Having a Healthy Holiday Season!

Posted on December 21, 2018 by kerri
There’s nothing worse than getting sick around the holidays! There are many precautions you can take to hopefully avoid getting sick this holiday season—and fortunately, most don’t take much time at all!
Avoiding Colds, Flus, Infections, and General Germs
Avoiding colds, flus, infections, and germs in general is probably what most people think of when they think about staying healthy for the holidays! With all the shopping, people in the malls along with you, and more time spent indoors as weather grows cold, we’re more likely to start passing germs around at this time of year.
To stay healthy, wash your hands regularly—soap and water is best but hand sanitizer can do in a pinch!—cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow, not your hand, eat well, and stay hydrated to flush any germs out of your body before they can take hold and make you sick!
De-stress!
You know how “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards? Well, de-stress can also be rearranged to spell desserts! Do something you enjoy—like baking (or eating!) the occasional dessert. Classic ways to de-stress include listening to music, exercising, and taking a warm bath. Short-term stress can improve your immune system function by triggering release of cortisol, but long-term stress has the opposite effect, according to Cleveland Clinic. [1] So while the added pressure of finding gifts and preparing a meal might keep you healthy the days leading up to the big day—or days—being stressed too long beforehand can wear you down and contribute to getting sick!
Food safety
There’s a lot involved in keeping food safe to eat around the holidays!
Following general food safety precautions is important, including:
  • washing your hands before preparing food [2]
  • using separate cutting boards for produce and raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood (and not returning a cooked item back to the same unwashed cutting board it was on raw) [2]
  • using a digital thermometer to ensure food is cooked to a safe temperature (don’t just guess!) [2]
    • wash the thermometer and any utensils used to check raw or partially cooked meat between temperature checks [2]
  • throw out any food that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours. [2]
For more tips on food safety, Health Canada has a great guide to everything you could ever want to know about food safety around the holidays.
As for leftovers, it’s best to get these into the fridge as quickly as possible to prevent bacteria from reproducing. Similarly, ensure your leftovers are reheated at the proper temperature to kill any lingering germs.
Medication refills around the holidays
Your pharmacy may have reduced hours around the holidays, and deliveries of medications may not come in as regularly. Ask your pharmacist about holiday hours, especially it you go to a small local pharmacy. Refill medications early if possible to avoid missing doses of medications!
Wear medical ID jewelry
The unexpected can happen, especially when you’re busy, stressed, or doing things you don’t usually do. Wearing medical ID jewelry can help reduce one source of apprehension around the holiday season. Our jewelry styles from My Identity Doctor can fit with any outfit—casual to classy.
How do you stay healthy around the holidays?

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