Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Live well’

Everything changes immediately after hearing the words, “you have cancer.”  The world seems to stop in that moment and you are paralyzed by fear.   Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to adjust.  There are many important decisions to make, do not make them in haste.  Carefully consider your options as you choose your healthcare team, manage prescriptions and treatment options and navigate financial and insurance concerns.  Focus on what you can control and create an action plan that includes the following steps to live your best life with cancer.   

  • Communicate with your healthcare team.  Learn as much as you can about your diagnosis.   If you are experiencing short- or long-term side effects, let them know.  Do not suffer in silence.
  •  Eat well.   Recognize that cancer and its treatment may cause side effects that make it difficult to eat.  Aim for 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables daily.  Include citrus, dark green and yellow vegetables. Whole grains, beans and lentils helps to fuel the body.  Limit high fat foods and snack frequently through out the day with power snacks.
  • Hydrate.  Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration helps regulate body temperature, aids in the absorption of vitamins and nutrients and  promotes optimal organ function.
  • Stay active.  Walking to the mailbox, lifting soup-can-weights or hitting the gym, physical activity is important. When you exercise, you are present in the moment and less focused on worries. Discuss  physical activity options with your doctor for an approved exercise plan.
  • Get enough sleep.   Insufficient sleep makes coping with challenges difficult.  Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night for optimal function.
  • Practice gratitude.   People who approach life with a positive attitude are less stressed.  Make a mental list of the things you are grateful for every night before you sleep.
  •  Get Organized: Feeling out of control is driven by disorganization. Which adds to general stress.  Reduce clutter and get organized.  You will focus on more important things.
  • Learn relaxation techniques.   Studies show that people who meditate regularly (even just three minutes!) feel calmer and more in control. Try yoga. Take a walk-in nature. Sit quietly. Spend time with your pet.  Try mindfulness.
  • Say “No” When Necessary: Boundaries are important. Do not feel bad when you feel like you need to say no. Avoid taking on more than you can commit to and do not feel guilty about it.
  • Lean on Your Support System: Stay connected with family and friends.  This leads to less stress and better coping ability. Do not be afraid to ask for support during these times.

Written by: Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County  lobb.3@osu.edu

References:

https://cancer.osu.edu

https://www.cancer.org

https://www.cancer.gov

Read Full Post »

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It is not part of the normal aging process. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that begins with mild memory loss and can later affect one’s ability to carry out activities of daily living.  On a personal note, my Mom – an Alzheimer’s patient – no longer recalls who I am and struggles with most daily activities.   Alzheimer’s caught up with us in November 2011.  After she received her diagnosis, we developed an action plan to direct her care with a goal for her to live well with Alzheimer’s.  

When seeking to take control of your health and wellness after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it may be helpful to focus your energy on the aspects of your life that are most meaningful.  Recognize that there will be good days and bad days, and an emphasis on living a healthier life will help prepare you to center your energies on what is most important to you.  Start today by:

  • Managing your physical health
    • Get regular checkups
    • Establish a relationship with a physician you trust
    • Get plenty or rest
  • Taking charge of your emotional health
    • Allow yourself to experience a range of emotions
    • Consider meeting with a trusted friend
    • Maintain close relationships with loved ones
    • If experiencing rapid mood changes or a short temper, be mindful of negative responses and understand your reaction is caused by the disease
    • If today is not going well, do not force it.  Stop. Do something you enjoy.
  • Increasing mental stimulation
    • Take a class
    • Try a new hobby
  • Educating yourself about the disease    
    • Plan for the future

Examine the influences that impact your experience living with Alzheimer’s.  Choosing to live a healthy life by maintaining your physical, social, and emotional well-being will help improve your daily life.

Written by: Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County.  lobb.3@osu.edu

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

Read Full Post »

 

diabetes

Live Well with Diabetes

Learning you have diabetes is a significant life change.   It is common to feel sad or angry with the diagnosis.  Managing your blood sugar is the key to living well with diabetes.  Below are some suggestions to manage your blood sugar and live your best life:

  • Know Your Type of Diabetes

Learn about your type of diabetes. Talk with your physician and get the facts.

