Good Mental Health Check-In

As we continue to grappling with the effects on COVID-19 in our communities, we must make sure we are maintaining good mental health.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Good mental health can improve your overall well being — and it’s covered with your plan. BlueCross BlueShield of Texas offers some great mental health resource information for its members and I’ve included some additional resource links that are also accessible to everyone.

Where to begin:
In today’s reality, it’s natural to feel worried, afraid or lonely but it’s important to take care of your mental health to cope with so many changes happening. In your plan, you’re covered for anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol abuse and more.
icon 1. Find a Mental Health Provider to Fit Your Needs
Whether you need a counselor, psychiatrist or treatment facility, if you have insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue BlueShield you can utilize the Access for MembersSM (BAMSM) can help you find one. Log in to BAM, then click Doctors & Hospitals to start your search.

icon 2. Try Online Talk Therapy
Try an online visit with a licensed mental health professional. Visit MDLIVE®, download the MDLIVE mobile app or call MDLIVE at 888-680-8646 for details.

icon 3. Call BlueCross BlueShield of Texas with Questions
If you live in Texas BlueCross BlueShield of Texas can help you understand how your mental health benefits work or find a provider. Just call the customer service number on the back of your member ID card if you need help or contact 972-766-6900 for general information.

Resources:
https://connect.bcbstx.com/health-and-wellness/b/weblog/posts/behavioral-health-peeling-the-onion

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/index.shtml

https://connect.bcbstx.com/health-and-wellness/b/weblog/posts/learn-about-different-levels-of-care

https://www.bcbstx.com/covid-19.html

Proverbs Consulting… Providing The Wisdom For Your Visions

Dr. Tamara Johnson, PhD is the Founder and Senior Managing Consultant of Proverbs Consulting a professional business and management consulting firm that targets professional consulting and business service offerings to non-profits, faith-based organizations, the government/public sector, entrepreneurs and small-businesses.

In its twenty-sixth year, Proverbs Consulting is a minority-women owned business offers a diversity of consulting services that include, strategic planning, business operations optimization, human resources, social media strategies, technical writing and project management.

Additionally, Dr. Johnson has 35-years diverse corporate work experience with several major Fortune 1000 companies within various industries such as banking, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, IT and the government sector that includes and is not limited to – Verizon, MCI, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Greystar, AIG, Macy’s, the State of Texas, the City of Wichita, KS and Amazon.

Dr. Johnson has the following academic credentials and certifications-
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Administration
MPA – Master of Public Administration
PhD – Doctor of Philosophy – Business Administration
Lean Six Sigma – Greenbelt
Microsoft Office Professional – MS Excel


Dr. Johnson has a passion for business, community service, health and wellness, ministry, and politics and utilizes her various social media platforms and networking connections to educate, empower and mobilize those within her sphere of influence and the community at large.

Contact:
Dr. Tamara Johnson, PhD
Proverbs Consulting
c: 469.530.7503 e: info@tamarajohnsonphd.com

Cowboys Go To Heaven…

Recently a co-worker who has become a good friend brother had died after a long battle with bone cancer. Daily if not weekly I would send her a prayer of encouragement that she would share with her brother. Upon his death she asked me to submit a prayer for the funeral obituary which was my honor to complete. Below is that prayer. Also take your own encouragement from the prayer as we daily battle the social ills of our society, COVID-19, unemployment, mental fatigue and a host of other day to day living life encounters.

Heavenly Father and all-seeing and all-knowing God. You have called one of your cowboy’s home from labor to reward. That cowboy was A.D., a real cowboy—a man of size who rode horses and bulls, not one of those fake cowboys who dressed in a hat, boots and spurs for fashion but a real cowboy who tackled and appreciated God’s land and nature, who respected its bounty. A cowboy that wasn’t afraid of a fight.

As you are a wise and strategic God, who only gives the biggest and hardest tests to those who can handle them, you allowed cancer to enter A.D. body, but cancer didn’t know who it took on.. it was A.D. the cowboy who valiantly with vigor and persistence took on cancer head on. He may have had days and times of heavy burden of despair but like any strong cowboy he would rest up and fight again day after day. His cancer testimony journey is a reflection of God’s grace and mercy.

