Written by Janette Mason, CNP
After what has felt like a very long 2020, we still have a few weeks left in the year! Although this time of year may look a little different than years past, it is still an important time to re-evaluate your health and your goals.
If you are like the majority of our community, the last few months have de-railed health plans, leaving you feeling helpless and lost as to where to begin. As with most daunting tasks, the hardest part is getting started. We like to think of health as part of a row of dominos. If you kick off with one health habit, this will encourage a positive response from your body (such as how you feel mentally/ physically), which in turn should encourage more healthy habits to follow.
A concern we hear quite often from our community is about energy. If you are feeling depleted this time of year, know you are not alone. Health Canada data recently revealed that roughly 11 million Canadians may experience high levels of stress1. Sleep is an important aspect of regulating energy levels. Taking a look at what Canadians sleep is like, it is no wonder so many are feeling burnt out and depleted. According to Health Canada2:
- 1 in 2 adults have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.
- 1 in 5 adults do not find their sleep refreshing.
- 1 in 3 adults have difficulty staying awake during waking hours.
So where to begin? Feeling energetic and vibrant is a goal for many people and having the energy to implement healthy habits is a frequent request. So, to begin, start with hitting a few of these dominos:
- Establish a sleep routine. Make some shifts to your daily schedule to ensure you have enough time in the evening to relax before jumping into bed. The quality and amount of sleep you get can affect your mood, energy level, concentration and overall functioning. If you require some extra help getting enough Zzz’s consider adding in Sleepsmart to your nightly routine.
- Try yoga. With its series of postures and controlled-breathing exercises, yoga is a popular stress reliever. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines which may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet is an important part of taking care of yourself. Aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
- CBC, COVID-19 related stress is catching up with Canadians,Accessed Sept 1st 2020 at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/covid-19-pandemic-stress-depression-jennifer-moss-1.5628852
- Government of Canada. Are Canadians Getting Enough Sleep?. Accessed: Sept 1st At: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-adults-getting-enough-sleep-infographic.html