Health: 10 Tips for Healthy Living During the Holidays
1. Get a flu shot. Flu season peaks in January/February, but the sooner you protect yourself, the better. Who should get the flu vaccine? According to the Centers for Disease Control, healthcare workers; individuals 50 years of age and older; people with chronic medical conditions; children ages 5 and younger; and pregnant women. Contact your physician for more information.
2. Traveling for the holidays? If you’re making your trip to snowy regions, be sure to prepare an emergency kit with: blankets; food and water; jumper cables; kitty litter or sand for traction; flashlight; batteries and battery-operated radio; first aid kit; plastic bags (for sanitation); and maps. If stranded in your car, stay with your car and keep moving your arms and legs; put a bright cloth on your antenna; and run the engine and heater for 10 minutes every hour, no longer.
3. Be prepared for power outages in your home; have on-hand: batteries, a battery-operated radio and lamps; extra medication; and non-perishable food.
4. Manage stress — don’t over-commit yourself to avoid anxiety. Take “time outs” and delegate … you don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it all at once. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 50 percent of women in the United States experience a heightened sense of stress during the holidays; 60 percent report feeling sad or nervous, and more than half report symptoms of fatigue.
5. Monitor children — every minute, 17 children require emergency treatment due to unintentional injuries.
6. Practice fire safety — don’t leave lit Christmas trees, candles, fireplaces, space heaters or stoves unattended. More than 400 American lives are lost to fires during the holiday season.
7. If you are diabetic, remember to monitor your blood sugar levels; make wise decisions regarding your food, and avoid overeating.
8. Do NOT drink and drive. Save the numbers of your local cab companies in your phone; designate a non-drinking member of your party as the driver; or plan to stay overnight at your location.
9. Wash your hands thoroughly — for at least 20 seconds — and often; this will help limit the spread of germs.
10. Practice food safety — refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation, and eat your refrigerated leftovers within four days or freeze them immediately.