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Take charge of your health to put yourself on the path to  wellness. Health and wellness means living life fully with  vitality and meaning. Wellness looks different for each  individual and evolves as our lifestyles change.

This November LiveWell Giving Thanks newsletter will shine a light on those who care for others selflessly and with passion. Continue reading to be inspired and become a change maker yourself!
Caring for the caregiver: Tips for navigating an unpredictable path
When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, the caregiver is a critical member of a patient's support team. However, chances are they have no experience in their new-found role. A caregiver often wears multiple hats and may be tasked with tending to an array of medical, emotional, and domestic needs, while also handling responsibilities like coordinating and attending doctor appointments and treatments or completing insurance paperwork. 

It's no surprise caregiver fatigue, burnout, and guilt are all common, and caregivers often become so focused on the patient, they neglect themselves. In honor of  National Caregiver's Month , here are some tips caregivers can follow to help ease some of the stress associated with caring for others.

Take care of yourself. Stay on top of your own physical and psychological health. Be mindful of your diet, and make time to exercise. You will feel better and have more energy if you're healthy. Chronic stress can affect physical health. 

Find a coping mechanism. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, connect with your faith etc. If you find yourself harboring feelings of anger, for example, recognize it and learn how to process it. Many patients take their frustrations out on their caregivers. If this happens, try not to take it personally. 

Forgive yourself and those who don't understand. You're human and will have days when you're short-tempered, grumpy, resentful, or worn out. Friends and family may be oblivious to the physical and emotional toll caregiving takes. It's a 24/7 responsibility and can be very draining. 

Develop a support network, either online or in person. It's valuable to talk with others who are similarly situated. If you cannot find a support group, ask a medical professional for recommendations.

Do things that aren't part of your caregiving responsibilities. Have lunch with a friend, see a movie, or continue a hobby you enjoy, like painting or reading. Engage in activities with the patient that are unrelated to cancer. 

Ask for help and accept help when offered. Your loved ones likely want to help but may not know what you need. Keep a mental list of necessities, such as meals, rides, errands, or even sitting with the patient while you take a break or enjoy your children for a few hours. 

Foster open communication with the patient. This allows both of you to express anxieties and fears. Experts say patients and caregivers often get caught up in thinking they have to remain positive for the other person, but they find it's cathartic for both parties to talk about their feelings.

*This LiveWell article and photo is shared courtesy of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) Phoenix
Help inspire others with the Wellness Wonders of AZ
The Wellness Wonders of AZ is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, be active, and even inspire others to become the best versions of themselves. The Wellness Wonders of AZ challenge was designed to be all-inclusive. Individuals can complete each challenge at their own pace and in their own way.

One of the seven Wonders this season is aptly named, "Fit for a Cause". Participants are encouraged to be active while making a positive impact on their community. For some, it is participating in one (or more!) of the many charity races that happen during the fall season. For others, it is organizing a community clean up or volunteering their time with their favorite nonprofit organization.

The goal of this activity is to lift others up. If one small act can create awareness, motivate others, or help a cause, then let's see how many individual small acts we can achieve through this community challenge!

Share your act of kindness with us on social media, by tagging @GoWellnessAtoZ and using hashtags #fitforacause and #wellnesswondersofaz!

What does wellness mean to you?
This month we are featuring a member of the Wellness AtoZ Nutrition Committee, Jenna Skinner of Cigna.

We are always searching for our next great Wellness AtoZ Ambassador. If you are passionate about health and wellness, and love living in Arizona, become an ambassador today!

What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means feeling your best in mind, body, and spirit regardless of the circumstances outside of your control. We all go through times in our life when our physical or mental health might be below our expectation, but, to me, wellness is focusing on everything that is going well, on everything you can control, and setting yourself up to feel your best regardless of those circumstances. 

How long have you been at Delta Dental of Arizona?
I have been with Cigna for eight years.

Do you have a wellness goal?
As a new mom, my focus is on modeling healthy behavior to my baby girl. For me, this means eating foods that make me feel good, moving my body whenever and however I can, and taking small mini-mental meditation breaks throughout the day to manage my stress. 

Which challenges do you face in achieving your goal?
There is never enough time to do all the things I want in a day. My biggest challenge is setting my priorities for the day and week ahead, and then sticking with them.

How has your workplace helped you in achieving your goal?
Flexibility in my work schedule allows me to succeed in work and in taking care of myself and my family. 
Serving up a healthy treat
The "pumpkin season" seems to come earlier and earlier every year, so if you're still craving that Vitamin C packed vegetable, give this dessert a try. It is easy to make and even easier on the waistline. The best part, your gluten-free and/or vegan friends will appreciate that this dessert is for them, too!



* 1 can pure pumpkin puree (15 oz.) 
* 5 tablespoons maple syrup 
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
* 1 pinch of ground cloves 
* 1 pinch of salt 
* 2 teaspoons ground chia 
* 1 teaspoon orange zest 
* 3 Ginger Cookies 

Coconut whipped cream: 
* 2 cans coconut milk (13.5 oz.), refrigerated overnight 
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
* 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. Whisk thoroughly, until smooth. Add ground chia and orange zest. Whisk vigorously for 1-2 minutes to ensure the chia is evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. 


2. The next day, place beaters and freezer-safe mixing bowl in a freezer ~20 minutes before serving. If your mixing bowl can't go in the freezer, place it in the fridge instead for a bit longer. It helps the cream whip up. 


3. Remove beaters and bowl once chilled. Open the cans of coconut milk. The thick coconut flesh/ fat should have separated from the liquid. Scoop out the coconut solids, and add to the mixing bowl. Set aside any remaining liquid (store for another use). Using electric beaters, beat the coconut cream on medium high speed. It should take 1-2 minutes to fluff up. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup, to taste. Beat for another 30 seconds to incorporate. 


4. Remove the pumpkin mixture from the fridge and whisk for 1 minute to fluff it up. Take a quarter of the whipped cream and add it to the chilled pumpkin mixture. Fold in gently to incorporate. The balance of the whipped cream will be used for the whipped cream layer. 


5. To assemble, alternate layers between pumpkin, whipped cream, and crumbled cookies. Serve immediately.


*Recipe and photo adapted from the recipe blog at
It is the season for sharing!

The holiday season has officially arrived. There are plenty of opportunities over the next two months to donate your time or gifts to those who need it most. Regardless of where each of us is in life, it is important to think of others and act upon it. Check out local nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix for opportunities to help inspire youth this season. 
Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation
201 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2700, Phoenix, AZ 85004 United States