A guide for stressed women; shopping with germs at the mall

Posted Dec. 15, 2011, at 5:31 a.m.
In “Stress Less (for Women),” health and science writer Thea Singer maintains that stress grows from feeling a loss of control, which “lies at the heart of everything stressful."
In “Stress Less (for Women),” health and science writer Thea Singer maintains that stress grows from feeling a loss of control, which “lies at the heart of everything stressful."

Stress Less (for Women),” by Thea Singer ($16, Plume)

Bringing home the bacon and cooking it, too, is no foreign concept for many women. But health and science writer Thea Singer suggests in her new book that women these days are more overscheduled and stressed than their mothers and grandmothers were. In this new paperback she maintains that stress grows from feeling a loss of control, which “lies at the heart of everything stressful. The economy is in terrible shape. We are caring for growing children with one hand and aging parents with the other.” To buttress her arguments, Singer looks at everything from hard science — examining telomeres, the tips of chromosomes that depict cell aging — to conversations with women. She also provides many de-stressing solutions, prompting readers to choose what works best from among them.

Health magazine, December issue

Hoping to hit the local mall to pick up a few gifts? Well, be aware that you could also be picking up a few germs as you make your rounds. Writer Cari Wira Dineen asked a group of medical experts to come up with a list of the most germy spots for her article “The 8 Germiest Places in the Mall.” Not surprisingly, restrooms are a major trouble spot, with the sink faucet and handles and refillable soap dispensers both high in bacteria. Other problem areas: food-court tables, escalator handrails, ATM keyboards (with the “enter” key posing the biggest danger because everyone presses it), toy stores, makeup samples, fitting rooms and gadget stores. Dineen writes that one “recent report found that of four iPads swabbed in two Apple stores located in New York City, one contained Staphylococcus aureus … while the other registered a bacteria associated with skin rash.” The list of bacteria found in these spots will make you reach for your hand sanitizer.

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