Please leave me alone – at least every other day

Dear readers,

At the beginning of a new month or week, I usually go through my calendar in my head. What important appointments do I have? What birthdays do I have to remember? When was the concert again? Who do I have an appointment with and when? To be honest, when I realize that the next few days or weekends are fully booked, it makes me a bit nervous. Then I know: The evenings when I can wrap myself in my favorite blanket and just read a book are few and far between.

There are people who need a lot of variety in their free time. People who thrive on the thought of who they will meet in the next few days. And then there are people for whom it all gets too much sometimes. My colleague Sarah Franke is one of them. That’s why she recently devoted herself to the so-called “social burnout” in detail (+). This is what is called the phenomenon that those affected feel burned out – not because of the job, but because of their free time. “The many contact with people exhausts them,” writes Franke.

What helps against “social burnout”.

However, “social burnout” is not a real diagnosis. Rather, experts advise you to think about the reasons for your own behavior. “I have the impression that some people with a lot of social contacts do this to distract themselves from other things,” says psychotherapist Benedikt Waldherr. It helps preventively, for example, to prioritize tasks, to-dos or appointments. It can be helpful to change small things, such as keeping appointments shorter or meeting with fewer people at the same time.

My colleague Sarah Franke also has a tip herself: “I only meet every other day at most. Sprawling on the couch with a book on my alone evenings helps me to be balanced.” Based on my experience, I can only recommend it.

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Yours, Anna Schughart

life and us

The guide for health, well-being and the whole family – every second Thursday.

From head to toe

Around 8.4 million people worldwide were living with type 1 diabetes in 2021. And the number could be even higher: a study predicts that the number of cases will double by 2040. Then there would be 13.5 to 17.4 million affected. Why it is like that? “Anyone who finds this out deserves a Nobel Prize,” says an expert of my colleague Laura Beigel, who researched what consequences this development will have (+). “If developments continue like this, people with type 1 diabetes in this country will also have to fear significant care problems and a reduced life expectancy,” warns diabetologist Baptist Gallwitz.

family ties

Dangers lurk not only in front of the front door.  It can also be dangerous for children in the kitchen at home.

Dangers lurk not only in front of the front door. It can also be dangerous for children in the kitchen at home.

In emergencies involving children, level-headed behavior is particularly important. Even if worries and fears are the top priority for most parents, the first few minutes after the accident are crucial. “In 95 percent of the cases, an accident is not as bad as it appears,” says Till Dresbach, senior physician in neonatology and pediatric intensive care at the University Hospital in Bonn. The most important thing is to get an overview of the situation first. What to do in case of ingestion, burns, poisoning, read here.

With all love

Dating shows are more popular than ever. The RTL group alone has more than 30 different German formats in its program, naked people, influencers, farmers, stars, gays, parents-in-law, ex-partners – they are all supposedly looking for love, reports my colleague Miriam Keilbach. But why are these formats so popular? There are many reasons for that.

“Especially after the years with Corona, which were characterized by physical distance and isolation, and now because of the war in Ukraine, which puts even more strain on the psyche, we have a longing for everyday fairy tales,” says media psychologist Richard Lemke. Added to this is the desire for voyeurism, scandalization, provocation. And: With dating shows, situations can be observed that we have experienced ourselves – and that we can work through in this way.

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Well said

Every family has its trauma and the emotions associated with it are passed on from generation to generation.

Galit Atlas,


The New York psychoanalyst Galit Atlas speaks in an interview with my colleague Carolin Burchardt about the emotional legacy and how it affects our lives (+).

The pandemic and us

Washing hands, spraying disinfectant and wearing a face mask – all of this has become part of our everyday life during the corona pandemic. The hygiene expert Ernst Tabori advocates three routines that should remain.

Firstly, good hand hygiene, because this “can prevent respiratory infections as well as gastrointestinal diseases”. Secondly, the rule “those who are ill stay at home” should prevail, Tabori believes. If you have to go shopping or to the pharmacy despite being ill, the expert recommends wearing a face mask. And third, Tabori hopes that even after the pandemic, people will continue to take advantage of vaccination opportunities.

The serious side of life

A drinking diary can help with healthier dosing.

A drinking diary can help with healthier dosing.

In Germany, 1.6 million people are dependent on alcohol. An additional 6.7 million consume amounts that are harmful to health. 200 people die every day as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. However, abstinence is an elusive goal for many people with alcohol addiction. Controlled drinking programs may therefore be an effective alternative for them.

It’s not just about drinking less, it’s about reducing alcohol consumption to a recommended amount, reports RND author Christian Wolf (+). But the method is not without controversy. In addition, there are still no high-quality studies to really say how effective controlled drinking programs are.

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The beautiful sides of life

Noble mold grows on blue cheese - and it is not harmful to health.

Noble mold grows on blue cheese – and it is not harmful to health.

We despise fruit or yoghurt with fur, but gorgonzola or white-rimmed salami promise pleasure: mold triggers either disgust or appetite in us. But where is the line between noble and harmful mold?

“Mold is nothing to panic about,” says microbiologist Martin Kirchmair. Mold on food only becomes a problem when the first spots appear. Then you shouldn’t eat the food anymore. So-called noble mold grows on and in salami with a white rim or blue cheese. The difference: toxins that make other molds so dangerous are hardly or not at all produced by noble mold.

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