NOW HIRING trained, experienced caregivers!

How Do You Spell R.E.L.I.E.F? Part 3

Here we are ready for Part 3 of the “How Do You Spell R.E.L.I.E.F?” series. What does “L”  stand for?  Laziness? Loud shouting? Lots of chocolate?

Maybe you have guessed now that I made those ridiculous examples.  RIght, the “L” stands for laughter. A new approach to stress management in the 90’s was the use of humor.  We all know how much better we feel after a good laugh.  But, we now have a branch of science called “psychoneuroimmunology” or PNI. That’s a mouthful, but basically what these scientists were studying is the relationship between the mind and body – how stress affects the part of the body’s system that fights off illness, the immune system. During the pandemic it’s especially important to keep our immunity hardy. After prolonged stress our immune system may be so depressed that we have less resistance to diseases.  You may even remember a time when you were dealing with wedding plans, or studying for an exam or going through a divorce. Sometime during or immediately after the stressful period you might have developed a cold or flu that you just couldn’t shake or that went into complications. 

A good belly laugh is just that. It stimulates your internal organs.  We call it “internal jogging.” Laughing also increases our heart and breathing rates and makes your body use oxygen more efficiently.  You can tone your face at the same time by giving facial muscles a workout and, at the same time, relax the muscles not involved in laughter.  After a good laugh, you usually get a new view on the situation.  You’ll be more creative and flexible. Laughter also boosts the immune system. Look at these amazing facts: twenty seconds of laughter doubles your heart rate for  3 to 5 minutes.  That’s equal to 3 minutes of strenuous rowing! Wouldn’t you like to laugh yourself through weight loss and stress by burning up calories the fun way?  

Seriously, but not too seriously, allow yourself some fun. Find ways to bring joy into your life especially during stressful times. One way you can do this is to keep a joy journal-  a list of things that are uniquely your way of enjoying life.  You can divide the list into activities that range from just a minute or two up to a full weekend.  Your list could include such simple items as washing your face, reading the comics, making a lunch date, turning on a favorite song or giving someone a compliment.

May have dates from TMC by this time this blog is posted. Here is a reminder that on April 22, at 10am, Liz Barta, our RN educator at Catalina In Home Services, Inc., is presenting an online in-depth version of “How Do You Spell R.E.L.I.E.F?”.  This talk is sponsored by Tucson Medical Center For Seniors program. Here is the link to register for this free presentation: