| We all deserve an occasional mental health day or two but May is the month designated to bring awareness to the serious implications of mental health issues. The good news is that programs around these issues are working. Doctors, social media, television, talk shows, etc. have all brought mental health issues to a public forum and in doing so have helped remove the stigma once associated with depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. It's time to have open conversations with the people you love if they need help and with your doctor, family and friends if you are in need of some help yourself. Support is becoming more and more abundant for all types of mental health diagnosis. And, while it isn't a cure, knowing you are not alone and have nothing to be ashamed of puts you ahead of the battle.
May is a happy and active time around the clubs. Be sure to watch for the announcement of summer kid's programs, new classes, pool openings and everything else that Prairie Life Fitness has to offer.
Here's to your physical and mental health,
Laurie Killian, General Manager
Article of the Month
More than 60 years ago, long before depression and anxiety were "acceptable" topics of discussion, Mental Health Month was created to raise awareness of the importance of mental health. While negative attitudes and the stigma associated with mental health issues have shifted during recent decades, it is still critical to stay aware of your own mental health and of those you love. Mental illness affects not only those who are afflicted with the diagnosis but also their friends and family. The greatest gift you can give to yourself or to someone is need is to remove the shame often associated with depression, anxiety, stress, bi-polar, addiction, etc. Discuss it openly and work together toward solutions or treatments.
Social connectedness is the central theme of the May 2013 Mental Health Month. Staying connected and not allowing yourself or others to become isolated with their illness is an essential component of maintaining and protecting mental health. There are many ways to "Get Connected" and create an environment that supports mental wellness.
- Get connected to family and friends to feel close and supported.
- Get connected to your community to feel a sense of belonging and purpose.
- Get connected to professional help to feel better when you're stressed and having trouble coping.
When a mental health condition is present, it is easy to forget about your overall health. It is easier to fight illness of any kind when you take care of your body and mind. In fact, many mental health problems can be avoided by making healthy and positive lifestyle choices. Encourage those you love to take responsibility for the prevention of mental health issues during times of personal challenge and stress in the following ways;
Spending time with positive, loving people you care about and trust can ease stress, help your mood and improve the way you feel overall.
Advocate for Yourself
You deserve good health care. Too often, people with mental illnesses develop other health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, because their health is overlooked. Talk to your doctor about your overall health.
Get the Care You Need
Get routine check-ups and visit your doctor when you're not feeling well. It may be due to your medicine or a symptom of your mental illness. But it could also be a different health problem.
Plan Your Sleep Schedule
Sleep can affect your mood and your body and is important to your recovery. Not getting the right amount of sleep can make day-to-day functioning and recovery harder.
Watch What You Eat
Sometimes, medicine can cause you to gain or lose weight. Read the labels and weigh the positive affects with any potential negative side effects. Talk to your doctor if something isn't working.
Stress can make you feel run down. It can also cause your mind to race and make it hard to focus on the things you need to do. If you have a mental illness, lots of stress can make it harder to function. If you are feeling stressed, there are steps you can take to feel better:
- Slow down and take one thing at a time.
- Know your limits. Let others know them too. Don't be afraid to say "No".
- Do something you enjoy, exercise, connect with others or meditate.
- Know your triggers.
- Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor.
Regular exercise can increase your self-esteem and confidence; reduce your feelings of stress, anxiety and depression; improve your sleep; and help you maintain a healthy weight. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and try new things. Sometimes it can be as simple as turning on some music and dancing! You may want to shut the blinds first or maybe not - encourage your neighbors to join the fun.
Do Something You Enjoy
During the week, find a couple of hours or whatever you can fit in–to do something YOU enjoy. Taking time for yourself can help you relax, ease stress and improve your mind, body and spirit!
Exercise of the Month
Dumbbell Pullover on Stability Ball
Holding the head of one dumbbell with both hands, lie face up on a stability ball with feet shoulder width on the floor, legs bent 90 degrees with knees over ankles. Shoulders should be on stability ball and body should be "bridged up" so that body doesn't sag in the middle - keeping core tight so that more stabilizing muscles in your core and lower body are incorporated. Extend arms so the dumbbell is aligned over chest with arms slightly bent. Bring the dumbbell over/behind head in one motion, keeping upper arms close to your ears. Slowly extend arms to return to starting position. Repeat 10 - 15 times per set
Muscles targeted: pectoralis major, serratus anterior, latissimusdorsi, anterior deltoids, triceps brachii
Injury of the Month
From: Nicole Schnaus - Clinic Director Physiotherapy Associates
Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes.
Morton's neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock. Morton's neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. In some cases, Morton's neuroma causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.
Morton's neuroma may occur in response to irritation, injury or pressure. Common treatments for Morton's neuroma include changing footwear or using arch supports. Sometimes corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary.
Doctors don't understand what causes Morton's neuroma. The condition seems to occur in response to irritation, pressure or injury to one of the nerves that lead to your toes. The growth of thickened nerve tissue (neuroma) is part of your body's response to the irritation or injury.
- A feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe.
- A burning pain in the ball of your foot that may radiate into your toes.
- Tingling or numbness in your toes.
- Wearing high heel shoes or shoes that are tight or ill-fitting can box in your feet and place pressure on your toes.
- Participate in high impact athletic activities such as jogging or running may subject your feet to repetitive trauma. Sports that feature tight shoes, such as snow skiing or rock climbing, can put pressure on your toes.
- People who have bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet or excessive flexibility ar at higher risk of developing Morton’s neuroma.
- Physical Therapy - arch supports/ foot pads to reduce pressure on nerve; Ultrasound treatment and ice massage to decreased nerve inflammation.
- Surgical and other options - steroid injections; decompression surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
- Removal of the nerve surgically, which can leave permanent numbness in the affected toes.