Summer Fun During a Pandemic

Summer Fun During a Pandemic

It’s Summer time! It’s the time of the year where we go on vacation and spend time outdoors with family and friends. However, our lives have and continue to be turned upside down by the novel coronavirus. We want to stay safe while keeping healthy, while still wanting to have the simple joys of life. Summer time is definitely one of them. So how can we still enjoy the summer amid a global pandemic?

If you have been working remotely, you have a bit more difficulty taking time off with the pressure of an increased workload. You may have unexpectedly lost your job or had a significant decrease in your source of income. As a result, you now don’t have the funds to do the activities as you once did. With travel restrictions as ordered by governments around the world along with limited flights and hotel stays, travelling may seem like a daunting activity that is a long way off.

Traditionally summer time especially in the NYC area, is usually a time of free concerts, carnivals/fairs, BBQs, hanging out at the beach and enjoying the great outdoors. But now you must remain socially distant not to mention that you are limited to gathering guidelines in your area. With all this in place, how can we still have fun during the summer? Well here are some few ideas you can consider:

  • Drive-in Movie Theater. Many sport arenas, churches and places with large parking lots are turning their open spaces into a drive-in movie theater. This is a great way to get the family out of the house and take a break from your home routine to safely watch a movie while maintaining social distance at the comfort of your own car. You can research on some options in your neighborhood.
  • Summer book club. Love to read? Remember that reading list you wrote some time ago? Well now is the perfect time to tackle some of the books on that list. You can even consider getting a small group together to meet via video conferencing to discuss a chapter a week.
  • Summer cooking. With the warm/hot weather, standing in front of a hot stove to cook is definitely not a top priority. Well at least not mine! With that said, now is the perfect time to try those recipes that does not require you to stand in front of the blazing stove for longer. Try out some salads or “no-bake” recipes.
  • Go for a walk/hike. Taking walks or going for hikes is a great way to stay active while observing social distancing rules. It not only keeps you in shape but also provides you with great scenery. Nature is a good way to reduce anxiety, speeds recovery time after a case of sickness and improves short term and working memory.
  • Master one new skill. You can perfect a task you are already good at or learn a whole new skill. It can be a dance move or cooking or knitting. I personally have been crocheting, am looking into cross-stitching.

 

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Health & Technology New Normals

Health & Technology New Normals

The instantaneous shift from physical meetings to online meetings, this is how fast the coronavirus has transformed our lives. We have been forced to pivot our ways of doing things into a virtual space. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meets/Hangouts, Microsoft Teams to name a few have been in increased use over the last few months. If you are like me, you have been eager for life to return to “normal.” But what exactly does that mean and what does it look like?

With the increased use of technology in our lives, I believe that the virtual space will be part of our “new normal.” There are a few ways in which I see the use of technology sticking around for a while:

Virtual Doctor’s Appointments (telehealth): Many health professionals were not able to see patients/clients due to the measures put in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. This in turn led to a new way in medicine called telehealth or telemedicine. Here, patients can have access to quality healthcare from the comforts of their home, while doctors virtually monitor their patients through digital technology devices such as computers, laptops, tablets or cell phones.

Virtual Gatherings/Hang-outs: With gathering limitations and restrictions from outings to bars, places for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations amongst others could not take place. Not to mention that most places were closed anyways. This led to creative ways to meet and gather with friends, work associates and family. I have used video conferencing to have dance parties, game nights, dinner, happy hour and networking on various virtual platforms/apps.

Virtual Education: Schools across the globe closed their buildings abruptly and quickly transitioned to remote learning via the internet. However, there are many debates about the benefits and shortcoming of distance learning from students, parents, teachers and school administrators. There is more debate about what schools will do for the upcoming school year that is quickly approaching. Particularly in the U.S, COVID cases have spiked across most states in the South and West Coast, leaving much tension about what is the best way to move forward. One thing is certain: the use of technology will be involved in some capacity. Many colleges, universities, private and public schools are considering some kind of hybrid model that integrates both in person and remote learning depending on the situation.

