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Turning the Tide Against COVID-19 During Thanksgiving

What we all need to think of before the holiday

COVID-19 is spreading faster and wider in our region than we have seen before. And, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this opportunistic virus is ready to take a stronger grip on our community if we are not careful. Many of us are thinking about spending time with family and friends we have not seen in person for a long time due to the pandemic. Thanksgiving traditionally brings our loved ones together to watch football, catch up with each other and share a meal. It seems harmless [...]

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Patient Touts Safety Undergoing Surgery at CVPH

It’s natural to get nervous about having to go through a major surgery. Getting the procedure done in the middle of a pandemic is sure to add to those nerves for many people. But, for Plattsburgh resident Richard Boulrice, COVID-19 was hardly a concern. “I could not have asked for a better situation than I had right here at CVPH,” Boulrice said just a couple weeks after undergoing a complicated gall bladder surgery at the hospital this summer. Richard Boulrice The [...]

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Expanding Our Understanding: Do Masks Work?

There is growing evidence that some people who got infected with COVID-19 despite wearing a mask are still alive today because of that mask. And that gives us a new way of thinking about the protection face coverings provide. From early on in the pandemic, you’ve heard from me, my colleagues here at CVPH and public health officials across the country bang the drum on the importance of wearing masks and how they can help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The initial selling point [...]

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Energy Conservation and Replenishment

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, I'm going to talk to you about energy conservation and energy replenishment. You have to hold some of your energy, and you have to refill some of your energy in order to perform for the long haul. This surge might be longer, and it might be shorter. We don't know. So I wanted to give you a tip to make sure that you know how to check in with yourself and figure out how to replenish yourself and conserve. Society tells us that the best way to boost our energy is to exercise, eat [...]

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Resiliency

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Welcome to another Taking a Moment, a time to remind ourselves that we're all in this together and then we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Today, I want to talk to you about resiliency. I know there's a lot thrown around there about being resilient, and I'm going to let you in on a little secret of psychology. We don't actually know what resiliency is. In fact, resilience is probably a lot like art. You know it when you see it. But I know what it's not. R [...]

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Using Imagination and Fantasy

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, I'm going to talk to you about using imagination and fantasy to get through the moment. Sometimes our brain and bodies need to be able to concentrate on something that is joyful and pleasurable, something that we have gratitude for, but that is not in front of us. Through COVID-19, we're going to see a lot of things that we wish we had not seen, and we're going to have to do a lot of things that we wish we didn't have to do, and that's part of performing well as a t [...]

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Sharing Our Feelings With Our Network

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Welcome to another, taking a moment of time to remind ourselves that we're all in this together and we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Today, I want to talk to you about how we share our feelings with our network, either our actual social network online or our social network in real life, and how we do that without scaring people or without violating HIPAA. One of the things that we keep talking about is the power of human connection. But, what do you do when your human con [...]

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Asking "Why?"

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Welcome to another Taking a Moment, a time to remind us that we're all in this together, and we need to take care of ourselves and each other. I want to talk to you about a burning question that we all have on our minds, which is "Why? Why did this have to happen? Why did they not have enough PPE stockpiled? Why did this person get it, and that person didn't get it? Why can't people socially distance the way that I know that they should?" So here's the problem: nobod [...]

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Taking Breaks and Leave

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Welcome to another Taking a Moment, a time to remind us that we're all in this together and we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Today, I want to talk to you about why it's important to take breaks and to take a leave if necessary. Look, no matter how many tips we provide and how many skills you can put to use, there are times when it can just be too much and your system will go into overload and you just need to step away. You need to rest and you need to rejuvenate and [...]

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Getting Sleep

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today I'm going to talk to about how to help yourself go to sleep at night. Sleep is so important in all that you're doing, and it's really important in recovering from what you see and feel during the day. If we're not getting enough rest, we don't have the capacity to make good decisions in quick ways and we need to be able to do that in preparation for our surge for COVID-19. So we have to be getting good sleep, and sometimes your body just needs to know that everything [...]

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Trouble Sleeping During COVID-19? Advice from an expert

When talk of the coronavirus first started, my 8-year-old daughter was coming downstairs 20 minutes after we had put her to bed, which was unusual for her. At first, she couldn’t explain why she was having trouble sleeping, but as COVID-19 quickly became an inescapable part of our lives, we knew this must be the cause. One night before bed, I sat down and spoke with my daughter about the virus, how it affects people and why we are taking the precautions of staying safe and staying home. Sh [...]

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Feeling down? Anxious? Try this 3-minute activity during COVID-19

Stress and anxiety about COVID-19 is a natural response, but it can feel overwhelming at times. These feelings can make us feel down and lonely, especially as we socially distance. And for anyone already dealing with mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression, those symptoms can worsen.   You may have already heard of mindfulness, including techniques like meditation. Mindfulness has been proposed as a treatment for anxiety, depression, and generally getting the most enjoy [...]

