December Wellness Corner

The holidays bring time with family, good food, and fun times. With the current pandemic, that might be happening virtually or not at all for you. This can make the holiday season demanding and create extra stress.

If you are feeling anxiety, depression, or stress regarding the holidays, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at a few ways to cope with this time of year!

  • Acknowledge your emotions. The holiday season is said to be about joy, but you can’t force happiness. If you are feeling stressed or sad, that’s okay! Take time to express your feelings or talk to a loved one. In this newsletter, we will give you helpful tips on how to journal!
  • Manage your expectations. We cannot all recreate a Hallmark Christmas. You can celebrate without everything going perfectly. Focus on what you can control and give yourself leeway and flexibility.
  • Reach out. If you are feeling lonely, seek out the community. Church or neighborhood events can offer support and companionship when needed. Volunteering can also help lift your spirits while giving back to others.
  • Take time for yourself. We often focus on family and friends during the holidays via gift shopping, cooking, and parties. But do not forget to give yourself a break. Take time to go for a walk, read a book, or do something that is just for you.
Keeping a diary might seem silly or old-fashioned, but consistently journaling has proven to have both short- and long-term health benefits.

  • Stress reducer: Writing about your feelings or even just recapping your day for about 15 minutes daily can help reduce physical stress symptoms such as high blood pressure.
  • Memory invigorator: Journaling can help increase memory capacity and comprehension.
  • Immune system improver: Writing expressively has the ability to strengthen the immune system, decrease symptoms of asthma and arthritis, and improve liver function.
  • Emotional function enhancer: Writing about your feelings helps you connect inner needs and desires to outer functions, evoking personal awareness while also helping the brain regulate emotions. Additionally, journaling engages right-brained activity, creates a deeper understating of the self, and enables personal growth.
  • Mood booster: Writing life events and thoughts down can help boost the mood and nurture emotional well-being.
Journaling can be different for everyone. It does not have to be restrained to writing paragraphs every day. You can journal in whatever way works for you. Some different types of journaling include:

  • Traditional diary: Writing down your thoughts, feelings, day’s activities in a paragraph style.
  • Bullet journaling: Consists of bullet points and lists, categories, and subcategories. Try getting creative with your bullets by using symbols or codes.
  • A journal app on your smartphone: Apps are available that make journaling easy to access.
  • Art journal: Incorporates art, drawings, words, poems, pictures, or anything you want to help get your thoughts and feelings down on the page.

Strength training with weights can be hugely beneficial to your overall health. Start with lower weights (1-5 pounds for women, 5 to 8 pounds for men) and increase as you go. Resistance bands and an exercise ball are also great tools.

Benefits of strength training include:

  • Burn more body fat. A recent study in the Obesity Journal showed that in obese adults over 60, the combination of weight training and a low-calorie diet resulted in greater fat loss than a low-calorie diet and walking workouts.
  • Flatten your tummy. A University of Alabama study found that women who lifted weights lost more deep-belly fat than those who only did cardio.
  • Burn more calories than cardio. Your metabolic rate can spike for hours after strength training, so your body is still working after you’ve cooled down.
  • Strengthen your bones. When your muscles tug on your bones, the bone cells react by creating new bone cells. Over time, this makes your bones denser and stronger.

As you launch into 2021, consider downloading some of these helpful applications on your smartphone!

  • Charity Miles – Pat yourself on the back for those extra miles you have been clocking in lately. For every mile you complete, corporate sponsors will donate money to the featured charity of your choice.
  • Pact – Following through on those gym visits just got a lot more rewarding. If you stay on track with your goals, you get paid. And if you do not, you pay out to the users who have better luck sticking with their goals.
  • Life Happens – This simple app helps determine how much life insurance you need. Just fill in some financial info and the app generates an estimate of your insurance needs.
  • Fooducate – Shopping for healthy foods at the grocery store should not require a ton of side research. Simply open this app and start scanning barcodes for a quick read on how healthy each item is. The app will analyze all of the information and provide feedback to help you stick with your health and fitness goals.
  • 401(k) Calculator (iPhone Only) – This handy tool shows you how much your account might be worth when you retire; it even lets you compare investments to ensure you’re making the best decisions for your future.
We sincerely wish everyone a healthy and peaceful holiday and that you take the time to re-charge and be ready for an awesome 2021