Yes, God we thank you for his life, a life well-lived and even in sickness showing us all how to live and endure and fight and fight and fight until you can’t fight anymore.

Now it’s time for the cowboy to ride into the sunset and leave us in body but his spirit remains… and leaves for family and friends a lifetime of love, laughs and great memories. This is what we can hold onto as we look out across pastures of lands or see horses running in a field, we can look up to the heavens as say, hey A.D. we see you cowboy—we see you.

In the bible in, 2 Corinthians 5, God’s word offers us, when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord, and as A.D. has transitioned to the Lord, we thank God for his 61 years and how his long-life legacy will now live within all that knew him. Rest well cowboy until we meet again… Amen and amen…

Proverbs Consulting Is Seeking Focus Group Participants

Proverbs Consulting is currently sourcing for Focus Group participants for a Client that is developing a web and app-based time management/multi-calendar tool. Our initial focus group targets are Mother’s with school-aged children (aged 4-18).

If you have interest in participating with this non-paid focus group please click the following link by 6/19/20 – https://forms.gle/pLtK7cQBJ7Wy2aEE7

All collected information will remain confidential.

For more information please contact Dr. Tamara Johnson at info@tamarajohnsonphd.com

US Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Awards

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with Chase for Business to recognize the very best in American small business. Every year, the Dream Big Awards program honors the achievements of small businesses and highlights their contributions to America’s economic growth. To be considered for this award, please complete this nomination form by July 17, 2020. Click the following link for more details – https://www.uschamber.com/dream-big-awards

AWARDS OVERVIEW

DREAM BIG AWARDS 

The Dream Big Awards program celebrates the success of small business and honors its contributions to America’s economic growth. If eligible, all applicants will be considered for the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award.

Eligible small businesses can also apply to be considered for a Business Achievement Award.

There are six Business Achievement Awards:
1. Emerging Business Award

2. Green/Sustainable Business Award

3. Minority-Owned Business Award

4. Veteran-Owned Business Award

5. Woman-Owned Business Award

6. Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award

New this year, businesses are also able to apply to the Coronavirus Community Excellence Award, and the winner will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize.

There are only TWO WEEKS left to nominate a stand out small business in your community. Nominations are due by 11:59pm ET on Friday, June 19. There is no fee to submit a nomination or apply, and the online nomination form takes only minutes to complete. There is no limit to the number of businesses you can nominate.

Important Dates:
June 19, 2020: Nomination Deadline
July 17, 2020: Application Deadline

Questions? Contact the US Chamber at DreamBig@uschamber.com

2020 Census: Make Your Voice Heard & Be Counted

We’ve all experienced a range of emotions over the past few weeks between COVID-19 and senseless killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Most of us are very weary and tired and tired of being weary and tired.

And as many have been mobilized to march and protest for the injustices that plague our communities and society as a whole, we have also have been challenged by the lack of leadership in many areas of the country at the local, state and federal level to effectively respond to the pandemic and other societal and economic issues, and we want our voices heard. Currently, two important key ways to make your voice heard is to be registered to vote (and make sure you vote in each election) and by completing the 2020 Census.

As you watch the news, see posts on social media, talk among family and friends, you can understand that this time more than ever there is an importance to make your voice heard.

The 2020 Census is quick and easy to complete, it took me about 7 to 8 minutes to complete my Census online and when I hit the send button I had confidence that I knew my responses would impact my immediate community, family, as well as access to governmental services and the type of governing and legislative representation I would have on a local, state and federal level.

Please share this post or copy and paste the graphic below across your social media platforms.. make YOUR voice heard and counted.

Proverbs Consulting Chat With the City of Glenn Heights, TX Mayor – How Small-Businesses Can Navigate COVID-19

Recently Dr. Tamara Johnson, PhD was invited to participate on an online panel with the Mayor of Glenn Heights, TX. The discussion was centered around how local small-business owners were navigating their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view that discussion in the video below.

