for other adults, but the main practices are similar. Caregiving done properly takes much time, energy and attention. Many caregivers don’t realize how...
Congratulations! You have a new bundle of joy. There are many changes that occur after the birth of your baby, all of which can be new and exciting. However, what happens when these changes are not welcome? Whether you recently had a baby or if your baby now is in high school, there are several...
Sometimes the best advice comes from someone who’s been there, done that. If you’re resolving to lose that baby weight, why not consider the wisdom of someone who faced this challenge and did so with great success? Morgan Root, an Army veteran, found that after the birth of her second child, the scale kept going...
If you are newly pregnant or contemplating starting a family, you probably have many questions, including how you will feed your baby. It always is encouraged to ask questions and seek out the answers you need when it comes to your baby. These are some of the most common questions new parents and parents-to-be ask...
Congratulations! You have a new bundle of joy. There are many changes that occur after the birth of your baby, all of which can be new and exciting. However, what happens when these changes are not welcome? Whether you recently had a baby or if your baby now is in high school, there are several...
Sometimes the best advice comes from someone who’s been there, done that. If you’re resolving to lose that baby weight, why not consider the wisdom of someone who faced this challenge and did so with great success? Morgan Root, an Army veteran, found that after the birth of her second child, the scale kept going...
Caregiving done properly takes time, energy and attention. Many caregivers don’t realize how demanding it can be until they are caring for a child or parent. And what often happens is that caregivers “borrow time” from their partner, children, work, school or friendships. Caregivers might feel anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, tired, stressed, sad and perhaps angry...
I felt validated recently to read that researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered that more than a third of U.S. marriages between 2005 and 2012 began online and that early research shows online couples tend to have longer, happier marriages. I’m half of such a couple, having met my husband of six years...
“The hand you hold the longest is your own.” — Libba Bray We spend so much energy on finding that “special” relationship, believing that a person will complete us. No one else can complete us or make us whole. Our happiness and fulfillment in life are not dependent on anyone but ourselves. Having a loving,...
All of this wedding and relationship talk has made me think back to a time when I thought wedded bliss would never happen for me. I am talking about a time that I convinced myself I never wanted to get married. I lied to myself and others, saying marriage was not for me, when deep...
We all know relationships are hard, even in the best of times. Throw in the domino effect of a worldwide pandemic that affects our jobs, our routines and our everyday way of life, and that could spell disaster for even the strongest of unions. “A successful relationship has a fair amount of autonomy,” said Colleen...
Did you know that 25% of the 805,000 heart attacks per year in the U.S. are recurrent? The American Heart Association reports that once you’ve experienced a heart attack, your chances of having another one is higher. In fact, nearly one in five patients who’ve had a heart attack will have another cardiovascular event, such...
In her last trimester, in the midst of dealing with family and work issues as well as preparing for a new baby, Michelle Emebo felt stressed. “I didn’t realize how much it was impacting me until I went to see my health care provider and my blood pressure was up,” she said. Doctors monitored her...
I felt validated recently to read that researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered that more than a third of U.S. marriages between 2005 and 2012 began online and that early research shows online couples tend to have longer, happier marriages. I’m half of such a couple, having met my husband of six years...
“The hand you hold the longest is your own.” — Libba Bray We spend so much energy on finding that “special” relationship, believing that a person will complete us. No one else can complete us or make us whole. Our happiness and fulfillment in life are not dependent on anyone but ourselves. Having a loving,...
We all know relationships are hard, even in the best of times. Throw in the domino effect of a worldwide pandemic that affects our jobs, our routines and our everyday way of life, and that could spell disaster for even the strongest of unions. “A successful relationship has a fair amount of autonomy,” said Colleen...
All of this wedding and relationship talk has made me think back to a time when I thought wedded bliss would never happen for me. I am talking about a time that I convinced myself I never wanted to get married. I lied to myself and others, saying marriage was not for me, when deep...
