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A Happy, Healthier New Year | MyLifeStages
Welcome to 2016!If you're like most people, you'd like to be healthier than ever in the New Year. We probably all know the basics: eat well, exercise regularly, keep a healthy weight, quit smoking, etc.
blog, blogs,Alternative / Complementary Medicine,Mental Health / Stress Management,Other
Pinterest Pin ItA Happy, Healthier New Year

A Happy, Healthier New Year

Posted on 01/04/2016  by  Healthy Living Blog 

Welcome to 2016!

If you're like most people, you'd Women and girl playing airplanelike to be healthier than ever in the New Year. 

We probably all know the basics: eat well, exercise regularly, keep a healthy weight, quit smoking, etc. So we won’t cover that ground here.

Instead, we have asked our experts – in a variety of medical specialties – to go one step beyond. Here’s what they had to say in answer to the question:

Outside of the usual advice, what is the most important thing your patients can do to improve their health and wellness in the New Year?


Get Moving!


“Exercise. A lot of people don’t think of that as being much related to mental health, but I think it’s a great way to help your mood."                                                                                                                                                Dr. Dan Becker, Psychiatry 

                                                                                                                                                                                          “Take some time to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily to clear your mind and reduce stress. Outdoor activities and yoga can also help to reduce your stress and anxiety much more than medications.”
Drew Ho, M.S.N., Family Practice Nurse Practitioner

Slow Down…and Reduce Stress


“Take a ‘news break,’ get a massage, sit in nature, volunteer, meditate, color or write, and stop shopping and consuming.”
Dr. Toni Brayer, Internal Medicine


"Stop to take three breaths, at least three times a day, with full (present moment) awareness of the feeling of regular breathing in the body.”
Renee Burgard, L.C.S.W. , Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy


“The simple answer is yoga and meditation. These two simple practices will substantially improve mental and  physical health. [An] original study by Dean Ornish clearly established the beneficial effects of these practices on patients with heart disease."                                                                                                             Dr. Tirun Gopal, Obstetrics and Gynecology

                                                                                                                                                        "Ask yourself ‘What is the purpose of sleep? Am I getting enough quality sleep?’ Look at sleep in two parts: The things that may impair sleep during the day, and the things that disrupt sleep. During the day, things that may impair sleep are taking lots of naps, excessive caffeine, exercise, stress levels, work schedules, travel, alcohol use and mood. At night question ‘Do I have a good sleep environment? Is there pain? Am I snoring? Do I wake frequently or do I go to the bathroom a lot?" Finally, assess how you feel during the day. Are you active, awake and alert? If not, look to your sleep as a source as you feel."                                                                                                                                                       Dr. William Hart, Sleep Medicine and Pulmonary Disease

“Find a way to manage your stress since this impacts everything else: what you eat, how your body processes and stores nutrients, how you sleep, and your overall sense of wellbeing. Be mindful of the present and be grateful for all the things we so often take for granted.”
Dr. Ronesh Sinha, Internal Medicine

Connect with Others


“Get more involved with the people in your life. That might be family, at your work place, or in your community – it’s different for everyone. When people connect well with others, they tend to feel happier, more effective and better connected to their world. The more that we keep ourselves connected to the people in our lives, the better we feel'.                               Dr. Dan Becker, Psychiatry  

 “Find someone to love (it can be an animal), work actively on gratitude, and manage stress.”
Dr. Toni Brayer, Internal Medicine


                                                                                                                                               "Socialize. Make it a point to strike up a conversation with someone every day. Ask the person in line how their day is going. Call that friend who you haven't talked to in a while. From a neurological perspective, it turns out socialization is one of the best brain activities one can do in order to keep the mind sharp.”
Dr. Shawn Kile, Neurology


"I believe that we would all be healthier if we reduce our screen time and spend more time interacting with each other and our environment.”
Dr. Nina Rezai, Pediatrics

Set Health Goals – But Be Kind to Yourself


“Cultivate curiosity and set genuine intentions about the habits you think you should or want to improve. Choose one as a focus, and set an intention for doing the related activity in a different way. Practice self-compassion and kindness for yourself and others. For example, when you fail in your intention to make a change, give yourself a break."                                                                                                                         Renee Burgard, L.C.S.W., Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy

“The most important items are for people to pay attention to their health in the first place. Celebrate what they are doing well, identify what they want to improve and how they can achieve those goals, and then to seek help – and to be optimistic and self forgiving for challenges they experience along the way.”
Dr. Meg Durbin, Family Medicine

“Take charge of your overall health and really keep track of important health issues. For example, you should know the names of your medications and the doses. It’s OK if you can’t pronounce them, but you need to know more than ‘I take the pink pill for my heart,’ especially if there is an emergency and there is no time to get on a computer and look up the details. You can print your medication list from My Health Online and carry it with you if that helps.”
Dr. Lisa Hladik, Internal Medicine

“To be successful in your health goals this year, make them achievable (lose 10 pounds, go to the gym three days a week, etc.), tell someone (you are more likely to succeed if you engage others in your goal), set a financial incentive (reward yourself), and use positive self talk (I deserve this, I can do this, I will look forward not backward).”
Dr. Kay Judge, Internal Medicine

“Find a healthful lifestyle that you can maintain throughout the year. From a clinical nutrition perspective, that means finding a safe exercise routine that you like and will do for the long run – walking, dance, mountain biking, etc.. Find a dietary pattern that includes a wide variety of nutrients from foods that you like. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be enjoyable".
Michelle Keh, Clinical Nutrition

Pay Attention – Be Present – Be Grateful


"My advice – Laugh more, stress less, and focus on the abundance and blessings in your life instead of the problems."
Dr. Maxine Barish-Wreden, Integrative Medicine                          

                                                                                                                                                     “Be present in every moment. To be truly alive, healthy and well, is to be present in every moment of life that you have – which is a gift. When you deal with cancer and cancer patients, you realize sometimes life is really short. Put down the cell phone, put away the computer and engage in your life."  

 Dr. Lisa Guirguis, Cancer Surgery

“Try to be happy, look for the good things in life, wake up each day and walk outside and say ‘This is a great day!’.”
Dr. Stephen Knox, Neurology


                                                                                                                                                          “I would suggest a gratitude practice. At the end of each day, either write down or simply think about three things that you are grateful for. Be very specific and detailed, i.e. not just ‘my health and my family.’ For example, you might recall a moment during the day in which your daughter smiled at you in a particular way and think about how that made you feel. The more details, the better! Gratitude practices like this are simple but have been shown to significantly improve health, mood and wellness.”
Dr. Akilesh Palanisamy, Complementary/Integrative Medicine

“I have found through busy days that if I take a quick 15 to 20 minutes every day to do something that I particularly like, it brings me happiness. It can be a hobby, just something that gives you pleasure or some special treat that you save for yourself. I know there are no randomized controlled trials to substantiate this, but I can tell you that happiness has many long-term health benefits.”
Dr. Reetu Sharma, Cardiovascular Disease

Vipassana wrote on 05/25/2016

I found after reading all the above comments, there is a gem of wisdom in each one. I like how these comments reflect my studies and practice from my 10- day sits in Vipassana Meditation. Laura Michaels Rohnert Park