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Use Lent to hit reset on healthy habits

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Use Lent to hit reset on healthy habits

Just like New Year's is a time to make resolutions, Lent is a time to make commitments to ourselves -- and to those around us.

Dr. Jay Kaplan, Medical Director of Care Transformation, LCMC Health, encourages us to use the Lenten season as a time of resetting those healthy practices we may have lost touch with due to the hectic holiday and Carnival seasons.

Press the reset button

It's been a hard few months, a hard year even, and it's important we give ourselves grace and be patient with ourselves.

"We need to recognize it's been a difficult time, and in some ways, we need to be grateful we're still around," said Dr. Kaplan. "And if we've lost someone, we still carry them inside us and we can still feel their love."

Look for the silver linings

2 man smiling

One thing people can do to make themselves feel good at the end or beginning of each day is to write down or say aloud one thing for which we're grateful.

"One easy thing to do is to look at your day and ask yourself what's one thing I'm grateful for today. That helps us look at the glass half-full rather than half-empty," Dr. Kaplan said.

Listen to your body

two people raising their feet

"Really simply, we can eat well, exercise often, sleep enough, and reach out," Dr. Kaplan said. "Isolation is a killer for all of us. Even if we have to reach out virtually, give hugs from six feet apart, that's important."

Take advantage of pleasant weather

two boys with a ball

"Mental, emotional, and physical health all go together. To get outside in the fresh air, especially after the frigid weather we had, that can really restore the soul and restore the spirit, and we need to pay attention to that."

Create a physical-mental connection

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are here," Dr. Kaplan said. "At LCMC Health, we've really ramped up, and are ready, once we get the vaccines to give them to several thousand people a day. We can see the light, and now is not the time to let up. I liken it to a sports team that's ahead by 10 points, if they let up, they can lose the game."

Don't give in too soon

Mother and child

"Now is not the time to let up. Continue to mask, continue to social distance, continue to reach out, and pay attention to supporting our community as well as supporting ourselves and our family," said Dr. Kaplan.

No matter your religion, we encourage you to take these next few weeks as a time to recommit and refocus on positivity, so we can all win this game.

Watch Dr. Kaplan's interview on WVUE Fox 8 Morning News: