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Category: CHM

July 11, 2022

We’re well into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and chances are you’re tired, worn out, wondering if there’s an end in sight. You’re not alone. … Whatever the reason, some simple changes to your meal plan can help boost your mood as you continue to navigate the pandemic. Keep in mind that these foods aren’t a replacement for medications or therapy, but are an easy way to enhance their effects.

Posted in CHM
June 18, 2022

Imagine going to the doctor because you’re not feeling well and being told to go outside and spend time in nature. That’s exactly what is happening in Canada, where doctors can now prescribe nature as part of a patient’s treatment plan.

Posted in CHM
June 7, 2022

During the migration of African Americans from the South in the 20th century, so-called “Southern food” came to be enjoyed across America. It often goes by the name “Soul Food.” Not only is the cuisine delicious, but it carries

Posted in CHM
May 31, 2022

Anytime you’re outside and the sun is shining, you should wear sunscreen. Yes, that includes the winter. However, as warm weather approaches and you spend more time outdoors, it’s imperative to take this important precaution to help prevent skin cancer. Skin is the most common cancer worldwide, with more than 2 people dying from skin cancer every hour in the United States. One of the most predominant risks for developing skin cancer is sun exposure, even for individuals with dark skin. Even those with more melanin in their skin, such as African Americans, are at risk. Remember that if you’re hiking here in Colorado, higher elevations mean being closer to the sun, requiring extra diligence about sun safety. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about sunscreen so that you can stay safe this summer.

How Much Sunscreen?

This depends on body size, but in general, you need an ounce of sunscreen to adequately cover your entire body. Many experts will tell you to use a standard shot glass to get a feel for how much this is. Clearly, small children won’t need quite as much, but the goal is to cover all exposed skin before you go outside. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may find yourself needing to buy more sunscreen every week or two.

Applying Sunscreen

The biggest rule of thumb when applying to sunscreen is to use a thick layer, which offers more protection than a scant coating. Be sure to generously apply the product on all exposed skin, paying careful attention to easily missed areas like the back of your knees and behind your ears. Be sure to rub the sunscreen into your body very well and use caution when applying around the eyes. If you have sensitive skin, consider using a product designed specifically for your face and your skin type.

When to Apply Sunscreen

To give the product time to work, apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside. If you plan to be outdoors for extended periods of time, reapply the product every 90 minutes to 2 hours (read the label for specific instructions regarding use). If you spend time in the water, reapply sunscreen as soon as you towel off, even if it’s labeled as being waterproof.

Other Considerations

When you choose sunscreen, opt for an SPF of at least 15, though higher is generally more protective. Make sure the product has not expired. If you notice a strange consistency or scent, toss the sunscreen and buy something new.

Sunscreen is important for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or skin color. So, this summer, protect yourself and your loved ones by making it a habit to slather on your SPF before you go outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. You’ll be so glad you did!

Posted in CHM
May 18, 2022

The weather is getting warmer and you’re probably ready to enjoy more time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air. That’s a great way to take care of yourself. Research shows that time spent in nature can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep and helps you feel happier overall. The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku translates to “forest bathing,” and it’s done for fun, as well as for self-care. While spring is the perfect time to get out into nature, that’s not your only self-care option. Check out these other ideas for feeling your best this season.

Try Meal Planning

Spring is known for its abundance of fresh and in-season fruits and vegetables. Take a few minutes each week to find a few delicious recipes and shop for the ingredients to prepare them. Spend some time enjoying the meals you’ve prepared and allow them to give you a tasty way to get the most of taking care of yourself. For some easy ideas, check out our blog post about what you can do with spring fruits and vegetables.

Do Outdoor Meditation

The goal of meditation is to help you stay present in the moment. It’s a good way to control anxiety and helps prevent the past and the future from keeping you from enjoying what’s happening right now. Even when things aren’t so good (we are still in the middle of a pandemic, after all), meditation gives you the chance to tune in to how you’re feeling so that you can decide what you need to take care of yourself in the moment.

Start a New Book

There’s something about setting aside the time to crack open the latest novel that feels so indulgent. Spring is the ideal time to read the book you’ve been meaning to. Even just 10 or 15 minutes per day has benefits. You’ll have something enjoyable to look forward to and while you’re reading, you aren’t worrying about the laundry, what you’re going to make for dinner or when your COVID booster shot is due. The library is the perfect place to find books on all topics and subjects so add it to your schedule today.

