UF Faculty Tips: Staying Healthy and Happy This Holiday Season
This year has brought many new challenges to the campus community, the country, and the world. University of Findlay faculty and staff came together to provide tips and tricks on handling this very unusual holiday season.
In the first part of this short series, faculty in the College of Health Professions discuss ways to stay happy and healthy while keeping a safe distance. No matter what your situation is, it is important to think about both your physical and mental health. Here are some creative ways to exercise at home and stay in the right frame of mind as well as some things to keep in mind with colder weather setting in.
Get up and Move!
- Set up an in-home Parcourse. Amy M Schlessman, P.T., D.P.T., D.H.Sc., assistant professor in physical therapy, suggests designating areas for each activity/station then walk around to each area/station and perform the activity like wall push-ups, wall squats, jumping jacks, run in place, sit-ups, or push-ups. You can also use painter’s tape at a station to walk on a line, make an indoor hopscotch, or create a floor maze. In between each Parcourse station, don’t just walk there…. jump, hop, side step, or lunge there!
- A box really rocks! So many individuals are having items delivered to their homes right now. Schlessman’s suggestion is to use the boxes from deliveries and/or holidays: indoor mini golf, DIY skee ball, DIY table tennis, 9 box tic-tac-toe, DIY tossing game with wads of paper or sock balls into boxes.
- Getting outside for physical activity is great for overall health! However, Nicole Schroeder, P.T., D.P.T., NSCA-CSCS, assistant professor in physical therapy, advised that exercising in cold temperatures does have a few considerations. When exercising in the cold, be sure to dress warmly, but not to the point of overheating, for heart health.
Mental Health Matters
- It is important to stick to your everyday routine even if you don’t leave your house. Tina Fournier, M.E.D., director of wellness and health promotion, suggests setting a schedule as if you were going to school or work so that you feel you have a purpose for the day. Get up, shower, make your bed, eat at a scheduled time, and set a regular sleep schedule.
- Fournier explained another very important element to remember is to communicate with your friends and family every day via phone call, text, face time, zoom, or face-to-face if possible. Communicating will help you feel connected to the outside world and will help lessen the feeling of isolation.
- “Be rested,” said Candace Hendershot, Ph.D., adjunct faculty member and wellness coordinator. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night and it’s important to practice good sleep hygiene in order to achieve this. That means limiting caffeine 6 hours before bed, avoiding exercise 2 hours before bed, avoiding screens 2 hours before bed, keeping your room dark, cool and quiet, and limiting alcohol, as it disrupts the sleep cycle.
- Hendershot also suggests being mindful of what you can control. For example, while we cannot control the virus, shutdowns or the various mandates, we can control our attitudes toward these.
Learn more about health professions programs offered at University of Findlay on the College of Health Professions webpage.