Lighting & Creativity: A Conversation with Trent Reznor

Whether you are in business, an artist, or a stay at home mom (or dad), we all use creativity throughout our lives. Creativity can be used for painting, acting, composing new music, designing a new business application, developing a new manufacturing process, figuring out how to get your toddler to eat their vegetables … the list goes on and on. This may or may not have been obvious, but I think what is less obvious is how the environment we are in affects our creativity.

The space around us has a tremendous impact on our mood, mental state, focus, productivity, and yes creativity! If we are indoors, there are many things that contribute to the overall design esthetics and spatial elements of our environment. I recently learned how lighting has an enormous impact on our creativity.

The WELL Learning Library recently coordinated a conversation with with Global Wave Integration and Trent Reznor of NIN (Nine Inch Nails) to reflect on how lighting impacts our creativity. This real world example is based on the lighting systems that Global Wave Integration installed in Trent’s home studio. 

Read the full analysis and conversation below.

Want to Implement Custom Lighting?

Reinhabiting Our Spaces. Safely.

While rationally, we know that the coronavirus is the “bad actor” here – not our office, gym, or favorite restaurant – but how do we actually parse it out in practice?

How do we safely reclaim the workplaces that connect, enable, and nourish us?

What should we ask for in order to feel assured of our safety?

And what can we do about facets we cannot control?

To start, we must accept that coming together may never be what it was before this pandemic – and this news may offer as much comfort as a cool drink on the roof of a burning building. The good news: over the last two decades, a robust community of both science and practice has understood the outsized impact that the built environment has on our health and wellbeing, driven in part by most of us spending 90%+ of our lives indoors. Furthermore, these experts have commenced using this knowledge to influence both policy and industry practice. So, off that burning roof, you’ll be landing not only onto a safety net but into a new reality in which buildings can and must act as powerful vehicles for public health.

How can we come back safely?

Buildings are inherently about people because people need shelter – and have figured how to make a delightful feat of it. So, just like our buildings don’t consume water or emit carbon – it is people whose activities do so – buildings don’t inherently pose a COVID-19 danger. The coronavirus seeks hosts and that is people, not buildings. So, buildings are merely “petri dishes” for the virus carried by people – and can be deployed in a counterattack.

What does this mean? That your workplace is safe if it has done everything reasonable to prevent human-to-human transmission.

What should you be asking of your workplace?

(1) COVID-19 Risk Management Plan

Ask to see how your workplace plans on mitigating the risks it faces based on the science of the coronavirus. This is likely to cover:

  • Cleaning: Coronavirus lives longer on some surfaces than others, so check that your workplace’ disinfection protocol accounts not only for both viral and bacterial contagion but also for how to best eliminate both from each surface type.
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system: Since the coronavirus is contracted through inhalation, you don’t want to breathe the air already breathed by another person who may be infected even if asymptomatic. As such, your workplace may commit to 100% outside air, open its windows, change how it replaces air filters, maintain optimum humidity, etc.
  • Behavior: “Social distancing” has taught us a lot about the role of behavior in curbing disease transmission. Protocols should limit occupant density, contact behavior (no handshakes), and measures to limit transmission (no-touch elevator buttons, disinfecting supplies).
  • Training: ask that any new ways of doing things be universally enabled.
  • Ideally, this plan will be verified by a qualified third party.
Cleaning Surfaces
Cleaning Protocols
Air Filtration
Air Filtration
Social Distancing
"Social Distancing"

(2) Certificate of Cleaning Method:

An independent verification that your space is cleaned and maintained in accordance with best-practice infection control protocols/standards.

(3) Validation of safe (re)occupancy:

An independent confirmation, via surface swabbing and a review of operational protocols, that your space meets safety and infection control regulations & guidelines for occupation.

(4) Ongoing monitoring:

Regular and transparent testing and reporting (including any curative measures) of what measures are taken to keep your space safe.

(5) Remote work:

Secure the freedom and ability (technology and ergonomics) to work remotely, esp. if your workplace isn’t able to demonstrate the evidence recommended above.

Certificate of Cleaning Method
Building Sensors & Monitoring
Working Remotely

What can you control directly?

