"Physical Activity Boosts Immune Function, SO STAY ACTIVE" Regular physical activity remains one of the best self-controllable strategies for staying healthy! Compared to being sedentary, moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function. Given the anxiety and stress occuring during this pandemic, it is even more important to stay active because regular physical activity is associated with lower levels of anxiety and perceived stress. For those who were not active before and are relatively healthy, get moving to boost your Immune Function, just in case. Tip: Play your favorite Old School Jam and start dancing away. You will burn calorie, plus increase emotional and mental health.
I have spoken with a few people who are having trouble sleeping while staying at home. We all sailed through the first week tackling home projects only to be lost the second week. Our sleep habits are off. Our routines are off as well. Energy might have gone down. Social interaction is down. As a physician, I thought I would offer some tips that might help us all sleep better. While we can't erase our worries, better sleep will help us to deal with our stress better. 1. Keep the same sleep/wake cycle every day. If you work, try to stick to your work waking cycle and morning routine times. During this time you might be going to bed later and waking during the night. 2. Maintain caffeine intake. Remember that there is caffeine in many soft drinks and chocolate. Limit or avoid caffeine in the evening. 3. Limit screen time in the late evening. The blue light from screens can shut down your body's production of melatonin; and melatonin is needed for sleep. 4. Limit alcohol intake. Most people think alcohol will make you sleepy. It may initially, but it interferes with your sleep cycle so you do not get a sound sleep. 5. Exercise! It doesn't need to be strenuous exercise. It can just be walking or doing things around the house. I often find that when I am going through a period of not sleeping well, it usually coincides with a time when I am not exercising as much. I can usually improve my sleep within 3-5 days of increased activity. Exercise can tire you out! 6. Limit daytime naps. 7. Check the temperature of your bedroom. It has been reported that people sleep better with a cool temperature around 65 degrees. 8. Establish a relaxing habit just before bedtime (e.g. reading a book, taking a warm bath, etc. 9. Avoid large meals, before bedtime. 10. Drink plenty of water, except before bedtime.
UNDERSTANDING VICARIOUS TRAUMA (VT) During this COVID -19 crisis we often hear stories of traumatic experiences. At times, hearing these stories may overwhelm us and lead to feelings of sadness and discouragement. Vicarious Trauma (VT) typically impacts us indirectly and it often occurs when seeing or hearing painful traumatic events. When we turn on the news, the COVID-19 stories of loss and those impacted directly by the virus can have an indirect impact on our emotional well-being. It is essential to recognize when your mind and body is impacted by stressful events. The stay at home order has directly impacted us all. Watching the TV and social media stories can indirectly create Vicarious Trauma. The indirect traumatic events can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. Helpers and others affected by vicarious trauma may notice emotional issues, such as feelings of anxiety and discomfort related to hearing accounts of traumatic experiences. SYMPTOMS OF VICARIOUS TRAUMA - Emotional: depression, feelings of sadness, anger or agitation - Physiological and Behavioral: body aches, insomnia, oversleeping, eating too much or not eating enough - Social: Feeling disconnected from loved ones and or supports -Spiritual: Disconnect – loss of hope or feeling disconnected from your faith SELF-CARE PRACTICES TO REDUCE RISK OF VICARIOUS TRAUMA “Fill youIf you are feeling burned-out, traumatized by the recent events or just everyday life it is important to practice self-care! Self-care is foundational to building resiliencer own cup first; give away only what’s left over” “To thine own self be nice” ~ Robin Shapiro, trauma therapist Ways to Practice Self Care: - Pray/Meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes a day to pray, mediate or deep breaths. - Support Network: Find a friend or support to be emotionally naked with – express your feelings without being judged. - Practice Mindfulness & Grounding Techniques: Slowly inhale, then exhale. Feel each breath filling your lungs and note how it feels to push it back out - Attend Online Spirituals Meetings/Services - Therapy (Tele-Health, can also be a form of self-care): Therapy allows time to focus on one’s own thoughts and feelings and a safe place to examine them - Balance: Maintaining a reasonable degree of balance, when working from home. Take your lunch break - Virtual Happy Hours: Have a ZOOM or Facetime Happy Hour or Tea - Set Boundaries with family, friends and work- learn how to say NO - Know your triggers for feeling “Crispy” that is my code word for burn-out/stressed Always Remember Your Are Not Alone- Please reach out to us for support, we are here to help! Please put the oxygen mask on yourself first, if you can’t breathe how can you take care of your children, family and community
THE AT RISK SENIOR
Senior Shoppers: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, adults age 65 and older as well as people of any age who have chronic health conditions remain most at risk for serious complications or death from coronavirus. Food is an essential component of living! As we begin to socially distance ourselves from one another, shoppers across the country are going into stores and seeing empty shelves and long lines. One of the ways grocery stores are doing their part to make shopping easier and safer by offering “senior only” or “vulnerable guest” grocery shopping times. Grocery stores in the Pittsburgh area that offer adjusted senior hours are: Target, Dollar General, Aldi’s Big Lots, Costco, Sam’s Walmart, Giant Eagle, Kroger’s, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Most stores adjusted hours are typically early morning. Confirm adjusted hours with local store. 8 Tips for Senior Shoppers 1. When entering store: Wipe down shopping cart with disinfectant wipes. 2. Shop where its slow. Fewer people around you, less risk of transmission. More cramped the store, less you should think about shopping there. 3. Make list and Plan your route. Write list by department (dairy, dry & canned food, fresh vegetables, cleaning supplies, etc. Check off each item in the category before moving to next department. Now is not the time to spend doubling back and forth across the store. 4. Keep your distance from other shopper (at least 2 shopping carts). 5. Don’t hoard beyond what you genuinely need. 6. Keep your guard up. Don’t browse, linger or relax. 7. Don’t touch. Now is not the time to pick up multiple items, read the label and put them back. The fewer things we touch, the better. 8. When you get home: If it gives you peace of mind, go ahead and wipe down cans and boxes with soap and water or disinfectant wipes before putting them away. *Experts have not specifically recommended washing packaging before storing them.
