Healthy During the Holidays
The winter holidays and transition to the New Year mean that December is often a time of social gatherings and celebrations. At Amicus, we host a variety of celebratory events ourselves to help our community stay connected. But although this can be a very joyful time of year, it can also come with some stressors, particularly for those of us who are older or have compromised immune systems. That’s why it’s important to continue being proactive with your health–even when you’re partying like it’s 1999.
Before the Holidays
The most challenging part of the holidays is often getting to the scene of the party. With the skies full of travelers and the roads clogged with extra cars, it’s important to be mindful of smart steps you can take to stay healthy on the road. Staying hydrated, packing smart snacks like apples and nuts, and taking advantages of any opportunities to safely stretch your legs can all help you feel your best.
In addition, it’s important to think about disease prevention before all of the holiday hugging and hand-shaking begins. Re-up your flu shot if you haven’t already, and make sure to wash your hands before touching your face or mouth (especially if you’ve been shopping or traveling).
During the Celebration
When cooking large quantities of food for a crowd, you’ll want to stay vigilant about practicing standard food-safety measures. Thaw meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter, and disinfect any surface that comes into contact with raw meat.
Don’t feel bad about taking time for yourself. If you’re feeling a little tired, you don’t need to push yourself. Taking a rest to regain your energy will allow you to enjoy the festivities more when you return. In that same vein, don’t take indulgence to an excess. Enjoying the holiday cooking doesn’t have to ruin your diet, and you shouldn’t feel bad about going a little overboard. Just be sure to reach for a balanced mix of foods, including veggies and lean proteins when possible, and stop at one extra slice of pie or glass of coquito (instead of three).
After the Party
You should try to avoid having too many drinks, but if you overindulge, don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Likewise, stop your friends from driving drunk and endangering themselves and others.
It’s only natural to feel a bit of a let-down after excitement and commotion of the holidays. If you find yourself feeling lonely after leaving friends and family, or saddened that you weren’t able to celebrate with other people, you are far from alone in that feeling. The best way forward is to channel your energies into community service opportunities or otherwise finding ways to lend a helping hand for others who are lonely or need assistance. If the holiday blues linger, reach out. Join the Amicus family at one of our regular community activities, like yoga, Zumba, or our next potluck. You have more support than you think.