Managing and Preventing Burnout

What is burnout?

Burnout describes a severe stress condition that leads to physical, mental, and emotion exhaustion caused by long term emotionally demanding situations such as demanding work or caring for an ill family member. It’s much worse than ordinary fatigue and stress – it makes it hard for people to manage their stress and handle normal daily responsibilities.

Burnout doesn’t go away on it’s own and may even lead to serious physical and mental illnesses like depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

Signs of burnout

Here are some common signs of burnout to look for:

  • Feeling exhausted physically and mentally every day.
  • Isolating from friends, family, and coworkers.
  • Easily becoming irritable and losing patience with others.
  • Fantasizing about running away or going on a solo-vacation as a way to escape never-ending demands. In extreme cases, people may turn to drugs, alcohol, or food as a way to cope.

Tips on managing and preventing burnout

It’s much easier to prevent burnout than manage it, but there are ways to help with both:

  • Address that you are burnout and address the changes you will need to make to change your attitude and habits.
  • Sometimes a vacation isn’t enough to keep the stress at bay. You’ll need to learn how to mentally detach yourself from your stressful situation. This might mean deleting your email app from your phone, so you aren’t tempted to check it when you are off the clock.
  • More likely than not, it’s not your attitude that needs to change but your workload. These hard conversations may cause more stress but remind yourself that taking a proactive approach and having a discussion is better than the alternative of completely burning out.
  • During stressful times, it’s important to know when to reach out for help. Talk to your close family and friends or contact your primary care provider if you need extra help with feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression.

How to Get Vitamin D Without Risking Excessive Sun Exposure

Maintaining adequate amounts of vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphate from your diet. Without enough vitamin D it’s impossible to absorb all the calcium you need. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to symptoms like fatigue, depression, and joint pain. 

Vitamin D also influences cell growth and immune function, which helps with inflammation and keeps your nervous system working properly. 

While most of us know that strong sunlight triggers vitamin D production in our skin, too much sunlight comes with its own health risks. Here’s how I recommend you get your vitamin D without risking sun damage. 

  • Although vitamin D only occurs in a few foods naturally, it’s often added to other foods. Foods including fatty fish like salmon and trout, fish liver oil, egg yolks, and mushrooms are naturally high in vitamin D. Other foods, especially dairy, plant-based milks and many fruit juices are frequently fortified with vitamin D. By adding these foods to your diet—or adjusting how frequently you eat them—you can increase your vitamin D levels naturally. 
  • You can also take a daily vitamin D3 supplement if incorporating the foods mentioned above doesn’t work for you. 1000 to 2000 IU daily is considered safe and appropriate for those living in the northern states. 
  • Lastly, you can get your vitamin D by getting healthy amounts of sunshine. This doesn’t mean you should lay out and suntan. With sunblock on, you can obtain a healthy amount of vitamin D with 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure on your face, shoulders, arms and legs, 3 to 4 times per week.  

If you’re worried about how much vitamin D you’re getting, reach out to your R-Health doctor. They will be able let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements and how much you should take.  

What We Know About the Delta Variant

Just as things were starting to open up, a new strain of COVID-19—the Delta variant—is causing concern as cases are once again rising in certain sections of the U.S.

Since we have been receiving a lot of questions about the Delta variant, here’s what we know:

  • This new Delta variant is highly contagious – about twice as transmissible as the original virus.
  • Nationally right now, about 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 99% of COVID-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated.
  • While it is true that you can still contract the Delta variant of COVID-19 if you are fully vaccinated, people are typically asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms.
  • While the Delta variant is the latest, there are more unknown variants that could still make an appearance. To continue getting back to “normal,” we need a much more significant portion of the population vaccinated and we all need to do our part to ensure that happens.

It is also important to remember that all COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have been rigorously tested to ensure safety. Our clinical teams have also spent a significant amount of time evaluating the safety of the vaccines so that we can do our best to help our patients better understand the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

If you have questions on COVID-19, any new variants, or the COVID-19 vaccines, please reach out to your R-Health doctor. We are here to help.


Nothing says “summer” quite like fresh vegetables. I particularly like to enjoy a fresh salad handpicked from the garden with just a little olive oil and lemon—and I think the best accompaniment to any meal.  

But it is especially important to incorporate more greens into our diet because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that our bodies need. It has also been showed they best way to avoid disease or to reverse many existing diseases is to have a diet rich in veggies.  

While it is easy to go to the grocery store to get your veggies, some may have preservatives and additives. That’s why I suggest growing your own. The three vegetables I would recommend growing during summer are:  

  1. Cucumbers. You can use cucumbers in a variety of ways—perfect for eating straight off the vine, tossing in salads or pickling. Plus, they are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss. 
  1. Tomatoes. Not only are they a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, tomato plants are easy to grow and remarkably productive.  
  1. Lettuce. Lettuce can grow as little as 30 days, making this the perfect veggie to grow during summer. Not only can you make a quick salad or throw on top of a piece of protein, but it provides significant amounts of vitamins A and K to your diet. 

