New Mexico Health Connections | my connection | Summer 2020

SUMMER 2020 MYCONNECTION is published as a health and wellness service for the members of NEW MEXICO HEALTH CONNECTIONS. Information comes from a wide range of medical ex- perts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your primary care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2020 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. ID 0740-0620 Find us online: Contact us: Customer Service: 866-668-9002 Enjoy the sun, skip the tan Hello there, sunshine! There’s no denying it: Soaking up the sun and getting a tan can feel really good—especially after a long season of cold temperatures. But (you knew there was a but coming) that good feeling and those tanned arms can be a bad thing. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can permanently damage the cells of your skin—a tan is actually a sign of damaged skin. This may trigger wrinkles; dark spots; or dry, leathery skin. Of course, the biggest threat from too much UV exposure is skin cancer. Time spent sunbathing raises the risk of deadly melanoma as well as nonmelanoma skin cancers. And while many people believe that skin cancer can take decades to develop, melanoma is the second most common cancer in young women 15 to 29 years old. Enjoy sun safely No one says you have to hide from the sun—after all, being active outdoors is good for you. Still, you can’t use that as an excuse to get a tan. To enjoy the warmth of the sun without exposing yourself to risk: Slather up. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Put a thick layer on all exposed parts of your skin before you head outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Dress for success. Put on a hat with a brim that’s wide enough to shade your face, ears and the back of your neck. And, as much as possible, try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Sources: American Academy of Dermatology; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Need to speak with a mental health professional? Many mental health professionals are offering re- mote visits by video or phone. Find one near you by visiting . Take positive steps to feel better Health experts offer the follow- ing tips for coping with these stressful times: Wean yourself off constant news. This can be as easy as turning off the TV. You also may want to disable your phone’s news alerts. (You can always turn them back on later.) Check in with family and friends. Call them. Have a video chat. Meet with your book club over a group meeting app. Get your facts straight. Learn more about the virus from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at . Knowledge can ease anxiety. Celebrate small wins. Keep track of moments of gratitude and joy. Keep to healthy daily routines as much as you can. Whatever you do for self-care, keep up with those habits. They can help you feel more in control. Move more. Exercise is a great way to improve both mental and physical health. Practice mindfulness. Be in the moment, rather than worrying about what comes next. Breathe deeply and accept the “now” without judgment. Put free time to good use. Listen to an audio- book. Draw or paint. Make notes in a journal. Work in your garden. Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Alliance on Mental Illness { MYCONNECTION } 3 { W E L L N E S S }