Virtual Fitness Classes: There is definitely a new wave and transition of doing fitness at home amidst the pandemic. It has raised questions about the benefits of working out from home as opposed to the gym or fitness studio. I have personally found myself taking a combination of live and on-demand fitness classes in my living room-turned fitness space. Again, both have the pros and cons but I feel that the convenience and ability to exercise on your own time and space is an option that will be sticking around that will cause a shift in the fitness industry moving forward.

Prior to the pandemic, I used technology occasionally. But now, technology has and will continue to be an integral part of my everyday life- as I imagine the same for you. The one good thing about this time is the ability to be creative in how we live and work through technology. It is opening up new opportunities that we couldn’t have thought of otherwise.

#coronauseoftechnology.

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#BlackAgingMatters

#BlackAgingMatters

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a time to raise awareness of the importance of mental health for our overall well-being and to educate the public on how to seek help. Mental health refers to cognitive, psychological, emotional and social wellness. Each year, millions of Americans face the realities of living with a mental health condition. Mental illness does not discriminate based on race, gender or identity. However, it has been found that depending on your background and identity, treatment can be more difficult to find.

National Minority Mental Awareness Month was first established in 2008 with the purpose of making mental health treatment available to all. It was also created to tackle the issues of access to mental health treatment within the Black and Brown communities. I want to take the time to highlight and acknowledge the fact that being Black while aging in America has many effects on one’s mental health.

The United States Administration for Community Living has identified that there are over 4 million Black seniors ages 65 and over. This is a generation that has experienced racial injustice and inequality but has also lived through various social movements such as civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights amongst others. The Black Lives Matter movement of today, has been particularly vocal about police brutality. But for the older Black generation, it is about the overall marginalization and disenfranchisement of Black people in America. This is the result of cumulative racism and increased oppression over time.

There are disparities to be found around issues such as housing, transportation, financial security/generational wealth, education, healthcare, health insurance and social services based on age and race. This in turn, has led to low health literacy, cultural mistrust of institutions, acts of discrimination and chronic stress that particularly affects Black seniors. The older generation of African Americans is at an increased risk of having race-related stress. Studies have shown that experiences of racism can have harmful effects on the mental health of minorities, especially African Americans. These effects can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Inability to concentrate due to flashbacks of traumatic racist events

I am bringing this to light as a concerned citizen who is aware of the lack of resources available to older adults and seniors and particularly Black individuals aging in America. I want it to be known and acknowledged that racism has lasting effects that need to be acknowledged that affects the quality of life among Black seniors. They are in need of the treatment and services just as any other citizen. The effects of racism and racial trauma are far too loud not to be seen or heard. I challenge you to join me in raising awareness to make a difference in order to allow Black seniors to age with dignity. #BlackAgingMatters

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National Therapeutic Recreation Week

National Therapeutic Recreation Week

Last week, July 5-11, marked National Therapeutic Recreation Week that is observed the second week of July every year since 1984. This week highlights recreation therapies and the importance of engaging in activities that can aid in our healing and recovery. What is recreational therapy? It is the use of recreation and other activities as a form of intervention to address the physical, emotional and mental health and recovery of an individual. Recreation therapy can include activities such as sports, hobbies, relaxation/breathing techniques and creative or expressive art. These kinds of programs can be conducted in a variety of spaces such as hospitals, rehab facilities, community centers and assisted living facilities.

After the death of my mother, dealing with her demise has not been easy. I have been faced with grief, loss and the new responsibility of being a caretaker for my father. As a way to cope with everything, I have been participating in expressive art therapy sessions. I decided to focus in this type of therapy because it is a multi-modal approach that uses the arts (writing, dancing, drama, movement, music, painting, drawing.) in an integrative way to foster growth, development and healing.

Art therapy can be used to help people explore their emotions, cope with stress, become more self-aware, boost their self-esteem and to work on their social skills. It is mostly used as a compliment to traditional mental health treatment. The art therapy can either be in a form of creating one’s own art or viewing/interpreting another person’s artwork. It is helpful to those who find talking and expressing themselves verbally to be very difficult. This is mainly because art is a form of self-expression and in the long run it is a form of healing and dealing with our mental wellbeing.

