Slow down. Don’t read this like you read most articles—skimming, barely taking it in. No, read this article with the aim of changing your entire life. Really. Just by slowing down and mindfully reading something word by word, you can change your whole experience. Suddenly you let go of anything that might be distracting you and fully engage with the words on the screen.
Every moment is an opportunity to be mindful—to be aware. It’s a chance to pay more attention to what we do while we’re doing it. And every day more research reveals how beneficial that kind of mindfulness can be for reducing stress.
Words hit us 24/7. They slide across the bottom of a newscast, parade across the screen on our smartphone or jut out like a billboard on a Facebook post. And every time a word pops up at us, we have the choice to let it bounce off us or take it in. Every time you click on a post or a blog you have the chance to practice being mindful… being present. When you’re reading mindfully, you’re reading word by word. You’re noticing the tablet, phone or screen the words are on. You’re noticing how the light of the screen hits your eyes. Take a moment to feel your eyes guiding you to the right and then back to the left again. Continue reading “Before You Check Facebook…Read This”
Hillary Ward readily admits she often puts her clients’ needs before her own. As a real estate agent, she’s used to accommodating the busy schedules of everyone else – adjusting her day to meet prospective buyers at the hottest new listing or fitting in a home inspection, even on her day off.
But something compelled Hillary to put her needs first when she registered – via Facebook – for a free breast cancer screening through the See, Test & Treat program at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. Funded by a grant from the CAP Foundation, See, Test & Treat allows uninsured or under-insured women to receive free cervical and breast cancer screening with same-day results.
Hillary has no family history of cancer. But knowing she was about 10 years behind in receiving her first mammogram, she signed up for a 10:30 a.m. appointment on April 22.
“I had some clients who wanted to have their home inspection on that day, but I just – for some reason – stuck to my schedule, which is a little out of the ordinary for me,” Hillary said.
If you want to know my stress level, look at my closet. Seriously, it’s the best gauge of my mental state. If you see Mt. Wardrobe—that huge pile of unfolded but clean laundry in the corner—I’m stressed. And if it looks like a bomb went off, chances are my anxiety level is really off the charts.
And while I’m not always sure which came first, the stress or the mess, I do know one thing: Change my closet, change my life. I’m not kidding. Organizing the closet is truly an antidote to anxiety along with five other techniques I’ll share with you. But let’s stick with the closet for now, as it is often the most neglected de-stressor. Continue reading “The Mess of Stress”
Join St. Joe’s and more than 200 walkers for the 2017 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Washtenaw Community College on Oct. 14. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Register online anytime at www.MakingStridesWalk.org/AnnArborMI.
On an unusually grey August afternoon, a mason jar of brilliantly colored zinnias and marigolds adorns the welcome desk at the Reichert Health Center. Behind the bouquet, Trish Jackson is deep in conversation with patients and visitors looking for directions to their various appointments. Her face lights up as she sees someone walking up to the desk with a second jar of summer flowers.
“I actually went to the grocery store again, and I bought kale again,” Amelia Reese said triumphantly as she picked up her weekly produce share at Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti.
“I love that people are buying kale even though we’re giving it you every other week,” Amanda Sweetman laughed, handing Reese a bag full of locally grown produce.
There’s no kale this week. Instead, Reese is taking home farm-fresh Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, jalapenos, sweet corn, beets and the pièce de résistance – a vine-ripened cantaloupe from Green Things Farm. Sweetman suggested using some of the melon to make a refreshing cantaloupe-infused water.
Each Wednesday afternoon, Farm manager Amanda Sweetman and her team – often interns or volunteers – pack a van full of produce gathered from seven local farms and distribute them at the Parkridge Community Center. Many of the recipients are grandmothers or grandfathers, some of them take a 45-minute bus ride, and others are volunteers or staff members of the center, like Reese. Continue reading “Growing a Healthy Community Through Community Supported Agriculture”