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“America's healthcare system is in crisis precisely because we

systematically neglect wellness and prevention.”

- Tom Harkin

_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed

health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.

Thursday. The Olympics are behind us and just like everything else post- pandemic, it just wasn’t the same. Mask wearing on the podium, Covid testing for athletes, empty stadiums and arenas for some events, and for the first time, a top athlete citing mental health as their reason for pulling out of competition.

Simone Biles’ exit from the Olympics may not have had anything to do with the pandemic itself, but it is worth noting that the pandemic has had a huge impact on mental health. Let’s dive in.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression? Let’s Jump On A Zoom.

As if a global pandemic wasn’t quite enough, we’ve all had to deal with the mental health implications of this past year as well. Some of us may have handled it better than others, but it is pretty safe to say that stress levels have been a little elevated. Read a few headlines on a daily basis and it is no wonder that depression and anxiety continues to rise in this country. According to a recent survey by the U.S Census Bureau, moderate to severe anxiety peaked in 37.3% of adults during the pandemic, which is up 6.9% from 2019. When it came to depression among adults, reported cases jumped from 7% to 30.2% over the same time period. As for young adults, 43.5% said they had moderate-to-severe anxiety. And children? According to this study, depression and anxiety cases seem to have doubled over the past year. The solution? Therapy. The bright side? The pandemic has made it easier for people to access therapy virtually through telehealth services. There is a bit of a wrinkle though. Creating rapport and building trust through a more personal connection is an important piece of what makes therapy effective. Seems pretty obvious, right? According to some therapists—and patients—rapport and trust can be easier to build face-to-face, even with masks. Who would have thought? You are telling me that humans aren’t meant to connect with other humans in a meaningful way through a screen? That level of bonding is particularly crucial at the beginning of the therapist-patient relationship or when symptoms are more severe. Therapists also say in-person sessions work better for children and teens, since they are easily distracted or may not be totally on board with the treatment. Online therapy has definitely made it more convenient for many people to access therapy at a time where it seems to be needed most. There is no denying that. The important takeaway here is that as we look to navigate what is still a challenging time for many when it comes to stress, anxiety, and depression, in-person human interaction is something we could all use more of, not less.

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Everyone’s Favorite Thing

Coffee. Who doesn’t love coffee? Psychopaths? Boring people? Vegans? Bill Gates? For all the coffee lovers out there—rejoice. We found this interesting piece that outlines how to brew the healthiest cup of coffee. In case you are too busy to click on that link, I’ll summarize. The healthiest cup of coffee uses high- altitude beans, a lighter roast, a fine grind, a filter, hot but not boiling water, and is served black. How can you make a cup of coffee as unhealthy as possible, you may ask? Just add some Oatly to it.

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