Caregiving done properly takes time, energy and attention. Many caregivers don’t realize how demanding it can be until they are caring for a child or parent. And what often happens is that caregivers “borrow time” from their partner, children, work, school or friendships. Caregivers might feel anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, tired, stressed, sad and perhaps angry...
UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital ER nurse Jen Hanks often sings to her patients. She’s the first to say it has nothing to do with a good singing voice. “I find that nursing is the art of humanity,” said Hanks, 38. “So, to be able to connect with another human being and show vulnerability and to access...
Sexual intimacy is something that varies greatly between couples. “How much sex should I be having?” one might ask. This is something that each couple must decide for themselves, and for many couples, the average number of sexual encounters will be set by the partner who desires it the least. That said, it is never...
During cold and flu season and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be more medicines in homes being used to treat symptoms. You can keep curious kids safe by keeping medicine up and away and out of sight and reach. The Up and Away campaign, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...
It is the new year, and I am going to take a wild guess as to what your resolution is going to be? Does it have anything to do with weight loss or wellness? I am betting so, considering that almost 50% of the population resolutions are just this. So, what will it be? Cutting...
The New Year is the perfect time to hit “reset” and start over with fresh dental habits that can help improve your health. “As we move into the new year, so many of us are looking at our health and wellness through a new lens,” said Ruchi Sahota, American Dental Association spokesperson. “Your oral and...
I was startled when a young woman I know — a promising scientist — said she is grateful for her learning disabilities because they enable her to peer through a unique prism and appreciate others who are different in other ways. Similarly, I’m (almost) glad I had cancer because it profoundly changed my view of...
After 15 years as a full-time massage therapist, Jaime Ellerie was ready to call it quits five years ago. As much as she loved her practice, which she ran out of her home in Dubuque, the art of massage had taken a physical toll toll on her hands, shoulders and back. She knew making the...
Have you heard? Sitting is the new smoking. Well, maybe not exactly. However, sitting does cause adverse health conditions. For me, prolonged sitting causes weaker back muscles and painful headaches. It does not help that my posture gets worse the longer that I sit. According to the Better Health Channel, sitting too long increases your...
Happy New Year! 2021 finally is here. For some of us, turning a new year has us celebrating and looking ahead to new and brighter days. Others might be downright too exhausted to notice or care that 2020 has ended and a new year has begun. While 2020 might have required modifications to our usual...
Adults and kids alike might be enjoying the excitement of digital devices received as gifts during the holidays. However, the new year always is a great time for a reset. Alongside those new devices, consider adopting some new digital habits. Here are some great ideas for helping your family build healthier relationships with their digital...
As we get older and wiser, it seems that health is one of our biggest treasures. Many seniors tell me that they wish they would have paid closer attention to healthy habits throughout their lifetime. The good news is that it is never too late to start. The classic scenario presents itself far too often:...
High blood pressure — the leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke — continues to disproportionately affect communities of color. Addressing this health inequity is especially important now, as people with hypertension and serious heart conditions are at an increased risk for more severe outcomes if they acquire COVID-19. According to the American Heart...
UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital ER nurse Jen Hanks often sings to her patients. She’s the first to say it has nothing to do with a good singing voice. “I find that nursing is the art of humanity,” said Hanks, 38. “So, to be able to connect with another human being and show vulnerability and to access...
It is the new year, and I am going to take a wild guess as to what your resolution is going to be? Does it have anything to do with weight loss or wellness? I am betting so, considering that almost 50% of the population resolutions are just this. So, what will it be? Cutting...
Sexual intimacy is something that varies greatly between couples. “How much sex should I be having?” one might ask. This is something that each couple must decide for themselves, and for many couples, the average number of sexual encounters will be set by the partner who desires it the least. That said, it is never...
I was startled when a young woman I know — a promising scientist — said she is grateful for her learning disabilities because they enable her to peer through a unique prism and appreciate others who are different in other ways. Similarly, I’m (almost) glad I had cancer because it profoundly changed my view of...