While you can – and should – demand spaces that make you feel and be better, you don’t have full control and that can cause anxiety before you even turn the news on. It is widely understood that stress and anxiety are counterproductive to our immune system. So, what can you do to help yourself thrive in these unprecedented circumstances?

(1) Knowledge:

Secure the freedom and ability (technology and ergonomics) to work remotely, esp. if your workplace isn’t able to demonstrate the evidence recommended above.

(2) Exert constructive pressure…

Knowledge truly is power, especially over your anxiety. Know how the coronavirus is transmitted (through inhaling or ingesting it, e.g. as an airborne viral droplet or through contact with infected surfaces). Also know the difference between cleaning (physical removal of particles like dust, which can coat the virus, making it resistant to disinfection), sanitization (indiscriminately kills living organisms), and disinfection (de-activates pathogens).

(3) Control your workspace.

Make sure that your workstation is cleaned and disinfected – do it yourself if need be (hopefully disinfectants are provided to you) and if that’s not possible, advocate for yourself to continue to work remotely.

(4) Eat/drink well.

For most Americans, food (and drink) are firmly linked to our stress responses. But while (habit, nostalgia) you are probably craving sugars, other carbs, and alcohol, they mess with your gut bacteria and that’s where your immune powers live. So, if you can’t retrain your palette, look for non-ingestible ways to show kindness and compassion to yourself.

(5) Bask in the sunlight.

If the sun’s out, take a few moments to ground yourself in that spot, look up, and take a few deep breaths. It will help you absorb calcium and calibrate your circadian rhythm for better sleep, which underpins your immune system.

(6) Exercise.

Enough said. If you’re still not doing it, ask yourself why and chip away at the obstacles.

(7) Meditate.

Biologically, uncertainty is only exciting if we ultimately control the outcome. Otherwise, it is outright stressful – which is why many of us are losing quality sleep. So, any effort that reminds you that your mind is only one part of who you are, subservient to how you want to live through this, may be helpful.

If this is so complex, why even bother?

I see at least four reasons:

(1) Homes often make inferior workpaces.

Whether it is ergonomics, daylight access, or air quality – not to mention distractions – our workplaces have evolved much further than our homes in enabling both our wellbeing and productivity. Sitting in front of your screen for hours is proven to contribute to chronic disease.

(2) We are social creatures.

We’ve evolved to receive only about 10% of our input verbally. This means that stripped of body language and chemical signals we are wired to process unconsciously, we’re hugely limiting our ability for both bonding and good judgment.

(3) Workplaces can even out the playing field.

While inadvertent socio-demographic discrimination of lock-down orders may be obvious (it is easier to manage at a country holiday house), they may also be punishing parents: if their productivity drops while they juggle home-schooling, their careers may get trampled by childless colleagues working at 200% pace to wade of boredom.

(4) New good habits.

We are so used to reading food labels and looking both ways when crossing the road that it no longer takes away from the joy of eating or strolling through the city. Occupying our spaces more consciously is a habit worth forming because it will allow us to demand spaces that make us feel and be better – and that’s a daily investment into our future.

Summary

Your workplace can be a powerful buffer protecting you and your family from danger. Get informed and ready to take your health into your own hands, delegating that power only when you see compelling assurances. Because well-being is your human right, regardless of how you choose to earn your living.

Elena Bondareva

Elena is Vice President - Growth for CETEC, an international building science firm with an unparalleled track record – across 32 years and 25 countries – in assessing and optimizing occupant wellbeing and productivity within the built environment, currently focused on assuring safe (re)occupancy of our spaces. For more info on CETEC's services, click below.

Navigating COVID-19: Awareness & Resources

Most of us have been recommended or directed to stay home with the goal of mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of course, leaving your house for “essential” business or personal matters are allowed, such as: performing “essential” jobs, going to the bank, and picking up groceries, food, or medications.

There is so much information out there, and at the WELL Learning Library, we realize it is difficult to sift through it all. The intention of this blog article is to provide some useful, quick glance visuals with guidance around the following:

  1. Preventing the Spread of Germs
  2. “Social” (Physical) Distancing
  3. When to Use a Mask
  4. How to Use a Mask

1. Preventing the Spread of Germs

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends these 7 steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These preventive actions can keep you healthy, as well as the people you live with. 

