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Posted: February 7, 2020

Take Care of Your Heart

In her weekly message to employees, Superintendent Reedy encourages them to manage stress.

Going Red for Women to raise awareness for women's heart disease.

Going Red for Women to raise awareness for women's heart disease.

February is Heart Month, an annual reminder to take care of our hearts. For many, that means eating right and exercising. But did you know that one of the main causes of heart disease is stress?

We have very stressful jobs. As public educators, we are inclined to put others first. We worry about our students. We reach out to help their families. We make sure our colleagues have the support and encouragement they need to do tough jobs.

Too often, though, we don’t show that same kind of care for ourselves. I know you are busy. I know you are working hard. I know you want what’s best for our students, families, and staff. 

But I also know that if you don’t take time for yourself, you can’t be at your best, and you risk physical and mental challenges ranging from high blood pressure and depression to heart disease and lack of sleep. 

It’s time to put your own heart first.

Becky MacGregor, the district’s Employee Wellness Coordinator, offered some ideas for taking care of “this miracle of a machine.”

  • Move more, even if just for a few minutes a day. You don’t have to train for a marathon; a simple walk can do wonders.
  • Get plenty of rest. 
  • Connect more with those who make you happy; connect less with toxic, negative people.
  • Laugh more.
  • Monitor your TV and social media consumption.
  • Try eating a little healthier.

In other words, “take steps away from those things you know are not good for your heart and move toward the things, people, and situations that are.” 

Pretty sound advice.

And here’s some good news: You don’t have to figure all of this out on your own. APS Employee Wellness has lots of resources to help you take care of your heart. Visit their Facebook page or website, or stop by their office on the first floor of City Center.

If you feel you or a loved one needs a little more support, reach out to the Employee Assistance Program, which offers no-cost, short-term confidential counseling for employees and their families. Never hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Please, take care of your heart.