2021 wellness reset
By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo
January is the month many of us work to undo the cookies and eggnog, the sitting inside while it snowed, the stress of the holidays, and well, the stress of the entire previous year.
Fera Butts, a Functional Medicine Practitioner at the BESANA Health and Wellness clinic in Sky Ridge Medical Center has some simple and practical steps we can take today to make sure we are getting off to the right start in 2021.
“Restful sleep is foundational to overall wellness,” Butts said. Helping clients who struggle with low energy and fatigue is a focus for Butts, who worked in emergency medicine for 25 years. To boost your energy and productivity, Butts said, “Work to get eight hours of sleep a night. This can be accomplished by avoiding caffeine late in the afternoon, taking a digital break from phones, laptops and television 30 minutes prior to sleep, keeping your room at a cooler temperature, and incorporating a meditation or journaling habit just prior to falling asleep.”
Butts asks, “What kind of movement are you doing throughout the day?” instead of talking about workouts or exercise. “Even a short walk for 15 minutes each day will jump start your health to a new level. If your work keeps you sitting for a majority of the day, set a timer on your phone once an hour to remind you to get up and move, even if it’s just to walk around your desk for 30 seconds.”
Many of us try to eat clean in the new year and move to fresher ingredients that make us feel better than heavier holiday food. Butts suggested increasing the number of vegetables and fruits we put on our plates each day and having a wide variety of color in our diet. “This will increase the amount of vitamins and minerals you are receiving,” Butts said.
“Staying well hydrated will help to flush out toxins and will keep your body feeling alert and fresh. Work to drink half your body weight in ounces each day,” Butts added (see related article page 36). Soups and teas help with getting more liquids in.
Strong social connections and healthy relationships are also important for your health. Butts suggested having an accountability partner which can increase the likelihood you will be successful on your wellness journey. “Set up a weekly touchpoint with your partner where you can discuss how you are doing with your health goals and new strategies you can implement together,” Butts suggested.
Lastly, Butts said it is critical to find ways to transform your stress. “Each day do something that brings you joy. Tap into those activities you love to do, those things that bring you meaning and purpose.”