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‘Tis the Season for wellness: A head start on holiday health

Amid the merriment of this season, it’s easy to neglect our own wellness.

While we could wait until New Year’s to make resolutions, why not get proactive this year and get a head start on your personal health?

Start now and by Jan. 1, you may already have some good habits in hand.

Here are some ideas to help.

Mindful eating, hydration, cheer

This time of year, tables tend to be heavy with tempting treats. While we should enjoy our celebrations, moderation is key. Take time to enjoy each bite and appreciate the flavors. Be aware of your body’s fullness cues. Take smaller portions of sugars and starches while you load up on colorful, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. They offer essential vitamins and fiber. Add citrus fruits, garlic and ginger; they can make your immune system stronger and fend off colds and other bugs.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated; it’s easy to underestimate the importance of drinking plenty of water. If you partake in alcoholic beverages, alternate with water. When you prevent dehydration, you’ll feel better, and it also can help you avoid overeating.

Prioritize sleep for restful season

Bustling preparations can disrupt our sleep, leading to fatigue. This will impact your immune function, and no one wants to spend Christmas with a cold — or worse. Prioritize quality sleep, with relaxing bedtime routines and limited screen time. A well-rested body and mind are better equipped to handle the demands of the season.

Use health care tools

to stay healthier

Vaccinations for flu and other illnesses can ensure you’re living for the loved ones in your life this December. Contact your local clinic if you are due for your yearly checkup. Make sure you’re up to date with your shots and recommended health screenings. Of course, we’ll be here in case of any emergency or other health needs, too.

Stay Active Amidst Festivities

It can be challenging during a busy season but make time for physical activity. Schedule short, energizing walks or work activities into your traditions. A brisk walk with loved ones, a cheerful dance session or even a quick home workout can counterbalance those hours spent sitting on the couch watching movies or around the table visiting.

Manage stress to spread joy

While often a time of joy, this time of year can bring stress and anxiety. Winter “blues” are real, and balancing everything from shopping to family dynamics can overwhelm anyone. Techniques like deep breathing or meditation help you stay centered and calm. Don’t be afraid to say no or to delegate tasks. Set realistic expectations. It’s OK to prioritize self-care, too. Your loved ones will understand if you’re in need of rest or a break.

This year, let’s navigate the season with purpose and prioritize our well-being, because good health is a gift you give to yourself and your loved ones.

Have a wonderful celebration of the season.

— Debbie Streier is regional president/CEO, Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center

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