As I engage in this form of therapy, I personally see a lot of benefits from it. Some of the benefit include:

  • Visual representation of one’s emotions
  • It is a way of connecting to the subconscious
  • Learning new coping mechanisms
  • It is a way of developing new (artistic) skills

Those are just but a few benefits or expressive arts. Expressive arts can be beneficial to people dealing with:

  • Anxiety: It helps to bring to light what may be worrying you and finding new ways to handle anxious feelings.
  • Stress: It helps in reduction of stress by converting negative energy into positive habits.
  • Interpersonal relationships with family members or friends: It helps to build communication skills for those who find it hard to express themselves with words.
  • Grief or Bereavement: It helps to process the loss of a loved one.
  • Trauma. A lot of people tend to block out painful experiences, art therapy helps one to express their feelings about the event and taking steps to heal and move forward.

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Dealing with Grief

Dealing with Grief

The Coronavirus Pandemic has affected our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We have come to terms with a “new normal” that has consisted of things like the need for social distancing (ie. maintaining at least 6 feet apart), the wearing of face masks and gloves in public, government stay-at-home orders, limiting gatherings of people, distance/remote learning, and working from home.

Probably the most unfortunate effects of this virus has been loss of many lives. The rate at which COVID-19 took our loved ones is very saddening. It has been reported that world-wide there have been more than 400,000 deaths with over 100,000 in the US alone. It is very devastating loosing almost half a million people in such a very short period of time, with those numbers expected to rise in the coming months. And these figures don’t include the deaths that were not related to the coronavirus. The amount of pain and grief that folks are experiencing is more than anyone could have expected.

I have experienced a number of friends and colleagues who have lost their loved ones, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. I have also had the unpleasant experience of losing my mom to natural causes back in May of 2020. The pain caused by grief can disrupt our physical wellbeing making it difficult to eat, sleep or even think straight. Because of my loss and the loss of those around me, it has led me down a journey about self-care when dealing with grief.

So what are some ways to grief during a global pandemic? Here are a few things that I have been doing to help me in my time of loss and grief:

  • Crying: This is one way of acknowledging and releasing the pain. It doesn’t matter how loud, ugly or long I need.
  • Speaking to a therapist: Being able to speak about what am feeling to a neutral party has been really helpful in navigating and unpacking different emotions.
  • Having moments of creativity: As a dancer I personally find enjoyment in arts. I have been crocheting, painting and coloring in adult coloring books.
  • Connecting to a grief support group: Finding a group of folks who can relate to your loss and how you feel is really great. Friends mean well, but maybe able to understand if they have never gone through what you are going through. I found a number of grief groups on Facebook.
  • Enjoy nature. Take your time to enjoy nature; I have slowed down to feel nature like the way the sun feels on my skin, the whispers in the wind, and the calming sound of water.

Remember there is no right or wrong way of grieving, but there are healthy ways to cope with loss and grieving process. I hope what I have been doing can help you during this difficult time.

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Sickle Cell Awareness

Sickle Cell Awareness

In addition to June 19th celebrating Juneteenth, it also recognized World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. It is an international campaign observed with the goal of increasing public knowledge and understanding of sickle cell disease and the unique challenges faced by patients, their families and their caregivers. This year is particularly special as 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of celebrating World Sickle Cell Awareness! So what is sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disorder (meaning it passed from parents to children and cannot be transmitted from other people). Normally the red blood cells (RBC) are a rounded shape like disc. This gives them the ability and flexibility to transport blood and oxygen even through the smallest blood vessels. Sickle cell happens when these RBCs contort into sickle shape (like a crescent moon). Because of its “sickled shape”, the cells have ridged edges that can get stuck in the blood vessels which can block the flow of blood throughout the body. When this happens, the stiffen cells die early leaving very few healthy red blood cells to carry the necessary amounts of oxygen the body needs.

This lack of flow of blood may result in very severe pain causing a “crisis.” A sickle cell crisis is when there are repetitive episodes of these pains. Some common symptom include:

  • Anemia- not having enough healthy red blood cells.
  • Episodes of pains
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Increased susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia
  • Jaundice- yellowing of the white parts of the eye.
  • Patients are also at high risk of getting stroke, chest syndrome and even blindness

Sickle cell is the result of mutation in genes from both the mother and the farther. The disease itself is inherited from both parents passed down to the children, while the trait is only passed from one parent unto the children. Trait means that you have one normal gene and one sickle cell gene. The trait is not a disease and a person with a trait does not portray symptoms of the sickle cell disease. However, they can pass it down to their children. A simple blood test can indicate whether you have the sickle cell disease or the trait. This becomes important when one is trying to have children. There are approximately 90,000 persons have sickle cell anemia in the United States- most commonly affecting African Americans.

