Be The Parents Book Club

The Office of Drug Policy and the BSU RADAR Center is excited to present the Be The Parents Book Club, the first in a series of events focused on supporting parents navigating parenting challenges in our modern age. Our first book, “Crazy StressedSaving Today’s Overwhelmed Teens with Love, Laughter, and the Science of Resilience” by Dr. Michael Bradley focuses on the pre-teen and teen years and provides tools to discourage drug and alcohol experimentation by our youth.

We encourage parents to spend the summer reading Dr. Bradley’s book, submit questions and then join us for a virtual meeting with the author, where he will answer questions submitted by book club members. 

Dr. Bradley has noted that teens are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress related to anxiety, depression, drug abuse, and suicidal behaviors, levels of suffering that mimic those of veterans returning from deployments. Dr. Bradley is not only an experienced adolescent psychologist. He is also a father and a veteran of the US Army. His compassion for parents and teens as they navigate today’s unique struggles is evident in how he interacts with people. 

To find out more and sign up, visit: https://betheparents.org/virtual-book-club/

Bounce Back from Difficult Times

6 Ways to Nurture Your Resilience

Everyone goes through tough times in life. But many things can help you survive—and even thrive—during stressful periods. Nurturing your body, brain, and social connections can help you bounce back from stress. Use the six strategies below to get you started!


Develop healthy physical habits. Healthy eating, physical activity, and regular sleep can improve your physical and mental health.

Take time for yourself. Make taking care of yourself part of your daily routine. Take time to notice the good moments or do something that you enjoy, like reading a book or listening to music.

Look at problems from different angles. Think of challenging situations as growth opportunities. Try to see the positive side of things. Learn from your mistakes and don’t dwell on them.

Practice gratitude. Take time to note things to be thankful for each day.

Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life. Think about how to guide your life by the principles that are important to you.

Tap into your social connections and community. Surround yourself with positive, healthy people. Ask friends, family, or trusted members of your community for information or assistance when you need it. Look for cultural practices that you feel help in times of stress.


Source: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2022/04/nurture-your-resilience

Humor is Healthy

Laughing is both a physical and mental stress reliever. 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. Best of all, out of everything you can do for stress management, laughter takes the least amount of effort and planning. Don’t let a day go by without a moment of laughter!

Smile!


Smile at those around you. Smiling is the beginning of laughter, and like laughter, it’s contagious. Plus, a smile releases hormones in your brain to lower stress.

Ask


Make humor part of the conversation. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers, “What is the funniest thing that happened to you today?”

Laugh at Yourself


Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about the times when you took yourself too seriously.

‘Kid’ Around


Notice how children play and try to emulate them. They are the experts on being silly, taking life lightly, and laughing at ordinary things.

Laughter is the Best Medicine / Stress Relief from Laughter

APRIL FOOLS!

APRIL FOOLS!

We don’t have a recipe for a donut fried chicken sandwich, but we do have lots of other healthy recipes to check out.
April is National Humor Month, so we hope you enjoyed the laugh!

March Madness Movement

Get up and get moving while you cheer on your favorite teams during March Madness! Download the Health Matters March Madness Game Day Workout and follow along at home. Complete an exercise each time you see a player in the game do one of the actions listed. For example, when someone drains a 3-pointer you do 5 squats, and whenever there is a turnover you do 5 jumping jacks. You can also get creative by downloading a blank PDF and filling in your own moves!

National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month! Did you know 100,000 people are currently waiting for a kidney transplant?! With so few organs available for transplantation, living donation is the best way we have to continue to save lives. Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ (or part of an organ) for transplantation to another person.

Transplanting organs from a living donor has the following benefits:

  • The quality of organs that are donated by living donors is usually better than organs from deceased donors. These organs last nearly twice as long.
  • The waiting time for a patient needing a transplant can be significantly shorter.
  • The procedure can be scheduled at a time that’s convenient for both the donor and recipient.
  • The time between removing the organ (or part of the organ) and transplanting it in the recipient is less.
  • There is a lower chance of rejection. Also, the organ recipient will need fewer and lower doses of anti-rejection medication.

Living Kidney Donation

Complete a confidential questionnaire to see if you qualify to be a living donor.

Crisis Coping Resources

ComPsych’s Guidance Resources®, the State of Idaho’s Employee Assistance Program provider, has shared the following resources to help cope with the anxiety and stress associated with global crisis and conflict.

Through the Employee Assistance Program, benefit eligible employees and their dependents may receive 1 to 5 visits per person, per issue, per plan year to confidential counseling services with no copayment required. Visit the Office of Group Insurance website to learn more.