Muscle tension. Pounding heart. Rapid breathing. Elevated blood pressure. Whether the threat is real or perceived, it has the same physiological response in the body. Stress is the body’s response — mentally, emotionally and/or physically — to change. Even positive change produces stress. The stress response can help to protect us in life-threatening situations. Or,...
Think about “home” and what that has meant to you throughout your lifetime. Home used to be where you lived with your family of origin, with your parents and your siblings. Then, home was defined to be college or your apartment as a young adult. A few years later, perhaps home became where you and...
Question: How do you tell your family you won’t be coming over for the holidays this year? Answer: The best way to handle this is similar to any other event you attend. If you knew you would not be able to attend an event, the proper etiquette would be to RSVP as soon as you...
This year has been a year like no other. Life, as we know it, has been challenged. Some of us have lost our jobs, and some of us had to transition to working from home. Others continue to report to the workplace, but now, with added personal protection equipment and health screenings. Families also are...
Shopping for the fitness fanatic on your holiday gift list can be difficult. They already have the bulk of every athleisure product or the latest and greatest trinkets to fit the the new workout trend. Or, if they are just getting started with their fitness regime, it can be difficult to decipher where to begin....
I remember a time when gift-giving was fun. Was it just because I was a kid, or was it because once upon a time, we put more thought into gifts? We shopped in stores. We saw a special something and thought of someone who it would be perfect for and bought it on the spot,...
Seven months into a world seen through the lens of COVID-19, you might be expecting a few pages of hacks to keep the kids on task for learning at home or even some tips on keeping active physically and mentally during trying times. But let’s be honest. After seven months, we’re swimming in life hacks...
Stephanie Grutz knew from a young age what she wanted to do — help people. The daughter of an entrepreneur father and a nurse mother, Grutz was inspired to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a nurse and in her father’s by starting her own business. She began as a dietary aide in a...
A group of moms sip their coffee or tea as their children play. One mom jokes about how she hasn’t jumped on a trampoline since she had 7-year-old Molly, who flips in the air and lands on her feet. “Oh, how I miss those days, being able to jump without soaking my underwear. I’ve learned...
They are all around us. Professional and family caregivers quietly serve in the background, caring for seniors. Their jobs are varied, but their hearts, commitment and servant leadership is extraordinary. You know who you are — that committed army of women who pour out their hearts with compassion and generosity. They are fierce advocates and...
Women: Beautiful, smart, inspirational, hard-working. They are truly amazing. Believe it or not, I used to be incredibly intimidated by other women. I believed they were a threat to me and would belittle myself so much that I didn’t want to be around strong, smart, successful women. My judgment toward them was a reflection of...
One of the most important responsibilities in caregiving is to make sure that you and your loved one eat well and enjoy mealtime together. What can we do differently when it comes to food and drink to enhance the dining experience? Take your queue from nature. It is so easy to be inspired by nature....
You undoubtedly have heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” Perhaps a better way of thinking about it might be, “what you eat makes you feel how you do.” If you are allergic or sensitive to what you are eating, even if it is a perfectly healthy food, it might be causing a...
I am feeling so grateful to have been writing for Her for one year already. Now that we are getting to know each other better, it is time for me to start to share with you a little more about me. Maybe even a few secrets, such as: When it comes to food, I love...
Recently, I woke up like it was Christmas Day. I was ecstatic, and not because of anything more than the fact that I was getting a babysitter for the day. When you are at home with four little kids all day and a husband who works all the time, you start to become used to...
After years of struggling to find effective ways to treat the pain she was experiencing from fibromyalgia, Tanya Billmeyer knew that there must be other options, not only for her but for others. Then, she tried floating. The positive experience she had suspended in an over-sized sensory deprivation pod prompted her to open Float and...
Life can be stressful. With everything that is going on now in the world, we are noticing that more people are overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. On top of everything else, the stress within our lives obviously hasn’t stopped. The medical community has recognized that stress has a significant impact on our health, inflammation, increased risk...
