How to Stay Healthy in the New Year {Physically & Mentally}

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Happy New Year!

2017 is officially here, which means a fresh start, new goals, and another year to make excellent. Unfortunately, this time of year is also when a lot of us school counselors get sick and/or experience some burnout since we still have a big push to the end of the school year. It is so important that we make sure we are healthy {physically and mentally} so we can best serve our students in the new year. Here are my tips to avoid illness and stay peaceful as we make our way to the finish line of summer break…


Staying physically healthy…

We all know that dreaded feeling of waking up with the first symptoms of an oncoming cold. As the only counselor in my school, when I get sick, I am faced with choosing between going in feeling awful {and probably not doing my best work} and staying home {which means my students won’t be receiving any mental health services}. Because this dilemma feels truly awful to me, I try my best to minimize the days I am sick. Now, when I feel the first signs of a cold, I make a wonderful little concoction that usually makes me feel SO MUCH better. Even if it doesn’t completely stop me from getting sick, it usually stops my cold from lasting more than a few days.

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Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey {local honey is best for the immune system}
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • A dash of cayenne pepper

I put all of these ingredients into a mug and heat in the microwave for about 15 seconds so that the honey mixes easily. Then, I usually take it like a shot, because honestly, it isn’t the best tasting thing in the world {totally worth it though!} This best serves me when I drink it the moment I feel even the slight tingle of a cold symptom. As we know as school counselors, prevention is important to reduce later problems.

Other things I do to stay physically healthy…

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  1. Drink lots of water {I use the Daily Water app on my phone to keep track of my water intake throughout the day}
  2. Go to bed early {for me, this means before 10pm}
  3. Make sure I have healthy, easy to grab snacks available {I love fresh fruit, roasted seaweed snack, edamame, and Kind Bars —watch out for the ones with lots of sugar!}
  4. Plan out healthy meals that take minimal prep time {some favorite recipes of mine come from Mind Over Munch and Living Well Kitchen}
  5. Stay active {even a short walk a few times a week is good for your health!}

Staying Mentally Healthy…

This is where we really have to practice what we preach. We spend most of our time helping others work toward mindfulness and self care, yet sometimes we neglect our own mental health. Here are a few things I’m doing this year to avoid burnout:

Top 10 Goals and Vision Board

To start this process, I thought about the things I would like to change about how my life is now and things that I personally want to work on to better myself. I settled on a list of 10 things, and wrote them in a journal.

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I also wrote down the things I could do to work toward each item on my list.

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To make my vision board, I found images that represented the items on my list as well as pictures that showed how I want my life to look in the upcoming year. I glued them onto a small piece of poster board. Under each image, I wrote more about why I included it and how I can achieve it. My vision board will stay on my home office desk this year {I’m trying to find a glass covering for it, so it actually becomes a part of my desk} as a reminder of what I am working toward.

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Journaling 52 Lists for Happiness Book

One of my goals on my vision board is to incorporate more mindfulness/meditation practices into my daily life. One way I am doing that is through the book 52 Lists for Happiness by Moorea Seal.

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This book is a guide for daily journaling and mindfulness practices. Each week, there is an assignment to make a list {the first week’s list is about anything that makes you happy}. Each day, you add to the list for that week, and every list includes another journaling prompt or mindfulness exercise.

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I am so excited to use this book! Free journaling has never worked for me, so having specific prompts that I can work on every week will be so helpful.


That’s a Wrap…

Obviously there are many other things you can do to take care of yourself, but these are my top practices for staying healthy in the new year {and beyond}.

Thank you all so much for supporting my blog! I have a lot of exciting content coming your way this year, so make sure you’re subscribed to The School Counselor Life on WordPress, and ‘like’ The School Counselor Life Facebook page so you never miss an update.


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