While the holiday season may be filled with joy and goodwill, it can also be a time for illness and stress-related disorders.
“It’s the time of year to spread cheer, not germs,” said Christopher Ohl, MD, professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “We often get caught up in various commitments around the holidays and let our health and immune systems suffer because of it. It’s important to focus on your health throughout the year.”
Ohl offers these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to stay healthy this holiday season:
- To minimize stress, keep obligations and spending in check.
- Wash cooking surfaces often and avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods and eating utensils.
- Cook foods to proper temperature and refrigerate leftovers promptly.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep.
- Avoid overeating and drink in moderation.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Rub together for at least 20 seconds.
- To avoid injury, use a step stool or ladder instead of climbing on furniture when putting up decorations.
“Holiday get-togethers give illnesses the opportunity to spread but with balance and moderation, the holidays can be enjoyed the healthy way,” said Ohl.