To be your best self, be resilient. While watching this year’s annual patriotic pops concert, “A Capitol Fourth,” on PBS, I was touched to see Vanessa Williams, the co-host, in great voice and gorgeous at 57. Resilience has brought her a long way since 1983. That’s when she surrendered her crown as Miss America because...
Caregivers are all around us — family caregivers and professional caregivers. They spend much of their time and energy tirelessly caring for others, and they rarely receive the appreciation or recognition they deserve. Have you ever wondered how you show your appreciation for all that they do? I have a few ideas for you: Offer...
Twenty years ago, I undertook a small research study to look at the benefits of meditation for parents caring for their very sick children at home. At that time, there was a growing body of evidence as to the benefits of meditation. Now, the powerful benefits are undeniable. This time-tested practice has been scientifically proven...
Did you know that one of the side effects of the pandemic is weight gain? “Pandemic Pounds” and the “Quarantine 15” are nicknames for the extra weight that many people have gained in the era of COVID-19. After all, some of us might not be able to be as physically active. Parents are trying to...
If you are a caregiver, you know how important it is to carve out time for play, enjoyment and engagement. Often when caregiving, the most prominent areas are doctor’s appointments, three balanced meals per day, medication management, dentistry, bathing and other daily tasks. Although those areas are so important in a care plan, it is...
I read not because I have found the time for it, as so many people say they long to do, but because I can’t imagine not reading. It’s one of those things you just do, like putting the coffee on in the morning and locking up at night. A day without reading is like a...
There is a wealth of information available that explains how eating right and exercising can help our bodies stay healthy during this pandemic. But there are many things we can do to keep our mind and spirit strong, as well. Consider adopting these strategies to help you remain calm, brave and resilient as we face...
Whether you prefer pop, rock or hip-hop, the kind of music on your workout playlist can make a difference. According to a new study, high-tempo music can reduce the amount of perceived effort of a workout and help boost cardiovascular benefits more than slower tempos. The tempo of the music needs to equate to about...
Remember when you were a child, and you spent hours and hours building a fort in the backyard — so much so that when your mom called you in for dinner, you considered skipping dinner so you didn’t have to stop? Or, in my case, I spent hours and hours trying to emulate my inspiring...
A local nonprofit organization made a life-changing surprise gift on Saturday when it presented Dubuque resident Jamie Koppes with a custom van. Koppes, 41, has spina bifida. A well-known fixture in the volunteer community, she donates her time to the American Red Cross and is on the board of Ark Advocates, an organization that assists...
It doesn’t take much recreation to give your body a boost. “Exercising, especially when just starting, can be a scary endeavor,” said Krista Viertel, a physical therapist at MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center. “However, research shows that just 150 minutes per week — approximately 20 minutes a day — can achieve health benefits.” Nicole Hutchison, owner...
GALENA, Ill. — Kathy Willauer sprung a surprise on her sister, Linda Hartlep. “I told her, ‘I signed you up for goat yoga,’ and she said, ‘Oh, no you didn’t,’” Willauer said. Oh yes, she did, and Willauer and Hartlep were in attendance during a class at Original Goat Yoga Galena, where six young goat...
“I always can be distracted by love, but eventually, I get horny for my creativity.” — Gilda Radner Where do ideas come from? A pragmatist might say from daily life. A scientist might say from the hippocampus, the horseshoe-shaped part of the brain that houses emotion and memory. A poet might say from the Muses...
This month brings me to my 39th lap around the sun. I remember a time when that seemed like an ancient age, like when you heard your mom or dad say they were 39, and you thought that was incredibly old, and they basically were done having any fun in life. I am not even...
In a time in which we are trying to keep physically, mentally and financially healthy, the experts encourage us to harness nature’s power for your family. One of my heroes is John Muir (1838-1914). He was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and early advocate for the preservation of the wilderness in the...
As I sit and write this column, the kids have been back and forth from the kitchen to May’s room about 10 times each. For what? I am unsure at this point. They are being quiet. They are not fighting. Nothing is exploding or burning down. So, I am just going to enjoy the peace....
