Leading up to the holidays, it’s easy to find yourself getting more and more relaxed. Homework, work, extra responsibilities, and even self-care fall to the wayside, and all the eggnog, sugar cookies, and lack of sleep add up, making you feel sluggish and championed by the season. But as the weather gets colder and another year approaches, this is the time when it’s most important to look after your health. Why? Because setting the stage with healthy habits now, during the most demanding season, means next year is sure to be a success.
That’s why, starting in January, I’ll be writing a series of Health Tool Kits to help everyone –teachers, nurses, students, and parents – ease into a new year. These kits will have tips for living and feeling well, and developing a healthy school atmosphere. We’re not going to call them New Year’s resolutions, though, mostly because 88% of all New Year’s resolutions fail (let’s be honest, we’ve all been a part of that statistic), but also because we approach things a little differently here at Magnus. We believe improving is a part of every single day, and we want to share that philosophy. One of our conference rooms is even named “improve” – that’s how serious we are about it.
So here’s what to do until those helpful little Tool Kits come out: Enjoy the holidays, but in a new way. Focus on quality time with family and friends, and avoid spending too many nights in a comatose state on the couch as a result of too much turkey and too many gingerbread cookies.
For your body, consider getting active as a family (did someone say skiing trip?), or catching up on sleep with a nifty phone app. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a fun at-home exercise that you can incorporate into present wrapping and cookie baking. It’ll boost your mood and help you stay on top of everything else you need to do. And for the kids and their few remaining days of school, holiday parties usually mean sugar highs and lows, but there are creative ways to avoid the mayhem, while still pleasing picky eaters. The Grinch Smoothies are my personal favorite.
For your mind, I kindly challenge you to step away from the television, even if it’s just for one night. I’m a TV-aholic myself, so I know how hard this can be. Consider this, though: Children are bombarded with over 100 commercials per day, from food products to the newest toy. One night free from “buy me!” coming from your living room might be a good break for them, and for you. Spend that extra time making (yes, making) presents for neighbors and family, or starting up the fireplace and breaking out an old board game. Was it Colonel Mustard in the Library with the candle stick? Better find out!Revel in the holiday season and I’ll see you back here in January with the Health Tool Kits, which will be your all-in-one guide to making sure each part of the school community is healthy and happy. From new activities to get students up and moving during class, to ideas for developing school-wide health programs, everyone will be ready for a brighter year.