Even though our minds and hearts are elsewhere, we are being asked to learn new things during these stressful times. Recently, many people had to learn how to video conference or Facetime. This has been especially challenging for elderly people or people who are not technically savvy. But what if you are a high school or college student and you are trying to learn from home? How can you possibly focus on your school work? Tips 1. Think of learning as taking a break: learning something new may be actually be a good distraction from your daily worries. Learning something interesting can be like taking a yoga cl ass; your mind will be busy. 2. Stay focused while you are studying: pretend you are reporting for work. Wear a bra and lipstick! Try to find a quiet space. Don’t sit near things (like a stack of bills, the laundry, the dirty dishes) that remind you of chores that need to get done). If you can, try to minimize background noise. Do not have the news running in the background. If have kids, try to have them “go to school “when you do. (It is extra hard to focus on anything if you have kids at home!) 3. Eat and drink: don’t “come to class” hungry or thirsty. Go to the bathroom, have a snack and a beverage before you come to class, just like you would normally. That will give you more time to focus on your school work. 4. Practice gratitude: learning new things is one of the joys of life. Even if this isn’t your favorite subject, you can be grateful for the opportunity to learn something new. Having a brain and the ability to learn is a true blessing. When this is over, you will be proud of yourself for learning something new. Having said all that, remember…. 5. Be kind to yourself: you can only accomplish so much. Forgive yourself if you aren’t at your best. Try to find some joy in life, including in learning!
Single Ladies Alone does not have to be lonely. No spSingle is defined as only one. I may be single but I’m not alone. My Covid-19 quarantine looks different when compared too many of my friends….why because I am a family of one.ouse, no kids not even a dog or fish. Outside of my reflection in the bathroom mirror I can go an entire day without seeing another person in the flesh. Social media is a platform where I can reach out and enjoy the virtual company of others. My Facebook and tick tok is full of cute home school lessons, and a tons of couples participating in the flip the switch or couples challenge. My attempt to connect has become another reminder of my Singleness. So ladies, if you are single like me, how do you successfully survive your solitude? First lets drop some facts. According to National Center for Heath Statistics women are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Just over 25% of adults deal with mental health issues. When you factor in the economic uncertainty; the fear of catching Covid-19; social distancing; and the normal pressures of everyday life, you may find yourself in a perfect storm for a Mental Heath Crisis. I don’t have all the answers, however I can tell you what works for me. Single Ladies Tip 1. Keep your routine and normal as possible. I know you don’t have any where to go but please take a shower. This short moment of self-care can make you feel like yourself. 2. Lean into your support system. You may not be able to physical touch your friends or family but with Facetime, Duo, Zoom, Marco Polo, Google Hangouts just to name a few you can connect with others. Have a virtual happy hour, a stay at home brunch or workout with a friend. 3. Become the best version of you. It’s the perfect time to work on your hobby, birth a business, write that book, or learn a new skill. Becoming the best version of you will ensure you leave quarantine having added value to your life. 4. Ask for help!!! If you find yourself in needed of assistance reach out. The Reslove Crisis number is 1-888-7-YOU-CAN. If you prefer to text you can text the crisis support line at 741741. Please remember you many be alone but you don’t have to be lonely. If you have any ideals, suggestions or just need to talk you are welcome to respond to this post. Wishing my Sassy, Successful, Single Sisters Peace and Love.
YEAR OF NURSE AND MIDWIFE
YEAR OF THE NURSE & MIDWIFE; COVID-19 Nurses and midwifes play a vital role in providing health services and are considered the backbone of every health system. Globally, the nursing profession is celebrating a milestone in 2020, as the World Health Organization (WHO), declares it the international Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale (founder of modern nursing). This recognition is especially meaningful during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ironically, the nursing world has shifted attention from WHO’s proclamation of the year of the Nurse and Midwife to the Cocid-19 pandemic. Who could have imagined the critical importance of nurses in our society would be brought into focus so clearly by the Covid-19 pandemic? Almost daily, the media highlights the threatening conditions nurses and other health care providers are facing. As a retired nurse, my prideful hat is off to these awesome workers. They are my heroes. We know that the primary mode of transmission of Covid-19 is human to human through respiratory droplets. The best thing we can do to honor and support these professionals is to subscribe to and follow the CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of the virus. Mode of transmission of Covid-19 is human to human transmission via respiratory droplets. The best thing we can do to honor, and support nurses is to subscribe to and follow the CDC guidelines that are designed to minimize the spread of The Covid-19 virus. In honor of them, please observe the following protocols: Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 ft from others Wear cloth mask in public. Mask is meant to protect both you and those you are in contact with. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Practice frequent hand washings with soap & water for minimum of 20 seconds. Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, Practice good respiratory hygiene. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily (doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. We are all in this together! Let us be as honorable and giving in our support of these professionals as they are in practicing their craft.