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Remembering When

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

With all of our talk about staying present, and we have talked about that a lot, that's like a psychiatry, psychology thing, there are times when our current present is so surreal and so out of the ordinary that we need to reflect back on a time that's more stable and that's more comfortable to us. And, that's when you can think back to those times and compare them to the current reality. I'll give you an example. Remember when we could feel like we just wasted surgical ma [...]

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Family Gatherings, Holidays and More: Tips on Celebrating Missed Milestones during COVID-19

Social distancing is so important to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  As a result, it is important to cancel gatherings and parties for important occasions and events. It can be hard to deal with the emotional response when you cancel these events as they are often related to some of life’s most exciting milestones.     Here are some of our ideas and recommendations on how to celebrate these events without exposing yourself, or your loved ones, to infection. Family G [...]

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Safety Tips for Household Cleaning and Medication Storage During COVID-19

Based on the empty shelves at the grocery store, it seems like everyone is stocked up on cleaning products and medications as they self-isolate at home. We want to make sure that you are keeping yourself and any children in your home safe, not only from the virus, but from potential dangerous situations.    Using and Storing Bleach   Using household bleach for cleaning and disinfecting can be safe and effective when used in the right way; however, bleach can be dangerous if [...]

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What it Feels Like When Control is Not Present

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

I've talked with you before about the way that the brain processes trauma and the importance of the frontal lobes to manage emotion and fear response. This time I want to talk to you briefly about what it feels like when that control is not present. I call this the syndrome of frontal lobe offline. Basically, you can see this in yourself when you've been stressed at work or you haven't had enough sleep. You're quicker to anger, you're more impulsive. You might say the thin [...]

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Breathe In, Breathe Out: How to Deal with Stress Due to COVID-19

Nowadays, it seems as though the only thing people are talking about is the Coronavirus, or COVID-19.  Whether surfing social media or turning on the news we can’t seem to escape it. This topic brings up a lot of strong feelings of worry and anxiety. Especially as we all practice social distancing, we need to find new and different ways to manage our stress. Below are a few tips we suggest to improve your well-being.    8 tips to help reduce stress and anxiety Ta [...]

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Positive Affirmations

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, I'm going to talk to you about positive affirmations. Some people also call these mantras. Basically, it is a phrase that you repeat over and over and over in order to bring yourself comfort and calm and soothe yourself. It can be anything you want it to be. What you want to do is think about that short phrase when you're feeling calm and comfortable. It should be succinct and something that you feel is true and honest that you can conjure up when you need it and you're not [...]

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How Trauma, Adversity Impact the Brain

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today I get to talk to you about how the brain is affected by adversity and trauma. Now, this is one of my most favorite topics and I've been told by communications that I can't go into the great detail that I would love to go into this because I got to get this done quickly. Here we go. As humans, we are designed to maintain basically a status quo. This is called our homeostasis. For example, your temperature is 98.6. If it goes up, you regulate it, and it comes down. If it goes down [...]

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Going stir-crazy? Ideas for low-risk outdoor activities

Our bodies, young or old, need to move. It’s tempting during this time of important social isolation and government-issued stay at home orders to sit on the couch and watch a screen. It’s also important to keep our bodies active, even while remaining safely six feet apart. Under the current stay at home orders, you are allowed outside to exercise and do tasks around the house and yard. The National Fitness Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per w [...]

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Handling Sticky Situations

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today I want to talk to you about a sticky situation we often find ourselves in, or at least I find myself in. One of the challenges that we have being in healthcare is that we hear all of the different ways that this crisis affects society, and we know all the different ways that society can do something about it. We know that physical distancing is necessary. We know and we believe the science with regard to this. Well, we're not epidemiologists. We kind of get it, right? We understand [...]

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Staying Socially Connected When Social Distancing

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, I'm going to tell you about how to stay socially connected when you're socially distancing. We have been so accustomed to using touch and proximity in order to be connected to others. This is a real adjustment for some of us to be farther away from people and to not be at their houses and missing gatherings like barbecuing and other things that we used to do. So what I want you to think about is putting words to your attachment with people. Start saying how you feel about other [...]

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Talking to Your Children About COVID-19

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today I'm going to talk to you about talking to your children about COVID-19. A lot of you have asked me how to do that, and it's really important that you feel comfortable as a parent going home and explaining the pandemic the way that you want to, to your children. Our feelings are most important and parenting is incredibly important for you to be able to come to work and perform. So the tip of the day is talking to your children about COVID-19, and I want you to think about a co [...]

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