You need an action plan for healthy living

A few years ago, I wrote a fact sheet called Healthy Living Action Plan. To help you get your 2023 off to a great start, I’d like to highlight some of the tips from the fact sheet. As you’d expect, many of the bullet points revolve around eating and exercise habits. Today, however, I want to focus on a few other lifestyle choices that can contribute to good health.

• Stress management: Stress is a normal part of life and its causes can be good or bad. When stress turns into distress, people often show unhealthy reactions, such as driving too fast, getting angry, worrying or being afraid for a long time, or drinking too much. Learn to find ways to reduce the stress in your life. Things like deep breathing, meditation, physical activity, and self-talk can be effective.

• Simplify: Busy schedules may not allow for adequate downtime, but it’s important to find some quiet time each day without demands. Another way to make your life easier is to declutter your living space.

• Sleep well: Making simple changes to routine, environment, diet and other factors can help you get enough sleep. Sleep disturbances are common and some are serious. A great resource for learning more about sleep is the K-State Research and Extension publication MF2830, Sleep: Want it, Need it, Get it.

• Surround yourself with positive people: When someone is feeling down, one of the best strategies is to spend time with positive, upbeat people. Laughter, encouragement, and positive thoughts can effectively help reverse negative thoughts.

If you want to learn how to make an action plan, stay tuned for my column next week. In the meantime, you can find my fact sheet on the KSRE website and search for publication MF3053.

Surround myself with positive people

Over the past three weeks I have had the chance to practice the points I have listed above. By the time you read this, I will have returned home from a road trip through the “Sunshine State”. Just as the cold weather was setting in for the holidays, we loaded up the van to drive to Naples, Florida, where we were going to celebrate Christmas and the wedding of our youngest son, Matt. When Matt proposed to Jane last January, they were thrilled to continue the Krug family tradition of a December wedding.

Fast forward to September when Hurricane Ian devastated Southwest Florida. The original wedding venue the kids had booked was damaged beyond repair, but luckily they found another suitable and beautiful location to celebrate their wedding. The Airbnb we booked in March suffered extensive flood damage during the hurricane, but the host was optimistic that everything would be ready for us when we arrived on the 23rd. And it was!

It was a special week with our children and grandchildren enjoying each other’s company. Our time together included walks on the beach, cool dips in the garden pool, and an evening tour of the Botanical Gardens. The Janes family introduced us to the party poppers where we enjoyed their wonderful hospitality on Christmas Day. The wedding day was beautiful and all but a handful of guests were successful (Southwest airline issues affected several guests).

It felt good to go home earlier in the week and get back to a normal routine. Hoping you enjoy good health and happiness, surrounded by positive people in 2023!

Donna Krug is the Family and Consumer Science Officer at K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or [email protected]

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