By Nikki Lee

Hello friends.  As we find ourselves in September, I can’t help but look back at 2020 and reflect on how stressful and traumatic this year has been on us as individuals, families, a community, and a nation.  I have always tried to be a fun and uplifting person, and always make a point to shine a light toward hope for those who might not be able to see it during times of darkness.  There are, however, times when we need to face what is in front of us.  The stress of 2020 has been incredibly heavy, even for the strongest among us.  With school starting online, another layer of stress and complexity has been added to the lives of so many people.  As we look ahead, the rest of 2020 will be filled with holidays and traditions that will be celebrated differently this year, and that could add additional stress and difficult emotions on top of what we’ve been dealing with all year.  

This month, I felt compelled to talk about mental health.  I’m a technology and business person and not qualified to provide medical advice.  I do, however, know when I see so many people in need of having a conversation, so I started looking for resources in our community to share.  We reached out to local healthcare providers for ideas on how to better cope with the stress of the times we are living in.  The University of Arizona’s Mental Health & Coping During COVID-19 webpage references the following article with these five strategies (and more) to promote your own self-care during these challenging times:  

  1. Carve out your time. This is super hard to do with all the duties and priorities we have. But just as the announcement on airplanes goes, you need to “put on your own oxygen mask first, before you can help the person next to you.” If we care for ourselves, then we can better care for others, and scheduling time for self-care is one of the best ways to make it happen. Whether it’s putting aside 20 minutes before bed to read or relax, setting an alarm for a daily work break, or creating a plan to rotate responsibilities with a partner to give the other a break – try to set aside some time each day for yourself.
  2. Set priorities. As parents, we can’t do everything. Try to set priorities within obligations. Usually, priorities will involve the kids and other family members first, and then choose one or two that are important to you.  If you have a partner at home, sharing similar priorities can be valuable, as you can share childcare obligations and make tough decisions together about what to do and when to do it. Try not to commit to tasks that will make you feel like you’re not accomplishing things or doing things poorly. And give yourself permission to let go of some of the things that aren’t priorities.
  3. Get out of the house. This doesn’t mean going to the grocery store or commute to work. Going out for a walk, or even taking a scenic drive, can reduce the feeling of confinement and clear your head.
  4. Stay organized. Managing your finances, keeping your home clean and orderly, and setting up schedules isn’t always included in conversations on self-care. But think about it – if our chores at home and work are in disarray, we get stressed.  Whether it involves spreadsheets, closet organizers, a rotating cleaning schedule, or prepping dinner in advance for the whole week – finding the most effective ways that work for you to keep your life in order is essential in caring for yourself.
  5. See your doctors regularly. Everyone should have an annual visit with their primary care physician. You can even schedule online appointments with your doctor so you don’t have to physically go into the doctor’s office during the pandemic.  Talk to your doctor about additional ways to nurture your self-care.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255), y el número de teléfono del servicio nacional de prevención del suicidio es 1-888-628-9454.  If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the numbers above, and/or texting 838255.  You are not alone.     

In closing, on September 30th from 5:30-6:30 pm the Ward 4 Virtual Town Hall will have a presentation from the Tucson Medical Center’s Rincon Branch on Houghton Road to talk about future expansion projects and additional services coming to our area.  Visit to get more information on how to attend the Ward 4 Virtual Town Hall.  We will begin emailing newsletters out to those who are interested in receiving them.  If you’d like to sign up, please email us at

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