Healthcare Habit

Products, Style & Advice for the Modern Healthcare Professional

8 Tips for Staying Healthy This Holiday Season 24 November 15 01:46 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

8 Tips for Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for giving and spending quality time with family – and also consuming large amounts of food. With so many holiday treats and dishes to choose from, it can be difficult to avoid temptation.

Thankfully, we have some helpful suggestions for staying healthy during this time of year. Keep the pounds off this holiday season with these 8 healthy holiday tips.

1. Stock up on healthy meals – In all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, it’s hard to find time for making healthy meals. Prepare ahead of time by cooking meals that can be stored in the freezer. Then, just stick the meal in the oven or microwave for a hassle-free dinner. You’ll avoid temptation and have more time for decorating, shopping and other holiday festivities.

2. Go easy on the gravy and sauces – Nobody likes dry turkey, but if you’re watching your calories, try to pour on gravy and sauces lightly or forego them entirely. Your mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing will be healthier when they’re not swimming in gravy. 

3. Focus on fun, not food – Instead of making food the main focus, you could participate in holiday rituals or activities. Whether it’s trimming the tree, wrapping gifts or caroling, you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget all about that plate of sugar cookies.

4. Eat slower – Eating slower gives you time to digest and helps you pay better attention to your fullness level. Take your time when eating holiday meals and place your fork down between bites.

5. Get moving – When cold winds are blasting, finding the motivation to exercise can be a challenge. But it’s important to schedule regular exercise during the holiday season. Working out not only prevents weight gain; it also decreases holiday stress. You could go for a brisk 10-15 minute walk, exercise indoors or find other ways to stay fit in cold weather.

6. Wear form-fitting clothes – As comfy as they may be, those sweatpants could be hurting you. Elastic waistbands may be more forgiving when consuming large meals, but tighter, form-fitting clothes serve as a reminder of your fullness and can prevent overeating.

7. Drink plenty of water – Sometimes, we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. Drinking enough water will help keep you hydrated and feeling full. Cut back on soda and other sugary beverages and keep a water bottle on hand instead.

8. Indulge in only your favorite treats – Try to be selective about what you eat and watch your portions, especially at holiday parties or dinners. Forget those store-bought cookies and indulge in only homemade, special treats to save some calories. That way, you can enjoy grandma’s apple pie with a little less guilt.

How do you stay healthy during the holiday season? We’d be happy to hear from you!

10 Tips for Staying Optimistic 19 November 15 02:45 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

10 Tips for Staying Optimistic

Try as hard as you might, it’s not always easy to stay optimistic. When you’re working long hour shifts while trying to cram in family time and still run errands, keeping a positive frame of mind can be challenging.

For every situation you find yourself in, try to find a silver lining. It may take some searching, but there’s bound to be one in most cases. Also, look out for common stressors and steer clear of them. If there’s simply no way to avoid them, unwind after work or a rough day with these stress relief tips.

If you tend to look at a glass as half empty instead of half full, you may want to try these techniques for finding a positive viewpoint in even the toughest of times. 

1. Find the positive in any negative situation – This may seem difficult, we know, but it really can make all the difference. Instead of getting caught up in the negatives, try to find a positive in the situation. If there’s an issue at work, look at it as an opportunity to demonstrate your skills. Take some time to process the situation before considering the positives, especially if you’re in shock or emotional turmoil.

2. Create a positive environment – If possible, limit the time you spend with Debbie Downers and seek out positive individuals instead. Who you spend time with can have a huge impact on your outlook. Also, consider how much TV, internet and magazines you are exposed to on a daily basis. While it’s important to keep updated on current events and the latest news, certain websites and shows can affect your positivity. If this is the case, you may want to limit how many articles you read or news specials you watch, or view some cute cat videos every once in awhile.

3. Don’t allow fear to hold you back – Is there a new class you’ve been meaning to take? A new position you’ve wanted to apply for? Then go for it! All too often, we imagine the worst and allow our doubts to hold us back. Just ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen? Then, figure out how you would handle that nightmare scenario, so you know you’re prepared for anything.

4. Go slowly and savor the good things in life – Whether it’s walking your dog in the morning, a weekly visit to your favorite café or a phone call with a best friend, it’s important to take time and enjoy these relaxing moments. Carve out some me time every week and find fun activities for your days off. Whatever makes you happy, allow yourself to slow down and truly appreciate that activity or experience. 

5. Lend a hand to others – Helping others can do wonders for not only them but you as well. Whether you help someone move, give a friend a ride to work or just listen to someone venting, you are improving someone else’s life. You can even go a step farther, and volunteer at a soup kitchen or a favorite cause. Helping out others adds value to the world and can also improve your mood.

6. View criticism in a positive light – No one likes having their work criticized, but it’s important to handle criticism in the best way possible. Try to remain open-minded when you receive negative feedback and treat it as a learning experience. Ask yourself if there’s anything useful you can take away from this? For all you know, this could help you improve your work performance and lead to better things.

7. Acknowledge your negative thinking – If you want to change your negative thinking, first, you have to recognize when you’re thinking negatively. Then, and only then, can you work on turning those negative thoughts into positive ones.

8. Keep a journal – Writing in a journal can help you keep track of negative thoughts and discover the reason behind these feelings. For example, you might notice that you’re upset at certain times of the day or only in certain places. Take a closer look at these factors and figure out what you can change and what you can’t. For elements you have little to no control over, such as your heavy workload, you may want to talk to your boss or make a list of actions you can take. 

