The holiday season comes with a lot of health drawbacks, including colds, the flu, slips and falls and packing on a few extra pounds. Avoid germs, injuries, and fend off the seasonal weight by following these tips for healthy holidays.
The cold and the flu spread rapidly during the winter, making it important to regularly wash your hands and stay warm. There is also a higher risk of slip and fall accidents during the winter. Sprinkle salt along the walkways near your home to prevent falls and other related injuries from ice this winter.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
You don’t need to eat everything during the holidays, no matter what your stomach may say. The last thing you want to do is overeat and make yourself sick. An effective way not to do this is by portioning your food and being cautious to not overeat. Be selective about what you put in your body, if you eat well you will feel good.
The holidays are the most stressful time of the year. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways that you can lower your stress levels and manage your time. Before stress takes control, figure out a plan for de-stressing during the holidays.
Get Plenty of Rest
If you stretch yourself too thin during the holidays, you’re going to wear down your immune system and get sick. Did you know that people who get at least eight hours of sleep a night are nearly three times less likely to get sick? If you find yourself feeling tired over the next few months, recharge by taking a nap.
Exercising regularly is important to do throughout the holidays. Even though it’s cold outside, you can still workout inside or at a gym. Working out will help you stay fit, manage stress and feel good.
Help Others in Need
The holiday season is a time for helping others. Watch out for signs of depression and seasonal affective disorder, if you notice anything, listen and help that person seek professional support. Another way to help those in need is by volunteering your time or making a donation to a charity of your choice. When you take the time to give back, it helps you put your own life in perspective, making your problems seem small and insignificant. Volunteer to serve a dinner at a soup kitchen, donate holiday toys or provide Christmas for a family in need.
Drink plenty of water and avoid consuming sugary drinks. Sugary beverages are high in calories and will leave your stomach feeling empty. Stick to water and other unsweetened drinks during the holiday season.
Maintain Your Heating System
Before the cold weather hits, make sure your heating system is functioning properly and safely. A broken heating system can release deadly carbon monoxide. Install a carbon monoxide detector and test it frequently.
Did you know that the majority of fires in residential neighborhoods occur during the winter? Do no leave fireplaces, candles, and stoves unattended. Dry Christmas trees are also a big fire hazard. Make sure to water your tree everyday and keep it away from any heating elements.
Be Cautious with Alcohol
Alcohol is full of empty calories. Because alcohol lowers your inhibitions, it is also an appetite stimulant. This means that you are likely to eat more of things that you normally wouldn’t. Remember to eat before you start drinking to limit this effect. You should also drink water in between alcoholic beverage to keep yourself hydrated and slow down your pace.
Wipe Off Germs
If you are traveling by airplane, bus, or train, wipe off your seat with disinfecting wipes before sitting down. Wipe the armrests, seat belt and buckle, air vent and the tray table. This way, you can kill the germs and not get sick.
Be Smart When Traveling
It doesn’t matter if you are going down the road or out of the country, be extra careful when you are traveling during the holiday season.
Here are a few travel tips:
• Don’t drink and drive
• Take the necessary precautions during bad weather
• Schedule extra time to get where you need to go (traffic is bad during the holidays)
• Don’t forget to bring any medications when staying away from home
• Know how to reach your doctor if you have an issue from far away and locate the closest emergency room
Even though the holidays are all about helping others, you need to take the time to take care of yourself. Spare some time to treat yourself this season. Get a massage, read a book, or simply sleep in late. Do whatever you need to in order to feel happy and healthy. You and everyone around you will appreciate it.