Whether you live in the city or country, you are fortunate to have access to plenty of nature right outside your front door. The Mississippi River, open fields, parks, flowing creeks and clusters of woods are all part of our daily landscape living in the tri-state area. Having close access to the natural world is...
I was introduced to Pilates 20 years ago, while living in Southeast Asia. The balancing effect experienced in my mind and body kept me coming back for more, and I couldn’t get enough of the ever-evolving physical challenges. It was exciting to be building such new layers of strength. Eventually, through the healing of a...
If I am going to be completely honest, I am sure that you are getting an overload from everyone in the health and fitness industry about setting your New Year’s resolution goals. I know. I have been in the industry, and for years, I have been front in center telling you how I am going...
Do you recall when your kids were little, and you went to the doctor with Cheerios in your hair? Well, that is how most caregivers feel, and often, that is how your loved one feels, too. There is so much going on when caregiving is taking place that it really isn’t about beauty and fashion,...
When infertility blocks your journey to parenthood, you might become weary, overwhelmed, anxious, angry or filled with grief. Infertility is a stressful and frustrating life experience. But there are options to explore that might help with underlying causes of infertility. Visceral manipulation and infertility: Visceral manipulation is a complementary or alternative manual therapy that assesses...
A colleague of mine recently had her first baby, who at the time of this writing will be 5 months old and chunky as all get out (the baby, not the colleague). The little one also is in the throes of her first fever/cold combo, and no one in her house is getting much sleep....
We know that seniors are full of wisdom and have much to offer our society. They are key to our communities and important to the upbringing of our youth. But do you know the benefits and specifics of how seniors impact the youth? Youth who have regular interaction with a senior mentor experience the following...
We know that seniors are full of wisdom and have much to offer our society. They are key to our communities and important to the upbringing of our youth. But do you know the benefits and specifics of how seniors impact the youth? Youth who have regular interaction with a senior mentor experience the following...
We asked local moms what they do for a little “me time.” Here’s what they had to say. Hopefully, you’ll find some ideas for self-care. “I love to go for a hike. When I’m out, I look for fun things to take photos of and share with my daughter. I also love to just go...
Along with the joy of bringing a baby into the world, physical changes from pregnancy and postpartum conditions might cause unexpected effects on the body. It’s important to proactively discuss these topics with your doctor to stay informed, know you aren’t alone and understand what effective solutions are available. Hair loss Triggered by a change...
“Have couple friends, and do fun outings with them.” “Make sure you have a core group of girlfriends.” “Make play dates for your kids. Join a ‘mommy and me’ group.” We have so many people offering us this advice — not to mention the social media feed of happy couples doing happy things all of...
“Have couple friends, and do fun outings with them.” “Make sure you have a core group of girlfriends.” “Make play dates for your kids. Join a ‘mommy and me’ group.” We have so many people offering us this advice — not to mention the social media feed of happy couples doing happy things all of...
One of our closest relationships in our lifetime is with our parents. And as our parents get older, they might need help. While every situation is different, it can be challenging to know the right approach to take when supporting them through their golden years. Here are a few practices to keep in mind: Always...
Looking back 10 years, we met love in a completely different way than we do today. Dating apps, social media and video calls have made it much easier for us to meet new people. Our dating habits are, as many other things, changing in time. Experts from the global dating app happn have predicted the...
On one particularly uneventful day, Elizabeth Pape looked out her window from her sofa to find a group of women sprinting up and down her street. “They’d run to the stop sign, turn around, run back,” she said. “I was like, ‘What are these girls doing?’” Leading the pack was the petite Krissy Mueller, a...
The word empathy is receiving a lot of attention. Educators list empathy as a 21st Century skill that is essential to instill in children today. Empathy can be defined as the ability to deeply connect with others by looking at the world through their eyes in order to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions. In...
