The 2020 holidays are different. COVID-19 has changed the way people gather and have fun with their families. If you want to stay safe this holiday seasons, you must follow the recommendations of professionals.

What are professionals recommending to increase your chances of staying healthy during the holidays?

Catch Up on Sleep

If you’re off from work or working from home, you may be staying up later due to the pandemic. Now is a good time to catch up on some sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation has been shown to cause an increase in inflammation markers and also impact the immune system.

Get more sleep, and you may boost your immune system – a definite bonus to your health.

Eat the Right Foods

Heavy, fatty foods made from scratch are a great treat during the holidays. It's not uncommon for adults to look forward to the food just as much as they look forward to spending time with their families.

While you may want to eat turkey, sweets and treats, you should also try eating immune-boosting foods, such as:

  • Berries
  • Leafy greens
  • Fruits

Eating a balanced diet for most of the holiday season can help keep your immune system running well and may reduce your risk of getting sick. A well-balanced diet can and should be followed. You might not be able to stop COVID with diet alone, but you can better prepare your body to respond if you do get the virus.

Exercise

There’s no better feeling than a great workout! Exercise is the perfect way to boost endorphins and serotonin, making it the ideal holiday stress reliever. With the amount of stress that comes with the holidays, especially this year, getting sidetracked is easy. In fact, research shows that the more stressed you are, the less physical activity you do. That’s why it’s important to get your workout knocked out first thing in the morning. Take time to go on a short walk, get in a few minutes of yoga, or just do some simple stretches. The better you feel going into the day, the more smoothly it will run.

Keep on Top of Your Hygiene

If you’re going to be spending the holiday with your family, it’s almost inevitable that someone will put out their hand, and you’ll shake it. You'll also be touching doorknobs, appliances and other items that others will be touching.

Keep on top of your hygiene by making sure that you and anyone that you’re spending the season with continues to wash their hands.

Advise Others Not to Attend If They Have Been Exposed

The CDC outlines recommendations to staying healthy this holiday season. One guideline that should be followed above all else is to not attend any family functions if you:

  • Experience COVID-19 symptoms
  • Are waiting on your test results
  • Had exposure to someone with COVID in the last 14 days
  • Are at severe risk of illness

You should mention this point to all of your loved ones. If someone is sick or at higher risk of complications or death, it’s better to stay home than risk others getting sick.

COVID-19 is interrupting the holidays this year, but you can take steps today to reduce your risks of illness or the severity of the illness. Additional tips include holding activities outdoors, limiting the number of attendees and also wearing a mask when in crowds or attending large gatherings.