10 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
The holidays can be a joyous time as we come together for family gatherings, gift giving and other holiday traditions.
Yet they can also be a time when we fail to take care of ourselves as we run to stores, parties, school functions, neighborhood gatherings, and more — all in the name of holiday fun!
Follow these tips for staying healthy this holiday — as well as maintaining your sanity in the midst of the year’s busiest season.
Tip #1 - Wash your hands. Again. And again. And again.
You’re constantly touching surfaces (think door handles and shopping carts, for example) that other people have touched — often with the same hands they may use when coughing or sneezing.
Washing hands is particularly important if you have kids who are picking up germs at school and on the bus.
It's a good idea to keep bottles of hand sanitizer in homes, cars, and purses.
Tip #2 - Get a flu shot. While flu shots are definitely recommended for young children and the elderly, they are also a good idea for most people.
The real flu — Influenza A — brings causes fevers, muscle aches, bad headaches, and severe coughing.
Most people are down at least a week when they get it.
You feel bad, and it’s contagious, which means you can put your family at risk as well.
Tip #3 - Look for ways to reduce holiday pressure. Avoid the pressures to spend money beyond your resources.
Try making gifts for people that come from your hobbies or interests. If you fish, maybe you give smoked trout. If you garden, try making some homemade preserves.
You can also get support or share tasks with a neighbor or friend to lessen the hassle of shopping, balance work and home, and keep a positive outlook.
Tip #4 - Exercise. People often neglect exercise during the holidays because they feel like they don’t have time, but making it a priority — even for a mere 20 minutes per day — helps decrease stress and cardiovascular disease.
If you don’t belong to a gym or the weather isn’t conducive to being outside, look for creative ways inside to get your heart rate up, such as running the stairs, jumping jacks, getting out the old aerobic videos, or Wii Fit.
Tip #5 - Listen to music. Whether it’s classical music, holiday favorites, hard rock or some other genre, music can be soothing, inspiring, or just what you need to improve your mood. Plus, it’s great to combine with #4!
Tip #6 - Get plenty of sleep. Now is not the time to burn a candle at both ends.
A good night’s rest will lend itself to a more productive day much more than if you’re going on less sleep, trying to fit more activity in.
Tip #7 - Set aside quiet time each morning. Setting aside 15 minutes to develop a plan for the day can often help you accomplish more. When you take a few minutes to gather our thoughts and agenda, we often see how we can do things more practically or logically.
Tip #8 - Stay warm. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults.
Dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.
Tip #9 - Drive carefully. Traffic is much more congested this time of the year. Take extra precautions and leave more time to get places. And, of course, don’t drink and drive.
Tip #10 - Do something special for yourself. Whatever you enjoy — a movie, play, massage, or something else — decide to treat yourself.
Bonus Tip for Costco Shoppers: Visit between 5 and 6 p.m., which is the time most people with families are home having dinner. Costco can be very quiet that time of the day. It will do wonders for your stress level!