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How to Be Actively Involved in Your Upcoming Surgery
Recent studies show that the more actively involved a patient is in their own healthcare, the better the outcome. According to Jeannie Dew, Director of Surgical Services at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), this active participation is vital when a patient is preparing for an upcoming surgery. “When patients are optimized for surgery, they have the best chance of an excellent outcome,” says Dew. “And that’s our goal. We want our patients to be informed and have ownership. We want them to feel empowered to ask questions of any of the care team along the way. It’s a team effort, and it includes the patient.” Dew indicates that there are steps that we can take that can help the preparation for surgery, the surgery itself, and recovery go more smoothly. She stresses that the steps mostly entail “thinking ahead and asking questions.” Physical Preparation Prior to surgery, Dew says that making an effort to be in good physical shape can make a difference. She notes however, that this can be difficult, depending on the type of surgery that is scheduled, but emphasizes that there are other things a patient can do, such as quitting smoking, controlling one’s diet and staying hydrated. You can ask your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. Getting enough sleep and limiting your exposure to sick people is also key. Preparing the Home “In the days or weeks prior to the surgery, make sure your home is conducive to recovery,” states Dew. “Find out what you’ll need once you’re home, such as a walker, cane, or commode seat, and make sure you have these things ahead of time. Eliminate throw rugs and other tripping hazards, and make sure you have a comfortable chair that you can get in and out of.” It’s important to know that setting up safe transportation home with a responsible friend or family member is required when you are discharged after your procedure, and arranging assistance at home is recommended for the first 24 hours while you are recovering from the anesthesia, and maybe beyond. Medical Information Make sure that the hospital has your medical history, as well as a current medication list and information regarding any issues you may have had with anesthesia in the past. You’ll want to provide your insurance information as well. Talk to your physician about how to take your medications before your surgery. Certain types of medications may need to be discontinued for a period of time until after the surgery is completed. Similarly, know when to stop eating and drinking prior to your surgery. Your procedure may need to be rescheduled if these steps aren’t followed. If you develop a fever, cold sores, rash, or any symptoms of a virus or infection, let your healthcare provider know immediately. Make sure that you have completed all lab testing as recommended by your physician. Go over your post-operative care instructions with your healthcare provider ahead of time. This may include how to take care of your incision and when you can begin eating and drinking fluids. It’s always recommended to have a friend or family member listen in as well, as you may not remember every detail. Many patients bring a notebook to jot down notes and questions that might arise. Pre-Admission Tips Prior to your surgery, you’ll receive a phone call from the hospital with important instructions. Following these instructions will help ensure that your procedure will go ahead as scheduled. Make sure you ask any questions that may arise. Olivia Marsh, Nurse Manager of Pre-Op and PACU at YRMC, offers these additional tips: Find out when and where to check in the day of your procedure. At YRMC, this is typically at Registration on the first floor. Check-in is usually done two hours prior to surgery. Know when to stop eating and drinking. This information is provided during the pre-admission phone call. If a red armband (indicating blood typing) has been placed on your wrist within 24 hours of the procedure, leave it in place. Do not remove it. Have your medical history, surgical history, and home medication list handy. Leave all unnecessary items at home, such as jewelry, electronics, and money. Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Make sure the clothing you choose is easy to put back on when getting ready to go home. Think of ways that may make the process easier for you, such as: Whether you’d like to watch TV to help you relax before the procedure. Whether you want family members with you in recovery when it is appropriate. Setting goals for your pain management with your healthcare provider. For example, what level of pain are you expecting and what medications or non-medication interventions would you prefer? Healing Once you return home, your job will be to rest and heal. Taking the steps above to pave the way before, during and after your surgery will help ease your recovery and minimize stress. Make sure you follow the instructions your physician has given you and continue to ask questions when they arise. Marsh reminds her patients that being an active member of one’s care team throughout the process is an important role. “Educate yourself. Write down questions as they come to you. Have a notebook and bring it with you. Taking care of all the little pieces adds up to your total healing ability,” she states. “This goes hand-in-hand with our Vision of a Total Healing Environment at YRMC.”
