Most of us pack our homes full of family and friends around the holidays, but with all that excitement comes many risk factors that increase our chances of getting sick. Having more people at your home and within close proximity exposes you to additional germs, especially if loved ones have traveled on a plane to see you. To make matters worse, you’ll likely gather in close quarters without much ventilation.
There are things people do to themselves that weaken their immune systems during the holidays, and those things are cutting back on sleep, drinking alcohol, and dietary changes outside of your normal diet, which can all wreak havoc on your body and make you more susceptible for getting sick.
Keep It Clean
One of the most effective things you can do to not get sick around Christmas and New Year is to sanitize and wash your hands frequently.
Always start with your hands. It’s better to wash your hands whenever you can, but keep a bottle of sanitizer handy in your car, on your desk, and anywhere else you need it. These are handy, inexpensive, and effective at killing germs.
The average human touches their face 23 times an hour, so the risk of exposure is a lot higher than one may think!
Use a cleaner at home that kills viruses and bacteria on all high-touch surfaces. Remember to wipe your light switches, TV remotes, microwave and fridge handles, door knobs, and cell phones/cell phone cases.
Get Enough Sleep and Stay Active
The holiday season is jam-packed with different events. Most of them are enjoyable, such as a work party before everyone takes a vacation for the holiday, or dinners with friends and family. Those additional constraints on your time can take a toll on your body if you are not getting enough rest.
Whenever possible, stick to your regular sleep and wake times, and don’t skip working out. It won’t just benefit your physical health but your mental health as well.
Push projects – If you need to make extra room in your schedule for rest and fitness, push those home improvement projects, yard work, and other obligations which don’t have deadlines attached until after the holidays.
Pay Attention to Diet
When you can’t control who you’re near, you can control what you put in your body. It’s one of the best ways to avoid getting sick around family.
Just like providing your body with regular rest and exercise, it also needs healthy food and regular hydration. Staying hydrated flushes your body from harmful toxins, and a good diet provides the necessary vitamins and minerals, including plenty of vitamin-c.
Even at parties, choose healthier options from buffets and menus. Look for dishes with natural ingredients, like vegetables, nuts, and whole grains with lean protein. Limit foods that are too sugary, as well as alcohol.
Limiting alcohol can be especially crucial for avoiding getting sick around New Years. Overdoing it with a night of partying when your immune system has already weakened at the end of the season is a bad idea.
Take Preventative Measures
You can do other things to learn how to not get sick. Vitamins can be hugely beneficial. Vitamins C, B6, and E all help support a robust immune system. Most multivitamins have enough of these to be effective.
Try to avoid places where a lot of people gather. Don’t schedule routine doctor or dentist appointments this time of year, and have your groceries delivered if it’s possible. Basically, in preparation for the holiday, you want to limit your exposure to those who are around a lot of people with regular cadence.
Remember that you’re only as healthy as the people in your home. Encourage your immediate family members to practice the same habits, and start your kids on vitamins, if they don’t take them already. Get everyone a little bottle of hand sanitizer to carry with them.
Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health
Whether conscious of it or not, most of us know that mental exhaustion leads to feeling run-down in your body. We often need extra sleep, have a low capacity to get things done, and feel irritated.
In truth, it’s similar to being sick and can weaken your immune system, leading to actual illness. What’s more, the holidays can be very stressful for various reasons, including family conflicts, financial problems, and busy schedules.
Everyone deals with stress differently. The key is finding healthy coping mechanisms that work for you. It can be anything from sitting and reading a book to going for a long run.
If you find yourself struggling, seek help immediately.
Stay Home If You Don’t Feel Well
If you don’t feel well, stay home! We don’t just mean parties, either. Stay home from school, work, and everything else.
The more germs spread, the more people they infect. Remember, there are always members of our community vulnerable to life-threatening cases of common illnesses. Think about the last time you were sick–we bet you wish your germ carrier had stayed home.
Stay Healthy and Happy this Holiday Season
It’s challenging to enjoy holiday celebrations if your body is sick and tired. Plus, no one will want to be near you if you have a runny nose, cough, and can’t hold your eyes open.
For the record, most of the tips above also apply to how to avoid getting sick throughout the entire year. You can use them to start some healthy habits. You’ll have a jump on your New Year’s resolutions and can enjoy a full year of illness-free days.
If you are feeling sick, find an urgent care facility near you today. No appointment necessary, as walk-ins are always welcomed.