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January 2015


Join our partners for two upcoming webinars on January 14, 2015!  

12pm EST: the North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign will hold a webinar on Healthy Weight Matters: Young Women and the Reproductive Health Consequences of Obesity. Health care providers are the target audience for this webinar which is only open to Southern states. Click here to register! 


1pm EST: Join the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors for a webinar on Obesity/Overweight and Preconception Health, Part 1: Defining the Challenge and Connecting Partners. Click here to register. 

Are You Living a Mindful Life? 
Settle Down, Pay Attention, Say Thank You: A How-To: Kristen Race at TEDxMileHighWomen 
Settle Down, Pay Attention, Say Thank You: A How-To: Kristen Race at TEDxMileHighWomen
Brain scientist Kristen Race is an expert on how stress affects the brain,and she has used her knowledge to help teach people to live more mindful and less stressful lives. In this engaging and humorous talk, Dr. Race shares three simple ways to keep the brain happy.  
Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress

The following strategies are suggested by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to help you cope when you're feeling stressed and anxious: 

Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.  

Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.  

Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.  

Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.  

Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.    

Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.  

Count to 10 slowly. Repeat and count to 20 if necessary.  

Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.  

Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?  

Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.  

Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  

Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.  

Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you're feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.  

Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you're feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help. 


Click here to view the Self Care in the New Year: Keeping Our Resolutions Infographic. 

Diverse and inclusive, The American Institute of Stress educates medical practitioners, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts research; and provides information, training and techniques to prevent illness related to stress. 
The mission of the American Heart Association is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. This organization provides information about how stress can affect you physically and emotionally. It also provides guidance for actions you can take to reduce your stress levels and give you a greater sense of well-being.
MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's website for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it supplies information about stress and stress management in plain language.

Stress Management and Self-Care 

Happy New Year! The new year is traditionally the time to stop, take inventory, and set positive goals. It's also a time to consider areas in your life that may need improvement. Including applicable and easy to do activities into your daily life that are nourishing for you and your entire health, ensures that you are finding ways to balance your life and are less likely to burnout.
Physiological Effects of Stress on the Body
Learning ways to better manage stress and anxiety may be one of the most important self-care goals of the new year. The effects of chronic stress and anxiety can significantly affect a women's health, both mentally and physically. According to the American Institute of Stress, there are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, etc.) and can contribute to insomnia. In fact, there is not a disease or any body part in which stress does not play an aggravating role. 

Try not to get caught up in making your self-care goals perfect. Most likely, you are already incorporating some form of self-care in your daily routine. Remember, with your New Year's Resolution, the simpler you make it, the more attainable it is and the more likely you are to feel successful.

EWSE 2014 Year in Review
  A Time of Growth and Connection
The Every Woman Southeast Coalition has had a wonderful year! Here are a just few highlights:

Shared Lessons from Pilot Projects 
We are very proud of our eight W.K. Kellogg-funded pilot projects that each took a unique approach to reproductive life planning. We shared their experiences with a variety of audiences throughout the year. Four of the projects - Transportation For Families: Transportation Access Throughout the Life Course, PASOs, Choices, and Delta Health Partners - presented at the 2014 AMCHP annual conference. The projects Cradle Me 3 and Peer Education for the Soul shared their strategies for engaging young adults as peer health educators on a regional webinar. We were also invited to share how the reproductive life planning pilots engaged non-traditional partners at the USAID/HRSA meeting "Throughout the Reproductive Life Course: Opportunities and Challenges for Empowering Women and Girls" in April. Delta Health Partners expanded their trainings and technical assistance around reproductive life planning for those who serve young men to an additional county in Mississippi. Overall we reached more than 10,000 young men and women with reproductive life planning resources.

Increased Social Media Presence

Our coalition greatly increased its social media presence during 2014 - giving us a greater voice in the region.  A new, more functional, and mobile-friendly website design was unveiled, and the blog and newsletter template were refreshed.  The Coalition worked with a student group at UNC called Femme6, who provided social media analysis and suggestions, which were incorporated into our social media strategic plan. EWSE also began tweeting, engaging with other organizations through hashtag campaigns, and continue to use Facebook and Twitter to bring visibility to EWSE and connect with new partners. Follow us! Have something to blog or tweet? We'd love to hear it.  


Expanded on Strategic Goals  

In August, with a group of both long-standing members of the Coalition and new partners, we met to set our direction for 2015. It was decided to focus less on state-level committees and, instead, establish cross-state work-groups based on particular need or task. The work-groups that resulted from the meeting included a Development Committee that looks at the structure of EWSE and its funding needs; a Policy Committee that focuses on policies in the region that affect women's health and establishes guidelines for Coalition endorsement of policies or legislation; an Education and Communications Committee that seeks to increase EWSE's visibility, to amplify Southeastern women's voices, as well as provide educational opportunities for Coalition members; and a Southeastern Incubator Committee that seeks to fund local pilots that seek to enhance the reproductive health and wellness of communities in the South. Sound interesting? We have a lot of work ahead but have a clear focus and strategy, which is half the battle. Please join us! Click here to learn more and sign up.


Partnered with National Initiatives 

We have had the opportunity to partner with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and Merck for Mothers to develop a national postpartum care action plan as well as to explore the experiences of mothers during their fourth trimester. We  also have been involved in preconception health planning at the national level. This fall, we partnered with NC Central University's Preconception Peer Educators to complete a photovoice project to consider the barriers and facilitators to reproductive life planning in the campus community. This photovoice work will be replicated in the coming year at Tennessee State University. Check out our online gallery coming in January for the results and stories.


Thank you to our amazing volunteers across the region, whose energy and engagement has fueled our growth and built our mission. We are lucky to have had wonderful interns - Amanda Zabala, Sarah Downs, and Hannah Legerton - as well as a dedicated staff - Angela Aina, Erin McClain, Sarah Verbiest, and Kia Barbee (who keeps our books straight). Together, we will bring change to the South. We are #PoweredByPassion and leading toward health, equity, and opportunity. We hope you all have a great and successful New Year filled with joy.

New Blog Post!   


Read our latest post from Kara Brown, Leadership Team member and Co-chair of the Education and Communications Committee with the EWSE coalition. In the post, she shares her thoughts on settling on one professional goal for the new year. Click here to read her post.     

Have Thoughts to Share?   

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What are some ways that you have reduced or eliminated stress in your life?

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Every Woman Southeast Coalition | http://www.everywomansoutheast.org 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


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