Plant a Garden

Getting your hands dirty has a bunch of mental and physical health benefits. Not only are you burning calories while you dig and plant, but this goes back to the notion of forest bathing. Simply being outside, soaking up the sun and enjoying the nature around you calms your mood and increases feel good hormones that can stave off depression and anxiety. If you don’t have the space for a large vegetable garden, try an herb garden on your windowsill or a pot of tomatoes on your balcony.

 

Taking care of yourself is incredibly important, both for your body and for your mind. These simple self-care tips are an ideal starting point for enjoying what spring has to offer and feeling great during the entire season. And of course, if you need to see a doctor, don’t hesitate to give us a call to set up an appointment. If you need a vaccine, click here for the next free clinic information.

Posted in CHM
May 5, 2022

You already know that you should be eating plenty of fresh produce each day. In fact, current recommendations are to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables at every meal. With spring upon us, there are some delicious options in supermarkets. Each of them offers health benefits due to their vitamin and mineral content. Those benefits include weight control, a reduced risk of heart disease and a lower chance of developing many kinds of cancer. Not to mention the boost to your immune system that is so important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. But what if you don’t know what to do with them? You’re in the right place! Here are some ideas for enjoying the fruits and vegetables that are in season.

Make a Salad

The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that many of them are a tasty option for salad. Mix and match your favorites for a new and tasty meal every day. Spring is the perfect time to load your salad with arugula, beets, asparagus, chard, carrots, kale, radishes, pea greens, spinach, grapefruit, apricots and strawberries.

Eat Fruit for Dessert

Many traditional desserts are high in calories, fat and sugar. For that reason, they should be an occasional indulgence, rather than an everyday choice. But like many people, perhaps you crave something sweet to end your meal. If that’s true for you, have a bowl of fruit instead. Spring is the ideal time to enjoy strawberries, kiwis and cherries. Add a bit of whipped cream for a tasty treat that is high in nutrients, but low in calories.

Pair Them with Eggs

Eggs and spring just seem to go together. But instead of a plate of plain scrambled eggs, allow spring vegetables to boost the flavor and the nutrient content of your favorite meal. Make quiche with asparagus, leeks and herbs. Or turn a traditional omelet into an ultra-healthy meal by filling it with morels, spinach and spring onions. And since new potatoes are also a spring veggie, serve them alongside your eggs for a tasty and healthy meal anytime of the day.

Stir a Pot of Soup

It might be spring, but that doesn’t mean that cool nights are gone. When it gets chilly outside, make a pot of soup to keep you warm and healthy. Spring vegetables are a great ingredient for a variety of delicious soups. Use carrots, asparagus, peas, fava beans or potatoes to create a dish that’s comforting and packed with important nutrients.

Spring is a time of new beginnings so what better time than now to focus on healthy eating? Spend some time being creative in the kitchen and you’ll have some tasty new meals you can enjoy serving yourself and your family. If you’re interested in receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, click here. Happy Spring!

Posted in CHM
April 29, 2022

Feeling a broad spectrum of emotions during a pandemic is normal and expected. Each of us is experiencing COVID-19 and its challenges in different ways. You may be feeling fear, anxiety, changes to eating and sleeping habits, an increased use of alcohol or drugs or a worsening of an existing physical or mental health condition. Having some coping mechanisms will help you navigate the pandemic and come through it as healthy and happy as possible.

Make Sleep a Priority

Adequate sleep improves your immunity but is also important for mental wellness. You should also be sure you’re getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Creating this habit ensures that you’re getting the rest your body needs for both mental and physical health.

Stay Active

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat anxiety and depression, including during a pandemic. Physical activity boosts your mood and keeps your body healthy, so make it a part of your daily routine. Try taking a walk at lunchtime, doing a yoga practice when you get up in the morning or dancing with your kids after school and work. Choose something you enjoy because that makes it more likely that you’ll stick with it.

Eat Healthy Foods

When you eat foods that are nutritious and satisfying, you naturally feel better, both body and mind. During the pandemic, focus on eating an abundance of fruits, vegetables and 100% whole grains (i.e. unbleached 100% whole wheat flour), which satisfy your nutrient requirements and your hunger at the same time. Eat smaller amounts of lean meats and dairy foods. Limit salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats.

Stay Connected

One of the main reasons why people are suffering from mental health problems during the pandemic is due to the lack of connection. Make a point of talking to friends and family members via text, phone or Zoom if you can’t meet them in person. Stay connected to co-workers as well, especially if you’re working from home. When possible, spend time in person with your support network. Have drinks in the front yard with your neighbors, go for a walk with your best friend, or meet your parents for a picnic in the park.

