The holidays are a wonderful time full of fun, festivities, and holiday cheer. Unfortunately, they also fall right in the middle of cold and flu season. With the cold weather, kids in school, and immune systems down from being stressed or overtired, sickness seems to spread like wildfire when we’re wanting to have fun the most, so this year, use these 7 tips for staying healthy during the holidays.
- Cover your mouth and nose. To prevent the spread of germs, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze. If you aren’t near a tissue, cover them with your elbow or upper sleeve. The key is just not to sneeze on your hands, which is a major vehicle to spread germs .
- De-stress. The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of year. They often bring on financial worry and physical exhaustion from too many holiday commitments. So this year, limit both: a) Set a budget for what you can spend and stick to it, and b) Cut down on the holiday events you attend (especially during the work week). The more you run yourself ragged trying to have the “perfect” holiday season, the more you lower your body’s ability to fight off sickness.
- Eat healthy. Eating healthy and nutritious foods, especially antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies like kale and broccoli, will give your immune system the nutrients it needs to ward off illnesses. In addition, add some healthy probiotics into your daily diet, like yogurt with live bacteria or a healthy probiotic bar, which add good bacteria into your system that helps your immune system ward off the bad bacteria that cause illnesses. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as eating all the typical holiday goodies, but your body will appreciate you consuming some real food this time of year.
- Get a flu shot. Some say they get sick after receiving it, but others swear by it. Ultimately, it’s up to you, but if it can help prevent you or your loved ones from getting the flu, then give it a shot (no pun intended)!
- Keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of healthy liquids throughout the day keeps you hydrated and thins out mucus. Some healthy choices are water, orange juice, or hot teas.
- Sanitize surfaces. Wipe down surfaces that are frequently touched, like counters and door knobs, with Lysol spray or Lysol wipes. Doing so will cut down on spreading illness.
- Wash hands. This is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick. The key, however, is to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and rinse with warm water. You can count to 20 or make it fun by singing “Happy Birthday” two times (this is great to teach kids how long to wash their hands). And if you aren’t in a place where you can wash your hands, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill germs.
Hopefully, you can use these helpful tips to ensure that you, your family, and your friends stay in the best of health so that you can all enjoy the festivities the holiday season brings. If you have any suggestions for keeping the germs away at this time of year, please share them with us in the comments!