I would not be throwing out a reckless exaggeration by saying everyone I know has, is on the cusp of getting, or is just getting over some version of the yuck. Here’s the climate of our post-pandemic holiday: we’ve got flu cases on the rise, COVID-19, too, RSV outbreaks, colds a’plenty…and the timing could not be more inconvenient. As we head home for the holidays, you may be harboring a wee bit of health anxiety, trying to dodge this and prevent catching that. Stay with us, Betties. We’ve got your game plan to keep healthy over the holidays:
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
Set your health and the health of others up for the season with some precautionary best practices. Make sure you’re up to date on your flu shot + COVID booster. Bring a couple of COVID tests in your bag. Keep a mask or two on you to throw on when you’re out ‘n’ about in high-density areas – think shopping malls and grocery stores.
GO TO SLEEP
I know, I know, FOMO at the very thought of missing out on any of the fun, but your body *literally* repairs itself while you are sleeping. Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it. With the inevitable hustle & bustle of the season, you need all the zzz’s and then some to recover!
UP YOUR HYDRATION
Hot toddy and eggnog are trending this time of year, but water’s the evergreen bevvy, y’all. Think of water to our bodies as oil is to our cars – it’s what keeps our bodily functions running smoothly and business as usual. Buddy up to your water bottle and make sure you’re alternating every alcoholic drink with a glass of water to avoid a hangover!
KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN (AND AWAY FROM YOUR FACE!)
Yup, the ol’ standard wash-your-hands advice is a classic for a reason. Make it a habit and lather up those hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible! (If you want to get reallll geeky with it, the CDC has an excellent guide to *optimal* hand washing)
If you can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used, but don’t abandon the soap + warm water routine altogether. Hand sanitizer may not kill all germs, so it is important to still lather up!
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Now until the New Year is a rotation of parties, gatherings, meetups, and mingle jingles. If you find yourself not feeling well or run down, feel empowered to turn down an invite and stay home. While all the festivities are part of what makes the most wonderful time of year wonderful, do not feel obligated to attend an event that compromises your mental + physical health.
Infections might be creeping up, but you are not without tools to stay well, Betties. Take some extra care this year with measures that will allow you and others to experience the full holly jolly of the season.