5 ways to have a healthier holiday season
Stock up on extra masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes
Even if you don’t plan on going many places this holiday season, it won’t hurt to keep some extra supplies on hand in case you need to make a last-minute shopping outing or a gift delivery. Keep some extra clean masks in your car (for you and your family members) as well as a bottle of hand sanitizer. Also consider keeping travel-size packages of disinfectant wipes in your car or bag. Masks and hand sanitizer are items you won’t regret having extras of anyway, so having them handy for last-minute outings is an easy way to be prepared.
Shop online whenever possible
Even with a pandemic going on, stores will likely be much busier this time of year. It may not always be an option, but when you can, do your holiday shopping online.1 Limiting the number of places you go will help decrease your risk, and also decrease the risk of spreading germs to others. These days you can shop for almost anything online, and if you plan ahead and combine purchases when possible, you can keep shipping costs low as well.
Be prepared with cold and flu medications
With the holiday season also comes cold weather for many of us, which often brings illness. Of course, we’re all aware of COVID-19, but it’s smart to also think about preparing for other common illnesses, like colds and the flu. Think about what you would want to have on hand if you or someone in your family got sick and buy those supplies ahead of time. With over-the-counter medications, it is possible that they could expire before you use them, but you’ll be thankful to have them if you need them.
Plan health breaks in your day
It’s especially important during this busy time of year to schedule time for yourself. Add exercise and/or mindfulness breaks into your calendar so you don’t forget to stop and move your body and clear your head regularly. It may not seem you have any extra time for exercise right now, but even taking a 15-minute walk around your block or your office building will give you more energy to accomplish all the other things on your list. It helps to block the time on your calendar, because when you see it there—or even get a reminder alert—you will likely be more willing to actually do it.
Stock ingredients for healthy go-to meals
When life gets hectic, sometimes one of the first things to go is our healthy eating habits. Ordering takeout after a long day is tempting—and of course it is harmless every once in a while. However, if you have the ingredients to make easy, healthy meals you know you and your family will enjoy, it’s much easier to stick to your health goals. Try to come up with 3 to 5 meals that take less than 30 minutes to make, use mostly pantry staples that are easy to keep on hand, and that everyone likes. Having those meals handy will make dinner a lot easier when you’re exhausted and feeling tempted by the take-out menu.
The holiday season can be a fun and exciting time of year, but it can also lead to unhealthy habits and a greater risk for illness. Taking a few steps to plan ahead and prioritize your health will help you to make your holidays a happy, healthy time of year.
CDC. Celebrating Thanksgiving. November 12, 2020. Accessed November 13, 2020.