Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love

You probably know Philadelphia by its most well-known facts: it was the nation’s first capital, it’s where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted, it was the home of Benjamin Franklin, it’s the Mecca of pretzels and cheesesteaks, and it’s home to some of the world’s most infamous sports fans.

Want to know more? Want to find out why Philadelphia is becoming such a popular place for professionals to move to?  You’ve come to the right place!

First off, transportation. Philadelphia is in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a two-hour drive away from the Big Apple, and a three-hour drive from the Washington D.C. Flights all along the Eastern seaboard, from Portland to Miami, are less than three hours.

Philadelphia is known for its colossal, neoclassical 30th Street Station, from which you can catch SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) buses and rail lines to all of Philadelphia and its suburbs, as well as Amtrak trains to all major coastal cities.

The New Jersey Atlantic City Line, which runs across North Jersey, and buses operated by NJ Transit make commuting to New Jersey from the city pain-free and affordable.

Want a weekend getaway away to another city? Empty pockets? No problem, outside of the station is a Megabus bus stop, where bus tickets to NYC, Baltimore, Boston, etc. can be as low as $1 (typically under $10).

Philadelphia is a booming hub in academics, boasting 450,000+ college students in the metro region, the fifth highest in the nation. Some of the most prestigious schools inside the city include the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, and Saint Joseph’s University. 

In the suburbs are other top-tier colleges including Villanova University, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, and Bryn Mawr College.

Philadelphia is emerging as one of the nation’s leaders in biomedical research and medicine, with six schools of medicine and more than $252 million in National Institute of Health grants! The schools of medicine are Drexel University College of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

In Philadelphia, there is always something to do. The Philly nightlife is well-known for being one of the best. Philly is known for its Irish bars, including Mac’s Tavern, a rendition of Paddy’s Pub from the hit show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which is actually partially owned by Rob McElhenney and Kaitlyn Olson (Mac and Dee from the show).  Here’s a list of 50 of Philly’s “best” bars.

Some of Philly’s most famous restaurants include Parc, The Love, and Talula’s Garden. Looking for something slightly more rustic? Say hello to the Reading Terminal Market, one of the country’s largest public markets. Home to over 100 merchants selling anything from fresh fish to authentic Indian food, the Reading Terminal Market is famous for its fresh flavor and savory feel.

Philadelphia is a global hub for music, art, and history. With a rich national heritage and unique culture, there is much to participate in before you can call yourself a Philadelphian.

During the summer you can burn some calories by trekking up the famous “Rocky” steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art *cue Rocky music.*

In January you can watch the world-famous Mummers Parade, a parade composed of groups of street performers elaborately emblazoned with wild colors and squawky instruments to compete in one of four categories: comics, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades.

Car enthusiast? In February you can check out some sweet rides at the annual Philadelphia Auto Show; with over 250,000 attendees, it is one of the largest auto-shows in the world! 

In March, you can enjoy the sweet scent and scrumptious selfies provided by the largest indoor flower show in the world, the Philadelphia Flower Show!

Fan of Japanese art, culture, or cuisine? April is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Fairmount Park, a week-long celebration of Japanese culture. The park boasts some 1,600 cherry blossom trees, given by Japan in 1926 as a gift of goodwill for the 150th anniversary of American Independence. Whether it’s listening to Taiko drums, participating in cosplay, or enjoying authentic Japanese food, there’s fun for anyone!

Philadelphia sports fans. We’ve all heard the horror stories of their revelry, their ignorance, and their rudeness.

Turns out the curse of Billy Penn, which began in 1987 when One Liberty Place was constructed and exceeded the height of William Penn’s statue atop City Hall in Philadelphia, prevented all sports teams from winning championships for almost 20 years until the 2008 Phillies won the World Series.

Can you really blame a whole city for being a little rowdy after being cursed for 20 years? Curses are a serious thing, haven’t you watched Pirates of the Caribbean?  Oh yeah, forgot to mention one thing, Philadelphia is home to the current NFL Champions: the Eagles!  E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

Not an Eagles fan? No problem, you benefit too. Winning the Super Bowl can lead to an economic and morale boost for the entire city!

What are you going to do with all this new cultural knowledge of Philadelphia? Use it to fact-check your idiot brother-in-law who won’t stop talking about the Eagles at this year’s Christmas party? Lame. Come give Philly a try!

Seriously considering visiting Philadelphia? Then you should check out NativX! NativX gets you in touch with the Natives of Philadelphia! Tired of visiting all the touristy spots in the city? Want to find places where actual Philadelphians spend time? Check out NativX!

“Looking for a truly authentic Philly experience during your next visit? NativX provides you with suggestions of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and much more from the “Philly Natives” who know best. No more conflicting reviews or paid advertisements that lead you to the tourist traps. Just the places you want to experience with none of the hassles! Think of it like having a friend from Philly telling you all the places you’ll enjoy the most.”

Check out the NativX website or download the iOS app for your next Philly visit!

Wellness & Burnout

Wellness & Burnout

Burnout In the Medical Field: What to Know

A firefighter whose fire alarms all have dead batteries, a security guard who leaves a spare key under the doormat, and a dentist who doesn’t floss every day?

