Have a Happy, Healthy New Year

The holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, a lot of people struggle to stay physically and mentally healthy this time of year. Santa himself is obese (likely due to overconsumption of soda) and a bit judgy for our tastes. So we here at PeerWell have banded together to give you easy ways you can stay healthy this holiday.

  • Have a sugar free breakfast: Breakfast is really the cornerstone of your daily diet. Did you know that a low sugar/high fiber diet will make you eat less throughout the day? Even if you are traveling try to have a breakfast that does not include processed sugar. Offenders include flavored yogurt, granola, pastries and white bread. Stick to steel cut oats, whole grain bread products and fruits with high fiber.

  • Drink smart: Many people tend to get jolly around this time of year, so prepare for it. Did you know that if you pinch the skin on the back of your hand and it does not return to your normal position within a few seconds you are most likely dehydrated? Make sure you hydrate throughout the day by drinking a cup of water every other hour and 2-3 cups per meal. Tonight if you do drink, drink red wine. If you have cocktails avoid sugary mixers like tonic or fruit juice. Substitute soda with a fruit wedge. The key is to pace yourself- have a glass of water per drink.

  • Focus on happiness, not pleasure: If there is any time of year that lends itself to taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture it is now. Did you know that people are less depressed on New Year's Day than 99% of other days of the year? So put that wave of positive thinking to good use. Try starting the day by reflecting on the following: "Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” As you go about the day think about the people you encountered in 2014 and how you treated each other, paying special attention to what you think went well and what you would like to improve. When the ball drops commit yourself to improving what you can control and letting go of the rest.

All else aside, our most important suggestion is this: enter next year committed to the idea that 2015 will your best year yet. You are rich in possibility. Remember this: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney

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Navin is a Booth grad and a healthcare veteran with senior roles at P&G, Guthy|Renker and Danaher. He led health businesses ranging from hair care to pregnancy to diagnostics to dentistry.

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