Maximizing Your Health Through The Holiday Season

The holidays are a very busy time of year for many. Often, it is a time that many people put their health on the back burner. Instead, it should be a time that you focus on your own well-being. Take some time off from wrapping presents to think about what you can be doing to keep yourself happy and healthy during this holiday. Here are a few things to think about during the holidays to maximize your health during this bustling season.

1. Stay warm - During the cold winter season, it's important not to stay out in the cold too long. Being out in the cold can make it more difficult for your body to fight off germs. And, the last thing you want is to be sick during the holiday celebrations! If you have to be outside, be sure to dress in warm layers, and wear a hat and gloves.

2. Manage Stress - It's important to manage stress all year long, but often during the holidays we find ourselves more stressed than usual because of all we have going on. Be sure to make time for yourself, but don't shut yourself out. Socialization and spending time with others is also helpful with managing stress. If you're feeling overwhelmed during the holidays talk to a family member or friend that will lend an ear. It's often helpful just to talk your feelings out.

3. Safe Travels - With wintry conditions present during the holidays, it's important to focus on traveling safety. Before you take that long drive to see your family or friends for the holiday, make sure your vehicle is healthy. Also, be sure to wear your seatbelt and pay attention to speed limits and other drivers, as the holidays are a high traffic season. Pay extra close attention if there is snow or rain, and leave with plenty of time to get where you are going so that you don't feel the need to rush.

4. Good Food Choices - It's easy to go overboard on eating during this time of year, but pay attention to what you're consuming. You don't want to eat now and feel sick later. Before you put food on your plate, think about what foods usually bother you or might give you acid reflux. Also, up your water intake, and lower your alcohol intake to help yourself combat acid reflux.

5. Get Moving - Not only is taking a walk good for your physical health, it's great for your mental health. So if you're trying to cope with stress during the holidays or just trying to stay healthy, layer up and take a walk in the sun. Sunlight has been shown to help with seasonal depression and is a sure fire way to help boost your mood.

6. Wash Your Hands - Along with making healthy food choices, being conscious of hygiene as well. Wash your hands when you enter a house. And, with holiday parties comes handshakes and hugs and germs, so wash your hands before you eat as well.

7. See Your Doctor - Make time for yourself during the season to schedule an annual checkup with your doctor. An annual checkup and blood work can alert you and your doctor to any health concerns early on, which means a longer healthier life, with many more holidays to come. Routine screenings can detect issues at their earliest stages. Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season and schedule your annual exam now.

Remember, while you are thinking of others during this holiday season,  take some time out to take care of yourself and make smart decisions, so that you can ring in a happy and healthy New Year.

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