January 31, 2021
February is Heart Health Awareness Month. Heart disease is the leading killer for both men and women in the United States. According to the CDC, deaths from heart disease are higher in Black Americans than in White Americans and other ethnic groups. Heart disease also develops at a younger age in Black Americans.
4 Ways to Take Control of Your Heart Health
- Do not smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
- Manage health conditions. Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
- Make heart-healthy diet changes. Eat foods low in fat, low in added sugar, and low in salt. Try to eat more vegetables and fruit.
- Stay active. You can break up exercise into 10-minute blocks for a total of 30 minutes per day.
by J. Renee Livsey, RN-BC | December 31, 2020
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
New Year’s Resolutions
We have all made “New Year’s Resolutions,” but how often do we make these resolutions just to have them fall by the wayside by February? This year let’s propose to try something new! Instead of “Resolutions,” we can make “Life Goals.” Studies show that it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle change.
The Health and Wellness ministry will continue to provide monthly “Health Tips” to help us all on our journey to wellness and our life goals in 2021!
Suggestions for lifestyle Goals:
- Spiritual: Strengthen our prayer life. Pray over our lives daily and try to expand our time with God not only to seek direction but also to request the desires of our hearts. Psalm 37:4-5. Make room for God to bring blessings in our lives – be still. Psalm 46:10-11. Learn more about God to know who he is. Think of the power of God in us and through us. 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Keep in mind who we were before our spiritual growth and strive to leave our pasts in the past. Isaiah 43:18-19. Remember 2021 is a new year for increased faith and abundant blessings!
- Physical – Start an exercise routine. It can be walking in place for 15 minutes while we are watching our favorite television program. Try to increase the time you walk every day to a goal of 30 minutes to one hour daily. Remember to exercise to your personal tolerance, and do not push yourself if you are not tolerating the activity. Exercising is beneficial no matter what your mobility level is. When we exercise it releases a “natural high” called endorphins which can help with depression, anxiety, and pain. Exercises can be done while sitting in a chair – what fun!
- Mental – We can all train our minds to react differently and positively to negative experiences. Pray and ask for strength during times of grief or disappointment. We can strive not to react to negativity by praying for the strength to walk away from an altercation, rather than to argue. When we as Christians take “the high road” and think before we speak, listen with an open mind, and silently pray before we react, we are letting our “light shine,” and those in the world will take notice.
December 3, 2020
Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
The month of December is a joyous time for Christians, filled with preparations for family gatherings to celebrate the birth of our savior. This year our world is in turmoil, and as the pandemic rages on, we continue to have social distancing measures in place. This isolation, coupled with the colder weather keeping us inside more, the holiday season can be a time of sadness and depression. Let us fight the feelings of seasonal depression and isolation by putting on our garments of praise! Let us get to the place where we are giving thanks and praise all the times - not just on Sunday, but every day. Let us stay in prayer, reach out to friends and family to stay connected, and remember the reason for this holiday season - our love of Christ and the celebration of His birth!
If you need help dealing with feelings of depression, please contact The Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7.
Pastor Bright is also available to provide prayer and spiritual counselling.
The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry
by J. Renee Livsey, RN-BC | October 31, 2020
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
November is designated as National Diabetes Awareness Month
Our community continues to have the overall highest incidence of diabetes in the nation. During the pandemic it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels and report consistent highs and low to your health care provider. The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness ministry strives to provide education on eating healthy, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and drinking water as your primary beverage to help prevent and manage diabetes.
COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there are limited data and information about the impact of underlying medical conditions and whether they increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with Diabetes might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.
Thinking about family gatherings for Thanksgiving? The following is an excerpt from the CDC website on recommendations for in-person visits with family and friends. To view the entire article on COVID and people with medical conditions, visit:
When to delay or cancel a visit
- Delay or cancel a visit if you or your visitors have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Anyone who has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home and monitor for symptoms.
- How many people will you interact with?
- Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others?
- Will you be outdoors or indoors?
- What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?
- Visit with your friends and family outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open windows or doors) and large enough to accommodate social distancing.
- Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart from each other.
- Consider activities where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or yard games.
- Try to avoid close contact with your visitors. For example, don’t shake hands, elbow bump, or hug. Instead wave and verbally greet them.
- If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.
- Consider keeping a list of people you visited or who visited you and when the visit occurred. This will help with contact tracing if someone becomes sick.
- Masks should be worn over the nose and mouth. Masks are especially important when it is difficult to stay at least 6 feet apart from others or when people are indoors to help protect each other.
