‘I watched every episode in a single night’: Have we forgotten how to enjoy TV? – National

by BBG Hub

Dayana Cadet has a rotation of three shows she binge-watches during a 24-hour period.

Plowing through The Office, Seinfeld and sometimes Judge Judy, the 28-year-old Toronto woman said Seinfeld, in particular, has become a daily ritual. 

“I binge-watch Seinfeld so often that I now use it as a tool to keep focused,” she said. “I’m a writer and find listening to music or new episodes of my favourite podcasts are distracting… I’ve seen Seinfeld so many times I can zone in and out as required. It’s like a funny white noise machine.”

Cadet started binge-watching television when she was 16 and can get through short-season series (eight to 12 episodes) in one or two days.

“I’ve been binge-watching for well over 10 years but I find that now, it’s even harder to stay focused,” she explained. “I often have to multitask and be on my phone scrolling through social media, texting, or playing games to keep myself stimulated while watching a show. Only very scary or very complex shows can hold my attention.”

READ MORE: COMMENTARY — Binge-watching television is the media equivalent of eating rice

Cadet’s binge-watching habit isn’t uncommon.

The way we enjoy television has completely changed with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and CraveTV, but the act of binge-watching can be traced back to TV boxed sets or DVDs. While this type of binge-watching may not be as “in the moment” like it is when a streaming service drops a whole series in one day, people spend hours, days or even weeks binge-watching their favourite television series at home.

Credit: Facebook/The Office

Cathy Perron, an associate professor of film and television at Boston University, told Global News the initial release of House of Cards on Netflix in February 2013 was probably the game changer for binge-watching TV.

“It was the first time an entire season was released at the same time and it gave people the opportunity to watch all the episodes at once,” she said. “That was really the start of a trend. There were libraries of content that could be released to Netflix as complete and total series, not just one season at a time.”

She said this trend added to the viewer’s appetite to sit and watch an entire series all at once. But the shows people like Cadet binge-watch now were not meant for this type of experience.

WATCH: Is TV binge-watching bad for you?

“Those older series were not meant to be consumed this way and the story arcs are different. There are cliffhangers at every season with the idea there would be time and interest over the summer for people to think about [the show] and get excited when the series came back.”

Hours spent binge-watching

Rohini Mukherji, 37, of Toronto watches at least two episodes of a show every day on her commute.

“Seasons vary because a show like Man like Mobeen is four 30-minute episodes, whereas Game of Thrones is obviously much longer,” she told Global News. On average she watches two to three seasons of a show per month. 

It makes my commute interesting, and also I realize I like the continuity,” she said. “Cliffhangers with a one-week wait are really not my jam. And I don’t have [the fear of missing out on] live TV discussions the day after an episode airs — a fact I realized when I cut the cable cord last fall.”

Jake Walters of North Carolina currently binge-watches The Shield and Sons of Anarchy, but he said on some days, he can get through a whole series in one sitting.

“I’ve had weekends where I put on an episode when I get up at 8 a.m. and don’t stop watching until 2 to 3 a .m. the next morning,” he said. “When the first season of Making a Murderer came out on Netflix, I watched every episode in a single night.”

Credit: Facebook/Making A Murderer

A 2017 survey by Deloitte found U.S. binge-watchers between the ages of 14 and 33 binged “an average of five hours in a single sitting,” Quartz reported.

Perron said watching an entire season in one go isn’t surprising, and streaming services are catering to it.

“The business model of television has changed,” she said. “Normally when somebody would watch something on a weekly basis and they were excited about it [and] they would tell their friends… it became much more of a social experience where people consumed things at the same time at the same hour in the same context.”

READ MORE: Why are we obsessed with true crime and what is it doing to our minds?

But television is still consumed in this traditional way — many series continue to have episodes aired weekly. Reality TV, sporting events, award shows and popular hits like Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale are not meant to be binged, she argued.

These days, she added, it is almost expected that viewers are watching a whole season in a short period of time. This has also brought out spoiler culture on social media, where media publications, fans, streaming services and production companies make it even more tempting to finish a series in one go.

She said promotion of a show has also changed. Years ago, networks would promote a show or shove it in between two popular shows to keep it on air, but these days, the lifespan of some shows really depends on where people drop off. You also have networks dropping shows and other networks or streaming services picking them up (think Brooklyn Nine-Nine or The Mindy Project).

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen Credit: Facebook/Game of Thrones

“It’s a tremendous amount of content we are blowing through right now and it’s very expensive content to produce… somebody has to pay for this,” she explained. “Advertising is not paying for it any longer than the subscription rates are going to go up to support this.”

Which they did. In fall 2018, Netflix Canada announced a price increase — the biggest one yet. The standard plan is now $13.99 a month, while the premium plan (which allows up to four users) hit $16.99.

CraveTV can cost up to $20 (plus tax) for additional movies and HBO, and Amazon Price Video is $79 per year, while more specialized services like Shudder (horror and thrillers) is $4.99 a month and Hayu (reality TV) is $5.99 a month.

Perron said we should all expect prices for these services to go up.

When binge-watching becomes unhealthy

Walters said his binge-watching habits can sometimes become unhealthy.

“I’m much more aware of it now but I start to think how much my life sucks compared to that show, a great example of that is Friends,” he explained. “When I’m anxious or depressed I watch Friends but I had to take a step back because I noticed I was comparing my real-world relationships to that of the show.”

For Cadet, who lives with depression and anxiety, binge-watching TV is a marker of how low she is feeling at a given time.

“I find the higher my anxiety gets, the more reluctant I am to watch anything other than my regulars like Seinfeld or The Office. But sometimes it’s a great way to just turn off your brain, enjoy, and reset.”

