Between writing letters to Santa and building gingerbread houses, there is lots to get done during the holidays. With so much to do, you might overlook your health during the holiday season — especially with so many parties to attend.
However, with a little bit of awareness and planning, you can avoid winter sicknesses and other nuisances. Here are a few things to remember to keep your health at the top of your priorities:
HEALTH TIPS FOR HOLIDAY SEASON
Beware of Frost
Walking in a winter wonderland is not as fun as the song suggests if you’re not properly bundled up and prepared for the cold. While hopefully you know better than to stick your tongue on poles (yes, it will freeze, and yes, they will probably have to call an ambulance), there are other issues you may not know to worry about. Depending on the weather where you live, you may even have to worry about not getting frostbite!
More likely, however, are problems like discomfort in the cold and frozen hair. If you go outside with your hair wet and the temperature is below freezing, it could crystallize and break off. This can be especially unfavorable if you’re on your way to a holiday party and your hair is ruined. You may even need a new haircut altogether. To avoid bad hair days during the winter, avoid going outside with wet hair.
A more serious problem that could happen when the temperature drops is one you probably don’t think about. Winter weather can cause your eyes discomfort, and even serious damage, like a frozen cornea. To avoid this, never force your eyes open in the cold and remember to wear protective gear such as glasses to protect your eyes from the wind.
Don’t Use Up All Your Sick Days
With all sorts of parties, potlucks, and holiday treats going on during this time, it can be hard to keep track of it all. This can make it harder to eat healthy during the holidays and at the same time make it easier to get sick to your stomach, which can even make you take a day or two off from work.
Stomach sickness is usually caused by foodborne illnesses. If a food is not prepared or stored right, it can go bad and cause food poisoning; if it is made or handled by someone carrying a virus or disease, it can make everyone who eats it sick. Due to similar symptoms, it can be hard to tell the difference between food poisoning and a stomach bug. Usually, the former only lasts 1 to 2 days, and the latter can last up to 5 days.
To avoid stomach aches, remember to wash your hands and watch what you eat. Though the holidays are a time of celebrating and eating delicious food, it’s still important to eat healthy when you can. If you make any meals or treats, consider using healthy alternative ingredients, try to enjoy other sugary treats in moderation, and don’t take food from anyone who might be contagious.
Healthy Holidays to All
You should also be on the lookout for bigger health issues that you may not be aware of during the holiday season. For example, if your stomach flu symptoms don’t go away after 5 days or you have a recurring issue it might be a sign of something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Symptoms as common during the holidays as heartburn can be a sign of a more serious chronic disease.
While the holidays may not feel like the best time to go to the doctor and potentially receive bad news, it’s best to put your health first. After all, it is never good to put off a health concern — especially when it’s virtually always easier to fix something the earlier you catch it. Also, for optimal health year round, wash your hands often, sanitize your personal items, and maintain hygienic habits.
Though the holidays may feel like the season of overindulgence, you shouldn’t forget about New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re keeping up the one from last year or are getting an early start on the next one, keep your health goals in mind and be kind to your body.
Sassy Peeps, how do you stay healthy during the holiday season? Inquiring minds would like to know!
Have A Happy Healthy, and Remember to Always…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Geo Sique is a contributor from Idaho and graduate from Boise State University. With a passion for health, she often writes articles on mental and physical health, as well as outdoor activities that inspire her to stay active. Twitter handle: Geo Sique