Coping with Conflict Guide

  • Dealing with the effects of social upheaval
  • Coping with a traumatic event
  • When anxiety becomes a problem
  • Workplace resiliency in response to political discord
  • Answering questions children have about tragedy
  • Helping children cope with trauma
  • Talking to a child during uncertain times
  • Coping with grief
  • Infographic: coping with stress and anxiety
  • Infographic: when anxiety becomes a problem

Crisis Portal

  • Coping with a traumatic event
  • Coping emotionally after a disaster
  • Talking to a child about a traumatic event
  • What should I do when I am told to evacuate?
  • Coping with grief
  • Coping with a crisis or traumatic event

Coping During Uncertain Times Webinar Recording

People have a powerful need to understand and predict their environments in order to feel in control. When we are exposed to potential threats to our well-being, we naturally respond to this uncertainty with anxiety and fear. This training will address ways of effectively coping with uncertainty and will examine how to remain positive and functional, despite the risks of living in a changing world. Included will be practical tips for coping with uncertainty, re-establishing control, and tips for speaking to children about fear.

4 Mood and Energy Boosters

Your energy levels can be depleted by many factors. The external world is full of distractions, noise, sadness, and stress. It is valuable to remember that you, and only you, are responsible for your mood. Here are some helpful tips to keep your mood and energy levels in check so you can build them back up when they are depleted.

Music


A quick way to inject feelings of happiness and positivity is to include music. Music can provide an instant energy boost and has been used therapeutically in clinical settings for both pain management and emotional well-being. When you are feeling down or just need a dose of happiness, put on your favorite upbeat tunes, and groove your way to a better mood.

Laughter


It is true, laughter really can be the best medicine! Laughter has been shown to elevate mood, enhance immunity, and even prolong life. These benefits come from hearing laughter, having expectations of laughter or fun, and by the act of laughing itself.

Affirmations


Affirmations are phrases that you repeat to change, increase, or improve your state of mind. The power of affirmations is not in the words themselves, but the practice of visualizing a different reality. When you combine intentional actions with the refreshed mindset from your affirmations, you will find you can accomplish great things.

Good Deeds


When you do something nice for someone, it turns your focus away from yourself and your concerns and allows you to focus on helping somebody else feel good. Spreading kindness is the best way to spread happiness. Something as simple as a compliment, a kind word, or an act of generosity can start a positive domino effect of positive feelings.

Source: WELCOA’s COVID-19 Employee Education Toolkit: “Acknowledging and Lifting Your Mood and Energy Level

Parent CRAFT Newsletter

Parent CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach Family Training) is a fast-paced interactive video-based course designed to help cope with tough topics such as youth substance abuse. The course is based on the proven CRAFT method, offers professional guidance throughout, and provides real-world examples of parents interacting with their child, before and after applying the CRAFT method.

This is a great opportunity for parents or caregivers throughout Idaho to learn techniques that may help them better communicate with their children when addressing issues like substance abuse. Counselors, juvenile services, youth advocates, etc. can offer this absolutely free resource to parents that they can access from the comfort of their own home.

Visit drugfreeidaho.org and follow the Parent CRAFT link to gain access. As of now, this access will be available through 2022 so please share this information and encourage as many parents as possible to take advantage of this great opportunity.  

Radon: Fact or Fiction?

Did you know radon is present in many Idaho homes? The Idaho Environmental Health Program within the Division of Public Health manages the Idaho Radon Program. Below is information to separate radon facts from fiction and help keep your family healthy.


FACT: All homes should be tested for radon.

Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It enters homes through gaps or cracks in the foundation. All homes, including new builds, existing homes, and those with and without basements, can have high levels of radon gas. With more people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of radon exposure may be increased as more time is spent within the home. 

Testing is easy and is the only way to know if you are being exposed to radon in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing your home every two years or after any remodeling.

 You can order a FREE short-term test kit from www.radonidaho.org or call the Idaho Careline at 2-1-1 or 1-800-247-2435.


FICTION: Radon is not an issue where I live.

Two out of every five homes tested in Idaho have higher than the recommended levels for radon. In fact, high radon levels have been found in every county in the state. To learn more about radon test results and recommended actions, visit www.radonidaho.org.  You can also view Idaho radon test results by zip code on an interactive map and order a FREE short-term test kit.


FICTION: Radon is not harmful to my health.

Long-term exposure to radon gas is known to cause lung cancer and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. To learn more about the health effects of radon, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Health Risk of Radon website at epa.gov/radon/health-risk-radon.


FACT: Winter is the best time to test a home for radon.

Radon levels can change by season and with the weather. The highest levels of radon are found during the winter months when homes get less fresh air. To learn more about radon testing and how to respond to a radon problem, visit www.radonidaho.org.


FACT: A radon problem can be solved!

Radon mitigation systems can effectively reduce the levels of radon in a home. The Idaho Radon Program recommends hiring a nationally-certified radon professional to fix your home. To locate a radon professional, visit www.radonidaho.org.   

The Idaho Radon Program is offering a free two-hour interactive radon workshop that will explain what radon is, how it enters your home, and what you can do to help prevent excessive exposure and reduce your risk of lung cancer.  To register, please visit www.radonidaho.org.