Your Best Fitness Program Ever
What do you want from a fitness program? A healthy heart … an amazing core … some fun … and a routine that keeps you motivated? That’s a lot to expect from one fitness program. But it is possible, especially if you follow the advice of Jill Potter, RN, ACSM-CEP, AACVPR, CRP, Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). Goodbye Old Exercise Ideas Creating your best fitness program means shaking off old ideas you may have about exercise. “No pain, no gain,” is one popular fitness philosophy that’s ready for retirement. “I say, ‘start low and go slow,’” said Potter. “If you start at the level you hope to achieve, you’ll probably experience extreme muscle soreness or an actual injury. A good rule of thumb is to increase your exercise by a couple of minutes each week.” People also tend to gravitate toward exercise routines they did years ago. Jazzercise may have been your thing a decade ago, but as Potter gently reminds people, “that was then, this is now.” Building Your Workout Plan Before beginning a fitness program, people of every age should make sure they have no underlying health conditions—diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or osteoporosis, for example. If you have a health condition, you’ll just need some extra guidance from your healthcare provider before diving in. Every fitness plan should include: Stretching –This increases flexibility, improves balance and decreases the chances of back injury. Aerobic Exercise – Tone your muscles and keep your heart healthy with aerobic exercise. Resistance Training – Also called strength training, this builds muscles, strengthens bones and helps manage weight. Put Your Heart Into It Potter, an American College of Sports Medicine certified exercise physiologist, believes fitness should be fun. Aerobic activities like biking, hiking, jogging, kayaking, swimming and walking increase your heart rate and are enjoyable. A good first goal is to gradually get your heart rate up to 30 beats above its normal resting rate for at least 30 minutes. Potter recommends steadily increasing this to between 45 and 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, three to five times a week. “Your heart is just another muscle in your body,” she said. “And how do you tone a muscle? You use it.” Resistance Makes You Strong In addition to aerobic exercise, your workout should include resistance training, weightlifting and muscle-strengthening exercises. You can build this into every workout or at least two times a week, as long as you focus on different muscle groups. For example, your resistance routine could look like this: Day 1 – Exercises for the chest, shoulders and triceps. Day 2 – Exercises for the back, biceps and legs. Using Potter’s “start low and go slow” philosophy, forego weights and use your body weight when you first start resistance training. Lunges and shoulder presses, for example, can be done with or without weights, depending on your fitness level. And remember, yoga is excellent for resistance training and stretching. Don’t Give Up! “The most difficult part of any exercise program is sticking to it, making it part of your daily life,” Potter said. How can you keep yourself motivated? Potter recommends: Telling family and friends about your fitness plans and keeping them up-to-date on your progress. Finding an exercise buddy who will keep you motivated on days you don’t want to workout. Using an app to track your exercise activity or starting a fitness journal. “Make yourself accountable to yourself,” said Potter. “Of course, keep a positive attitude and have fun.”
YRMC Imaging Services Introduces Powerful PET Study for Neuroendocrine Tumors
Accurately diagnosing and tracking neuroendocrine tumors can be a challenge. That’s because neuroendocrine tumors grow in the cells that make hormones. They’re most often found in the pancreas or a gland in the abdomen. Neuroendocrine tumors may also grow in the stomach, intestines or lungs. A powerful new imaging study – Gallium-68 dotatate Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – introduced recently at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) East in Prescott Valley is helping radiologists locate these hard-to-find tumors. YRMC East is the only facility in Yavapai County or northern Arizona that currently offers Gallium-68 dotatate PET. “For people who suffer from neuroendocrine tumors, the availability of this imaging study in Prescott Valley is very good news,” said Shaun Walton, CNMT, Supervisor, Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT at YRMC. “This study is faster and offers more specificity than other neuroendocrine tumor studies.” A Simple, Two-Step Process Gallium-68 dotatate PET, as the study is called, includes a two-step process. The first step involves a radiopharmaceutical – a radioactive tracer that finds certain diseases – called Gallium-68 dotatate. This is administered to patients through an IV as they relax in a recliner at YRMC East. The Gallium-68 dotatate is quickly absorbed by neuroendocrine tumors in the body. In less than 45 minutes, patients are ready for the next step: a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. The PET scan detects the neuroendocrine tumors that have absorbed the Gallium-68 dotatate. They’re displayed as bright patches on the PET images. This allows a YRMC radiologist to see where the neuroendocrine tumors are located in the patient’s body and track their response to treatment. No Side Effects “The Gallium-68 dotatate does not cause any reactions or side effects,” explained Walton, “but because it is radioactive, patients should keep their distance from children for six hours after receiving Gallium-68 dotatate.” For more information about Gallium-68 dotatate PET, talk to your physician or contact Shaun Walton at (928) 771-4718.
