How to Have a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season

December 1, 2021

The holiday season means time to gather with friends and family to celebrate in fellowship with one another. However, for some, the holiday season can bring feelings of stress, anxiety, and dread.

The pressure to handle the extra tasks that come with holiday gatherings as well as ongoing public health concerns can certainly put a damper on that famous holiday cheer, but thankfully, you can take small actions to ensure your holiday is happy and healthy.

Get vaccinated.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much real. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Schuyler County has a case rate of 221.63 and a positivity rate of 2.25%. While the virus continues to spread, vaccination is the most effective method to minimize the severity of illness from COVID-19, despite what you may read on the internet.

Similarly, flu vaccines are equally important when it comes to minimizing serious illness related to influenza. These annual shots are widely available from your healthcare provider as well as local pharmacies and drug stores. To protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season, schedule your vaccinations.

Prevent the spread of germs.

We’ve heard over and over how important masks are at preventing the spread of germs, but our own personal hygiene plays a role too. Make sure you cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and be sure to frequently wash your hands, especially when coming into contact with those more susceptible to illness such as young children or the elderly.

Food preparation is also an important step in minimizing illness. Wash any fruits and vegetables before cooking, and always make sure food — especially pork and poultry like chicken and turkey — is completely cooked all the way through before serving.

Get plenty of sleep and exercise.

Between going out to buy gifts and attending holiday functions, all this running around can really tire you out. So, make sure you’re getting plenty of rest in between. Give yourself at least seven-and-a-half hours of sleep every night and designate some time for physical activity too. Regular exercise can benefit your mental health as well as your physical health.

Be realistic, know your limits, and set boundaries.

Face it — you’re not Santa Claus. You may feel like you need to put the weight of the world on your shoulders and try to give everyone the best possible holiday, but you shouldn’t take on more than you’re able. Set limits for yourself — don’t take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Understand it’s OK to occasionally say “no” to activities that make you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

That goes for family time as well. While the holidays are a wonderful time to get together with the people who matter most in our lives, that doesn’t mean we have to spend every waking moment with them. Setting aside some time for yourself to relax and decompress is not only acceptable, but necessary.

Don’t neglect your own needs.

We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s better to give than receive,” around the holiday season. Acknowledging the needs of others is perfectly fine, but don’t let those feelings supersede your own personal wellness. Your mental and physical health should never be placed on the backburner. Make sure you continue to take care of yourself during the holiday season through routine exercise, healthy eating, and other self-care activities such as meditation or even pursuing your hobbies.

Don’t let feelings of anxiety or stress ruin a joyous time of year with your loved ones. Give yourself the gift of a happy and healthy holiday season by taking care of your physical and mental health.

Do you need to schedule an appointment or consultation this holiday season? We’re here for you! Contact us today or call (217) 322-4321.