There is no cure for this disease. Current treatments are focused on managing and relieving the episodes of pains and preventing complications. This can include medication, blood transfusions and/or a stem cell transplant. In some rare cases a bone-marrow transplant may be done.

Other ways to help manage complications include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercising regularly

As someone who has had family members with this disease, increasing awareness about sickle cell anemia is very close to my heart. Please join me in the efforts to improve research methods to help us learn more and find a cure!

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Alzheimer’s Awareness

Alzheimer’s Awareness

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that destroys the memory and other mental functions of the brain. It is said to be caused by the abnormal build-up of protein around brain cells. The main two types of proteins involved are: amyloid- which is responsible for build-up of plaque around brain cells; the other is tau- which forms tangles within brain cells. Now is a great time to show support to the millions of people struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease is a global crisis and now is the time to educate the public of its effects on both patients and their loved ones.

Dementia is a term for conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and thinking skills that prohibit a person’s ability to perform the everyday activities. The decline in cognitive functions is a result of abnormal brain changes and loss of brain functions due to a series of small strokes. Some common symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Becoming forgetful of names or events
  • Unable to recall information about themselves such as their address, phone number, school attended, etc.
  • Confusion
  • Trouble controlling bladder and bowel movements
  • Anger/aggression
  • Agitation
  • Depression and isolation

Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that specifically causes problems with memory that develops slowly and gradually, and it gets worse with time. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 44 million people living with Alzheimer’s Disease world-wide with over 5 million in the US alone. Amongst the leading causes of deaths in the Unites States, Alzheimer’s Disiease has been ranked the 6th (that’s 1 in 3 adults). According to the statistics from 2008-2018; there was a 146% increase in the number of Alzheimer’s and Dementia-related deaths. This number is projected to increase by 2050 to nearly 14 million deaths.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease can affect people in different individual ways. Some may develop the symptoms slowly, while others develop all the symptoms at once. While there is no cure, there are some treatments available such as medication can slow its progression. Because of limited knowledge about Alzheimer’s Disease, there is a growing need for more research to gain a better understanding of its causes, treatments, prevention and cure.

Some common risk factors of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease include:

  • Age (the risk increases as we get older)
  • Family history
  • Poor lifestyle choices (i.e. smoking, excessive alcohol intake, limited physical activities)
  • Ethnicity (African and Latino Americans have a higher risk)

Research has shown that exercise can prevent/help manage symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease because it can help improve memory, provide opportunities for social interaction, and improve strength and balance.

Want to show your support for this cause? Join me by wearing the color purple with your purple ribbon- the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement.

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Men’s Health Week

Men’s Health Week

The month of June marks Men’s Health Month while the week of June 10-16 is Men’s Health Week. It is a time to bring awareness of preventable health conditions that are common in men. Men commonly have a tendency in which they do not talk out loud about what may be bothering them even about their health. This is a time to encourage the men in our lives to speak up and take care of themselves.

Many illnesses can be treated if detected. There are more options available when a health condition is detected in an early stage of its development. Thus, this is why we (and especially men) are encouraged to regularly stay on top of their health. When we prolong seeking support from a medical professional, it leads to a lack of proper awareness, contributing to an increase in the number of health issues in men and probably more death. Some of health concerns that more commonly affect men include:

  • Heart disease. More men suffer from heart disease compared to women.
  • Lung cancer: A higher percentage of men are smokers than women- a leading cause of lung cancer.
  • Depression and suicide. It is estimated that approximately 6 million men suffer from depressive disorders this of which includes suicidal thoughts.
  • Parkinson’s disease. This is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects the body movement. When it is progressive it meaning it worsens directly with time increase. It affects 50% more men than women.

