Happy Me Month

by Lila Lazarus

This is the season of holidays for other people. First, I was buying Mother’s Day gifts. Then I’m looking for Father’s Day gifts. There are several graduation days on the calendar and a few wedding days, too. So I’m throwing out an idea for a new holiday: Me Day. Or maybe even Me Month. Hear me out.

Unless we take care of ourselves, we’re no good to anyone.

This probably sounds so selfish or self-centered. And it’s supposed to. We’re so afraid to blatantly focus on No. 1. And when we do, we often feel guilty. But unless we take care of ourselves, we’re no good to anyone. We hear it so often in yoga: You can’t pour from an empty cup. We need to take care of ourselves first. Unless we really give ourselves some true TLC body, mind and spirit—we’re no good at work, at home or in the community. So here’s my suggestion: Take the next 30 days, (yes, a full month!) and focus on you. And in case your me-muscle is as out of shape as mine, here are some suggestions on how to do this:

Get a full night’s sleep every night for a month.  Can you even imagine that? I’d be happy to just get a full night’s sleep two or three days in a row. Your mood, productivity, relationships, waistline, EVERYTHING would improve. So many sleep studies have linked our bad sleeping habits to poor performance at work, car accidents, anger, depression, not to mention heart disease, diabetes and obesity. This one step could change the world.

IMG_2191[1]
That’s me meditating in the Valley of Fire near Las Vegas.
Meditate every morning.  It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes. Even five minutes can change the course of your day by putting things in perspective. I know when I really commit to a morning mediation on a daily basis my day starts off with more energy and balance. I just feel happier. And there are so many meditation apps now that can help you through the process. And you can meditate anywhere.

Move. If you want to transform your body, mind and spirit—go for a walk every day. Stretch, do yoga, go for a run. It will boost your energy and help relieve anxiety and stress.

Don’t move. Make sure you also carve out time in your day to relax and restore. It doesn’t have to be a nap. It’s just a conscious slowing down. This is the hardest one for me. I need to make a conscious commitment to doing less.

Say no. I don’t think I even know how to pronounce the word “no.” But saying yes all the time is killing me. Saying yes is a great excuse not to take care of yourself. So during Me-Month I’m simply not available unless the request aligns with my mission and values. Sure, I’ll still have to work and keep up with responsibilities, but during certain sacred hours: early in the morning, during my normal workout time, and in the evenings, sorry, the answer is no.

Get to the doctor. It’s the last thing we have time for. Too many of us wait until we’re sick to get the care we need. And if you’re like me, you’re overdue for everything. I’m overdue for the dentist, the gynecologist, I still haven’t scheduled my physical, my mammogram (which is months overdue) or a bone density test. Last year my doctor gave me the paperwork for a colonoscopy and I never followed up. It’s on my to-do list every single day and yet, I never make the call. One hour at the doctor could add years to my life and help relieve any worries. During Me-Month all appointments will hereby be scheduled.

If we all get better in touch with ourselves, we’ll be way better at getting in touch with each other. Let me know what you think of Me-Month. I can already envision the Hallmark cards we could send to ourselves:  “In a world of change…open the card…Thank you for being my only constant.” Or just “Thinking of You Me!

Lila Lazarus Photo_resizedLila’s Health Report:
In order to stay healthy, you need to stay active and engaged. In addition to exercise, good nutrition and sleep, you also need a good dose of adventure. So each month I’ll share ways to boost the excitement and passion in your life with adventurous ways to create more wellness in your body, mind and your spirit.

Register for 2018 Washtenaw County Heart Walk

2018-04-13 16_03_38-2018 Heart Walk Event Flyer (2).pdf - Adobe AcrobatANN ARBOR – Register for the American Heart Association’s Washtenaw County Heart Walk on Saturday, May 5 at Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is a proud sponsor of this annual event. See flyer

8 a.m. – Grounds Open / 5K Registration
8:30 a.m. – Timed 5K Begins
9 a.m. – Vendor Tables and Activities Begin

11 a.m. – Walk Begins
Free to Walk! | Timed 5K Run: $35
(5K includes finishers medal)

To register, visit: washtenawheartwalk.org

Join Us for our Summer Healthy Kick-Off – May 19

CANTON – Join us on Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. for our annual Healthy Kick-Off event at St. Joseph Mercy Canton Health Center. Print flyer

This free, fun-filled afternoon will feature bike helmets and fittings, digital fingerprinting, Health Exploration Station, health screenings, players from AFC Ann Arbor, a rock wall and teddy bear clinic.

Enjoy family fun including:

  • Arctic Edge Street Hockey
  • Family Exercise Mini Sessions
  • Free Bike Helmets and Fittings | Supply limited to first 100 kids
  • Health Exploration Station
  • Health Screenings: Skin Cancer, Blood Pressure and More
  • Meet Players from AFC Ann Arbor, Semi Pro Soccer Team
  • Rock Climbing Wall
  • Teddy Bear Clinic

We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, visit our website.

