Managing Stress and Anxiety with COVID-19

With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, stress and anxiety can be difficult to manage. Coping with stress during these times is essential for you and your loved ones. While stress can appear differently in everyone. According to the CDC on their website to help with anxiety and stress during the coronavirus, common signs of stress can include;

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Common changes to watch for in children include;

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

As important it is to know the signs, it is just as important to know the resources to help with stress and anxiety. Taking care of yourself during these times can seem difficult with orders to “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place”. We are fortunate to have resources online to help us through this unique time.

Health.com recently published an article “10 Virtual Therapy and Mental Health Apps to Cope With Coronavirus Stress” that has great options to explore while at home, https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/virtual-therapy-mental-health-apps. All apps suggested in the article are free to download, with some having in-app purchase options. If you currently have a behavior health physician that you work with, ask them if you can schedule an appointment via online video conference.

If you are having these feelings, please feel free to reach out by calling 509.444.8200 or learn more about our behavioral health services.

Additionally please keep in mind how to deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Below is a graphic from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. You can also access more resources by visiting www.adaa.org.

by Mike Cardenas, Marketing Specialist

Become a pro at working from home!

During these unusual times, here are a few tips and tricks to help you have a productive and successful day working from home.

Keep your morning routine. 

Continue to get up at your normal time, get ready, eat breakfast, etc.  This will help get you mentally prepped to “head to work”. 

Set up a dedicated workspace. 

Do your best to mimic your current work conditions.  A desk, supportive chair, monitors, etc.  Try to make sure that if you can, keep your workspace outside of areas of relaxation in your home such as your bedroom or living room.  Keeping that mental divide will help set your pace for remoting into the office.  Be sure to communicate expectations of your work area to others in your home.  Except your beloved fur babies – they are great co-workers!

Set your work schedule.

Once you and your supervisor have determined what your schedule will look like, only work within those hours.  It is important to maintain a healthy work/life balance. 

Take breaks.

When you are at work, you are not working 100% of the time.  Take time to stretch every hour.  Look out a window.  If you can, get some fresh air! Exercise is a great activity for your total wellbeing.   Just remember to take your breaks and lunch away from your computer. 

Keep in frequent touch with your department. 

With many telecommuting, it is easy to forget to connect with others.  Say good morning (via Skype) as you normally would in person.  Call to chat about projects.  Department meetings or touchbases are easily set up using Skype or Zoom.  There are many options to keep you connected with coworkers.  

Over communicate.  

Since you are working from home, it is harder for others to be aware of your plans, projects, location, and schedule.  Consider opening up your calendar to others and keep your calendar updated with times you are available.  Schedule your break times.  Update your Skype status.  

Put on some background noise.   

Let’s be honest, in the office we are surrounded by background noise and conversations.  It is probably weirder to work in silence.  There are many music-streaming platforms are highly aware of the surge of work from home and have graciously put together some great playlists for our listening pleasure.  If music isn’t your jam, you can turn on a podcast or put a show on for back ground noise. 

Most importantly – remain positive!

As the mantra goes, this too shall pass! 

Resources and Support:

Linkedin is offering a class on remote working.  It has 16 sections with information ranging from time management, video conferencing, and how to use both Zoom and Skype.

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/paths/remote-working-setting-yourself-and-your-teams-up-for-success

For anyone who is working from home with children, here are some tips from CNBC to get you by.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/17/working-at-home-with-kids-during-covid-19-crisis-with-kids-underfoot.html

by Stefanie Sproule, Administrative Services Project Manager

Card Games Save the Day

Hey guys! 

We are all facing increased time at home these days.  For our kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews – six weeks is a long time to be away from school, friends, and the overall ability to be social.   Everyday activities can only engage and last for so long before inevitable boredom sets in.  Can you hear the restlessness growing? 

With a little research (and maybe some shopping), I found some really inexpensive card game options that you can order to the comfort of your home.    I am all about budget-friendly so everything listed is $10* or under.  Amazon is still filling orders!  Any non-essential orders are not a high priority – but they are still shipping (it is just slightly delayed).  

Engaging family fun is always an amazing time so enjoy and game on!