Having a summer garden can be as rewarding as it is tasty. If you’re looking for advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle, reach out to me and we can create a plan tailored to your needs. 


Have you ever stopped to think about how many times a day you drink water? Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day. Because our bodies are made up of about 60% water, our body depends on water to survive. When you don’t drink enough water, you put yourself at risk of becoming dehydrated which can affect you both physically and mentally. 

Aside from the fact that our bodies need water to survive, here are 6 health benefits of drinking plenty of water: 

  1. Drinking water is essential to brain function helping focus, concentration and keeping your energy level high 
  2. Drinking plenty of water helps maximize physical performance by improving circulation and providing cushioning for your joints 
  3. Adequate water intake helps keep a healthy urinary and gastrointestinal tract by flushing your bladder, aiding digestion, and preventing constipation 
  4. Being well hydrated can help boost your metabolic rate assisting with weight loss 
  5. Drinking water can help prevent headaches and may even help treat them 
  6. Maintaining a healthy hydration status can help normalize your blood pressure and heart rate 


Now that you are fully vaccinated you may be wondering “now what?” The CDC has come out with recommendations that can help when making decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. Below is a comprehensive breakdown on what fully vaccinated people can start doing and what they should continue to do.

If you’ve been fully vaccinated, 2 weeks after your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. This means:

  • Resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • If you travel in the U.S., you do not need to get tested or self-quarantine
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms

However, there are still some things that you should continue to do even when fully vaccinated.

  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses
  • You are still required to wear a mask in a healthcare setting
  • Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

Because things are everchanging, please refer to the CDC website for the most current up-to-date information.

3 Summer Health Hazards & How to Avoid Them

Summer is finally here and most of us are itching to get outside and enjoy summer activities since we spent the past year stuck inside due to the pandemic. Now that you’ll be spending more time outdoors, here are 3 of the most common summer health hazards that you should be aware of and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

When temperatures reach sweltering, that’s when you have to worry about heat exhaustion and heatstroke. These heat-related illnesses can occur when you overexercise or are doing strenuous work in excessive heat and your body is unable to cool itself down. Our body’s natural way of cooling itself down is through sweating. If you are in the heat for an extend period of time, your body may have difficulty producing enough sweat to keep you cool which can lead to heat stroke. There are certain factors that can increase your risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke such as your age.

So how do you know if you are experiencing heat exhaustion or a heat stroke? The easiest way to determine if you are becoming overheated is to stop and take a quick self-examination. Are you sweating heavily? Do you feel dizzy? Is your heart rate elevated? If you find yourself answering yes, to any of the above, you probably should find a cooler location, maybe indoors where the air conditioning is on, and drink water to help rehydrate yourself.

While heat exhaustion and heat stroke can come on suddenly, there are several ways you can avoid them.

  • Take things slower than you normally would especially if you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes and a hat to help you stay cooler
  • Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking two to four cups of water every hour that you are doing activities outside in the heat or direct sun and avoid alcohol or caffeine as these can dehydrate you.

2. Sunburns

While many people think a glowing complexion looks good, you are in fact hurting your overall health. The color your skin gets from being in the sun can speed up the effects of aging and can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. When you experience a sunburn, it’s actually an inflammatory reaction to UV radiation damage to the skin’s outermost layers and can range from mild to blistering.

The most important things to note about sunburns are that:

  • Some people are more prone to sunburns, such as people with fair skin, run a higher risk of burning.
  • Even if you are tan or your skin type is dark, the sun can still damage your skin and cause skin cancer.
  • You should protect yourself every day of the year even though the sun’s intensity varies based on the season and time of day.
  • Even if the forecast calls for overcast, you can still burn because up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate through the clouds.
  • If your skin starts to peel after a sunburn, never try to peel the skin yourself and rather let it come off naturally. This is your body’s way of trying to rid itself of damaged cells.

To protect your skin and prevent sunburns:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun during the peak hours of sunlight which is typically between 10 am to 2 pm.
  • Wear sunscreen and check the SPF. The SPF will tell you how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to harm your skin. So, for instance if you use an SPF 50, it would take you 50 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen.
  • Wear sun protective clothing such as long sleeves and hats.

While these are all great ways to avoid a sunburn, no single method of sun defense can protect you perfectly, so layer on these prevention methods.

3. Ticks

There are many different types of insects we encounter outdoors during the summer months, but ticks and tick bites usually generate the most questions and concerns. This is understandable since some ticks can transmit diseases, particularly Lyme disease. For this reason, it’s important to make a habit of checking yourself for ticks after spending time outdoors and remove them immediately so you can reduce your risk of contracting an illness.

