June Calendar Celebrations

June is always a month full of great celebrations–not only weddings and graduations but other great events that celebrate family, culture, mental health and even the environment. Check out the list and links below of the daily as well as monthly observations.

Daily Holidays & Observations

Atlantic Hurricane Season Starts – June 1 – November 30, 2021
Global Day of Parents – June 1
Children’s Awareness Memorial Day/Stand for
Children Day – June 1
Say Something Nice Day – June 1
Corpus Christi –June 3
National Gun Violence Awareness Day – June 4
National Donut Day – June 4 – 5
Best Friends Day – June 8
St. Columba of Iona – June 9
Sacred Heart of Jesus – June 11
Family History Day – June 14
Flag Day – June 14
World Blood Donor Day – June 14
Saint Vladimir Day – June 15
Guru Arjan martyrdom – June 16
Autistic Pride Day – June 18
Dollars Against Diabetes Day – June 18-20
Juneteenth Independence Day – June 19
New Church Day – June 19
World Sickle Cell Day – June 19
Father’s Day – June 20
First Day of Summer – June 20
Pentecost – June 20
World Humanist Day – June 21
First Nations Day – June 22
Litha- Yule-*Wicca/Neo Pagan – June 22
Saint John the Baptist – June 24
Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul – June 29

Monthly Observations

African American Music Appreciation Month
Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
Cataract Awareness Month
Child Vision Awareness Month
Children’s Awareness Month
Effective Communications Month
Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month
Fireworks Safety Months
Great Outdoors Month
International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
International Men’s Month
LGBTQIA Pride Month
Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month
National Camping Month
National Candy Month
National Caribbean-American Heritage Month
National Fruit & Veggies Month
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
National Oceans Month
National Pet Preparedness Month
National Safety Month
PTSD Awareness Month
Professional Wellness Month

Observance Highlights

June is LGBTQIA Pride Month
Throughout June, Pride Month is celebrated in commemoration of the Stonewall riots in Manhattan in1969. Communities across the country hold parades, workshops, celebrations, and concerts. Marches for civil rights and awareness take place.

The month is a time to remember those who paved the way for the LGBTQIA community and continue to do so. It’s a time for education and breaking down barriers as well as looking back at the changes to see what more work still needs to be done.

HISTORY
The Stonewall Riots were sparked by the police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969. The bar had a reputation for being friendly to the LGBT community, but in the 1960s in New York, certain behavior was considered inappropriate and even illegal.

Once the raid began, it soon led to a riot that raged for six days. While the riots weren’t an organizing force for a civil rights movement, it was a rallying point.

HOW TO OBSERVE
Join a seminar or parade near you. See how you can make a difference. Use #Pride Month to share on social media.

National Safety Month
Each week, throughout National Safety Month in June, is an opportunity to make a difference in your home, work, and community. Identifying risks around the home or improving safety standards at home and in your community protects everyone. Whether we increase first aid and emergency awareness through drills or provide water safety tips for summer recreation, we’re taking steps to provide a safer neighborhood.

HOW TO OBSERVE
• Hold drills at home to help children know what to do in the event of-
» fire
» tornado
» medical event
» another natural disaster

• Volunteer to participate in community emergency preparedness events

• Put together a first aid kit

• Take a CPR class

• Teach someone to change a tire properly and safely

• Learn about proper storage and disposal of medications

• Take a defensive driving course

• COVID-19 precautions (staying up on CDC information)

#NationalSafetyMonth and #GETinvolved

The lost art of the thank-you note | The Seattle Times
Two simple words can carry so much weight.

I have noticed in recent weeks that I have had a great up tick in new followers of my blog and viewers of my blog posts and I do not want to take this for granted and to take a moment to say I appreciate you.

There are tons and tons of Word Press bloggers and websites that I too follow many of you and others, so for you to take the time to read my blog where I am purposeful about posting information or resources to help the masses is very much appreciated.

And to my followers who have followed my blog since its inception many years ago I especially appreciate you.

This pandemic has forced me in some aspects to get back to one of my many creative outlets, writing being on them. No more sketchy durations of absence from this blog, at least for now– as you know life can get in the way of the things we like and love sometimes.

