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FEBRUARY 2024 WELLNESS NEWSLETTER

Heart Health Month


Making heart with hand

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the US, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer. Each February, we raise awareness and provide educational webinars as a way to encourage you to improve your heart health and prevent heart disease. Taking care of your heart health has never been more important - show it some love this month! 
 

Here are top tips for tip-top heart health:

Stop smoking - no ifs, ands, or (cigarette) butts about it
Smoking is one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, quitting can make a huge difference to your heart and overall health. Visit your medical insurance member portal to access no-cost resources to help you quit successfully!

Focus on your middle
Research has linked excess belly fat to higher blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipid levels. Check out CareFirst's NoomUnited Healthcare's Real Appeal, and Kaiser Permanente's Weight Management programs!​

Know your numbers
Keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides in check are important for good heart health. If you haven't already scheduled your 2024 annual physical, do so now! Remember, you can earn Reduced Specialist copays by doing this! Learn how 

Brush your teeth and visit your dentist regularly
Good oral hygiene does more than keep your smile bright - it also reduces the mouth bacteria that can cause gum disease, which has been found to raise your risk of heart disease. Join us on 2/12 for the "Show Your Teeth (and Heart) Some Love This Valentine's Day" webinar!

Find your happy place
A sunny outlook and a positive mood are good for your heart! According to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, chronic stress, anxiety, and anger can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. We've got you covered here - register for Mindful Mondays and Unwind Time Fridays!

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February Mindful Mondays - Happy Heart at Work
 Mindful Monday​​
  

Monday, 2/5, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Happy Heart with Smiling Meditation
Engaging in activities that you love triggers a positive response in your brain, releasing feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Explore ideas to add happy activities during your workday to get those happy hormones flowing!

Monday, 2/12, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Finding Joy in Your Work
Explore how to infuse your work with passion by tapping into your strengths like curiosity, social intelligence, gratitude, love of learning, kindness, and more. Your strengths are unique to you and exercising them at work leads to joyful work!

Monday, 2/26, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: The Benefits of Positivity at Work
Positive emotions like happiness, hope, and gratitude help you flourish - the perfect antidote for the blahs! Adopting a positive attitude reduces your stress and anxiety, allowing for positive interactions, ideas, and outcomes at work and at home. It's a win-​win! Learn more about the benefits in this uplifting webinar.

Show Your Teeth (and Your Heart) Some Love!
Female smiling with teeth showing

Monday, 2/12, 11:45 am - 12:30 pm: Show Your Teeth (and Your Heart) Some love!
Just in time for Valentine's Day, this webinar hosted by Holly the Hygienist will cover common dental questions, including the oral health/heart connection, as well as advice on how to get the most of your dental benefits. Sign up for webinar 

SPECIAL EVENT: EATING DISORDERS 101 WEBINARWord collage related to Eating Disorders like weight loss, gain  

Tuesday, 2/13, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Eating Disorders 101
It is estimated that over 28 million Americans will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime. Factors such as social comparison to celebrities and prominent members of social circles at school and work, along with other influences can trigger some people who have negative body images to adopt disordered eating. Unfortunately, misinformation about eating disorders prevent many people from receiving the support and care they need. Join this presentation to learn about eating disorder diagnoses, signs and symptoms, and the "do's and don'ts" if you or someone you know are in need of help. Sign up for webinar 
MetLife logo
African American Family

Tuesday, 2/27, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Building Wealth in the Black Community  
Closing the racial wealth gap isn't a simple fix. But many experts say that financial education can help. We are pleased to offer MetLife's Closing the Gap: Building Wealth in the Black Community, an easy-to-follow workshop that will help you understand and tackle financial challenges. Sign up for webinar

Wellness From the Kitchen with Chef Sandra
Listen to her February preview

    Chef Sandra Wellness from the Kitchen - Entertaining and Deliciously Inspiring
   
Tuesday, 2/6, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Chocolate Fondue
Learn how to make a chocolate fondue that can be the centerpiece for a Super Bowl game night or a sweet and simple ending to a wonderful meal.  Sign up for webinar

Tuesday, 2/13, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Crawfish Dip with Homemade Crostini
It's Mardi Gras! Learn how to make this Louisiana favorite that uses frozen crawfish so there's no peeling and no kitchen mess. You'll feel like you're in New Orleans - Laissez les bon temps rouler! Sign up for webinar 

Tuesday, 2/20, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Flatbread Pizza
Put down that phone - no need to order pizza out! Learn how to make a flatbread pizza dough and super flavorful pizza sauce that's quick enough for a meal anytime a pizza craving hits you! Sign up for webinar 

​ HealthyWednesday​: Matters of the Heart
Healthy U

Wednesday, 2/7, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Matters of the Heart
Don't take your heart for granted! Get to know your heart inside and out in this informative webinar. Basics of the heart, including its structure, common heart diseases, disease prevention, and how to care for your heart will be presented. You'll become an expert on your heart health!

Wednesday, 2/14, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Emotions and Your Heart
Here's an interesting fact: in the very earliest experiments in anatomy, the vast majority of nerves seemed to lead to the heart. Because of this, the heart was thought of as the seat of emotions. It is now known that the amygdala in the brain helps with emotional processing. When the amygdala is overstimulated by negative events and thoughts, the response is literally heartfelt - that is, negative emotions cause your heart to beat faster, increasing your blood pressure and your breathing rate. In this webinar, learn how reframing negative emotions can calm both your amygdala and heart!

Wednesday, 2/21, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Stress and Your Heart
Just as negative emotions can affect heart health, so can chronic stress. Learn more about how chronic stress is defined and measure and how it affects the brain and thus, the heart. Learn simple and easy to incorporate stress management techniques in this enlightening and beneficial webinar.

Wednesday, 2/28, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Sleep and Your Heart
Have you connected the dots in our "Matters of the Heart" series yet? First, we offered education in Matters of the Heart, then we moved to how emotions and stress impact your heart, and now we'll explore how sleep habits can either support or negatively impact heart health. Bonus: you'll get tips to improve your sleep quantity and quality to sleep like a baby!
 

Thursday Health Focus Series: Get to the Heart of It
Financial Wellness Sign


Thursday, 2/15, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Pressure Pitfalls
High blood pressure is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it usually has no obvious symptoms. But ignoring your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you can be dangerous. We invite you to attend this webinar to learn more about high blood pressure, including prevention and treatment, and share what you learn with friends and family members!

Thursday, 2/22, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Heart Healthy Diet
Nutrition is one of the most important areas under your control to keeping your heart in tip-top shape. Boost your heart health with simple and affordable nutrition tips and tricks presented in this webinar. Your heart will thank you!

Thursday, 2/29, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: How to Mend a Broken Heart - How Mood Impacts Heart Health
A broken heart is a metaphor for the intense emotional stress or pain you feel when you experience a great loss. It can mimic symptoms of a heart attack because the heart muscle is overwhelmed by a massive amount of stress hormones. This is one example of how mood impacts heart health - other examples include chronic stressors such as finances, relationships, and work issues. In this meaningful webinar, you will learn how to identify and manage both chronic and situational stress. 

Unwind Time Fridays: Mind Appreciation

TakeTime to Unwind 

   

Friday, 2/9, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Gratitude for Body, Breath, and Mind
Find happiness, contentment, and your infinite capacity for gratitude for your human body, breath, and mind in this guided meditation.

Friday, 2/16, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Mind Appreciation
Be amazed by the mysteries of your mind as you pay homage to it in this guided meditation!

Friday, 2/23, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Easing the Mind
This is a perfect guided meditation for the week's end to prepare you for a relaxing weekend!





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