9. Start your day on a positive note – A bad morning can leave you in a funk all day long. That’s why it’s important to start your day off the right way. Maybe, you could eat breakfast with the family, sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or read a chapter of a favorite novel. Try to do something that brings you some peace and comfort.

10. Get out and socialize – When we’re feeling down in the dumps, we tend to avoid social contact. Unfortunately, this can make matters even worse. Slowly reenter society by planning a coffee date with a family member or friend, calling loved ones every so often or making small talk with coworkers. Even smiling at someone can help improve your mood. 

No matter what the situation, remember to always believe in yourself and your capabilities. With a little self-confidence and effort, you can tackle any obstacle that presents itself.

How do you stay positive during tough times? Let us know your suggestions!

Top 10 Healthy Foods for Boosting Energy 17 November 15 01:42 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

Top 10 Healthy Foods for Boosting Energy

Does this sound like you? You’re working a long work shift, energy levels plummeting, practically guzzling mug after mug of coffee just to stay awake. If this sounds familiar, don’t fret. We may just have the thing to eliminate that ever-present drowsiness.

Your diet can have a huge impact on your energy throughout the day. Replacing heavy, greasy foods with nutritious, healthy snacks can replenish depleting energy reserves. Fight off fatigue in the workplace by consuming these energy-boosting foods.

1. Eggs – Rich in vitamins B and D, eggs are an amazing source of long-lasting energy. Plus, eggs are filled with high-quality proteins, leading to a significant energy boost.

2. Almonds – Just a small serving of almonds can do wonders for your energy levels. This healthy snack contains magnesium and B vitamins that help produce energy. For the perfect serving size, stick to 1 ounce or about 23 nuts.

3. Peanut Butter – Although peanut butter is high in calories, a small serving can offer sustained and steady energy. Loaded with healthy fats, protein and fiber, peanut butter curbs cravings, stabilizes blood sugar levels and aids in the production of energy. So, instead of eating buttered toast in the morning, spread some all-natural peanut butter on your bread. Try to steer clear of products with added sugars and keep to a 2-tablespoon serving size.

4. Bananas – Bananas are just about the easiest snack you can find. All you have to do is throw one in your lunch bag or purse and go! Filled with fiber, B vitamins and potassium, this portable snack fuels energy and promotes muscle function.

5. Kale – Forget iceberg lettuce and add nutrient-rich kale to your salad instead. High in vitamins and minerals, kale helps improve your mood, stave off hunger and prevent fatigue. Prepare it as a side dish, add it to soup or pair it with whole-wheat pasta.

6. Oatmeal – It’s no secret that oatmeal is a healthy breakfast or snack option. Rich in fiber, oatmeal will provide energy with staying power. If you’re in a hurry, prepare overnight oats ahead of time and store them in mason jars. Then, you can just grab one on your way out the door!

7. Pistachios – Pistachios are high in protein, fiber and heart-healthy monosaturated fats to give you sustainable energy throughout your work shift. Keep calories in check by sticking to a small serving size.


8. Hummus – If you’re a fan of hummus, here’s some great news: this Mediterranean dip is a wonderful pick-me-up snack! Hummus is an excellent source of fiber and protein and can give you the burst of energy you need. You can use it as dip for nutrient-rich veggies like red peppers or carrot sticks, or you spread it on bread for a healthy sandwich spread.

9. Ginger Tea – Coffee lovers may scoff at this suggestion, but why not replace that afternoon coffee with a cup of ginger tea? Ginger tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients for an afternoon pick-me-up without the undesirable side effects of caffeine.

10. Whole-wheat Snacks – The beneficial properties of whole-wheat snacks are indisputable. Whole grains, and whole wheat especially, are loaded with essential nutrients for the production of energy, including fiber, magnesium, iron, protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins. Combine whole grains with protein for an optimal energy boost. You could try whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cottage cheese or whole-wheat toast with sugar-free nut butter.

Try any of these high energy foods to stay alert all work shift long!

How about you? How do you stay energized throughout the day?

8 Ways to Stay Fit in Cold Weather 12 November 15 12:20 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

8 Ways to Stay Fit in Cold Weather

When temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, it can be hard to leave the cozy warmth of your home. You may open the door, feel winter’s icy blast and retreat to the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and a cozy blanket. I mean, there’s always tomorrow, right?

As tempting as that couch may be, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stick to your fitness routine all winter long. Luckily for you, exercising in winter doesn’t have to be so difficult; not when you follow these 8 tips for staying active in cold weather!

1. Look for gym alternatives – For dedicated gym-goers, bad weather never affects their routine gym visits. But for others, it’s a different story. As the days grow shorter, it can be hard to stay motivated and force yourself off the couch and to the gym. So, why not make exercising easier by finding alternative workout methods?

If you’re avoiding the gym, it may be time to invest in workout equipment for your home. You could use a stationery bike, an elliptical or a treadmill. Don’t have the money to spend on expensive workout equipment? Use exercise videos, a stepper, active video games, small barbells or exercise bands instead. You’ll burn off calories without ever leaving the house!

2. Warm up indoors – Before you step outdoors, you should prepare your muscles for working out in chilly weather. Exercising with cold, tight muscles can lead to injuries, so be sure you do some stretching, yoga or another warm up before running in cold temperatures.