Additionally, Dr. Johnson wanted provide some words of empowerment as business owners push toward either re-opening their businesses or looking at strategies to move forward with their business.

A new normal is emerging as we flatten the curve for the virus. Adaptability and flexibility both as business owners and individuals will have to become a part of our lives. As challenging as these times are, it is important to remain healthy in mind, body and spirit.

Remain connected to your spiritual beliefs if of a higher power or God that will give you strength and perseverance for each day. Each day will be different, some days you will be full of joy, other days you will have anxiety and stress. Process those feelings as they come. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to lean on others for support and encouragement.

If you feel you may be struggling mentally there are many, many resources available to help you process your feelings of mental overload, anxiety and stress. Through prayer and faith, we will all get through this together.

For more small-business COVID-19 or other small-business resources LIKE the Proverbs Consulting Facebook Page

How to Manage Your Anxiety During the COVID-19 Crisis

Source: Metrocare Dallas

Information On Anxiety

Dallas County, Texas residents experiencing anxiety, fear and/or depression because of the rapid succession of changes to their daily lives can call 214-743-1215 during business hours Monday through Friday. Metrocare professionals will be available to assist individuals in accessing mental health services and provide referrals for other resources that may be needed.

Click the following link for National Mental Health & COVID-19 Information and ResourcesMental Health America

Top Ten Ways to Manage Anxiety in the time of the Coronavirus

Situational Anxiety vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is an important part of our internal anticipation and warning systems that prepares us to respond to dangers – whether they be real or perceived. We often experience anxiety in the natural course of life such as about a significant challenge at work or about our teenager who is struggling in school as examples. Anxiety can even be motivating, like before a basketball game to get adrenaline pumping or even before happy events like having a baby or a wedding.

An anxiety disorder, in contrast, is a mental health problem involving the brain and adrenal glands that can substantially impair our daily functioning. As much as 20% of the population suffers from these common conditions. In these cases, anxiety can appear for no apparent reason, be stronger than expected, or feel like it is impossible to manage. People may avoid everyday situations like going to the grocery store (during ordinary times, not during a pandemic) because the anxiety is so intense.

During high stress situations or in a crisis, when we are facing physical risks and uncertainty – like with the coronavirus pandemic – anxiety can increase for anyone and especially for those with an anxiety disorder. This becomes even more true when the crisis continues for days, weeks or months. Then, anxiety can be overwhelming.

What can you do?

Pay attention to physical signs of anxiety: shallow breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, racing thoughts, or trouble concentrating.
Take these Top 10 steps that anyone can use for support and relief:

  1. Count your breaths. This helps deepen your breathing which physically helps your body and mind relax. Breathe in for 5 seconds, pause for 3 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Slowly.

  2. Meditate. It’s easier than you think. Being in the present moment is critical for reducing anxiety rather than overfocusing on the future. There are a number of apps, like Headspace or TenPercent, that you can try for free to learn how. You can even get guided meditations for free on YouTube. Progressive muscle relaxation is especially useful to help deal with the physical symptoms. It’s important to try meditation for 10 days to get the hang of it. Just 5 minutes a day is a good start.

  3. Get moving. Good exercise for 30 minutes a day is essential for a healthy lifestyle. But also, you can simply get up in the moment and get moving. Take a walk around the block. Do a set of sit-ups or push-ups or high steps. Stretch. Do yoga or tai chi, both of which have a calming, meditative aspect to the practice. If you have not been active recently, take it slowly with 5-10 minutes of exertion a few times a day. Fairly quickly, you will feel ready for more, and your stress will be reduced.

  4. Get news from official sources. With respect to a worldwide crisis, listen to the experts from several sources so you do not have inaccurate information that could feed panic. Social media is full of opinions and false statements.

  5. Conversely, take media breaks. Limit your news and social media intake. Stay informed but don’t overdose on news or Facebook. Instead, utilize the other tips with that time.

  6. Increase your water intake. Staying hydrated is good for your health and well-being. Taking time out to sip tea or water can also be meditative.