I wish you each great blessings of good health, peace and joy…

Dr. Tamara Johnson, PhD
Proverbs Consulting Limited Liability Company

How to support a friend or family member who’s struggling with their mental health

Article Source – TED

Let’s normalize maintaining good mental health and seeking out support when there are mental health challenges with ourselves, family member or friends. -Dr. Tamara Johnson, PhD

Awareness and resources for strong mental health - UNCSA

Every one of us has mental health in the same way that every one of us has physical health. Yet despite the prevalence of mental health struggles, there is still so much stigma around them. Worldwide the leading cause of disability is depression, according to the World Health Organization, and in the US alone, nearly 1 in 5 of adults lives with a mental illness.

As a mental health therapist-in-training and the founder of Brown Girl Therapy, the largest mental health community for children of immigrants living in the West, I regularly get asked this question: “How can I support a loved one who is struggling with their mental health?” With the multiple crises we’re currently living through, it can feel like more and more people we know are currently hurting.

Maybe you’ve noticed that a friend’s behavior or demeanor has changed and you’re concerned, or a family member is opening up to you for the first time about their anxiety. I know it’s challenging to know what to say or do. Here are eight things that you can do and eight things you should not do when you’re supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health.

First, the dos: 

DO listen and validate

Be curious about what your friend is struggling with and how it’s impacting them. Instead of asking yes-or-no questions, ask open-ended questions to allow them to share their experience with you — questions like “What’s going on?” or “How long have you been experiencing this?” or “How are you coping?”

When they respond, use validating statements that will help them feel heard and accepted just as they are. Many people who struggle with their mental health may often blame or judge  themselves about what they’re going through; some may feel that their struggles aren’t valid because they’re all “in their head.”

Even if you can’t completely understand or relate to their feelings or experiences, you want to communicate to your loved one that they’re perfectly OK — — this can be as simple as saying “That sounds really difficult”.

Support looks different for everyone, and what you may need when you’re struggling may not be what someone else needs.

DO ask what they need from you

Instead of making assumptions about what would be helpful to your loved one, ask them directly: “How can I support you?” or “What would be helpful to you right now?” Remember: Support looks different for everyone, and what you may need when you’re struggling may not be what someone else needs when they’re having a hard time.

DO offer to help with everyday tasks

A lot of people who struggle with their mental health may find it incredibly difficult to make basic decisions or perform even seemingly small chores. Instead of using the generic phrase “I’m here if you need me,” try to be specific about what you’re offering so your friend won’t have to bear the burden of reaching out or figuring out what they need in the first place.

If you visit them, take a look around and see what they could use assistance with — like doing the dishes, weeding, vacuuming or folding laundry. If you talk to them, offer to take them to a doctor’s appointment or do a grocery or drugstore run for them; you might also consider sending them a gift card for their meals.

DO celebrate their wins, including the small ones 

When a person is struggling with their mental health, every day can be full of challenges. So cheer on their accomplishments and victories. This can help affirm their feelings of agency and efficacy. This could look like thanking them for being so honest and vulnerable with you or  congratulating them for going to work or for taking their dog out for regular walks.

Many people who struggle with their mental health already feel a baseline level of guilt for being a drag on other people’s time, energy and mental space.

DO read up on what they’re struggling with

There’s another important burden you can remove from their plate: Having to teach you about mental illness. Instead, take the time to educate yourself on what they’re going through — for example, learning more about depression, panic attacks or anxiety — so you can understand their lived experience and be aware of severe or risky behaviors or symptoms to look out for.

Today, there are so many places online to find informative, helpful content, from peer-reviewed journals and articles by mental health professionals to posts in digital communities and personal essays by people who share in your loved one’s mental-health challenges.

DO check in with them regularly 

Many people who struggle with their mental health already feel a baseline level of guilt for being a drag on other people’s time, energy and mental space. Consistently check in (a quick text is fine) with them, keep them company when you can, and remind your friend that you love them and you’re on their side.

DO recognize that not all mental health struggles look the same

Not all mental health challenges or mental illnesses look the same. Some people might struggle as the result of a specific event or circumstance, while other people may be living with a chronic mental illness. If the latter is true for your loved one, don’t expect them to “get over” it as they would with a flu or broken bone.

