Healthy Holiday Habits

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion and excitement of the holiday hustle and bustle. It seems like every year, the festivitiesholiday pkgs get bigger and more involved. Why not give yourself a break from the pressure and scale back this holiday season? Oprah offers some helpful tipsto remind us to savor the little things that we tend to overlook. Keep your expectations in check and bring back the magic of the season by doing what you love, and not aiming for perfection.

Schedule

There are parties to attend, gifts to purchase and baking to do. You feel the tension creeping up the back of your neck just thinking about your to-do list. Being proactive and creating a schedule helps prevent holiday stress by putting you in control. Create a master schedule to keep track of responsibilities and make sure you don’t miss the fun activities too. It’s not possible to be at every event or activity. Sticking to a schedule means being realistic about how much you can handle. Follow these time-saving tips:

  • Prepare food ahead of time if possible.
  • Make chores like cleaning the house, wrapping gifts and hanging lights a family affair where everyone helps.
  • Prioritize. Decide which invitations you’ll accept and which you will have to turn down.
  • Keep firm deadlines or else you’ll risk a last-minute panic to get things done.
  • Learn to say no. Instead of ending up resenting the fact that you have to do something, don’t add it to your agenda. Friends and family will understand.

Budget

There’s a way to stick to your budget without being a Grinch this holiday season. Avoid a holiday spending hangover by giving cheerfully, but wisely. Sit down with your family and come up with your budget. It may take some time and willpower, but allocating money for holiday purchases ahead of time is a smart financial decision.

  • Determine the amount you can spend. This money should come from your disposable income, not your credit card.
  • Include the extras. Don’t forget about gas money, gift shipping expenses, decorations and food. The little things can really add up during the month of December.
  • Cut the gifts. If money is tight, talk to family about only giving gifts to children, or exchanging cards or baked goods.
  • Shop early. Save money and stress by taking advantage of Black Friday sales.
  • Put it in an envelope. Give each family member their shopping money in cash. It’s easier to keep track of and prevents over-spending on credit cards.

Prevent Illness

You’ve been to the airport to pick up your sister, the grocery store to pick up more butter for cookies and then to the mall to pick up a sweater for Uncle Ken. Guess what else you probably picked up today? Germs. Colds and flu viruses linger in public places during the holidays. When you’re stressed or tired, your immune system is more rundown, making your more susceptible to getting ill. No one wants to be sick during the holidays! Stay well by practicing the following:

  • Wash your hands. It’s still the number one rule because it works.
  • Avoid sick people. Sounds like common sense, but stay away from anyone with a cough.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.
  • If you are sick, cough into a tissue to cover your mouth and keep germs to yourself.

For more information on staying well and managing the stress of the holiday season, speak to one of our registered nurses on our Consult-A-Nurse line at (727) 341-4055. We’ll be happy to refer you to an experienced doctor. Visit us onlinefor more information.

Sources:

CDC

Fox Business

MSN

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