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Monthly Matters Archive

Archived as of May 2018. Health Matters eNewsletters are emailed to agency Wellness Contacts on the 1st and 15th each month.

If you do not currently receive the eNewsletter, please email Health Matters to be added as a Wellness Contact for your agency.

DECEMBER 2019: Happy, Healthy Holidays

Happy, Healthy Holidays

Make the holidays merry and bright by prioritizing your well-being! Health Matters is here to help with tips, ideas, and strategies to keep you and your loved ones healthy this holiday season.  


NOVEMBER 2019: Nurture an Attitude of Gratitude

Nurture an Attitude of Gratitude

Most of us do not naturally dwell on all of the good things in our lives. Our brains are hardwired to consider worst possible scenarios and remember negative experiences as a way to keep us safe. Gratitude is one way to counteract our naturally negative influence to boost happiness and overall well-being!   


OCTOBER 2019: Resilience


Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back from stress, change, and challenge. Similar to a muscle, the more you exercise your resilience, the stronger it becomes. Being resilient doesn’t protect you from experiencing negative emotions, but it does help you embrace the opportunity to learn about yourself and prepare you for future challenges.



SEPETEMBER 2019: Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging

Good well-being throughout your lifetime requires more than eating right and getting enough movement. Diet and exercise are important, but so are building strong relationships, challenging the mind, and engaging in activities that cultivate joy.



AUGUST 2019: The Power of Connection

The Power of Connection

Did you know that lack of social connection is considered a greater predictor of health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure?! Our physical, mental, and emotional well-being are all supported when we prioritize positive social connections. In fact, people with strong social connections live longer, happier, and healthier lives than those without a support system.



JULY 2019: Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters Month

Mindfulness is paying full attention to what is going on in the present moment. It means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings instead of going through life on "autopilot." Mindfulness matters because it can help manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It has also been associated with a greater enthusiasm for life and improved self-esteem.



JUNE 2019: National Safety Month

National Safety Month

National Safety Month is an opportunity to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths at home, at work, on the roads, and in our communities. With summer just around the corner, there is no better time to focus on safety so we can fully enjoy our favorite seasonal pastimes.



MAY 2019: Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Our bodies were made to MOVE and regular movement is good for everyone! This month challenge yourself to find (or rediscover) something you enjoy that keeps your body in motion.



APRIL 2019: Humor is Healthy

Humor is Healthy

A good laugh can soothe tension, aid in relaxation, and release feel-good hormones to your brain. Laughter has also been shown to strengthen a person’s immune system and help relieve pain by encouraging the body to release its own natural painkillers!



MARCH 2019: Nutrition Month

Nutrition Month

Let's get back to the basics of healthy eating this month by adding more real food to our plates. 



FEBRUARY 2019: Love & Heart Health

Love & Heart Health

February is a month dedicated to love! Prioritizing your health and personal well-being is the ultimate exercise in self-care. Show yourself some love this month - you deserve it!


  • Find even more ways to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally with GuidanceResources® ! Click the Register tab, and enter your Organization Web ID: SOIEAP.


JANUARY 2019: New Year, New Habits

New Year, New Habits

A new year is a fresh start and a great time to focus on creating (or re-establishing) healthy habits!


DECEMBER 2018: Happy, Healthy Holidays Month

Celebrating Happy, Healthy Holidays

Make the holidays merry and bright by prioritizing your well-being! Health Matters is here to help with tips, ideas, and strategies to keep you and your loved ones healthy this holiday season.


NOVEMBER 2018: Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. According to the CDC , more than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes and 1 in 4 of them don't know they have it!

Learn more about Diabetes Awareness Month


OCTOBER 2018: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Early detection is key. Perform routine self-exams, talk with your doctor about your risks, and get routine mammograms.

VIDEO: There Isn't Just One Face to Breast Cancer


  • What is a mammogram? A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly into a computer for a doctor called a radiologist to examine. A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. It is used for women who have no breast complaints and for women who have breast symptoms, such as a change in the shape or size of a breast, a lump, nipple discharge, or pain. Breast changes occur in almost all women. In fact, most of these changes are not cancer and are called "benign," but only a doctor can know for sure. Breast changes can also happen monthly, due to your menstrual period.
  • How is a mammogram done? You stand in front of a special x-ray machine. The person who takes the x-rays, called a radiologic technician, places your breasts, one at a time, between an x-ray plate and a plastic plate. These plates are attached to the x-ray machine and compress the breasts to flatten them. This spreads the breast tissue out to obtain a clearer picture. You will feel pressure on your breast for a few seconds. It may cause you some discomfort; you might feel squeezed or pinched. This feeling only lasts for a few seconds, and the flatter your breast, the better the picture. Most often, two pictures are taken of each breast — one from the side and one from above. A screening mammogram takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.
  • How often should I get a mammogram? The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends:
    • Women ages 50 to 74 years should get a mammogram every 2 years.
    • Women younger than age 50 should talk to a doctor about when to start and how often to have a mammogram.
  • How do I get ready for a mammogram? First, check with the place you are having the mammogram for any special instructions you may need to follow before you go. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
    • If you are still having menstrual periods, try to avoid making your mammogram appointment during the week before your period. Your breasts will be less tender and swollen. The mammogram will hurt less and the picture will be better.
    • If you have breast implants, be sure to tell your mammography facility that you have them when you make your appointment.
    • Wear a shirt with shorts, pants, or a skirt. This way, you can undress from the waist up and leave your shorts, pants, or skirt on when you get your mammogram.
    • Don't wear any deodorant, perfume, lotion, or powder under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your mammogram appointment. These things can make shadows show up on your mammogram.
    • If you have had mammograms at another facility, have those x-ray films sent to the new facility so that they can be compared to the new films.
  • Where can I learn more?


