Follow these tips for a healthy holiday
The holidays are a great time to celebrate life and spend time with family, friends, and loved ones. However, during the holiday season it can also be stressful to keep your mental and physical health in the forefront of your mind. This season, make sure you continue to give yourself the gift of health by keeping the following tips in mind:
- Washing your hands is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of illness. While you are around your loved ones this holiday season, be sure to wash your hands often to avoid spreading germs and getting each other sick.
- Very cold temperatures can be problematic, especially for infants and the elderly. Be sure to bundle up if you’re spending any time outdoors this holiday.
- The holidays can be a stressful time, between preparing meals, buying gifts, keeping up with work or school, and spending time with family. Be sure to balance work, home and fun, while also getting some relaxation in too! Make sure you also get enough sleep; being recharged helps you keep a positive mindset.
- Whether you are traveling near or far, ensure that you are prepared. Keeping a winter weather emergency kit in your car (including blankets, food, water, and a first aid kit) is a great idea. Make sure you and all passengers are secured with a seatbelt or car seat, as well, and never drink and drive.
- If possible, avoid being around second-hand smoke. If a relative or friend needs help quitting, offer up some resources, too! Find resources on becoming smoke-free here.
- Before the end of the year, make sure you and your family have had all needed vaccinations, exams, and/or screenings. These preventative measures help find potential problems early, while the chances for effective treatment are high.
- Children are at a high risk for injuries, especially with new toys. Always supervise playtime and make sure toys are being used properly. Also, work with your loved ones to keep potentially dangerous items (household cleaners, alcohol, choking hazards like small candies, etc.) out of the reach of children to ensure that your holiday celebration is safe for the little ones.
- Be sure to use caution when decorating for the holidays. Use stepstools or ladders instead of climbing on furniture to hang decorations.
- Prepare meals with safety in mind. Always be sure to cook foods to the proper temperature and refrigerate leftovers promptly after the meal.
- Most residential fires occur during the winter. Lower your fire risk by keeping candles away from children and pets, unplugging lights and decorations when you leave the house, and never using the oven to heat your home.
- Keep balance and moderation in mind as you eat this holiday season. Limit fats and sugary foods, but don’t deny yourself a cookie or two!
- Stay active in a fun way, whether that is by going on a shopping spree through the mall or dancing to your favorite holiday music. Aim to be active for at least 2 ½ hours per week during this busy time of year.
The CDC also created a sing-a-long jingle to remember these health tips and others! Click here to listen to The 12 Ways to Health holiday song!
1. “Holiday Health & Safety Tips.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/index.htm
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