3. Bundle up – If you’re that person who loves running outside, no matter what the weather, it’s important to have the right winter apparel. Dress smart and wear plenty of layers so you can easily remove a layer if you feel hot. In case of rain or snow, make sure the top layer is water repellant to keep you warm and dry.

4. Find a workout buddy – Working out with a friend makes you more accountable and offers some friendly competition. While you can easily cancel on yourself, you’ll find it harder to cancel on a friend.

5. Start off small – Don’t feel like you have to keep up with your usual fitness routine. If you normally run 4 miles in the summer, try running 2 in the winter. What’s important is that you work out at a pace that’s comfortable for you.

6. Exercise later – You may be a morning jogger, but in the cold winter months, your best bet is waiting until later in the day. By mid-afternoon, temperatures should be at their highest and pathways should most likely be cleared. That way, you’ll be safer and warmer during your workout. 

7. Try something new – You could try a new workout, sign up for a class or join an indoor sports league. A new activity will create excitement and keep you moving throughout the season.

8. Keep a food journal – Keep track of all of those holiday treats and desserts you consume by writing it all down in a food journal. Watching the calories add up on paper may just be the push you need to get up and go to the gym. 

How do you stay active in cold weather? We’d love to hear from you!

11 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate Healthcare Employees 10 November 15 03:12 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

11 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate Healthcare Employees

Working in the healthcare industry can be challenging even on the best of days. Whether you’re a student or a working professional, sometimes you need a little motivation when the going gets tough.

You could find ways to relieve work stress, treat yourself with a fun gift or confide in a friend. If none of the above seems to work, turn to these 11 motivational quotes to keep on going.

Inspirational Quote #1 – “In an emergency, what treatment is given by ear? Words of comfort.”
– Abraham Verghese

Inspirational Quote #2 – “It doesn’t take an instant more, or cost a penny more, to be empathetic than it does to be indifferent.”
– Brian Lee

Inspirational Quote #3 – “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”
– Patch Adams

Inspirational Quote #4 – “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
– Mother Teresa

Inspirational Quote #5 – “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.”
– Lewis Carol

Inspirational Quote #6 – “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
– Booker T. Washington

Inspirational Quote #7 – “The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.”
– Zig Ziglar

Inspirational Quote #8 – “One kind word can warm three winter months.”
– Japanese Proverb

Inspirational Quote #9 – “A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”
– Tom Stoppard

Inspirational Quote #10 – “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
– Fred Devito

Inspirational Quote #11 – “Believe that you can and you’re halfway there.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Hopefully, these quotes will inspire you in your day to day. Or, if you’re having trouble staying positive during a long work shift, check out these tips for staying happy at work.

What inspires you? Or do you have any favorite quotes to share? Be sure to let us know!

Top 10 Healthy Eating Habits 05 November 15 02:32 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

Top 10 Healthy Eating Habits

Eating healthy is never easy, especially when you work in the healthcare industry. But it’s never too late to change unhealthy eating habits for the better.

Adding healthy snacks and meals to your everyday diet can give you a boost of energy, help you lose weight and improve your mood. Transform your eating habits with these 10 healthy eating tips!

1. Eat breakfast – You know the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Well, people say this for a reason. Eating breakfast everyday, and by this we mean a healthy breakfast, can lead to healthier food choices all day long. Also, a healthy, well-balanced breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day, therefore decreasing overeating and providing energy for daily activities. So, put down that cronut, as tempting as it may be, and pick up a healthy breakfast option instead!

2. Portion control – This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep an eye on your portion sizes. Sure, you can eat all the veggies you may want, but for high-calorie foods, you should be more careful. Always read food labels to check the serving sizes and research the best portion sizes for different types of food. You can also use a portion control printout or plate for reference. 

3. Pack a healthy lunch and snacks for work – Prepare a healthy lunch and snacks the night before, and just grab your lunch bag before leaving the next morning. You’ll avoid the temptation of the vending machines and have more control over what you eat throughout the day.

4. Fill your fridge with healthy foods – Don’t even give yourself the option of eating unhealthy snacks. Instead, stock up on more fruit, low-fat dairy products, vegetables and whole-grain foods at home and at work. Rather than just eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet, also add healthier foods to help keep you full and satisfied.

5. Eat your snacks on a plate instead of from the package – By actually taking the time to place a snack on a plate, you’re allowing yourself to savor what you’re eating. You’ll also have more control over how much you’re eating. Put a reasonable portion on a plate, and then put the box away and forget it exists.

6. Control your environment – If you find yourself constantly snacking, then don’t buy the snacks to begin with. You may miss your favorite foods, but you’ll no longer be tempted.

7. Prepack portions – Rather than storing big boxes in the pantry, count out 100 calories’ worth of chips or pretzels and store each portion in a plastic bag or container. This will make it easier to just grab the right portion, throw it in your tote and go. 

8. Drink healthy beverages – When it comes to healthy eating, you can’t forget the important role healthy drinks play. Steer clear of soda, iced tea and other sugary beverages, and stick to plain old water. Aim for at least 6 to 8 12-ounce glasses of water a day, though this amount depends on your diet and fitness regimen. Stay hydrated all day long by keeping a water bottle close by or by tricking yourself into drinking more.

9. Eat favorite foods – carefully – By avoiding favorite foods completely, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while, as long as you control the portion size.

