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  • Writer's pictureDr. Huegel

New Beginnings

We all can agree that 2020 has had it’s challenges. However, we are about to enter a new chapter. Fall always presents a lot of new beginnings. It is an opportunity to put the spontaneity of the summer lifestyle behind us and get back to a productive routine. So here are some fall tips to help navigate the future as we head into the last third of this extraordinary year.

STRESS - Spend some time right now reflecting on what has been the biggest sources of stress over the last few months. Then, proactively scan through the fall and winter in anticipation of how these stressors may be better managed. Is it having the kids constantly home and leaving no space to breath? Consider sending them to grandma’s one or two days per week to home-school so work from home is more peaceful or the laundry can get done. Is it the repetitive nature and isolation of being in the same environment day in and day out? Consider taking nature or beach walks, long scenic drives, or take a virtual trip around the world. Many of these are offered online. Or is it the fear of the unknown (ultimately, we never really know what tomorrow may bring). Try joining a meditation class or mindful eating class on Zoom (Medimorphosis has one starting this September) to learn how to live more in the moment.

HEALTHY EATING - When it comes to cooking, many families are really shaking things up and trying new things. For example, each member of the family, once a week, can choose a healthy recipe and prepare it for everyone. Consider conjuring up a different theme night each day of the week ie Taco Tuesday. Remember lettuce makes a great wrap for healthy taco ingredients like ground turkey and veggies. Try to limit take-out to only 1 night per week to support our local restaurants. Choose wisely and simply, like no heavy sauces/sauces on the side and ask for broiled not fried and don’t forget to load up on lots of delicious veggies.

FITNESS - There are so many great fitness ideas without gyms, whether it’s Zumba via Zoom or popular fitness Apps and Youtube exercise videos. Some just can’t wait for the gyms to re-open and are biding their time. However, don’t lose sight of all the benefits of regular physical activity. The challenges of this year have left many of us feeling fatigued and maybe even a little depressed. Moving, in any capacity, can increase energy level as well as combat those melancholy feelings and improve mood. Increased exercise also helps prevent injury and improves ability to engage in activities of daily living like reaching for that dish in a high cabinet or squatting down to clean the floor or even just getting up and down from a chair. Also, remember the importance of balance. Allegedly, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a snowy NJ winter so a strong sense of balance and a solid core will help prevent dangerous falls on the ice.

Follow these tips and we will all enter this next phase of our lives healthier, stronger and ready to take on anything and we’ll recall 2020 as the year we all became fierce warriors.

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