As 2020 was not a year we were sad to say goodbye to, we want to start off 2021 in the best way possible! Join us in making this year a healthy and happy one with some tips from the surgeons of Premier Surgical Network.
Go to your regular or annual doctor’s appointments. “Despite the reputation that doctors are the worst patients, I believe in practice what I preach,” says Dr. Dana Holwitt, “I always go to my regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, dentist visits and eye examinations. If you do not take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else?” Be sure to make your regular appointments when needed such as mammography scans, gynecological exams, physicals, blood work, etc.
Make exercise a priority. Getting more exercise or achieving a weight-loss goal is a resolution many people make for the new year. However, it is important it stay realistic and not over-do it. “I always set a goal to be more consistent with my exercise regime. I also remind myself that my body, like life, has peaks and valleys. As long as I work at the level I am capable of at that time, I will always make progress.” Says Dr. Holwitt. Aim to work out about 3-5 days per week.
Make healthier food choices. This is another common new year goal, but it’s an easy one to partake in. Even adjusting your nutrition choices slightly will have a positive effect on your health. “This year I will try substitute snacks like chips with something healthier, like fruit,” says Dr. Ann Chuang.
Reach out to family and friends. Especially with social distancing in play, it’s easy to lose touch with friends that you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. “One of my resolutions this year is to reach out to ten friends I have not spoken to for a year via phone,” says Dr. Chuang. It will feel good to reconnect with friends, catch up and reminisce.
Make time for self-care. Mental health, especially during the winter months, is so important. We recommend making time for yourself and your emotional well-being, even if it’s for just 30 minutes a day. “Whether it be yoga, meditation, Pilates, breathing exercises whatever, it is so important to your general health that your mental well-being is cared for,” say Dr. Holwitt. Even if you have a long to-do list, taking some time to even read a book or take a relaxing bath can help your mental health.
Drink plenty of water. An easy resolution this year is to make it a priority to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated is vital in maintaining healthy skin, good digestion, transporting nutrients, and helps improve your circulation. Invest in a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle that helps you consume more water while also helping the environment.
No matter what resolutions you’ve set for yourself this year, be sure to add in some that can help you benefit your overall health. By implementing some practices that form a healthy lifestyle, you will live a healthier and happier life. Wishing all a great 2021!
The “winter blues” affect many people each year; this year being no exception. With the large impact that COVID-19 still has around the world, the winter months may be exceptionally difficult for many. It is imperative to keep your mental health in check during these months, and there are several ways you can boost your mood when the days are shorter and colder.
Get outside when weather allows. Even though it’s less enjoyable to be outside when temperatures become frigid, studies show that getting outside for a little while each day can be beneficial. On a sunny winter day, grab your jacket and gloves and get some fresh air and Vitamin D. We recommend taking a walk around your neighborhood or exploring a local park or walkway path. Always remember to follow social distancing guidelines during physical activity.
Exercise. Exercise not only improves your physical health, but your mental health as well! “Exercising is an excellent way to combat the winter blues,” says Dr. Ann Chuang, “Instead of starting January 1st, start December 1st instead. I find that the masks are more and more comfortable as the temperature drops.” Getting 30 minutes a day of exercise can make a huge difference in your mood. Try doing a home workout video if it’s too cold to be outside! “Exercise helps, especially hot yoga, since it makes it feel like summer for an hour.” Says Dr. Desiree D’Angelo, “Although hot yoga is cancelled due to COVID, I will do a practice in front of our electric fireplace and I get the same effect.”
Practice self-care. At least once per week, do something that brings you peace. Take a bubble bath, do yoga, meditate, or read a book. Treating yourself to at least an hour a week dedicated just for you will help elevate your mood.
Invest in a fire pit. If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a fire pit if possible. “This is a perfect way to have a socially distanced hang out with close friends. You will be warm and get to enjoy the beautiful fire!” Dr. Chuang says.
Check in on friends. This year especially, the winter months may be challenging and lonely for many. Make a point to check in on your friends and loved ones. A simple call or text message can mean a lot.
Partake in holiday shopping. Shopping for yourself can certainly boost your mood but finding the perfect gift for a loved one can also bring you some happiness during this difficult year. Selecting thoughtful gifts will be sure to bring a smile to the faces of your family and friends.
Make some mulled wine or cider, put on your favorite winter PJ’S and watch your favorite holiday movies. As the days get shorter and it is dark much earlier, use this opportunity to carry on some favorite winter/ holiday traditions. “Holiday movies have generated a cult like following.” Says Dr. Dana Holwitt, “there is nothing cozier than curling up with your squad, your family, or that special someone to warm your heart and bring those serotonin levels up.”
Finally, don’t hesitate to seek professional mental health services.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you just can’t seem to escape the winter blues, you may be experiencing a more serious mental health condition like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The best piece of advice is to seek professional help, says Dr. Holwitt, “There are several strategies that can help with symptoms of SAD including talk therapy, medications, and light box therapy. Light box therapy includes various sized light boxes that emit a wavelength of light like that of the sun. You can use the light when you wake up in the morning for a period ranging from 15 min to 45 min depending on your needs. The light simulates the sun, thus stimulating your brain and tricking it into thinking it light outside. With repeated use, it changes your circadian rhythm. SAD light box therapy can be very effective at treating the winter blues.”