We asked our EvergreenHealth nurses what healthy habits they prescribe at home to make sure their families live their healthiest best...especially during flu season and as we head into the holidays.
Here are four of the top habits:
A bedtime routine is important at any age to help your body relax and prepare yourself for optimal sleep.
When I was raising my kids, we would start our bedtime routine about an hour before bed. We would change into our pajamas, brush our teeth and practice good oral hygiene.
Afterward, we picked from relaxing, quiet activities such as coloring for my kids, or reading. We always spent 10-15 minutes reading to each other for development and quality time together.
Sleep hygiene has always been important to me and my family for a good night’s rest!
Marta Grapensteter, MN - Nurse Recruiter
I love having “healthy snack self-service stations” at home.
I have a 5-year-old and being independent is her thing. I dedicate a drawer in our refrigerator and a drawer in our cupboards for healthy snacks like string cheese, applesauce pouches, mandarin oranges, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, nut and raisin bags, and fish crackers, all in individual serving sizes and ready to grab. When she gets hungry, she asks permission and is able to choose an item.
We practice balance by only being allowed one item per day of that type and we avoid the obstacle of convenience by having everything ready to grab and go. Lastly, it really is nice to allow her to do it by herself!
Amy Cole, RN - EvergreenHealth Primary Care, Duvall
I am committed to making daily visits to my “happy place.”
Each day when I come home from work, I change into “barn clothes” and make the trek down to my barn and tend to the loving care of my horse, Probie.
By the time I have told him any woes from the day, finished the good, physical labor that is great exercise – stall cleaning, grooming and seeing to his every need, I am smiling, relaxed and ready for a restful night.
Even if I can’t bear the thought of barn chores after a tough day, the hard work clears my head and having a “good listener” makes it all worthwhile.
Barb Jensen, RN - Emergency Preparedness/Trauma
It might sound silly, but I really make it a point to have fun and laugh with my family. Laughing together just makes you feel good and it brings people together.
Also, working at the MS Center among the Laughter Therapy Program, I’ve learned that “laughter is the best medicine” isn’t just an old saying. Many studies demonstrate the health benefits of laughter, including organ stimulation, strengthening of the immune system and relief from muscle pain and stress.
We make it a point to take time to relax and watch a funny movie or play a game and just be goofy together – laughing all the way to good health … ho-ho-ho! You should have laughed at that bad joke … for your health!
Scolastica Wambua, RN - EvergreenHealth Neuroscience Institute