Friday, January 22, 2021
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Stay focused on your needs

Food & Nutrition   Research   Stress Reduction  Wellness

Today’s Read: 3 minutes

Today’s newsletter was a challenge. Unrest broke out in the U.S. Capitol just as we were sitting down to write it, and those events made us question everything—including what news to bring to your attention. Tone-deaf isn’t what we are trying to accomplish here.

Eventually, we came back to you and the information needed for your care, and most importantly, your ability to feel in control.


Redefine what self-care means

You have probably heard the adage, self-care isn’t selfish. When we take care of ourselves we are better care providers, we are better friends, we are better spouses, and we are better people. Alicia Keys calls it soul-care and the act of tending to our needs is truly tending to our being.

But it is Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times who may have defined self-care best: “Self-care ultimately is about setting priorities, setting boundaries, and finding purpose.” 

It doesn’t necessarily mean taking baths with scented candles, but it does mean getting enough sleep and doing other activities that will fill you with the positive emotions you need to do the important things in life.

How do you make those activities a priority? How do you make sure you practice soul-care? (I like Ms. Keys’ nomenclature best.) Here are four new ways to approach it, writes Parker-Pope:

  1. Give the best hours of your day to yourself.
  2. Choose a single word that describes your goals, values, or mood you want to set for the year.
  3. Create a respite plan.
  4. Imagine your future self to help you focus on positive acts of self-care you can commit to now.

Can you help open schools?

Economist Emily Oster believes that data needs to guide school reopenings. So, she developed the COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, which seeks to collect data from districts all across the country and to aggregate state-level data.

Here’s the catch: it needs schools to participate voluntarily to work. This also means that it will leave many school’s out. “The mismatched nature of data collection means such efforts cannot be fully representative,” writes Oster in Nature. While her answer is the dashboard, it cannot make up for the ability that the CDC and the U.S. Department of Education have to coordinate data collection around Covid-19 in the schools and make sound decisions about school openings as a result.

Avocadoes might be the perfect comfort food

Creamy, fatty, and filling—all describe avocadoes. Better yet, they are the chameleons of the produce aisle. They can be the star of salads, sandwiches, side dishes, and desserts. And, Epicurious presents 67 ways to serve them up. Just remember three things:

  • Ripen them at room temperature
  • Always cut them lengthwise
  • Prevent browning with lemon and lime



The number of workers who were absent because of illness in November 2020. This is almost at the levels seen in April 2020. Absenteeism reached record numbers in 2020, and may stay that way until COVID-19 vaccines are widely distributed, according to Bloomberg.


Sometimes we need to get lost in rows and rows of cuteness.

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