By applying these guidelines to your daily habits, we can all help to create a safe and healthy world for ourselves and everyone around us.

This one minute video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides quick guidelines on how you can prevent the spread of germs and COVID-19. 

2. "Social" (Physical) Distancing

Use the right/left arrows to scroll through 5 quick slides on social distancing. These guidelines on social distancing are from the WHO.

3. When to use a mask...

The CDC updated its guidelines on April 3rd, 2020 to wear a mask in public places.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

More information on wearing face masks, including how to make them and how to effectively wear them can be found on the CDC Website.

4. How to Use a Mask...

When you do wear a mask, how you wear it is very important. Wearing a mask incorrectly can (in certain cases) make you more vulnerable to catching the virus or other illnesses. The WHO recommends the following best practices when wearing a mask.

Got a question about COVID-19? Email us.

Mental Health Awareness & Resources

Introduction

More and more people are being diagnosed with Mental Health conditions each and every year. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, about 1 out of 5 adults (ages 18+) reports some kind of mental illness each year1. There are over 200 types of mental illnesses. The American Psychiatric Association provides a full list of these illness here.

The most common mental illnesses2 are:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Depression & Other Mood Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia Spectrum & Other Psychotic Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders

You are not alone

If you have experienced or are currently experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to recognize that you may have a mental health condition, and you should see your primary care provider or mental health professional. Mental illness can get worse over time, so it is important not to wait. It is also important to understand that you are not alone. Mental illnesses are quite common and most are fully treatable.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following symptoms may be signs of a mental health condition3:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
  • Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use
  • Major changes in eating habits 
  • Sex drive changes
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking

Ask for help if you need it

There is no shame in asking for help. If you think or feel like you need help, ASK! Here are some organizations that provide resources you can reach out to directly if you or a loved one is need of support.

Mental Health Resources

The following are intended to give you quick access to mental health information and resources.

NIH provides a list of resources to support you in finding help for you, a friend, or family members. Resources include getting help in a crisis, finding a healthcare provider or treatment, and others.
The American Psychiatric Association has an easy-to-use lookup tool to help you find psychiatrists in your area. Click below to access the lookup tool.

NAMI has a robust list, including: helplines, suicide & crisis hotlines, financial assistance, advocacy & legal, and community support.

Adventist Health Leading the WELL Movement

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Nina Curtis who is the Director & Executive Chef at Adventist Health’s headquarters in Roseville, CA. I was so impressed by the wellness, nutrition, and educational programs that Nina and Adventist Health are creating for their associates (they refer to employees as associates). It is a true testament to the organization’s commitment to employee health and well-being.

Adventist Health has registered for the WELL Building Standard (WELL) Portfolio program, the world’s leading health-focused building standard, enabling organizations to enhance their spaces and improve human well-being at scale. The organization plans to leverage and apply best practices of WELL to their more than 20 hospitals and more than 400 medical office buildings across the western United States.

We have our Human Performance Model here at Adventist Health, and it parallels and works so well with WELL because everything we do as a company is about creating an environment so that every associate can come to work and if they are willing to take the benefit (and how far they are willing to take the benefit), they can be their best.

As Director and Executive Chef, Nina is responsible for the creation and operation of their new plant-based healthy cafe at Roseville HQ, called the Vitaliz Cafe. She is also responsible for the creation and programming at the Teaching Kitchen, which provides educational opportunities to Adventist Health’s associates around healthy cooking, eating, and meal prep.

It is clear to me that through these initiatives and programs, Adventist Health is not only making employee wellness a core part of their organizational culture, they are also expanding the presence of learning, education, and awareness throughout their organization.

I think one of the most inspiring things with the WELL nourishment (concept) is the opportunity to have a forum to create awareness.

It is great to see companies and employers investing in infrastructure that supports their people. It is especially great to see a healthcare organization like Adventist Health make their employee well-being a top priority and commitment. After all, if their people aren’t thriving at their best, how can they provide top notch health care services to others? 

Are you interested in listening to the full interview with Nina? 

