Medical Minute Memos

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, the CWRU Provost Scholars Program and the East Cleveland Concerned Pastors have partnered to present the Medical Minute Memo. The Medical Minute Memos are shared during weekly services by East Cleveland pastors and include tips on relevant and timely health and wellbeing concerns. For more information on the Medical Minute Memo, contact Faye Gary or George Bukenya.
 

We eagerly anticipate seeing you again at our next Health and Wellness Series on January 25, 2024, at New Life Cathedral from 6-8 PM. We will be discussing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

As we return to our usual activities, the flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Synchronization Virus (RSV) rates are increasing with the cold temperatures. Coughs and sniffles are common. Remember to get your shots and protect yourself, your family, and your loved ones. Here are a few tips to help you stay well:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. Water and fluids such as fruit and vegetable juices help to protect your immune system.
  • Dress warmly and layer your clothing to help you stay warm and comfortable in the cold.
  • Get your COVID, Flu, and Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV)vaccinations at clinics and pharmacies in your neighborhood.
  • Go to www.vaccines.gov to find locations where you can receive these medical injections.

Happy New Year to You and Yours! We eagerly anticipate seeing you again at our next Health and Wellness Series on January 25th, 2024, at New Life Cathedral from 6-8 p.m.

As we begin to go back to work, send our children to school, and resume our daily routines, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Set short and long-term goals for the year, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. These goals will help you stay focused and work towards personal achievements that will make you proud of yourself.
  • Be kind to yourself every day. We often get bombarded with emails, phone calls, and texts, pulling us in different directions. It is okay to say “No.” Focus on Loving and Caring for Yourself.
  • Remember that there is no shame in getting help for your mental health, blood pressure and heart concerns, and any suspicions about cancer. These practices could save your life. Act Now.
  • Seek professional help when needed. Ask a trusted relative or friend to visit the health professional with you when additional support is required.

You made it through the year. Be grateful for your achievements. Plan to protect and strengthen your mental health, which is the base for all health. Make your mental health and overall well-being your highest priority. Include activities and people that contribute to your general health in your daily life. A New Year's Resolution should help you get started:

  • Make it a habit to be kind to yourself and eliminate self-criticism thinking.
  • Set time limits on your social media use.
  • Remember that there is no shame in getting help for your mental health, blood pressure and heart concerns, and any suspicions about cancer. These practices could save your life. Act Now.
  • Seek professional help when needed. Ask a trusted relative or friend to visit the health professional with you when additional support is required.

These suggestions will help protect your health and well-being during the Holiday Season.  

Doing too much? Do not get caught up in this cycle. It is becoming the time for shopping, cooking favorite meals, and spending time with friends and families. But you must go slowly and be grateful for what you have.  

Watch your eating, drinking, and spending behaviors: Family gatherings, parties, and gift-giving can stimulate you to eat, drink, and be merry! Watch out for the desserts and alcohol. Avoid holiday debt. 

Here are a few extra tips to help you get through the holidays: 

  • Create a Budget and Stick to It: Give homemade gifts like baked goods. Alleviate pressures! 
  • Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities: Get others to help you with meal preparation, house and yard cleaning, decorating, and planning for family and guests.  
  • Forget About Being Perfect: The most important thing to do during the holidays is to spend quality time with family and friends and create more loving memories.
  • Enjoy the Holiday Season! Take care of yourself and others. 

Scripture for the Service:  
"And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.'" 
Luke 2:10 

Here is the second in a three-part series on self-management tips to help you during the Holiday Season.  

Expressing gratitude for family and friends during the Holiday Season can strengthen your well-being and  promote connections with others. During this special season, focus on the beautiful things that have  happened to you during your lifetime and share your appreciation with others. You are in a place and space where you can grow, develop, and become the best you can be. Remember that laughter and joy are good for your mental health. To strengthen your stress-related self-management, we offer three more tips  for you to use. 

Stay Connected: While dealing with social invitations and obligations, recall that managing connections  with family, friends, and loved ones is critical for your and their emotional support. Schedule quality time  with family and friends and tell them you love and value them. Also, openly tell them about your feelings  and relationships with them. 

Learn to Say No and Appreciate Your Capacity for Self-Management: It might be in your self-interest  to decline invitations and additional responsibilities if you feel overloaded and stressed. Communicate your position to others without hesitation. When you share with others that you are overloaded, it might  help them to evaluate their responsibilities, too. Setting boundaries is essential for good mental health and well-being. 

