The holiday season is a joyous, wonderful time of year, but it can also be a time when sickness and stress cause physical and mental health issues.
It’s important to be careful and take care of yourself so you can take in all of the joy and togetherness that the holiday season brings.
Below there are a few tips to take care of your physical and mental wellness this holiday season.
The holiday season is often accompanied by icy roads and careless drivers. Make sure that you are driving carefully and safely so you can avoid a motor-vehicle related injury, which was a market that cost a total of $445.6 billion in 2018.
To avoid a vehicle-related injury, make sure to do regular maintenance on your car.
If something feels off while you are driving, get it checked out before getting on a potentially treacherous or icy road.
Approximately $60 billion of vehicle maintenance goes unperformed each year, so make sure you’re not adding to that number and being preemptive about your car’s maintenance.
You can’t control other drivers on the road, but making sure that you are doing all you can to be safe on the road is important.
Nothing ruins Thanksgiving dinner like not arriving because your car broke down on the way due to a preventable issue.
Eat Immune Boosting Foods
Although one of the best parts of the holiday season is the delicious food, choosing to eat healthy, immune-boosting foods while you’re away from your celebrations can help you stay healthy.
Making sure that you are eating things that help your body function at peak performance means that you can have a better holiday season and avoid some of the sugar hangovers, or actual hangovers, that often feel inevitable after holiday celebrations.
Some immune-boosting foods are fruits that contain vitamin c (like oranges and raspberries), garlic, broccoli, ginger, yogurt with probiotics, and almonds.
All of these foods can be easily incorporated into your diet, so try to add a little garlic to your next dinner or a side of probiotic yogurt to your normal breakfast.
An immune system that is working correctly is key to keeping healthy during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Get Your Flu Shot
Flu shots are a great way to help stay healthy during the holidays.
Each year, a new flu vaccine is released that can fight against what doctors believe will be the most prevalent strains of the flu that year.
You cannot get the flu from a flu shot as some people think — flu shots are made with inactivated, or “dead,” versions of the flu or with a single strand of protein, which once again cannot infect you with the flu.
According to the CDC, the most common reactions to the vaccination are “soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given.”
The pros definitely outweigh the cons, but you can consult with your doctor if you have any more misconceptions about the flu shot.
Practice Fire Safety
With the number of lights, flammable decorations, and other hazards that come with the holidays, you need to make sure you’re being vigilant about fire safety.
Even if you’re in a new-to-you home, over 50% of houses for sale are over 40 years old, which means the wiring may not be as safe as it could be.
Remember to never leave your Christmas tree lights plugged in overnight or when you’re not at home, make sure that any mantel decor is not close enough to fireplace flames to actually catch fire, and keep an eye on anything that is cooking on the stove.
If you use space heaters to heat your home, make sure that they are under constant supervision as well to avoid any fire-related accidents.
Exercise is beneficial to both your physical and mental health during any time of the year, but it can be especially helpful during the holiday season.
In terms of your physical health, not only does exercise make you strong and fit, it also helps boost your immune system.
Exercising helps with your overall health by increasing your body’s ability to function the way that it’s supposed to, and it also helps increase circulation which means that your immune system can properly circulate antibodies throughout your body to fight off any illnesses that you might pick up.
In terms of mental health, exercising releases endorphins which create the “runners high” that you often hear about from people who exercise regularly.
You should try to find a form of exercise that brings you joy so you don’t dread working out.
Whether that’s walking, running, swimming, skiing, dancing, lifting weights, or yoga, any time that you are moving your body you are helping your body.
Try to frame your time spent working out as time that you are spending doing something good for you and thank your body for whatever it is able to do, even if you aren’t “perfect” at your favorite form of exercise yet.
Focus on Gratitude
It is easy to get swept up in the stress of the holiday season and not enjoy the wonderful things that are going on.
Instead of focusing on all the stressful and overwhelming things going on, try to make time every day to write down three things that you are grateful for.
When you spend time focusing on what makes you feel happy and grateful, you start to focus more on those things instead of the negative things that make you feel bad.
Jot down the things you are grateful for in a note on your phone, a notebook, or even a desktop calendar.
Anywhere that you can see that you are consistently putting down what you are grateful for can really help you shift your mindset.
The holiday season can cause a lot of physical and mental stress, and trying to figure out how to avoid any negative parts of the season can be hard.
If you try to follow these tips, you should be on your way to a happier and healthier holiday season.
How do you destress during the holidays?
What is your favorite way to stay healthy during the hustle and bustle at the end of the year?
Let me know in the comments below!