Dig in!


Digging in the dirt benefits your soil – and your mind, body, and soul make out pretty well, too. It’s that time; spring has taken a long while to arrive this year. Pick up your garden gloves and your trowel and dig in!

The benefits of gardening are everywhere!

Helps you sleep better
Increases hand strength and dexterity

Enter the Wahooz Fun Zone Drawing!

How to Play: Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already registered, go to the column on the right. Click on “register” to get started.

Make a comment to this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by answering this question “What is the biggest benefit you and/or your family receive from gardening – whether it is fruits, veggies, or flowers?” Your comment will automatically enter you into a drawing for a set of two FREE tickets to Wahooz Fun Zone in Meridian, Idaho. You must be a State of Idaho employee to be in the drawing for tickets.

Winners will be posted on Health Matters Stress Center on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

NOTE: IDOC employees are not able to register for blogs. IDOC employees may email their comments to the Blog Administrator.  Their comments will be added to Dig In! by the Administrator; they will be entered into the Wahooz Fun Zone drawing.

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Can this just be over?


Voting stress. Enough said. Most of us would probably agree that the last year has been fraught with “political stress“. As we get closer to election day, stress heightens, blood pressures rise, and nerves are on edge. Election talk seems to permeate every corner from the home and office to social media to neighborhood talk. In some cases, election talk creates rifts between family members and friends. It can become one hot mess.

Here are some tips to keep you sane…

  • Educate yourself on the candidates
  • Accept that we all have a right to our opinion
  • Accept that you probably will not change another person’s opinion
  • Realize that your opinion may be just as “objectionable” to others as theirs is to you!
  • Remember –  political parties and politics are labels; at the bottom of it all is a person
  • Choose how much media you let into your life from polling info, to the evening news, to social media banter
  • Take care of yourself; that means step away from a discussion when you need to; don’t engage
  • Keep perspective in all things
  • Manage your stress and practice good health habits
  • Be kind
  • Vote!
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Monday Blues?

Monday Blues

Are Mondays your least favorite day of the week? The Monday Blues can be a passing tiredness, an indication of a poor job fit, or a screaming need for an attitude adjustment. If hopeless, tired, sad, stressed, overwhelmed, impatient, and unpleasant pretty much describe you on Monday mornings – you may need to do something. Why? Because you deserve better and so do your co-workers!

If Monday Madness has grabbed you and you feel you may be a victim of The Blues, check out some of these ideas…

  • Identify the problem; if your work leaves you feeling underappreciated, stressed, and overwhelmed – name it and claim it; then you can start dealing with it
  • Don’t dwell on Mondays like a looming dark cloud that dumps on your weekend
  • Get sunlight and fresh air on your weekend – refresh!
  • Be ready for Monday … start on Sunday by getting your food and clothes lined out; synch up your calendar
  • Dress like you want to be at work – it makes a difference!
  • Practice good self-care – don’t overdo Sunday with heavy foods/drinks
  • Get some sleep! Lack of shut eye makes everything and everyone more difficult
  • Focus on the things you are excited about in the week ahead
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Try not to over-pack your weekend; have some down time
  • Have a positive attitude; use positive self-talk while you drive into work
  • Maintain a manageable Monday work schedule – keep it light when you can

Share what you do to make Mondays work for you…

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Make time to take time.

Take Time

I was asked at a recent meeting to intro myself and share my vacation plans. Embarrassingly, I had none. I got the “pity look” from several people. It forced me to admit that vacations take planning and commitment; they don’t just happen. If I don’t plan it, it won’t happen. DUH.

I share this with you in the middle of May because it’s the perfect time for all of us to start planning…make a list of things to do, places to go – near or far – and people to spend time with. Grab your calendar, circle some dates, request the time off – now! Your plan will come together with a little work.

Most important!! – a vacation can be as simple as an afternoon off all by yourself, or a more adventurous trip involving other people. Your mission is to do something for you – go somewhere you like – spend time with people who relax or energize you. It’s about YOU!

Click on some of these tips to get you started…

Enter the WaterPark Contest!

Making a comment on this post, answering the question below, will automatically enter you into a drawing for FREE tickets to Roaring Springs WaterPark in Meridian, Idaho.

How to play: Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already registered, go to the column on the right. Click on “register” to get started.

Make a comment on this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 26, 2016 by answering this question: “What is your favorite one-day get away for a quick vacation?” You must be a State of Idaho employee to win tickets.

Update, 5/26/16: Winners of the drawing are:

  • Wendy R
  • Amorette Rosenthal
  • Rayt
  • Bgreenha

Winners will also be posted on Health Matters Stress Center webpage on June 1,  2016.

Join the conversation. It’s a great way to trade vacation ideas!

NOTE: IDOC employees are not able to register for blogs. IDOC employees may email their comments to healthmatters@pte.idaho.gov or click on the Blog Administrator. Their comments will be added to Make time to take time. by the Administrator; they will also be entered into the contest.

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How’s your well-being?


When people see you, does everything on the outside seem serene and picturesque? But on the inside do you feel fuzzy, frazzled, or empty? It could be you need to do a little work on your well-being. There is a big difference between wellness and well-being, though we often use the terms interchangeably. Wellness is a state of health; well-being is more holistic – it includes a sense of happiness, prosperity, emotional and social health, and life satisfaction. It is the bigger picture – the whole life experience. Well-being is so important, it is even addressed and defined by the Centers for Disease Control.

So how is your well-being? Here are some tips to achieving a better sense of well-being

  • Work out
  • Calm the chaos
  • Eat and drink good stuff
  • Enjoy quality “me” time
  • Enjoy quality “we” time
  • Love where you live
  • Love where you work
  • Look good
  • Be happy

For more resources, check out 10 Tips to Stay Mentally Healthy.

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Do your holidays feel toxic?

Holiday Stress

For some, the holidays can feel almost toxic, or at the very least painful. If the holidays feel like a month-long panic attack to you, try these tips

  • Uni-task; don’t multi-task
  • Create a playlist that soothes your soul
  • Learn to say “no” and mean it
  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Let others host the party, make the dinner, plan the event
  • More tips on saving your sanity

Sometimes it’s you or your family at the root of holiday stress. Families go through life-changing events throughout the year which can come out in blaring ways during the holidays. Some of those causes are

Wherever your holiday stress is coming from, remember there are ways to avoid it or recover from it. Don’t let the holidays get your down!

Share a healthy tip on how you manage holiday stress.

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