Archive for May, 2013

Lather Up

Today in Boston we are expected to hit near 90 degrees.  We haven’t seen temps like this since late August of last year.  With the mercury count on the rise that also means increased intensity of the sun.  What better opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of proper skin care.

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With sunscreen sales approaching near $1 billion a year, skin cancer is still on the rise.  Many experts say inappropriate use of sunscreen such as not applying enough is a major culprit.  The suggested amount to apply is a golf ball size dollop and to keep reapplying every two hours.  In addition, many sunscreens only protect against UVB rays.  While this does help against sunburns, UVA rays are associated with aging and skin damage.

Ways to protect yourself:

  • limit sun exposure, especially during the midday
  • wear protective clothing such as hats and long sleeves
  • use broad spectrum protective sunscreen which protects against UVA and UVB rays
  • keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun
  • lotions rather than sprays to avoid chemicals entering the lungs
  • apply sunscreen on overcast days

Be sure to lather up when heading outside for any length of time.

be well-

 

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Milk, Cream or Sugar?

True conversation I overhead at work this weekend:

Mom- “Do you want to go to Starbucks?”

2 year old- “No! Dunkin Donuts”

Mom- “You’ve already been there today. I need my chai.”

2 year old- “Whatever…”

I know of many people who if you get in their way before they’ve had their morning coffee, watch out!  Depending on the season, some like it hot.  Others prefer it iced.  Until recently, I avoided coffee for a lot of reasons.  But lately, I have been on a kick of having one or two per week.

Other than getting our general population started for their day, recent studies have shown a few benefits to coffee.

I am still a strong believer with everything in moderation.  Over consumption of too much coffee can have negative effects as well.  “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”- Hippocrates

be well-

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They do more than Kiss boo-boos

I have vivid memories of being a young Girl Scout and my troop mates and I standing around my family’s dining room table.  Mom was all prepared to help us earn our First Aid badge.  It comes as no surprise she would be the mother to help us.  Naturally, as a nurse, she tended to all sorts of boo-boos, both at work and at home.  That particular day we learned how to properly apply bandages, tie a tourniquet, and the basics of CPR.  Little did I know that several years later I would have applied countless bandages to myself and perform CPR in a real life situation.

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Thanks to, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, my mother, her sister, several of my cousins and friends had the great opportunity to become nurses.  Nursing is often called an art of science.  Some have a speciality such as emergency/trauma, hospice, neonatal, oncology, public health, home-care,  and many more.  Nurses are prepared for anything and everything.  They often act as the liaison between patient and doctor, interpret patient information, perform routine exams, and provide comfort and care when needed most.

As National Nurses Week comes to a close, I would like to send a special Thank You to all nurses.  I have spent more than my fair share of time with nurses.  It is because of you, I am still here today.

In closing, here’s a little something on the nurse I admire most: http://www.brightstarcare.com/blog/uncategorized/nurses-notes-recognizing-brightstar-rns-making-more-possible/

be well-

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Since 1949…

Catherine Zeta Jones, Mel Gibson, Brooke Shields, John Nash, Carrie Fisher, Herschel Walker, Paula Deen, and Howard Hughes just to name a few, have all dealt with some sort of mental health disorder.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949.  It is often a time when the country draws attention to mental health issues that affect as many as one in four Americans.

Just a few of the mental disorders include:

  • antianxiety, including ptsd, ocd, and phobias
  • bipolar
  • depression
  • schizophrenia

Unfortunately with the stigma associated with mental health, people are ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their own experience.  Many times this keeps them from seeking the appropriate help needed.  There are many causes of mental health disorders.  Genes and family history play a role.  Life experiences such as stress or abuse.  And biological factors such as drug use, exposure to toxins, or having a serious medical condition such as cancer can also cause mental health disorders.

The great news is that help does exist.  As society becomes more educated, that wall which separates us is beginning to crumble.

For more information on mental health, check out the National Institute of Mental Health- http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

be well-

 

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