Jeff Allen - Founder + CEO

Jeff Allen

Jeff is an avid entrepreneur, technologist, and eLearning expert. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a background in consulting, product management, leadership coaching, and learning & development. As founder and CEO of the WELL Learning Library, he has joined his passion for education with his passion for health & wellness. He is leading the expansion of the WELL Learning Library and furthering the educational offerings of the International WELL Building Standard, contributing to the health and wellness of human beings across the globe.

Sustainability Abroad: The “Trash Problem” on Islands

I recently visited three continents over the span of three weeks during a trip that was half leisure and half business. At each of these destinations, I saw things that piqued my curiosity about the future of our planet, the viability of increasing the health and well-being of human beings, and the opportunities for creating sustainable communities. 

As someone who is a relative newbie to the sustainability community (having attended my first Greenbuild conference in 2018), I try to keep an open mind as I learn a multitude of new topics and contribute, while I still can, from somewhat of an “outsiders” perspective. As I educate myself about the planet, the built environment, human health and wellness, and the intersection of all three, I take in as much as possible in every environment I encounter, and how these environments impact the people living in them and ultimately the world.

Destination: Bali, Indonesia

I was and am grateful for the opportunity to visit Bali, an island part of the Indonesian archipelago with just over 4 million people. The island is about 95 miles across and 70 miles north to south. It is a destination like none other, and one I would highly recommend visiting, but that’s a topic for a completely different article.

The moment you exit the airport, you encounter locals trying to make a days wage by picking you up and driving you to wherever you want to go. During your first car ride, motorbikes zoom around you, filling the streets, and appear to pay little attention to whatever traffic laws exist. I was shocked that I did not see an accident the entire time I was there, but maybe they just have far superior driving skills to those of Americans. Sidewalks are very small and almost non-existent, especially as you reach the outskirts of the major city, Denpasar.

As we journeyed out of Denpasar and towards Ubud (made famous by the movie Eat Pray Love), I couldn’t help but notice people burning their trash on the side of the road. I saw trash on fire in ditches and medium sized buckets ablaze, both sending smoke into the sky. It was a relatively small thing to notice for an “outsider” of the sustainability community, but I couldn’t help but ask certain questions. Why are they doing this? What’s the impact of burning these materials on the environment? On the air quality for the people? Why don’t they put the garbage out to be picked up and sent to a landfill and/or recycling facility?

I came to learn that on a relatively small island without modern recycling and waste disposal infrastructure, that many of us have come to take for granted in more modernized countries, people do what they have to. “Garbage Day” doesn’t exist there for private residences. So when the garbage fills up, Balinese households do the only thing that they can to get rid of it, throw it on the street or burn it. 40% of the 3,800 metric tons of garbage produced daily on the island is dumped on the streets, beaches and rivers, or incinerated.

Throughout my time in Bali, it became clear to me that the Balinese locals weren’t burning trash because they were unaware of the impact, it was simply the only way they could find to get rid of it. While I was out seeing various sights and in need of hydration, I would purchase a large bottle of water. Purchasing plastic bottles is something I try my best not to do anymore knowing that they are no longer being recycled (only 9% of plastics ever produced has been recycled); however, in Bali I wanted to avoid drinking tap water to prevent the possibility of getting sick from potential bacteria in the water.

I remember after finishing a bottle of water and stopping for lunch, I asked if they could dispose of my plastic bottle. When I did this, the local Balinese waiter looked at me like I was crazy. Ultimately, she took the bottle from me, but I could tell she was extremely reluctant in doing so. Later it dawned on me why she hesitated so much. She knew that there was no way for her (or the restaurant) to “dispose” of this bottle. They would likely have to burn it and burning plastic might possibly be one of the worst things for the environment. I felt horrible after having this realization, and throughout the rest of the trip I made a conscious effort to not buy plastic and to limit my footprint and impact on this island that was graciously providing me with the vacation of a lifetime. 

The Balinese people are amazing, and during my stay, I came to realize through my experiences that they are very resourceful and make use of every last bit of material that they can. From the way they use bamboo in their building construction, to how they weave various leaves into baskets and other products. I mean just look at this “floating breakfast” that was made for us where almost every material has been or was reused. The Balinese utilize composting and even reuse and repurpose glass bottles through a process called upcycling.

