The coronavirus panic: How you can remain calm

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is here in the United States and more people are getting sick, but the message remains the same: do not panic.  We’re reminded of the safety briefing on a plane “if the oxygen masks drop down and we lose altitude, put your mask on and stay calm.” Not panicking is easier said than done for many of us.  In fact, it is completely normal to panic when there is fear of catching a potentially deadly virus or fear of your plane going down.

Here are some tips and reminders on how to remain calm and help decrease your panic or anxiety:

  1. Start with grounding. Find the present moment by looking around at your surroundings. Exercise your five senses; what do you see, smell, hear, touch, feel?
  2. Listen to the experts. You’re not likely to get the virus, but if you do, you’re very likely to have mild or moderate symptoms. Live life as you normally would. Healthcare experts provide these practical tips for prevention against COVID-19 or other viruses:
    – Wash your hand frequently and thoroughly
    – Maintain a 3-6 foot distance in social situations with anyone who is coughing or sneezing
    – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    – Stay home if you are experiencing a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, and seek medical care.More advice is available online on the World Health International website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
  3. Talk with others. When something is bothering you, talk about it. Tell your friends or spouse or partner “this virus makes me nervous.” Tell them why.  Just talking about it helps.
  4. Be optimistic. Tell yourself, “everything is going to be OK.  Most people are going to be just fine. I’ll be fine, too.”
  5. Use coping statements. “This is a bad virus, but we are going to be OK. This is temporary. I’ve been through bad things before and I can get through this. When the fear comes up, I’m going to acknowledge it and let it roll off my shoulder. I can handle it. I can deal with it. This too shall pass.”
  6. Practice good self-care. Eat healthy. Drink water. Exercise. Engage in your hobbies. Socialize. Nurture your spirit.

 

Shared with permission by First Choice Health EAP.

 

Breast Cancer Awareness | Be Involved

Did you know? October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer, raising funding for research into the cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of breast cancer, and providing information and support for those with breast cancer or for those who may be at risk for breast cancer. Here are six ways that you can get involved:

Offer support! Consider charities that focus on supporting those with breast cancer. Charities that assist with gas cards, wigs, the payment of treatment, makeup classes, etc. are all excellent ways to support the fight against breast cancer. Or, if you know of someone personally affected by breast cancer, offer to assist them. Something as simple as offering to bring them dinner or to help with their housework can be a big relief during a physically and emotionally demanding time.

Donate to research initiatives. Look for charities that use funding to research a cure for metastatic breast cancer.

Know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. According to Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville (www.clearviewcancer.com), any of the following signs and symptoms would warrant a consult with a physician:

  • A lump in the breast or underarm area
  • An enlargement of pores around the breast or nipple area (often described as an orange peel’s texture)
  • Dimpling on the breast
  • Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of one of the breasts
  • An inverted nipple
  • Nipple discharge that is clear or bloody

Complete Breast Cancer Screening. Encourage others to do the same! Unfortunately, many people with early stages of breast cancer do not exhibit symptoms, which makes it critically important for patients to schedule yearly mammograms and to complete regular self-exams. According to cancer.org, the latest guidelines recommend that women should begin having yearly mammograms by age 45 and can begin to have mammograms every other year beginning at age 55. The Centers for Disease Control states that the United States Prevention Services Task Force External (USPSTF) recommends that you speak to your physician about when and how often you should receive a mammogram, as certain risk factors may warrant an earlier exam.

Regularly perform Self Breast Exams. Encourage others to do the same! According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, self-exams should be completed once a month. For a information on how to perform a self-breast exam, visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam.

Know the risk factors and share those factors with others! Some factors, such as gender, age, and genetics are beyond your control. But other factors, such as lifestyle and diet, can decrease your risk of breast cancer. Visit https://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors for a comprehensive list of risk factors.

A Recital to Remember

A Recital to Remember

Many people have a passion that they develop and grow to love during their lifetime. For one of our patients, she dedicated many years of her life to performing and teaching students how to play the harp and piano. As a patient with Stage IV lung cancer, she has become increasingly weaker, forcing her to stop teaching her beloved students.

As a result, an Abode employee came up with the idea of having the patient’s students play a private concert for her as a surprise. Using the Broadmoor hotel as the venue, team members were able to coax the patient to come to lunch at the Broadmoor, where she was surprised with her students awaiting. The students played for her for an hour while finishing her afternoon with lunch complimentary of the Broadmoor Golf Club following the event.