Five Ways COVID-19 has Changed – Or Not Changed – Healthcare at YRMC
COVID-19 has changed how we grocery shop, attend church services and celebrate major life events—at least for now. But, since Arizona’s stay-at-home order has ended, how will COVID-19 affect how you interact with your healthcare provider? Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) shares five ways that COVID-19 has changed – or not changed – healthcare in our community. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, YRMC is here to provide the healthcare you need. No one should delay seeking healthcare because they’re concerned about COVID-19. “As healthcare providers, our goal is to get patients the right care at the right time in the right place,” said William Lockwood, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist at YRMC PhysicianCare Pulmonology and Infectious Disease in Prescott. “That has not changed with COVID-19. If you’re having chest pains or experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, the right time to get medical attention is immediately and the right place is the Emergency Department.” Dr. Lockwood notes that YRMC safely conducted emergency surgeries and cared for individuals with non-coronavirus illnesses during the Executive Order halting elective and non-emergent surgeries. “You should never delay medical attention for a suspicious lump, persistent pain or other symptoms that concern you,” Dr. Lockwood emphasized. “YRMC is here for all of your healthcare needs.” YRMC’s COVID-19 plan will continue to use the latest science and technology. YRMC West in Prescott and YRMC East in Prescott Valley have dedicated units for people being treated for COVID-19. These negative-pressure units ensure any germs remain inside of the isolation area to prevent disease from spreading. Throughout both campuses, germ-eliminating Tru-D robots are part of YRMC’s strict disinfection procedures. These robots figure the amount of UVC energy needed to disinfect an entire hospital room. They then unleash a lethal dose of ultraviolet light to destroy the microorganisms that cause infection. “YRMC has taken science and operationalized it,” said Dr. Lockwood. “This level of safety is accomplished thanks to many experts including YRMC’s Infection Control, Information Services and Environmental Services teams.” YRMC is response-ready if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases. Experts have warned of a COVID-19 resurgence in the summer or fall. That’s why even as YRMC has re-opened outpatient and other services that were classified as “non-emergent” during the lockdown, the organization is also ready to respond to a COVID-19 resurgence. “We’re returning to a ‘new normal,’” explained Keith Nichols, MHA, Chief Patient Experience Officer at YRMC. “Caring for our community in this era means fighting COVID-19 while also providing advanced healthcare services to treat all medical conditions.” A multi-disciplinary team of YRMC decision makers – medical experts, administrative leaders, nurse executives and more – gathers daily to discuss COVID-19 and determine how YRMC will prepare for and respond to the pandemic. “This is our war room,” Nichols said. “It’s where we have in-depth conversations about every aspect of our COVID-19 plan of action. These daily discussions focus on staffing levels, PPE availability, testing protocols, re-engineering the hospital for COVID-19 and more. Because of the expertise in that room – and our frontline team – we can pivot immediately if the circumstances merit.” YRMC is continuing to restrict visitors at our medical centers and for good reason. “This policy is designed to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19,” explained Ken Boush, Director of Marketing and Communications at YRMC. “By limiting access to YRMC West in Prescott and YRMC East in Prescott Valley, we limit the possibility of our patients and caregivers being exposed to COVID-19.” At the same time, YRMC understands that families want to spend time with their loved ones who are hospitalized. Boush encourages families to contact the appropriate unit to discuss safe visitation options. Video chats can also be arranged or, in some circumstances, one family member may be designated to visit a hospitalized patient. Anyone entering YRMC – and any YRMC outpatient center or PhysicianCare clinic – will have a temperature check and be asked a series of screening questions. Face masks are required at YRMC to protect others from any possible transmission. If you don’t have one, YRMC will provide one for you. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout all YRMC facilities. YRMC wants you be ready for an elective surgery or outpatient procedure. Are you scheduled for an elective or non-emergency surgery at YRMC West or YRMC East? Your pre-operative testing – lab work, imaging studies and echocardiogram (EKG), for example – will now include a COVID-19 test. If you need a family member or friend to accompany you to your procedure, please make sure you understand YRMC’s visitation restrictions before you arrive. “We understand there are special circumstances and these are addressed on a case-by-case basis,” Boush said. “We’re encouraging people to be proactive. Call before the surgery or procedure to ask questions and gather information.” This Does Not Change Even as COVID-19 has required many changes, what remains consistent is YRMC’s commitment to the community. “The people of YRMC are part of our community,” said Nichols. “They have been called to serve in a heightened way during COVID-19. I am proud to be associated with each and every member of this impressive team.”
