The holiday season is a time to give thanks, celebrate with family and friends, and focus on what is truly important. Amidst all of the festivities, however, many people are much busier than usual. This can make it easy to become distracted and ignore health concerns, leading to injuries and illnesses that could otherwise have been avoided.
Here are five simple tips from Moffitt Cancer Center to help you give the gift of good health and safety – both to yourself and those around you – during the busy holiday season:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Whenever possible, use soap and running water to create a rich lather, then vigorously rub your hands together for a minimum of 20 seconds. This is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
- Be extra cautious when decorating and cooking.
Emergency room visits often spike during the most wonderful time of the year, mainly due to holiday-related accidents such as falls from ladders, cuts from broken glass ornaments, muscle strains from heavy lifting, lacerations from carving utensils, burns from splashed kitchen grease and food poisoning from eating undercooked turkey.
- Keep a close watch on the little ones.
The holidays are especially exciting for children, and along with all of the excitement comes an increased risk of distraction – and injuries. Be sure to check all new toys for small parts, which present a choking hazard, as well as toxic dangers, such as coin cell batteries.
- Travel safely.
Between November and January, there are typically more people on the road, and seasonal parties can lead to an increase in the number of impaired drivers out there. If you drink any alcoholic beverages, do not get behind the wheel – ride with a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service instead. Also, be sure to fasten your seatbelt whenever you drive or ride in a vehicle, and if you are driving, put away your phone and obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Manage and reduce your stress.
In your quest to make everyone happy, it can be tempting to overcommit and overspend during the holidays. Add in a lack of sleep, the burdens of traveling and entertaining and the likelihood of overeating, and you can easily end up with a significant strain on your health. Remember, you can’t be all things to all people. Instead, try to strike an appropriate balance wherever possible, maintain a positive outlook and ask for help when you need it. Also, keep in mind that a simple observance can be just as meaningful as an elaborate celebration.
While the holiday season can be stressful for just about anyone, it can be particularly challenging for someone who is dealing with cancer. Moffitt understands, and we can help. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.