READ MORE: Binge-watching your favourite shows is bad for your health

Some studies have found binge-watching can be bad for your health, and the more you TV you watch, the higher the risk of dying from inflammatory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

Sarah Fogle, 34, of Atlanta, said to conquer creating unhealthy habits, she takes breaks.

A lot of times we distract ourselves with projects and other things going on, so usually a binge includes some distracted time of it playing in the background while we cook or some other activity.”

Her reasons for binge-watching, especially for old shows, is to appreciate their value.

“I love it when a favourite show that I’ve seen many times and think everything has been seen but I catch a joke or two that I never caught before. It’s kind of fun and makes me appreciate that writers on a show put in a ton of work that can be appreciated again and again.”

Do we actually enjoy TV when we binge it?

Cadet said when she is binge-watching a new show with a complex plot, sometimes she tunes out.

“I have a short attention span,” she said. “If a second season of a new show comes out, I find myself having to binge-watch the previous season just to keep up to date with what’s happening.”

Perron said it’s not surprising some people aren’t as tuned in and going forward, networks and streaming services need to alter their content to keep up with how consumers are enjoying it. It’s not about forgetting how to enjoy television, it’s about finding a new way to enjoy it.

“I look at shows like Homeland,” she explained. “If Homeland had been a regular series and dropped once a week, I don’t think the story arcs would be quite so aggressive as they have been,” she said, adding writers and directors are adapting to binge culture.

People like Walters still find themselves enjoying television this way and grasping the show’s worth.

“I have a very active imagination so when I read a book or watch a show I can usually lose myself in that world,” he said. “[Even shows] like NYPD Blue, Friends, The Office, Parks and Recreation, it almost feels as though I have a stake in what’s going on even though I know what’s going to happen. “

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘They know what they’re doing’: Why do some parents intentionally make their child sick? – National

by BBG Hub

Gypsy Rose Blanchard murdered her mother in 2015.

The 23-year-old Missouri woman had spent most of her life in a wheelchair, told by her mother, Dee Dee, that she had muscular dystrophy and was unable to walk. Gypsy was also led to believe that she had a long list of other illnesses and ailments — cancer, brain damage, epilepsy, sleep apnea, eye problems — and subsequently underwent various surgeries and invasive treatments.

But, it turns out Gypsy was not, in fact, sick.

After she secretly started dating a man named Nicholas Godejohn she met online, the couple plotted to kill Dee Dee so Gypsy could be free from her control. Dee Dee’s murder garnered much media attention due to the nature of the crime, but also because it raised awareness of a lesser-known condition called factitious disorder imposed on another, or Munchausen by proxy.

The story of Dee Dee and Gypsy is the subject of a new television series called The Act.

WATCH BELOW: Study links exposure to infection in the womb to increased risk of autism, depression

What is factitious disorder imposed on another?

Factitious disorder imposed on another is when a person fakes or lies about a loved one’s health. It’s related to factitious disorder, which is when someone falsifies symptoms or lies about their own health.

“Factitious disorder imposed on another is a type of mental illness in which a caregiver intentional creates, causes, or exaggerates illness or injury in another person,” Karen Salerno, a social worker at the Cleveland Clinic who works with people affected by factitious disorder, told Global News.

“They change test results to make someone appear ill, they can physically induce symptoms, such as poising, suffocation and inducing infection. They may also try to falsify medical records.”

READ MORE: A bestselling author faked having cancer, but he’s not the first. Why do people do it?

While factitious disorder imposed on another is often discussed in terms of parents (usually a mother) lying about their children’s health, Salerno says it can happen to anyone at any age. She’s seen cases where an adult child has intentionally lied about their elderly parent’s health, and caused them harm.

When it comes to parents inflicting this abuse onto their child, the kids are most often under the age of six, Salerno said. The Cleveland Clinic says factitious disorder imposed on another is rare, and affects an estimated 2 out of 100,000 children.

In one U.S. case, a mother claimed her young daughter had cystic fibrosis, but medical experts found she faked her child’s disease. Investigators found the mom infected her daughter with harmful bacteria, and also suspected she removed blood from the child so that she would become anemic, CNN reports.

Dr. Marc Feldman, a psychiatrist at the University of Alabama and an internationally-recognized expert in forms of medical deception, previously told the Canadian Press that parents behind this kind of abuse are typically seeking emotional gratification, but at the cost of the child’s well-being.

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“Usually that comes in the form of seeking attention and sympathy,” he told the outlet. “So they present themselves as the caregivers of terribly ill children, whose illnesses are defying diagnosis. And predictably, they get a lot of care and concern from immediate family as well as the community.”

Feldman said many of these parents are dissatisfied with how their own lives have turned out and feel out of control. Successfully manipulating the beliefs of “high-status professionals like doctors allows them to feel once again in control.”

While Salerno says factitious disorder imposed on another is a mental illness, the person on the receiving end is experiencing abuse. Experts estimate that about six to nine per cent of kids die from this abuse, and another six to nine per cent end up with long-term disability or permanent injury.

READ MORE: Meet the 71-year-old woman who doesn’t feel pain and doesn’t get anxious

“It’s typically a repeated pattern of repeated behaviour,” she said. “In my clinical experience it’s intentional … and they know what they’re doing it.”

How do caregivers get away with factious disorder imposed on another?

New show The Act, staring Patricia Arquette and Joey King, shows the depth of Dee Dee’s deception.

Dee Dee took her daughter around from doctor to doctor, lying about her health in various healthcare settings. This resulted in unnecessary medical testing, operations and treatments.