Another example is how they are taking empty beverage cartons and breaking them down to recycle the various parts. The paperboard (75%) is turned into recycled paper. The polyethylene plastic (20%) and aluminum foil (5%) are recycled into a roofing material called polyroof, which is a strong, durable and heat-resistant roof made from 100% recycled material.

Bali is an amazing paradise. Unfortunately, tourism and population growth is turning the “trash problem” there into an emergency situation. Waste Collection, Composting, and Waste Bank services are emerging to address the problem. Organizations like EcoBali are trying to educate the population further about the dire problem, but being on an isolated island, makes the problem all the more difficult to solve.

As we look to the future, governments, NGOs, international organizations, and each of us as individuals must address critical issues impacting the human race such as: climate change, population growth, pollution, and waste. Bali is an example of a relatively small, yet popular tourist destination surrounded by water, making many of these issues particularly critical.

Jeff Allen - Founder + CEO

Jeff Allen

Jeff is an avid entrepreneur, technologist, and eLearning expert. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a background in consulting, product management, leadership coaching, and learning & development. As founder and CEO of the WELL Learning Library, he has joined his passion for education with his passion for health & wellness. He is leading the expansion of the WELL Learning Library and furthering the educational offerings of the International WELL Building Standard, contributing to the health and wellness of human beings across the globe.

Making the Most of the WELL Learning Library

A Quick How-To Guide for Using

A Quick How-To Guide for Using
the WELL Learning LIbrary

We built the WELL Learning Library to provide employees and building occupants an easy-to-use and on-demand platform that provides educational resources on health and wellness. Ultimately, we want the WELL Learning Library to provide you with all of the health-related educational resources you need to be your healthiest, most vibrant self. In addition, we want the platform to be easy to use and convenient to access. This blog article is intended to provide you with a few tips on how to best use the WELL Learning Library

 

Logging In

Once you’ve been given access to the platform, you can login by following 4 simple steps:

  1. Click the Sign In button in the top right corner.
  2. Enter your Email Address.
  3. Enter your Password.
  4. Click the Login button.

Navigating to Courses Page

After you’ve logged in, you can access any of the courses that are available on the Courses page. The Courses page should be displayed by default immediately after logging in, but if you ever need to navigate back to the Courses page, simply:

  1. Click the WLL icon in the top left corner.
  2. Then click the Home button.

Registering into a Course

As a WELL Learning Library member, you have access to all of the courses available on the Courses page. To register into a course from the Courses page, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Course Tile you want to register for.
  2. Scroll down and click the Register for Free button.
  3. Click the Ok button in the pop-up menu.

At this point you are registered into the Course. To start the course, scroll down and click the Continue Learning button or click on one of the sections.

Socia Media Resources

Every week we post additional content on our Social Media feeds. Click the links below and follow us to get additional updates and resources directly to your news feed.

A Nutrition Label for Your Building — WELL V2

We spend 90% of our time indoors. And siting is the new smoking. In fact, physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for mortality and accounts for 6-9% of deaths worldwide. You might be saying to yourself, “great, so what’s the solution?”

In October of 2014, after years of development; the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched The WELL Building Standard™, also known as WELL. The WELL Building Standard was released as an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that impact human health and well-being where we live, learn and work. WELL takes a holistic approach to health in the built environment; addressing occupant behavior and building operations, policies, procedures, and design. Much like LEED was created to measure how healthy a building is for the planet; WELL was created to measure and verify how healthy a building is for the people living, working, or playing in that building space.

Wellness Trends

“Design for Healthy Behaviors” is ranked #1 as both the most transformative and fastest-moving sub-trend of the Health and Well-Being macro-trend,” reported ASID Industry Outlook, 2015. Research also shows that most employers are already offering health and wellness programs or initiatives, or plan to start providing them in the near future. On average, only 15% of building occupants will participate in these wellness programs. On the other hand, 100% of building occupants participate in, and benefit from, a WELL certified building.

