Anytime we take a trip somewhere, we stand the risk of falling ill upon returning home. This seems to be especially true of trips taken over holiday breaks. Our stress levels tend to increase, we don’t take care of ourselves as well as we usually do, and we spend more time with others who expose us to more germs than normal. The combination of these (and other) factors somewhat inevitably leads to us enduring stuffy noses, scratchy throats, and foggy minds.
These symptoms are avoidable, however. We hold the power to keep ourselves healthy despite all the obstacles standing in our way; we simply choose not to exercise said power. Of course, doing so is easier said than done. Here are five ways you can avoid getting sick during and after the holidays.
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1. Stick to Your Routine
Routines are one of the biggest things we eschew over the holidays. Perhaps we think it would be too difficult to keep up with, or maybe we get lazy and use the fact that it’s a special occasion as an excuse. Whatever the reason might be, forgoing your normal daily routine is likely to have negative consequences.
Maintaining your routine reminds you to stay healthy by making you think about your health. For example, let’s say you usually drink apple cider vinegar twice every day – once in the morning and once before bed. Over holiday breaks, though, you decide it’s not worth doing so. You figure since you’re eating tons of sweets and heavy foods, what good would it really do? As a result, you end up feeling sluggish and bloated by the end of the break. If you stuck to your routine, however, you would be able to avoid this feeling because you’d be doing some beneficial for your body. Plus, you’d be drawing your attention to your health right away in the morning, which might keep you from overindulging in the first place.
You don’t have to stick to every aspect of your routine, but the more you do so, the better off you’ll be. Even little things, like brushing your teeth, will help remind you to take care of yourself. Plus, maintaining your routine helps quell the increase in stress by helping you slow down. Less stress and better care will help you avoid getting sick.
2. Get More Sleep
Sleep is another one of the things we tend to forget about over the holidays, but it’s extremely important if we want to avoid getting sick. Even though we’re on vacation from normalcy and could sleep as much as we desire, we find ourselves staying up later and getting up earlier. We don’t want to miss out on any of the action, right?
Well, if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to miss out. Eventually, you’ll be too exhausted to partake in any of the festivities. Not to mention all the things you’ll miss out on after your holiday break is over and you’re stuck in bed with a head cold. Getting to bed at a decent time will benefit you far more in the long run. Besides, how much are you really missing in that short amount of time, and is it worth dealing with the consequences?
3. Dress Appropriately
Getting sick over the holidays is often a result of not wearing appropriate clothing. This usually manifests itself the most in quick, little trips outside without a coat. We think if we’re only outside for a few moments it won’t negatively affect us. However, these little trips add up, and they cause our bodies to go through drastic temperature changes.
Even though we might not be aware of it, these changes take a toll on our bodies. Our immune systems get weakened, and we suffer as a result. To avoid this, we need only to remember to throw on a jacket before we head outdoors, even if it’s only for a couple of seconds. If you’re planning on being outside for longer, bundle up; your body will thank you.
4. Take Preventative Measures
One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is by taking preventative measures. This could be something very simple, or it could be a highly complex regimen that you set for yourself. It all depends on your susceptibility to different illnesses, or at least what you believe your susceptibility is. Here are a few measures you can take:
- Drink apple cider vinegar and water
- Get a flu shot
- Wash your hands consistently
- Avoid touching your face
- Drink plenty of water
- Maintain healthy eating habits
Ultimately, the measures you choose to take are entirely up to you. Don’t do something extreme just because you’re paranoid or a bit of a hypochondriac. If you’re not careful, you might end up making things worse rather than better.
5. Remove Yourself
Leaving the party or trying to be by yourself for a bit might seem rude or impossible, but it’s an important thing to do if you want to avoid getting sick. When we get together with others, we feel pressured to hang out for as long as possible and to remain in the heart of the action at all times. Some people have no problem with this, but others need a break every once in a while.
Despite what you might believe, it’s okay to step away. There’s no reason to make yourself feel stressed and anxious during a time that’s already stressful enough as it is. The holidays are meant to be a time for slowing down and enjoying the company of those we care about. Why turn them into something you dread?