May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and a good time to learn about skin cancer and to understand just how serious this condition is. Each year over 5 million cases are diagnosed in the United States alone. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.  There are different types of skin cancer:

With summer just around the corner, you may find yourself spending more time outside. One thing to do before leaving your house each day, not just during the summer months, is to apply sunblock. Sunscreen is extremely important in protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It also aids in helping your skin from premature skin aging such as age spots and wrinkles. Also, seeing a dermatologist once a year can help in early detection of skin cancer. Prior to seeing a dermatologist, you can perform a self-exam and be prepared to show the doctor any unusual or changed moles or spots on your body. 

Sunblock is one way to help protect your skin, but there are other ways such as wearing a hat, a long sleeve shirt and pants, sunglasses, and staying in the shade. It is also key to reapply sunblock throughout the day, especially if you are in the water. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause most skin cancers. The UV rays are the strongest between 10 am to 4 pm, so during those hours, you want to make sure you protect yourself.  

By taking precautions, you are helping protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Make it a point to learn about skin cancer and how to help prevent it – this will allow you to go outside and enjoy the fresh air safely!

 

Since 1949, the month of May has been recognized as “Mental Health Month”. It was established to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder. At that time, many people didn’t talk about how they were feeling and suffered alone. Help wasn’t readily available due to the lack of knowledge about such illnesses. Over the decades, mental health doctors and researchers have learned about the many faces of mental illness and how to help those struggling.

Stats show that in 2019, nearly 50 million or 19.86% of adults in America experience a mental illness. (Source) The past two years of the pandemic resulted in a new level of stress and anxiety into our lives, creating a growing number of both adults and youth suffering from major depression. Read more

Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Mental health was never truly understood in early times, thus the reason people tried to hide their feelings and emotions so not to be judged and criticized by those around them. They didn’t have the tools and the knowledge to understand that mental health was an illness.

Times have changed and mental health is a conversation around the world with tools and treatment plans available to help those struggling with mental illness. Mental Health America (MHA) has the B4Stage4 Philosophy that everyone should take a moment to understand. The point is made that we do not wait years to treat cancer, diabetes, or other serious conditions and that when symptoms are first experienced, typically you are trying to get treatment right away. MHA notes that people should be paying attention to early warning signs of mental illness such as loss of sleep, feeling tired for no reason, feeling down or anxious, and other such symptoms. Read more

The month of May is Mental Health Month, and it is a good time to learn about mental health conditions and where to find treatment.

Living through the past two years of the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of millions of Americans. We may notice a change in our own moods and emotions or recognize a change in our loved ones. Mental health encompasses our emotional and social well-being and ultimately effects how we feel, think and act daily. It can interrupt how we make decisions, perform at work, interact with others, and our ability to handle stress. Read more

Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Today, doctors and researchers have gained knowledge of the many layers of mental illness conditions and have developed different methods to help those suffering. Many of the conditions will not improve without the proper channel of help from a medical professional and with the help of family and friends.

The pandemic has taken a toll on people of all ages, but one age group of concern is young children. Many children are developing mental health conditions, and since they are young, it may be difficult for them to express their feelings. Knowing the symptoms of mental health conditions will help us to identify the issue(s) and seek out the right help: Read more

GOOD NEWS: Anthem Blue Cross announced it has reached a new agreement with Dignity Health (Dignity) for all commercial products and networks including HMO, PPO and EPO. This agreement returns Dignity facilities to Anthem health plans, while protecting affordability for consumers. This agreement is retroactive to July 15, 2021, which means any care provided to CalCPA Health medical subscribers since that date, will be considered in-network.

Sugar-sweetened beverages have become the single greatest source of calories and added sugars in the American diet. We consume lots of sugar-rich sodas, fruit drinks, iced tea and energy drinks, and that’s problematic because overconsumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

How much sugar is too much? The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugars daily for women, and nine teaspoons for men. A regular 12-ounce soft drink contains eight teaspoons of added sugar, so even one sweet drink per day is too much. Treat these beverages like candy and have one occasionally, but don’t make them your daily drink of choice.

Sip smarter: Choose water most often. If you crave flavor, jazz it up by adding a squeeze of citrus (e.g., lemon, lime, orange), mint leaves, sliced cucumber, berries, fresh ginger or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy the color and fragrance.

Since coffee and tea are each 99% water, they are also good choices — just be aware of how much sugar you add and how much caffeine you consume. Try not to exceed 400 mg caffeine per day. An eight-ounce cup of coffee has about 80 to 100 mg of caffeine, while a cup of green or black tea has 25 to 50 mg. Herbal tea and decaf coffee are caffeine-free choices. Read more

There are huge advantages to smart device technology, but it can also have a downside. Your smartphone and tablet give you flexibility about where and how you work, and help you manage your personal business, too.

But your posture and how you hold these devices can become a pain in the neck — and in other parts of your body, too. For example, holding your phone up to your ear for a long time can cause sore shoulders, elbows and neck.

Research into smart device ergonomics (the study of people in their working environment) shows you can help prevent physical stress from extended use of your tools with these strategies: Read more

Family-Exercise-Advice

Family-Exercise-Advice

Regular exercise together with family can help keep you strong physically and emotionally, especially during challenging times. Summer season is a good time to focus on being more active, especially outdoors. Children and teens (ages six to 17) need to get at least one hour of moderateto vigorous-intensity physical activity every day, as recommended by the American Heart Association. Active children tend to have:

  1. A healthy weight.
  2. Strong heart, bones and muscles.
  3. Good brain health and strong academic performance.
  4. Positive mental health, confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Less stress, anxiety and depression. Read more
Family Separation Abroad During COVID-19

Family Separation Abroad During COVID-19

Many months into the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling long distances to visit family members here or abroad is often impossible or too risky due to the pandemic. Many people are feeling anxious and depressed about the separation and isolation.

Hopefully, by this time most of us have learned positive ways to cope with the loneliness and stress of the unknown. As our lives continue to be impacted by COVID-19, try to protect yourself by making positive choices.

Make it a daily priority to:

  • Ensure time for exercise.
  • Get plenty of sound sleep.
  • Enjoy favorite leisure activities.
  • Take breaks from the news.
  • Learn relaxation strategies (e.g., deep breathing and meditation).
  • Know what to do if you become sick or concerned about COVID-19.

Read more