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August is often a month of transition for many people. Vacations are over, kids go back to school, the days begin to shorten while our extracurricular activities increase, and we typically spend more time indoors to combat the heat, the bugs, and the exhaustion of being busy. The “lazy days of summer” are coming to an end! All of this can impact our mental health and emotional well-being.

To address our mindset and work towards better mental health, it helps to understand what mental health is.

According to the CDC, mental health includes:

  • emotional well-being
  • social well-being
  • psychological well-being

When these three dimensions interact, the overall outcome impacts the way we think, feel, and act. If our mental health is in a good place, it can improve our ability to interact with both ourselves and others, expressing and behaving in healthy ways that enhance our well-being. If our mental health isn’t in a...

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die annually from foodborne illnesses. While some of these instances cannot be avoided, a large number of them are preventable. And summer is the perfect time to create awareness, as it is known as the “season of food poisoning.” The rising temperatures in the American summer create certain food safety risks – bacteria multiply faster in warmer temperatures and preparing food outdoors (or going back and forth between the indoors and out) makes safe food handling more difficult. The CDC has four basic tips for safely preparing, serving, and storing foods:

Clean

Wash your hands and work surfaces before, during, and after preparing food. Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands,...

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Spending time outdoors improves our memory, productivity, creativity, and concentration! We discussed this in Outdoor Well-Being, making the summer months perfect for taking advantage of warm temperatures, bright sunshine, and fresh air. As with most things that can improve our overall well-being, however, there is a certain level of awareness required to enjoy the perks without experiencing the side effects. More time outdoors means more potential for heat emergencies, bug bites, stings, and other injuries.

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Summer fun means sunshine, cookouts, traveling, and making lots of memories. All too often, however, lack of preparation, awareness, and action creates discomfort, injury, or even worse. While it is not the answer to everything, there is one concept to remember that can help you get the most out of your summer: WATER! Here are two specific ways to use and enjoy water:

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “If you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated, and that can cause symptoms

like headache, fatigue, dizziness, and more. Dehydration can contribute to life-threatening illnesses like heatstroke.”

How often do you feel thirsty, experience headaches, fatigue, or dizziness in the summer (or any other...

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Medical tests aren’t just for diagnosing an issue once symptoms appear – they are also routinely used as a vital aspect of preventive health care. Routine screenings allow for you and your medical team to have baseline numbers on a variety of biometrics, thus providing the opportunity to notice when there are changes – whether good or not so good. An early diagnosis can potentially come from one of these screenings or the conversations had with your doctor, which could lead to less invasive and even more successful treatment plans. The routine screenings you personally need may change over time, based on your family history, previous diagnoses, age, etc. Review the link below, but only use it as a starting point to your own screenings schedule. Discuss a personalized plan with your medical provider.

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Men’s Health Month aims to bring attention to four pillars created to help men (and their families) not only live good lives but to thrive now and in the future! The various medical, technological, and ecological advancements made in recent decades have improved our ability to prevent and fight disease, our overall health, and even our desire to live a longer life. The goal isn’t to just see a certain age anymore. It’s about the desire to live active, fulfilling lives to older ages. The four pillars Men’s Health Month focuses on helps to create a plan of action so men AND women are living their best lives for years to come!

AWARENESS

The “awareness” piece is simple, and it creates the foundation for the remaining three pillars.

A decline in health (mental, physical, and/or emotional) is NOT inevitable! You have more control over how you age than you may realize.

The challenge is to pursue that awareness through prevention, education,...

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