- Masks may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others
- Wearing a mask helps protects others in case you’re infected, while others wear one to protect you should they be infected.
- Who should NOT use masks: Children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of the visit and whenever you think your hands may have become contaminated.
- If soap and water are not readily available, such as with outdoor visits or activities, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Remind guests to wash or sanitize their hands before serving or eating food.
- Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so visitors do not share towels. Have a no-touch trash can available for guests to use.
- Encourage your visitors to bring their own food and drinks.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use.
- If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.
Praying for *MBS* Wellness to you, Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry
by J. Renee Livsey, RN-BC | October 1, 2020
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It seems that we say the same things every year, but our hope is that if even one person who doesn’t know about the importance of screenings, will learn and share the information. Have the mindset of each one, teach one. The Health and Wellness Ministry’s mission is to educate our congregation and community about maintaining health through mind, body and spiritual wellness. Always keep in mind that both men and women should be aware of the causes and screenings for breast cancer.
Cancer is a disease that can be cured if caught in its early stages. This is why we educate and re-educate about screenings for cancer, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the signs and symptoms of cancer. Breast exams are no longer a part of the screening recommendations because research does not show they provide a clear benefit. Still, the American Cancer Society says we should be familiar with how our breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to their health care provider right away.
The following is an article by the American Cancer Society and gives some information about cancer screenings in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cancer Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, elective medical procedures, including cancer screening, were largely put on hold to prioritize urgent needs and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. One consequence of this has been a substantial decline in cancer screening.
As states and other authorities re-open businesses and ease restrictions, many healthcare facilities are starting to offer elective procedures again, including cancer screening. Restarting cancer screening requires careful consideration of the risks and benefits of screening, along with ensuring safety for both patients and healthcare personnel.
Decisions about restarting screening depend on many factors, and they may not be the same for every person. They will likely vary by community while the pandemic continues.
Regular cancer screening is still important
If you had an appointment for screening that was postponed or canceled, talk to your healthcare team about when to reschedule. Your provider can discuss balancing the risks and benefits of being screened now or postponing for a later date, taking into account your personal and family history, other risk factors, and the timing of your last screening test.
It is also important to keep in mind that we’re focusing here on cancer screening. Screening tests look for cancer in people who don’t have symptoms. These tests are different from tests your doctor might order if you have symptoms that could be from cancer. If you have signs or symptoms that might be from cancer, for instance, a lump in the breast or blood in the stool, you should discuss this with your provider right away, as you will need exams or tests that evaluate those particular signs and symptoms.
You may have options for screening
Screening recommendations are general recommendations for large groups of people, but there may be flexibility for some screening tests. For example:
Many women get cervical cancer screening every year. However, no organization recommends cervical cancer screening with a Pap test any more often than every 3 years, and if an HPV test is used, no more often than every 5 years. If you have had normal test results in the past, getting cervical cancer screening at this time is not urgent.
Many women get an annual mammogram for breast cancer screening. However, leading organizations that issue screening guidelines recommend that average risk women ages 55 and older can be screened every two years. If you are 55 or older and had a normal mammogram within the last year, you could choose to have your next mammogram up to 24 months after your last one.
There are several options for colorectal cancer screening for people at average risk. For example, stool tests, such as fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) or a stool DNA test (such as Cologuard), can be done safely at home. If the stool test result is positive, you will need a colonoscopy, and it will be important to talk with your doctor about the safest way to proceed with this. Colonoscopy as a screening test is still an option, but it may be harder to get an appointment now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your health care provider can help you determine what screening schedule and which screening tests are best for you at this time.
Screening needs to be done safely
As your regular facility for health care returns to providing cancer screening, it’s important that it is done as safely as possible. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations for healthcare facilities to reduce the risk of COVID transmission:
- Screening centers should be available to answer questions from patients via phone or web portal before and/or after the screening procedure.
- Patients should be pre-screened for COVID-related symptoms before screening appointments.
- Scheduling of appointments should allow for physical distancing between patients, and longer appointment times, if needed, to avoid crowding in waiting rooms and patient care areas.
- There should be limitations on visitors other than patients and/or their caregivers into the screening facility.
- If not done in front of you, the screening center should be able to tell you how often equipment and surfaces are disinfected and cleaned.
- Everyone, including patients and staff, should wear a face covering or face mask, where appropriate. There should be frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer by staff, patients, and visitors.
We hope this information provides useful guidance as you consider when and how to safely resume cancer screening. Every community has its own unique situation and will need to rely on the judgment of the health care professionals and leaders in the community to make the best decisions possible.
