Cleaning, cooking, shopping, entertaining - it takes a lot of work to create the magic of the season, and if we don’t take care of ourselves, the holidays can be anything but happy. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy and happy so you may enjoy the festive season.
Relax and recharge. When you are exhausted, you can get run down and increase your risk for illness. Take care of yourself by making some time each day to do something you enjoy that will help you clear your mind and relax. Walk the dog, listen to music, or delve into a good book. Even a few minutes of time for yourself can help refresh and calm you. Taking control of your time helps you feel empowered and can help prevent you from feeling negative stress.
Dress for the weather. Protect yourself from snow and freezing temperatures and prevent frostbite, slips, falls, and hypothermia by dressing properly. Be sure to wear a hat that covers your ears, a scarf or knit mask to cover your face and mouth, mittens or gloves, and a water-resistant coat and boots. The outer layer of your clothing should be wind resistant to reduce body-heat loss. Above all, stay dry - wet clothing chills your body quickly. If you, or someone with you, were cold and shivering but the shivering has stopped, get inside immediately. No longer shivering is a warning sign of hypothermia and should not be ignored.
Take time out. Emotions often run high during the holidays and family conflicts can intensify - especially if you're in close quarters for several days. Try to get enough sleep to help you cope with any potential tensions and avoid experiencing feelings of depression, irritability, and frustration. If spending time with family is stressful for you, set limits on the amount of time you spend with them. Holidays can bring up feelings of loss and a sense of being alone and disconnected. If you have a friend or family member you trust and can talk to, try to spend some time with them or connect with them by phone. Give yourself permission to feel any sense of loss or emotions that you may feel during the holiday season. If you are continually feeling sad or anxious, irritable and hopeless, physically ill, are unable to sleep, and/or can't face your daily tasks, don't hesitate to contact your doctor or visit the hospital emergency room, especially if these feelings don't go away.
Practice healthy habits. How well you take care of yourself will have a big impact on how you manage emotionally during the holidays. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity. Resist the urge to overdo holiday food and alcoholic drinks which will likely only add to your stress and guilt. Try eating a healthy snack or some soup before the holiday gatherings to take the edge off your hunger. It may help prevent you from going overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favourite holiday music or participating in winter activities. Be active for at least 2.5 hours a week. Encourage kids and teens to be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Connect. Spending the holidays alone can be hard and may leave you feeling lonely and sad, with a sense of being disconnected. Connecting with others can be uplifting and get you in the holiday spirit. Make an effort to reach out to or spend time with a friend or your family. Find community, religious, charitable, or other social events to attend that can provide good opportunities for you to interact and talk with people. Lending a hand can lift your spirits when you can’t get home for the holidays. Food banks and other charitable organizations often need extra help this time of year and volunteering is a good way to meet new friends while helping those in need.
With a little care and effort, you can embrace and enjoy the season and truly have a happy holiday.
More Holiday Tips:
- Keeping Your Holiday Healthy: Tips from CCOHS podcast, CCOHS
- Holiday Safety fact sheet, CCOHS
- Download the CCOHS Here’s to the Holidays and Your Health infographic.
- Low Risk Drinking Guidelines, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
- Holiday Health and Safety Tips, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Health and Safety To Go
This month’s featured podcast provides tips for keeping your holiday healthy and preventing stress.
Feature Podcast: Keeping Your Holiday Healthy: Tips from CCOHS
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers advice, and shares tips on how to prevent stress throughout the holidays.
The podcast runs 4:12 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
Encore Podcast: Preventing the Flu: What You Can Do
It’s easy to catch the flu if you’re not careful. CCOHS shares some helpful tips on how you can prevent catching (or spreading) the flu this season.
The podcast runs 4:49 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts on a wide variety of topics designed to keep you current with information, tips, and insights into the health, safety, and well-being of working Canadians. You can download the audio segment to your computer or MP3 player and listen to it at your own convenience... or on the go!
With many of us spending the majority of our waking hours at work, employers are starting to realize the importance of offering workplace wellness programs and the positive impact they can have. If the success of an organization depends heavily on the productivity of its workers, then it makes sense to ensure that the employees have a work environment that is healthy in which they can thrive.
Business Case for Workplace Wellness is a free, 30 minute e-course that provides business owners, managers, and supervisors with an introduction to establishing a workplace wellness program. The course strives to help participants better understand the benefits of having a workplace wellness program.
While a well thought out and executed workplace wellness program is a vital component to the success of an organization, knowing how to get started can be overwhelming. This e-course is intended to motivate people to take positive steps that lead to the creation of healthy workplaces and successful wellness programs.
Access the Business Case for Workplace Wellness e-coursefrom the CCOHS website: www.ccohs.ca/products/courses/wellness/.
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The Health and Safety Report, a free monthly newsletter produced by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), provides information, advice, and resources that help support a safe and healthy work environment and the total well being of workers.
© 2017, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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