May 2024 Health & Wellness

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2024 Health & Wellness

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Managing Your Anxiety

Nearly 20% of adults in the U.S. experience anxiety, with most developing symptoms before the age of 20. The exact cause of anxiety is unknown, but experts believe there are both genetic and environmental components.

People experience anxiety differently, but the common thread is a persistent, excessive fear or panic in everyday situations. Challenging life circumstances often precede anxiety. Changing jobs, dealing with a health problem, moving, and being a caregiver are all common triggers. Symptoms of anxiety can range from feelings of restlessness to intense physical symptoms like nausea, sweating, and shortness of breath.

Learning how to manage anxiety can help reduce the intensity and frequency of your symptoms. Try these calming strategies the next time you feel anxious:

• Phone a friend. Connect with a trusted friend or mentor who is a good listener. Sometimes venting your feelings and emotions is all you need to release intense emotions.
• Avoid alcohol. Alcohol intensifies emotional responses and interrupts sleep quality, which can make anxiety worse.
• Avoid caffeine. For some people, caffeine amplifies physical symptoms of anxiety, leading to increased heart rate and shortness of breath.
• Prioritize restful sleep. Since physical and mental exhaustion can worsen anxiety symptoms, try to get at
least 7 hours of restful sleep each night.
• Try deep breathing exercises. Use deep breathing techniques, such as belly breathing, as soon as anxiety symptoms appear. Deep breathing lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, which can help you feel calmer and more relaxed.
• Keep a journal. Record details about your anxiety symptoms in a journal, and note the people, situations, or other factors that may have played a role. These clues can help you and your healthcare team predict when anxiety might occur in the future.

Equipped with the right self-care tools, you can learn to manage anxiety when symptoms first appear.  However, if your attempts to self-manage are not effective, contact your healthcare provider or a mental health professional to discuss other treatment options.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Mental Health:

It is normal to feel disappointed, sad, frustrated, or angry when life does not happen the way you hoped it would. In fact, negative emotions are as natural as positive ones. However, when negative feelings linger for long stretches of time, or disrupt your relationships, it may indicate something more is going on.

Healthcare providers are trained to identify signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. If you have concerns about your mental health, a good next step is to schedule an appointment with your provider and start a conversation.

Here are some possible ways to bring up mental health concerns with your doctor:

• I think I may be depressed. Do you have suggestions on how to handle that?
• Is there a mental health or depression screening I can take?
• What resources can help me understand what I am experiencing?
• Who is best suited to diagnose my condition?
• What are my treatment options?
• I have had thoughts about harming myself. What should I do?

Share specific examples of the symptoms you are experiencing and how often they occur. Describe how those symptoms are affecting your professional work, personal relationships, and day-to-day routines.  Provide details about how you have already attempted to manage your symptoms, including prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Your provider may suggest lifestyle changes, self-care strategies, or medication. They may also refer you to someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, such as a psychiatrist or mental health therapist.

Talking with your healthcare provider about your mental wellbeing is just like talking about any other health concern. Be honest about how you are feeling and ask about alternative treatment options if you are uncomfortable with the initial recommendations. Likewise, if your treatment plan does not seem to be working for you, be sure to circle back with your provider and ask about alternative options.

When You’re Not Okay… 21 Easy Ways to Create a Calm Mind (Without Meditating)

It is rare to feel good all the time. Most people experience periods of highs and lows throughout their lives. Knowing how to recognize when you are not okay can help protect your mental health.

Here are some signs that you might not be okay:

• You feel like nothing matters.
• You are isolating yourself from people and social interactions.
• You are using more alcohol or drugs than usual.
• You experience severe mood swings that affect your relationships.
• You have had thoughts of harming yourself or others.

If any of these ring true for you, here are some things you can do right now:


Connect with a trusted friend and share what you are feeling. Be open and honest, ask for what you need, and be clear about what is not helpful in terms of support. Talking through your emotions can help defuse them.


Not getting enough restful sleep can make stressful situations worse. Sleep helps your body recover from the demands of daily life. If you are struggling to get good sleep, ask your doctor for guidance on self-care or sleep aid options.


Some people prefer to journal privately about emotional experiences. Poetry, freestyle writing, or journal prompts are all effective ways to express and sort through uncomfortable or confusing emotions.


When life feels heavy, you may need to reprioritize your time based on your energy levels. Maybe the dishes can wait. Focusing on what is most important right now can help reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Take Action

If you are not okay, it is important to take swift action. If self-care has not helped, call your doctor or therapist, and schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns and symptoms.

If you need help immediately, call 911 or go directly to your closest emergency room. You can also call or text 988 or visit to talk with a crisis counselor.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Chicken


• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
kosher salt • 3 cups baby spinach 
freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan 
• 3 tablespoons butter
• lemon wedges, for serving


Step 1

In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Step 2

In the same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst then add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt.

Step 3

Stir in heavy cream and parmesan and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 4

Serve with lemon wedges.

Prep Time Cook Time Servings


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