The holiday season is a time for family, friends, faith, food, and gratitude; but it can also bring on a lot of stress and strife. The running around, hustle and bustle, and never-ending to do lists can put even the most easygoing person in a tizzy. The burdens we place on ourselves especially during this time of the year can place an unwanted strain on our health if we are not careful. And even though as a hospitalist, we place a tremendous amount of value on others’ health, we may forget about taking care of ourselves.
To truly enjoy the holidays, your physical and mental health should remain a top priority. By creating and following healthy habits, even just one at a time, you can greatly improve your chances of staying well during the holidays, and all year long.
Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season and Beyond
Practice Good Hygiene
To reduce your risk of getting sick, it’s important to wash your hands often. Good handwashing hygiene includes running your hands under warm water, rubbing them together with soap for at least 20 seconds, and rinsing thoroughly multiple times a day, especially after using the restroom, or touching high-traffic spots like grocery carts, gas pumps, or door handles.
Hydration is paramount to staying healthy. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends women drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day, and men drink 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day in nutritional liquids such as water, tea, and broth. These fluids can also come from water-rich fruits, vegetables, and dairy products like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, and coconut water.
Plan Time to De-Stress
Activities such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, gratitude journaling, exercising, and taking warm baths can lower your stress levels and reduce your risk of getting sick. If you are feeling stressed out, it’s important to practice self-care, and it may also be beneficial to connect with a mental health professional for support.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Proper sleep is a necessity for good health and well-being. Sleep can aid in weight loss, heart health, immune regulation, and act as an anti-inflammatory response. Getting enough sleep can also improve productivity and concentration, as well as keep your body from becoming overwhelmed by stress. Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
Keep Up with Exams and Screenings
Be sure to visit care providers annually to stay up to date with medical concerns, your health history, physical exams, and tests. Preventative care includes going to your dermatologist, primary care physician, dentist, GYN (female), and any other specialist you may need to see based on your medical history and risk factors.
Eat Well & Keep Moving
Try to avoid overeating during the holidays. Plan ahead by meal prepping and accounting for extra calories when you know you are going to be eating something out of the ordinary. A healthy and balanced diet can help lower the risk for many diseases, and should include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, and fats that come from natural sources like avocados, olives, and coconuts. Try to stay away from eating empty calories – these include processed foods, sugary sodas, chips, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. In addition, it’s imperative for your health to stay active. Even a daily walk for 30 minutes can benefit your health and welfare.
Be Your Best Self!
No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday season, we hope you remember to take time out for yourself to unwind, relax, and enjoy every moment. We also wish you all the very best for a healthy and happy new year!
Learn More About Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH)
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. Our providers are highly skilled, board-certified internal medicine specialists who are available around-the-clock to meet the care needs of patients from hospital admission through discharge. Post-discharge from the hospital, we continue overseeing patient care for 30 days.
We’ve found that continued care coordination ensures more accurate medication reconciliation, improved compliance with discharge plans, better scheduling of follow-up visits, and fewer hospital readmissions. Our providers do everything in their power to make sure our patients receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to promote healing and prevent a second hospital admission.
For more information about our services and our practice, please contact Advanced Care Hospitalists at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.