  7. Reduce your alcohol, sugar and caffeine intake. Eating healthfully goes without saying for all of us. But if you only do one or two things to improve your diet, reducing or cutting alcohol, sugar or caffeine is one small step with big results.

  8. Practice small acts of courage. If you are overwhelmed and feel stuck, pick one small thing that you can do and celebrate that accomplishment. Get a buddy to help you through it while maintaining social distance or face time.

  9. Keep a diary. Tracking your anxiety can help you see patterns of when anxiety may be more overwhelming than usual. It can also show you ways in which you might be exacerbating your anxiety or triggers that you can avoid. Writing also helps you get anxious thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Seeing the thoughts can help you challenge self-talk that may be inaccurate or not useful. You can even make a practice to mentally “letting go” of your negative self-talk once it is written down.

  10. Connect with calm people … and laugh. Surround yourself with people who are also practicing these tips. Watch funny movies. Share jokes. Get an accountability partner and check in daily with the steps each of you is taking to support yourselves.

    Taking care of our physical health – especially in times like these – means supporting our mental well-being and each other.

Proverbial Notes: Healthy Eating – Ginger

Source: Methodist Charlton Shine Magazine – methodisthealthsystem.org

GINGER is more than the spicy kick to a dish its anti-inflammatory properties work wonders

Powerful healthful benefits are inside this amazing root

WHEN MOST OF us think ginger, we think of the tasty treats that bear its name: ginger ale, gingerbread cookies, and ginger tea. But did you know that this Chinese root does a lot more than add some kick to dishes and drinks?

For thousands of years, ginger has been used more as a medicinal herbal remedy than as a spice. It’s high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s an effective digestive aid and nausea treatment. “It can help with a lot of different things going on inside the body,” says Michelle Knight, lead wellness coach and program coordinator for Methodist Health System. “Ginger helps with degenerative disorders, like arthritis, as well as cardiovascular diseases, digestive health, and diabetes. It’s also an anti-cancer agent.”

Evidence suggests that the phytonutrients in ginger fight cancer, while the anti-inflammatory properties help with just about any disease you could think of. “Inflammation is the basis of almost every disease out there, whether it’s arthritis, digestive issues, brain function, blood sugar issues, cholesterol — the list goes on,” Knight says. “These conditions are all inflammatory in nature.”

EASY WAYS TO ADD GINGER
A simple way to incorporate ginger into your diet is with an easy to make ginger tea. Start by peeling and slicing the root, then boil sections in filtered water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add a little honey and lemon for extra health benefits.

Just smelling ginger can have a powerful effect, as well. “Studies have shown that aromatherapy with ginger essential oils before and after surgery helps with nausea,” Knight says. “It’s very effective administered topically, too.” For the culinary inclined, there is no shortage of recipes available to create delicious and exciting ginger dishes. Soups, stews, poultry, fish, desserts, and beverages all feature the ingredient while offering amazing health benefits.

In fact, ginger is so effective at lowering insulin levels and blood pressure and thinning the blood that its consumption should be monitored in some cases. If you’re on medication to treat any of the conditions named above, consult with your doctor about how to safely enjoy ginger.

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Coronavirus Crisis

Source: MedicalCity Healthcare

The behavioral health experts at Medical City Healthcare understand the importance of dealing with mental health, especially when so many are practicing social distancing and isolation. It is important to find productive ways to deal with stress and anxiety during these trying times. Our team has compiled a list of practical tips to stay mentally healthy and avoid coronavirus anxiety.