Yavapai Regional Medical Center and Dignity Health Explore Possible Collaboration
Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and Dignity Health are currently involved in discussions to evaluate a potential collaboration between the two organizations. YRMC, with acute care hospitals in Prescott and Prescott Valley, primary and specialty care clinics, and extensive outpatient services, has been serving western Yavapai County since 1943. “Yavapai Regional Medical Center is pleased to explore opportunities to collaborate with a world-class health system like Dignity Health,” states John Amos, President and CEO, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. “There are great synergies between the two organizations. We share common values and a commitment to best-practice healthcare, and like YRMC, Dignity Health’s commitment to serving the healthcare needs of Arizonans spans generations.” YRMC’s Board of Directors and Administrative Council recently made the decision to evaluate how a relationship with a larger health system could help YRMC expand healthcare in the Quad City region. Should both organizations choose to move forward with a relationship, YRMC would gain access to Dignity Health’s impressive talent and resources to ensure a robust and growing healthcare system for acute care, pediatric care and high-access specialty services for western Yavapai County. “This opportunity has tremendous potential to help YRMC advance healthcare in our region,” adds Amos. “Being part of a system that includes a Level-One Trauma Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, and the Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s would add great value to the high-quality healthcare we already provide to those in our region.” Discussions are ongoing between both organizations and a decision regarding collaboration is expected this summer.
In the Kitchen with Kids, Building Healthy Habits that Last a Lifetime
Most of us are spending a lot more time at home these days, so why not use this opportunity to create great memories, strengthen family ties, and build life long healthy habits in the kitchen with your kids? After all, kids love learning new skills, and teaching them how to prepare part or all of a meal will build self-confidence and even encourage picky eaters to try new foods. A large variety of kid-friendly cookbooks and endless resources are available online (including YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen) to get you started! Kids really love to cook, even if they are simply stirring, measuring, or chopping a vegetable, and if your children take part in preparing meals, they’ll be more excited to eat them! In addition, when kids help you with meal planning and grocery shopping, the buy-in is even greater. Even simple, time-tested rituals, like lighting candles, setting the table, waiting for everyone to be seated before digging in, and expressing gratitude for the meal, builds life-long positive connections with family and food. The folks at FamilyCook Productions – pioneers in culinary-focused nutrition education for all ages – have studied the benefits of cooking with kids for decades. They encourage parents to involve kids in cooking as much as possible, from simply shaking up vinaigrette and tossing a salad, to chopping, grating, and more. They offer parents three important tips to remember: Don’t worry about the mess Let go of perfection Enjoy the process and the results will be great! FamilyCook Productions offers wonderful resources online, including recipes and 8 Easy Tips to Move Beyond Nuggets and Mac ‘N’ Cheese! They also published an easy cookbook called Get Your Family Eating Right, by Lynn Fredericks and Mercedes Sanchez, that features simple, family-friendly recipes; tips and words of wisdom about creating and enjoying family meals; and even a 30-day plan designed to get you and your kids in the kitchen more often. They advocate using mealtime as a way to explore the world from your kitchen, and to broaden the flavors and textures of food that your children accept and enjoy. We sampled one of their recipes in this YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen episode back in 2016! Cooking with kids is also guaranteed to increase a child’s interest in, and willingness to try new foods. For example, if you told your kids you were making cauliflower crust pizza tonight for dinner, they might just make a face! But, if you invite them into the kitchen to make homemade pizza with you, chances are, the experience will be much different! Need proof? Check out this YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen episode with kids from Coyote Springs Elementary School – making cauliflower crust pizza with homemade pesto! Pesto-Pizza-with-Crispy-Cauliflower-Crust Another way to get your kids into cooking is to get into it yourself! My 13-year old niece, Alayna Grace, says she got into cooking after “watching a lot of Chopped and Chopped Jr. shows” with her mom. Alayna says, “My mom used to put a ‘Chopped’ challenge basket together for me and I would make a meal, snack or dessert out of the ingredients. Mom and Dad were the judges, and of course, they loved everything, and I always won!” These days, Alayna gets an idea for a food or a favorite restaurant meal she wants to cook at home and then looks up recipes online. She also really likes the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, by Dinah Bucholz. Her favorite recipe: Pumpkin Pastis! Alayna shares her homemade pizza and Asian-style slaw Remember, any time