Ever shopped while tired? Don’t skimp on sleep as you get ready for the holidays. Lack of sleep leads to impaired judgment, negative mood, weight gain, and safety issues at home, work, and on the road.
Think ahead. The holidays are almost here. Make the most wonderful time of the year a safe and healthy time of year. With just a little preparation and caution, this season can be remembered for all the good reasons. We've gathered some tips to help you and your family stay healthy, safe and stress free.
Holidays mean lots of time spent with others, and mostly indoors. Whether it’s social activities or simply out shopping, it is prime time to spread common colds and the flu. Some ways to avoid getting or giving viruses are:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least for 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Keep your immune system strong by staying physically active, eating healthy and limiting alcohol. You don’t have to say no to all the holiday treats, just don’t over indulge.
- Get the flu vaccine.
The most frequently reported holiday decorating injuries seen in the emergency room involve falls, followed by lacerations and back strains. Fires are also a serious concern this time of year. Make it through the season safely by using basic safety tips such as:
- When decorating, always use a sturdy step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs or other furniture.
- Don’t use lighted candles near trees, boughs, or curtains. If using a natural tree, make sure it stays well-watered to avoid dry branches catching fire from warm light bulbs.
- Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outside. Look for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. Always turn off lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
Children are at an increased risk for injuries with all the new toys presented in a short time. Make sure the toys you are giving, or your child receives, are safe and age appropriate. Some suggestions for giving safe toys are:
- Always check the age range on the packaging.
- Inspect toys for sound construction (no sharp edges or points).
- Never give a toy with small parts to young children due to the choking risk.
- Read instructions carefully.
STAY POSITIVE, MANAGE STRESS
Often, on our own or with the media’s help, we create unrealistic expectations. If not kept in check, holiday commitments and spending can lead to stress. Ways to manage holiday stress include:
Balance work, home and social activities. Remember it is ok to say no.
- Ask for support from family, including the kids, and friends.
- Find time to relax, even just a few minutes can recharge you.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Create a budget for purchasing gifts, food and decorations.
Kids can get stressed too. Talk to your kids and include them when making holiday plans. Now is the perfect time to teach them the spirit of giving, especially since this time of year offers many ways to help those in need.