Games for Kids under $10 (brought to you by Amazon’s current inventory and pricing):

  • Ages 3+

Hoyle 6 in 1 Fun Pack – $5.97

The Cat in the Hat I Can Do That – $7.31

  • Ages 4+

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Card Game – $7.52

Charades for Kids – $5.97

  • Ages 5+

Red Light, Green Light Card Game – $6.29

Guess Who Card Game – $4.44

  • Ages 6+

Smack IT! – $8.99

Scavenger Hunt for Kids Travel Edition – $5.96

  • Ages 7+

Blink Card Game – $5.39

Uno Dare! – $5.39

  • Ages 8+

Qwixx – A Family Friendly Dice Game – $7.99

Clue Card Game – $4.44

Man Bites Dog – $7.85

  • Ages 10+

Mad Gab Card Game – $5.00

60 Second Slam – $7.50

  • Ages 12+

Relative Insanity – $9.99

*Given that this is Amazon, prices and availability are subject to change at the drop of a pin. 

By Stefanie Sproule, Administrative Services Project Manager

Immune Boosting Foods

Cold and flu season aren’t over just yet (not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic) and in addition to good handwashing techniques, you can help to boost your immune system through the foods that you eat. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant (stops oxidation/damage to cells) and helps your body to better absorb iron. Both of these functions are important for your immune system. You’ll find vitamin C in foods like:

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit)
  • Red bell peppers
  • Papaya 
  • Mango
  • Spinach and other dark leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Zinc is an important part of making protein for the healing process. Some zinc containing foods include:

  • Beef
  • Dark meat chicken
  • Pork chops
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Chickpeas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Lentils
  • Oatmeal

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. It also helps keep your immune system strong against viruses and other bacteria because it helps with the creation of your red blood cells. Vitamin E is found in: 

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Rainbow trout
  • Kiwi

Flavonoids rich in antioxidants and can help your body stay healthy and possibly decrease your risk of some chronic health conditions. Various flavonoids are found in:

  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Elderberries

Check out the following recipes for a few ways to include some of these immune-boosting foods in your diet. Recipes from MayoClinic.org. 

Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe or other melon chunks
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Remove rind from pineapple and melon. Cut into chunks. Remove stems from strawberries. Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Serve cold.

Fresh Fruit Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 4 pineapple chunks (about 1/2 inch each)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 banana, cut into 4 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 red grapes
  • 4 wooden skewers

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole blueberries

Directions

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon together.

In another bowl, beat milk, egg and oil together. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until the flour is moistened.

Add blueberries and stir gently.

Coat a griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle and cook until browned. Flip and brown the other side.

Written by Keri Smith, Lead Dietitian

Resources for Parents At Home During COVID-19

With area schools closing for the next six weeks and more at home time happening for everyone, we wanted to provide some resources for parents and folks who are self-quarantined alike. There are many free resources available right now to learn and also free lunches available to any child 18 years or younger.


A couple of tips before we get into the resources:


Remain calm and reassuring.

Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.

What you say and do about COVID-19, current prevention efforts, and related events can either increase or decrease your children’s anxiety.

Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.

Make yourself available.

Children may need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.

It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them; make time for them.

Tell them you love them and give them plenty of affection.


Resources

First of all, be sure to check in with your school and school district. They may have excellent resources for what your child is currently learning in class. Your student’s teacher may have plans already prepared to help you navigate this time, be sure to be in contact if possible.

Below are some resources we’ve found that may help you to navigate learning and fun:

Comcast Offers Two Months Free Internet

If you don’t currently have access to internet, Comcast is offering two free months of internet service. https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19#thingstoknow&all_DoIliveinaComcastarea

Storyline Online

Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

https://www.storylineonline.net/?fbclid=IwAR3xPu5j5B6FheORc5rgO6qts_X43x9-pnYEPD55sULYYUDwqt3_YvW_zkw

Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home

Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together.  https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/

Explore the National Parks virtually thanks to Google

We went there so you can too. Follow rangers on a journey to places most people never go. Experience the sights, sounds, and adventures of Kenai Fjords, Hawai’i Volcanoes, Carlsbad Caverns, Bryce Canyon, and Dry Tortugas in stunning 360° video. https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/25/google-now-lets-you-explore-u-s-national-parks-via-360-degree-virtual-tours/

Other fun resources:

  • The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden are doing live safaris via Facebook Live at 12pm they highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. (this is also available afterward on YouTube):
https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/
  • This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
  • KiwiCo is a STEM kit delivered to your door. However, they just launched a really cool free online resource page to learn at home. Check it out: https://www.kiwico.com/blog/

Other Ideas

Connect with family—right now is a great time to connect with family members near and far.

