With just a couple weeks to go until Thanksgiving and Christmas not far behind, the holiday season has officially arrived.
That means busy schedules, colder weather (sort of), gatherings with family and friends, traveling, and lots and lots of food! All of this means, less time, more stress and less exercise. Finding ways to stay healthy during the holidays is super important, after all, there’s baking to do, presents to wrap and holiday cheer (not germs) to spread.
We’ve put together a list of helpful tips for staying healthy and germ free through the next (crazy) few months.
During the holidays, you want to feel your best, but from cold and flu bugs, getting a little too festive (hangovers), crazy weather and traveling, it can be tricky to keep your immune system strong and stay clear of all those germs. Before hoping on a place or train or cab, wipe down seats, handles, armrests, exc. It may sound obnoxious and excessive, but think about how many people these surfaces people come in contact with and how many times they’re are cleaned!? I’ll give you a clue, it’s not as much as we would like. So maybe you’ll get a few funny looks, but at least you’ll be sitting pretty knowing you’re being smart when it comes to all those germs.
2) Water, water, water.
This applies to everyone, but especially to those with all those frequent flyer miles. When flying, low humidity and high altitudes makes cain air dry and our airways are more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. Staying hydrated keeps those mucous membranes moist so they can do a better job of keeping all of those bugs out of our system.
3) Wash your hands.
Maybe it seems too simple or obvious, but it can be easily overlooked too and reminders never hurt. Especially since, the germs on your hands are the biggest threat to your health. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is your best friend, cold viruses tend to spread more from hand-to-mouth contact than through the air, making everything you touch, doors, escalator rails, elevator buttons, the ATM a potentially very germy place.
4) Pamper yourself.
Taking care of yourself goes beyond hand sanitizer and getting enough sleep, (although those are both important). Self care means, treating yourself well in every way. There can be a lot of pressure to do it all, especially during the holidays, but we’re not machines and the more we try to “keep up” the more we end up running ourselves down and getting hit with a cold or even worse the dreaded flu. Take time this holiday season, (and every season for that matter) to pamper yourself, go get a massage, take a walk, carve out some quiet alone time and allow yourself to recover from the hustle and bustle. You’ll be amazed at how far a little self care can go!
5) Say no to treats.
Ok, so maybe not ALL the treats, but sugar is definitely the enemy her so choose wisely. Sugar suppresses the immune system and with everything else coming at us during the holidays, avoiding sugar is something we can do to give ourselves a fighting chance.
6) Snack smart.
Bringing along healthy snacks helps you to fight temptation against low blood sugar induced junk food cravings. Cheetos and soda anyone? When out running errands or shopping, try fruit and nuts, pita with
turkey, greek yogurt and granola or raw veggies. The key thing to pay attention to are low calories and sugar and at least 3 grams of fiber, (which helps you to feel full).
7) Stay in, rest up.
With so much to do, it can be easy to run yourself down. There’s a much greater risk of getting sick when you’ve worn down your bodies defenses. Don’t let yourself feel guilty if you need to skip a party in favor of some down time. Think of it as preventive medicine. Reducing stress, along with hand washing and drinking lots of liquids are a great ways to protect yourself from getting sick.
Cocktails, wine, eggnog, champagne, did we mention eggnog? The holiday season brings lots of cheer in the form of alcohol, which can lead to some not so great mornings. One way to look out for yourself is to limit yourself to two drinks and alternate with glasses of water in between to avoid the dreaded hangover the next morning. If you do wake up suffering, the best thing to do: down a bunch of water, take a couple ibuprofen and (if possible) sleep.
Some of these may be redundant or seem like common sense, but the holiday season can be rough and even simple reminders to slow down and take better care of ourselves can be a much welcomed bit of relief from the wonderfully crazy last little bit of the year. After all, happy holidays and good health go really well together, wouldn’t you agree!