How to keep financial stress from harming your health

You could lose more than money in today’s economy. New research shows that anxiety associated with financial uncertainty can endanger your physical and mental health. Eight of ten Americans now say the economy is a significant source of stress — which contributes to ills from headaches to heart disease. Fifty-two percent are lying awake at night — bad news, since sleep loss is linked to higher blood pressure and lower immune response. Some behaviors add to the damage: almost 50 percent of Americans say they overeat or eat unhealthy foods to cope. You can conquer anxiety without comprising health. Here are some surprising suggestions for better outcomes.

• Crack a joke. You may not want to smile after seeing your 401(k) statement, but laughing helps suppress stress-related hormones.

• Focus on fragrance. People sleeping in a jasmine-scented room reported lower anxiety upon waking.

• Walk it out. Brisk walking for 30 minutes on most days can reduce blood pressure and boost mood.

• Blow a bubble. Avoid comfort foods; instead chew gum — this helps to relieve stress and reduces snacking.

• Get artsy. Listening to music while breathing slowly lowers blood pressure. People visiting an art gallery over lunch had a drop in the stress hormone cortisol.

Weekly activities at The Den

Gym Walk. Don’t let the cold weather keep you from walking. Walk your way to health in the multi-purpose room at The Den on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:15, it’s a good way to keep up your cardiovascular system.

Canasta. Did you know the word canasta is the Spanish word for basket? Have you always wanted to learn to play Canasta or already know how? Then come to The Den on Mondays at 1 p.m.

Tuesdays Topics. We had a great turnout for our first Tuesday Topics on UFO/life in the universe. Come join us from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesdays, after lunch at The Den for a discussion on an eclectic mix of topics. Scheduled for Jan. 13, Elizabeth II and family duties; Jan 20, Mesopotamia; Jan 27, history of flowers, fruits and seeds.

Meditation for Healing. On Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Sarah Barbara hosts the weekly Meditation for Healing program and will teach you how to meditate and reap the healing benefits of the practice.

Dance for Health. On Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Karma Raley, the dance instructor, enjoys sharing her love of dance and blends basic ballet and modern jazz with yoga awareness to create a full body routine which makes it possible to work out to the degree you want and/or need to. Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel.

Geezers. Are your looking for a cozy place to air your thoughts and concerns? For stimulating conversation and an opportunity to meet and greet other geezers, drop by for coffee on Friday mornings at 9 a.m.

Silver Foxes Den Piano. If you love to play the piano and miss having an audience, we have a very lonely piano at the Silver Foxes Cultural Center just waiting for your fingers to tickle those ivories. Drop by any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday between 10:30 a.m. and noon and bring the joy of toe-tapping to our local seniors. For more information, call 264-2167.

Come join us on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:15 to 12:45 as we enjoy the entertainment of Dennis Driscoll on the piano. He will be here through mid March. Welcome back Dennis.

The Den closures

The Silver Foxes Den follows the school district snow closures. To find out if The Den is closed tune into KWUF 106.3 FM or 1400 AM for information or visit www.pagosacam.com for further snow closures.

The Silver Foxes Den will be closed on Monday, January 19 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Books and movies

Come discover the books and movies The Den has to offer. These are available for you to check out or, upon availability, you can sit back, relax and watch a movie in our cozy lounge.

Special Events

Nutrition Information. Come join us on Tuesday, Jan. 20 for information on the food pyramid. Learn how these nutrients help to provide the foundation for a healthy diet.

Victorian Aid Society of Durango. Come explore the past with the Victorian Aid Society on customs of the 19th and 20th centuries on Friday, Jan. 23 at 12:30. They will educate you on the Victorian courting customs of etiquette and activities practiced by young people seeking life mates in the 19th century. They will talk about acceptable dress, behavior, flirtation and dancing practices. Come see the vintage clothing and learn the customs of the 19th century.

Senior’s Day at the Overlook. On Monday, Jan. 26, Archuleta Seniors, Inc. members will soak for free! Sign up at the Senior Center and receive a complimentary pass to use between 1 and 5 p.m. on Jan. 26 to the Overlook Mineral Springs Spa, Pagosa’s newest hot springs facility. Located in historic downtown Pagosa Springs, The Overlook offers upscale soaking in both private and public pools. Relax in a quiet environment in one of their rooftop tubs overlooking the breathtaking glow of the San Juan Mountains and tranquil sounds of the San Juan River. All seniors will be offered a special rate of $10 every day of the week, but Archuleta Seniors Inc. members will be given a $7.50 rate every Monday from 1 to 5 p.m. after Jan. 26. Please pick up special “Monday Senior Soaking Passes” at the Senior Center. The Overlook Mineral Springs Spa opens daily with massage treatments available. Towels are available for rent for $2 and robes for $3. Call 264-4040 for more details.

Meals on Wheels expansion

Archuleta County Senior Services is now offering frozen meals for once a week delivery to reach those that are more rurally isolated and unable to participate in our regular route of the Meals on Wheels program. The suggested donation for these meals is $3 each. To find out if you qualify for this program or for more information please call 264-2167.

Increase in Prices

Beginning Jan. 1, 2009, there will be an increase in our medical shuttle and non-senior meal charge. The price will now be $35 for service. Our non-senior meals will increase to $6.

Menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $6. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served at noon.

Friday, Jan. 16 — Pot roast with gravy, baby carrots, potatoes, fruit, roll.

Monday, Jan. 19 — Closed for MLK Day

Tuesday, Jan. 20 — La crème ham over polenta topped with cheddar cheese, peas, zucchini, apricots.

Wednesday, Jan. 21 — Chicken & dumplings, cauliflower and broccoli, sliced apples.

Thursday, Jan. 22 — Meal in Arboles.

Friday, Jan. 23 — Meat loaf with onion gravy, whipped potatoes, beets with orange sauce, biscuit, fruit.