Executive Director's November 2023 Message

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Open Enrollment has ended, and we are thankful we get to shift our focus to help our members enhance their health and well-being. The Movember movement raises awareness for men’s health issues such as mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. If you see more men with mustaches in November, they are showing solidarity and support for men’s health by growing a “Mo”.  We all play a role in creating healthier habits throughout our family. Show support by encouraging the men in your life to talk to their doctors, eat and exercise healthfully, and get annual physicals and wellness exams. Everyone can tackle important conversations about men’s mental health with support from this great online resource.

As we enter the season of gratitude, I look forward to another Thanksgiving with family and friends. I love to connect with loved ones in person. Plus, I get to orchestrate the dinner menu with everyone’s help, which sure beats cooking a whole turkey for two. It’s the little things like spending time together that I won’t ever take for granted again.

About a year ago, my team was writing stories and sharing resources about practicing gratitude, so I thought, I’m going to practice what we preach and try this. I decided to jot down something I was grateful for every week. For some reason, I thought lists of things I’m grateful for would just come pouring out of me and it would take no time at all, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, the time I set aside to think about something I was grateful for gave me the opportunity to reflect and savor a moment that brought me joy again.

I began to slow down to enjoy the moments that matter. I started to say “yes” to more invitations to see friends. I’ve also stopped putting off bucket list trips and started planning at least one trip a year.

November is also Native American Heritage Month. Long before there was ever a continental United States, American Indians and Alaska Natives were the original stewards of the land. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for the land we call home, and their contributions to military heroism, medicine, agriculture and so much more.

There’s a lot of uncertainty and dire events happening around the world these days. This is why it’s important to acknowledge all the things we are grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Be well,

Abbie Yant, RN MA