As unlikely as it may seem, a similar phenomenon is common in the medical field. Medical professionals of all sorts succumb to the overwhelming pressures of being in one of the most stressful industries in the world, which can lead to burnout, depression, and in extreme cases suicide.

Burnout is a strong feeling of physical or emotional exhaustion that usually originates from years of stress. It’s a widespread problem in the medical field: a 2015 Mayo Clinic survey found that 54.4% of all physicians reported at least 1 symptom of burnout.

Certain factors create an environment in which medical professionals are more susceptible to burnout than other professions. For example, medical professionals seeking help for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety run the risk of getting their license revoked.

In fact, a 2017 Mayo Clinic survey found that almost 40% of physicians reported that they would be reluctant to seek formal medical care for treatment of a mental health condition due to licensing concerns.

The Early Signs

The best way to avoid burnout is to catch it early. As you will read, early symptoms of burnout can sometimes appear to be regular abnormalities in everyday life. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other things; the more symptoms you have from the list below, the greater the chances are that you may be headed towards burnout.

Loss of enjoyment: Ever find yourself miserable at work? Not just when you’ve had a rough morning, or when it’s almost the end of the day, but consistently every day? This does not have to be restricted to just work, losing enjoyment in your personal life can also be a sign of burnout.

Insomnia: Being exhausted but not being able to fall asleep can be tortuous, and a sign of burnout. If you regularly find yourself struggling to sleep after a full workday, you may have insomnia.

Increased Illness: Being stressed out and losing sleep is a recipe for disaster on your body. As a medical professional, you know that the immune system responds to the things you do every day, including diet, sleeping habits, stress levels, medication, etc. If you find yourself frequently with sinus infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, meningitis, skin infections, ear infections, or other infections, your immune system may be weak.

Anger: What may begin as an increase in irritability and a lack of patience with others can be an early sign of an anger problem. Frequent outbursts and arguments at home or in the workplace over trivial matters can be a tell-tale sign of a growing problem. If you find yourself easily angered or annoyed by insignificant things, you may want to take a step back and assess yourself for burnout.

Isolation: Curling up to watch The Office after the kids have gone to bed is ok. If you find yourself changing your daily routine to avoid interacting with people, you may have a problem. Isolation is a coping mechanism that can be destructive to you and the ones you care about, it hurts the relationships you’ve spent years building at work or in your personal life. Solitary confinement is known to be one of the worst tortures one can endure, you don’t have to go through it yourself.

Chronic Fatigue: Feeling tired at the end of the day is normal. Feeling tired all day, every day is not normal. Chronic fatigue can be one of the first signs of mounting stress in your life. This includes physical and mental fatigue. Not having enough energy to do things like you used to, such as using the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or reading in the evenings, could be a sign that you are suffering from chronic fatigue.

Preventative Tips

Experiencing one or two of the symptoms above may be a sign of stress, experiencing many of the symptoms above could very well indicate that you are suffering from burnout. If you’re experiencing a few or no symptoms, taking these preventative steps can help alleviate stress and prevent burnout in the long run.

Regular Exercise Routine: As is with most professions, medical professionals live mostly sedentary lives while at work. Having a regular exercise routine is essential for adults of all ages to keep the body functioning properly. Daily exercise is known to relieve stress and make you more focused. It can also help you sleep at night, increases your appetite, and speeds up your metabolism. Studies show that exercise will also strengthen your immune system, and make you live longer; what’s not to like about exercise? Something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk after work is a great start to an exercise routine.

Increase Social Interaction: Seeing patients come and go year after year as a healthcare professional can be difficult. Building strong, healthy relationships with family and friends has been shown to be good for your mental and physical health. Maybe for you, that means taking your family to that Labor Day picnic at your relative’s house this year or maybe volunteering with a friend for that local 5K-fundraiser your church is hosting.

Self-Care: Being in the healthcare field is a serious endeavor, and between taking the kids to sports practice, commuting, working, etc., it can be easy to lose yourself in it all. Self-care is very important and is often put on the backburner for American adults. You deserve to make time for the little things you love, like reading, watching your favorite TV show, and enjoying your hobbies.

I think I’m experiencing Burnout: What do I do?

 Make the call: If you have had suicidal thoughts or have found yourself thinking a lot about death, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 immediately.

 Go to your Doctor or Psychiatrist. If you think you are experiencing burnout, the first thing you need to do is let your doctor know. In the U.S., doctors have the highest rate of suicide of any profession, about double the national average. Having depression or anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s always better to let your doctor know. You know more than anyone else that your condition is severe enough to warrant a doctor’s visit. Tell your psychiatrist. Simply verbalizing your feelings to someone can help alleviate stress, and can be the first step in the right direction.

Take time off: At this point, taking time off isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Whether it’s using sick, personal, or vacation days, you need to get some time away from work. Even if you have no paid days you can take off, a conversation with your boss is likely to get you a few unpaid days off. Take them. On your time off, get your mind off work; use the preventative tips above to start healthy, sustainable habits. Talk with your family and doctor to determine the next steps in your professional life.

Whether you are definitely experiencing burnout, or you’re just ready to take preventative steps, remember that’s it’s a serious matter that warrants serious action. Think you have a coworker or friend that is experiencing burnout? Go talk to them, see how they’re doing, share with them what you learned from this blog. Need a new exercise buddy? There’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone!