Self Care Sunday’s Series; Teaching Your Children The Value of Self Care

I’ve been writing this series for a few weeks now. If you’ve been following this series then by now, you should already know the definition of self-care.

My daughter shared something very thought provoking on her Facebook page a few days ago.

Everyone is applauding everyone but OUR CHILDREN!!!! These little heroes have stayed indoors more than they’ve ever known in their lives. Their whole worlds have literally been turned upside down. All these rules they’ve never known. A life they couldn’t have imagined. All the things they love like sports, being with friends, going to school, or just being kids have all been taken away from them. Adults talking about others becoming unwell, news reporting death after death. Our poor children’s minds must be racing. Every day they get up and carry on despite all that’s going on. So here’s to our little heroes: today, tomorrow, forever ❤️
Copy and paste to celebrate our children and teenagers that have had to make immediate drastic changes to their lives.
💙🧡❤️💛💚💜”

After reading it again I thought about our children and grandchildren and what they must be going through not just emotionally, but physically also. Children need to feel loved, and reassured that this is not going to become a “normal” everyday thing. that they will see their friends again, play sports, swim, and all the other things they are used to doing.

Not only are parents and grandparents trying to learn how to deal with the stresses of The Unseen War Of 2020 and COVID-19, so are the teachers, school bus drivers, and everyone else that makes the function of our educational systems work.

Alessia Santoro is the editor of Popsugar.com in an article she gives this advice, ” A self-care regimen isn’t something that only busy parents who need “me time” should strive to have — kids, no matter their age, also need time to refresh and recharge mentally and physically, especially as they get older and more bogged down with school and work responsibilities. There are plenty of activities kids can engage in — whether alone or together as a family — that will help them to slow down, relax, take a breather, and hopefully feel less overworked, tired, and stressed”.

How can we help children to learn self-care?

Go for a bike ride.

Have a dance party with your family.

Build a blanket fort.

Go through old photos and make a photo album.

For more tips, you can read her article 45 Self-Care Activities For Kids To Unwind And Take A Breather which has more ideas.

Yes, this sucks in so many ways. Yes, we can hold our families tight and say to each other, “We will get through this together”. Keep in mind that if you’re not taking care of your own needs, then you won’t be any good for your loved ones.

I hope you found this post helpful. Please leave a comment.

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera

Self Care Sunday’s Series; Burnout In The Workplace

Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and ineffectiveness in the workplace, and by chronic negative responses to stressful workplace conditions. 

Burnout is more likely when employees:

  • Expect too much of themselves.
  • Never feel that the work they are doing is good enough.
  • Feel inadequate or incompetent.
  • Feel unappreciated for their work efforts.
  • Have unreasonable demands placed upon them.
  • Are in roles that are not a good job fit.

In this article titled; “Workplace Strategies For Mental Health” by Canadian Life, the writer offers many signs that an employer should be aware of. Of course we all want the productive and happy employee’s in our workplaces. However; due to what’s been happening with the COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic employers need to become more aware of their employee’s mental health needs.

On my Facebook page, I asked this question

If you’re still working, what’s your company doing to help boost mental health and moral?
What would you want to see from management that would let you know they care about you?

The comments were very interesting. One person stated,

” We were provided with company logo masks, disinfectant sprays, extra pay for the month of April”.

Some people are receiving an extra bonus for working during this time because they were deemed to be an essential worker, yet others left the impression that management was ignoring their health and well-being.

Recognize signs and symptoms

Your employees may not realize that they are dealing with signs of being burned out on the job.

Some of the signs and symptoms that an employee experiencing burnout may exhibit include:

  • Reduced efficiency and energy
  • Lowered levels of motivation
  • Increased errors
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Increased frustration
  • Suspiciousness
  • More time spent working with less being accomplished

Severe burnout can also result in:

  • Self-medication with alcohol and other substances
  • Sarcasm and negativity
  • Debilitating self-doubt

Are you a Psychologically Safe Leader?

Take the assessment

Granted this article is written from the Canadian workforce perspective however, I find it can apply to any leadership team or managers anywhere.

As a manager where I work, I’ve found myself with feelings of frustration, inadequacy at times to perform the functions of my job, and anger at the owner and senior management for not showing the staff how anything they really care about them or their mental health.

Make your employees feel special

Leave your employees an email or little notes saying something like “Hey we are thinking about you and we’re doing everything possible to help all of us make it through this pandemic together”.

Don’t become one of those owners or bosses like an Ebenezer Scrooge.

Dig deep into your own pocketbook if you have to and show them you care!

Life is hard enough without having a pandemic in it. Choose to show kindness, understanding, and patience with your employees and make them happy and proud to be your employees.

Please leave a comment.

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera

Self Care Sunday’s Series; Keeping Your Lungs Healthy

I hope you all had a happy and healthy Easter Sunday last week.

Healthy Lungs

Since I am a Respiratory Therapist; I decided to write today’s article about keeping your lungs healthy. Especially due to the COVID 19 Coronavirus and the complications that can arise from this nasty respiratory virus.

As you know, breathing is a necessary function of life. What you may not be aware of are the differences between having healthy lungs and lung diseases.

A Healthy Lung vs A Diseased Lung

Your lungs provide the oxygen that your body needs for survival. Pushing oxygen through the blood stream and assisting with filtering out carbon dioxide from your body. Damage to the lungs can occur from genetics, the environment and smoking. All these things can cause damage to your lungs.

By now you should already be  aware that smoking causes lung diseases like Emphysema and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease); which cause irreversible damage to the lungs.

Keeping Your Lungs Healthy

1. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants.

2. Exercising frequently increases your lung function.

3. Improve indoor air quality with changing your furnance filter every thirty days, using an air purifier to help filter out pollutants, molds and dust.

4. If you smoke, stop smoking. Talk with your physician or call your local Quitline.

5. Get vaccinations like the flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccines to help prevent lung infections and promote lung health.

The Mechanics of Breathing

Take a deep breath and inhale, hold it for ten seconds and then exhale letting all the air out of your lungs.

Could you feel the air moving in and out of your lungs? This motion is known as The Mechanics of Breathing. As you breathe in and out the lungs exchange air flow throughout your lungs.

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about COVID 19 because it is my observation that we are inundatted with news updates every day.

Know the signs of COVID19 – Coronavirus

Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
CT Scan of Lungs infected with COVID 19 – Coronavirus

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

My wish for you is to be happy and healthy. I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post and that you will leave a comment.

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera, CRT, LRT

Self Care Sunday’s Series; My Top 10 Foot Care Product Recommendations

Self Care Sunday’s

Taking care of our feet are one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Especially if one has a history of diabetes. Most of the time I’d go get a pedicure; however with most of the United States under self quarantine orders due to the Coronavirus all spas are closed as of the date I wrote this article.

1. Dr. Scholl’s foot inserts can help relieve foot pain from plantar fasciitis, energy gels for comfort and even athletic supports for ones feet.

You can find them at most retail stores, online through Dr. Scholls website and even Amazon. Prices vary depending on the item you need.

2. Straight Edge Toe Nail Clippers

According to a Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare. “A straight-edge toenail clipper ensures the nails are cut straight across, decreasing the chance of ingrown toenails”.

Price points I’ve found run anywhere from $4.00 up to $20.00. The one from Toolworks cost $5.00 and you can purchase it online. You can purchase one here.

3. Corns and Calluses Care

A corn is a type of callus that develops on the foot from an accumulation of dead skin cells. The hard, thickened patch of skin is usually found on the top, sides or tips of the toes, though soft corns can develop between toes. It is possible for friction to cause the corns to inflame, resulting in nerve pain when friction or pressure causes the corn to press down on the nerve below.

Okay so this isn’t a foot product but I needed a break, and I found this on my friend Denise’s Instagram.

The Health Feet Store has the PediFix Pedi – Gel Corn Pads for $14.95. This is the best website I’ve found for all ones foot care needs.

4. Foot Spa Machines

Groom and Style.com breaks down there top five foot spa machine recommendations in this article, Best Foot Spa Reviews by the different types of spa machines. Most of them contain some combination of water jets and waterfalls to create streams of bubbling water, rollers or wheels to massage the feet, vibrators to encourage blood flow, and a heating element to keep the water toasty. Not all machines will have all of those elements, so you’ll need to pick and choose the features of a foot bath machine to suit your preferences and your budget.