you invite your kids to help prepare a meal or snack is quality time with you. After all, the main attraction of cooking for kids is being with you! Toddlers can play with mixing bowls and measuring cups while you cook. Younger children can add ingredients to a salad or mixing bowl while you stir. As they grow older, kids can start measuring and mixing on their own, and may use a butter knife to cut soft fruits and vegetables. Teens can take over cooking pasta, chopping, baking and more! Your own enthusiasm for cooking and eating will rub off on your kids, they will pass it on to their kids, and soon enough, you’ll belong to a tribe of healthy eaters! Some additional favorite resources for cooking with kids are listed below. Pretend Soup, and Other Real Recipes, a Cookbook for Preschoolers & UP, by Mollie Katzen Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook, by Ellyn Satter The Family Cooks, by Laurie David Jamie Oliver Get Kids Cooking Blog. Check out the Toasted Popeye Bread!
YRMC Chief Medical Information Officer Earns Clinical Informaticist Certification
Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has a national reputation for being a leader in technological and digital solutions for patient care. Among other distinctions, the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum has recognized YRMC as a Most Wired Hospital on several occasions. The administration and staff at YRMC want to ensure that its leading-edge technology serves to enhance the compassionate, patient-centered care the hospital is known for. As you might suspect, in our era of ever-increasing technological advances, this requires an ongoing effort. What role does the technology at YRMC play in day-to-day care? How does it enhance the experience of our patients? What measures continue to be implemented so that technology allows the delivery of care to be seamless, efficient and patient-centered? These are some of the questions that a very specialized team at YRMC is dedicated to answering. At the helm is Dr. Ronael Eckman, YRMC Chief Medical Information Officer. Her responsibility is to analyze, design, revise and implement all of the digital systems related to patient care, including YRMC’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. Eckman was recently awarded Clinical Informaticist certification from the American Board of Preventative Medicine. This is a relatively new field of study, and an impressive distinction, which allows physicians and other clinicians to combine their experience and expertise in patient care with specialized training in the concepts, methodology and usage of digital information and systems. The goal is twofold: First, to design the day-to-day workflow for physicians, nurses and clinicians so the system is efficient and easy to access, and second, to train and support the practitioners in its usage. “We want our providers to be able to focus on their patient without the EMR being burdensome or challenging,” says Eckman. “We work one-on-one with new providers to help them understand the digital systems process. This includes chart review, accessing results, viewing images and data, and entering their own documentation in the chart,” Eckman explains. “We also show them how to place orders and perform diagnostics, referral and follow up, all digitally.” “Along the way, our team identifies challenges, nuances, and opportunities for redesign. For example, we may add a new section of orders or new procedures for a new specialty.” According to Eckman, the rigorous preparation and five-hour exam for Clinical Informaticist certification was well worth it. “In 2011, I joined the first group of physicians at YRMC to help the transition from paper to electronic records,” she explains. “We served as a sort of liaison between the technical and the clinical. When I learned that a certificate for Clinical Informaticist was available, I saw it as a great opportunity to formalize my education and fill any gaps of knowledge I might have.” “I knew a more well-rounded, formal education would help me do my job better.” In addition to serving as Chief Medical Information Officer, Eckman has been practicing clinical medicine at YRMC PhysicianCare’s Ponderosa Pediatrics since 2010. “Through my practice, I have the unique experience of seeing firsthand every day how YRMC’s digital systems work in an ambulatory clinic, as well as in inpatient Pediatrics and Labor and Delivery for newborns in the hospital,” she says. “This working knowledge, as well as the ability to communicate with my colleagues personally about the system, is truly valuable in my Clinical Informaticist role.” Not surprisingly, education, knowledge and empowerment color everything that Eckman does. “As a pediatrician, I try to educate and empower parents to have an understanding of their child’s development or condition so that they can be partners in their child’s care,” she says. “I share with them why I am making a certain recommendation, but also include them in the decision making. Education is the key to a child’s health and wellbeing.” Eckman continues. “The most rewarding thing for me is that I can help other physicians offer this same level of involvement to their patients. As a Clinical Informaticist, I can support my colleagues by giving them the proper tools to deliver the best care possible. Optimizing the system to maximize their ability to focus on their patients is why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Tried and True Strategies to Prevent Weight Gain When Life Throws You a Curve Ball!
