The holidays are a time for joy, laughter, and quality time spent with family and friends. However, the holiday season can also bring about much stress and anxiety. November and December are busy months that often have us running here and there preparing for one of many holiday celebrations.
The constant hustling and bustling can lead to disrupted routines and inconsistent schedules and diets. This alone can wreak havoc on your body. Throw in Coronavirus worries and flu season, and you have the makings for a possible health challenge during this time of year. But no need to worry. There are precautions and steps you can take to stay healthy and continue to have Better Health throughout the holiday season. Here are some tips on how to have a healthier holiday.
Get Your Vaccines
We’ve said it, and we’ve said it again. And now we’re going to say yet again. If you haven’t already, get your vaccines, both for Covid-19 and the flu. These vaccines will help your immune system build up a wall of protection against these viruses. If you’re traveling this holiday season, you’ll be coming into contact with lots of germs. Getting the Covid-19 and flu vaccines is the absolute best way to reduce your chances of catching and spreading the viruses.
Make Healthy Eating Choices
We know it’s the holidays, which means lots of sweets, treats, and heavy foods. Who doesn’t like a good sweet potato or green bean casserole? But just because they’re made with vegetables doesn’t mean they’re the healthiest of choices. It’s okay to treat yourself a little, but it’s important to be cautious of what you eat and how much. If you have diabetes, the holidays can be a real struggle. The slightest indulgence can cause a dangerous spike in your sugar levels.
If you’re going to be on the road, pack healthy snack options that adhere to your dietary restrictions. Try to forego stocking up on gas station junk food. Nothing good ever comes from that. And if you have a large dinner planned, opt for a lighter lunch, such as a soup or salad. Finding a healthy balance will also make it much easier post-holiday season.
It’s always important to stay hydrated no matter your age, but for older adults, it’s even more critical as dehydration can lead to a host of problems, including a weakened immune system and hospitalization. Water helps flush your body of toxins and aids in digestion. But with hectic schedules, it can be easy to forget to drink up.
Have water easily accessible no matter where you are. Carry a bottle of water around in your purse or bag, so you always have one to drink while you’re on the go. Also, drink alcohol in moderation. Fancy cocktails are fun, but alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated. In addition, it can lead to inflammation in the joints.
Maintain Your Exercise Routine
Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you can slack on working out. Exercise will help you cope with the stress that often accompanies this season. Our mental health can take a major hit during this time, and staying active will help increase endorphins, which is your body’s natural happiness booster. Keeping to your exercise routine will also help keep you mobile during these colder months, making it easier to get around.
Instead of sitting on the couch and catching up with relatives or friends, go for a walk and do your visiting that way. After-meal walks are always a good idea too. It’s never good to take a nap or go to sleep immediately after eating. If you’re visiting somewhere where it is just too cold to be outdoors, go to a mall or department store and walk. You may even find some good after Christmas buys.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting enough high-quality sleep is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system. And during the holidays and winter months, we need our immune system to be in optimum shape. Our bodies need sleep to heal and replenish. It can be challenging to stick to our regular sleep schedule during these busy months, but try to keep the same slumber schedule when possible. And if you’re going to have a long evening or if you’ve been traveling a lot, carve out a little time for a much-needed nap.
Take Time to Enjoy Yourself
Don’t let the stress and the hustle and bustle of the season keep you from enjoying yourself. When you feel things becoming overwhelming, stop, take a breath, and just breathe. Don’t let the holiday season have a negative effect on your health. Instead, follow these tips on how to have a healthier holiday to ensure your health is up for the holiday challenge. And remember, if you do run into any health concerns, call your VIPcare provider first. We’re always here for you.