Meet them where they are, reminding them you understand it’s something they are living with. This can take different forms depending on what they need — this could mean understanding when they cancel plans on you because they’re having a particularly tough day or adapting your plans with them to reflect what they’re able to do.

It’s important we remove the stigma from taking care of our mental health and talk about it just like we’d talk about going to a physician for a physical illness.

DO normalize talking about mental health

Don’t wait for them to bring up their struggles, or shy away from being direct with them. It’s important we remove the stigma from taking care of our mental health and talk about it in the same way we’d talk about going to a physician or taking medication for a physical illness. You might even consider opening up and being vulnerable when talking about your own mental health so instead of feeling judged, your loved one feels safe being honest with you.

Now, the don’ts:  

DON’T compare their experience to others

I really want to drive one point home: Everyone experiences their mental health struggles and mental health illnesses differently. In the guise of trying to make a loved one feel better, you may be tempted to tell them “everyone deals with anxiety [or depression etc] sometimes” or bring up an acquaintance who had the same illness but benefited from a specific strategy, treatment or therapy.

Resist this temptation. Even though saying those things can be helpful in terms of normalizing their experience and making them feel less alone, they can also have the unintended effect of pressuring them to get over it or minimize what they’re feeling.

Another thing to avoid — reminding them of what they have or should be grateful for. Toxic positivity and comparison to others can reinforce the narrative that your loved one’s problems aren’t important.

Avoid using stigmatizing words like “crazy” or “cuckoo”, or saying things like “that’s so OCD” or “take a Xanax”

DON’T use stigmatizing language 

Be careful how you talk about mental health around your friend (and in general!). Avoid using stigmatizing words  like “crazy” or “cuckoo”, or using clinical diagnoses or medications flippantly in conversation — like saying “that’s so OCD” when someone is very organized or telling someone to “take a Xanax” when you want them to calm down. Check your own assumptions surrounding mental health issues, professional mental health care and medication so you aren’t causing your loved one unnecessary pain.

DON’T take their behavior personally

People’s mental health struggles are often not linear or predictable. Maybe your friend is less talkative one day, and maybe your sister keeps rescheduling your phone dates. While you may feel hurt or offended by their actions, don’t automatically assume that they are reflections of how your loved one feels about you.

Instead, use their cues as moments to check in on them, ask what you can do to support them, and remind them that you’re here for them when and if they need.

You want to be with your loved one while they’re navigating their own struggles, not steering them or pushing them.

DON’T be confrontational or try to control the situation

When you’re faced with a loved one in pain or distress, it can be really difficult not to get in the metaphorical driver’s seat and forcefully do what you think will relieve their suffering. But in doing this, you’re diminishing their sense of agency. You want to be with your loved one while they’re navigating their own struggles, not steering them or pushing them. So don’t be aggressive about what they should or shouldn’t do, and don’t give them ultimatums.

DON’T get discouraged

You may feel helpless when you’re helping and supporting a loved one who is struggling, and you don’t see them making progress. Just because you feel helpless doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful. Your loved one does not expect you to find them the magic solution or to be perfect; instead, they just need you to be present.

DON’T burn yourself out trying to support your loved one

The better you take care of yourself, the better you can be of support to your loved one. Make sure to keep taking care of yourself, doing the things you love and recharging your own batteries while being there for your loved one. Be clear and direct about your boundaries, and find ways to honor what you need to do in order to be able to show up for them.

People who are struggling with their mental health are not broken, and they do not need to be fixed.

DON’T try to fix them

People who are struggling with their mental health are not broken, and they do not need to be fixed. By jumping in with solutions and advice when they don’t explicitly ask for it, you’re sending them the message that what they’re going through is wrong or bad when in fact you are projecting your own discomfort with what they’re going through. Realize that your impulse to dive into a fix-it mode can actually be a coping mechanism to ease and absolve your own discomfort or anxiety. Which brings me to my next point …

DON’T avoid the feelings that come up for you

When we see our loved ones grappling with something difficult, chronic or hard to comprehend, it can often bring up our own difficult feelings and our own discomfort or anxiety. When this happens, it’s important not to shove that stuff under the rug. Spend time reflecting on what’s coming up for you.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Are you anxious because you’re scared of what’s going to happen to your loved one? Are you avoiding them because you feel helpless? Are you carrying around your own biases or stigmas around mental illness? Are you on edge because you’re resentful, burned out or just plain confused?