WATCH BELOW: Virginia woman facing criminal charges after allegedly faking child that California couple would adopt

Salerno said this behaviour is common in people who carry out factious disorder. When a caregivers moves a patient from hospital to hospital or across the country, it makes it difficult for healthcare professionals to know a patient’s true medical history.

This is why doctors need to be educated about the condition, researchers say.

The most obvious hint of factious disorder imposed on another is if children return to hospital with recurrent illness — they’re injured, or bleeding, or they’re fighting infection. Kids should also be interviewed individually when they’re being assessed.

What causes factitious disorder and is it treatable?

Salerno said there’s not a clear cause of factitious disorder, or factitious disorder imposed on another. What is common in a perpetrator, however, is a history of trauma.

READ MORE: These injuries are a common cause of stroke in young people: Here’s what you need to know

“There is some thought it may be linked to certain biological and psychological factors, such as experiencing — in the case of the caregiver — some sort of trauma in their childhood, either abuse or neglect, divorce of their parents, a death of a parent or interpersonal family dynamic issues,” she said.

“The caregiver is doing it for some kind of attention, and that can be different for the individual person.”

When a child is being abused, Salerno says it’s important social services intervene, and the kid receives medical treatment. For perpetrators, they need to seek psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy.

Do other parents or family members know what’s going on?

In the television show Sharp Objects, based on the book of the same name, one of the main characters Adora (Patricia Clarkson) lands in jail after police discover she is deliberately poisoning her daughters, played by Amy Adams and Eliza Scanlen. (It turns out Adora is also behind her deceased daughter’s death).

WATCH BELOW: Mystery illness leaves teen blind, doctors searching for answers

Adora’s husband is quiet about his wife’s behaviour, and does not intervene. While it is unclear how much he knows, Salerno says it’s common for family members to be unaware of factious disorder imposed on another.

“In my clinical experience, when I’ve told family members, they’re usually very surprised and shocked, because it’s counter-intuitive,” she said.

“Because on the outside, it looks like the caregiver is doing everything possible to help the sick person, so they’re going to a lot of appoinments and really advocating for the person to get better.”

READ MORE: Is there a relationship between mass shootings and suicide?

As in the case of Gypsy, her parents separated when she was a young child. Gypsy’s father, Rod, also believed his daughter was sick and was unaware of Dee Dee’s abuse.

“I think Dee Dee’s problem was she started a web of lies, and there was no escaping after,” Rod told BuzzFeed.

“She got so wound up in it, it was like a tornado got started, and then once she was in so deep that there was no escaping. One lie had to cover another lie, had to cover another lie, and that was her way of life.”

With files from the Canadian Press

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘It’s not one size fits all’: Why open office plans don’t work for everyone – National

by BBG Hub

At her last job working for a non-profit, Tanya Hayles shared an open concept office with four other people — but that didn’t mean the space fostered teamwork.

“While I never expected privacy, there was a clear hierarchy in the company,” the Toronto resident told Global News. “The office environment, by being ‘open,’ led to a very false sense of family and community. We worked together in an open environment, but we were not a team.”

Hayles’ experience isn’t an uncommon one.

READ MORE: Love and work: The ins and outs of dating your coworker

According to a recent report in the Harvard Business Review“open, unbounded offices reduce [face-to-face] interaction with a magnitude… of about 70 per cent.”

Researchers tracked interactions between coworkers in two different company headquarters using sociometric badges (or sensors that can record whenever you come face to face with another person). They then compared the amount of interaction in a closed office plan and, after both companies shifted, to an open office plan.

What they found was that, while the opening up of the office space was intended to increase face-to-face interaction, it actually increased the number of employees “choosing to isolate themselves as best they can (e.g. by wearing large headphones) while appearing to be as busy as possible (since everyone can see them).”

WATCH BELOW: Workplace stress is everywhere. How do you recognize it and how do you deal with it?

Hayles has since left that job to start her own two companies, but she still hasn’t pinned down the exact workspace that works best for her.

“Working from home — especially being newly self-employed — it can be hard to muster the discipline and self-motivation required to be productive,” said Hayles.

Now, she works in a co-working space, sub-leasing a desk within another company’s office. While she’s grateful for the human interaction, she also gets frustrated by the constant distractions.

READ MORE: Working moms 40% more stressed than women without kids: study

“Ironically, it is similar to my last place of employment in terms of set-up… [but that situation] was drastically different and had a negative impact on my mental health,” Hayles said.

Your work environment can have a huge impact on your psychological well-being, which is why it’s important that it’s a space you’re comfortable in.

“This is true for work and home life,” said Dr. Joti Samra, a registered psychologist and an expert on health and safety in the workplace. “Our environment has a significant impact on a number of things, [including] how relaxed we’re feeling [and] how motivated we might feel to do work.”

WATCH BELOW: Co-working the next trend in office environments

Samra believes factors like colour, lighting, noise and privacy can all make a difference in how we feel about our workspace — and, by extension, how we feel about our work.

On one hand, an open office seems perfect for humans because we are “social creatures, fundamentally,” said Samra.

“It’s not in our normal state to be in a little box with barriers around us, not interacting with people. One of the things an open office can do is… pull us away for short periods from our computer.”

READ MORE: 6 ways your workplace can be impacting your motivation

According to Samra, we recharge best when we can fully shift cognitive sets. “An open office can make us…connect with somebody socially,” and that helps us destress.

However, being pulled away from our work can also be a detriment to productivity — especially if you’re easily distracted. “An open concept can almost feel invasive. That need for privacy and focus can be jeopardized when we’re in a co-working environment.”

“It isn’t a fit for everybody,” said Samra.