The Conair Foot Spa has basic features and depending on your budget, it may be the right one for you. Priced around $45.00 at Walmart.

1. Foot Cream, Lotions and Moisturizing

http://www.castlebaths.com

My all time favorite bath products are from Castle Baths. There skin care products are safe and they use real ingredients in everything they make. Cancer free and there products are amazing.

Happy Birthday

The Happy Birthday Gift Basket has wonderful creams and lotions to treat anyone on their special occasion. The basket costs $82.95 and well worth every penny.

Take care of yourself because there’s only one you.

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera

Self Care Sunday Series; Laughter Can Be Healing

It may not seem like it, but laughter is one of the best medications we can self prescribe. 

It’s true that laughter is the best medicine and making jokes actually has a physical effect on the body. 

Laughter boosts your mood, raises metabolism, strengthens the immunity system, diminishes pain and helps decrease the effects of stress.

Boosting your mood, there was a scientific study done by the Mayo Clinic about Stress Management and laughter.

  • Stimulate many organs.  Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response.  A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension.  Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Norwegian scientists found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much.

Social benefits of laughing

The world could use a little more laughter right now. I’m not saying that what’s going on around the world should be laughed about, what I am trying to make people realize making jokes, seeing someone 😊 changes our mood. Changing our moods for a positive instead of a negative makes the day flow better.

I wish you all health and happiness. Please work together so we as a society can come out and play again soon.

Gain The Advantage.

Alicia Osmera

The Unseen War of 2020

The world is fighting an unseen war. These soliders are not your ordinary man or women dressed in a uniform, carrying guns and ammunition. These soldiers are tiny viral microbe particle that infects a person’s body, causing an automatic response to rage a war within the human body.

What military is coming to fight against this mysterious soldier?

Just like the past wars of WWI and WWII, the Civil War, the American Revolution and the Vietnam wars, men stepped up to fight for their countries against certain tyrannies and viruses that threaten their freedoms. The war we are facing right now, today is not one with ammunition, guns and tanks. In fact this war is much more of a detriment to the whole human race.

Men and Women are at the forefront of fighting this war. From EMS, Firefighters, Police Officers, Doctors, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Certified Nursing Assistance and more. These human beings are putting themselves at risk everyday to fight off the symptoms and potential deadly effects of this war. We have all been asked to please do our part as Americans and help fight in the effort against this invader of our country. From helping with providing the necessary equipment needed to those at the front lines, limiting our own comings and goings to what has been determined as only a necessity in our daily lives.

To win this war against all of humanity, we must act together as one!

The SARS – COVID19 – Coronavirus does not discriminate against race, creed, sex, and political or spiritual affiliation. It doesn’t care if you’re strong or weak, younger or older, wealthy, middle class or poor. The COVID 19 -Coronavirus strikes a person with a vengeance and it continues to strike in the silence until your body is left screaming out at you for it to stop.

Yes, we are fighting a war. A war which we can’t see with our own eyes, but yet we can see the mayhem and devastation that it leaves behind. We must fight for our lives and the lives of the ones we love. We must practice being away from each other for a short period of time to increase the chances of this monster leaving humanity alone.

This war will end just like the others before it. We will prevail! And once we have won the battle we will be stronger and better for having gone through it. We will come together with more humility, compassion, and love for each other.

Be kind to one another during this difficult time and let’s help heal our nation together.

Written by Alicia Osmera, CRT, LRT March 26, 2020

Self Care Sunday’s Series; Mental Health During Times Of A Crisis

In today’s Self Care Sundays series I want to address mental health for everyone. During this time across the world, mental health care should be addressed not just for those already with behavioral and mental health issues, but our first responders, healthcare professionals, grocery store workers, truck drivers and so many more.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. My biggest concern is for my fellow colleagues and what’s going to happen to their mental health when our hospitals are overrun with patients.

I found a great article by the CDC on stress and coping during this pandemic outbreak.  As healthcare workers, we are constantly tending to the needs of others; while we tend to forget our own mental and physical health needs.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

Healthcare Workers

For healthcare workers, it’s quite natural to feel stress. Many relieve their stress with the form of dark humor. What most people may see as incentive, mean or despicable others find relief with humor.