  • Call/Skype/FaceTime/Zoom with family members
  • Look at photo albums and discuss family heritage
  • Create a family tree
  • Write letters to/create cards for relatives (Perhaps an overdue thank you note for that really nifty gift you received?)

With the cancellation of playdates, birthday parties, and other activities, your calendar is likely wide open. Which allows for some fun family activities to take place, here are some suggestions for fun things you can do with your family:

  • Play card and board games
  • Make art or do crafts together
  • Cook and bake together—talk about math as you prepare the recipe
  • Build forts, design a marble run, or other fun STEM project
  • Sort through bookshelves, revisit favorite titles and make a pile to donate
  • Change family picture frames and revisit memories as you change photos
  • Make a photo book together
  • Make up a play
  • Sing, play recorder or other instruments
  • Have a dance party, do fitness activities together, and play in the yard as a family

Read Trusted Sources:

Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://srhd.org/news/2020/learn-more-about-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19


Free Lunches in the Inland Northwest During COVID-19

A number of school districts in our area will be distributing free lunches throughout this time. Check out the list below for resources in your area (please visit each website to confirm availability):


Spokane Public Schools:

Spokane schools will begin distributing grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals every weekday at schools beginning Thursday, March 19 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. These meals are offered to any child 18 years or younger. To see where these meals are being handed out, click here.

Central Valley School District:

The Central Valley School District has 11 designated locations for meal pickup, beginning Tuesday, March 17. These meals are open to any student – even those not registered in the CVSD. However, parents and/or guardians must bring the children with them during pickup to receive those meals. To see a full list of those pickup locations, click here.

East Valley School District:

The East Valley School District is still determining how it will support students and their families during the closure. At this time, no meal pickup plans have been put into place. To read a letter from Superintendent Kelly Shea discussing the district’s plans, click here.

West Valley School District:

West Valley schools will provide breakfast and lunch meals to students in the district beginning Tuesday, March 17. All of the district’s elementary schools, Centennial Middle School, and West Valley High School will distribute meals between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. More information is available here.

Mead School District:

Meal service for Mead schools will begin Monday, March 23. Meals will be delivered to various hubs throughout the school district, but those locations have not yet been determined. You can read more information on the district’s response here.

Deer Park School District:

Breakfast and lunch grab-and-go meals will be offered to students in the Deer Park School District beginning Thursday, March 19. Distribution will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Deer Park Elementary, Deer Park Middle, and Deer Park Home Link (beginning Monday, March 23). Students needing meals are asked to fill out a form to the district is prepared with enough meals ahead of time. A link to that sign-up sheet and more information is available here.

Cheney School District:

Breakfast and lunch meals will be distributed beginning Wednesday, March 18 between 9 – 10:30 a.m. No specific pickup location or times have been determined yet. You can read more from the district here.

Medical Lake School District:

Meal pickup plans have not been finalized by the district. The Medical Lake School District will have an update by Thursday, March 19, with how it’ll proceed with services like meal distribution. You can read the latest from Superintendent Timothy Ames here.

Pullman School District:

Each school in the Pullman School district will be open for meal pickup beginning Wednesday, March 18, between 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. The district will also send vans out into the community to deliver meals to designated locations for those who cannot get to the schools. The breakfast and lunch meals will be grab-and-go style and free to any student. Families are free to pick those meals up at any school in the district. To see more information on those distribution locations and times, click here.

Moses Lake School District:

The district said food service plans are in progress to have a neighborhood meal program for breakfast and lunch, but no further specifics have been shared. Read more here.

Coeur d’Alene School District:

Breakfast and lunch meal pickup will begin Wednesday, March 18, at several different schools throughout the district between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. You can find those specific locations here.

Moscow School District:

Students in the Moscow School District are on spring break from March 16 – 20. However, the schools will be closed through April 6. In a letter to district families, Superintendent Gregory Bailey says the district is working to make lunch available to students once spring break is over. More information is expected closer to the end of spring break. You can read Bailey’s letter here.