Most of the above mentioned chronic diseases affect our men more. During men’s health awareness month, this is a time to encourage the men in our lives to choose healthier lifestyles, go for checkups and to live longer. The men in our lives matter and we need to encourage them get general health screening such as:

  • Colonoscopy: screening done to detect any abnormalities or changes in the colon and the rectum.
  • Blood pressure

Vitamins/medications or getting vaccines for:

  • Flu
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia

When it comes to nutrition, having a diet that includes:

  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Potassium

Most importantly is physical activity- it is recommended to exercise at least 150 minutes per week.

It is key for all people to have a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes eating a nutrient-dense diet, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and excess alcohol. This can help prevent most chronic diseases and helps to ensure we liv a healthy life as we age.

During this time you can show support by wearing blue.

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Scoliosis Awareness

Scoliosis Awareness

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month. Like most awareness periods, it is a time to highlighting the dire need for education, early detection and spread the awareness of the disease. It is also a time where people and their families living with scoliosis can come together for support and community to talk about its effects. But what really is scoliosis?

A spine comprises of small vertebrate bones placed on top of one another. A normal or a healthy spine should have a natural curve which is normally straight that allows rotation and bending. Scoliosis will occur when the spine curves side-ways forming an “S” shape. This will in turn make the ribs to look uneven because it is attached to the spine. The spine tends to twist the ribs. A scoliosis patient may also have:

  • One shoulder higher than the other
  • One hip higher than the other
  • Head may not be centered over the pelvis
  • Back pain, and chest may also appear uneven, (in case of when scoliosis becomes severe)
  • Arms may not hang proportionally by the body side
  • Pushed out ribs

The diagnosis of scoliosis is confirmed by doing an x-ray of the spine. Measurement of the spine that is more than 10 degrees confirms scoliosis. Scoliosis can affect people from all walks of life from kids to adults, men and women. There is no cure for scoliosis, but some form of treatment can be administered to help manage pain. The type of treatment will depend on your age or gender, and the severity of one’s condition. Your doctor will recommend either surgical or non-surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatments may include:

  • Back braces: it helps reduce the curve with time. This would be in a case of adolescents whose body has not fully grown. The time span of wearing the brace will depend on the type of scoliosis.
  • Exercise (ie. yoga)
  • Physical therapy- with a program that is specially designed for scoliosis.

Any treatment for scoliosis or another health condition, should be done in consultation with your doctor/medical professional. Surgical treatment is done in severe cases for curves that are more than 50 degrees. The process will help to restructure the spine. The cause of scoliosis is not known. Mild cases may not need treatment but can have a non-surgical treatment recommended. Scoliosis may not be curable but remember that it can be controlled and the spine restored to its normal position and functionality.

As a way to show your support for scoliosis awareness, wear the color green or a green ribbon. It is a great conversation starter!

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Celebrating National Cancer Research Month

Celebrating National Cancer Research Month

National Cancer Research Month

May is National Cancer Research Month. It was started by the American Association of Cancer Research whose mission is focused on the prevention and cure of cancer through research, education, communication, collaboration, funding and advocacy. This is a time to commit ourselves to the fight against this life threatening disease and recognizing the importance of research needed to beat cancer.

Cancer is considered the second leading cause of death after heart disease in the US. However, due to advances in cancer research, it has saved lives and increased the survival rate in the past few years. According to the American Association for Cancer, the overall cancer death-rate declined by 27%. In 2019, it was reported that there are more than 16.9 million people who are cancer survivors. 64% of the survivors are aged 65 and older. And, it is estimated that in the coming years, around 73% of cancer survivors in the U.S will be aged 65 or older. Despite these achievements, more research needs to be conducted as this killer disease continues to be a public health issue in every corner of the globe.

Although there are a number of factors that may increase one’s risk of cancer, there is evidence that physical activity and adopting exercise as part of our lifestyle, plays a crucial part in both preventing and treating of cancer. Exercise can help in reduction of inflammation and help regulate blood sugar while improving metabolism and immune function. Research as shown that those who exercise at least 30 minutes a day are at lower risk of cancer and other chronic diseases than those who are sedentary. It also reduces the chances of cancer recurrence.

