Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
Published: December 19, 2022
Written by: Emily Torres
As the holiday season gets into full swing, many of us are excited to spend some much-needed time with family and friends. Whether your holidays consist of gathering with the entire family or relaxing with a hard-earned vacation, we all want to enjoy happy and healthy celebrations. Here are some tips to make the holidays the most wonderful time of the year!
- Remember to unwind. While the holidays are a time for celebration, they can also be stressful. Try to manage your stress with a good night's sleep and some down time. Take a walk (if the weather allows), read a book, or call friends or family to catch up
- Stay home if you’re feeling under the weather. Gathering during the holidays can mean an increased risk of getting sick. With the triple threat of highly communicable diseases including the flu, COVID-19, and RSV, it is important to keep one another safe. If you are feeling ill, get tested, curl up on the couch (hot chocolate optional but highly recommended), and stay home. Although it is not mandatory, if you are traveling, in large gatherings, or susceptible to respiratory diseases, consider wearing a mask to protect yourself.
- Stay up to date on vaccinations. Get your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations to protect you and your loved ones against serious illness.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently. Make sure to use a tissue or your elbow to cover your cough or sneeze. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and countertop.
- Practice fire safety! From cooking holiday meals to burning candles to lighting up decorations, our favorite holiday traditions can quickly become fire hazards. To avoid cooking-related fires, never leave cooking food unattended and keep flammable objects like dish towels away from cooking surfaces. To avoid tree fires, keep them away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators, and make sure to keep a natural tree watered. Make sure to keep candles away from other decorations in places where they cannot be knocked over and completely extinguish lighted candles rather than leaving them unattended. You can find more helpful tips on decoration safety here.
- Make room for veggies. For many of us, holiday eating is synonymous with delicious meals and rich desserts. While it’s fine to indulge on occasion, remember to balance out the holiday treats with some vegetables. Try roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans, or a fresh side salad! Our Nourish program has some excellent plant-forward recipes for the holidays.
- Eat more mindfully. Take 10 to 15 minutes and drink some water before loading up on seconds. Savor every bite. Check your appetite after and see if you are still hungry.
- Spread the holiday spirit. Find some ways to give back this season! Here are some suggestions:
- Check-in with a local homeless shelter, food bank, or community center to see if they are in need of food, clothing, or toiletry donations. See if they’re in need of volunteers too!
- Homes for Troops
- Donate gifts to your local Ronald McDonald House or children’s hospital.
The holidays can be a good time to rest and reflect on our year. These tips can help you stay healthy as well.