The holidays are upon us! This season means holiday movies by the fireplace, fresh fallen snow, and fun family traditions. However, the most wonderful time of the year also brings its fair share of stress, busy schedules and seemingly inevitable holiday sickness. Staying healthy is the key.
Every year, tremendous pressure surrounds the holiday season. You feel compelled to attend every work party, family event, and school function, not to mention shopping for the perfect gift for everyone in your life. As your calendar fills up, any and all healthy routines seem to get put on the back burner.
Before you know it, your diet consists of hot chocolate and cookies and your only exercise is carrying shopping bags in from the car. As hard as we try, it’s impossible to keep up with the nonstop holiday activities without our bodies feeling the repercussions. It’s important to keep your health a priority, even in the midst of all the holiday hoopla.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these tips for staying healthy this holiday season1.
1. Wash your hands
It may seem like a given, but basic hygiene is key to staying healthy this winter. Between shaking hands at the office holiday party and welcoming your out of town relatives, germs can easily spread through all season’s greetings.
2. Stay warm
Always dress appropriately for the weather. Make sure your family’s wardrobe is stocked with winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Staying dry and warm with the proper attire can help ward off illness. When traveling, always be prepared for the unexpected by keeping a blanket and spare gloves in your car.
3. Manage your stress
While a joyous time for some, the holidays can be filled with stress and anxiety for others. Find stress management techniques that work best for you. Take time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. Instead of waiting until the last minute, plan ahead for your holiday shopping to minimize financial stress. Don’t forget sleep! The CDC recommends going to bed at the same time every night to ensure you are getting a good night’s sleep.
4. Eat healthy
Don’t wait until the new year to start eating healthy. As tempting as it is to overindulge, try to choose the healthier options while enjoying holiday food. Use different ingredients to put a healthy spin on your seasonal favorites. The American Heart Association recommends healthy alternatives in their Holiday Healthy Eating Guide.