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The Center for Mind, Body, & Spirit.

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1. Know the facts

Update yourself on information about COVID-19.

Check sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand the symptoms, scope, risks and safety precautions and prevention of spreading.

2. Explore, listen, and reassure

Be aware and ready to answer questions that your child may have about the virus, even if they did not bring it up. As a parent you may want to explore what your child knows and give them correct information. Have self-awareness and acknowledge your child or teens feelings about it. Identify any fears or worries and reassure your child or teen about being safe and self-aware to take the necessary precautions.

Address your kids’ fears calmly with these assurances, if they apply:

• If there are cases nearby, focus on efforts underway to keep the disease from spreading.

• Your family will take extra care to stay healthy by washing your hands, keeping your hands off your faces as much as possible, covering coughs and sneezes, not sharing drinks and utensils with others, avoiding others who are sick, and going to the doctor if you get sick.

• Experts are doing all they can to understand the virus, treat people who have it, and keep it from spreading.

3. Limit news exposure

Be mindful of what you and other adults are saying about the coronavirus when children are present. This could trigger anxiety. Avoid too much news with graphic information as well. This may bring about a panic. Encourage anxious teens to reduce or avoid researching the virus.

4. Remain Positive

Our children will react the way we do if we are most likely anxious. Remain positive and calm and practice good hygiene and take necessary precautions. If your children’s stress and anxiety persist in spite of taking these suggestive steps, contact your primary care physician who may refer you to a mental health specialist. Another option is to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, a 24/7, 365 day-a-year, free national hotline that provides immediate crisis counseling. It is toll-free, multilingual and confidential.

Dealing with Social Distancing and Isolation

Isolation and loneliness are significant mental health challenges, and so we need to take care of both our mental and physical health:

1. Be safe If you are young and healthy try to limit contact with large crowds ( 6 feet away) and risk bringing it back to older at risk family members. Wash your hands.

2. Take a walk with family at the park or in your neighborhood staying 6 feet away from others.

3. FaceTime or Video chat eat lunch with a friend or talk about your day, the positive things. Keep the conversation positive and light.

4. Stay busy work on school work, help parents around the house with chores.

5. Reduce media overload watch a movie, read a book, color, play video games or board games with your family.

Social distancing and isolation without the proper coping strategies could increase mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. The tips above are suggested things that could reduce the risk of developing mental health problems.

Mamie Phipps Clark, Ph.D. (1917 -1983)

Mamie Phipps Clark, was the first African American woman to earn a doctoral degree in psychology from Columbia University. Her research on the race of child development assisted in ending segregation in 1954 (Brown vs. Board of Education). During college, Dr. Clark recognized the limited resources of psychological services available to minorities in particular, African Americans. Committed to providing sufficient mental health services to the black community and socially-economically challenged, Dr. Clark and her husband opened their own agency in 1946 called “ The Northside Center for Child Development” providing comprehensive psychological services. Throughout her life she remained active in her community.


Dr. Sumner is the first African American to receive his Ph.D. in Psychology. Dr. Sumner assisted in establishing a training program for African American Psychologist in the psychology department at Howard University. Dr. Sumner’s research consisted of counteracted racism and bias in psychological studies of African Americans. Some of his notable students went on to becoming leading psychologist in their own right such as Kenneth Clark.

Solomon Carter Fuller, M.D. (1872–1953)

Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller was one of the pioneering African American psychiatrist who made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Fuller was born in Liberia from former slaves who purchased their freedom. He later went on to graduate from a homeopathic institution, Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Fuller spent the majority of his career practicing at Westborough State Mental Hospital in Westborough, Massachusetts. During his time at Westborough, he conducted his ground-breaking research on the physical changes to the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Dr. Fuller was also known to be the one of the first black psychiatrists to work with Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who first discovered the traits of Alzheimer's disease in 1901.


Dr. Prosser was the first African American woman to receive her Ph.D. in psychology in 1933. Due to the challenges of finding a graduate school that would accept American Americans, she had to leave Texas to pursue her degree. Dr. Prosser research interest were how racially integrated and racially segregated schools’ impact African American youth. Her contributions consisted of research on African American children in mixed and segregate schools. Most of her later years was spent teaching at historical Black colleges.


Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com | info@fitsheila.com

According to Running USA, over 18 million registrants participate in road races, such as 5K events, in America each year. If you've decided to start running and want to train for a 5K, follow these tips to train safely and effectively for your first race.

Set a reasonable goal

If you haven't run in years, it's not feasible to think you'll be running a 5K race next weekend. Look for races that are happening in your area several months from now. Pick one of them and make it your goal to run in that race. You can also set a goal to finish in a certain amount of time or, since it's your first 5K, to just finish!

Be smart about training

Make sure you have good running shoes that fit properly. Also, if you have health concerns, talk to your doctor about your running plans. They may have suggestions on how often or hard you should train, depending on any medical conditions. Next, you'll need to find a place where you are going to do your training. Are you going to run on a track? On the treadmill? Around the block? A rubber track would be the easiest on your feet, knees, and back. Dirt or grass would be next, followed by asphalt and then concrete.

Start training slowly

If you aren't in shape, it's going to take you longer to prepare for a 5K than someone who works out regularly. When you begin training, take it slowly. Start by walking a distance you are comfortable with or for a certain amount of time each day. After a week, extend the distance and alternate between walking and running. Each week, you'll want to add more distance and do less walking. Give yourself two days off each week from training to recoup. Over the course of two to three months of running five days each week, you should be ready to run a 5K race.

Do drills

In addition to running to train, you should also do some drills to improve your technique. For example, cadence drills will improve how fast your feet connect with the ground and how efficiently you run. Cadence is the number of times your fit hit the ground in a minute. You can find a number of cadence drill resources online, such as this one from Run Farther & Faster.

Track your progress

While training, you'll want to set some goals along the way and track your progress. Use a fitness tracker, such as Samsung Galaxy Fit, or a smartwatch, like an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch 4 can work as a motivator, as well as keep you healthy and safe on your runs. This version includes enhanced features like electrocardiogram (ECG) generation, fall detection, and emergency SOS.

Fuel up

Don't starve yourself on race day. Consume a light carbohydrate snack or small meal about 1 1/2 hours prior to running. Drink plenty of water before and during the run. After the run, eat a light carbohydrate and protein snack as soon as possible to keep you nourished. Don't stress about your time or anything else during the race. Start out at a steady pace, and then try to pick up the speed in the final 25 percent of the run.

Celebrate yourself

No matter what your time is in the race, celebrate your finish. Go out with fellow racers to lunch, get a massage, or take yourself on a little shopping spree. Your first 5K is a big deal, so celebrate it well!

Running races, whether 5Ks or marathons, can be a great way to stay in shape, meet new friends, and have a lot of fun. If you’ve decided you want to run a 5K, be sure to take care of yourself, train properly, and set attainable goals. Crossing the finish line for the first time is sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget.

Photo via Pixabay