10. Prepare dinner at home – Instead of going out to eat all the time, prepare a home-cooked dinner. Cooking at home allows you to control serving sizes and the ingredients. Plus, it brings the whole family together for a nice dinner!

How do you stay healthy? Let us know your tips! 

How to Make Your Own Self-Care Kit 03 November 15 03:34 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

How to Make Your Own Self-Care Kit

When you’re wrapped up in work responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. No matter how busy you are, it’s important that you find some me time. It could be during a work break or on your day off; it doesn’t matter when you carve out this time, as long as it’s devoted to relaxation.

Once you’ve found some free time, make it count by finding ways to relieve stress or by creating a self-care kit. So what is a self-care kit? A self-care kit is a collection of items that nurtures your well-being and promotes mental health. What goes into a self-care kit depends on the individual. You could include bath salts, inspirational notes or candles. Whatever you choose for your kit, make sure that it improves your mood and helps you de-stress.


Before you make your own kit, you should consider a few things. First, what makes you happy? If you’re happiest when writing, include a notebook in your kit. Do you enjoy a nice cup of tea? Add a tin of your favorite tea leaves. It’s all about what items and activities make you smile.

Secondly, what are your goals? Are you trying to stay healthy? If so, you might want to include some vitamins, healthy snacks or fitness accessories. Are you trying to reduce work stress? Then choose some scented candles or aromatherapy products. Take time to consider why you’re making this kit before selecting items.

To help you get started on your self-care kit, we’re sharing some helpful suggestions. You may not include all of these items in your personalized kit, but we hope that this list will inspire you.

Ideas for Your Self-Care Kit:

  • Tea
  • Vitamins
  • Funny comics
  • Stress ball
  • Epsom salt
  • Face cream
  • Essential oils
  • Chocolate
  • Music/white noise
  • Headphones
  • Foods that make you feel good
  • Nice notes or cards from others
  • Awards/achievements you’ve won
  • Lotion
  • Journal and pen
  • Comfort food recipes
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Jigsaw puzzle
  • Stuffed animal
  • Comfy sweatshirt
  • Magazines
  • List of things you like about yourself

Once you’ve collected all of your self-care items, you can store them in a shoe box, tote bag, basket or wherever you like. With this arsenal of self-care essentials, you’ll be prepared for any rough day!

What helps you de-stress after a long work day? Or have you already created a self-care kit of your own? Feel free to share with us!

18 Things to Do On Your Day Off 29 October 15 01:55 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

18 Things to Do On Your Day Off

As a busy healthcare professional, you may work odd hours. While everyone else is working on a Wednesday, you may be sitting at home, trying to find something to do.

If you’ve spent your days off wondering what to do, flipping idly through channels and staring at the ceiling, we have some suggestions you might want to check out. The next time you have a free day to yourself, try these things to make the most of your day off. We swear these are more entertaining than watching paint dry.

1. Go to a movie – You know that action movie you’ve been dying to see? Now’s your chance! Grab a huge bucket of buttered popcorn and enjoy! And, if it’s the middle of the week, you may just have the theater all to yourself. Raisinets anyone? 

2. Work out – If you’ve been putting off going to the gym, there’s no better time than your day off. Even if it’s a quick run around the neighborhood, you’ll be feeling great afterwards. If you’re having trouble sticking to a workout routine, make exercising a little bit easier with these workout tips and tricks.

3. Try a new recipe – You can finally try those hundreds of recipes you’ve been saving on Pinterest! Or you can just pin a few more and dream about making them someday. 

4. Sleep – Everybody loves taking a nap, and you’ll feel so refreshed afterwards. I mean, what’s better than curling up under your favorite blanket for a quick snooze?

5. Order pizza – Is there ever a bad time to order pizza? We think not. If your significant other or roommate hates sardines, but you’re a huge fan, you can order a giant pizza covered with them. Just save us a piece.

6. Run errands – Remember all of those errands you’ve been too busy to make? At last, you have the free time. Grocery shopping or dry-cleaning might not be fun, but you’ll feel better getting those tasks out of the way. 

7. Volunteer – Do you want to help others? If you do, then why not during your free time? You could volunteer at a soup kitchen, an animal shelter or for a cause you feel strongly about.

8. Call family – When was the last time you talked to your mom or your sister? If you can’t remember, it might be time to pick up the phone. Or you could drop in for a surprise visit! You might even get food out of the deal, which is always a plus. 

9. Clean up your resume – We’re sorry to break it to you, but wiggling your ears is no longer a required skill. It’s always a good idea to look over your resume and keep it updated, so why not now?

10. Buy yourself a gift – For no other reason than that you deserve it! You could finally purchase those bunny slippers that have been on your Amazon wish list for ages, or you could buy yourself a medical themed gift!

11. Read a legit newspaper – Simply because you can. And everyone loves the funnies.

12. Learn how to knit – You can learn by watching a bunch of Youtube videos or by reading a how-to book; whatever works best for you. Then you can make DIY Christmas gifts for everyone you know! Here’s hoping they like mug cozies.

13. Donate – Have some clothes you never wear? Donate them! If you haven’t worn that sweater in years, or if there’s still a tag on those jeans, give them away. You’ll clear some room in your closet and do a good deed!

14. Make a chalkboard mug – They’re all the rage right now, so why not make your own? Just grab a mug and get crafty!

15. Read a book – You can finally pick up that romance or memoir you’ve been meaning to read! You could read an actual book or grab your Kindle. Or if you’re not one for books, read through a favorite magazine, journal or blog.