There are several benefits of exercise in cancer prevention and treatment including:

  • Lowering of hormones levels
  • Boosts immune health- secondary malignances increase the survival rate while it helps in flushing out bacteria through the lungs
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight- obesity is a risk factor for many patients. Exercise can help ensure your body weight to help regulated and decrease risk of cancer
  • Helps to adverse side effects of treatment.

It is highly recommended that people with cancer should be physically active as possible as they are able. The recommended goal is 150 minutes per week (30 minutes a day; 5 days a week). Before starting any new exercise program, one should always consult with your doctor for more information and the dos and don’ts. Notable organizations such as Moving for Life and Strength for Life provide tailored exercise programs for cancer patients and survivors.

Remember, exercise can be as simple as taking walks, gardening or taking breaks in between long sitting hours or taking the stairs instead of the lifts.

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Celebrating our Nurses

Celebrating our Nurses

Nurses Week

The week of May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. What a more fitting time as we are currently facing a global health crisis than to celebrate the nurses who are working the front lines of this pandemic. They are the ones who are risking their health and making sacrifices to save lives. In their honor and the honor of the 200th birthday anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the year 2020 as “The year of the Nurse.” They are our heroes and play a very vital role in the hospitals such as ensuring the proper care and hygiene of the patients under their care. Now more than ever they need our support. We can be their support system by recognizing them for all that they do.

The standard of the nurses’ honesty and ethics has been ranked the highest in any profession now for eighteen years in a row. That speak volumes about the skills the nurses are bringing to the healthcare industry. They are truly making a lifesaving difference every single day. The National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate and give recognition to nurses and the impact of the profession on health and our daily lives. The week culminates on May 12: which is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She worked in the field when nursing was viewed as the lowest of jobs and patients were admitted to a crowded and dirty hospital. Nightingale led a team of nurses to improve the unsanitary conditions and keep patient records at a British hospital during the Crimean war. This elevated the professionalism of nurses and led to changes in the design and practice of hospitals.

National Nurses Week began as a day proposed by Dorothy Sutherland of the US Department of Health, Education and Warfare in 1953. The proposal was unsuccessful, and no action was taken by the federal government. However, this didn’t stopped the movement to celebrate and recognize nurses. No momentum was gained until the 1970s. In 1974, the International Council of Nurses announced May 12 would be International Nurses Day. During the same year, the White House and President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation for National Nurse Week and it has been celebrated ever since. There are several ways in which you can celebrate:

  • Recognize the nurses in your family. Check on them regularly and show love
  • Create and send thank you cards to your local hospital
  • Donate food or have it delivered for the nurses
  • Donate money to a nonprofit that supports the Nursing profession.

At a time like this, nurses are the backbone of our health system and we want to celebrate you. What you do is a calling and now more than ever we are saying thank you! Tell us your story, why you decided on this journey using the hashtag #ibeacameanursebecause.

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Stress Awareness

Stress Awareness

First established in 1992, Stress Awareness Month is observed every April. This is a time to increase awareness of stress and its affects on our lives. Stress is our body’s response to a threat or demand. Particularly during times of uncertainty, some common stress triggers can include our finances, jobs, relationships, or the illness of our own or a loved one.

We tend to think that all stress is negative or bad. But it does have some positives. Positive stress can help you have the energy to meet deadline, help you to stay focused, study for an upcoming exam or to win the sports game.

There are two common types of stress. Acute stress is a stress that is suffered over a short period of time. Stress is a state of mind which only becomes dangerous beyond certain point, when it is prolonged for an extended period of time. At that point, it may become chronic stress- the second type of stress. Chronic stress is dangerous as it can cause a number of health issues including:

  • Weakening the immune system
  • Affect the digestive/gut health
  • Increase your risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Raise your blood pressure

Stress like any other diseases of the body can be managed in several ways that can also help to clear the mind. We can manage stress in the following ways:

  • Use of essential oils (i.e. lavender)
  • Drink teas (i.e. chamomile)
  • Laugh: watch your favorite TV shows or comedies that make you laugh or spend time with you loved ones
  • Exercise: this helps in lowering the stress hormones, relaxes the body and helps you feel good and at peace
  • Breathing and relaxation: deep breathing lowers the heart rates and promotes relaxation. Engaging in relaxation like yoga, meditation and massages can also help the body release tension

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