FCS News – December 21, 2020

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Mental Wellness During the Holidays

Managing your mental wellness during the holiday season can be challenging when unaware of holiday triggers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has resources to help you identify songs, scents, and other holiday reminders that can trigger emotions such as loss, loneliness and shame.
The following are tips from SAMHSA to help recognize and manage stressors this holiday season:
  • Take time to notice your own responses.
  • Ask yourself “What helps and what hurts?”
  • Talk about what the holidays may bring up for you.
  • Pay attention to nutrition and exercise.
For additional resources to help manage mental health and emotional wellness including addressing mental health myths and facts, visit MedlinePlus website and Mental Health government website.

Homeowners Can Request Forbearance or Mortgage Relief

Homeowners who have experienced an income drop due to COVID-19 can request “forbearance.”  Some federally backed mortgages have a December 31, 2020 deadline for forbearance requests. For more information, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website

If you’re one of the millions of people who have placed your mortgage in forbearance since March, it’s important to know:

  • If you got forbearance under the CARES Act, you have the right to a 180-day extension
  • You have options for repaying

Watch this video to help you prepare to pay back your missed payments once forbearance ends.


Food Gifts

Homemade food gifts are common around the holidays. Many options, such as homemade spice mixes, baking mixes and breads have minimal food safety risks. Items such as home canned or dried foods, infused items and some baked goods should be handled carefully to prevent illness. 

Safe Plates Food Gifts Fact Sheet

Food Gifts Flyer >>


Rethink Takeout

Eating meals at home is ideal because you have control over ingredients, calories, and portions, all while saving money. However, when the endless to-do lists and errands make takeout the option, it doesn’t mean that healthy eating must take a backseat.

Here are a few ways to make your takeout meal a bit healthier. 

  • Add more vegetables to your meal or choose meals where vegetables take center stage.
  • Ask for steamed brown rice instead of fried rice. 
  • Request that the dressing, oil, butter, or sauce is on the side so you can choose how much to put on your dish. 
  • Be mindful of portion sizes. Split the entree in half and save for later. 

For more ideas on eating out and choosing healthier options, check out these resources:


Holiday Movie Workout Game

Movies are a great way to soak in the holiday spirit. Unfortunately, movies require a lot of sitting…until now! Most movies, especially holiday movies, have recurring phrases, activities, or themes throughout the movie. These recurring events now have an assigned activity to them. So for example, in Elf, every time you see an elf you have to stand up and jump up in the air. If you wanted to add some holiday spirit maybe you could jump up and yell “ELF!” and get excited like Buddy. Make it your own, be creative, and modify it to your ability level. Hope that this serves as a fun, active movie watching experience for you and your family this season!

See Game instructions

Merry Christmas poster on wood grain background

Written By

Dominque Simon, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDominque SimonArea Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences - Food- Safety, Health and Nutrition Call Dominque E-mail Dominque N.C. Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Center
Updated on Dec 21, 2020
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