SEPTEMBER 2018: Fall into Healthy Habits Month

Fall into Healthy Habits Month

As summer comes to a close and the kids go back to school, it is the perfect time to fall back into a healthy routine! Health Matters is here to help you get back on track with four simple ideas.

  • BREATHE DEEP Deep breathing incorporated throughout your day can help you manage stress and anxiety.
  • UNPLUG Regular breaks from electronics can quiet your mind and allow you to be more present.
  • GET OUTSIDE A few minutes outdoors each day can improve your physical and mental health.
  • PRIORITIZE SLEEP Quality sleep can positively influence your memory, mood, and appetite regulation.

More Healthy Habit Resources:


AUGUST 2018: National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month

Many adults don’t know which vaccines they need, and even fewer are fully vaccinated. Not only can vaccine-preventable diseases make you very sick, but if you get sick, you may risk spreading certain diseases to others. That’s a risk most of us do not want to take. You can help protect your health and the health of your loved ones by getting your recommended vaccines.


  • Are vaccines safe?
    • Yes. The longstanding vaccine safety system in the United States ensures vaccines are safe. Safety monitoring begins with the FDA, which ensures the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the United States. Before the FDA approves a vaccine for use by the public, the results of studies on safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are evaluated by highly trained FDA scientists and doctors. The FDA also inspects the sites where vaccines are manufactured to make sure they follow strict manufacturing guidelines. The FDA and CDC continue to monitor vaccines after licensing to ensure continued safety of the vaccines in the U.S.
  • Why do adults need vaccines?
    • All adults need vaccinations to protect against serious diseases that could result in severe illness requiring medical treatment or even hospitalization, missed work and not being able to care for family. Vaccines are recommended throughout your life. Even if you were fully vaccinated as a child, you may be at risk for other diseases due to your age, job, lifestyle, travel or health condition. In addition, the protection from some vaccines can wear off over time.
  • Are vaccine-preventable diseases really a threat for adults?
    • Every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. experience serious health problems, are hospitalized and even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Many of these diseases are common in the U.S. For example, in 2015, there were about 27,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease and 3,300 deaths among adults ages 18 and older. In addition, about 1 million cases of shingles and millions of cases of flu occur each year in the U.S Older adults and adults with chronic health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk of suffering complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases like flu and pneumonia.
  • What vaccines do adults need? How often and when do they need them?
    • The vaccines a person needs are based on their age, medical conditions, occupation, vaccines they have received in the past and other factors. Taking the CDC adult vaccine quiz  is one way to find out which vaccines you might need. Discuss the results with your health care provider to make sure you are up to date on the vaccines recommended for you.
  • Are there vaccines specific to adults?
    • Some vaccines recommended for adults are very similar to childhood vaccines. For example, Tdap is a vaccine that is used for people over the age of 6 to provide protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. A vaccine called DTaP is given to children 6 and younger to provide protection against these same diseases. Other vaccines protect against diseases that are more common in adults than in children. For instance, the shingles vaccine protects against shingles, a disease more common in adults; this vaccine is not recommended for children.  Adults should make sure to discuss vaccines with their doctor or other health care professionals.
  • What are the potential risks from vaccines?
    • Side effects from vaccines are usually mild and temporary, such as soreness where the shot was given or a slight fever that goes away within a few days. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines, but serious and long-term effects are rare. However, the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks. Anyone who gets a vaccine should be fully informed about both the benefits and the risks of vaccination. Any questions or concerns should be discussed with a health care professional.
  • Do I really need a flu vaccine every year?
    • Yes. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season. The reason for this is that a person's immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the “optimal” or best protection possible against flu. Adults should get a flu vaccine, if possible, by the end of October. More information about the flu vaccine can be found on the CDC's website
  • Where can I get more information?




JULY 2018: Mindfulness Matters Month

Mindfulness Matters Month

Mindfulness is paying full attention to what is going on in the present moment. It means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings instead of going through life on "autopilot." Mindfulness matters because it can help manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It has also been associated with a greater enthusiasm for life and improved self-esteem.





JUNE 2018: National Safety Month

National Safety Month

It's almost summer which means it's time for fun in the sun, water sports, road trips, campouts, and BBQ's! Make safety a priority for a happy and healthy summer with family and friends.







MAY 2018: National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

Regular movement is good for everyone  ! This month challenge yourself to find (or rediscover) something you enjoy that keeps your body in motion.