  • Monitor Your Blood Sugars

Check your blood sugars as directed by your physician and record your readings.                Your readings reveal how food, activity, stress and medications affect your blood                sugars.

  • Know your A1C

A1C is a simple blood test that gives you a picture of your average blood sugar level            over the past two to three months. For most adults with diabetes, an A1C of less                  than 7% is ideal. This indicates good blood sugar control which helps reduce risks              of diabetes complications.

  • Eat Well

Work with a Registered Dietitian or a Certified Diabetes Educator to develop a meal           plan. Prepare healthy meals every day, learn what foods contain the most                             carbohydrates, and understand how carbohydrates fit into your meal plan.

  • Be Active

Physical  activity is one of the best tools for managing diabetes.  Strive for daily                   activity and keep it fun.  Vary your routine to keep from getting bored. You might               join a social group that walks, sign up for a bowling league, visit a park or find                     interesting places to walk such as the zoo, shopping malls or museums.

  • Seek Support
    A well-rounded team of healthcare experts will teach you how to manage diabetes and minimize associated health risks. Your healthcare team should include a primary care provider, endocrinologist, registered dietitian, diabetes educator and a pharmacist.  Family and friends are also valuable members of your team.

 

  • Manage Medications

Take any medications prescribed by your physician regularly and on time. Learn                what each medication does and why you are taking it and set up a system to make              it easier to manage medications.

  • Create a Diabetes Tool Kit

In addition to keeping a blood sugar log and a medication chart to share with                      healthcare providers in case of an emergency, you may want to create a small                      travel bag that contains an ID card or bracelet; a meter, lancet and test strips;                      diabetes medications; an insulin pen, syringe and test strips, fast acting sugar                      tablets.

  •   You may also want to have coping techniques in your toolkit

Make diabetes a part of life instead of life being all about diabetes!

 

Written by: Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County.  lobb.3@osu.edu

 

References:

American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

heart disase

Learning you have heart disease is a major life change.  Upon receiving a diagnosis, your healthcare team becomes an important part of your recovery process.  Listen to what they say, follow their advice, and make healthy lifestyle changes for the best possible life ahead.  In addition, there are steps you can take to protect your heart and overall health and move forward to live your best life:

heartKnow Your Type of Heart Disease

Learn about the type of heart disease (coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, etc.) you are diagnosed with by your physician.  Remember to keep a positive attitude.

medicationTake Charge of Medications

  • Take your medications regularly and on time
  • Learn what each medication does and why you are taking it
  • Set up a system to make it easier to manage medications

healthcare teamGet Involved with Your Healthcare Team

  • Talk to your doctors regularly. Be clear about your fears and goals.
  • Keep a journal on how you feel at different times throughout the day. Document how medications, diet and exercise make you feel.  Share journal entries with your doctor and discuss them.

heart symptomsLearn About Symptoms of Concern

Symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort,  shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, palpitations, lightheaded, dizziness and depression are important and should never be ignored.  If you experience any of them, discuss them with your doctor.

heart lifestyleAdjust Your Lifestyle

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
    • Include a variety of fruits & vegetables, low- fat dairy products, whole grains, skinless poultry & fish, and nuts & legumes
    • Limit intake of saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugar
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Live tobacco free
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Manage stress – learn coping techniques

 

healthcare technologyExplore Helpful Personal Technology, such as:

  • Home blood pressure monitoring devices
  • Wireless scales that record and store your weight over time
  • Activity monitors that remind you to stay active
  • Heart rate monitors that will alert you if your heart rate exceeds a determined threshold

stay on trackStay on Track

  • Set and write down realistic goals
  • Make one change at a time
  • Prepare for setbacks – They happen, just get back on track

A friend helps a person join a company club team or other group.Join a Support Group

  • Keep up with family and friends.
  • Recognize that living with heart disease can be challenging. It can be helpful to join a group of people that are facing the same difficulties.