WATCH BELOW: Dealing with workplace burnout

When choosing workspace elements, it really comes down to individual preference, personality and job description.

“This isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Samra. “Not all kinds of work or work tasks are going to be well-matched with coworking spaces.”

It’s also very important to consider what you’re actually doing on a day-to-day basis.

READ MORE: Stress is the reason 1 in 4 Canadians quit their job

“When we think about the best workplaces, one of the things that they do well is that they take a very individualized approach to understanding employee needs… and the workspace becomes an extension of that,” Samra said.

Her advice to organizations: Get input.

“Get input on tasks, get input on preferences, get input on the ‘why.’ What would be helpful? And thoughtfully consider both the pros and cons, given the unique demands of your workplace.”

WATCH BELOW: Workplace equality expert on building inclusive places of business

The open office trend can cause some ergonomic challenges

According to certified ergonomist Rachel Mitchell, an open office can also be detrimental to your physiological well-being.

“Employees are more likely to work directly from their laptops, resulting in forward bent head positions that are caused by the low viewing angle of a laptop screen,” Mitchell told Global News.

“The recently revised [guidelines] recommend that laptops only be used for short duration work, and that employees dock their laptops with an external keyboard and mouse and either raise the laptop screen up on a stand or use an external monitor for any longer duration work.”

READ MORE: Danish politician told baby ‘not welcome’ in Parliament — should kids be allowed at work?

This can be difficult to achieve in a shared workspace, where employees either share keyboards and mice or place their equipment in a locker or storage space at the end of each day.

“The hoteling set-up seems to discourage employees from setting up their workstations and adjusting their chairs properly since they may view the workstation as temporary,” said Mitchell. “The key to success is ensuring employees are provided with education on how to set up their workstations properly and are encouraged to do so.”

Noise is also an issue of ergonomics. “Where staff are collaborating or spending time on the phone… this can be distracting and cause detriments in productivity to surrounding employees,” said Mitchell. 

WATCH BELOW: Working in a shared workspace

Open offices may be more cost-efficient

One of the reasons companies are shifting to open office spaces could be because “people want their real estate to work harder for the organization,” said Caitlin Turner, director of design, interiors at HOK Toronto.

Flexibility is key, and it depends on what the employees need from the space. For example, you might have a large sales team, several of whom spend more than half their time out of the office with clients.

Organizations approach it a variety of ways,” Turner said. In her role, Turner strives to understand what employees are doing and what the company is trying to achieve before making a design recommendation.

Increasingly common is a “sharing ratio,” which Turner described as a “flexible, choice-based environment with a variety of settings” within.

READ MORE: Competitive workplaces: Do you know what your co-workers really think of you?

It’s less a shift away from private spaces and more a shift towards flexibility, said Turner.

“Everybody, no matter what point they’re at in the organization or in their career, needs private or heads-down space throughout the day. But maybe not the whole day,” Turner said.

“By democratizing those spaces, everybody can choose where they work, [which] creates employee empowerment. And when employees feel empowered to make those choices… we actually find their engagement, their productivity and the level of innovation increases.”

WATCH BELOW: Edmonton seeing a boom in co-working spaces

It’s the responsibility of individual companies to find what works best for its employees

Prior to recommending a design, Turner uses a variety of research tools to determine the day-to-day activities of a company’s employees.

“We ask them a variety of questions in a variety of ways. Even within an organization, there are a variety of teams that work differently throughout the day,” said Turner.

Our job as designers is to really find out what they’re trying to accomplish during the day and design the settings that best support that function.”

READ MORE: 6 ways your workplace can be impacting your motivation

Turner echoes Samra’s sentiments about the importance of extensive research so that employers know what their employees want and need from their office.

“Jumping into a… new type of workspace without the data to back [it up] is very risky,” said Turner. “They might have to go through the research phase to really understand the outcomes.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle surprise 99-year-old fan with sweet birthday letter – National

by BBG Hub

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be busy preparing for the birth of their first child, but the royal couple took time to help a superfan celebrate her own special day.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent Australian war widow Daphne Dunne a personalized letter for her 99th birthday, congratulating her on the “important and impressive milestone.” Dunne, who is currently in hospital, has met Prince Harry three times, and was introduced to Markle when the couple was in Australia in 2018, local outlet Nine News reports.

“My wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday,” the letter began.

READ MORE: Royal baby name: What Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may name their child

“We hope you have a wonderful celebration surrounded by family and friends and that you’ve managed to escape hospital. Congratulations on reaching this important and impressive milestone before your centenary year next year.”

Prince Harry Meghan Markle greet Daphne Dunne at Sydney Opera House on Oct. 16, 2018, in Sydney, Australia.


Dunne was surprised that the 34-year-old prince took the time to send her a note, she told Nine News, saying she didn’t think he would pay attention to her birthday.

The royal fan first met Prince Harry in 2015 when he was in Australia who noticed the war medals on her jacket. Dunne often wears her late husband’s jacket, which is decorated in them.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s pregnancy wardrobe cost more than $800K — here’s who pays for it

The last time Dunne saw Prince Harry was at a public outing at the Sydney Opera House where he hugged her and called over 37-year-old Markle. The Duchess told Dunne “it was so nice” to meet her, and the then-98-year-old congratulated Markle on her pregnancy.

When asked how she first managed to score Prince Harry’s attention years ago, Dunne told Nine News, “I just threw him a kiss and he came [over].”

Dunne’s daughter Michelle Haywood told the outlet that a friend contacted the royals over email to alert them of Dunne’s big birthday, and received a reply overnight.

