Issue Your Own Prescription…For Kindness

Alan Tanabe/ November 2, 2020/ Medication Management, Self management/ 2 comments

Greetings, everyone!

You’ve heard the sayings: “These are unprecedented times.” “We’re all in this together.”

Perhaps you’ve read the headlines or have watched the news reports.

It is likely you’ve been bombarded with political ads, and regardless of your political beliefs, you may be exhausted by it already.

Your work situation may not be as stable as you previously had thought. The home environment may be more tense than before, infested with boredom, frustration, and/or loneliness. Your family may have suffered a tremendous loss, and due to restrictions in place, you may not have been able to have the “Goodbye” service that you would have liked.

So what does all of this have to do with health care and pharmacy? More than you realize!

Recognize the stress

Health care is not limited to treating your diseases and physical injuries. Health care also recognizes the importance of mental and emotional well-being. Additionally, evidence shows that when emotional and mental health is compromised, our physical well-being is negatively affected as well. Stress can affect how well our immune systems protect us. Boredom and worry may influence our diets, leading us to reach for convenient, less-healthy options, thus potentially impacting things including our weight, blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions. Mental exhaustion can manifest as physical exhaustion, which could lead to us not achieving essential physical activity. All of these examples can result in us feeling weighed-down and neglecting self-care, including with your medications.

It is important that we recognize these stresses and the symptoms of neglecting our own care. Only by recognizing these signs and symptoms can we properly address the problems that may be negatively affecting our health.

What are the symptoms to look for?

First, this list is not all-inclusive. However, we will focus on some of the more common symptoms of mental exhaustion. These symptoms include:

Emotional symptoms




Lack of motivation

Physical symptoms


Changes in appetite

Weight gain or weight loss


Chronic fatigue

Please note: If you experience any of these symptoms, this is not a diagnosis of mental exhaustion or any other condition. Instead, use this list to recognize if you may be at risk for mental exhaustion.

What can you do to help yourself?

Now here are some suggestions that may be helpful to reduce your stress and feel better:

  • Plan ahead by preparing meals in advance if possible.
  • Allow yourself time for physical activity, including walking, stretching, or weight-resistance exercises (if approved by your provider).
  • Communicate with people you trust. Reach out to your friends and family to ask how they are doing, and don’t be afraid to tell them if you’re not feeling well.
  • Try some stress-relieving techniques including deep-breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Practice kindness! Realize that many of us are not feeling our best during these times. Therefore, avoid knee-jerk and emotional reactions that may not only add stress to others, but also to yourself. So offer a smile or a kind word to others. Also, acknowledge your appreciation of others as well.

The role of your pharmacist

Regardless of any pandemic, your pharmacist is still the most accessible health care professional. Therefore, we remain committed to helping you achieve better health, through medications and non-medicated methods. If you feel that you are not achieving the desired results with your medications due to various reasons, talk with us. We may be able to work with you to design a plan to help you with these challenges. Additionally, many of us are trained in nutrition and physical activity to help suggest ways to improve how you feel. Please contact us at to allow us to assist you with any questions or concerns about your health and medications. As always, we welcome and encourage asking questions and leaving comments for us on this site.

So take some time to issue a prescription for kindness to others and for yourself.

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Wishing you good health!

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About Alan Tanabe

Alan Tanabe, PharmD. has been a registered pharmacist in the state of Michigan since 1991. In addition to working as a pharmacist in a community setting, he has specialized in patient services including Medication Therapy Management to help patients achieve better health-related outcomes.


  1. That’s really useful advice, Alan. I know a lot of people of varying political views who are actually frightened of what will happen if their candidate doesn’t get elected. So many of us set ourselves up for anxiety in that way. Showing kindness to one another (and to ourselves) in whatever way we can can go a long way helping us cope and bringing us back together.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Betty. Personally, I would like to see more people focus on our commonalities instead of allowing differences drive people further apart.

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