‘Eat healthy,’ ‘Get plenty of sleep’

The Department of Homeland Security, a huge agency charged with guarding the border, enforcing immigration laws, handling national emergencies and protecting air travelers, also finds time to serve as a life coach to its 240,000 employees.

The DHS website provides a constant stream of motherly lifestyle advice to its workers, much of which their actual mothers probably already told them. This week, DHS encouraged all workers to take care of their mental health and suggested that eating right and exercising might help.

“The food you eat has a direct effect on your energy levels and mood,” DHS said. “Choose whole foods that give your body steady energy from healthy sources of nutrition and help your mind feel good.”

The post recommended regular exercise to reduce stress, avoiding smoking and drinking, connecting with people for “emotional and social support,” and getting “plenty of sleep.”

“Quality sleep improves energy, memory, focus, learning ability, and mental and emotional resilience,” DHS said. “Prioritize good sleep hygiene to optimize your sleep each night.”

Last week, DHS posted a blog on how employees can identify “quality childcare” for their families.

“As childcare tends to take up a large portion of a family budget, it is important to review your options,” DHS said. “To help you find the childcare that works best for you, begin by assessing your family’s situation,” the agency shares.

The DHS has advised employees to do things like "get plenty of sleep."
The DHS has advised employees to do things like “get plenty of sleep.”
REUTERS/Paul Ratje

The blog suggested employees read more at the Administration of Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services that “promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, youth, individuals and communities with funding, strategic partnerships, guidance, training and technical assistance.”

In another development last week, DHS urged its employees to “strengthen family relationships.”

“These relationships can be a source of comfort, guidance, and strength to draw from in times of stress,” DHS revealed. “Developing and nurturing your family can also give you the lift you need to endure life’s challenges and meet your goals with confidence and courage.”

The department’s advice on how to achieve this goal included working on listening to family members and “putting away phones and other devices at the dinner table.” DHS also suggested staying active with your family, trying out a new board game, and laughing together.

“Find things to do that will make you laugh,” DHS recommended. “Choose a funny movie to watch together, read a favorite book, or tell each other jokes.”

In mid-September, DHS recommended a “fall financial check-up” and suggested using free credit reports, paying off debts, setting financial goals, and starting to save for holiday shopping now.

Shopping for gifts, the agency noted, can increase spending.

“You may find that your spending will begin to increase with winter holidays around the corner,” DHS said. “To prepare for that change, fall is the perfect season to review your finances and to set a budget.”

A few days earlier, DHS offered advice on how employees can maintain “positive social wellness habits.”

“Try to make time for yourself each day,” DHS advised.

“Consider joining a group or club focused on a hobby that interests you.”

“Consider adopting a pet.”