16. Clean – Or not. There’s always tomorrow, right?

17. Binge watch Netflix – We won’t judge. Plus, once you’ve mastered knitting, you can watch TV and knit a scarf all at the same time.

18. Pamper yourself – Make the day all about you, and give yourself the luxury treatment. You can relax with a bubble bath, give yourself a facial or a mani-pedi, or even get a massage.

How do you spend your days off? Share with us in the comments below!

Top 11 Tips on Surviving the Night Shift 27 October 15 03:31 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

Top 11 Tips on Surviving the Night Shift

While night shift and day shift workers share similar tasks and responsibilities, working the graveyard shift requires some significant adjustments. Adapting to a different sleep schedule and workplace atmosphere can lead to increased stress levels and sleep disturbance. 

Stay alert at night and sleep well during the day with these 11 ways to survive the night shift!

1. Stay hydrated – Do yourself a favor and keep hydrated throughout the night. Drinking water will keep you energized and functioning during that long shift. If you struggle with dehydration, keep a water bottle with you at all times, track your water intake with an app or research ways to drink more water.

2. Drink caffeine wisely – Coffee can be your best friend when you’re working the night shift, but you don’t want to overdo it. Plan ahead with your caffeine, and try to drink that cup of joe earlier on. Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages during the second half of your shift, as you may have trouble sleeping when you get home.

3. Eat regularly – And by this, we mean real food, and not the kind you find in vending machines. As tempting as that bag of chips may be, it’s important that you eat healthy during your work shift. Healthier snacks and meals give you the stamina and energy you need to make it through a long night. Choose items that will provide a boost of energy and won’t have you crashing later on. To stay healthy, keep a lunch tote stocked with healthy snacks and regularly eat throughout your shift to satisfy cravings and remain full. 

4. Socialize with your coworkers – Bonding with your coworkers not only helps the shift go by faster; it also improves communication in your department or facility. Making friends during your work shift gives you someone you can rely on when you need assistance or have questions. Disagreements or tension will only make your shift more difficult, so it’s important that you reach out to coworkers and show an interest in them.

5. Exercise when you can – When you’re a hardworking healthcare professional, exercise can seem like an unattainable feat. But it is possible with considerable effort. Working out can fight off fatigue and improve your mood. Find time for exercise during breaks or before work to increase energy levels. You could climb a set of stairs, dance to a song or even take a brisk walk to the cafeteria. Find out whatever works for you and stick to a routine. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, so staying active is never an issue.

6. Make it home safely – It is never a good idea to drive home exhausted. To stay awake while driving, many individuals will blast the AC or turn the radio volume up, but this is not a solution. If you’re feeling tired after a long shift, consider taking public transportation. Another option is carpooling with a coworker and keeping up a steady conversation with the driver so you both stay alert. You may be in a rush to get home, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

7. Sleep well – I know, easier said than done, but sleeping well can mean the difference between a horrible night and a good one. We recommend aiming for about 8 hours of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping during the day, you should create an environment conducive for sleeping. The main goal is to make your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible.

You could hang up blackout curtains to keep out any light or power down any distracting devices. Block out any disruptive noises or light with earplugs or an eye mask, and steer clear of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages close to bedtime. These drinks will only disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling tired. Remember to always make sleep a priority, or you’ll regret it later.

8. Balance home life with work life – Creating a healthy balance between home and work responsibilities can be difficult when you work the night shift. You may feel as if you’re constantly out of the loop, or you might have trouble meeting up with friends or staying in touch with family members. When you work odd hours, you have to plan family gatherings and outings in advance. Let your loved ones know your schedule, so they know the best time to reach you and they can better understand your work commitments.

When you struggle on the home front, try out these helpful tips:

  • Even if you can’t see family or friends in person, keep in contact via texts, emails or phone calls whenever possible.
  • Leave notes or write on bulletin boards at home to communicate with your significant other and/or children.
  • Plan a date night at the end of each work week so you have something to look forward to.

9. Eat a healthy meal before your shift – If possible, eat a healthy, well-balanced meal before your work shift. Eating before work will keep you full and satisfied for longer and will curb any cravings. Your facility may have a cafeteria, but if healthy food options are few and far between, you may be better off preparing your own meal.

10. Wear sunglasses – Research has shown that bright morning light can keep you awake. If you want to sleep right after your work shift, wear sunglasses on your way home, even on a cloudy day. Keeping sunglasses on will limit your exposure to sunlight and, hopefully, help you to sleep when you get home.

11. Turn up the lights – We’ve already mentioned that light can keep you awake, which is why it’s a good idea to keep the workplace as bright as possible. Light may be your worst enemy after work, but it’s great for staying awake during work hours. You can turn on the lights in your office or purchase a special light box to promote alertness.

Managing the night shift can be challenging, but never impossible. Whatever you do, don’t despair. Concentrate on sleeping well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and you’re sure to see an improvement in your work performance and well-being!

What strategies and tips have worked for you? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

7 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster 22 October 15 03:29 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

7 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster

A good night’s sleep is crucial to everyday success, and no one knows this better than busy healthcare professionals.  Poor sleep can take a toll on your work performance and your overall health. That’s why it’s important to catch the right amount of zzz’s!

If you find yourself staring wide-eyed at the ceiling instead of sleeping, check out these 7 tips for falling asleep faster!