If I am going to be completely honest, I am sure that you are getting an overload from everyone in the health and fitness industry about setting your New Year’s resolution goals. I know. I have been in the industry, and for years, I have been front in center telling you how I am going...
If I am going to be completely honest, I am sure that you are getting an overload from everyone in the health and fitness industry about setting your New Year’s resolution goals. I know. I have been in the industry, and for years, I have been front in center telling you how I am going...
A young girl, crouched down and curled in a fetal position, is a figure that appears in several creations by Allison Poster. The image clad in black and white is a raw representation that personifies a traumatic period in the life of the Dubuque artist. One piece shows her locked in a cage, immersed in...
If I am going to be completely honest, I am sure that you are getting an overload from everyone in the health and fitness industry about setting your New Year’s resolution goals. I know. I have been in the industry, and for years, I have been front in center telling you how I am going...
Because humans are complex creatures, wellness includes different dimensions of life that are all interconnected. When we look to reinforce and enhance our wellness, most people consider the physical realm as the highest priority. This dimension encompasses understanding your body as it relates to physical activity, rest and nutrition. As you might imagine, it involves...
Because humans are complex creatures, wellness includes different dimensions of life that are all interconnected. When we look to reinforce and enhance our wellness, most people consider the physical realm as the highest priority. This dimension encompasses understanding your body as it relates to physical activity, rest and nutrition. As you might imagine, it involves...
For the past couple of years, we’ve been witnessing the health and wellness industry shift more toward mind, body and spirit rather than just fitness classes and athleisure wear. In addition to spinning, fitness studios are adding in more classes with a focus on mindfulness. Yoga also has been gaining popularity as people are experiencing...
Hosting house guests during the holidays? For happier guests and hosts alike, you’ll want to be sure you’re equipped to accommodate all your over-nighters. Here are a few pointers: Special considerations You’ll likely know of any special considerations you will need to make for individual guests, but if you aren’t sure, ask in advance. For...
Work-life balance refers to balancing time for work and other areas of life, such as social time, self-care, family, leisure, etc. Without it, we become overwhelmed with stress, which can lead to poor health, poor productivity and, in general, unhappiness. Why are we always striving for this balance and never achieving it? Can we ever...
One of the most frequent questions that I am asked about caregiving is, “What should we do differently for the holidays when we are caregiving?” This is difficult because we place so much importance on tradition for the holidays. Our expectations typically are very high with the ultimate “Norman Rockwell” holiday as the goal. I...
I wish I could sit here and tell you how to entertain for the holidays, but I have to be honest with you. I am not a good host. I am not really creative at this point in my life. I don’t love when a lot of people are coming over. I am not a...
It has been said that change is the only constant in life. Change can be a deliberate choice we make, or it can be thrust upon us unexpectedly, such as in the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, the onset of a life-altering illness or the end a career due to downsizing....
When kids go back to school, the germs come out to play. It doesn’t help that there is an increased risk for illness as the months progress. School, colder weather, holidays and diets can play a role in decreased immune function during the fall and winter. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked in...
As we learn about ideal holiday gifts in this issue, it sparked a thought of what gifts that caregivers need. Caregivers need the gift of time. This is one of the most generous and supportive things you can offer the caregiver. Consider dedicating an hour per month or an hour per week to plug in...
Your heart starts pounding. You have a sense of impending dread. A wave of nausea takes over and you begin to feel lightheaded. The thought of buying a special gift for a special someone sends you into a tailspin. Put those anxiety-inducing thoughts aside. Art often is thought of as the niche of the rich...
I don’t know about you, but every year when the gift-giving season approaches, I think to myself, “How am I going to cut back on my expenses? I know: I am going to put a lot of thought into gift-giving, and I am going to enjoy the season.” Then, as it approaches, I think of...
From the time you learn how to walk to later in life when you face challenges at school or work — or especially if you’re riding a horse. It’s become a cliche. “If you fall, get back up, shake it off and try again.” Nowhere, perhaps, is that advice more appropriate than in ice skating....
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