It's Holiday Season... got tissues?
There's an elephant in the room. No one wants to talk about germs. As if the mere mention of colds and flu makes us more vulnerable. But ever notice how many people start sneezing and hacking as the holidays roll around? Ho, ho, h--achu! That elephant's looking awfully pale.
"The holidays are a virus distribution system," Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, explains. "They help us distribute influenza and other common cold viruses from person-to-person because of close contact." Wha wha.
In fact, this is the time that flu season peaks ─ thriving in the colder weather and tight proximity among people. From crowded shopping malls to holiday parties, movies and shows, we are experiencing a whole new level of sharing via door handles, clothing racks, airborne particles, food, and holiday hugs. Add to that a shift toward indoor activities and closed windows. Yikes!
Not to worry! Take a deep breath (well, you may want to crack a window first). With proactive awareness, you can put your tissues away and enjoy this season with the energy and good health it ─ and you ─ deserve. Here are a few tips for good health during the holidays and beyond:
JUST SAY YES TO HEALTHY HOLIDAYS!
- Hands off your face: Most of us touch our faces all day long with no awareness that we are doing so. Whether we rub an itchy nose, pick a tooth, or fix a makeup smudge, fingers on faces make us our own disease promoters! It's the easiest way to transfer germs to more vulnerable locations (mucus membranes!). People who touch their faces frequently put themselves at high risk for becoming sick.
- Wash your hands often: Public health officials will back me up on this one. Wash. Really. And when you can't, use an anti-bacterial gel. This is a great time of year to keep a bottle of Purell in the car (I don't even want to think about all those other hands on the gas pump). And to keep your skin from drying out, moisturize with a natural lotion.
- Don't share utensils: I realize that a sip or taste from another's glass or dish is a matter of personal choice, but keep in mind that we are often contagious a few days before any illness symptoms are present. You reduce your chances of becoming ill, if you just say no to shared drinks and utensils.
- Hydrate: We often forget to drink enough when we are busy. Yet dehydration is dangerous; it lowers immunity and makes us feel lousy. Make sure you are drinking lots of water throughout the day. Warm water with lemon is a wonderful hydration treat and it keeps the lymphatic system active.
- Move (a personal favorite): Stagnation is like an invitation to eager germs. Include something active in your routine. Pilates, yoga, brisk walks, etc. etc. etc. Leave hibernation to the bears. You deserve to feel great, look great, and keep your immunity elevated!
- Sleep well: Sleep is that time when our bodies heal, replenish, revive. Don't cheat yourself. We need sleep in order to strengthen our minds, bodies, and immune systems. Sleep deprivation... you guessed it... makes us vulnerable to illness. Sweet dreams!
- Eat healthy: I cannot say enough about choosing local, natural foods to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and feel your best. Clean eating allows you to achieve and maintain your very best health; it is like unlocking a secret that affects every aspect of our lives. Visit my site, www.ginasantangelo.com ─ I would love to work with you and help you discover what is best for your body (and soul!). It's life changing stuff...
Enjoy the magic of this holiday season. May your homes and hearts be filled with health and happiness... and may you only need tissues for those tear-jerking holiday movies. They get me every time!