READ MORE: Royal protocols: Why Meghan Markle always carries her purse in her hands

Haywood said that the royal couple has helped her mom get through her medical hardships.

“She’s still very unwell, and… the card they’ve sent means so much,” she said.

“I think it will be the thing that gets her through.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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6 relationship stressors many couples struggle with – National

by BBG Hub

It’s common for things like money and family dynamics to cause stress in relationships, but some experts say there are other stessors couples still struggle with.

Sex and relationship expert and matchmaker Claire AH of Toronto said every relationship can be stressful at times, but it’s important for people to realize how much stress they can actually handle.

“It’s ultimately about the amount of stress you’re experiencing, whether it’s chronic or acute, and if you feel like you can reasonably work it out,” she said.

“If you feel like it’s negatively impacting your quality of life on an ongoing basis and there isn’t much chance of improvement or reprieve, it’s important to think about whether or not it’s working for you.”

READ MORE: Stop being a ‘people pleaser’ — how to say no to others

Other threats in relationship

Previously speaking with Global News, Chantal Heide of Canada’s Dating Coach said some of the biggest emotional threats in relationships include hurt, fear and anger. Anger itself is often a byproduct of fear.

“That anger, accompanied by the resentment you feel over your inability to feel good in the relationship, begins to create what I call an offensive-defensive,” Heide said.

“Now instead of simply shielding yourself from further attack, you’re seeking to set up an emotional army, ready to strike at the first opportunity.”

WATCH: Ask the Expert: Becoming better at relationships

Hiede said hopelessness is another one.

“This emotion spells the beginning of the end for most relationships,” she said. “When someone feels like nothing can be done to change the pattern of negative emotions, hopelessness can set in and partners truly give up on even attempting positive change.”

Emotions like these and stress in general could be a larger problem in a relationship, Claire added — one that has to be addressed either with the partner or a mental health professional.

“A lot of stressful situations require an open dialogue, but there is often an element of self-reflection or work on the self needed from at least one partner on an individual level.”

Relationship stressors

She added these stressors often cause problems in relationships:

Different communication styles: Are you more closed off to your partner, or do you share every single detail? Not all people in relationships have the same communication styles, so often, it can be difficult to get your message across.

Different love languages: We all crave love, but there are different ways to show it. Some people prefer touching, quality time or spoiling their significant other with gifts, while others may focus on communicating their feelings. Either way, it’s important to respect what kind of love language your partner has.

Different attachment styles: Some couples enjoy a more intimate attachment style, while others are more keen on having their alone time.

READ MORE: ‘I have no regrets’: What it’s like to be estranged from family

Different approaches to health and wellness: How we think about health and wellness can also impact a relationship. For some people, healthy eating, daily exercise or even finding time to meditate are part of a daily routine. But if your partner isn’t willing to show interest or even participate, this could cause tension.

Different long-term goals: It’s hard to know when someone is the “one,” but either way, both people should be on the same page when it comes to what they want in the long run.

Different feelings towards monogamy (romantic or sexual): Setting boundaries around monogamy should be done earlier in the relationship and communicated clearly.

“For all of these differences, stress occurs when we don’t talk about the differences,” Claire said.  “We need to acknowledge them and respect each other in our differences.”

She added there’s no wrong or right party, just what you can or can’t compromise on.

READ MORE: Does watching porn count as cheating? Experts debate digital infidelity

“It’s also important to know that, although we can get on the same page about things initially, our feelings and needs may shift over time,” she explained. “That’s difficult when it’s a larger chasm of difference and sometimes it’s not possible to find common ground. That’s hard, but being realistic about it is the best course of action.”

Start by discussing the issue, she says, but also take time to think on it individually.

“Consider relationship therapy if it’s a complex issue, and honour the natural conclusion if a compromise can’t be reached.”

— With files from

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘Bitter, angry and frustrated’: Why some parents don’t enjoy spending time with their kids – National

by BBG Hub

It may be hard for some of us to admit, but some parents have a hard time spending time with their kids.

In a recent post for Scary Mommy, Joni Banks Hess wrote about how she sometimes doesn’t enjoy being alone with her 17-month-old child.

“I think about how I am her primary source for friendship and comfort right now. How important it is for us to bond whenever we have the time,” she wrote.

“We moms place so much pressure on ourselves to fit whatever mom description we’ve created in our minds. But the irritation I feel when I have to watch my own child all day alone fits nowhere in that description.”

READ MORE: UK mom receives backlash for giving daughters ‘time out’ on supermarket floor

Banks Hess added that her job is stressful and low-paying, and on top of it, her partner works later than she does.

“When I’m alone with my daughter for a long period of time, I feel trapped, irritable, impatient and resentful towards my husband,” she said. “Why this resentment? Because he goes to work early and comes home late. He isn’t responsible for daycare dropoff and pickup. He can zone out and play video games while watching her.”

Louise Clarke of Your Parenting Partner told Global News that not being able to enjoy alone time with kids is normal, but for many parents, it is even harder to admit or accept.

“Beneath the surface, it takes a courageous mom to step up and talk about this,” she said. “As [parents], we have so much on our plates and we are constantly distracted by our phones.”

She said parents have an additional pressure (beyond their daytime jobs, household obligations and taking care of children) to be responsive at all hours.

“We’re pulled in a million directions, and it puts more pressure on us to have to deal with it when we have a child,” she explained.

Mastering alone time

Clarke said it’s not about parents not loving their children or not wanting to spend time with them — some parents have a hard time focusing on being present with their children.

In the blog, the author talked about the burden of being the “favourite parent.” She said while her partner can enjoy alone time, it’s hard for her to find an escape.

