The holiday season is one of the most anticipated times of the year. With cold weather finally here and plenty of opportunities to celebrate with friends and family, what’s not to love?
Unfortunately, winter is also the time of year when the cold and flu runs rampant. Weakened immune systems combined with large gatherings create the perfect setup for illness.
But by following a few simple steps, you can help to keep yourself and your family healthy this holiday season. Here’s a look at what you can do.
How do I stay healthy over the holidays?
Practicing common health and safety tips is the best way to stay healthy over the holidays. Focus on eating a healthy diet that’s full of a variety of nutrients. Avoid the sugar-laden desserts that are often offered at holiday parties and opt for fruits, veggies, and lean meats.
Don’t share utensils, makeup, or other personal items with others. Wash your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds and try not to touch high-traffic areas like busy doors.
Be sure to get your flu shot as soon as possible if you haven’t already. This immunization is one of the best ways to prevent the flu every year. CareNow® is offering the flu shot at all locations for just $20.
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How to be healthy over the holidays
There’s a difference between staying healthy and being healthy. If you’re looking to stay healthy, you want to stave off illness. However, being healthy means following healthy habits that keep you in tip-top shape — or at least keep you in the same size clothes throughout the year.
To avoid expanding your waistline and putting yourself at risk of illness and disease, try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan throughout the holidays, even when things get busy.
Make sure you’re consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables — especially those high in vitamin C. If you’re planning to attend a holiday party, plan ahead. Make yourself a healthy meal that includes protein and fruits and veggies.
Of course, you can indulge in some treats throughout the holidays, but it’s a good idea to be more intentional with what you choose. Stick with your favorites (you know, the ones you think about all year long) and allow those to be your special treats.
Even though it’s cold outside, it’s also smart to maintain your normal exercise routine. You may need to move your routine indoors, but there are so many fitness options you can do inside your home either with a piece of exercise equipment or just yourself.
How to stay mentally healthy over the holidays
The winter months can be a tough time for many people. Cold weather and shorter days can lead many people to deal with seasonal affective disorder, commonly referred to as SAD. Symptoms of this mental illness include depression, fatigue, and social withdrawal.
Many people also struggle during the holidays if they’ve lost a loved one recently. Whether it’s been months or years, it’s common to miss those not with us during this time of year.
If you’re struggling with your mental health this year, it’s crucial that you talk to someone who can help. Whether it’s a counselor, therapist, or medical provider, voicing your thoughts and feelings is an important step in the healing process.
Therapy is also helpful with seasonal affective disorder. Medication is another solution to help alleviate the symptoms of SAD. Many people have seen positive results from light therapy, also known as phototherapy, as well.
How to stay healthy over holiday travel
Traveling during the holidays can lead to major concerns over staying healthy. Between crowded airports and exposure to others in close proximity on the plane, it seems inevitable that you might catch something while you travel.
Small adjustments like wearing a mask at the airport and on the plane or making sure you’re currently up on immunizations before you travel can make a big difference.
If you’re planning to drive to your destination, make sure to drink plenty of water and make stops regularly so you can get out and stretch.
When it comes time to stop for a meal or snack, do your best to stock up on healthy options like fruit, whole grain carbs, and high protein foods like cheese or beef jerky.
Should you fall ill while traveling, you will want to be sure you have a first aid kit in your car that’s full of pain medication, cough syrup, extra water, etc. This will guarantee you can treat yourself while you wait to be seen by a medical professional.
You should also make a list of all medical facilities and hospitals near your final destination. While there’s a good chance you won’t need to use it, you’ll be glad you know where everything is in case there’s an emergency.
What to do if you get sick this holiday season
If you’re able to practice almost everything in this article, your chances of staying healthy this holiday are high. However, should you fall under the weather, it’s important that you get diagnosed as quickly as possible to avoid spreading your illness to others.
If you’ve fallen under the weather this holiday season and need to seek treatment, visit your local CareNow®. We’ve got more than 175 locations throughout the United States, each open after hours and on the weekend.
We also offer a Web Check-In® feature available on our website for those who want to wait from anywhere — instead of sitting in the waiting room.
Each of our clinics is fully staffed with qualified medical providers too. In fact, we recently earned the distinction of Accredited Urgent Care Center from our industry’s association, Urgent Care Association (UCA), highlighting the excellence of our care.
Our providers will perform a full medical exam and then ask about your symptoms to find out what might be going on. Once a diagnosis is reached, they will come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you so you can get back to your normal day in no time.