Beating the OddsDecember 26, 2020
The Lost Episode: Part 2December 26, 2020
We made it! But while 2020 may be past, unfortunately COVID-19 is still with us.
However, we see relief in sight with vaccines on the way. While waiting, talk with your provider about concerns over vaccine safety and availability. In the meantime, mitigate health risks by getting vaccinated for flu, pneumonia and other common illnesses.
Here are other aspirations for a healthier “you” in the new year:
Improve overall wellness.
- A 2018 Harvard University study cites five everyday habits to help you live longer and healthier:
- Eat your fruits and vegetables;
- Move your body, from leisurely walks to full-body workouts;
- Maintain healthy body weight to reduce diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer risks;
- Limit alcohol to one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women and two glasses for men;
- Don’t smoke or stop smoking.
A major stressor in 2020 was lack of sleep, which is crucial to overall health and performance. Work and school from home impacted our already fragile work-life balance to add more stress and affect our sleep time. Try to follow a nightly ritual to lull you from worries to sleep. As with children, set strict sleep and wake schedules.
Working from home is now part of the new normal for some. Following a schedule makes the transition easier, particularly for people who need structure. Other ways to optimize remote working environments include:
- Decorate with indoor plants, which help purify the air, improve your mood and lower stress and anxiety;
- Use under-desk foot rests to improve posture, chair cushions to relieve lower back pain and keyboard and mouse supports to lessen wrist stress;
- Consider an air purifier to decrease allergens;
- Adjust screen brightness and room lighting to reduce eye strain; consider blue light blocking glasses.
- It would be a miracle if we could find extra hours in the day, but that’s probably a pointless aspiration. However, we can learn to cope with time anxiety. Start by being aware of how much time you waste focusing on lack of time. Instead, focus on what you can control:
- Create realistic goals;
- Concentrate on better work habits and remove distractions that waste time;
- Accurately estimate projects;
- Prioritize work so there’s a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Imagine starting a new year without worrying about our weight. But with 2020 stress eating, many of us need to shed some pounds. There’s a plethora of fad diets, but the best rule is to eat less, eat in moderation and exercise more.
While in-studio and gym workouts are still limited, there are plenty of online fitness programs. Also, consider losing extra pounds by working around the house or in the yards. One Poll found that homeowners burn more than 80,000 calories yearly by working in the yard and gardening. This type of exercise incorporates endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. And at the end of the day, you’ve accomplished a goal.