Want to stay healthy through the holiday season? Here are 12 quick tips that can really make a difference!
Wash your hands
Wash your hands often. When you wash, make sure you use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep hand sanitizers nearby–in the car, in your purse or back pack. After every exchange (hand shake, paying using a credit card, touching a banister)–wash or use the sanitizer.
If you can’t wash or sanitize, keep your hands away from your face. Germs love to jump from the hands to the eyes and nose. –Dr. Michael Freedman, Evolve Medical.
Manage your stress
No one problem is more universal during the holidays than allowing stress to overwhelm us. If you begin to feel overwhelmed or “stressed out”, take a break. Call a friend or visit with someone. Connect! Get more sleep. Try to make time to exercise or do yoga or get a massage. But most importantly, focus on gratitude for what you have, patience and tolerance with others (everyone has got their stuff going on!) and try not to worry about getting everything perfect.
Don’t drink and drive
In 2013, there were 10,076 fatalities in crashes involving a alcohol (one alcohol related driving fatality occurred every 52 minutes). During the holiday season, the number of traffic fatalities increased to 45 per day during the 3-day Christmas period and jumped to 54 per day over New Year’s holiday period.
Please choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. If someone who shouldn’t be driving is insisting, be forceful. They’ll thank you in the morning.
Stay dry and warm
Layers, jackets, scarves and hats. Keep from getting wet and cold. Does getting cold and wet cause a cold–or worse pneumonia–as our grandmother’s told us? Doctors really don’t know (possibly due to a shortage of volunteers willing to be hosed down during cold snaps). But better to be safe than sorry.
Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke
Smokers are much more susceptible to bacterial infections than non-smokers. These infections can be life-threatening and both active smokers as well as those exposed to secondhand smoke toxins are at increased risk.
Avoid distracted driving and fasten seat belts.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 1-54! Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Adults–and teens–need to buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same. And please, do not use your phone for texting, Apps or any purpose unless you are off the road.
Get exams and screenings–and get your health insurance
Get your health insurance lined up for 2017. If you haven’t already, here is the link for the Maryland Health Exchange. You should also check in with your Primary Care to find out what exams you may need for the coming year. If you need a less expensive option, Evolve Medical provides the least expensive primary care and urgent care in the area and combined with Liberty Direct, can provide a complete insurance option for as little as $149 per month.
Get your vaccinations.
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. And it’s never too late. In fact the “flu season” traditionally peaks during late winter/early spring. If you haven’t gotten the flu vaccine yet, get it.
Keep an eye on the kids.
Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, and dangerous presents out of children’s reach.
Practice fire safety.
Most fires occur during the winter months. Don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, or candles unattended. Watch food cooking closely. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly. And please remember to turn off the lights on the tree at bedtime and when away from the home. And if you haven’t cleaned your chimney recently, make sure it’s swept before your first fire! During the holidays in particular, watch your Christmas tree. Old dried out trees and Xmas lights are a deadly disaster waiting to happen. Turn off the tree at night!
Be mindful of food safety.
When cooking or prepping: Wash hands and surfaces often, to avoid cross-contamination. To avoid food-borne illnesses associated with left overs, read this short article from Evolve.
Eat healthy & stay active.
Let’s face it–holidays are the time most of us over-indulge. At least for the in-between gatherings and parties, try to eat more fruits and vegetables. Whenever possible, limit your portion sizes and try to minimize the snacking on Christmas cookies. It’s hard to exercise when it’s cold but it is important to stay active. Don’t wait for New Year to be the healthy new you!
If you have any questions or have been feeling excessively anxious, depressed or feeling isolated, please speak with a medical professional. Evolve Medical is happy to see you. Same day scheduling on-line here or call 844-322-4222. Or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.