The holiday season whirlwind is upon us! Sometimes “the most wonderful time of the year” is also the most stressful. It is important to make time to minimize life’s stresses with a little self-care. Here are a few suggestions to finish 2021 and start 2022 with peace
Schedule downtime - A state of constant motion isn’t conducive to peace of mind or productivity. As you add holiday parties, gift shopping and family gatherings to your calendar, schedule time where you have no obligations. The rest of the world will function fine while you take a nap, and your to-do list will be there when you wake up.
Get a physical - It is easy to wait until you’re sick to see a doctor when you’re busy, but regular physicals can help ensure undiagnosed medical problems are caught before they lead to serious health complications. Your insurance coverage likely includes a free annual wellness
exam, so take advantage of that each calendar year.
Drink water - Staying hydrated is essential for your body to function well. The fluids in your body are necessary for digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients, blood circulation, creation of saliva, organ function and maintaining proper body temperature. In addition, sometimes the sensation of hunger is actually an indicator that we’re thirsty. Drinking plenty of water can be helpful in regulating the impact of holiday treats and help us recognize sooner that our appetite is
Exercise - In addition to countering the effects of holiday blues or seasonal depression from less sunlight, people who exercise regularly have less stress and more energy. They also have stronger muscles and a cardiovascular system that works more efficiently and are often able to get deeper and better sleep. Any amount of regular exercise will help; the key to continued self-care is to choose activities you enjoy so you’ll stick with them. The BA Senior Center is a great place to exercise.
Create an estate plan - Extra family time during the holidays can remind us that we want to make sure our spouse, children, pets and assets are protected if we become incapacitated or die. You can alleviate this concern by consulting an estate planning attorney who can help you put your wishes and plans in legally binding writing. A thoughtfully drafted estate plan also allows you to appoint medical and financial decision makers of your choice. The knowledge that your wishes are documented and will be honored instead of a judge making decisions for you and your family will bring you peace of mind.
Cultivate gratitude - Whether this is through prayer, meditation or a gratitude journal, taking time to ponder the things for which we are grateful helps us cultivate optimism and maintain a positive attitude even in the face of significant stress. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful members of BA Seniors through this column.
Thank you! I look forward to continuing to connect in 2022. Please reach out to me or to Sean if you have any suggestions for topics next year.