  • January 18, 2022 at 1pm-3pm MT Virtual Online
  • January 20, 2022 at 9am-11am MT City of Hailey, Council Chambers (*in-person masks required)
  • January 25, 2022 at 9am-11am MT Virtual Online
  • February 3, 2022 at 9am-11am MT Idaho Falls Building Department (*in-person masks required)
  • February 17, 2022 at 1pm-3pm MT Virtual Online

If you have questions or need more information, contact the Idaho Radon Program at 1-800-445-8647 or radon@dhw.idaho.gov.

The 12 Ways to Wellness

The 12 Ways to Wellness

Sung to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas

The first way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The second way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The third way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The fourth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The fifth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The sixth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The seventh way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Understand your value, eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The eighth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Make time for self-care, understand your value, eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The ninth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Get vaccinated, make time for self-care, understand your value, eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The tenth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Plan a vacation, get vaccinated, make time for self-care, understand your value, eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The eleventh way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Use good ergonomics, plan a vacation, get vaccinated, make time for self-care, understand your value, eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

The twelfth way to wellness said Health Matters to me,
Build a social network, use good ergonomics, plan a vacation, get vaccinated, make time for self-care, understand your value, eat fruits and veggies, prioritize your sleeeeeeeeeep, move your body daily, drink water, manage your stress, and wash hands to be safe and healthy!

Thanksgiving Veggie Sides

Small Steps, BIG Difference

November is National Diabetes Month!

Prediabetes is a serious health condition that puts you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes affects more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults—that’s 88 million people—but most people don’t know they have it.

The good news is that by making healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage or reverse prediabetes and prevent it from turning into type 2 diabetes.

Follow these tips to prevent/manage prediabetes:

01. Take small steps

Making changes to your lifestyle
and daily habits can be hard, but
you don’t have to change everything
at once. Start small.

02. Move more

Limit time spent sitting and try to
get at least 30 minutes of physical
activity 5 days a week. Start slowly by
breaking it up throughout the day.

03. Choose healthier foods and drinks more often

Pick foods that are high in fiber and low
in fat and sugar. Build a plate that
includes a balance of vegetables,
protein, and carbohydrates. Drink
water instead of sweetened drinks.

04. Lose weight, track it, keep it off

You may be able to prevent or delay
diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of
your starting weight.

05. Seek support from your doctor

People are more successful at
managing their prediabetes if they
have regular contact and support
from trusted health care professionals.

06. Stay up to date on vaccinations

The COVID-19 and flu vaccines are
important for people who may be more
likely to get very sick from COVID-19
or the flu, such as people with diabetes.

Source: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month#:~:text=November%20is%20National%20Diabetes%20Month!

Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back from stress, change, and challenge. Like 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.


4 Ways to Revive Your Resilience

Get back to basics to boost your resilience. 

Practicing positive lifestyle habits like good nutrition, sleep, hydration, and regular exercise can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the emotional impact.

Try to focus on what really matters to keep frustrations in perspective. 

Focusing on the bigger picture can help you avoid blowing day-to-day annoyances like traffic and dirty laundry out of proportion.

Improve your mental health by leaning into positive social connections. 

Work to keep relationships with friends, family, and co-workers strong so that you can be there for one another when times get tough.

Counteract the physical and mental side effects of stress by doing something that makes you feel good!

Laugh with a friend, move your body, or get to bed earlier. Doing just one thing that makes your body and mind feel a little better can help minimize the impact of stress.


Talk it Out

Talk to a mental health professional if you feel like you are unable to cope. The Employee Assistance Program [E.A.P.] provides confidential, short-term counseling services for benefit eligible employees and their dependents. You can call anytime to discuss marital, relationship or family problems; stress, anxiety and depression; grief and loss, job pressures and substance abuse.

Prevent Burnout

25 Ways to Improve Your Day

Download printable pdf


Simple self-care strategies to help you feel better
  1. Put things into perspective [What is truly important?]
  2. Take a quick walk
  3. Laugh at something silly
  4. Do a random act of kindness
  5. List three things that make you smile
  6. Take a power nap [less than 20 min]
  7. Drink water
  8. Call or text a friend
  9. Check your posture and readjust
  10. Unplug
  11. Listen to calming music
  12. Change up your environment
  13. Take three deep breaths
  14. Get some fresh air
  15. Eat a balanced meal or snack [focus on protein and produce]
  16. Do just one thing at a time
  17. Draw, doodle, or create something
  18. Tell yourself you’re doing a good job
  19. Take a break
  20. Stretch your body
  21. Write down what is frustrating you and/or causing you stress
  22. Pet a dog or cat
  23. Ask for help
  24. Set a boundary
  25. Organize or tide up something [a drawer, a file, your desk, etc.]