It’s Lyme Time

As the weather gets warmer the bugs come out. And some of them are carrying some nasty diseases. I know after the year that everyone has had, we are looking forward to letting the kids go to summer camp, hitting the lake, and hiking or camping somewhere in our beautiful state.  But one is on the rise. The CDC identifies tick-borne diseases as a public health threat.  For our area, the larger the population of deer, rabbits and other small animals there are, the larger the tick population. Common tick-borne diseases in Arkansas are Lyme disease, Tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  Lyme disease is the most common.  The bacteria that cause it attacks your nervous system and possibly your heart, liver, eyes, and joints as well. At first you may feel like you have the flu. You also may notice a skin rash that starts near the tick bite. Ticks like to live in grass, bushes, or leaf piles. They grab onto you as you walk by, find bare skin, and dig in. When you’re outdoors stay away from tall grass and stick to the middle of a trail, wear long pants, and tuck them into white sock so you can see ticks. Look carefully for ticks when you get back inside. The best way to avoid getting tick-borne diseases is to prevent tick bites.  Use bug repellent when going outside in areas where ticks are common. If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it right away with tweezers. Wash the affected area with warm water often till the rash subsides and apply petroleum jelly to reduce itching. If your symptoms worsen, see a doctor. Summer is a fun time of the year but remember to stay safe by preventing tick bites.

The Nurse

 

Teens and Anger

Note: Even though I share information on teens and anger, the information below can be applied to any age.

Teenage anger is a thing of legend. The stereotype of the eye-rolling, door-slamming rebellious adolescent is often played for laughs, but parents deal with the real thing; it’s anything but funny. Bitter outbursts, unpredictable mood swings, and frequent battles about everything from school to friends to clothes to who’s going to set the table can leave parents feeling like they’re walking on eggshells.

And teenage anger is having a moment. Because, if we’re honest, there’s a lot for teenagers to feel angry about right now. The pandemic has caused a year of frustration and disruption. No school (well, sure, the work part but none of the socializing), no hangouts, no parties, no dating. Endless time spent on screens and cooped up with family.

What is important to remember is that anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Anger is an integral part of our emotional lives, but anger gets a bad rap because the urges that many times come with it — yelling, fighting, being unkind to others — can be destructive and upsetting.”

We need to see teenage anger, or anger at any age, not as something to be dispelled or overcome but as a normal part of being a person. It is okay to feel angry. It can even be beneficial in many cases, like when it drives us to strive for social change; anger can be motivating. What I tell my clients (or parents of my clients) is that we need to find a way to deal with anger. The objective should not stop someone from feeling angry but from helping them find safer, less harmful, and even productive ways of expressing it.

Finding healthy ways to process anger can be a challenge even for the most mature of adults, but for teenagers, biology creates an extra layer of difficulty. Though on the outside, teens may seem like (and insist they are) grownups, their brains and bodies are still growing. We use to believe that the brain is fully developed by age 18. Through advancement in science and technology, we now know that the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of our brains involved in problem-solving and impulse control, isn’t fully developed until your mid-to-late twenties. Adolescents are also flush with hormones like testosterone and estrogen, which can significantly impact mood. When kids make impulsive decisions or seem like they’re overreacting to minor provocations, it can be helpful to remember that they’re biologically less equipped to manage overwhelming feelings — like anger — than adults.

Helping kids learn to talk about what’s causing their anger can be hugely important. True, some teenage snippiness can be chalked up to the developmentally appropriate (if annoying for parents) task of separating from parents (You like that? I hate it!).

But anger can also belie serious problems. Irritability, mood swings, or outbursts may be symptoms of disorders like anxiety and depression. Reactions to trauma or negative experiences with which kids feel unable to cope can also surface as bursts of temper. Even less significant struggles, like trouble at school or problems with friends or relationships, can masquerade as anger, especially if kids lack the tools to investigate and articulate their feelings.

If you notice your teenager, or another loved one, has been angrier or more irritable than usual, don’t skirt the issue. Instead, let them know you’ve noticed something is wrong and invite them to talk when they’re ready.

Always take the person’s feelings seriously. The best thing a person can do is validate the other person’s feelings. Emotion is a way of communication. Teenage problems can seem silly or overdramatic to adults, but the feelings they cause are real and painful to teenagers. When someone expresses anger about something, be careful not to minimize or dismiss it. Instead, acknowledge how they’re feeling and do your best to ask questions and listen without passing judgment or trying to “solve” the problem.

