A few years ago, I wrote a fact sheet titled, "Action Plan for Healthy Living." To help get your 2023 off to a great start, I would like to highlight a few of the tips from the fact sheet. As you might expect, many of the bullet points revolve around eating and exercise habits. Today, though, I want to focus on a few other lifestyle choices that can contribute to good health.

•Stress management: Stress is a normal part of living and the causes of it can be good or bad. When stress becomes distress people often show unhealthy responses, such as driving too fast, prolonged anger, worry or fear, or drinking too much. Learn to find ways that reduce stress in your life. Things like deep breathing, meditation, physical activity,and self-talk may be effective.

•Simplify: Hectic schedules may not allow for adequate down time, but it is important to find some quiet time each day with no demands. Another way to simplify your life is to de-clutter your living space.•Sleep well:Making simple changes in routine, environment, diet, and other factors can help you achieve adequate sleep. Sleep disorders are common, and some are serious. An excellent resource to learn more about sleep is the K-State Research and Extension publication MF2830,Sleep: Want it, Need it, Get it.

•Surround yourself with positive people:When someone is feeling down, one of the best strategies is to spend time with positive, upbeat people. Laughter, encouragement, and positive thoughts can effectively help reverse negative thoughts.

If you would like to learn how to develop an action plan stay tuned for my column next week. In the meantime, you can find my fact sheet on the KSRE website and search for publication MF3053.

Donna Krug is the District Director and Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension. You may reach her at: (620)793-1910 or [email protected] 

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