People commonly experience changes in weight when life shifts dramatically, as can happen during big events like marriage, divorce, losses of any kind, retirement, and even sheltering at home! While some individuals lose weight during stressful times, the majority of us tend to gain. If this describes you, consider trying these proven, time-tested strategies that involve slowing down at meals, mindfulness, movement and, believe it or not, really enjoying food, to prevent weight gain when your life’s daily rhythm and routine change. Slowing Down at Meals The most important strategy for anyone experiencing weight challenges is simply to slow the pace of eating anything at anytime. Scientists discovered important links between eating speed and appetite, calorie burning, satiety, and weight gain decades ago. Simply put, it takes time for your brain to register satisfaction and fullness at meals! After all, your brain is always working hard to make sure you get enough fuel, nutrition, and pleasure from food, and if your brain thinks you haven’t met those needs — it will tell you to eat more, even when your belly feels full. If you tend to eat meals quickly, or even while distracted by other activities, your brain won’t have enough time and attention to fully register what and how much you ate. By simply slowing down when you eat, and eating without distraction, you’ll likely discover that you are satisfied with less food. Slowing the pace of meals also increases your metabolism (the number of calories you burn throughout the day), because your brain knows that you are not starving and that you don’t have to store fuel as fat to use later on. Be Mindful Mindfulness is simply paying attention to what you are experiencing in the moment. Slowing down and really enjoying your food is a form of mindfulness. Noticing when you are going to the refrigerator to relieve stress is another type of mindfulness. If you find yourself turning to food to relieve boredom (which is a kind of stress), worries, or anxiety, try putting a name to that behavior. Recognizing stress eating for what it is actually gives you more choices and control! In other words, when you act out of fear and worry, your survival brain takes charge, and that part of the brain can’t make the best long-term decisions. The survival part of your brain is only concerned about keeping you safe and alive in the moment. However, by simply naming a behavior, like ‘I’m eating because I am worried’, you start to hand the decision making over to the more logical part of your brain, which can come up with a bigger variety of options to help you feel better! Remember, if you do decide to eat in reaction to stress, be kind to your self and eat slowly, in a mindful and pleasurable way, as best as you can. You will likely eat less and feel more in control as a result. Move Your Body Movement of any kind is another key strategy for increasing metabolism and managing stress-related eating. Sheltering at home might mean that you are moving less, due to not working at all, working from home, or not going to the gym. Even small losses of daily movement can result in weight gain, especially as we age. If you are able, take advantage of our local green spaces, parks, and trails, where you can walk, bike, hike, play catch or throw a Frisbee while easily maintaining safe social distancing. Some gyms, including the local YMCA, are offering their members online classes, and many workout routines for every level of ability are available on line for free! Moving your body is also a time-tested strategy that’s guaranteed to shift your focus from food if you are stressed out or bored. Enjoy Eating Lastly, don’t forget the importance of enjoying meals, because pleasure is one of your primary stress-relieving tools! If you take the time to make, eat, and truly find joy in your meals, even if you are eating some kind of ‘comfort food’, you’ll likely consume less and avoid feeling deprived – which can actually prevent weight gain! Of course, be reasonable with the frequency of your indulgences, for no amount of mindful eating will likely make up for digging into pizza and ice cream every night!