Dr. Karyn Hood, Newtopia’s Director of Well-being, shares her expert advice for managing the 2020 holiday obstacles and how best to remain focused on your health.
Click here to watch individual segments or the full interview.
What is your advice for improving holiday eating mentality?
Dr. Hood: Let’s face it, this is the holiday of eating, treats, and a little bit of indulgence. While some of that’s okay, we just don’t want to overdo it. I would recommend focusing on one or two healthy habits. Choose a couple and really focus on them. These habits keep you going, help you deal with stress, and help you deal with temptations. I don’t want you to deprive yourself. Just watch your “all or none” thinking. If you do end up having more than you’d like and you go off track, that’s okay. But remember, you can always get right back on track the next day.
Do you have any tips to focus on well-being during this time?
Dr. Hood: Of course, this year has been a year like none other, and in terms of stressors, the holidays can always be a stressful time. What we can do in the midst of all of this is really focus on what we can control. Focusing on what you can control provides some sense of certainty, stability, and routine. This is also a time when we can do a quick little resilience or self-care inventory. What are the things that are making you feel better, more balanced, happier, and calmer? What are the things that are making you feel more down, fatigued, stressed, and anxious? This is a really good way to take stock and make some improvements to our physical and mental health during the holidays.
Do you have any tips for staying positive during the 2020 holiday season?
Dr. Hood: Usually the holidays are associated with positive emotions: joy, hope, peace, love, connection, and family. This year, it feels like they’re overshadowed by the pandemic and other stresses. Focus on what’s most important to you and your family during the holiday season. Those things may need to be modified, but they don’t need to be deleted. This is a year we’re going to have to be creative, resourceful, and flexible. One way to bring back joy to the holiday season is to practice gratitude. It makes you feel more uplifted, joyful, and content about where you are this holiday season.
Let’s talk a bit more about a support system, through the holidays and beyond.
Dr. Hood: A support system is so important. If people are supporting you, they help you to achieve your goals. If people are not supporting your goals, it can be super challenging. Sit down, take a few minutes, and really recommit to your reasons why. Whatever your “why” is, post it somewhere where you and your loved ones can see it. Let your support team know how they help you with your positive changes.
How do you recommend maintaining great sleep habits during the holidays?
Dr. Hood: Look into your current bedtime routine. Many of us are staying up a lot later than we normally would. Set a reminder on your phone to wind down and get ready 1 hour before bed in good time. Try to do what I call a “mind dump”. If thoughts are interfering with your sleep, work at writing them down beforehand. Get a notepad, and give your mind permission to turn off. You’ve already captured everything that you need to think about.
What is your advice on maintaining a self-care routine throughout the holidays?
Dr. Hood: Self-care is so important. Make it simple. Whether it’s 60 seconds of gratitude, 3 minutes of breathing, 10 minutes of writing intentions in a journal, 15 minutes of talking with a friend, or taking a walk. Little things like that add up. They help to destress you and to improve your mood, and make you feel those little moments of joy in the day that we all need.
Thank you for the great tips for the holidays and beyond!
Dr. Hood: I hope that these recommendations hit home for people and they’re able to incorporate even one or two of these things to maintain good health this holiday season. I wish everyone the best for a happy and healthy holiday season!
Watch the full interview here.
If you are a participant and have health and well-being questions this holiday season, your Inspirator is always available to you! Book your next session using the app. Or, if you haven’t yet registered for Newtopia, we invite you to call or email our Client Care team at 1.888.639.8181 ex. 601 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if you qualify.