It’s important to get clarity on what’s coming up for you and why, so you can take care of yourself and still be there for your friend. Don’t be ashamed if you find that you could use some support or professional care. One great US-based resource is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which hosts free support groups for people who love someone that’s struggling with their mental health.

About The Author

Sahaj Kaur Kohli is the founder of Brown Girl Therapy, the first and largest mental health and wellness community of its kind for children of immigrants living in the West, where she works to promote bicultural identity and destigmatize therapy. She is also currently pursuing her master’s in clinical mental health counseling. Kohli’s passion lies at the intersection of narrative storytelling and mental health advocacy. A former journalist, she is currently working on a book to be published by Penguin Life. 

Working from home and shifting to re-connecting to the office

Article Source – Costco Connection

According to the American Psychological Association, complex jobs that require little collaboration are best done in a remote environment.

Over a year has gone by and the pandemic continues. Many people are coming back to work, while others continue to work virtually, either part time or full time. While working from home offers many advantages for both employers and employees, it presents challenges. Workers with children often struggle to balance their professional and personal lives, especially as it relates to the child’s education—which is often done virtually. Others struggle to care for elderly family members who are ill, as they are more susceptible to the virus. Those who come into a workplace part time fear contracting the virus during their time at work.

On top of these and other concerns is the anxiety workers have about facing their fears. Many workers hesitate to share their emotional stress with their employers, which creates a lot of pressure. These tips can help you create a nonjudgmental work environment in which team members can open up:
● Create a safe work environment where everyone can communicate openly and listen empathically. This is best done by listening first to understand, and then explaining to be understood.

● Working from home can blur the boundaries between employees’ work and personal lives. Encourage workers to create a structured workday with a beginning and an end. Encourage team members to use a time management method like the Pomodoro Technique (search “Pomodoro Technique” online), which advocates using a timer to break down work into short (25 minutes, traditionally) intervals, separated by short breaks.

● Find creative ways to connect with your team members—one human being to another—to make the virtual workspace more human. For instance, allow employees to participate in informal water cooler conversations, host virtual coffee breaks or schedule virtual after-hours get-togethers.

● Schedule check-in time with each team member. Ask about not only work-related matters, but also how the person is doing overall and how you can be supportive.

● Encourage your team to share community resources. For example, in New Jersey, a few help lines provide free and confidential emotional support, allowing people to speak to a qualified professional. Implementing an infrastructure that supports connection among you and your employees can be a win-win for all involved. Conversely, not doing so can result in a company finding it difficult to maximize its potential.

Support your team
Having a professional speak with your team about work-life stressors—such as the pandemic—can make a huge difference. At the very least, it shows that someone cares. A professional can help problem-solve issues and provide practical strategies that may help members of your team cope. As a professional trainer who has facilitated hundreds of these workshops, I can say they not only build connections and provide support among members of a team, but they also bring compassion back into the workplace.

Article Author – Faith Saunders is the founder of Discover A New Future (discoveranewfuture.com; info@discoveranewfuture.com), a professional and leadership training and consulting company.

Seven Simple Health Tips For Your Home

Article Source – cvs.com

Striving to be your healthiest can be an ongoing project. But while you’re focused on activity trackers and gym memberships, remember that many habits can start right at home.

Smiling man in a kitchen getting ready to prepare a healthy meal.

1. Keep healthy snacks on the middle shelf of your fridge.

The idea behind this clever mind hack is all about eye line. Placing healthy foods and snacks where your brain registers them before fatty, sugary options can make you more likely to choose a healthy nibble. The same principle can apply to how you store snacks around the rest of your kitchen: Keep wholesome options such as dried figs or apricots on display in glass jars, or a big bowl of fruit on your counter. In turn, keep the cookies out of sight and out of mind!

2. Invest in food containers.

Stocking up on a set of good-quality, multipurpose food containers can make it easier to store and carry homemade leftovers, and can boost your inclination to prep your lunch ahead of a working day. Not only can this help curb your temptation to grab unhealthy fast food during your break, it could save you money. Furthermore, it can save you some time: With no need to queue up at the sandwich shop during the lunch rush, use the time you save to fully enjoy your prepacked lunch somewhere sunny and peaceful to enjoy (outdoors is ideal). Concentrating on your meal and eating more slowly — what some call “mindful eating” — can be better for your digestive system and provide you with a quality time-out during your break.

