Simple, common sense tips for staying healthy during the holiday season
Doesn’t it usually figure that when you’re racing around the clock to purchase gifts, decorate the house, attend holiday gatherings, shop some more, write cards, and oh yeah, do all the other things you normally do every day, that you find yourself catching a cold, stomach bug, or worse? How do we stay healthy during the holiday season when there is so much more taxing (and attacking!) our systems?
Pace yourself. Easier said than done but seriously consider what things can be put aside until after the holidays or skipped altogether so that you don’t overschedule yourself. A few things you shouldn’t skip: eating, drinking (water), and sleeping.
Eat well. We tend to forget about eating lunch, particularly when we are using our lunch breaks to fit in shopping errands. So, we may be tempted to drive through the fast food chains to get something on the quick . . . or not eat at all. Stock up on fruits and veggies, nuts or some healthy protein bars that you can keep in the office and/or car to have in a pinch when there’s no time to eat a balanced lunch. Try to begin the day with a good meal. Making enough oatmeal for a few days that you can keep in the refrigerator and microwave a serving each morning saves time and gives you a healthy start.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of water. Water is an essential nutrient for our bodies. It’s important to remember that we have to replace what our bodies lose every day (fluids) through breathing, skin evaporation, urine and stool. Yes, we lose water through breathing! Since our body is composed of about 60% water, it makes sense. It also makes sense that drinking water keeps the body balanced, aiding in such functions as digestion, circulation, and transportation of nutrients. So, if we’re low on fluids, we aren’t going to function as we should.
Use common sense when it comes to your personal hygiene. Use the crook of your inner arm at the elbow to stifle sneezes and cover up coughs. Avoid rubbing your eyes or nose after using/touching public doors and railings. Carry tissues and hand sanitizer that can be used when out in public.
And don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep. Just as water is essential to the body, sleep is essential to good health. Getting seven or eight hours per night won’t guarantee immunity from illness but getting less than that can have adverse effects on your health, particularly if it is for an extended period of time. Studies have shown the negative impact of poor sleep on health so when all is said and done, turn the computer off, silence the smartphone, and sleep, sleep, sleep.