Happy holidays and Merry Christmas, everyone! In just a few days, many of us will likely settle in for a long weekend of gifts, food, and family time. Still, it’s important to remember that even during the holidays, health and safety deserve our time and attention. We don’t just mean eating right and exercising, either! While those are important, there are also other aspects of a healthy holiday that deserve your attention. So between enjoying cups of eggnog (in moderation, of course) and a day of holiday movie marathons (with some time for the treadmill), we strongly advise taking the time to put these other healthy holiday tips to good use:
- Check your home for problems ASAP. More house fires start during the holidays than any other season - and many times, the traditional decor we like to include in our winter wonderlands is to blame. To reduce the risk of a blaze starting in your home, be sure to review your home, your trees, your lights, and your decorations for any hazards that need to be addressed now (before paper-wrapped presents are introduced to the equation, too!).
- Take the time and prepare to travel safely. Millions of people travel during the Christmas holiday. With more people on the road than usual, trips have the potential to become dangerous. Even driving to a nearby friend’s in the same city could risk being problematic. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to make your travel plans as safe as possible. By always wearing a seatbelt and giving yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going (rather than risk driving recklessly in bad weather on a busy road), you’ll be able to add safety back into your travel plans. (And, of course, whether you’re traveling across the country or over to a friend’s house, never drink and drive!)
- Wash your hands regularly! We’ve said this before: scrubbing your hands is one the best ways to avoid spreading germs that could make you sick, particularly since we spend so much of the day touching different objects and surfaces. This is especially important if you’re spending time with a large group of people this holiday, as everyone could potentially be carrying a bug or two, even if they aren’t showing symptoms themselves. Take special care to ensure that you wash your hands after you cough or sneeze, and that you wash them before rubbing your eyes or touching your face. And don’t forget, as popular as antibacterial products are, using soap and warm water while scrubbing for at least 20 seconds is still the best way to get your hands nice and clean!
- Take a deeeeeeeep breath. We’ve said this before, too, but taking time to reduce your stress levels during the holiday is a must. Stress management is particularly important right now if the holidays tend to get your heart rate and anxiety levels up. Chronic stress can have serious side effects on your health - but taking the time to address it now can help to get your body back on track, just in time for the new year!
- Consider making an appointment with your doctor. If you haven’t met with your doctor recently, now is the time to consider coming in for your annual regular exam! Regularly scheduled appointments give your doctor a chance to track your health and to evaluate if any new problems are developing. Remember, the sooner a problem is caught, the easier it is to treat it! From tracking gaps in your vaccination records to blood tests to basic exams, every part of a doctor’s visit can build a fuller picture of your health. Even better, we’ve created an app just for scheduling appointments with us – designed specifically to make your life easier!
As the year comes to a close, we encourage everyone to make good health a priority to help ensure that their season - and new year - continue to go by with minimal complications. Putting these tips to good use will help get you on the right path, and can help ensure that your holidays are merry and healthy! And of course, should any non-emergency health issues arise that need attention, you are welcome to contact your doctor by phone or through our new app.