3. Adopt the “screen-free Sunday” rule.

Smiling mother with toddler daughters, playing on a swing outside.

Whether it’s because people are always “available” or constantly comparing their online lives to those of others, it’s well documented that social media can impact mental health negatively.* Furthermore, hand-operated tech can be a hotbed for germs and create issues such as vision problems and sleep disturbed by blue light. On an extreme scale, some research claims that screen use can potentially impair cognitive function.* Engaging in non-screen-oriented activities with your family and friends is good for well-being, helping you reconnect and be present for one another. Spending your screen-free day alone? Take the opportunity to pamper yourself a little, read a book, go for a walk in nature or cook a delicious meal from scratch: A little self-indulgence can be just as important for lifting the spirits and calming the mind. Pick a day that best suits your routine — Sundays, for example — to ban the use of screens and devices, or limit usage time.

4. Consider replacing your pillows.

There’s no beating the feeling of setting your head down on your pillow at the end of a long day. A well-chosen set of pillows can help provide comfort for your neck and back. But accumulated drool and grease can create a magnet for fungi and mites, and substances emitted from pillows can potentially wreak havoc on respiratory systems and aggravate allergies. The National Sleep Foundation recommends buying new pillows every two years (or washing the ones you have if they’re machine washable) to ensure your sleep is as productive (and clean!) as possible.*

5. Try black-out blinds in your bedroom.

Since sleep is a cornerstone of health, creating a restful environment in your bedroom can be a helpful health tip. Poor sleep can cause disturbances to mental health, such as depression. Creating a light-free zone can be a good start: Research shows that exposure to even very dim light (such as falling asleep with your cell phone home screen unlocked on your bedside table) can have a very negative impact on sleep quality.* Swapping out your regular drapery for blackout blinds to eliminate any outside light can be an easy and effective step toward better sleep and general health — as is making sure your cell phone is locked before you nod off!

6. Open your windows.

Regularly throwing open the windows to stimulate air circulation can be beneficial, even if you live in a big city, as it’s easy for dust mites to accumulate and affect the air quality within your home. Some studies estimate that pollutants in the air inside your house are up to five times greater compared to the air outside.* Complications such as asthma can be at the mercy of air quality, so if you’re a sufferer, this can be helpful.

Furthermore, consider enhancing the purity of the air inside your home with some ornamental suggestions. Himalayan salt lamps can look beautiful and emit a relaxing glow, and can help to improve indoor air quality. Houseplants can also be a great way to freshen up the air inside, too. Areca palms, spider plants and peace lilies can be great at keeping air quality at an optimum indoors, and, since they’re all low on the pollen count, can be options for those who suffer from hay fever.

7. Think about getting a pet.

Smiling elderly couple on a fitness walk, stopping to pet a dog.

Seriously! If your living arrangements allow, you could consider getting a pet as a way of supporting your health.* Regular daily walks with a dog can have numerous positive impacts on heart health and general well-being, but caring for any furry friend can be immensely rewarding, too: Petting animals such as cats can lower blood pressure and help aid relaxation. Dogs and cats a no-no? Fish can be effective at calming feelings of stress and anxiety and lowering blood pressure — so it’s no coincidence that fish tanks such a fixture in dentists’ and doctors’ offices.

Creating a healthy environment in your home needn’t be complicated or high tech. Make new habits from the suggestions above and see how your health can benefit from just a few simple household health tips.

Federal Reserve leaves rate alone as economy turns a corner from pandemic

Article Source – bankrate.com

The Federal Reserve made no changes to interest rates last month and left alone its bond-buying plans, even as the U.S. economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic quickly picks up speed, leading to what officials see as a temporary run up in prices.

The move almost certainly guarantees that borrowing costs will remain at historic lows, given that popular loan products from credit cards to auto loans are directly pegged to the Fed’s federal funds rate. Meanwhile, consumers looking for a decent yield on the cash that they’ve stashed away will want to continue shopping around for the best deal.

