The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year – holiday shopping, family get togethers, end of year exams for students, and lots of traveling. With all of that happening, no one wants to get sick and cancel plans or miss out on events. To help you stay healthy this holiday season, we’re sharing foundational reminders that may seem simple but can play a huge role in keeping you and your family healthy this year!
7 Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy This Holiday Season
1. Get your flu shot
Flu season can last through May, so it’s important to get your flu shot early and protect yourself all season long! Not only do you feel terrible with the flu, but it can also knock you out of family plans and friendly get-togethers for a week or more. To protect yourself and the rest of your family, contact an Avance Care location and schedule your flu shot today.
2. Wash your hands!
As cliché as it may seem, washing your hands is a tool everyone should use year-round, but especially in the winter when there’s an uptick in illnesses. Wash your hands thoroughly after you use the restroom, before you eat, or after you leave public places like gas stations and grocery stores.
3. Practice food safety
If you’re having a big family meal or friendly get together, preparing multiple dishes in one kitchen can feel a little disorganized. Make sure you’re especially following food safety during this time! Prepare meats on separate plates, wash your hands well, ensure all food is cooked to correct temperatures, and clean all cooking tools and utensils thoroughly.
4. Get caught up on exams, screenings, and vaccinations
The end of the year and start of the new year is a great time to update your family’s healthcare. If you haven’t had one in the last year, be sure to visit your primary care provider for your annual wellness visit. At Avance Care, this visit only takes one hour and covers all the necessary screenings, vaccinations, and vitals to manage your long-term health, detect illness or disease, and create any necessary plans for treatment. Plus, Avance Care providers see children, teens, and adults, which means you can knock out your family healthcare all in one place.
5. Manage stress
We know the holidays are busy and stressful but taking care of your mental and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Be sure to implement stress management techniques and include adequate rest for yourself this holiday season. If you would benefit from talking to a licensed therapist, Avance Care Behavioral Health has in person and telehealth options available and is accepting new patients.
6. Eat a balanced diet
Part of having a healthy relationship with food is allowing yourself to indulge on special occasions, and the holidays are no exception! It’s okay to have dessert and eat those cookies but be sure to provide your body with adequate vitamins and minerals, too! When possible, keep your eating routine consistent with a balanced diet and non-processed foods. If you’re finding yourself having a difficult relationship with food and are unsure how to manage the holidays, consider talking with Avance Care Nutrition Services. Our registered dietitians are here to help you achieve your own personal health goals and can set you up with the education and tools you’re looking for.
7. Stay active
Being active in the winter months is more difficult as it gets colder and colder outside, and there’s less daylight available. Aiming for 30 minutes of activity 3-5 days a week is a great place to start. Something is always better than nothing, and your workouts don’t have to be strenuous. Dance parties in the kitchen can count, too! Check out this blog post by Julia Bumpus, MS, RDN, LDN if you’re having trouble staying motivated to move your body.
Holidays are filled with joy, spending time with family and friends, and creating wonderful memories to last a lifetime. No one wants to get sick and sit on the sidelines. These tips can help your immune system stay strong this winter and keep you feeling great. If you start to feel under the weather, be sure to give your body plenty of rest. Visit your primary care provider if your symptoms don’t improve or go away.