Head colds and the holidays: How to keep yourself healthy
How to keep from catching a cold healthy during the holiday festivities
Do you notice that during the holidays you often feel under the weather? Why does there seem to be an influx of people becoming ill during this time of year? Read on to find out what tends to make people sick during the holidays, and what you can do to keep yourself healthy.
One reason for this is the added stress the holiday shopping, gift giving, eating, and family time takes on our bodies. Stress suppresses the immune system making it more susceptible to catching the cold and flu virus, especially during the holiday season.
Get enough sleep
Along with stress during the holidays, exhaustion is another factor that weakens our immune system making it more difficult to produce antibodies that help fight off germs that cause us to become sick. We all know that a constant lack of sleep wears down our bodies making it hard for us to successfully function on a daily basis. This is especially true during the holidays when family members are visiting and we are in charge of hosting dinners and making sure everything goes smoothly. It is crucial that we get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night to help keep our immune systems strong and ready to fight off impending cold and flu viruses.
Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising frequently are two important factors that help us stay strong and fight off cold and flu causing bacteria. During the holiday season we are often overwhelmed with the amount of sweets and goodies, that our diet is often comprised of more sugar and junk food than we would otherwise normally consume. Exercising is usually put on the back burner and often forgot about until our New Year’s resolution is to exercise more. Exercising, though not directly related to preventing the cold or flu, keeps our body strong and fit which can help keep our immunity high. Eating a well-balanced diet also improves the ability for our immune system to fight off annoying cold and flu causing bacteria.
Wash your hands frequently
Washing our hands in the number one way to avoid contracting and spreading the cold and flu virus, especially during the holiday season. During this time of year many family members are often staying together in one place and it is easy to spread germs if everyone isn’t washing their hands before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and after coughing or sneezing. Make sure you and yours are washing your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer can be used as a substitute if you can’t get your hands on the old-fashioned soap and water.
The holiday season is often a time to enjoy our favorite holiday spirits: eggnog, wine, or a beer perhaps? Between all of the holiday drinking it is also important that we stay hydrated. (No; wine and beer do not hydrate our bodies, contrary to popular belief.) Water, 100% juice or hot tea help to flush out our systems and keep our bodies and immune systems strong and ready to fight off illness-causing bacteria and germs. Make sure that you are drinking enough fluids that hydrate in between enjoying delicious holiday drinks.
What to do next
Our immune system is already weakened during this time making it much easier for us to become sick during these cold winter months. Make sure to take a few minutes each day to relax and enjoy something for yourself to eliminate unneeded stress during the holidays, which can prevent the sniffles and chills during holiday festivities. Using these tips, you should be able to prevent yourself from catching any unwanted sickness during the holiday season.