Take Care of Yourself

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Take Care of Yourself: Get Back into Your Health Routine

As we start moving into the autumn, it’s a good time to re-evaluate our health and make sure we’re getting the care we need. During the pandemic, many people put off important health care services. This can have serious consequences, including making a condition or problem more serious and more difficult to treat.

So don’t put it off any longer. It’s time to get back into the healthy routine. Here are some tips to help you get back into the groove.

Tip 1: Build a Relationship with a Primary Care Provider.

One of the best things you can do for your health is also one of the simplest: find a primary care provider and keep your regular checkups with them. Your primary care physician can take care of chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and COPD, and also help you with acute conditions like a sore throat or an injured ankle. They are your first line of defense when illness or injury strikes. Here are some tips on choosing the right primary care provider for you. Armed with that knowledge, you can find a great doctor near you here.

Tip 2: Want More Convenience? Check Out Our Virtual Primary Care Option.

Looking for a way to get the care you need, right where you need it? UPMC offers video visit options. Video visits can be scheduled for regular primary care and specialty appointments. It’s also a great option if you are experiencing flu or coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. Find out more about our Online Video Visits.

Tip 3: You’ve Found Your Primary Care Provider, Now Keep Up with Your Regular Health Screenings.

Routine screenings can identify many common health problems and chronic conditions. Regular screenings with your primary care physician (PCP) may help detect more serious health issues at their earliest stages — when they are easier to treat. Doctors may have their own protocols, but here are some routine screenings you may have at your next doctor’s appointment.

Tip 4: Vaccines Aren’t Just for Kids, or Just for COVID-19.

Vaccines are an important part of routine health care for adults, seniors, and women who are pregnant. Why are vaccinations important? Older adults and seniors need protection against infectious illnesses just like children do. Seniors, in particular, should be current on their flu, shingles, and pneumonia vaccines. These diseases can be especially dangerous for older people with pre-existing conditions.

Learn more about the four important vaccines that adults shouldn’t skip.


Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine

It’s not too late to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine. UPMC is holding clinics throughout the region on a regular basis. To schedule a vaccine near you, go to Vaccine.UPMC.com. UPMC is also providing third dose booster shots for immunocompromised people.

If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, talk to your doctor and/or check out this helpful online FAQ. The vaccine is both safe and effective in preventing serious illness and even death from COVID-19.

Getting the vaccine protects you and your loved ones.

Feeling Isolated While Working at Home

Social isolation caused by working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to increased feelings of depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling lonely, you are not alone.

Be sure to address feelings of isolation by ensuring consistent social interactions. Visit, call or video chat with loved ones, call an old friend, or have lunch with a colleague. Don’t wait for someone to call you. Taking action is empowering and can make you feel more in control. Make a plan to contact at least one person each day.

When chatting with loved ones, be honest about your emotions. COVID-19 has changed the world, and it is likely they may have similar stresses and concerns.

Burnout is a common result of working from home. A home isn’t meant to be an office. While it is convenient to have work responsibilities just a few steps away, your work life can intrude on much-needed relaxation time.

Set a schedule and have strict times for yourself to log in and out of work. Once the workday is complete, tuck those job-related electronics and materials in a spot that’s away from your living space. Limit time with news and social media, increase time listening to music, and read or listen to an audiobook in the evening.

Be sure to set aside time to recharge. Taking a quick walk or spending time outdoors and unplugged from your devices can help improve your mental and physical well-being. Even a quick break can pay big rewards.

Optimize Your Workspace to Feel the Best

If you’re spending hours at a computer each day — whether at the workplace or at home — here are some tips to reduce your risk of common injuries such as low back pain, carpal tunnel, and eye strain.


    • If possible, use an office The back of the chair should slightly reclined (100° to 110° angle).
    • Your feet should rest on the floor.
    • Use a pillow or rolled towel for added back support and a stack of paper for a footrest if your feet don’t reach the


    • The height of your monitor should be at eye
    • Position your monitor about an arm’s length
    • Use a box or stacks of paper to adjust the height of your You could also invest in a laptop stand.


    • Position your wrists so that they are in a straight line with arms and your elbows are at a 90°
    • If you’re using a laptop, a wireless keyboard and mouse will allow you to position your keyboard in the right place while still having your screen at the proper

Don’t forget to take a short break to stretch or walk around every 20 to 30 minutes!

The Signs of Bullying: What to Look For

School’s back in session, and it is common for kids to playfully tease each other. When both kids are having fun, it’s usually harmless. But when teasing becomes hurtful or mean, is ongoing, or gets physical, it has crossed the line into bullying.

Bullying can mean kids at school are being unkind to a child or making fun in a way that is hurtful. It can include ongoing taunting on social media. Sometimes the problem escalates to physical violence. Each case of bullying is different, and the signs aren’t always clear.

Unless your child has visible bruises or injuries or tells you about it, you may not be aware of the bullying. The following changes in behavior may be signs of bullying:

  • Trouble eating or sleeping
  • Being afraid or not wanting to go to school
  • Lack of interest in activities they enjoy
  • Anxiety, depression, or moodiness
  • Struggling in classes or with schoolwork

Check It Out: Checking Your Own Blood Pressure at Home Is Easy

Many people with high blood pressure check their own blood pressure at home. However, you don’t need to have a high blood pressure diagnosis to do so yourself. What you learn from taking your blood pressure can improve your lifestyle and may prevent a future, life-changing diagnosis.

Checking your blood pressure at home is easier than you’d expect. You first need to buy the right equipment. Talk to your doctor about the best home monitors to buy to check your blood pressure. You want to make sure you get the right size cuff. Once you have your device, here’s how to get started:

  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, exercise, and caffeine a half hour before you take a
  • Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable Rest for at least five minutes.
  • Follow your monitor’s instruction booklet to position the cuff properly and inflate For manual monitors, this means squeezing the bulb. For automatic ones, it’s simply a press of a button.
  • Check the Write down the top number (your systolic pressure) and the bottom number (your diastolic pressure).
  • Finally, establish a routine for checking your blood pressure at This enables you to notice trends in your numbers, which is helpful.

Feel free to share your blood pressure records with your doctor, especially if you’re at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

Interested? You can find out more online.

raspberry drink in glass with ice cubes and strawRecipes

Try Mocktails for the Big Game

Fall is a great time to get together with friends to watch the big game. If you’re trying to eat healthier by skipping the alcohol, you can still enjoy a tasty beverage! All it takes is some fresh ingredients, soda, and a blender — no sugar added! Mocktails provide a healthy alternative to sugary, alcohol-laden cocktails.

Raspberry-Lime Margarita Fizz

Yield: 1 serving

  • 4 oz raspberry-lime sparkling water
  • 4 oz sugar-free margarita mix
  • Fresh lime and raspberries for garnish


  1. Add ice to tall glass
  2. Add sparkling water and margarita mix
  3. Garnish with fresh lime and raspberries

Strawberry Sangria

Yield: 1 serving

  • 1 cup grape juice (white or red)
  • 4 cups sparkling water
  • 1 cup cranberry juice or orange juice
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Ice
  • Fresh citrus slices, for garnish


  1. Add the grape juice, orange or cranberry juice, sparkling water and chopped fruit to a large jug or drink
  2. Place the sangria mocktail in the fridge and let it chill for a minimum of 1
  3. Remove from fridge, top with ice and garnish your non-alcoholic Sangria with fruit before Makes 6 servings.

Watermelon-Lime Spritzer

Yield: 3 servings

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • 2 cups lemon-lime flavored soda water
  • Lime for garnish


  1. Place the watermelon and ice cubes in a blender and blend until (Once you add the lemon-lime soda, it will thin out even more; add more ice cubes if you want it slushier.)
  2. Slowly add 1/2 of the lemon-lime soda and blend until Pour into glasses; garnish with limes and serve.

photo of 3 fish tacos on a plate with lime wedgesSpice Up Your Fall with a Fish Taco

As the weather starts to cool, it’s a perfect time to add cayenne pepper and cumin to your cooking repertoire! Fish tacos are very tasty and healthy.


  • 24 small white corn tortillas
  • 1½ tilapia
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Fish Taco Toppings Ingredients:

  • ½ small purple cabbage
  • Two medium avocado sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced (optional)
  • ½ diced red onion
  • ½ bunch Cilantro longer stems removed
  • 4 (1 cup) Cotija cheese, grated
  • One lime cut into eight wedges to serve

Fish Taco Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice from 1 medium lime
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce or to taste


  1. Line large baking sheet with parchment or silicone In a small dish, combine seasonings —cumin, cay- enne pepper, salt, black pepper — and evenly sprinkle seasoning mix over both sides of tilapia.
  2. Lightly drizzle fish with olive oil and dot each piece with Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes. To brown edges, broil for 3 to 5 minutes at the end if desired.
  3. Combine all taco sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well
  4. To serve the tacos, toast the corn tortillas quickly on a large dry skillet or griddle over medium/high
  5. To assemble: Start with pieces of fish, then add remaining ingredients, finishing with a generous sprinkle of Cotija cheese, and finally, that awesome taco sauce! Serve with a fresh lime wedge to squeeze over

Upcoming Corporate Wellness Opportunities

Lunch and learn virtually with John Goldman, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs and system epidemiologist for UPMC in Central Pa. Dr. Goldman has spearheaded UPMC’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, and he is sharing his knowledge of the virus, variants, and vaccines.

Please invite your employees to tune into Dr. Goldman’s presentation via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday, October 12, from noon to 1 p.m. Here’s how to participate:

Click here to join the meeting via your computer or smart device

Or call in (audio only) at 412-447-5295, phone conference ID: 808 745 66#

If you have COVID19-related questions you would like Dr. Goldman to address during his presentation, please submit them in advance to Maureen Zimmerman at zimmermanmd@upmc.edu.