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wellness

The Ethel Walker School

In a world of buzzing smartphones, endless meetings and persistent deadlines, how can we be more in-tune with ourselves and more creative in our endeavors?

WNPR/David DesRoches


The desks in Sarah Lane’s fifth grade class at Bear Path School are covered with handmade paper hearts with short phrases written on them like, “Help Someone,” and “Compliment a Teacher.” 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report gives voice to some of Connecticut's youngest domestic violence victims -- children six years old and younger. This hour, we take a look at the findings from that report and consider what’s being done to improve services for children who experience trauma. 

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Not to be confused with other ailments going around, like the norovirus stomach bug, the flu is a respiratory virus that usually peaks somewhere between December and February. And this year, the Centers for Disease Control is warning of a more severe strain.

Connecticut is the third-healthiest state in the nation, according to a new report by United Health Foundation. But it wasn't all good news for the Nutmeg State. 

Linda Owen flickr.com/photos/lkowen / Creative Commons

Emergency warming shelters are opening across Connecticut as the state prepares for dangerously cold temperatures. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern / NHPR

The 2016 election has been a source of significant stress for many Americans across the political spectrum. 

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This Sunday, we move the clocks back one hour, marking the end of daylight saving time. It’s a welcomed extra hour of sleep for most teenagers and adults, but for younger kids and their parents the time change can really disrupt the routine. There is, however, a pretty simple way to address the transition—the trick is to start early. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Veterans Administration is attempting to reduce the number of former service members suffering opioid abuse and overdose. The VA is now part of a working group with the Department of Defense trying to take a comprehensive look at the problem. 

Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise.

"In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says, because, as social beings, humans are attuned to man-made sounds. He says overheard conversations, as well as high-pitched and intermittent noises, also draw attention away from tasks at hand.

It's a familiar scene for sleep-deprived parents everywhere: They put down the baby in the bassinet to sleep, and those tiny eyes flutter shut. Then they flutter back open and the crying starts. The only thing perhaps more harrowing than those long wakeful nights of a baby's first year is the fear that one day the child won't wake up.

Federal health officials are urging all Americans to get their flu shots as soon as possible, and are especially concerned that too few elderly people are getting vaccinated.

"Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a joint briefing Thursday with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "Flu often does not get enough respect."

The carcinogen often referred to as the "Erin Brockovich chemical" is present in about two-thirds of the drinking water across the country, according to water testing data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Courtesy Adam Berger

When Adam Berger, 29, who has Type 1 diabetes, decided to get a sandwich from a deli, he first ran it by his mobile application ezbds, which he launched in Stamford two years ago.

When you shop for cleaning supplies, brightly colored bottles advertise stain-removing powers or "whiter whites." But it’s hard to get clear information about what the chemical ingredients could do to your health or the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to change that.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

In the last couple years, millions of people across the country have learned their drinking water contains high levels of the contaminants known as perfluorochemicals. These are used to make non-stick products like Teflon and pizza boxes. 

Jessica Stefonik is grinning. She's got a bounce in her step. Her cheeks are a little puffy and her speech is a bit thick.

"It feels weird right now, but I'll get used to it," she says.

What she's trying to get used to is the feeling of having teeth.

On the day we met, Stefonik, a mom of three from Mosinee, Wis., got a set of dentures to replace all of her upper teeth, which she lost over many years to disease and decay.

Stefonik is just 31 years old.

Connecticut Hospitals Wake Up to the Need for Sleep

Sep 6, 2016
4x4foto/iStock / Thinkstock

Clattering carts, overly bright lights and frequent disruptions make hospitals a tough place to get a good night’s sleep.

But now, hospitals across Connecticut are launching efforts to help patients sleep longer and better.

milindri/iStock / Thinkstock

Last month, several of Connecticut's 911 dispatch centers experienced temporary system outages. The blackouts occurred amid a multi-million-dollar upgrade to the state's legacy infrastructure -- an effort that has since been put on hold. This hour, we take a closer look at what happened and consider what's being done to bring 911 technology into the 21st century

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut officials have responded to the state’s opioid epidemic with solutions like expanded access to overdose prevention kits at pharmacies, and limitations on pain killer prescriptions. But much of the fight to save lives is taking place after business hours, and in the most directly affected communities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Self-identified gay men in Connecticut make up a growing percentage of new HIV infection cases, an alarming trend over the last decade that's forcing AIDS activists to get creative. 

Maryam Jameel / Center for Public Integrity

Sixty years after his service in the Army, Jesse Eakin still completes his outfits with a pin that bears a lesson from the Korean War: Never Impossible.

Six Things to Know About Ticks and Lyme Disease

Jun 20, 2016
Fairfax County/Flickr / Creative Common

This year, 97 percent of blacklegged ticks -- commonly known as deer ticks -- survived the Connecticut winter, and are hungry for blood as temperatures warm.

I'm hanging out with my 4-year-old daughter in the early evening, trying to keep her entertained and pull dinner together, when my phone buzzes.

Normally I'd feel guilty for checking it immediately, and distracted even if I didn't. But this time it's not a Twitter mention or an email from my editor. It's a timely suggestion from an app called Muse.

Here's what it says: "Try playing 'Simon Says' with L, using directional words like: behind, around, between. (ex. 'Simon Says stand between the chairs.')"

The Food and Drug Administration is leaning on the food industry to cut back on the amount of sodium added to processed and prepared foods.

The FDA on Wednesday released a draft of new sodium-reduction targets for dozens of categories of foods — from bakery goods to soups.

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