In May of 2018, IWBI released the WELL v2 Pilot. I love this version of WELL because it is more flexible. The WELL v2 Pilot includes a new feature set with fewer preconditions and weighted optimizations. By eliminating preconditions that required construction or major renovations in v1, and focusing preconditions more on education, operations, policies, etc. in v2; existing buildings are now able to undergo certification without having to perform renovations. WELL v2 also provides new pathways to achieve intents and has a robust and easy to use online platform to support project teams.

v1 of the WELL Building Standard focused on seven concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind. When v2 was launched, the concepts were updated to reflect an even more holistic approach to human health and wellness. The resulting 10 concepts in WELL v2 are Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind, and Community. You might say, WELL is like a nutrition label for your building. It provides transparency on the quality of our built environment.

WELL V2 Concepts

Many building owners, developers and companies immediately see the return on investment of the WELL Building Standard. The average company spends 1% of its annual budget on Energy. Approximately 9% of that annual budget is spent on rent and operations. That same budget focuses 90% of its allocations on the People. From salaries, to benefits, to insurance; we spend most of our budgets on the people in our buildings. Where we live, learn, and work matters! WELL is providing a path to increase our ability to be healthy and productive, regardless of where we spend the majority of our time. The scientific and medical data makes it abundantly clear that we need to invest in people for the best return on investment!

Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic

Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic

Jennifer is a WELL AP and Faculty, LEED AP BD+C and Homes, and LEED Faculty and Fellow. Most recently, she was received GB&D's Women in Sustainability Leadership Award. She is also the President and CEO of A SustainAble Production (ASAP). Jennifer is an expert in the International WELL Building Institutes's (IWBI) WELL Building Standard. She was one of the first Provisional WELL APs and WELL Faculty in the world.

Being Well Over the Holidays

Being Well Over the Holidays

Let’s be real, we all want to indulge over the holidays. And to be honest, you deserve it! The holidays are a time that we love to spend with family and friends, rest and recharge, and maybe even let loose with a holiday cocktail or two.

Champagne. Hot Toddies. Peppermint Mochas. Pie. Ice Cream. Chocolate. Cheese and Crackers. Ham. Gingerbread Houses. Turkey. Sugar Cookies. Prime Rib. Stuffing. Peppermint Bark. Yum yum.

Are you hungry yet? The point is, most of us are going to splurge a little this holiday season and that’s ok. Here are 5 habits you can implement for improved well-being during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, while still indulging in some holiday treats. 

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Drinking water and staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your well-being. Make sure to drink lots of water and carry your canteen with you so that water is right there when you need it. Many health experts agree that being dehydrated can cause reduced energy, that drinking lots of water can help you lose weight, and that increased water intake can prevent certain health problems. So, always stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water every day.

2. Eat Sugar in Moderation.

Most of us are going to indulge in some sweets, maybe some holiday cocktails, and most likely a lot of food. Try to eat and drink alcoholic beverages in moderation, especially foods that are high in sugar. WebMD says that too much sugar can affect body weight, sexual health, organ health, tooth cavities, skin inflammation and aging, brain functioning and mood, and joint pain. Enjoy in moderation, but don’t go overboard!

3. Get Lots of Sleep.

Getting enough sleep is vital to our well-being. Use the holidays as a time to get lots of it. Most of us don’t get enough sleep throughout the year. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults 18-64 years old. And WebMD says that getting more sleep increases your brain’s sharpness, boosts your mood, increase heart health, improves athletic achievement, steadies blood sugar levels, fights illness, aides weight control. The holidays are busy and packed with commitments, but don’t forget to treat yourself and get the sleep you need.

4. Be Active.

You may not have time to work out or go to the gym, but you can always find activities to do with your friends and family that have you get out and move around. Go for a hike or walk around the neighborhood. Use the stairs. Park further away and walk to your destination. Or, check out these clever ways to get some quick exercise in, no matter where you are. None of them require a gym or anything other than your willingness to try them out!

5. Connect With Family and Friends.

Connection is something we need as humans, although many of us often forget this. According to Psychology Today, social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, increases our self-esteem and emotional well-being, and may even lengthen our life. Take the time to be with your friends and family. Find out what they are up to. Share what you’ve been up to. Come from love, gratitude, and acceptance, and this will create the space for connection to occur.

Take on these wellness tips and you will be ready to hit the ground “running” in the new year!

The WELL Learning Library team would like to wish you and your family a very special holiday season! However you choose to celebrate this time, be generous with yourself and others.