This information is intended to help you understand the importance of returning to regular cancer screening as soon as it is safe to do so. At the same time, it’s important to remember that if you have signs or symptoms of cancer, or if you have additional risk factors that put you in a high-risk group, you should consult your doctor or a health provider right away for guidance.
As always, we remain available to discuss your questions and concerns. Live chat is available through our website or you can call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.
- Written byThe American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
by J. Renee Livsey, RN-BC | September 2, 2020
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
This year has been challenging to say the least. We have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, social and racial injustices, financial concerns, deaths of loved ones and so many more stressors. We as Christians know that despite it all, God has been faithful and is totally in control! However, even the most faithful believers can sometimes have feelings of anxiety and depression. The following article gives information about depression and ways to combat it. But always remember, the first line of defense is prayer - staying in constant communication with God. His unconditional love frees us to be healthy and whole.
Pandemics can be stressful
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can sometimes cause the following:
Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
Worsening of chronic health problems.
Worsening of mental health conditions.
Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
Take care of your mental health
You may experience increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions and sometimes lead to depression.
How Do I Know If It’s Depression?
Someone who is depressed has feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time. He or she may also experience–
Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
Fatigue and decreased energy
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
Overeating or appetite loss
Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment
If you have feelings of depression that lasts longer than a few days, or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or “ending it all,” get immediate help.
Call 911 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Take care of yourself and your community
Taking care of your friends and your family can be a stress reliever, but it should be balanced with care for yourself. Helping others cope with their stress, such as by providing social support, can also make your community stronger. During times of increased social distancing, people can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health. Phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel socially connected, less lonely, or isolated.
Healthy ways to cope with stress
Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19. Contact a health professional before you start any self-treatment for COVID-19.
Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
Take care of your emotional health. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Take care of your body.
Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
Get plenty of sleep.
Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use.
Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.
To view the entire article - Resources:
by J. Renee Livsey, RN-BC | July 1, 2020
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
During the Covid 19 pandemic, many of us have had a decrease in our physical activity level. Social distancing and being unable to follow our regular daily routine have caused us to stray away from our healthy eating and exercising habits. As a result, we have gained weight and may have experienced bouts of depression due to social isolation. As we know, weight gain and decreased physical activity levels can cause our blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels to increase.
According to Health.gov, “Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Physical activity has immediate health benefits, such as better sleep and reduced stress and anxiety. Regular physical activity can decrease depression and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.”
The good news is that every little bit of physical activity can provide health benefits – the key is to move more and sit less throughout the day. And there are many ways to be active wherever you live.
Five ways to be active at home:
Find an exercise video online. Search the internet for exercise videos that are led by certified exercise leaders or trainers and match your interests, abilities, and fitness level. You can find videos to help you do aerobics, dance, stretch, and build strength.
Work out with items you have around the house. Use full water bottles, canned goods, or other items for strength training if you don’t have weights around the house. Stretch with a towel. Walking or running up and down stairs (that are clear of obstacles to avoid tripping) can be a great workout.
Make the most of screen time. While watching TV, your family can do jumping jacks during commercials or move along with the characters in a show or movie by walking or running in place.
Family playtime is a great time to work in physical activity. Hoola hoops, hopscotch, jumping jacks, and jump ropes are a great way for the whole family to get active. Games like Hide and Seek, playing catch, and dancing can keep everyone moving and having fun.
Housework and yardwork count! Vacuuming, sweeping, gardening, and cleaning inside and outside where you live all count towards your physical activity goal. And you’ll knock out some items on your to-do list while gaining health benefits.”
Praying for *MBS* Wellness to you, The Health and Wellness Ministry
by J. Renee Livsey, RN, BC | June 29, 2020
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
Men's Health Month is celebrated during the month of June
In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health suggested the "5 Plays for Men" to stay at the top of their game. The following are suggestions for improving your health:
- Eating nutritiously (low-fat; low-sugar; limit red meat; eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables). Healthier food choices build a healthier heart - make fruits and vegetables half of your plate.
- Increase your physical activity levels as tolerated. Brother, you don't even have to lift: getting just 30 minutes of exercise each day can help you live longer and healthier.
- See your health care provider for regular checkups. Preventive maintenance: regular checkups can help catch small problems before they become big problems.
- Going tobacco-free. Quittng time: Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
- Manage stress. Hey man, you good? Life can get tough and talking things through with a professional counselor can help.
Praying for *MBS* wellness to you - The Health and Wellness Ministry