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You need an action plan for healthy living
Donna Krug

A few years ago I wrote a fact sheet titled, Action Plan for Healthy Living. To help get your 2023 off to a great start, I would like to highlight a few of the tips from the fact sheet. As you might expect, many of the bullet points revolve around eating and exercise habits. Today, though, I want to focus on a few other lifestyle choices that can contribute to good health.

• Stress management: Stress is a normal part of living and the causes of it can be good or bad. When stress becomes distress people often show unhealthy responses, such as driving too fast, prolonged anger, worry or fear, or drinking too much. Learn to find ways that reduce stress in your life. Things like deep breathing, meditation, physical activity, and self-talk may be effective. 

• Simplify: Hectic schedules may not allow for adequate down time, but it is important to find some quiet time each day with no demands. Another way to simplify your life is to de-clutter your living space.

• Sleep well: Making simple changes in routine, environment, diet, and other factors can help you achieve adequate sleep. Sleep disorders are common, and some are serious. An excellent resource to learn more about sleep is the K-State Research and Extension publication MF2830, Sleep: Want it, Need it, Get it.

• Surround yourself with positive people: When someone is feeling down, one of the best strategies is to spend time with positive, upbeat people. Laughter, encouragement, and positive thoughts can effectively help reverse negative thoughts. 

If you would like to learn how to develop an action plan stay tuned for my column next week. In the meantime, you can find my fact sheet on the KSRE website and search for publication MF3053.

Surrounding myself with positive people

The past three weeks I have had a chance to practice the points I listed above. By the time you read this I will have returned home from a road trip to the “Sunshine State.” Just as the cold weather was settling in for the holidays, we had loaded up the van to head to Naples, Fla., where we would celebrate Christmas and the wedding of our youngest son, Matt. When Matt proposed to Jane last January, they were excited to carry on the Krug family tradition of a December wedding. 

Fast forward to September when Hurricane Ian devastated southwest Florida. The initial wedding venue the kids had reserved, was damaged beyond repair, but luckily they found another suitable and beautiful place to celebrate their wedding. The Airbnb we had reserved in March sustained major flood damage during the hurricane, but the host was optimistic that everything would be ready for us when we arrived on the 23rd. And it was!

It was a special week with our kids and grandkids enjoying each other’s company. Our time together included walks on the beach, cool dips in the backyard pool, and a night tour of the botanical gardens. We were introduced to party poppers by Janes family where we enjoyed their wonderful hospitality on Christmas Day. The wedding day was beautiful and all but a handful of guests had made it (The Southwest Airline issues affected several guests).

It felt good to return home earlier in the week and get back to a normal routine. Here’s hoping that you enjoy good health and happiness, surrounded by positive people in 2023!

Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or