Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to school with food allergies... tips and ways to reduce medication costs!

This topic may seem a bit different from others, but for parents who have children with allergies and asthma, this time of year can be challenging. It means time to refill medications and send children to a new teacher or even new school.  That often can be stressful.  Today I want to provide a few practical tips to help make that transition a little smoother and in particular tips on how to reduce prescription drug costs for your child - and for you!
Some practical things to do:
  • Have an emergency plan signed by your doctor and understood by you, your child and all adults at your child's school.  Set up parent meetings right away and communicate clearly signs of a reaction and how to handle it. 
  • Have copies of the plan with all medications.  It can be helpful to make a copy and fold it in half so that you have a two sided document.   Shrink it as small as you can make it and still have it big enough to read quickly.  Then laminate the plan and make several copies.  Staples or copy center will do it for just a few dollars.  One laminated card goes with each and every emergency medication.  This way your emergency plan and all phone numbers, medications and action steps are right there for anyone who is with your child to act as necessary..
  • Practice using expired pens or other medical emergency medications.  Use grapefruit and walk your child through how they would use the medication.  This helps them feel confident that they would know what to do if in an emergency.  It also helps them to understand what you would do if they had a reaction.

  • Paying for medications can be tricky.  They can be expensive but it does not always have to be.   For brand products just about every pharmaceutical company will have a website for the product.  Go to the "medication name".com.  If that does not work, look at the manufacturers name and go to the main website.  Form there find medications and products and click on the product you want.  You should see a tab saying "savings" or "coupons".  You will need to put in information making sure you meet eligibility requirements however it only takes a minute or two.  It can be done standing right at the pharmacy for many different brand medications.  Once you fill out the eligibility information - simply download the pdf and hand your phone with the information to the pharmacist.  Sometimes a text message can be sent right to the phone.  You will be surprised on how much you can save.  Sometimes it can mean hundreds of dollars.  This is true of any branded medication.  Try it for all the non generics you need to purchase.   
  • The other source of stress for parents refilling medications this year has been expiration dates less than 12 months out.  The companies have recognized this is an issue and are offering extra coupons and savings.  If that happens to you, contact the company customer service number and they will walk you through what you need to do. It is well worth your time!
I hope this information is helpful and can provide you a few tips for getting organized as you send your child to school this fall.  Knowing your child is safe,  has a plan and the necessary medication will help you feel less stressed and more confident going into this new school year!
If you are dealing with anxiety or stress on a regular basis and are interested in learning if counseling or coaching services are right for you, check out my website or feel free to call for a free phone consultation at 908-337-3710.
Have a great school year!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Improve health through self-care!

Hello, Happy Monday!

So when my alarm woke me at 5:30 this morning I wanted so badly to turn it off.  Mondays are always the toughest mornings to exercise after a 2 days of sleeping in.  That being said, it is not a secret that exercise will improve health and therefore I got my self up and off to spin class.  How many other people got up this morning to walk or run or do some sort of exercise?  I am sure many of you.  It is part of everyday self-care for so many people.  The same can be said for diet.  We may want to have ice cream every single day or (in my case) eat an entire bag of salt and vinegar potato chips for lunch - but to consistently improve health it is probably better I skip it and reach for the fruit or veggies. 

We have become a much more aware society when it comes to self-care.  It is not just important to shower, take care of our skin and teeth and get dressed each day - we also know to exercise and eat right too.  To improve health is something many of us strive for each an every day.
Eating right and exercising are not only important for a healthy body, but also for a healthy mind.  Often we forget that self-care is about the entire self - including the mind and spirit.  My question for readers is what are you doing to improve health of the mind and spirit? 

How many of you think about things you can do to prevent feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed?  Do you consider your mental health the same way as your physical health?  Many people do not.  What is important to know is how connected our minds and our bodies are and the importance of holistic self-care to improve health.

Here are a few thinks to try:
  • Take a positive perspective on the world around you.  Change your view of situations and identify what you can learn from each setback and take time to appreciate your wins! Be grateful for what you have.  Remind yourself daily of what you have to be grateful for.
  • Be in the moment.  Stop multitasking and trying to do everything all at once.  Focus on what you are doing in the moment.  Be present.  This isn't just for highly important work related tasks.  This means everything you do.  If you are taking a walk, notice the trees, plants and flowers.  Listen for the sounds around you.  If you are playing a game with your children, focus on the game, your experience and theirs.  Don't pick up you cell or start thinking of the things you need to do.  Just focus on the game and be in the moment.  Do this throughout your day with everything you engage in.
  • Meditate - just a few minutes a day of centering yourself and focusing on your breathing can go a long way toward improving health of the mind and spirit.
  • Let go of perfectionism.  Stop comparing yourself to others.  Understand that perfect often gets in the way of progress.  Take steps toward your goals each and every day and understand you will have good days and not so good days.  That is ok, you bounce back faster when you accept that everything does not need to be perfect. 

If you are looking for more information you can check out