During the holidays we spend a lot of time in close contact with others-there’s lots of kissing, hugging and shaking hands. All of this intimate contact means one thing-I am destined to catch a cold or the flu. Year after year this has been the case. As the holiday season ramps up I’m typically caught off guard by a bad case of the flu or a debilitating cold. We can all agree that there never is a good time for a cold or the flu, but illness seems to knock at the most inopportune moments.
This year I’m determined to give it my best shot to stay healthy throughout the holidays-and I need your help.
Here are 5 suggestions to significantly reduce your chances of getting sick this holiday season (no promises!):
- Get enough sleep. Easier said than done-I know. It turns out that lack of sleep really may make us more prone to catching colds and the flu. Our bodies are pretty complex, but there is a clear link between adequate sleep and a strong immune system.
- Wash your hands frequently. Using old fashioned soap and water kills bacteria and removes dirt from our hands. Soap and water reduces the possibility that the germs will travel into our bodies and cause an infection. As a last resort use a hand sanitizer without alcohol.
- Don’t kiss anyone with the sniffles. If Aunt Petunia is headed your way with a big wad of tissues in one hand and something that looks like Rudolph’s nose adorning her face, try to avoid a smooch. If she’ll let you, a fist bump is the way to go.
- Reduce stress. Find what works for you to reduce the amount of stress in your life. This will vary from person to person. I have found that a consistent yoga practice works (not happening at the moment!). I try to set realistic goals and prioritize things on my ‘to do’ list. When you become overwhelmed and stressed out, your immune system suffers and makes you more susceptible to colds and flu
- Get moving. Don’t abandon healthy habits because you can’t find the time. Go to the gym, walk or run outside, swim, practice yoga. Find time to take care of yourself.
- Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water. You are what you eat and healthy eating is the key to well-being. Make a food plan before you head out for the day so you don’t fall victim to eating unhealthy foods on the run. Try to eat a healthy snack before heading out. I bring fruit with me in the car if I know I’m going to be out for a while. Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go-it’s the green and healthy choice.
What other tips to you have for keeping healthy this holiday season?
This post is part of the Green Holiday Guide Blog Carnival hosted by Lisa over at Retro Housewives Goes Green. Hop over to her site for recipes, gift ideas, homemade gift ideas, decorating ideas, and many more ways to make your holiday season as green as can be.