“The few times I’ve tried to lock myself up somewhere in the house, my daughter bangs on the door calling for mommy. Moms tend to be unable to ignore those calls and, if they can, guilt is sitting in the corner shaking its head at you,” she wrote.

“I realize how valuable the time I get to spend with her is, yet only 50 per cent of me is present. The other 50 per cent is agonizing over where my life is going and what I could be doing at this moment to get there instead of singing songs with her.”

READ MORE: Why some parents hate parenting

There’s often shame, guilt and fear attached to these feelings because parents can’t feel completely present with their kids, Clarke said. She added that setting boundaries is important for all parents.

“We have to be able to set healthy boundaries and be able to say no,” said Clarke.

Now, when your child isn’t able to do anything for themselves, this isn’t applicable. But when parents continuously do things for their children that they can do themselves, it becomes a habit.

“If we continue to tie up our child’s laces because it is quicker for us and less painful to watch, we undermine them,” she said, adding that even a simple task like this makes it hard for parents to truly disconnect with their child during alone time.

It is also useful to prioritize time. Alone time these days can mean flipping through emails or catching up on a TV show or laundry while your child sits next to you. Even if you are reading a book, some parents simply zone out and think about their to-do lists, she added.

Credit: Getty Images

When it comes to alone time, learn how to prioritize your time. One suggestion Clarke has is allowing partners to choose which day and hour they want to dedicate to their child distraction-free.

For example, one parent can choose Monday, Wednesday and Friday where they can dedicate an hour of alone time to their kids.

“This is mommy-and-me time, and the phone goes away,” she explained.

READ MORE: Danielle Smith — Public shaming of children is sometimes justifiable

Clarke also said parents need to learn how to be more mindful with their time.

“We have to take charge of our minds,” she explained. “[If] you are bitter, angry and frustrated and you’re entering the present with all that baggage, you can’t be present with your child. Children are so present in the moment that they know when you are not.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Is there a relationship between mass shootings and suicide? – National

by BBG Hub

NOTE: This article contains explicit information related to suicide and mental health that may not be suitable for all audience members. Discretion is advised.

A father who lost his six-year-old daughter in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting died in an apparent suicide on Monday. Two students who survived the 2018 Parkland, Fla., high school shooting also reportedly ended their own lives.

After the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, a mother of a murdered student died by suicide, as did a student whose best friend was killed, USA Today reports.

These series of events are connecting the dots between mass shootings and their tragic aftermath, and highlighting the struggles that those affected continue to face.

Are suicides common after mass shootings?

According to Edy Nathan, a New York-based licensed psychotherapist and author, dying by suicide after a mass shooting is “a phenomenon.” She says there’s no clear data that shows mass shootings cause suicide, but it’s not uncommon for a traumatic event to trigger mental health issues.

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“It can [happen] six months, a year, can be two years or even 10 years after an incident,” Nathan told Global News.

“What we find is that a lot of people around the survivors will be so happy that their loved one is alive, and it often puts the actual survivor in a very difficult spot because they’re not feeling lucky… it puts them almost onto an unrealistic pedestal.”

Research shows that survivors and community members affected by mass shootings often have adverse psychological outcomes, which includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. These mental health issues can be risk factors for suicide.

Nathan said people may also experience survivor’s guilt, and question why they are still here and others are not. These feelings can be very isolating, as people may not feel comfortable sharing these thoughts out loud.

The mother of 19-year-old Sydney Aiello, who was on campus the day of the Parkland shooting and recently took her own life, said her daughter was diagnosed with PTSD. Cara Aiello told CBS news that her daughter also suffered from survivor’s guilt, as she lost a close friend in the attack.

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Jeremy Richman, the father whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn., created a foundation with his wife dedicated to preventing violence in his daughter’s honour. He died by suicide over six years after the tragic event.

“When we think of a father or a mother of a child, [they may think], ‘I’m going to pay this loss forward; I’m going to teach; I’m going to do the best that I can do to get the word out,’” Nathan said. “[But] it sometimes means that they haven’t necessarily worked through their own grief. Then on an anniversary, or near an anniversary, they can all of a sudden start to feel as if they are re-experiencing the loss for the first time.”

This “re-experiencing” can result in feelings of numbness, anxiety or depression, and make a person feel unlike themselves, Nathan said.

READ MORE: Here’s what life is like for the people who survive deadly mass shootings

“And as a result, they kind of don’t know what’s happening to them. Sometimes they’ve been thinking [of suicide] for a long time, but other times it’s not a plan, and … it can just be, ‘I can’t take this pain anymore.’”

The traumatic nature of mass shootings

Any act of violence can be traumatic, but mass shootings are “uniquely disturbing” because they often happen without any warning, said Dr. Katy Kamkar, a clinical psychologist at Toronto’s Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH).

Kamkar said that the places where recent mass shootings have occurred — schools, places of worship, night clubs — are often seen as “safe spaces,” and spots people go on a regular basis. When these space are violated, it can be devastating.

“It can really shatter our belief systems about ourselves, about others and about the world,” Kamkar said.

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These horrifying events can cause PTSD, which includes flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety. PTSD paired with survivor’s guilt and/or feelings of isolation can be a really challenging situation for someone to be in.

As in the case of parents or friends who lose a loved one in a mass shooting, feelings of grief and depression can also have a serious impact on well-being.

“When we talk about suicide, we know that it’s not one singular factor that could lead to it,” Kamkar said.

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“Often, it’s that combination — the interconnection — of a variety of factors. I think it’s very important to appreciate the combination [because] it could be … symptoms of post-traumatic stress, along with symptoms of depression, along with [a lack] of support that could lead to feeling helpless, and then to suicidal behaviours.”