It can also be hard not to feel frustrated when the person’s anger is directed at you. This is so often the case with teenagers. But even when kids are challenging, they’re still relying on you to be the calmer influence and let them know that how they’re feeling matters to you. Taking a moment to acknowledge their emotional experience can also help defuse the situation. It’s hard to stay mad when someone sincerely says, ‘I understand how you’re feeling. I’m here to help.”

All this being said, we all need to remember that this past year has been unusually difficult for teenagers (and everyone else) and that our collective ability to cope with stress has been taxed to breaking point.

We could benefit from practicing a little acceptance and finding ways to give a little space and a little grace, and intentional about acknowledging and enjoying good moments with others.

Blessings,

Jackie

22 YEARS – Rhonda Jones

21 YEARS – Yadira Martinez

18 YEARS – Angela Fox

17 YEARS – Bridget Blake, Edward Lowry, Nolvia Llamas

16 YEARS – Rebecca Henson, Amanda Marlin

15 YEARS – Robin Reno, Stephanie Surls, Petra Woodward, Kristina Walters

13 YEARS – Christina Ponsetto

10 YEARS – Michael Burns, Gary Dunlap

9 YEARS – Sheila Adams, Dorcas Pitts, Gabriel Johnson

8 YEARS – Cornelia Evans, Nora Jeffcoat

6 YEARS – Tyera Knotts, Lorina Coger

5 YEARS – Chartorieah Sanders, Jenny Alvarez-Medrano, Julie Snyder-Crow

4 YEARS – Sharon Riordan, Katina Smith, Ann Remy, Elena Boardman, Eva Hopper, Guadalupe Arredondo

3 YEARS – Precious Hall, Pisei Kann, Shila Alvarez, Elijah Barnes, LaDawn Gibson, Mary McKinney

2 YEARS – Gabriel Sweetland, Stephanie Carlson, Rina Lee, Ashley Hilburn, Kelly Ruther, Paige Clayborn

1 YEAR – Destiny Simpson, Wanda Home, Cynthia Sawyer, Amanda Adams, Jerry Funderburk, Joshua Williams, Lanisha Carlock, Regina Gramlich

Insurance benefits you elect could be one of the biggest financial decisions you make in a year and only you know what’s right for you and your family.  Plans, premiums and supplemental options could change as well as your life circumstances and that’s why you need to reconsider your elections each and every year.

Bost, Inc. has taken great measures to create ways for you to have the information you need to make informed decisions about your benefit elections while following recommendations to keep employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, we have chosen to continue with electronic open enrollment.  This means we will forgo our usual in-person meetings but don’t worry because we’ve got you covered.  We will provide information about how to contact representatives who will be available to answer your enrollment and benefit questions and you’ll even have access to a step-by-step instructional video on how to navigate the enrollment portal.

Additional information will be sent to your Bost, Inc. email very soon.  The correspondence will come from a BHC representative.  So get ready to learn what it means to be in charge of your benefits!!!

Start thinking about tomorrow, TODAY!  Newly eligible employees will soon be contacted about contribution and enrollment options for the Bost, Inc. 401k plan.  Representatives will be available to answer questions and there will be an instructional video detailing plan options and providing guidance about what contributing to a 401k plan can mean for you and your family.  Be proactive and take steps to plan for your future!

Spring into Exercise

The once in a hundred-year subzero weather we had some weeks ago has quickly given way to bright spring days and hopefully a spring in your step.  With the warmer temperatures and bright sunny days, wiping away the winter cobwebs can be just an exercise away.  The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore.  Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age or physical ability.

Let us talk about how exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.  Exercise helps prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss.  It is not about the regular trips to the gym; any activity is good and being consistent is the key.  A walk around the block or the office building during lunch is great activity without the commitment of huge blocks of time. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems, which includes stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, and anger.   It can also help improve cognitive function and leave you feeling happier. It helps keep the doctor away just like an apple a day but stand up when you eat your apple! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease.  Studies show that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Exercise can help you live longer.  Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. Active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.

It can be easy to get more exercise from even simple activities.  Just move more and sit less.  You do not have to make big life changes to see the benefits. Just start building more activity into your day, one step at a time.

The Nurse.

 

 

 

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