With the holidays behind us but flu season on top of us, it is important that we all do what we can to boost our health and immune seasons during these first months of the New Year.

While there is nothing we can do about who breathes on us in the elevator, who sneezes in our direction at the grocery store, or who coughs on us in line at the movies, there are some steps each of us can take to help ward off the rampant germs so pervasive wherever we go.

Don’t forget that your health also includes your mental fortitude and attitude, not just your physical being.  These drearier months also tend to drain our optimism and positive outlook.  So, with all that being said, here are some steps to boost your physical AND mental health:

Get Back to Healthy Basics

  1. Drink more water! Hydration is critical to maintain your overall health, and, during these times of fluctuating temperatures, our bodies need extra water to balance the energies we expend to keep warm.
  2. Make healthy food choices! OK, the holidays are over, the candies, cakes and cookies are all gone. Get back to making mindful food choices – concentrate on using fresh ingredients, limit sugars and processed foods and start boosting your immune system with vitamin- and mineral-enriched fruits and veggies.
  3. Take a walk! No, we don’t mean get out of town 😉 Just try to walk more. Whether it is parking farther from the mall entrance, taking a walk around the office or the school gym or, if whether permits, extend your nightly walk with Fido. Get back into the groove of getting off your kiester more.
  4. Maintain oral health! Don’t forget – a lot of the bacteria that enters the body does so through the mouth. So please be sure to maintain a vigilant oral hygiene routine. Catch up on an overdue dental visit, then brush well, floss, and be sure to clean your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel to keep those tongue-residing bacteria at a minimum.
  5. Sleep well! Try to turn off the TV and get a good night’s sleep. The rested body is a healthier body.

Open up your mind!

  1. Create a mindful state! Take a few minutes everyday to zone out of what you are doing and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. This is something the busiest of us can do – no excuses – right at our desks. This clearing of the mind will help you focus on your inward state, not just on the frantic state around you.
  2. Be grateful! Try to get rid of the negative thoughts that cross your mind every day and concentrate instead on being grateful for even the little things. Instead of complaining every day, how about starting each day writing a list of (you pick the number) things for which you are grateful.
  3. Volunteer! Turn your energy outward. If you are angry about the political environment, don’t stew about it, work to make the world a better place. Do you feel sad that a child comes from a broken home? Volunteer to be a mentor for a child who needs the support. By converting the stressors of anger, frustration and sadness into positive, unselfish action, you will make yourself feel better.
  4. Socialize more! Yes, maybe you feel all those holiday parties did you in and you want to just stay home by yourself. NO! The more you socialize, even if you have lunch with a friend instead of alone at your desk, the better off your mental health and mood will be.
  5. Get off the gadgets! We mentioned this before – turn off the tv and get to sleep. But there is more to this. Not only does the constant use of gadgetry influence the gray cells and keep them abuzz, the strain on the eyes is deleterious to your health. So try to cut back, let your gray cells and your eyes relax. Your entire being will thank you.

These are just a few ideas for you to ponder during those mindful moments. Try to find one or more that fit your situation and lifestyle, or just use this as food for healthy thought. Either way, here’s a toast (with a great big glass of water) to a healthy 2018!