Now’s the time to take financial action:

Protect your wallet from inflation: Experts say that a well-balanced, diversified portfolio should be enough to protect you from rising inflation, but you might want to seek out other income sources, from dividend-paying stocks to real estate investment trusts. Avoid parking too much money in fixed-income investments or keeping too much cash on the sidelines.

Boost your emergency savings: Now’s the time to prioritize building up a cushion of cash, given that no one knows just how long the financial hardship will last. Focus on stashing away whatever extra funds you can find into a liquid and accessible savings account that offers a competitive rate.

Look for ways to trim your expenses: Find some breathing room in your budget for your emergency savings by trimming your discretionary purchases. Reach out to lenders, banks and companies you work with to see if you can lower your monthly payment. If you’re carrying credit card debt, consider utilizing a balance transfer card to lower your monthly payment and total interest. Homeowners should consider refinancing their mortgage to shave a few hundred dollars off their monthly payments.

Focus on the long term: Markets have rebounded since March, but choppy days could be on the horizon. Don’t jeopardize your long-term investments or savings goals based on short-term events. Dropping out when the waters get rough is a sure way to lock in a loss.

Lock in the best deal now: Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, though experts caution would-be homebuyers and refinancers from waiting too long if they’re wanting to lock in the best deal possible.

Ask for help: Work with any lenders or financial firms you regularly pay a bill to and negotiate a forbearance program if you’re facing joblessness. Financial experts say it’s worth a shot to ask.

Read full story

April Is Financial Literacy Month

Article Source – Forbes.com

April kicks off Financial Literacy Month, a nationally recognized campaign to bring awareness to the need for more financial education in schools and for adults. The campaign has been around for decades, yet you may have never heard of it.

Here’s a look at the ins and outs of Financial Literacy Month, how it came into existence and what you can do to support financial literacy right now.

What Is Financial Literacy Month?

In the U.S., Financial Literacy Month is a national campaign organized by the Jump$tart Coalition to raise awareness about financial literacy and promote financial education. The Jump$tart Coalition and its partner organizations host events and initiatives throughout the month to improve financial literacy in America.

The History of Financial Literacy Month

Financial Literacy Month’s beginnings go back more than two decades. The campaign began as Youth Financial Literacy Day, first introduced by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

In 2000, NEFE handed over the reins to the Jump$tart Coalition, which expanded the one-day campaign to an entire month called Financial Literacy for Youth Month. The event’s name was eventually changed to Financial Literacy Month. In 2004, the Senate passed a resolution to recognize April as Financial Literacy Month.

What Is the Jump$tart Coalition?

Jump$tart is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The organization was founded in 1995. Its primary purpose is to promote financial literacy curriculum in American schools.

The Jump$tart Coalition started as an idea by then Chairman and CEO of the Ford Motor Credit Corporation, William E. Odom. According to the organization, the initial meeting was intended to “develop a strategic plan for improving the quality and extent of curriculum modules for personal finance education in the nation’s schools, grades K-12.”

In 1997, the Jump$tart Coalition was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization. There are currently Jump$tart Coalition-affiliated state chapters in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Jump$tart Coalition also has a network of sustaining, federal agency and national partners, numbering more than 100—including the American Bankers Association Foundation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Reserve Board, individual banks and financial institutions, national associations and educational organizations.

The Goals of Financial Literacy Month

Financial Literacy Month’s mission has always been to promote, advocate for and support financial literacy efforts across the U.S., especially in schools for kids and teenagers. Jump$tart Coalition and other organizations promote the literacy campaign through special events, online and print content, school curricula and more.

How Can You Get Involved During Financial Literacy Month?

Financial Literacy Month kicked off on April 1, 2021, and organizations have events and activities planned to promote financial literacy in America.

Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week 2021 runs from Saturday, April 10 through Saturday, April 17, 2021. The event is 100% virtual this year and features one live online event each day, along with a host of financial literacy resources. Focusing on personal finance, featured topics range from savings and banking to managing student loans, housing and tax-related fraud.