Get Rid of Your Bucket List

by Lila Lazarus

For years I talked about climbing Machu Picchu. I told people,“It’s on my bucket list.” I dreamed about it. I swore that one day I would find the time, the money, the adventurous travel partner, and live out my dream. But year after year, something else came up, or money was tight, or time was limited and it never happened. Machu Picchu became a symbol for me of not living my dreams. And as years turned into decades, I realized time is eventually going to run out. That’s the problem with bucket lists, they don’t have a time limit.

What’s on your bucket list? If you want to live your dreams in this lifetime, you first have to know what your dreams are. That’s what the bucket list is all about. It’s a blueprint of the life you wish you were living. But I no longer have one. Why? Because  a bucket list is a list of things you want to do someday, one day. It should be called “My Dream List.”  It’s a list of castles in the air, pie in the sky, pipe dreams that never turn into reality. I believe in living that list— not dreaming about it. Continue reading “Get Rid of Your Bucket List”

How Much Ibuprofen is Too Much?

by Karyn Repinski

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

Charan-CheemaNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are some of the most commonly used medications, with more than 30 billion doses taken annually in the US alone. Unfortunately, NSAIDs aren’t just widely used: they’re also widely abused, with nearly one out of seven users going over the daily limit, according to a January 2018 study from the Boston University School of Medicine.

That may not seem like a big deal, but NSAIDs can have serious side effects—even when taken as prescribed, says Charan K. Cheema, DO, a family medicine physician with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Saline, Michigan. And because side effects are dose-related, overdoing it makes them even more likely, leading to bigger problems than the aches, pain and fever you originally took the meds for.
Continue reading “How Much Ibuprofen is Too Much?”

Seed to Stomach Summer Camps offered at The Farm

camp kids adults hoopANN ARBOR – Come to The Farm at St. Joe’s for a learning and cooking adventure! We’ll explore fresh flavors, harvest delicious produce and create healthy snacks that are easy and fun to make. Each day includes hands-on activities as we discover why nutritious food is good for us, how food is grown and how we can develop our skills in the kitchen.

Session One: June 25-29
Session Two: August 13-17

Children attend with an adult. Please bring a water bottle for each participant.

Instructor: Laura Meisler, Education Coordinator, The Farm at St. Joe’s

Location:
The Farm at St. Joe’s
5557 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

Learn more about The Farm.

 

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Seeking Artist Donations for Cancer Center Project

AACancerCenter_withLandscapingANN ARBOR – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is seeking artwork from Michigan artists to decorate its soon-to-be renovated cancer center. The hospital’s art committee is opening a call for submission, asking local artists to consider donating a piece of original art to be displayed among a total of 200 to 300 pieces throughout the cancer center.

“Our vision is to include creative, uplifting artwork gifted by our local artists to support patients, friends, family and staff on their healing journey,” said Dave Raymond, regional director of planning and design at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. St. Joe’s Art Enrichment Committee is working with Pictures Plus, an Ann Arbor art and frame shop, to help curate and install the artwork.

St. Joe’s opened a call for submission after several artists inquired about donating art as a way of expressing their support for the cancer program. The hospital will also be purchasing art for the cancer center.

“This new cancer center will serve the surrounding community, and we want to give local artists a unique opportunity to create a healing environment with their art,” said Kathryn Savitskie, art consultant from Pictures Plus, who is overseeing the submission process. Continue reading “St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Seeking Artist Donations for Cancer Center Project”

Have High Blood Pressure or Diabetes? Watch Out for This

by Sara Altshul

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

They may not get as much press as your heart or brain, but your kidneys do a lot of good work. A pair of bean-shaped, fist-sized organs found on either side of your lower spine, they filter wastes and excess fluids from between 120 to 150 quarts of blood every day. During this process, they produce urine—about two quarts daily. They also release hormones that help control blood pressure, produce red blood cells and build healthy bones.

When all your organs work together properly, you’re barely aware of all the heavy lifting your kidneys do to keep you alive and well. But healthy kidneys depend on the health of your other organs and body functions. When one process is disrupted or affected by disease, the dysfunction over time can damage your kidneys; that can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and eventually, kidney failure. Continue reading “Have High Blood Pressure or Diabetes? Watch Out for This”

Listen to Rob Casalou on WJR’s ‘Food for Thought’

Rob Casalou
Rob Casalou, President and CEO, Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, spoke about food insecurity on WJR’s “Food for Thought” show with hosts Dr. Phillip Knight of the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Gerry Brisson of Gleaners, including how to improve access to fresh, healthy food and the role health care can play.

Click here for the playlist or listen to the full podcast

Infused with Love

Local school tradition spreads joy to cancer patients

For two weeks straight, Laura Shaffer opened up her kindergarten classroom during afternoon recess, as students flooded in to work on a beloved community project.

They set up an assembly line, and for the next half hour, students stood and filled plastic goody bags with hot cocoa packets and candy before securing them with pink tags and twisty ties.

“The students do everything,” Shaffer said.

Students at Livonia’s Randolph Elementary School helped bag an astounding 1,696 Valentine’s care packages this February, and delivered them to local cancer patients, including those at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s infusion center.

Continue reading “Infused with Love”