The holidays are a wonderful time of year when millions of people worldwide take time to connect with loved ones and create memories that last a lifetime. The holiday season is undoubtedly a special part of our lives and is much more fun when everyone is safe, strong, and healthy. Taking steps to ensure you and your loved ones are protected from health problems over the holidays can make this time more enjoyable for everyone.
Thankfully, there are so many ways in which we can protect our health and avoid illnesses during the holiday season. By doing so we can use our time and energy towards fun activities with the people we love, instead of worrying about recovering from an illness. So what are some tips for staying healthy and strong during the holidays? Keep reading to learn more!
Prepare for Schedule Changes
During the holidays, it is normal for our daily routines to experience some disruption. If we don’t keep this in mind, these changes can bring us unwanted stress and anxiety. Take time to acknowledge that you may not have the same eating habits during the holidays. You might also not be able to work out in the same way you usually do.
By reminding ourselves that this is a normal part of the holiday season, we can let go of unrealistic expectations. Our journeys toward better health are not linear and it is more than ok to have some ups and downs in our daily lives.
Protect Against Viruses
Unfortunately, this holiday season has a few different illnesses that are being spread amongst our communities. COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza are all prevalent and can easily spread amongst indoor gatherings. Getting vaccinated is a great way to reduce your risk of infection for both COVID-19 and influenza. If you haven’t already, take the time to schedule your vaccine appointment today.
During indoor gatherings, you can also open doors and windows to boost ventilation and cut down transmission risk for all three viruses. If possible, offer outdoor gathering options as well. Heating lamps and fireplaces are very helpful in keeping people warm in these situations. Finally, ensure everyone is washing their hands properly, especially if they are sneezing or coughing.
Focus on Food Safety
Food safety can be an overlooked precaution for many families during the holidays. Thankfully there are some easy rules we can all follow to avoid getting sick after a meal. First and foremost, make sure meat is cooked to safe internal temperatures to kill germs. You should also keep meats separate from other foods while in the refrigerator. This can help prevent juices from leaking into nearby foods.
Keeping foods at the right temperature can also prevent bacteria from growing quickly. Once hot food is prepared, it’s best to keep it hot. The same goes for cold foods, as they are safest kept cold after preparation. If you have perishable foods, make sure to place them in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours or less. One hour is ideal if the food has been exposed to temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Protect Against Drunk Driving
People tend to drink more often during the holidays as celebrations take place frequently. For this reason, it is a good idea to make sure nobody is driving drunk and putting other people in danger. Communicate this to your loved ones before starting any celebration and encourage designated drivers whenever appropriate.
As you can see, there are many great ways in which we can stay safe and strong during the holiday season. Make sure to protect against viruses by getting vaccinated, washing hands, and boosting air circulation indoors. Ensure food is being prepared and stored properly to avoid upset stomachs and food-related illnesses.
Finally, allow yourself to have a good time and indulge in some delicious food during the holiday season. It is perfectly normal to change your normal diet and exercise routine during this special time of the year.