1. Keep a journal – Going to bed with a busy mind is never a good idea. Let go of daily stressors by writing in a journal at least 2 hours before bedtime. Or you can jot down what’s bothering you in a notepad, on your computer or even on a random scrap of paper. By the time you go to bed, your mind should no longer be racing.

2. Cool your room – Keep your room on the cooler side for sleep-friendly conditions. We recommend setting the thermostat to around 65 degrees or lower. A cooler room will induce sleepiness and prevent night sweats. If you tend to get cold throughout the night, sleep in layers or place a blanket within reach.

3. Hide your clock – When you’re constantly checking the time, you’re only stressing yourself out more. So you’re not glancing at it every five minutes, turn the clock towards the wall or cover it with a towel. If you have to use your phone as an alarm, keep it in a drawer or under the bed so you’re not tempted to pick it up.

4. Tune out – Tune out your spouse’s snoring and other distracting noises with some calming music or sounds. Research shows that soft, relaxing music not only helps you fall asleep, but it also contributes to longer, deeper sleep. You could listen to Pandora’s classical music station, white noise or the sound of waves crashing on the beach; it all depends on what works for you.

5. Drink a warm beverage – Steer clear of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages close to bedtime, and drink a mug of herbal tea or warm milk instead. These soothing beverages will help you wind down and fall asleep easier.

6. Wear comfortable clothing – Wearing tight, uncomfortable pajamas leads to restless nights. Instead, wear light, loose-fitting, breathable pajamas for better sleep.  If you’re not a fan of pajama sets, wear a t-shirt in a larger size for an extra comfy fit.

7. Dim the lights – Exposure to bright lights right before bedtime can hinder sleep and disrupt healthy circadian rhythms. Before you get ready for bed, dim the lights or switch to a soft bedside lamp. Then, once you go to sleep, make sure that all lights are fully off for restful sleep.

Do you have any helpful sleeping tips to share? Let us know!

8 Tips for a Healthier Halloween 20 October 15 03:08 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

8 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

Staying healthy is difficult enough when you’re a busy medical professional, and Halloween only complicates matters further. Everywhere you look, Halloween candy, cookies and other seasonal treats are beckoning to be eaten. There’s simply no escaping the temptation.

Whether you’re trick-or-treating with your kids, attending an office Halloween party or hosting your own Halloween bash, stay in control and avoid temptation with these 8 tips for a healthy Halloween!

1. Reach for smaller treats – Ignore the alluring call of that king sized Kit Kat bar! Instead, reach for smaller Halloween treats with less than 50 calories. Grab a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a mini 3 Musketeers bar or a mini Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar for a low calorie, tasty snack. Beware of the fun size candy bars as they can have twice the calories of a mini bar!

2. Only buy candy you don’t like – You’ll be less likely to snack on Halloween candy if you’re not a fan of the taste. Instead of buying your favorite Crunch bars or Tootsie Roll pops, stick to your least favorite candies. I know I’ll be stocking up on coconut-filled treats!

3. Wait to buy candy – You may save money by buying Halloween candy in advance, but think of all the calories you’ll save by buying it last minute. If possible, buy your Halloween candy on the day of or a day before. When you procrastinate on buying candy, you prevent snacking and, therefore, multiple trips to the store to replenish your candy stash.

4. Work out in the morning – Go for a morning run or hit the gym Halloween morning. Starting the day off with exercise will put you in the right frame of mind for making healthy choices all day long.

5. Stick to your eating routine – Don’t skip breakfast and/or lunch to prepare for Halloween snacking. Instead, practice regular eating habits all day long to prevent overeating of treats at night. 

6. Eat dinner before trick-or-treating – Prepare a well-balanced, healthy meal before trick-or-treating or a Halloween party to help curb sweet cravings. Cook with fiber rich foods to keep the whole family full and satisfied. Also, keep a water bottle on you to keep hydrated and feel fuller.

7. Keep candy out of sight – Leaving the candy bowl, or any Halloween treats, out on the kitchen counter or coffee table will only tempt you. Avoid temptation by hiding candy in a cabinet, pantry or somewhere you rarely go.

8. Buy less candy – If you’re left with tons of leftover candy after Halloween, buy fewer bags of candy or a smaller bag. Or you can give any remaining candy to coworkers, partygoers or the last trick-or-treater. That lucky soul is sure to love you!

How about you? How do you stay healthy on Halloween? Share your advice in the comments below!

Scare up plenty of compliments in your office, facility or hospital with Halloween apparel, accessories and gifts! Or stay warm while trick-treating at night with jackets for medical professionals.

10 Simple Ways to Make Exercising Easier 15 October 15 04:52 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

10 Simple Ways to Make Exercising Easier

When it comes to regular exercise, you may have the best of intentions. But after a long work shift at your hospital, office or facility, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind.

Making exercise a habit is difficult but not impossible. Stick to your fitness routine with these 10 tips for making exercise easier.

1. Listen to an audiobook while exercising – Listening to an entertaining audiobook during a workout can keep your mind off the workout and help you lose track of time. Even better, tell yourself you’ll only listen to the book WHILE exercising. If you want to finish that riveting book, you’ll be even more motivated to work out.

2. Try it with a podcast too – If you’re not a big reader, listen to your favorite podcast instead. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your workouts.

