‘Tis the Season to Take Care of Yourself
Hello my redheaded lovelies!
I’m back after a November vacation hiatus. First, I went to my friends’ wedding in Kona, Hawaii, which was absolutely amazing! Then I went to see my friends and family in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. November has left me feeling very content, and I am trying to sustain that feeling as best I can throughout the holiday season.
BUT the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder, and if you are like me and could have your way, you would prefer to hibernate in bed (perhaps with your sweetie) and alternate napping with streaming your favorite TV shows or movies.
But no can do!!! ‘Tis the season to make our holiday to-do lists, shop and bake until we drop, travel near and far by car or plane to visit our loved ones, and go make small talk at all sorts of holiday parties.
What happens when our natural desire to slow down and hibernate gets postponed? We lose sleep, we get chilled, we get stressed out, and then we become more vulnerable to those nasty winter germs that are all over work, at parties, and at our kids’ schools. We get sick and cranky! And who wants to be sick and cranky during the holidays? Maybe Scrooge, but not me! And yet…..I kinda sound a little cranky now, don’t I? Hmmm…..where did that November contentment go?
Don’t let it happen to you! Will the world actually crumble if Santa seems to be out of Lollaloopsey dolls this season (you know those silly hair ones), and little girls everywhere will be disappointed? Just explain that the elves can’t make them fast enough and that the Easter Bunny will pick up the backorder slack in April. And then go take a long winter’s nap because you deserve it, darn it!
Here are some tips to take care of the incredible you during the holidays:
1. Get enough sleep – at least 7-9 hours a night. Research shows that lack of sleep can make us more prone to catching cold and flu viruses.
2. Practice good hygiene – You know the rules!
3. To prevent the spread of germs, sneeze or cough into your elbow and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
4. Wash your hands often, including but not limited to, after using the restroom, before you eat, when you get to your destination (home or work), etc.
5. For traveling, bring some disinfecting wipes with you for your hands. I also recommend using disinfecting wipes to wipe down everything around you on the airplane such as the head and hand rests, the tray, and the back of the seat and pocket. You will see how much dirt you will pick up – yuck!
6. When it gets colder, we sometimes forget to drink liquids. Try drinking herbal teas which can keep you warm AND hydrate you.
-Staying hydrated is especially important on airplanes due to extremely low humidity. On the day before travel, drink plenty of water. On the day of travel, buy one or more bottles of water after going through security and take them with you onto the plane. Conserve your water and take advantage of asking the flight attendants for water whenever offered – but hold the ice as it can be a source of germs!
-Use a saline nasal spray in the morning, at bedtime, and on the airplane to keep nasal passages moist and to maintain nasal pH balance. In the winter, the low humidity and heat can dry out your nasal passages making them more vulnerable to viruses.
7. Bundle up – We’re not kids anymore so stop hiding your hat and gloves in the mailbox to play cool! Buy a stylish winter coat, hat, and gloves to keep warm while simultaneously feeling fabulous. Sometimes if the HVAC isn’t cooperating at work, I will wear a stylish shawl or poncho and a hat.
8. Monitor consumption of sugar, alcohol and other simple carbs – With so much temptation during the holidays, this seems impossible, but some experts believe that sugar can suppress the immune system. If you start to feel run down, you may be overdoing the simple carbs and need to back off.
Slow down, breathe, and try to enjoy some peace during the holiday season. Consider taking a personal vacation day to rest, to get organized, or to get caught up.
Happy Hibernating Holidays!
Carolbetty was born with orange red hair and is founder of a blog entitled, Blessed with Red: The Redhead’s Guide to Thrive. She received her training as a Nutrition Educator and a Nutrition Consultant at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition & Culinary Arts in Berkeley, CA.
Courtesy of Carolbetty Publications. © Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
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