Six Tips To Avoid the Sniffles This Christmas

The holidays are a fun time of year! There are so many things to do, traditions to keep, the opportunity to make new traditions, hot chocolate to drink and snowmen to build! It is a magical time of year, unless you get sick and end up miserable and cooped up inside. Your immune system may not be up to its usual defenses with the added stress, less sleep, poor diet, and all the germs from the holiday parties. Here are six tips to keep you healthy and sniffle-free this holiday season.

1. Order online.
Your keyboard has some germs but not nearly as many as supermarkets and grocery stores. One study at the University of Arizona in Tuscan turned up colistrom bacteria on 72 percent of grocery-store carts and E. Coli on more than 20 percent of them. If you do end up going to the store use the antibacterial wipes provided near the carts to lower your risk of catching a cold.

2. Wash your hands correctly.
We hear this all the time but do you know the correct way to wash your hands?
Here is the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions five steps to wash your hands the right way every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5.  Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

3. Avoid the Buffet.
It’s not all the people germs you should be worried at your holiday parties, but the food. Once the food is left at room temperature for more than two hours, its bacteria levels may become high enough to cause food-borne illness, a.k.a. A stomach virus. Make your plate at the beginning of the party to help avoid the risk.

4. Get your Zzzzs.
Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

5. Stress less.
The holidays are notorious for being a very stressful time of the year. Stress increases the hormone corticosteroid, a stress hormone, which over time can wear down your immune system. To make sure your immune system is ready to fight for you take a few steps to simplify your Christmas. You could try doing a potluck instead of providing all of the food, buy fewer presents for your friends and family, or only plan to go out one or two times a week for work or family parties, giving you time to destress at home.

6. Treat your self
Happy people are less likely to get sick according to a study at Carnegie Mellon University. Take some time for yourself to do what is important and fulfilling for yourself. Go for a walk, a warm bath or get a massage. This opportunity will allow you to enjoy the time with family and friends because you’ve taken the time to take care of yourself!

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