Love Grows as Women Share Their Worries at Wellness Wednesdays

May 15, 2024

It was apparent from the start that the women felt they were in a safe space to hear, and, just as important, be heard.

Led by guest speaker Carla Butcher, nurse practitioner at the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic, May’s Wellness Wednesdays women’s support group tackled a variety of wellness topics, including depression and anxiety, and healthy ways to self-care.

It was an intensely personal session for many, including for Alexis Harvey of the SAY Clinic, Wellness Wednesdays’ program director, who described the trauma she faced after her son was seriously injured in an accident as a child, and her anxiety that resulted from it.

“I thought I was too young to have these issues,’’ she said. “The thought of him walking outside, and the possibility of him getting hurt again, consumed me. My heart was beating fast, and I was sweating — I thought I was having a heart attack.

“Depression and anxiety — it’s easy to get in to, hard to get out of.’’

One participant was brought to tears as she discussed her daily depression, which she said stems from major health issues she suffered as a child. Because she said she can’t talk to her family, her support group includes “God and my doctor.’’

“My family doesn’t know I have depression, they don’t talk to me,’’ she said. “I wake up every morning and pray that it will be a good day for me.’’

Butcher shared stress-relief tips, including guided meditation, practicing deep breathing, and maintaining physical exercise and good nutrition.

“Sleep and rest is so significant in helping to manage different anxieties and depression,’’ she said.

The two-dozen program participants in attendance began the session with a celebration — a belated Mother’s Day toast of sparkling juice. It ended with each of them receiving a potted plant — rosemary — along with information describing the enriching benefits of the edible herb.

Wellness Wednesdays returns on July 17 at the Ernest T. Ford Recreation Center.

The Benefits of Rosemary

Each attendee took home a small potted rosemary plant.

Rosemary is a popular evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean and used in cooking all over the world. Its leaves can be eaten fresh or dried, and it is popularly consumed as tea or infused oil.

Rosemary is high in Manganese, an essential nutrient for metabolic health. Manganese also helps the body to form blood clots, allowing injuries to heal faster. Its additional health benefits include potentially reducing risk of cancer, immune system support, stress reduction and improved memory and concentration.

How to Prepare Rosemary

Rinse the leaves under cold water to remove any stray dirt or particles. Cut the stems off and use the remaining sprigs. Here are a few ideas for including more rosemary in your diet:

  • Sprinkle sprigs of rosemary over chicken, beef, or pork dishes.
  • Boil fresh rosemary leaves with water to make tea.
  • Add rosemary to roasted vegetables while cooking (paired with potatoes is an especially popular combination).
  • Make rosemary oil by filling a saucepan with olive oil and add your rosemary sprigs. Cook on low heat for up to 10 minutes until the scent of rosemary rises from the pan. Turn off the heat, allow the oil to cool, and then strain and discard the sprigs. The resulting oil can be refrigerated for up to six months.