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Coping With Stress and Anxiety

Written by Sook Yee Yeung, LCSW

Mental Health is often negatively associated, stigmatized, and misconstrued—this can be particularly true in Asian communities. It is important to understand that our mental health is vital in maintaining our overall health. When we neglect to do so, we may fall prey to daily stressors, have difficulty coping, and can even become physically ill.

How does stress and anxiety affect your body?

When we are faced with stressful situations and do not know how to cope in healthy ways, our bodies may react with a wide array of negative symptoms. These can be physical—like headaches, dizziness, heart pounding, sweating, frequent urination or diarrhea, shortness of breath, poor sleep, tremors, twitches and muscle tension.

There are, of course, a range of emotional symptoms as well, including being easily annoyed or irritated, unable to sit still, trouble relaxing, feeling tense and jumpy, unable to stop worrying, and difficulty concentrating.

How can I manage stress and anxiety?

Everyone deals with stress, and many people live with anxiety. There are many practical ways that we can improve the way we cope. Here are 5 things you can incorporate into your daily life to best manage stress and anxiety.

1. Have a regular to daily exercise routine. Exercise is a huge stress reliever and mood booster. Try walking, jogging or even dancing for 30 minutes a week for a start.

2. Get Enough Sleep. A lot of times when we are stressed, our body is actually telling us that we need more rest and sleep.

3. Eat well-balanced meals. Foods that are high in fats and sugars often leave us feeling lethargic and less able to deal with stress. Also consider limiting alcohol and caffeine intake. Alcohol and caffeine can greatly impact our sleep cycle, which in turn can heighten our fatigue and stress levels. They can also aggravate symptoms of anxiety and trigger panic attacks.

4. Take a time-out. You can do this through meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy. These activities will help your body to produce endorphins—a chemical which our bodies produce as a natural painkiller.

5. Talk to someone. Talking with trusted family members and friends about your stress and anxiety can help a great deal to relieve stress. It is also helpful to speak with your medical doctor or a therapist if professional help is needed. If you are a patient of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, we have licensed professionals who can provide you with the right treatment, which could include medication and/or counseling. Call us to make an appointment at (212) 941-2213.

Written by Sook Yee Yeung, LCSW, is a New York State-Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Mental Health Bridge Program at Charles B. Wang Community Center. She provides mental health related treatment and services.

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Get the Flu Shot – Not the Flu

flu shot

Written by Dr. Perry Pong

Let’s beat the flu to the punch this season.

There is nothing good about the flu. Avoid the cough, runny nose, chills, headache and fatigue, and get a simple shot. Peak flu season is upon us—which starts at about December and lasts until February. Now is the time to get the vaccine. If that isn’t enough reason to get a flu shot, here are five more.

  1. To stay healthy.  People who get the flu shot are less likely to get sick and miss time from work or school. Even if you do get sick, with the shot you may have a milder illness.

 

  1. Keep your family healthy. Getting the flu shot will prevent you from spreading it to your family. This is especially important if you live with anyone over 65, pregnant women, young children, or anyone who has a weak immune system. And while we are talking about your family, make sure your kids get the flu shot, too! Children over the age of can get nasal vaccine and avoid the needle.

 

  1. It is contagious. In the winter time, it is easy to catch the flu by touching an infected door knob, subway pole, somebody’s hand and then touching your own nose or mouth. So protect yourself by getting the vaccine.

 

  1. The flu changes. Since the flu virus can change every year, so does the vaccine. That flu shot you got last year will not protect you this year.

 

  1. It’s cheap. All insurances cover the flu shot. If you do not have insurance, the Health Center only charges $15. Or come to one of our flu shot open houses and get a FREE flu shot.

 

The vaccine is recommended for everyone aged six months or older. It is especially important for people over the age of 50, children ages six months to 18 years, pregnant women, health care workers, and people working or living with the elderly or young children.

It is better to get the flu shot than the flu, so make sure to get a flu shot at your next doctor’s appointment. You may also qualify for a free flu shot at one of our flu shot open houses. For open house dates and to see if you qualify, click here.

Written by Perry Pong, MD. Dr. Pong is the chief medical officer at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. He received his medical degree from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and completed his residency training at Veterans Affairs Medical Center New York. Dr. Pong is board-certified in internal medicine.


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Your Vote, Your Voice – Why Your Vote Matters

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Written by Jane T. Eng, Esq.

Now is the time to exercise your civic rights and prepare to take part in the General Election.

On General Election Day, New Yorkers will decide who will be Members of Congress, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, Senators and Assembly Members in the state.

Why take the time to vote? Voting is a way to take more control over your life which can promote good mental health, and in turn, good physical health. Some research has shown that voting and being politically active is linked to greater well-being and life satisfaction.

As a federally qualified health center, we strongly encourage our patients and community members to learn about and participate in this important day. Here are a few more reasons it is important to register and go out there and vote.

  1. It is your right. And it was not always your right. There was once was a time Asians could not become citizens or vote. Honor those before us that fought for our right to take part in elections.
  1. This is your community. Our elected officials vote to make decisions every day on important issues that affect our families, our neighborhoods, and our community. These decisions affect crime and safety, affordable housing, our parks and schools and our streets and subway systems. For the Asian American community, we want to make sure that our elected officials advocate on important health issues that affect us, like hepatitis B, health insurance coverage, and access to culturally and linguistically sensitive healthcare.
  1. Be heard. Your vote is your way of telling lawmakers how you feel about important issues to you—whether that is health, education, housing, safety and much more. If you care about any issue that affects you, your family or your community, it is your responsibility to vote.
  1. Because others are voting. You may not agree with what others have to say about these issues! Don’t let other voters make decisions about your community for you. Your vote can cancel out votes you do not agree with. Even more, your vote will support the other votes of those who care about the same things you do.
  1. Every vote counts. You may not think your vote counts, but it really does. We have seen in past elections that sometimes it does come down to who a small number of people have voted for.

We hope that you use your voice on Election Day. Please keep in mind that you need to submit your voter registration form by October 10th if you would like to vote during the General Election in New York State.

Find your poll by visiting this poll locator. Enter the address you provided on the Voter Registration Form. The designated polling site will be provided along with the candidates you are eligible to vote for.

If you are not registered to vote yet, there are a few ways you can do so. You can register online through the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website. You can also register in person with an agency-based voter registrations center, or mail in your application to your board of elections. AAPCHO (Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organization) also has an online registration tool available to help voters register to vote in up to 13 different languages (Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, Hindi, Ilocano, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese).

To learn more about your voter’s bill of rights, visit the Board of Election in the City of New York website.

If you have any questions on registering to vote, call us! For help to register to vote, call  (212) 379-6996, ext. 2533.

Written by Jane T. Eng, Esq. Jane Eng is the chief executive officer of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Jane has been involved with the Health Center since 1975. She is a board member of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS).