By April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN
Keeping yourself and your family healthy during the holidays is no easy task. Between the cold and flu season — and now, the constant worry of COVID-19 — it can feel like a daunting job. Use these quick and easy hacks for a healthier holiday season
- Incorporate Healthy Foods
With holiday festivities come tasty (and often unhealthy) food. Rather than depriving yourself, try choosing the treats you really love and keeping the rest of your plate open for healthier choices, like vegetables, fruit and protein.
- Stay Active
Consider incorporating healthy traditions this year — like a walk around the neighborhood to see the holiday lights. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 2 ½ hours of activity each week for adults and one hour of activity each day for kids and teens.
- Get Vaccinated
COVID-19 booster shots are now available for everyone ages 18 and older and can be administered at the same time as the flu vaccine. Talk to your nurse practitioner or other health care provider about scheduling an appointment to keep your vaccines up to date and to get your children vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.
- Drive Safely
For most, holiday travel is inevitable, and being safe on the road during this time is a must. Always drive sober, even after celebrating. Ensure that you and your passengers wear a seat belt, and don’t let the holiday cheer cause distractions while you’re behind the wheel.
- Manage Stress
Preparing for holiday celebrations can be stressful. Take a break if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Get plenty of rest and schedule time for meditation or a walk.
- Wash Hands
The holiday season is also flu season. Prevent spreading germs by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Enjoy the holidays with family and friends, and use these hacks to keep your loved ones healthy all season long!