By: Sarah Fischer, APRN at Southern NH Health Infectious Disease Associates and Travel Medicine
The holiday season is upon us, which means travel, celebrations, and delicious food. While it’s a time to relax and enjoy, it’s also essential to take care of your health. Stick to our Holiday Health and Travel Checklist to ensure you have a happy and healthy holiday.
1. Update your flu, COVID, and RSV vaccines: Staying up-to-date with vaccinations is critical for your health, especially when you’re traveling. With ongoing concerns about COVID-19 and seasonal flu, make sure you are fully vaccinated and follow any booster recommendations to minimize your risk and protect those around you. Ask your healthcare provider if you are eligible for the RSV vaccine.
2. Eat like usual whenever possible: It’s fine to indulge in festive treats during the holidays, but don’t forget to keep nutritious foods in your diet. Balance your meals with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, even when you are at an event. If you’re on the road, pack healthy snacks to avoid giving in to the temptation of fast food. Try to stick to the routine of your meal timing, content, and quantity.
3. Exercise: Don’t let your fitness routine fall by the wayside. Whether you’re at home or on vacation, make time for physical activity. Take a walk, go for a run, or do some yoga to keep your body and mind in balance.
4. Reduce stress: The holiday season can be stressful with all the planning and expectations. Take time for yourself and practice stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or a warm bath. Enter the season knowing everything may not go as planned, and that is okay. You’ll enjoy the holidays more when you’re relaxed and stress-free.
5. Maintain sleep routines: Gatherings, traveling, and changing time zones can disrupt your sleep patterns. Try to stick to your usual sleep schedule as much as possible. A good night’s sleep is essential for your overall well-being and enjoyment of the holidays.
6. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: While it’s common to celebrate with a glass of wine or a festive cocktail, moderation is key. Excessive alcohol and smoking can have negative short- and long-term health consequences. Remember to stay hydrated, and if you choose to drink, do so responsibly.
Your health is your most valuable asset, and maintaining it during the holidays will help you enjoy this special time to the fullest. By following our Holiday Health & Travel Checklist, you’ll be better prepared to stay happy and healthy into the new year.
All of us at Southern NH Health Infectious Disease Associates & Travel Medicine wish you a joyful and healthy holiday season! If your holiday plans take you abroad, our medical professionals can help keep you safe and healthy as you travel. Contact us at 603-429-1611, and we will provide you with the information and vaccinations you need before you go.