Nutrition Matters: January 2022

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As we get ready to plunge into the New Year, most of us will find ourselves drained from the energy it takes to survive the holidays, including extra work hours, traveling and spending time with family. January fills us with a sense of hope, a clean slate and the opportunity for change. With the demands of chaotic schedules, various assignments and chores along with the desire to provide excellent service on our jobs, we can get burned out quickly.

Some common methods of ineffective coping with work-related stress include:

  • Consuming more caffeine (31%)
  • Smoking (27%)
  • Exercising more frequently (25%)
  • Taking over-the-counter or prescription medication (23%)
  • Consuming more alcoholic beverages (20%)

On the other hand, reducing stress can improve your sleep quality, decrease physical pain and make you more productive at work. Many of us believe that in order to reduce stress we must undergo a massive transformation, but that is not the case.

Below are some simple strategies you can adopt to help reduce stress:

  • Say “Hello” more often
  • Add more healthy new foods to your plate
  • Smile at a colleague
  • Listen to music
  • Compliment someone
  • Go outside during a break
  • Try meditation
  • Journal your thoughts
  • Rely on sleep, not caffeine
  • Keep in touch with loved ones
  • Volunteer

This year, take more time for yourself, reflect on all your accomplishments and do not wait for the end of the year to do so. Be proud of the great care you provided to love ones, the lives you have touched and the colleagues you influence every day. Strive to find little ways to improve yourself both personally and professionally. The benefits are endless! So go ahead and get started today!

For additional foods, health and nutrition information contact Shelina Bonner, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Greene County Center at (252) 747-5831.