Many people will get a local reaction from the tick bite that occurs immediately after, similar to other bug bites. It can be red, swollen and 1 to 2 inches in diameter, but shouldn’t continue to expand. Sometimes it will turn into something that looks like a “bullseye” or target, which is when you should start to be concerned and contact your doctor.

There are multiple things you can do to protect yourself, as best as possible, from ticks

  • Avoid tick-infested areas like wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. If you do find yourself hiking, walk in the center of trails.
  • Dress appropriately if you plan to be in a wooded or grassy area by wearing pants tucked into your socks and long sleeves to help insects from biting or latching on to your skin.
  • Use insect repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
  • Keeping your grass short can reduce ticks in your yard as ticks are most often found in tall grasses and shrubs.

The key to having a safe and enjoyable summer is to watch out for these summer health hazards.

Tips on Staying Active in the Summer

Now that it is summer, it’s the perfect time to be outdoors. You might be tempted to do all your physical activity outside to take advantage of the warm, sunny weather, but there are a few things to look out for to stay safe when the temperatures and humidity rise.

It’s generally fine to be active outside in 80 degree weather, but any hotter, I suggest trying to take these precautions to avoid heat-related illness or injury:

  • Stay hydrated. It’s critical to drink plenty of water when it is hot and humid and you are doing any physical activity.
  • Try to exercise in the cooler parts of the day. Take your daily walks or runs in the early morning or right as the sun is setting at night.
  • Stay in a shaded area if possible.
  • Wear light-colored and breathable clothing.
  • Apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and remember to reapply about every 2 hours or right after swimming.
  • Take regular breaks and look out for signs of heat exhaustion such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches.

If you still want to get outside and it’s above 80 degrees, here are some low-intense activities that are great for movement while reducing risk of overheating:

  • Light gardening and yard work in the morning or early evening.
  • Walk or bike in a shaded park.
  • Wash your car and cool yourself off with hose water.
  • Go swimming.

Even if the activity requires less energy, it is still just as important to drink plenty of water, reapply sunscreen, and take breaks if needed. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of heat-related illness, call your provider immediately.

Top 5 Questions Men Should Ask Their Doctor About Their Health

There are many reasons why some people avoid seeing their doctor, but men are particularly hesitant. In fact, over 40% of men only go to the doctor when they think they have a serious medical condition, according to The Cleveland Clinic.

Even if you’re young and healthy, men of all ages can benefit from routine office visits. These annual appointments often uncover anything that’s bothering you from your mental health and sleeping habits to signs of any medical conditions.

To make the most of your time, I’d like to share the top 5 questions I recommend you ask your doctor about your health.

  1. What screenings and/or tests do I need? A critical factor in helping men stay healthy is making sure you get the necessary screenings and/or test you need in a timely fashion. These screenings detect symptoms of certain health conditions early when they are more easily treatable. Based on your age, and of course other factors, your doctor will recommend which screenings and/or test you need done on a regular basis.
  2. Am I at risk for heart disease? As the leading cause of death worldwide, you could be more at risk for developing heart disease if you have a family history of heart disease, you smoke or are obese. Knowing your blood pressure and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise are key to preventing heart disease.
  3. Do I need to lose weight? While weight gain is common in men, you should take notice of your weight and inform your doctor of any sudden fluctuations as your weight could be affecting your health. Whether you want to get fit or manage a chronic disease, your doctor can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle by providing a personalized weight management plan.
  4. Am I exercising enough? Having a proper diet is only one piece of the puzzle to improving your quality of life. Regular exercise can have immediate as well as long-term health benefits. However, before you begin exercising, discuss with your doctor how much physical activity is right for you to make sure you’re doing enough to maintain a healthy weight.
  5. What do I need to do between now and my next visit? Preparing for your next visit by setting goals that you and your doctor tailored just for you not only helps you stay healthy but keeps you accountable.

When it comes to your health, don’t wait to see your doctor. Even if nothing is wrong now, prevention can help reverse any medical issues before they become more serious problems later. So, guys, make your health a priority and schedule an appointment.

3 Benefits of Being a Bilingual Physician

As a physician, being able to communicate well with my patients and their family members is essential. During a visit, patients communicate how they are feeling, what symptoms they may have and how you can potentially help. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter patients whose native language isn’t English. That’s why in today’s multicultural world, being a bilingual physician helps me connect more directly.

There are so many benefits to being bilingual but here are my top 3:

  1. I am able to form deeper personal connections. One of the advantages of having a primary care doctor that can communicate in your native language is the opportunity to better connect with your doctor in a more meaningful way; therefore, helping to provide a more comfortable experience.
  2. I can have a better understanding of the patient’s needs. Having a primary care doctor who is fluent in your native language can also help to provide culturally specific care by being sensitive and responsive to your cultural beliefs and traditions.
  3. We can form a stronger doctor-patient relationship. Being able to communicate with your doctor in a private and personal setting without the use of a third-party translator enhances the relationship by removing barriers to care.