As we make our way into the closing of the year, we start to look forward to celebrating the holidays with friends and family. But don’t forget that, while you do want to be sure to share holiday cheer, you don’t want to share holiday germs with your guests.
This rings especially true as we consider the least welcomed holiday guest of all: COVID-19. That’s why we – your favorite Family healthcare in Justin TX (clinics also in Benbrook, Lewisville, Boyd & Bedford TX)– felt it was a good idea to share a couple of tips that will help ensure that you have healthy, happy holidays.
Wash your Hands OFTEN
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that handwashing makes a critical difference in keeping us healthy. In fact, handwashing alone can prevent 20-30% of the spread of common illnesses. Be sure to wash your hands often throughout the day!
If you have lots of kiddos coming for the holidays, consider putting up a decorative reminder to wash [with soap] for 20 seconds. You could even include suggesting a 20-second song to sing that will help them time themselves. Some good suggestions include:
- 1 full chorus of “Let it Go” from everyone’s favorite winter princess
- The Alphabet Song
- If You’re Happy and You Know It
- 1 full chorus of “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
Or, if you really want to get creative, try the website that generates a free printable hand-washing poster based upon any song you type in (provided it’s in the website’s database).
Stress is another element that many folks often underestimate. Both chronic and acute stress have been known to decrease your immune system’s ability to fight off illnesses. While holidays are supposed to be a time to relax and reflect, the reality is often quite different. There are meals to prepare, guests to care for, shopping to complete, and much more!
Be sure to build in time to for yourself. We highly recommend you try out at least one of the following self-care practices multiple times throughout the holidays:
- Get a massage
- Consider starting a stress journal
- Try deep breathing exercises
- Take a catnap
- Carve out some alone time each day to get refocused
- Book an appointment with a counselor or therapist
At Your Family Medical, your expert Family healthcare in Justin TX, we care about your physical and emotional health (clinics also in Benbrook, Lewisville, Boyd & Bedford). If you feel that your stress is becoming unmanageable or if you notice that it’s impacting your life more than you’d like, give us a call. You don’t have to go through it alone.
Healthy Alternatives to Holiday Favorites
While you may be looking forward to your favorite holiday dishes all year long, your blood pressure and cholesterol don’t. However, you may not have to cut it out of the menu altogether! Many problematic ingredients have healthy alternatives you can substitute in. For example, did you know that when a dessert calls for oil in the recipe, you can use applesauce instead? Check out these additional healthy suggestions:
- Add more vegetable dishes to the menu (and to your plate)
- Practice portion control, especially with dishes high in salt, fat or sugar
- Prepare additional portions of white meat or consider serving fish or poultry instead of red meat
- Drink a full glass of water before a meal
- If a dish calls for bacon, try using turkey bacon instead of pork
- Limit alcohol intake
- Try cauliflower mashed potatoes instead of the standard mashed potatoes
Make Time for Physical Activity
The holidays are not the time to slack on your exercising habits. In fact, if you don’t already have a weekly routine, it’s a fantastic time to start! In addition to physical activity being good for your physical health, it’s also great for reducing stress. With family and friends around, you can turn exercise into a healthy holiday tradition.
We recommend trying to get 2.5 hours of activity in per week. Schedule a jog in each morning if you’re an early riser and need that time to gather your thoughts. Or, if you’re more socially motivated, try encouraging everyone to join you on a group walk after each evening meal. You could even make it a competition – whoever gets the most steps in by New Year’s Eve at midnight gets an award!
Schedule a Medical Checkup and Health Screening
Although this may be the busiest time of year, regular checkups and screenings are too important to skip. This is especially true with all the concerns surrounding COVID-19 this year. Get in touch with your family healthcare doctor in Justin TX (clinics also in Benbrook, Lewisville, Boyd & Bedford, TX) a month or so before things get too busy so you can find out if you’re up to date on everything. If you need to schedule something, do it sooner rather than later. The closer to the holidays you get, the fewer options you will have. And don’t forget to get your:
- Flu shot and/or any another other needed vaccine
- Blood pressure and cholesterol checked
- Annual cancer screenings (mammogram, colonoscopy, etc.)
- Specialty screenings as directed by your doctor
- Annual general physical
Make a commitment to keep the health and safety of your loved ones a priority this holiday season by focusing on healthy habits. For more ideas and support, visit our website or give us a call! We are accepting new patients now – don’t wait until the holidays are over to give yourself the gift of health.
Call Our Medical Clinics:
Justin TX Clinic: 940-648-1400
Benbrook TX Clinic: 817-727-3331
Bedford TX Clinic: 817-283-6995
Lewisville TX Clinic: 972-436-7531
Boyd TX Clinic: 940-279-7111
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice, nor does reading or accessing this information create a patient-provider relationship. Comments that you post will be shared with all visitors to this page. All comments are not governed by HIPAA and you should not post any private health information.