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Be a Healthcare Rebel - November 2015

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 November 2015 – Reduce Stress and Manage It Better

nov 2015 blog post

Stress is an inescapable fact in the lives of most people, whether they are poor or rich, old or young, well-educated or not, employed or unemployed, sick or healthy. Of course, there are degrees of security, frequency and duration, and a wide range of reactions/responses to stress. And let’s not forget some degree of stress can be a good thing — it may keep you motivated and on your game, help energize you, or may be a message that you need to make a change in your life.

Regardless, I’ve yet to meet the person who couldn’t benefit from reducing stress levels in some way, and when you look at the many, many ways stress impacts both your physical, brain and mental health at a deep cellular level, it becomes imperative to sit up and pay attention to the role stress plays in your life. Below are some different avenues to pursue.

Take Small Steps.

1. Complete a stress assessment:

2. Consider utilizing some techniques,which have been proven to be effective:

3. Be Less Stressed

4. Here are some books that may provide insights and perspectives, that may open up a universe of possibilities:

5. Disconnect and take a technology vacation. It could be as simple as “unplugging” for certain hours during the day or one day a week, or as dramatic as literally taking a week off from technology.

Addressing stress can positively impact your well-being, your outlook on life, your productivity, and your ability to enjoy life more and get more out of each moment. After all, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Especially as you approach the busy holiday season, take small steps to manage the stress in your life.


Be a Healthcare Rebel - October 2015

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October 2015 – Don’t Smoke

oct 2015 blog post

Did you know?

  • 17.8 percent of U.S. adults currently smoke cigarettes. 20.5 percent of men are smokers versus 15.3 percent of women.
  • Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or one of every five deaths.
  • In the United States, the smoking habit is greatest in the Midwest at 20.5 percent.

No one says it will be easy. Managing an addiction never is. In fact, for most everyone, it will be quite difficult. After all, you started smoking and continue to do so for a reason, right? So, it obviously brings some tangible benefit — social interaction, reduction in stress, weight manage-ment, makes some of your Crohn’s disease symptoms better, etc. If and when you’re ready to stop, the following are some techniques that might help.

Take Small Steps.

  1. Tally the total amount of money you spend to maintain your addiction. It will likely be more than you think. Consider other options available if you stopped your tobacco habit and used your hard-earned money on something else that has meaning for you:
    • saving for a rainy day/emergency fund
    • saving for a vacation/staycation
    • purchasing season tickets to your favorite team’s games
    • contributing to an education fund for you or your children
    • contributing to your rent/mortgage payment
    • saving to buy a house/car
    • saving to make home repairs and renovations
    • buying that dress or pair of shoes you’ve had your eyes on for a while
    • saving for your December holiday purchases
    • spending it on anything else that has meaning for you
    1. Now take into account the other costs of smoking:
      • the feeling you get when you are outside in the cold/heat in that “special” smoke-filled area with all of the other smokers who have been “banished from the kingdom”
      • the potential risk to employment — not getting the job in the first place or paying higher health insurance premiums if you don’t quit
      • the feeling and stress of not being in control that comes with any addiction
      • the time wasted that could be spent finding alternative ways to relax, maintain weight, take a break, interact with others, etc.
    2. Tally the number of cigarettes/cigars/other tobacco delivery systems you utilize each day and plan on reducing that number by one each week. It may take a while before you reach zero, but slow and steady wins the race. And, of course, speak with your physician before you begin your attempts at tobacco cessation to determine additional options as well as to make    sure you are not putting your health at risk by attempting to stop acutely.

    Studies show we have or may develop similar habits as those with whom we spend a lot of time. So, if your friends, family or co-workers smoke, are overweight, or don’t engage in physical activity, it is more likely that you will behave in the same manner. It’s also true that if one person in the group takes steps to break a bad habit, others will also. You have a chance to be a pioneer and bring better health to yourself as well as your social circle. And if your social circle is clearly never going to think about making a change, then the time might be right to “diversify your portfolio” and begin to engage with people who are living life without a tobacco habit.

    You have more power than you may realize, so take small steps to change!


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