Age can play a factor in dealing with trauma

Survivor’s guilt and PTSD can be hard for anyone at any age, but especially for kids and teens whose brains are still developing.

Nathan said trauma can change the brain, so it’s important for survivors to work with a therapist who can help shift their cognitive responses.

“It is so important for these kids to continually have someone checking in with them, and not necessarily glorifying their survival but rather saying, ‘You know what, it’s tough and it may continue to be tough, but we’re going to navigate through this,’” Nathan said.

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She points out that after a mass shooting, triggers can cause the body to react as if it were re-living the traumatic event.

“Our sense of smell can take us back to a trauma faster than any of our other senses,” Nathan explained. “If they smelt gunfire [during a shooting], for example, at a barbecue they could think, ‘Oh my God, that’s starting to smell like that gunfire.”

These associations can cause people to go into the fight-flight-freeze mode, and send a message to their brain that they’re in danger.

READ MORE: U.S. teen arrested after telling Siri he planned a school shooting

“It’s very, very scary,” Nathan said. “The brain is saying ‘It’s not safe. Get out of here, run… This has long-lasting effects.”

Getting support

Both Nathan and Kamkar said it’s important that people dealing with trauma seek professional help. A qualified therapist can help someone work through emotions of grief, anger, and anxiety, and support their healing process — which may include mental health challenges.

Kamkar says feeling connected with loved ones and the affected community is also vital, as it can help normalize some of the emotions someone may be experiencing. Just as important is self-care Kamkar says, and knowing when alone time to “recharge” is needed.

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“When we talk about mass shootings, communities often come together,” Kamkar said. “That’s very, very important, as is being able to talk about and validate our stories and our emotions.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911. For mental health programs and services around Canada, please refer to the list here.

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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UBC study reveals cheat day in popular diet may cause some harm

by BBG Hub

A UBC Okanagan study into a popular diet has revealed that a cheat day could be bad for your health.

The researchers said that people on the so-called keto diet should think twice before taking a ‘cheat day.’

According to the researchers, a ‘cheat day’ is a common theme in many diets and the popular ketogenic diet, or keto as it’s better known, is no exception.

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But according to new research from UBC Okanagan researchers, just one 75-gram dose of glucose — the equivalent a large bottle of soda or a plate of fries — while on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet can lead to damaged blood vessels.

“The ketogenic—or keto—diet has become very common for weight loss or to manage diseases like type 2 diabetes,” said Jonathan Little, associate professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBCO and study senior author.

“It consists of eating foods rich in fats, moderate in protein, but very low in carbohydrates and it causes the body to go into a state called ketosis.”

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Little said the diet can be effective because once the body is in ketosis and starved for its preferred fuel, glucose, it begins to aggressively burn its fat stores.

This leads to weight loss and can reverse the symptoms of diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

“We were interested in finding out what happens to the body’s physiology once a dose of glucose is reintroduced,” said Cody Durrer, a UBC Okanagan doctoral student and study first author.

“Since impaired glucose tolerance and spikes in blood sugar levels are known to be associated with an increased risk in cardiovascular disease, it made sense to look at what was happening in the blood vessels after a sugar hit.”

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The researchers used nine healthy young males for their study.  The young men consumed a 75-gram glucose drink before and after a seven-day high fat, low carbohydrate diet. The diet consisted of 70 per cent fat, 10 per cent carbohydrates and 20 per cent protein, similar to that of a modern ketogenic diet.

“We were originally looking for things like an inflammatory response or reduced tolerance to blood glucose,” Durrer said. “What we found instead were biomarkers in the blood suggesting that vessel walls were being damaged by the sudden spike in glucose.”

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The researchers acknowledge that with only nine individuals in the study, more work is needed to verify their findings. But they added the results should give those on a keto diet something to think about when considering a cheat day.

“My concern is that many of the people going on a keto diet—whether it’s to lose weight, to treat Type 2 diabetes, or some other health reason—may be undoing some of the positive impacts on their blood vessels if they suddenly blast them with glucose,” Durrer said.

“Especially if these people are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease in the first place. Our data suggests a ketogenic diet is not something you do for six days a week and take Saturday off.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Instant Pot vs. slow cooker: Which one should you invest in? – National

by BBG Hub

Now that the viral craze surrounding the Instant Pot has quieted down a bit, let’s look at whether it really is an appliance you should add to your kitchen, or whether the classic slow cooker will do just fine.

Instant Pot is the most popular brand name for a fairly new breed of programmable, electric, multi-function cookers.

There are a number of them made by other manufacturers too. Instant Pots (we’ll use the popular moniker) are pressure cookers, slow cookers, rice cookers, yogurt makers, steamers and warmers, all in one. They also can brown foods, so you can sear or sauté in them.

The Instant Pot

When making something like pulled pork or braised chicken, I prefer to sear the meat first, before cooking it. This gives the final product more texture, with a nicely caramelized outside and a super-tender interior. With a regular slow cooker, you must do this step in a pan on the stove before transferring it to the slow cooker, which is an extra step and an extra thing to wash.

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The main draw of the Instant Pot is the pressure-cooking function. The cooking temperature of an Instant Pot in the “instant” or pressure-cooker setting ranges between 239 F and 244 F. Many meals can be cooked in less than 60 minutes, including things that might surprise you if you’ve never had a pressure cooker. Pot roast in an hour? Yup.

The Instant Pot has insulated housing, which makes it energy efficient. You have to seal the pressure valve, and then it locks itself during the pressure-cooking process, which results in no cooking smells. You might think that a pro or a con (I’m a fan of cooking smells myself).