Take care of your basic needs. Food, shelter, clothing and family. It’s important to remember that if you go down with illness it will affect more than just the people you work with.

Coping With Stress

It’s normal to feel sad, angry, confused or even scared during a crisis.

I wish anyone reading this health, safety and wellness. Please try not to panic over this war we have raging in the world. If we all do our part and work together we will get through this together.

Leave a comment and as always,

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera

Will Americas Heart Ever Beat Again

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The whole world is turned upside down right now. What we once considered to be the “normal” way of life has come to a screeching halt.

On Sunday, March 8, 2020, most of us were complaining about the recent daylight savings time change without what seemed like a care in the world. That is until President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020 due to the rapid spreading of the COVID 19 – Coronavirus into the United States of America .

Shortly after January 20, 2020 the first case of coronavirus found it’s way to the United States. A man in his 30’s was traveling from Wuhan, China to Washington was infected with the virus causing a domino effect nationwide.

It seems like just yesterday we went to work and although we were concerned about this illness, most of us didn’t really pay attention because it was happening away from our little bubble of the world.

Our favorite sports teams were playing from the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, even Major League Baseball was getting ready to start up for the 2020 season. The bottom of sports dropped when all these teams announced that they were suspending or pushing back the start of their scheduled seasons. I am pretty sure that my local sports broadcasters on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 are going bonkers at this point! You can listen to all of them from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.

On Monday March 16, 2020 my older grandchildren were in school, most of my family and friends were working without having any real major concern. Then as the coronavirus started to spread more rapidly across the United States, President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020.

Will Americans heart ever beat again?

Yes, yes it will. We are a strong and resilient nation. We have been through much worse than this. Now is the time to build each other up, check on your neighbors and friends. Stop the insanity of hoarding all the toilet paper America! Think about your fellow human beings and work together in one accord to bring healing, compassion, and love for one another.

Our heartbeat is strong! If we can survive through world wars, many other infectious diseases that have wiped out previous generations. Most of all let’s not forget one of the most terrifying and horrific events to hit on American soil. On September 11, 2001, we were attacked by Islamic extremists which assaulted upon our way of life by using airplanes to crash into the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, New York City.

America’s heartbeat stopped for a moment in time that very day. Those of us who watched in horror as our nation was under attack felt sadness, rage, depression and love for our fellow mankind.

We came out on top. We pushed through the sadness, anger and all of the other emotions we felt, to unite together and help each other during our time of need.

I’m issuing out this challenge to all my fellow Americans today. Stop the hate and start showing love. People are scared of the unknown, scared of loss of incomes, and many other things. Bring back the 2001 American spirit. We have lost our way from that day and now we find ourselves asking the same question over again, will American’s heart ever beat again?

Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey is one of my favorite songs for a time such as this. Please take a listen and enjoy.

Let’s bring healing to each other even in the midst of this pandemic and heal our land together.

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera

Think About Your Fellow Human Beings

Today I read an article from the website Love What Matters Most.com. As I read it, I actually had tears streaming down my face.

Today I cried is not just another hyped up article made to make you feel panic or fear of the COVID19 – Coronavirus. It is the story of a 92-year-old man and his struggle to find? If you guessed toilet paper you’re right.

Our Senior Citizens have lived through the worst of times. The #coronaviruis is not the worst thing they’ve lived through. We have a duty as a society to care for, appreciate and listen to their lives stories.

Did you get caught up in the great toilet paper hoarding? How much do you really need for your family for one month?

The United States of America has survived through World War I, The Great Depression, World War II otherwise known as the Second World War. We have overcome so many disease outbreaks such as smallpox, yellow fever, polio, the Spanish flu, measles and more.

A Migrant Women From The Great Depression

Listen, I’m not trying to make light of this new obstacle in our daily lives at this time. The point I’m trying to get across is to stop and think about how we as individuals and what we affect all of us!

Show #kindness, #understanding, #patients and most of all

LOVE

Love one another.

Gain The Advantage,

Alicia Osmera