This time of year brings a lot of joy, but it can also bring some negative emotions as well such as: stress, anxiety, and sadness. Those negative emotions may be strengthened this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to take some time to focus on yourself to ensure that you and your family are staying healthy both mentally and physically.

1Prioritize your sleep and your child(ren)’s sleep

· Create a bedtime routine and stick to it even when your child(ren) are out of school

· Avoid stimulants (like caffeine) before bedtime

· Avoid phones and electronics before bed. The devices’ blue light can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

2. Make a “To Do” List

· Prioritize your day with a to-do list for at work and at home. Give yourself some time in the morning to decide what has to be done that day and what can wait. This will help you stay on track and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.

3. Pay close attention to health mandates in our region

· Follow the health mandates for Knox County 

· Avoid large gatherings and avoid being indoors with others for long periods of time

· Wear a mask

· Wash your hands for 20 seconds each time and use hand sanitizer when it’s not possible to wash your hands

4. Stay Active and Eat Healthy

· Exercising is a great way to relieve stress while also helping your body grow stronger and healthier

· Plan to take an evening walk daily

· Stay hydrated and eat regularly.

· Try to choose healthy foods first (vegetables and fruit) but treat yourself as well. Eating healthy is all about balance. Don’t deprive yourself of seasonal treats.

Remember what this time of year is about —celebrating and connecting with those you love (whether it’s virtually or in person), and remember to relax and enjoy all the fun this season has to offer.