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Here we go! The countdown for 2017 is on! Once the ball drops, you might say, it's time to get back on track and focus on that diet you set aside in November, or get back to reinventing yourself. But, don't go crazy up until that moment. Here are ten tips from our Nurse Coach, Kimberlee Langford, to help get you through the next ten days.

Tip 1: Drink “Pretty Water”

Don’t like water? Pretty it up! I LOVE drinking from pretty glasses or goblets! – My favorite ways to dress up my water to make it more appealing: adding a bay leaf or two, cucumber slices are super refreshing, a handful of your favorite or mixed berries! – It’s lovely to look at and just makes you want to drink!

Tip 2: “Front-load” your fluids!

On busy days, I start off with drinking a quart – from a jar! – Drinking a lot in the morning makes fewer trips to the bathroom at work, or on the road! – Also, many people find that it helps you feel more energy and get going for the day easier! –And if the day gets busy, no worries, you’re half-way there! – Dividing your body weight in half, tells you how many ounces your body needs (unless you are on a doctor-ordered fluid restriction!) For example: with a weight of 160#, the recommended fluid intake (caffeine and alcohol do NOT count as a fluid!) – would be 80 ounces, or about 10 cups. So aim for at least 8 – 10 glasses!

Tip 3: Control and Change

What we pay attention to, we can control and change! Start setting an alarm to go to bed on time to ensure you get the recommended seven-eight hrs of sleep per night. Cutting this short reduces your body’s ability to restore, regenerate and rebuild! Adequate sleep ensures that we get the deep, REM sleep that causes the pituitary gland to secrete the Growth Hormone that is ESSENTIAL to repair damage being done in waking hours! This is why folks who don’t get enough sleep tend to have higher risks of obesity, autoimmune diseases, higher rates of illnesses and poorer recovery.

Tip 4: Pay now or Pay Later

Too busy to exercise? Pay now or pay later! I rarely see people who exercise in a nursing home. Our bodies are like the economy; Everything suffers when it stops moving. Experts agree that even two, 15-minute sessions can be as effective as a 30 minute session. And the payoff is HUGE!

If you want more energy, better mood, improved stamina – start now with at LEAST 12 – 15 minutes of exercise a day.

Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk or walking in place. Just get your body moving! Some favorite ideas: Youtube has some great walking videos that you can try – even in a small space at home or in front of your desk at work! I’ve been caught walking in place while folding laundry! – Just DECIDE to move, and carve out even just 15 minutes – you deserve AT LEAST that much!

Tip 5: Build an Emotional First Aid Kit

Holidays have you down? We talk a lot about keeping bodies healthy, but healthy minds make that a little easier. Depression makes everything harder. If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone. Talk to your doctor and/or see a professional counselor for help. Here are some tips to help you until you can:

  • Expose yourself to natural sunlight or get some natural light bulbs – but get at least 10-15 minutes directly of Vitamin D a day;
  • Make a list of the things that help you feel good;
  • Jot down a list of some things you might like to do, or wish you liked to do. On a particularly hard day, pick one thing and go do it. Need ideas? Play an instrument, sing, turn up the music loud and dance when no one is watching, spend time with friends, movies, concerts, time alone in the forest, animals, drawing … the possibilities are endless.

Tip 6: Let It Go!

Focus on what you have control of, and practice letting go of the things you have no control of. Easier said than done, right? This kind of mindfulness takes practice to develop. Practice makes perfect, and this can help with big changes in life, minimize harmful effects of stress, and decrease the fear of not having power over our lives.

Tip 7: Serve Others

We really do find ourselves when we forget ourselves. By focusing on doing something good for someone else, it is a little easier to step away from your own troubles or stresses – for even a little while. This can help you recharge and gain new insight to your own problems.

Tip 8: Laugh

When was the last time you laughed so hard you almost lost control of your bladder?! A good, belly-busting laugh can help just about anything! Go ahead. Laugh out loud! I dare you. If you need some help, watch a funny movie, or google “funny cat videos.” It’s sure to do the trick!

Tip 9: Don't skip meals

Skipping meals lowers your metabolism because your body perceives it as a threat of starvation and goes into energy conservation mode! Eat small meals and more frequently. Make sure you get healthy protein at every meal and plenty of fluids. This will give you energy throughout the day, as well as reduce the temptation to overeat! Busy day out? Pack a healthy snack instead of stopping at McDonalds! Always carry a handful of nuts and seeds, protein bar or shake. I ALWAYS have a couple of protein bars in my purse for that occasion!

Tip 10: Give yourself an early present. You!

Give a gift that lasts. YOURSELF! Learn something new, try a new hobby, make a new friend! What have you always wanted to try or do? Last time I checked, “Someday” wasn’t on my calendar. Pick something and schedule it on your calendar! There's no time like the ‘PRESENT.’ (Yes, it's a corny little play on words, but I couldn't resist!)


Kimberlee Langford, RN BSN CCM CPC Nurse Coach, Complex Case Manager Kimberlee Langford is a Complex Case Manager and nurse coach at Renalogic, with over 18 years’ experience in the Nursing profession, and professional coaching. Kimberlee helped to launch the nurse coach program of Renalogic in 2013, and continues to work with our nursing team to engage and empower members in our ongoing efforts to prevent the development and progression of CKD in populations of at-risk members, delay dialysis for those with late-stage CKD and ESRD, and save costs for members and clients alike.