 

Written by:   Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County.  lobb.3@osu.edu

 

References:

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/06-5716.pdf

https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/default.htm

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

depression

Depression is different for everyone.  Managing depression is challenging.  Often going to work, socializing with family and friends, or getting out of bed may feel like a struggle.  Here are some strategies to manage depression and live your best life:

  • Develop a Strong Support Groupsupport system
    • One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to create a strong social support. Stronger ties with family and friends are important.  Join a support group – online or join a group that meets in your area.
  • Reduce Stressstressed
    • When we are stressed, the body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is effective short-term as it helps to cope with what may be causing the stress in your life.   Long-term cortisol may result in elevated cortisol levels, which is linked to depression.  Keeping stress levels low will reduce cortisol levels and reduce your risk of depression.  Use stress-reducing techniques to overcome stress.
  • Improve Sleepsleep
    • Lack of sleep affects our moods. Recent studies find people with major depressive disorders experience sleep disturbances.  Often many find they cannot fall asleep and struggle to get out of bed in the morning.  Take charge of your sleep by avoiding caffeine at night, turning off electronics one hour before going to bed and if you read in bed use a dim light.
  • Eat wellmyplatedep
    • Choose good nutrition and take care of yourself. Improving your diet will be key to reducing your symptoms.   There is a link between essential nutrients that affect depression.  Zinc deficiency has shown in studies to increase symptoms of depression.  Good sources of zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, dairy, eggs, whole grains and dark chocolate.
  • Stop Procrastinationproc
    • Set goals and deadlines to manage your time well. Establish short-term goals and be diligent to achieve the most important items first.
  • Try Something Newnew
    • A new hobby, exercise or meeting a friend for lunch will have an impact on your symptoms. Read the local newspaper in your area to see what is happening around you and join in the activity.
  • Be Kindbekind
    • Simple kindness is powerful. Hold a door open for someone, let someone cut in front of you in traffic or return the cart to the store are all ways to show kindness.
  • Tackle Your Daily Choreschore
    • Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project.  Moving around and seeing your progress is uplifting.
  • Create a Wellness Toolkittoolbox
    • A wellness toolkit is a set of tools to use when you are feeling blue. Create your toolkit with things you like to do and is inspiring.  Listening to your favorite music, talk a walk with your dog, take a warm bath, read a good book or call a friend are a few ideas.

Take time for yourself daily.  Each day dedicate energy towards your appearance.  There is value to the theory, “when you look good, you feel good.”  Treat yourself well.

This year we are creating a Live Well series.  Join us each month, as we discuss Living Well.

Written by:   Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County.  lobb.3@osu.edu

Resources:

https://medlineplus.gov/depression.html

https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-conditions/depression

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9290-depression

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/natural-treatments#1

 

Read Full Post »

park

While scanning the paper recently, an obituary caught my eye:

“After 96 years of vigorous living, Ralph passed peacefully. His enthusiasm for life was contagious. He made friends easily wherever he went.  He made a difference in people’s lives, challenging people to do their best in business, sports, in their families and even in their fun.   He mentored many associates both young and old.  Believing in the rights and dignity of all, he organized an open housing committee at the peak of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. His family was the most important part of his life, especially his wife with whom everyday was a party. Their life together was fun. Join us to celebrate his life at the 18th green with a reception to follow in the clubhouse.”

After reading this, I wondered.  Are we living our best life? We all want to live better, more fulfilling and happier lives. Are we taking the time and necessary steps to achieve these goals?

Start today:

  • Be grateful
  • Be kind to others
  • Get enough sleep
  • Spend more time with loved ones
  • Smile more
  • Forgive
  • Exercise
  • Eat well
  • Spread positive energy
  • Get more sleep
  • Get fresh air
  • Volunteer
  • Enjoy a part of everyday

We only get one life. Forget about what other people are doing and focus on your life and your path to happiness.  At the end of the day and at the end of your life, that is all that matters.

I wish I had known Ralph.   He has inspired me to live my best life.  Thank you Ralph.

Written by:  Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/choosing-to-be-happy#1

https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits.html

 

Read Full Post »