The holidays are a time for family, generosity, and delicious food served in enormous proportions. Despite the warm and fuzzy feeling that the holidays can bring, it may also be a frantic time of year for some. Shorter days followed by late-night mingling, overindulgence, lack of sleep, and other factors put unnecessary stress on your body. Now more than ever, with the persistent threat of COVID-19 and other easily transmittable respiratory illnesses, it is becoming more difficult to juggle holiday obligations with personal wellbeing.

Avoid overindulgence!

Heaping portions, buffet-style catering, endless dessert options, and a slew of holiday beverages are commonplace in American celebrations. With so many different choices, it can be difficult to pick out healthy options among the fat-laden casseroles and dips. Some dishes may seem healthy, but you never know how much butter, oil, cheese, or other fattening products can be hiding among the green things unless you prepare them yourself. By no means are we advising you to skip out on your favorite holiday treat, however, we encourage you to reduce portion sizes, minimize grazing, and try to say no to second helpings.

Alcohol contains one of the biggest sources of empty calories during the holidays. Avoid drinking too much, mixers that have high sugar content, and be sure to stay hydrated while enjoying yourself. If possible, avoid alcoholic beverages as much as possible. If not, limit yourself.

Manage your stress.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday obligations, remember that your mental health should take priority over other things. When you feel out of control, stressed out, or overwhelmed, remember to give yourself a break. It’s impossible to spread yourself so thin and maintain your mental wellbeing, especially if you’re not getting enough sleep. Be sure to rest, talk with your mental health professional about ways to minimize stress while still enjoying the holiday season.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is also common among people during the winter months. As the days get shorter, the weather gets colder and cloudier, you may feel like you’re struggling with your mental health and the changes in season. If you’re feeling depressed, have low energy, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness/worthlessness/guilt, or other signs of depression, talk with your doctor to find out the best method of treatment for your specific symptoms.

Other Recommendations

Safety is also extremely important during this season. Electrical hazards such as overloaded circuit breakers or outlets can cause fires. Be sure to read all safety information on whatever decorations you may use, including all light strands, trees, garlands, extension cords, etc.

Don’t forget to buckle up! Road trips are common during this time of year, and the number of congested highways with inattentive drivers’ spike. Be sure to fasten your seatbelts, drive cautiously, and ensure your child is in the right seat for their height and weight. Never drive impaired, there are many inexpensive rideshare options to choose from to ensure you get home safely.

Maintain your physical health by keeping up with your exercise routine. Despite the cold weather keeping you inside, there are several ways to exercise while indoors. Yoga is great for those who lack the space to exercise, requires little to no equipment, and can also have a positive effect on your mental health. The internet is your tool, especially if you need to get creative with your exercise routine.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. During this holiday season, we want everyone to stay safe and healthy. Maintain your exercise routine, healthy eating habits, and avoid putting yourself into stressful situations. Talk with your primary care physician about your symptoms if you’re feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or out of control. You may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information. Happy holidays, from our family to yours!