Interestingly enough, it was discovered that the patient had played over 100 times at the Broadmoor for weddings and private events over the years, which made the event more special. The Broadmoor team was overly accommodating to help with this event as they have grown to love the patient and her music over the years. Without the help of Abode’s amazing staff and the staff at Broadmoor, this event would not have been possible. As the patient’s son put it,

“What Abode has done is above and beyond. I thought it was incredible the lengths the crew went to make this event possible. I’m absolutely blown away.”

Oftentimes our patients are unable to participate in the tasks they once loved. We strive to make sure they are able to get a taste of these beloved hobbies or interests during their time with us in hospice. This is the perfect example of how we can bring a little bit of that joy back into our patients’ lives.

Wellness Spotlight Christal Ransom

Wellness Matters!

Wellness written with wooden letters, fresh chamomile flowers on rustic surface

We all know it can be difficult to maintain a healthy (or even healthy-ish) lifestyle, but here is one employee who believes: “Always focus on doing the right thing”.

Christal Ransom has been with Abode Hospice and Home Health in Colorado Springs since day one; she serves as Director of Public Relations and Community Liaison. Before joining the Abode team, Christal worked in outpatient orthopedics, sports medicine, and social work, where she found her passion for hospice.

Christal has deep roots in the sport Judo that instilled many values she holds true today in her career like “perseverance, work ethic, and integrity” and “wanting to be the best and have the best team” she says.

In 2000, Christal moved out to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic Center. She also competed for the U.S. National team for 12 years. In 2008, she won the Olympic trials but unfortunately was unable to go to the Olympics because her weight division wasn’t qualified.

For the 2012 Olympics, “I trained to make the London team but was unable to qualify and got selected to attend the Olympics as a training partner” she says. After London in 2012, Christal retired and was elected to join the Board of Directors for U.S.A. Judo which she currently serves on today.

It’s easy to see how such an intense sport can really instill such values and characteristics that have carried over into Christal’s life today.

An average day for Christal is going to the gym every morning about 6:30 AM, “I usually begin taking calls there and I’m out and about driving around all day” she says. Among other things, “I work with patients, families, and facilities in order to help coordinate admissions and patient care”.

But for those who don’t have a complete background in Judo or any sport for that matter Christal has some sound advice for living a healthy lifestyle.

Christal Ransom second from the left attending a last wish event!
Christal Ransom – second from the left attending a last wish event!

Often our jobs are sometimes stressful, what might be the best way to combat that?

If your immune system is beat down and you are stressed the best thing you can do is to eat right and take care of your body so you can recover, so you aren’t sick for weeks.

 

On that note, what foods can you not live without?

Chicken. Chicken three times. Or chicken, coconut oil, and espresso. Coconut oil is also key!!

 

What might be the best advice to find the right eating and working out schedule?

My suggestion to people who do what we do would be to bring your lunch – meal prep that way you have healthy snacks. Since I am always on the go, I have a little icebox in my car that I pack my lunch in; chicken and avocado!

Other clean food like nuts or protein bars, healthy but quick to eat. That way when you have no time to stop and eat you at least have something healthy on the go that’s going to fuel your body. Oh and no smoking!!

 

Are you reading any interesting books, blogs, magazines that have health tips in it?

Nothing too particular or specific to health but I was reading about coconut oil – coconut oil helps boost your immune system.

 

Cold and flu season are around the corner, do you have any tips that might help to combat that?

Yes, I can be quite germ-a-phoab! Wash your hands, all too often we rely on hand sanitizer – you have got to wash your hands!

Also, don’t wear your shoes in the house, I feel like you track in a lot of dirt and nasty germs from the hospital or wherever in your home. Leave your shoes at the door!

A couple of other helpful tips are zinc and vitamin C – they also help boost your immune system. I’d say if you do not take supplements regularly, you should at least take something that is boosting your immune system during the flu season.

Lastly, wipe your phones down with antibacterial wipes. Our phones are considered one of our dirtiest possessions. People don’t realize but your phone is your nastiest piece of equipment – use antibacterial wipes!

For those of you always on the go, here are some helpful tips and advice from one of our own that can hopefully help you jump start and maintain your health! Wellness in all forms matter and taking the right small steps can make a huge difference in your day-to-day lifestyle.