Thirteen Ways to Stay Healthy and Safe During the Holiday Season 

We are in the middle of the holiday season, with Thanksgiving kicking off what traditionally is a time of overeating, festive celebrations and gift-giving. This year is different in many ways, with the second surge of COVID-19 preventing us from holding our annual get-togethers, but the typical unhealthy habits and situations that often surface at this time remain, so it’s important to make health a priority this year more than ever.

We’ve compiled a list of 13 ways you can look out for yourself and others while enjoying a safe and healthy holiday season.


No one is really sure how the flu season could exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will certainly create an impossible situation for healthcare workers. Get your flu shot.

Manage your stress, giving yourself times for breaks when feeling overwhelmed and focusing on ample sleep to recharge.

Planning on enjoying a holiday cocktail? Never drink and drive.

Smoking is never healthy, but it becomes even more harmful to others during the winter months due to indoor second-hand smoke and can make it difficult to recover from viruses like COVID-19. Quit smoking.

When delivering presents to others, be sure to buckle up yourself and others while driving, wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Fires are common during the winter months, when furnaces are running and electric heaters provide warmth. Practice a fire safety plan that everyone in the home is prepared to put into action if need be.

Just say no … to cookies. Rather than eating “just one more” cookie or sweet, swap that dessert out with a fresh smoothie or fruit salad. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help you limit fats, salt and sugar and they offer a great boost to the immune system.

The end of one year and the start of a new one is a great time to evaluate your current health situation. Schedule an annual check-up and get the proper screenings to keep your physical and mental health in check.

Follow the current CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of #COVID19 by wearing a mask, washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when possible.

It can be really easy during the winter months to get used to a sedentary lifestyle, but it doesn’t take long for a lack of physical activity to have an incredibly negative effect on your overall health and wellness. Get moving for at least 30 minutes each day.

Everything these days appears to be politically fueled, so it’s important that you find a way to combat negative feelings. Engage in activities that relieve tension and boost positive thinking and remove yourself from social media if it has become a source of negativity.

There is so much to do during the holiday season and it can be hard to juggle all of the responsibilities – gift buying, wrapping, baking, cooking, decorating and planning. Delegate some of those responsibilities to teenage children, spouses or even a personal assistant, so that you can relieve some of your personal stress.

Many are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic and this can lead to anxiety and depression, especially during a time when the home needs heated and gifts need purchased. Take some time to explore the financial resources that can offer a bubble of protection as the country continues to make its way through the pandemic. Call creditors and debtors or consider consolidating existing debt to help bring down your monthly obligations. Having control financially can lead to better mental health. Check out other financial suggestions in this week’s LEAP Foundation DC column here: