As the holiday season approaches, there’s exciting activities and family visits to look forward to. But amid the hustle and bustle, the stress and the food, it can be all too easy to over do it, resulting in illness or injury. Keep your home safe, happy and healthy by following these six tips in your home this holiday season:
1. Get your flu shot
On top of holiday shopping and everything else, not everyone remembers to get their flu shot every year. However, this is one of the main tools in your arsenal for warding off the holiday sniffles (and worse). Check your insurance to see the best places to get a flu shot, or look online for a free flu shot clinic near you. Many workplaces offer employee flu shots on site, or you can even sign up to host your own on-site flu clinic. It doesn’t matter how you get it, just be sure to check this off your list and remind your loved ones to do the same.
2. Wash your hands
It sounds simple, but hand washing is your first line of defense against germs. Create healthy habits for your family by instituting a hand-washing rule when you get home from an outing and before each meal. By simply following the techniques listed by the CDC, you’ll ensure a healthier home for everyone.
3. Food awareness
In addition to following the proper food safety guidelines listed by the FDA, you should try to keep the focus on holiday togetherness rather than food. Grazing and snacking along with overeating become common symptoms of holiday eating, so be intentional and aware about the food you consume. Be sure to eat at regular intervals to avoid overindulging later on, and allow yourself some indulgences while saying no to the rest. By keeping the focus on fun, not food, you’ll be less likely to overdo it.
4. Stay active
Our bodies need movement regardless of the weather, so find ways to stay active this holiday season. Sedentary winter months and holiday overeating combine to make a very regretful New Year’s Day, so make a plan to stay active this season. Whether it’s planning a quick trip to the gym amid your celebrations or scheduling a family basketball game, do what you enjoy that keeps your body moving.
5. Clear the air and home
With presents, wrappings, and parties, the amount of trash and waste get high. In fact, Americans generate an additional 5 million tons of waste during the holidays, so use this creative EPA guide to cut down on waste this year.
As for cleaner air, the use of live plants (such as an evergreen tree or poinsetta) help naturally filter the air in your home. Using a certified HEPA filter will also help clear allergens and other debris. When searching for a way to fill your home with holiday scents, stick with beeswax or vegetable-based wax candles scented with natural essential oils to avoid toxins that paraffin candles produce.
6. Manage stress
Travel, extra spending, and a lack of sunshine are just some factors that can add up for holiday stress. Schedule in some daily meditation or mindfulness exercises to keep your mental health on track during the busy winter months. For additional stress management tips, Mayo Clinic offers some great ways to plan a low-stress holiday.
If you’re worried about managing alone this season, learn more about assisted living care opportunities for a safer and happier holiday.
Ms. Harris is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys reading, triathlons, and baking.