Practice Mindfulness: Put in your daily routine a few minutes of relaxation and “self-time” that you can  do anywhere. Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Do deep breathing exercises. 
  • Say your favorite prayer—meditate. 
  • Take a walk. 
  • Think about a favorite place or time that brought you joy and gratitude. 

As we approach the Holiday Season, remember that additional stressors and responsibilities will also be present in your life. For some, the holiday season brings joy, laughter, and togetherness with family and friends. But for others, it might bring added sadness, disappointment, more responsibilities and obligations, and financial pressures. All these factors can increase our stress levels. Below are three self-management tips to help with the stress during the holidays:

Self-Care is the Highest Priority: Self-care is not negotiable. Your health and well-being are related to your capacity to care for others. Promise yourself that you will get quality sleep, eat many fruits and vegetables, and participate in activities that bring you joy and satisfaction. When you take care of your physical health, you also care for your emotional and psychological health. 

Be Realistic with Expectations: Plan and make manageable goals for yourself and others. Be flexible when your plans do not go as you had anticipated. Move on. Be flexible and make another plan that might fit the situation.

Stay Connected with Family and Friends: Remember that social obligations are necessary. However, maintaining meaningful connections with loved ones is essential for your emotional support and family. Make quality time for your family and loved ones—write when you plan to be with them on a calendar and keep the date. Honestly and openly talk with them about your needs and feelings. Ask for help if needed. Aid them if they have a hardship. Tell them that you love them and appreciate them.
 

On behalf of the The Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Concerned Pastors of East Cleveland, and The Provost Scholars Program,, we wish you a safe, blessed, and prosperous Thanksgiving Holiday season. We are celebrating and thanking our community members, leaders, and partners for advancing our mission for improved health and wellness within our communities. As we gather with friends and family and reflect on our gratitude, here are a few thoughts that help us remain grateful for the gifts that we receive every day: 

  • Saying aloud three good things that happened to you every day 
  • Keeping a gratitude journal and read it at the end of the week 
  • Verbalizing a “Thank You” for gratitude that others have expressed to you
  • Appreciating your contributions to others and your community  
  • Spending time with family and friends, including those who are lonely and with little  support 
  • Praying and appreciating nature  

We often think about what we do not have or have not accomplished. Some of us spend time thinking  about regrets from the past. However, during Thanksgiving, let us pause and be thankful for the blessings  that we do have and the gifts that have been shared with us without any payment from anyone. Remember that these gifts are from God. He believes we are always worthy of his grace and mercy in all spaces and places. Believing that we are worthy and loving ourselves and others is good for our mental and physical health. Remember, you are worthy of love and deserve to be cared for; you need support and kindness from all people. Loving yourself is related to loving God, who created each of us in his image. Health and wellness is connected to loving yourself and loving others. Here are some suggestions that you can  consider to help you to love yourself and to love others: 

  • Tell yourself that God loves you and you are special in his sight; say as often as you wish! 
  • Take deep breaths and exhale slowly in times of stress and uncertainty. Repeat often.
  • Count to ten as a method of self-control and ensuring that you will be kind and respectful to others and yourself. 
  • Take time to do something that will instill joy and happiness in your life: Go on a walk, cook and share your favorite meal, do something that helps somebody else, repeat “God loves me.”
  • Reach out and get help from your pastor, a trusted friend, and/or a health professional. Take action! 
     

The Holidays can be challenging with the time change, cold weather, loneliness, too many bills, and other unspoken stresses. These stressors trigger feelings of depression, which can appear as being tired, trouble  sleeping, loss of appetite, or overeating. Depressive symptoms can also make you feel restless and a sense  of hopelessness or worthlessness. Sometimes, depressive symptoms bring about feelings of emptiness and misery. These feelings can be harmful to our mental health and help to create unwanted medical  conditions such as high blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, and others. Suicidal thoughts are also common and  dangerous. Take action. The best self-care practices during these times are: 

  • Doing physical activities in your home, gym, or work—any place will do! 
  • Meditating, praying, and singing helps, too. 
  • Surround yourself with people who love and care about you at home, work, and in the community.
  • Getting help from a health professional—be your advocate.