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By Karin Junge

For many 2016 was a tough year to deal with from politics, to social injustice, to the death of many of our beloved celebrities. For me, 2016 forced me to dig down DEEP. I struggled with parenting and teaching my children respect, dedication and empathy. I struggled with getting caught up in social media and the detachment from my values, one being my value of my health, both mental & physical. In 2016 I had to dig down deep and find love for myself and for others. I found that for me the best way to be a better mom and to take better care of myself was to seek out role models and others who could give me guidance. It was everything from a simple conversation, to a lecture, to a support group, to new-found habits that helped lift me up. Through this support, I found some things I really loved in 2016 that helped my stress and really improved my health. Here are my top 4:

A sauna a day keeps the stress away (and your skin so-so soft!).
I used to hate saunas until my husband built one in our basement. He helped me learn to LOVE something that used to be so painful for me. I turn on music that lifts me up and sweat away my stress for 15-30 minutes every day. The mental & physical benefits are amazing!
 
Laugh the guilt away with mom groups!
Parenting is tough and moms tend to feel guilty about everything. I have a couple of mom groups that I am a part of that give me great advice and help reassure me I’m doing ok.
 
Follow a guru.
I know a lot about fitness and nutrition, but was in a rut most of 2016. I sought out help from a nutrition coach and then joined an 8-week nutrition & fitness challenge that changed my life!
 
Dance, dance, dance!
After a Zumba class I realized how much music helps my workouts and helps my mood. I love music that pumps me up and makes me want to dance. I found when I played these songs while working out, afterwards I felt happier and more energized. This amazing feeling caused me to crave my workouts and helped me to be more consistent.
 
So, when you look to set your new year’s resolutions, I suggest you look back at 2016. Maybe you can find some lessons learned, some things you were doing right, or some things that brought you joy that can help support your health and wellbeing in 2017!