Prioritize your emotional well-being during the holidays
While the holiday season and end-of-year parties can be full of festive fun, they can also be stressful and take a toll on your emotional well-being. Putting your emotional well-being on the back burner can cause mood swings and feelings of irritability, hopelessness, and isolation. But we’re here to help you live well and function well – December 2022.
As the holiday season heats up, consider the following tips to help prioritize your emotional well-being:
- Practice healthy habits. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and eating a balanced diet helps ensure you have enough physical and mental energy to tackle responsibilities and challenges.
- Stick to a routine. It is important to keep a daily schedule for both work and private time. Checking things off your to-do list can also help you feel accomplished on a daily basis.
- Reduce the use of caffeine and alcohol. Although alcohol and caffeine are often present at parties, these substances can provoke feelings of depression, anxiety or other psychological challenges.
- Maintain your boundaries. Your calendar can quickly fill up with work, personal and social events. Get comfortable saying “no” and cutting back on extra activities or tasks so you don’t become overwhelmed.
- Incorporate positive activities. Get into the habit of taking care of yourself and doing activities that make you happy. During a fast-paced month, it is important to slow down and prioritize self-care.
- Recognize your holiday stress triggers and relievers. Financial pressure and personal demands are common triggers. Stress can make you turn to harmful stress relievers and fall into unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking.
It’s important to keep track of your emotions and take care of yourself. If you are concerned about your emotional well-being, consult a mental health professional or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).
Give your favorite recipes a healthy makeover
Food is part of holiday traditions, and your family may look forward to certain recipes. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make your favorite recipes a little healthier. Consider the following tips to transform your holiday recipes:
- Fat— For baked goods, use half the butter or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or Greek yogurt.
- Salt— Gradually cut back on the salt to see if you can taste the difference. You can reduce the salt by half if baked goods do not require yeast.
- Sugar— Reduce the amount of sugar by a third to half. Instead, add spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg, or flavorings like vanilla or almond extract to increase the sweetness.
Healthy swaps can also increase the nutritional value of your classics. Be creative and experiment with other ways to create healthy recipes for your most beloved holiday traditions.
Walk to lower your risk of chronic disease
You probably already know that walking is good for your health, but how much do you need to walk daily to provide health benefits? You’ve probably also heard that a goal of 10,000 steps per day is good for you. But that figure came from a Japanese marketing campaign rather than health research.
A new study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center examined how many daily steps a person should take to promote good health. The research studied fitness trackers and revealed that walking 8,200 steps a day was the threshold at which a person begins to significantly reduce their risk of developing various chronic diseases. Specific chronic conditions noted included obesity, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, major depression, diabetes, and hypertension. The study also concluded that walking more steps than the threshold continues to increase the proven benefits of walking.
Check out last month’s edition of Live Well Work Well – November 2022.
All of us here at CoverLink Wishing you continued health and safety this year!