Staying healthy and flu-free during the holidays can be the most difficult part about travel, family and food. Getting to your Phoenix doctor before the holidays roll around is a wonderful option, as is getting that flu shot before flu season hits hard at this time of year. But even after all that you do to try to avoid getting sick, somehow every year either you or someone in the family comes down with a sniffly nose, watery eyes and cough. It seems inevitable at times, but it can be prevented. Follow these easy tips to truly staying healthy during the holidays:
- Get Plenty of Sleep – One of the greatest contributors to getting sick during the holidays is lack of sleep. Your running around buying gifts, baking, cooking, entertaining and traveling, and for some reason sleep always seems to get pushed to the back of the bus. This truly is the number one reason why you or someone in your family is sick right now, dealing with a runny nose, cough and fatigue. While there are a million things to get done to make the holidays perfect, the last thing that you want to deal with is a cold. So, stick that that healthy sleep schedule that keeps the flu away all year ‘round. Stick to it even when you have a million things to do.
- Relax – Combining lack of sleep with the stress of those million things to do can lead to increased stress, which is also a top contributor to getting the flu or a cold. When your immune system is compromised, working on overdrive because of no sleep and stress, the chances that you’ll get a cold or the flu are pretty high. Consult with your Phoenix family physician before the holidays hit regarding how you can reduce stress. Consider spending more time with family and friends, laughing and playing, rather then running around buying last minute gifts. Consider taking some morning walks or evening walks with visiting family instead of visiting a busy and stressful restaurant.
- Be Selfish – The holidays are a great time to spoil everyone in the family, but you should also consider spoiling yourself a bit. Book a spa day for you and your sisters or daughter. Try some yoga with visiting family. There are plenty of ways to incorporate your family into your own needs.
- Take your Vitamins – Don’t forget to take your vitamins every morning. Healthy supplements can keep your body in check when stress sets in.
- Breathe – Finally, don’t forget to breathe! When running around like crazy and trying to please everyone during the holidays, sometimes we forget to just take a deep breath. We shorten our breath, thus limiting the amount of oxygen that gets to our blood, which can increase the ‘flight or fight’ response, thus increasing stress.
If you are beginning to feel the lasting effects of the holidays with that runny nose and cough, it’s time to give your Phoenix doctor a call. Don’t wait until after New Years, call today. The sooner that we can see you, the quicker you’ll be feeling better!