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This Month, Why Don't You...
February, 2018 - Issue #161
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Get a Head Start on Spring Cleaning?
We already knew that clutter makes us cranky, but now science agrees with us. Researchers at UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families studied the relationship between over 30 families and the tens of thousands of objects in their collective homes. It was found that, yes, clutter has a deep and profound effect on not only our moods but our overall self esteem, too. There was a direct link discovered between stress-hormone levels in females and a high-density (Clutter!) of household objects. The takeaway? The more stuff you have, the more stress you feel. Overwhelmed? Take it slow, starting in one small corner of the room and working out, a little bit at a time.

Keep a box handy to collect items for donation. We like to donate our gently-used and new clothing items to Closet on Main on Main Street in Old Town Newhall (Donations are accepted Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm.). All proceeds go directly to Single Mothers Outreach, a local nonprofit organization.
www.closetonmain.com

Show some Valentine's Love to Seniors?
With the holidays officially behind us, many seniors begin a long, chilly stretch of time where visits and phone calls are few. Plus, over 25 million Americans over the age of 65 are economically insecure - meaning that many have to choose between food, rent or medicine - because they're unable to afford all three. The local SCV Senior Center's Food Pantry is always in need of restocking; consider donating pantry staples like canned pasta meals, peanut butter, canned fish like tuna and salmon, canned fruit in juice, pasta and sauce and healthy cooking oils. Want to touch hearts while filling stomachs? Take a permanent marker and write a message, like, "Sending you love!" or "Hoping you have a great day!" on the lids. Know a senior who could use a pick me up? Have the kids make and deliver Valentine's cards. Want to invest in the health and wellbeing of all our SCV seniors? Donate to the new-building Capital Campaign at www.newseniorcenter.com.

Avoid the Flu?
With the flu shot only showing about 10 percent efficacy rates for this year's strain, this flu is a real doozy. It's time to remind friends, loved ones and ourselves that some of the best clinically-proven ways to avoid getting sick are by washing and drying hands regularly (Yes, drying has been shown to improve results. Wiping them on your pants doesn't count!), avoiding touching the face (Points of entry to avoid: The eyes, nose and mouth.), staying hydrated (Decaffeinated hot tea for the win! Go for blends with elderberry; it's a natural anti-viral.) and getting plenty of sleep. Already feeling sick? (Stay home!) Remember that today's antiviral medications work best when administered early on, usually within the first day or two of symptom onset. If you begin running a fever, coughing or feeling "flu-y," give your doctor's office a call asap.

Get Outside with a Geocaching Adventure?
This popular outdoor recreation requires participants to use GPS or a mobile device like your phone to hide and seek containers - geocaches - at spots in the SCV... and all over the world. Fun for families and anyone who is inspired to explore when there's "treasure" to find, caches are usually hidden on hiking trails - which means you'll get some fresh air and exercise for your efforts, too. Caches usually contain a logbook to sign in, but also often contain little trinkets. Think of geocaching like Pokemon Go, but in nature. (At least that's how we're explaining it to our kids!). Learn more at www.geocaching.com.
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