3. Make a schedule and stick to it – You’ll be more likely to work out if you schedule time to exercise. Invest in a planner or calendar, and plan your workouts ahead of time. Think of that workout as an appointment you can’t miss, and set multiple reminders on your phone or leave notes where you’re sure to see them.  

4. Always keep a gym bag with you – Even if you weren’t planning to exercise on a certain day, it’s always smart to be prepared. You never know when the urge to work out will arise. Pack this bag with all the workout essentials: your workout clothes, comfortable shoes, headphones, a water bottle, deodorant, etc.

5. Go to sleep in your workout clothes – If you’re a morning exerciser, wear your workout clothes to bed. You’ll be less likely to back out, and you’ll waste no time getting ready! Just grab your pedometer, slip on some shoes and you’re ready to go. 

6. Find an activity to do while watching TV – You can binge watch Friends on Netflix and work out all at the same time! You could use a stepper, hula hoop, dumbbells or exercise bands to fit in some exercise time in the living room.

7. Pay yourself for working out – Instead of joining a fancy gym, stick some money in a jar every time you work out. Then, after you’ve stuck to a fitness regimen for awhile, use that money to buy yourself something nice. After all that hard work, you deserve it!

8. Play video games that keep you active – If you or your kids have a game system, play games that get you up and moving. Play Wii Fit, Wii Tennis, Dance Dance Revolution, Just Dance or Xbox Kinect to break a sweat and have fun. Then, and only then, can you allow yourself to play a marathon of Super Mario Bros. 

9. Make it a habit – If you can, try to work out at the same time everyday. When you keep your workouts consistent, you’re more likely to stick to that workout schedule.

10. Start with a workout that is ridiculously easy – If you’re low on energy and willpower, start out small. You’ll find it hard to say no when the workout is simple. With each day that passes, slowly increase the intensity and length of the workout. 

How do you make fitness a habit? Let us know your secret!

5 Physical Therapy Myths Debunked 13 October 15 04:16 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

5 Physical Therapy Myths Debunked

As you may already know, October is National Physical Therapy Month! To celebrate physical therapists everywhere, we’re debunking several myths surrounding the profession.

If you’ve never visited a physical therapist before, or have heard some disquieting rumors that have discouraged you to do so, take a look at these 5 common misconceptions about physical therapy. 

1. Myth: Physical therapy is extremely painful.
Fact: Yes, some discomfort may be experienced while undergoing physical therapy, but physical therapy is meant to reduce pain and not increase it. “No pain, no gain” is only true in rare cases. Let your physical therapist know when you are in pain, and they can adjust your therapy accordingly. The main objective is to help you heal while working within your pain threshold.

2. Myth: I need a prescription or a referral to see a physical therapist.
Fact: Most people believe that you require a prescription or referral for an evaluation by a physical therapist. Yet in all 50 states, patients can be evaluated by a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. In many states, you may also receive some form of treatment without a referral or prescription. Take a look at APTA’s direct access to physical therapy laws chart before scheduling your physical therapy visit.

3. Myth: Physical therapy isn’t covered by health insurance.
Fact: Actually, most insurance plans cover physical therapy to some degree. In this case, you may need a physician’s prior referral to ensure insurance coverage. 

4. Myth: Physical therapy only helps injuries and accidents.
Fact: Physical therapists not only help patients recover from injuries and accidents; they also can diagnose potential problems before they lead to serious or disabling conditions. To name a few, physical therapists can assist with carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic headaches and lower back pain.

5. Myth: I can perform my own physical therapy.
Fact: While a patient’s participation is essential for recovery, they still require a professional’s guidance and expertise. Only a licensed physical therapist can create an individualized plan for successful treatment.

If you’re experiencing chronic pain or discomfort, it may be time to visit a physical therapist. Physical therapy can transform your life and lead to a healthier you.

Want to thank a physical therapist for all of their hard work? Check out our unique gifts designed exclusively for physical therapists.

6 Essential Tips for Long-Lasting Scrubs 08 October 15 02:24 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

6 Essential Tips for Long-Lasting Scrubs

Keeping scrubs clean and fresh is a constant struggle for medical professionals. Those pesky stains and nasty discolorations can just about drive you crazy.

Maintain a professional appearance and safely disinfect scrubs with these 6 ways to keep scrubs in good shape.

1. Pre-treat new scrubs – Before you wear your scrubs for the first time, wash them in cold water with half a cup of vinegar. This step helps extend the life of your scrubs and helps prevent fading from frequent disinfecting. As a bonus, vinegar is a natural disinfectant, so this cycle will result in even cleaner scrubs!

2. Wear your scrubs at work only – In order to keep your scrubs sanitary and safe for work, you should only wear them in the workplace. Instead of wearing your scrubs during the work commute, we recommend changing into your work wear after you’ve already arrived at your office or facility. Also, make sure you store clean scrubs in an air tight bag to protect them from germs and contagions before your work shift.

After your work shift has ended, immediately change into your regular clothes to keep that spaghetti sauce off of your scrub top. So you’re less likely to wear them outside of the workplace, keep scrubs in a locker or cubby at work. We know it’s a pain, but this careful behavior can keep your scrubs fresher and cleaner, while also preventing more wear and tear from everyday activities. 

3. Separate scrubs from other laundry – We cannot stress enough how important it is to wash scrubs and other clothes separately. That favorite print scrub top requires more disinfecting than your everyday t-shirt, so you should never mix the two when doing laundry. Since you require a fresh set of scrubs for each shift, it is highly recommended that you buy several sets of scrubs so you can wash them all at once at the end of the week.

