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The Medicare Elf on the Shelf is Looking at You and Your Health

Just because it’s the holiday season, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch your health.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can throw us off track a bit with our health, our schedules, and our focus. But not when the Elf on the Shelf is watching!

What is Elf on The Shelf?

“He’s making a list, checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty or nice”

Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice, as the song goes, but old Saint Nick can’t possibly be everywhere at once, right?  That’s where Santa’s helper comes in: the Elf on the Shelf.

The Elf on the Shelf visits children between Thanksgiving and Christmas to see who has been naughty or nice, and flies back to the North Pole each night to report back to Santa. Based on a popular children’s book from 2014, the Elf will return to the North Pole until the next holiday season once Christmas is over.

The hardcover book and small soft toy can be purchased online or at most stores.  Parents the world wide have utilized the Elf to help motivate children to behave during the holiday season. The Elf can also be used to help remind adults to behave too!

Around the My Medicare Partner’s office we have a Medicare Elf on the Shelf helping to remind our employees to mind their P’s and Q’s and our client’s too!

Did you miss the Annual Enrollment Period? Elf could have helped with that.

Worried about adding holiday pounds? Elf can help!

Worried about getting an illness this flu season? Elf could help!

Here are a few of the reminders our Elf has left at the MMP office. We hope our Elf can motivate you too! Pick one up today and get in on the fun.

Watching Your Weight

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Gaining weight is nearly unavoidable during the holiday season. Especially with huge family dinners, baked goods, holiday food baskets and parties happening all the time the pounds are bound to pack on. The My Medicare Partners Elf on the Shelf reminds us to watch what we eat, take a little less candy, walk a little bit farther and pay attention to those empty calories!

Seasonal weight gain is a real concern today. While estimates of weight gain vary, the facts remain: the overweight are most at risk and the formerly overweight also struggle too. There’s social pressure and stress that drive us to eat, broken routines and emotional associations that contribute too. So what can you do to manage your weight?

  1. Set smart goals and start tracking your food and exercise.
  2. Take charge of your home and get rid of ‘junk food’ and other unhealthy food.
  3. Manage and eat the right types of fat.
  4. Snack smartly with low calorie, high protein, low fat snacks.
  5. Make a specific and detailed plan for how you will deal with situations (active coping strategies), shared in PaleoLeap.com’s article.

Did you know? Medicare Part B can help those who are struggling with weight management and obesity.  Medicare covers behavior counseling sessions to help you lose weight. Look into the available options or call our team to learn more.

Mental Health

The holiday season, while having its fill of parties and gatherings, can be depressing for some. Depression can affect those with small social circles, dealing with stress, or having some pre-existing conditions involving depression. Seasonal affective disorder affects many, which is related to changes in the season and lack of vitamin D. Depression can happen when you least expect it, so let the Elf on the Shelf remind you about mental health!

The Elf on the Shelf serves as a great reminder for us to keep our mental health in check. Did you know? Medicare Part B covers mental health services like screening for depression (one per year), individual or group psychotherapy, family counseling, psychiatric evaluations, medication management and so much more.

Illness Prevention

Cold and flu season is in full effect. This time of year seems to be ripe with illnesses ready to take host. The coworker who comes to work sneezing. Your Aunt Betty coughing on your holiday feast. A plane full of influenza incubated flyers. The holidays will put you in situations where contracting a new illness are high, but never fear! Prevention is here!

Fox News shares their 5 ways to avoid getting sick during the holidays, and mostare things you can start implementing today like avoiding germ hotspots, avoiding friends and family when you’re ill, keeping holiday stress away, being prepared for travel and to get exercise!

The Medicare Elf on the Shelf is looking out for you too! Did you know? Medicare Part B & D can help. Medications from Part D can provide needed protection to help prevent illnesses and Part B can cover things like flu shots and yearly “wellness” tests. Our article about regular screenings that Medicare covers is a great reference, check it out!

International Traveling

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Are you traveling overseas or out of the country this holiday season? This time of year many seniors go beyond borders and are traveling to other countries like Mexico, China
and parts of Europe. Many people think they aren’t covered for health insurance while abroad or have to buy expensive insurance. Medicare Elf on the Shelf says – there’s a better solution!

Did you know? A Medigap policy may offer coverage for supplies or health care services you get outside the U.S. Plans C, D, F, G, M and N provide some form of foreign travel emergency health insurance coverage when you travel to distant, distance lands. Let My Medicare Partner agent’s tell you a bit more about how Medigap can help if you plan to travel outside the U.S.

Self Improvement in 2017

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The Medicare Elf on the Shelf helps us remember to stay healthy in the new year. New Year’s Resolutions are commonly set and then forgotten after a few weeks. Don’t let that happen to you this year! Think about making a simple commitment to your health by drinking more water. Elf on the Shelf is watching your bad habits, make this one small change and the benefits you’ll see will amaze you!

If you’re looking to quit smoking or stop misuse of alcohol, Medicare can help. While Medicare doesn’t cover a large amount of programs, they do have programs to help with counseling for tobacco overuse and programs to stop the misuse of alcohol too. These Wellness programs are offered by Medicare and are worth looking into.

Summary

The Elf on the Shelf is a great tool to help keep you accountable – no matter the time of year. Check out the Elf on the Shelf website for fun holiday activities to do with your Grandkids!

Stay well this holiday season by following the helpful tips we’ve covered. Make 2017 a year of improvement for your health and mental wellness.

Happy Holidays from the My Medicare Partner’s team and remember….

‘They see you when you’re sleeping, they know when you’re awake, they know if you’ve been bad or good… so be good for goodness sake!’

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