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The pot raises, monitors and adjusts the pressure automatically, and when the cooking time is finished, the valve is released to bring the pressure back down (some recipes say you should release the pressure valve manually, while others allow for the Instant Pot to do this automatically and slowly). The food should be allowed to sit in the Instant Pot until the release time is over — most recipes will be clear on that, and the pot itself unlocks when it’s time to remove the food.

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You can certainly use the slow-cooker function on an Instant Pot, but many slow-cooker fans don’t think it’s as good as a designated slow cooker. Because the Instant Pot seals itself so well, even when it’s not on the pressure-cook mode, there is less liquid able to evaporate than with a traditional slow cooker. This may result in some liquid left at the end, and less reduction and thickening of sauce as the food cooks.

WATCH: Slow cooker ideas to save oven space

Most Instant Pots have smart, built-in programs like “rice” or “bean/chili” so you can make certain foods with the press of a button. But overall, it’s less intuitive than a slow cooker, so you should find recipes with explicit Instant Pot instructions. Once you get the hang of it, then you can experiment more.

For steaming, or for other recipes where you don’t want the food submerged in liquid, there is a rack insert to keep the food suspended above a small amount of water or other liquid. This means you can make foods in your Instant Pot that you would not usually make in a slow cooker, such as a lasagna in a pan. There are pans designed just for using in the Instant Pot on the market, and also some silicone slings and other inserts designed for cooking specific foods, such as eggs, and lifting foods from the machine.

The slow cooker

As the name suggests, the slow cooker cooks foods low and slow, with a temperature range of about 175 F to 200 F. There are usually only two settings, low and high; the high setting usually has a minimum cooking time of four hours and a maximum of six, with the low offering a choice between eight and 10 hours.

Most recipes specify which setting and amount of time to use, but I’ve found that some recipes, like a roast or pork shoulder, can be flexible, so you may choose a setting and time based on how much time you have (for example, if you are cooking something in the afternoon for dinner, or overnight while you sleep).

READ MORE: 7 things you didn’t know you could do with your slow cooker

The slow cooker is more intuitive for most cooks than the Instant Pot. Fewer functions (one) mean fewer buttons, and it’s harder to mess anything up.

Slow cookers are available in sizes up to 10 quarts, while Instant Pots top out at 8 quarts, so if big-batch cooking is your thing, that’s a consideration.

What they both do

Both machines are good for foods with lots of moisture and long cooking times, such as soups, chilies, stews and braises. With both, the cooking time can usually be preset, and foods can be kept warm after cooking is finished.

Which is right for you?

If you are a person with many of the appliances that an Instant Pot can replicate, such as a yogurt maker, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker and a rice maker, then boy, will you save a lot of storage space with this one device.

And if you are a last-minute dinner maker, then the Instant Pot might become an invaluable tool. But if you are someone who plans ahead, loves slow-cooked foods, and wants to walk in the door to a house filled with the scent of dinner waiting to be served up, then stick with the slow cooker.

Me? I have both. And I use both. I use my big slow cooker for slow cooking, and I use my Instant Pot mostly for searing and pressure cooking. At some point, I might pick a lane and stick to it, but for now, I’m making room for both of them.

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‘This means everything to me’: Lethbridge College announces recipient of Troy Reeb Internship – National

by BBG Hub

An Alberta student has won a prestigious internship and is heading to two of Canada’s largest media markets for an opportunity to hone his journalism skills.

Skylar Peters, a second-year Digital Communications and Media (DCM) student at Lethbridge College, is the recipient of this year’s Troy Reeb Internship.

Reeb, a 1988 broadcast journalism alumnus, is the executive vice-president of Broadcast Networks for Corus Entertainment. He has sponsored the annual internship for 14 years, which allows a DCM student to spend 10 days learning about the industry and getting hands-on experience.

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“Skylar has all the ingredients of a great journalist in the making,” Reeb said. “He’s creative, mature, approachable and passionate about telling stories. We look forward to helping him kick-start his career with a major market internship at Global News.”

The paid internship will begin in Toronto, where Peters will spend time with the teams at, Global Toronto (TV) and Global News Radio 640 Toronto. He will have the opportunity to learn about Canada’s fastest-growing major news website, how round-the-clock news teams operate and how Global’s nationally televised The Morning Show is produced.

Then, Peters will travel to Ottawa where he’ll work with the Ottawa bureau of Global National on Parliament Hill.

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“This internship means everything to me,” Peters said.

“Going to Toronto and experiencing the best-of-the-best in that Corus group with the Global News team, and then going to Ottawa and standing on Parliament Hill will be a chance for me to prove that I can handle my own in those scrums and be able to ask the tough questions.”

Reeb oversees Global Television, 44 speciality television stations, 39 radio stations and all of Corus’ online platforms and apps. He was honoured as Lethbridge College’s 2003 Distinguished Alumni recipient, and is set to receive an honorary degree at this year’s convocation ceremony.

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Peters is from Brandon, Man. He has a passion for journalism and came to Lethbridge College after hearing about the program from college alumni who had gone on to work in Manitoba. He looks forward to working in journalism after graduation.

To apply for the internship, Peters wrote a two-part news story about social media influencers and the role they play in society, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of those who create their personas online.

“I’ll be really happy wherever I end up, as long as it’s in a storytelling role,” says Peters. “Whether it be for radio, television or writing, it makes me really happy to write stories that have an impact on people.”

Peters is the 14th Lethbridge College student to be chosen for the Troy Reeb Internship. Past winners include Global Edmonton’s Quinn Ohler, Dan Grummett of CTV Edmonton and CTV Winnipeg’s Gabrielle Marchand.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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