4. Use color-safe stain remover – There’s no way around it; your scrubs are going to see plenty of stains. Protect your scrubs’ colors and effectively remove stains by using a color-safe stain remover before washing.

5. Use a hot iron – Once the scrubs are out of the dryer, we recommend using a hot iron to press your scrubs. Not only will this keep your scrubs looking neat and professional, it also helps kill any remaining germs. 

6. Avoid the dryer if possible – It’s better to line dry your scrubs than throw them in the dryer. While this isn’t always possible, line drying can prevent shrinkage and color fading over time. Though, we wouldn’t blame you if you preferred the convenience of the dryer. If you end up using the dryer instead, we recommend using the lowest possible setting to avoid shrinkage. We’re sure you’d like to keep those scrub pants at the right length. 

How do you keep your scrubs looking fresh? We’d love to hear your scrub care suggestions! 

15 Best Things to Eat After a Workout 06 October 15 04:04 PM postedby Courtney Feairheller

15 Best Things to Eat After a Workout

After an intense workout, you may want to reward yourself with a nice, tasty treat. But your post-workout snack or meal can make all the difference in your weight loss and energy levels.

Speed up your muscle recovery and improve workout performance with these 15 best foods to eat after a workout!

1. Eggs – As you may already know, eggs are an excellent source of protein. But what you may not know is that raw eggs have no advantage over cooked ones. So, scramble up some eggs for the perfect post-workout meal!

2. Quinoa – For a whopping dose of vitamins and nutrients, look to quinoa. Quinoa offers more protein and fiber than brown rice and it’s easier to make. Combine quinoa with fruit for a tasty quinoa fruit salad.

3. Orange Juice – Ditch the Gatorade and reach for a glass of OJ instead. Orange juice is rich in vitamin C and offers more potassium than you’ll get from popular sports drinks. For an even tastier drink, make a protein shake with orange juice and pour it into a travel mug.

4. Bananas – After a sweat session, your potassium levels will be low. That’s why it’s a good idea to eat potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, post-workout. Bananas are also high in carbs that rebuild damaged muscles. Just throw one in your backpack before a run or prepare a banana protein shake.

5. Salmon – Boost your exercise recovery with a protein-packed supper like grilled salmon. In addition to lean proteins, salmon offers anti-inflammatory omega-3’s that help rebuild muscles.  You can pair salmon with fiber-filled foods, such as quinoa or vegetables, for a filling post-workout meal. Try this maple grilled salmon after your next workout.

6. Blueberries – They may be little, but these blueberries can give your body the antioxidants and carbohydrates you need after a grueling workout session. These antioxidants aid in muscle repair and restore energy. For an even tastier snack filled with protein, try adding blueberries to plain, low-fat yogurt.

7. Dried Fruit and Nuts – For a quick and easy snack, grab a handful or two of dried fruit and nuts. You’ll get a healthy dose of protein from the nuts along with simple carbohydrates from the dried fruit. All you have to do is fill up a snack bag and store it in your gym bag for easy access.


8. Kiwi – Even a small serving of kiwi offers large amounts of vitamin C and potassium. This sweet and tangy fruit is also packed with antioxidants to reduce muscle soreness. Before you toss out the skin, you should know it contains even more nutrients!

9. Chocolate Milk – Yes, water will keep you hydrated. But if you want to fully recover after a workout, you should also drink chocolate milk. Chocolate milk offers the carbs and protein you need for muscle recovery, while also keeping you hydrated. Plus, what’s fiercer than a chocolate milk mustache? 

10. Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a great source of carbs and a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Make this a post-workout snack for a healthy dose of vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium and potassium. Better yet, add a source of lean protein like a piece of grilled chicken.


11. Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables – After a workout, your body needs to replenish its nutrients, and this dish will do just that. Chicken offers lean protein and carbohydrates to fill you up without bloating, while veggies in olive oil will keep your heart healthy. You can even top this dish off with some low fat cottage cheese.

12. Veggie Omelet with Avocado – When you grow tired of the same old scrambled eggs, mix it up with this veggie-packed omelet. Add a few slices of avocado for healthy fats and fiber.

13. Green Tea – If you’re looking for a boost of energy after a workout, green tea may just be, well, your cup of tea. Green tea is packed with powerful antioxidants to help metabolize fat and curb muscle damage. Plus, it contains less caffeine than other caffeinated beverages, leaving you energized but not jittery. You can brew a hot batch or drink it iced; it all depends on your preference. Just make sure you drink it unsweetened for a healthier beverage.

14. Water – This may seem obvious, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated before, during and after a workout. Drinking water will keep you feeling energized. As a rule of thumb, you should drink 2-3 glasses of water for every pound you lose during a workout. So, fill up your water bottle regularly for maximum benefits!

15. Eat SOMETHING – The main gist of this article? Eat something. After a workout, your body needs to replenish its depleted reserves of fluids, electrolytes and so on. If you don’t eat within 15 minutes to an hour of your workout, your muscles won’t properly recover.

But that doesn’t mean you should grab a high-calorie snack either. There’s a right kind of post-workout snack or meal and a wrong kind. Stick to these healthy snack ideas or similar options, and your workout won’t go to waste!

What type of food or drink do you usually have after a workout? Are you thinking of trying any of these snacks in the future? 

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