St. David’s HealthCare wishes everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season. Here are some tips to keep in mind from St. David’s HealthCare’s director of employer wellness solutions, Kathryn Scoblick.
Plan ahead = planning for peace and less stress
Knowing what your week looks like ahead of time helps you plan how to tackle it. Have a plan for the week and then reevaluate for each day the night before. Decide on your priorities and stick with them the best you can. People in true need of your time come first, even if it is not scheduled on your list. Enjoy the progress, and check off your list throughout the day. Focus on the moment and the joy of achieving.
Plan to ask for help
It is OK to ask for help! It is more fun for all involved because helping one another fulfills our purpose. On the flip side, people will offer their help and it is an act of kindness for you to take the offer. Studies show that Serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter, is released when we help each other. Studies show that both the giver of help and the receiver get a boost of Serotonin.
Plan for moderation and for moderation in moderation…sometimes
Moderation in all things is a good practice. Too much of anything cannot possibly be good. On occasion, the freedom to enjoy something a little more than you typically would is also a healthy choice. Health and safety first and enjoy the moment. ‘Tis the season!
Plan for water all day…and night
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We are 70% water and so is the earth. We run on water and need it to think properly and feel good. In a season filled with festivities and spirits, it is even more important that we hydrate well. It will keep headaches at bay and keep you feeling well.
Plan to go easy with alcohol
‘Tis the season to drink more than we normally would. Make sure you limit your intake. If you are attending a party, make sure you have a designated driver. In addition, have water within reach to sip on that instead of alcohol all night. That extra water will keep away the groggy feeling the next morning.
Plan to choose the right snacks…even before a party
‘Tis the season to eat more than we normally would. A good strategy is not to go to a party too hungry. Instead, plan a healthy snack before you leave for the party such as ¼ cup of hummus and carrots, or a small apple and a handful of nuts. Having a healthy snack will keep you from indulging on too many of the wrong foods at the party (like what we find in the way of less healthy appetizers and an abundance of sweets). For example, you might consider deciding ahead of time to only have one small dessert.
Plan for exercise
This will keep you on top of the world and feeling strong, stress free and energetic. Ask anybody who exercises regularly how they feel after they exercise. My guess is the feeling is what keeps them coming back for more. It is always a good time to create a good habit…even in the busy season.
Plan for enough sleep
Count on it! The weeks will be busy and chances are you are burning the candle at both ends. Not getting enough sleep can compromise your ability to manage stress and cope with the diminishing holiday timeline. Do the best you can. You feel better, cope better, think better and all is better when you are rested. 7-8 hours each night is the recommendation. Strive for that. Make small adjustments where you can. Planning ahead helps with everything.
Plan to get up and move
There is nothing like a brisk walk in the middle of a busy day to get that blood flowing to the brain. It will energize you, give you a healthy break and have you ready to tackle the next task.
Plan for time off
Anticipation is proven in some studies to bring more joy than the actual event. We feel good having things to look forward to. Plan time off and enjoy the before, during and after.
Plan to be with friends and family
Being with friends and family are what the holidays are all about. Sharing the joy of the season is the best part. The hard work pays off. The reward is being with those you love.
Plan to help others…and even when it is not planned
Charity is always (especially during this season) a beautiful thing. However, just like any other day, people come first; no matter what your plans. We all need each other and it is inevitable that a time will come when you need help as well. Lend a hand, spread the joy and enjoy the season.