Presenters include the U.S. Department of Education, the CFPB, the Internal Revenue Service, FINRA, the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, the Economic Awareness Council, the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education offers several resources for teachers and students for this year’s Financial Literacy Month:

  • Live personal finance webinars for teens in grades nine through 12
  • Monday Financial Lesson Plan Drop: The Council for Economic Education is releasing financial lesson plans from EconEdLink for elementary, middle school and high school students. The plans drop on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn every Monday in April.
  • Virtual Event—Fearless Woman: Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation with Annamaria Lusardi (Thursday, April 22, 5 p.m. ET)
  • Virtual Event—Women for Girls speaker series featuring Emily Kolinski Morris (Wednesday, April 28, 5 p.m. ET)

Financial Beginnings

Nonprofit organization Financial Beginnings was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2005 and is expanding nationally. Its goal is to provide “accessible and unbiased financial education to youth and adults” and address gaps in school curricula specific to financial literacy.

Head to Financial Beginnings’ YouTube channel to learn more about financial topics like financing college, paying taxes, car insurance and more. The organization’s “Your Life, Your Money” series helps young people understand complex financial topics relevant to their future.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

You can sign up for the OCC’s free Financial Literacy Update e-newsletter. This bimonthly newsletter features an extensive list of financial literacy events, initiatives and resources, with options for almost everyone.

Can Stress Make You Sick?

Article Source – Medical City Healthcare

What is stress?

Stress is the body’s response to challenges or demands. It can activate the “fight or flight” response that causes you to either flee or defend yourself in dangerous situations. Stressors can be one-time occurrences, or they can happen repeatedly over a long period of time.

A little stress can be a good thing. According to a 2018 study conducted by researchers from University of Otago in New Zealand, stress can be important for learning. The researchers argued that learning begins with a stressor when there is a difference between what is already known and what needs to be learned. It has also been proposed that transformative change cannot occur without stress or a crisis. These conditions can lead to “stress-related growth,” which is when someone benefits from encountering a stressful situation.

Another 2018 study found that short-term stress can enhance immuno-protection and may also enhance mental and physical performance. The study noted that if short-term stress is experienced during vaccination or when someone is wounded, it can increase the efficacy of the vaccination or help the wound heal. It also argued that short-term stress can increase resistance to infection and cancer.

Can stress make you sick?

A healthy level of stress can help keep you motivated and ensure that you’re getting things done. But too much stress can negatively impact your immune system and cause you to get sick more easily.

Chronic stress—stress that occurs consistently over a long period of time—can have a negative impact on a person’s immune system and physical health.

If you are constantly under stress, you may experience physical symptoms such as chest painheadaches, an upset stomach, trouble sleeping or high blood pressure. The fight or flight response brought on by stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases your heart rate and breathing rate, providing your body with the energy and oxygen it needs to respond quickly to danger. Cortisol increases glucose in the bloodstream and lowers nonessential functions like digestion. When these functions are constantly elevated or suppressed due to chronic stress, the risk of facing serious health problems, such as heart attack, hypertension or stroke, increases.

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress can also impair communication between the immune system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is what helps your body’s systems maintain homeostasis—its normal state of relative stability. When communication between the immune system and the HPA axis is impaired, it can cause health issues such as chronic fatigue, diabetes, obesity and depression.

Tips to manage stress

Although stress affects everyone, it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. Some people are able to cope with and recover from stress quickly, while others may find it difficult to do so, especially if their stress is in response to a traumatic event. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk of stress having a negative effect on your health.

Exercise regularly

Multiple studies have shown that exercise can help reduce stress and depression, as well as improve cognitive function. As the Anxiety & Depression Association of America states, exercise and physical activity produce endorphins, which are chemicals that act as natural painkillers and can reduce stress. Acupuncture, deep breathing, massage and meditation can help your body produce endorphins.

Set goals

One way to manage stress is to set goals and priorities. You may feel stressed because you have a lot of different tasks that need to be completed, but deciding which tasks need your immediate attention can help you reduce stress. If you have too much on your plate, consider saying “no” to additional work or requests so you can avoid adding negative stress to your situation. Setting goals can also help you feel in control and optimistic, even when the work ahead of you seems challenging.

Change your self-talk

The way you talk to yourself can also affect your stress levels. Specifically, negative self-talk can increase stress, while positive self-talk can reduce stress. If you feel stressed out, try changing the way you talk to yourself. The American Heart Association gives a few examples of how to shift self-talk language for a more positive mindset:

  • “I hate it when this happens” can become “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”
  • “I feel helpless and alone” can become “I can reach out and get help if I need it.”