Mental health tips to reduce stress

  • Know that this will end—As many individuals face increasing anxiety about coronavirus, it is important to remember this won’t go on forever. Although we don’t have a specific timeline, this pandemic is temporary, and, eventually, we will be able to return to our normal activities. Keeping this in mind may help ease anxiety symptoms while we’re facing this environmental stress.
  • Set a limit for news exposure—Although it is important to stay updated, having the news on 24 hours a day may cause additional anxiety. Make time for a news check-in up to three times a day to stay up to date with the CDC’s current guidelines, but don’t let the news dominate your day. It’s vital to still enjoy other activities that get your mind off the pandemic.
  • Maintain healthy eating habits—While you’re spending more time at home, it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits. You might find yourself wanting to snack more during the day, in which case it’s best to incorporate healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to fuel your brain for the day ahead. Regardless, keep a consistent eating schedule that includes drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Get active—Even though self-quarantining may make it slightly more difficult to move as much as you usually would, staying active is essential during this time. Exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. If you’re wondering where to begin, there are plenty of at-home workouts online. You can even do something as simple as jumping jacks or running in place.
  • Exercise your brain—Just like the rest of our body, the brain needs “exercise.” You can do this through participating in activities that require engagement, such as puzzles, journaling, games or reading. Meditation is also a great way to keep the brain engaged and sharp. If you’ve never tried meditation before, there are plenty of videos online. You can also try one (or all) of these helpful smartphone apps recommended by healthcare professionals at Medical City McKinney:
  • Keep a daily routine—Sticking to your regular routine as much as possible can give you a feeling of normalcy, which can reduce stress. Get up in the morning and go to bed at night at your regular times. Although it might be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, get dressed every morning. If you’re working from home, try to replicate and even improve on your usual work environment.
  • Focus on today—Many of us tend to think about the past or the future. Although it’s good to think ahead sometimes, spending too much time focusing on what’s in front of us can cause increased stress during uncertain times. Instead, take time to enjoy your day and remain present in the moment. Look or go outside and enjoy the sun and the view. Check-in with yourself and see what you need. Try to do this three times a day or more.
  • Rely on the experts—There is an overwhelming amount of information from different sources to take in during this time. This can make health-related decisions difficult. However, there are thousands of experts working hard each day to ensure they provide us with accurate information on how to proceed. It’s best to try not to over- or underreact. Trust your medical professionals to guide your decisions on social distancing and medical treatment.
  • Ask for help—If anxiety about COVID-19 is starting to affect your daily life, ask a family member, friend or caregiver for help. Reaching out to others is a great way to connect, which can provide comfort during this time of isolation. If your anxiety becomes severe or you feel you are a danger to yourself or others, seek professional help immediately. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Things to do during quarantine

Although some of us might have additional free time in the day while we are practicing social distancing, this shouldn’t be a time of pressure for accomplishments. Make sure you are using your downtime to do something that brings you joy instead of additional stress.

Home activities for your and your family during coronavirus quarantine

  • Stay connected—Just because we have to be socially distant doesn’t mean we can’t be social at all. Start with finding a check-in buddy—someone you check in with daily via video chat, phone calls or messaging. Set a regular time to connect each day to ensure you have that interaction. You can also reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or get a group of friends together for a virtual visit.
  • Get creative—Creativity has many benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. You don’t need to be a professional artist to experience the benefits of creativity. Try starting with a simple activity, such as sketching something inside your home or outside your window. You can also be creative through music or songwriting—whatever expression feels right for you.
  • Enroll in a free online course—Among YouTube tutorials, blogs and other websites, there are countless options to learn something new. Whether you’re looking to gain a new skill or tackle a home project, there are many online classes, courses and resources to help you reach your goal.
  • Enjoy nature—Although some of our favorite restaurants and shops may be closed, the great outdoors is still “open for business.” If possible, spend time outside taking a walk and enjoying nature. Fresh air and moving our bodies can keep us from feeling stuck inside.

Mental health resources in North Texas

If you are showing signs of anxiety or feel you need additional help during the COVID-19 pandemic, Medical City Green Oaks Hospital offers remote mental health solutions. The clinical staff can guide you through each step—from the initial appointment to ongoing tele-treatment.

Tele-psychiatry options include:

  • Counseling services
  • Chemical dependency support
  • Day treatment and partial hospitalization
  • Outpatient services
  • Psychiatry and medication management

Amidst the change and uncertainty brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic, one thing has become clear—it is important for us to take care of ourselves. This means not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. Our team is here to support you through this difficult time by ensuring you have the resources and tools you need to cope.