Tips for mental health during this trying time

Dear Readers: Let’s just say it: This year has taken a lot out of us. Fears about our health, finances and family, all stoked by COVID, have really done a number on the psyche.

Here are some hints from the Mayo Clinic (www.MayoClinic.org) to help:

– Sleep is critical. Your body and brain need time to recharge. Have a sleep schedule and routine for best results.

– Next, exercise. Anything to get your body moving — walking, biking, jogging, even gardening and yard work. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

– Seek out funny things. Watch a favorite comedy film or comedy video on a video streaming service on the computer. Letting go with laughter is good for you!

– Saying “no” is a go! You don’t have to please everyone, say yes to everything, and put everyone ahead of yourself. “No” is a complete sentence. Don’t be afraid to use it.

– Yes, COVID protocols are in place. But find a way to still be social. E-mail a friend, call a friend, mask up and visit a friend at 6 feet apart.

– Breathe and be thankful. There are always things to be thankful for: Deer in the snow, soothing music, a child’s laughter or a stunning red cardinal.

We will get through this; just be patient and stay healthy and safe. — Heloise


Dear Readers: Today is the first day of Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration popular in African American heritage. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word that means “first fruits.”

What are some of the tenets of Kwanzaa? There are seven major ones (each day of the celebration is dedicated to one principle).

Let’s list them: Unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

Kwanzaa is a relatively new celebration, begun in California in the mid-1960s.

Participants celebrate with richly colored cloths, candles, fruits and dancing. Gifts are also often exchanged. Happy Kwanzaa! — Heloise

Picture perfect

In reply to “Reader in Troy, Ohio,” who asked how to arrange picture frames on a wall.

As an alternative to shelves, I got a remnant of short berber carpet to match the room and attached it to the wall to fit the area.

(Heloise is a columnist with King Features Syndicate.)


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