Stress is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. If you are able to recognize your stressors, you can take steps to reduce them and reframe your outlook for the better. If you need more guidance on how to manage stress, consider talking to your doctor.

Medical City Healthcare provides comprehensive emergency services and behavioral health services across North Texas.

At Medical City Healthcare, we’re dedicated to the care and improvement of human life. So, we hope you’ll Take Care!

For more information, call our Ask a Nurse hotline 24/7 or use Find a Doctor online. You can also get care for minor injuries or illness at CareNow Urgent Care or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.

Small Business Grants Targeting African-American Women Business Owners

Article Source – Boss Women

2021 has quickly become an unprecedented year of opportunity for Black and Brown small business owners looking to leverage grants and other corporate dollars to grow and scale their business. Over the last year, corporations have been intentional about driving dollars into diverse communities, announcing large scale financial investments all with the goal of closing economic gaps and advocating for equity. 

These investments will not solve issues of racial injustice in our society but they have been proven to boost our local economies, create jobs and provide new opportunities for partnership between local diverse businesses and corporate America.  

A new trend has also emerged, as corporations are funneling their investments directly to Black women business owners.   

According to Forbes.com, Black women make up 42% of new women-owned businesses-three times their share of the female population-and 36% of all Black-owned employer businesses. Despite the events of 2020, Black women entrepreneurs continue to be the fastest growing population of business owners yet are still largely underfunded.

What’s at stake is pretty clear: Black women business owners risk decades of worth of economic progress due to the pandemic, economy and racial injustice. 

And that’s just not acceptable. 

As part of our mission to empower Boss Women entrepreneurs, we want to share six grant opportunities that center Black women, business and capital. Go get your money, sis: 

1. One Million Black Women: In March, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) announced a new investment initiative of more than $10 billion to advance racial equity and economic opportunity by investing in Black women. In partnership with Black women-led organizations, financial institutions and other partners, Goldman Sachs will commit $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital over the next decade to address the dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The initiative, One Million Black Women, is named for and guided by the goal of impacting the lives of at least 1 million Black women by 2030.

Learn more about One Million Black Women, here

2. She’s Next Grant Program for Black Women Owned BusinessesVisa is continuing to take action and remove the disproportionate barriers faced by Black women founders by offering $10,000 and a one-year IFundWomen Annual Coaching Membership to 60 Black women-owned businesses across six (6) key cities in the U.S. Applications are open through April 16, 2021. 

For more information, visit: ifundwomen.com

3. 3R’s – Recovery, Rebuild, Resilience: 1863 Ventures launched the 3Rsprogram to empower Black founders through an online curated business development curriculum, business coaching, and monetary grants. The program helps Black businesses navigate the short-term uncertainty of the pandemic, while reevaluating their business models, pivoting where necessary, setting a targeted growth strategy, and executing with a clear roadmap.Through its partnership with Capital One, 1863 Ventures is providing 100 Black businesses incorporated in the District of Columbia with curated online business development content, $5,000 grants and 3-months of business coaching.

Learn more, here.

4. Build Your Legacy: Essence + Pine-Sol partnered to offer a $100,000 Legacy Award to help champion Black women and the entrepreneurial spirit. This award will also include 6 months of business coaching with Nicole Walters. To enter, you must have a registered business (LLC, Inc., etc).

For more information, visit: essence.com/yourlegacy 

5. Black Founder Startup Grant: SoGal Foundation has teamed up with Winky LuxbluemercurytwelveNYC, and other sponsors to make a small step towards progress by providing several $10K and $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs. Awardees will also receive tactical help navigating the fundraising environment at large so that they will have a more equitable opportunity at scaling the next billion dollar idea. They will also receive lifetime “ask-me-anything” access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams.

Learn more about this grant, here

6. Power Forward Small Business Grant: The Power Forward Small Business Grant program aims to create a lasting impact through the economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England. Through a joint commitment of $1 million, Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics are teaming up with the NAACP to award transformative grants of $25,000 on a rolling basis. Through this initiative, grant recipients will have opportunities to be featured on national co-branded platforms along with receiving marketing and design resources customized to their specific needs to help their business grow and thrive.

Get more details, here