Awareness and Prevention of Possible Issues Can Help Keep You Safe and Healthy
December 2, 2021
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays can take their toll on one’s mental and physical well-being. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you and your family enjoy this most special time.
Be Vigilant About COVID-19
- Get vaccinated for COVID-19, especially if you are around young children.
- Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth indoors if you’re not fully vaccinated, have a weakened immune system or are with others who do.
- Remember, being outside, although potentially cold, is safer than indoors.
- Avoid crowded areas with poor ventilation.
- Do not attend gatherings if you’re sick or experiencing symptoms.
- Get tested if you’re at risk for or have symptoms of COVID-19.
- If traveling, be sure to follow recommendations of the CDC.
- Get the flu shot.
- Wash your hands with soap and clean water for 20 seconds often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating, to help avoid spreading illnesses. Wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry.
- Get your sleep. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. Maintain the same sleep routine each night and morning, including weekends.
- Choose healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, as opposed to salty or sugary treats. Limit portions and avoid foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Your body will thank you.
- Prepare food safety. Wash hands and food surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
- Don’t use tobacco products (cigarettes, vapes, etc.) and avoid secondhand smoke. Get help quitting at no charge by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- Be active. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week (30 minutes on five days), plus muscle-building activities at least two days a week.
- Stay hydrated; drink water instead of sugary or alcoholic beverages to limit calories.
- Don’t forget your flexible spending dollars. Schedule appointments, exams and screenings by the end of the year to use remaining funds.
Keep Warm on the Go
It’s hard to avoid winter temperatures when shopping and attending parties and local outdoor activities. Plus, snowfall invites kids to participate in activities like sledding and making snowmen, while parents often are left to shovel or deal with hazardous roads.
To avoid cold-related illness, frostbite and hypothermia, be sure to layer your clothing; wear breathable fabrics, along with hats, scarves, gloves and waterproof boots; don’t stay outside too long; and avoid sweating. Keeping your body warm is key. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen on your face!
Don’t Let the Holidays Get You Down
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s possible to experience the blues. To help avoid them, here are some tips to help you manage the stress:
- Take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed from work and the pressures of the holidays. Remember you can say no to invitations if they don’t fit your schedule.
- Delegate some responsibilities to others if possible.
- Find support from your loved ones or a local support group.
- Connect socially (laughter is the best medicine) and on your schedule.
- Get your sleep and make time to exercise.
- Take deep breaths, meditate and participate in activities you enjoy.
- Talk to people whose opinion you value and whom you trust.
- Express gratitude.
- Keep things in perspective, be flexible and realistic with plans, and plan ahead.
- Avoid finding comfort in foods and substance use.
Stay Safe on the Roads
Shopping and parties usually require being on the roads, so traffic may be heavy. Stay safe by adhering to the following:
- Do not drink alcohol and drive. Designate a driver, call a taxi or car service (such as Uber), book a hotel room, or sleep over someone else’s house.
- Wear your seatbelt, no matter if you’re in the front or back.
- Drive slowly and carefully, especially on icy and snow-covered roads.
- Have your radiator serviced and maintain the proper antifreeze level.
- Check tire tread or replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Store a winter emergency kit (batteries, blankets, cables, first aid, flashlight, etc.).
- If stuck, stay awake and keep warm to improve circulation.
Keep Your Home and Loved Ones Safe
- Practice fire safety. Don’t leave candles, fireplaces, small appliances, space heaters or food cooking on a stove unattended.
- Have your heater professionally serviced and chimneys and fireplaces inspected.
- Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
- Keep live trees in the home hydrated and dispose of them quickly after the holidays to avoid needles getting dry and catching on fire.
- Monitor children and the elderly.
If you or a loved one experiences an emergency, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Northwest Emergency — open 24/7 — offers three convenient locations: on Coulter, on Georgia and at Town Square. We are proud to be an accredited Chest Pain Center by the American College of Cardiology. We provide rapid, round-the-clock, evidence-based treatment of heart attack and suspected heart attack. In addition, we are an Advanced Primary Stroke Center as designated by The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association®/American Stroke Association’s® Heart-Check mark, demonstrating our commitment to the care of stroke patients and adherence to a specific guidelines when treating patients experiencing a stroke or stroke-type symptoms.