Create a Routine

When you have a routine and an order to your days, it’s easier to feel happy and positive because you know what to expect. Keeping a consistent sleep pattern is important, so be sure you’re going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Even if you’re working from home and doing remote learning with your kids, a routine can keep the days orderly and balanced. Keep a consistent time for meals, sleeping, downtime and housework to protect your mental health.

 

Other ways to boost your mental wellness during the pandemic are to limit your exposure to the media, help those around you, focus on positive thoughts and connect to your spiritual practice (i.e., going to church). These ideas will help you stay happy and healthy even as the pandemic continues.

Posted in CHM
April 22, 2022

We’re poised to enter our third spring of the pandemic and the outlook for 2022 is different than what we experienced in the past couple of years. That’s largely because vaccination rates are growing and many people are protected from the virus, as well as being less likely to spread it. While some experts predict that we’ll be making the transition from a pandemic to an endemic sometime this year, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods just yet. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about COVID-19 this spring.

The best way to protect yourself from the virus this spring continues to be getting a vaccination. Inner City Health Center offers weekly clinics and first, second and booster shots are available for anyone age 5 and older. Click here to find out more about the dates and times for these clinics.

Experts are predicting that the pandemic may quiet down during the spring as the weather warms up and people can spend more time outdoors, rather than in closed spaces where germs travel more quickly. However, it pays to stay diligent. Watch for new updates and mandates in your community so that you can keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy.

It’s also a good idea to know the difference between COVID-19 symptoms and those that go with spring allergies. If you’re experiencing spring allergies, you may have symptoms that include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes and mild fatigue. If you have COVID-19, you may experience a fever, chills, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, cough, body aches, extreme fatigue and headache. If you’re unsure what you’re suffering from, have a COVID-19 test done to be sure. Then talk to your doctor about treatment options.

It looks like we won’t be facing as many restrictions this spring, which is great news for those who want to travel, spend time with family and friends and enjoy activities that have been on hold. Getting your kids vaccinated is a great way to ensure that your entire household is healthy and safe this spring and into the summer. Anyone over age 5 is eligible for a vaccination. Get vaxxed. Get on with life. Finally.

Posted in CHM
April 15, 2022

You’ve probably heard that kids aren’t at much of a risk of serious complications from getting COVID-19. While that may be true, there’s a lot more to think about when it comes to the effects of the virus than simply getting sick.

Let’s talk about illness first though. Research shows that children are not getting as severely sick with COVID-19 as other populations. However, because schools tend to be a breeding ground for illness, simply being in the classroom increases the risk. With a vaccination, your child is safer in a school setting and you have some peace of mind when it comes to their general health.

Now let’s address the other issues. All across the world, children are spending less time than ever in the classroom and more time at home. Remote learning limits your child’s access to social interaction, but also reduces the effectiveness of lessons. Watching them on Zoom simply isn’t the same. This will have profound effects in the years to come as children return to school without the skills they should have been building all along.

New research shows that children’s face perception abilities are seriously hindered when teachers and peers wear a mask all day. Face perception is important for learning social cues and promoting healthy neurological development. When teachers and peers wear masks, children aren’t able to effectively pick up on emotions. Not only can this harm a child’s self-esteem, but it can also lead to behavior problems.

When children aren’t vaccinated, they may be excluded from participation in team sports, after school activities and other parts of “normal” life that are necessary to healthy growth and development. When you vaccinate your child, you give them the chance to engage in interactions with peers, which is vital for their mental health.

A vaccination or a booster shot means that your child can enjoy childhood and progress through each state of development to successfully reach adulthood. While the concerns that go along with the effect of the pandemic on your children will continue, a vaccine is one way to help your child thrive.

Posted in CHM
March 2, 2022

Recently, a booster shot was approved for children ages 12 and up. Maybe you’re trying to decide if that booster is really necessary. There’s a lot to think about, but the research overwhelmingly shows that vaccination is vital to keeping your children and your family safe and healthy.

For most kids, the risks of being unvaccinated are greater than the risk of rare side effects from the shot. Vaccinations help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which protects your teen, but also those he or she comes into contact with, including individuals who are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19, such as grandparents and other elderly relatives.

The rates of teen depression and anxiety have gone up significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suicide rates have also gone up during this time. By vaccinating your teen, you make it safer for your child to interact with others. Peer support and engagement is one of the top ways to help promote healthy mental health among teenagers. Vaccinations mean your child can play sports, participate in extracurricular activities and spend time with their friends, which in turn offers a beneficial way to protect their mental wellness from the effects of isolation and worry about COVID-19.

Booster shots are available for teens who have had their first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with five months since the second shot. Click here to find out more about scheduling your teen for their COVID-19 vaccine.

Posted in CHM
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