Additionally, the Mad Greek restaurant is offering free lunches for kids for the next three weeks. Those lunch meals include a slice of pizza or a cup of soup. Meal pickup is available from 2 – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. More information is available here.

Lewiston School District:

Meal pickup will be available from March 16 – 20 at Jenifer Jr. High and Sacajawea Jr. High for any Lewiston School District students and members of their household 18 years and younger from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Family members older than 18 will be able to purchase meals from the schools. More information is available here.

5 Things You Can Do To Prepare for Bloomsday 2020!

Bloomsday 2020 is quickly approaching and on May 3rd 2020, nearly 50,000 people will take the streets of Spokane to run, jog, or walk their way through 7.5 miles.

The question though, what can I be doing now to get prepared for Bloomsday? Just like any race, training for Bloomsday takes dedication and hard work, we put together a list of 5 things you can do to get prepped for the big race.

Bloomsday
  • Get started on a running or walking program

There are endless options out there to improve your endurance when preparing for a long-distance run or walk, so find one that best caters to your needs and goals. Interval training is a great way to get your heart rate up and give your body the boost it needs to keep running during steady periods of time. If you plan on walking, it’s a good idea to get into a weekly or even daily walking routine to prepare your muscles and joints for the 7.5-mile trek through Spokane streets—it’s also a great excuse to do some sightseeing as the weather begins to warm up!

  • Join a team or get a partner

Exercising with other people can often be a lot more fun than just going by yourself. When we have a reliable teammate or partner to push us, we tend to reach past our own expectations and reach our goals efficiently. Find someone who is going to give you that push you need and you may just build a lifelong love for exercise.

  • Increase your water intake

It is recommended that the average person drinks between 5-8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. When preparing for the big race, it’s important to consistently drink water throughout the day and get in the habit of drinking water BEFORE you are even thirsty. Though Bloomsday doesn’t take place during a hot month, 7.5 miles often takes a lot of sweat—refuel and recharge.

  • Visit your physician

Though Bloomsday participants run and walk at all levels, it’s a good idea to visit your health care provider before starting a training program to make sure your health is not at risk. They can also let you know if your finish time goal is reasonable and give you tips for proper training.

  • Start stretching regularly

It is always good to stretch before and after doing any strenuous physical activity, but daily stretching is great at increasing flexibility to prevent future injury. If you don’t have much experience with stretching, taking up a Yoga class or even finding a TV program that teaches stretching, Yoga or Pilates at home could be beneficial to your Bloomsday experience.

Most importantly, have fun! Bloomsday 2020 is a great way to connect with family, friends, and community – all while enjoying some exercise. We hope to see you out there this year. For more information on Bloomsday 2020, check out https://www.bloomsdayrun.org/ .

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Coronavirus | COVID-19

CHAS Health is dedicated to the health and wellness of the communities we serve. Recent global events have raised questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to stay healthy. Below are answers to frequently asked questions. If you still have concerns for your health related to the coronavirus, please call us for more information at 509.444.8200 or 208.848.8300.

1. What is coronavirus aka COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the official name of the disease that is causing this 2019 coronavirus outbreak, first discovered in Wuhan China. The virus likely originated in animals and spread to humans. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that cause mild, cold-like illnesses. Some coronaviruses can cause illnesses in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels and bats. This was the case with SARS and MERS. In rare cases, animal coronavirus cases can spread to humans.

2. How is the virus spread?

The way this virus is spread is not yet fully understood. However, based on other coronaviruses, it may spread between people by coughing and sneezing into the air, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands, and rarely through stool contamination with the virus present.

3. What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms can include runny nose, headache, and sore throat, and rarely digestive problems such as diarrhea or stomachache.

4. How can I protect myself from getting the virus?

The most important thing you should do is clean your hands frequently, especially before touching your face or eating. When you wash your hands, use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw tissue away and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces. Stay home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

5. I think I’m experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, what do I do?

If you have traveled from a high-risk area (currently identified by the CDC as China, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran) or you have symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath and feel you may have been exposed to this virus:

• Do not go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room

• Call you doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms

• Washington CHAS Health Patients: 509.444.8200

• Idaho CHAS Health Patients: 208.848.8300


Learn more FAQs about coronavirus (COVID-19) at https://chas.org/health-alerts