Most people stress the importance of starting the year off right by making New Year’s resolutions and sticking to them. However, it’s just as important to end the year in the right way. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to stick to those New Year’s resolutions beyond the first week of the new year. Here are 12 tips to keep you and your family healthy from the end of the year and beyond.
1. Keep The Kids Healthy And Happy
With all of the holidays at the end of the year, it can be an exciting time for kids. But all of that excitement can lead to hyperactivity and maybe even a meltdown or two. So, make sure the year ends right for the kids (and you) by keeping them happy and healthy. Entertain them when traveling and have them pitch in with the holiday shopping and the gift wrapping. Keep a close eye on them when they’re playing with their new toys and make sure to keep any potentially dangerous items out of their reach.
2. Use Safe Food Handling Techniques
If you’re cooking for the family this Christmas, use the proper food handling techniques. Wash your hands often and use separate utensils for meats so you don’t cross-contaminate. Don’t leave food out for more than two hours and keep any leftovers in the oven or in the fridge so it stays at the proper temperature. If you’re ordering food this Christmas, make sure it’s delivered frozen. If any food looks suspicious to you, don’t eat them. No one wants to miss out on the festivities because of a foodborne illness.
3. Use Smaller Plates For The Holiday Dinner
Afraid you’ll end up eating too much of the Christmas dinner? Use smaller dishes, glasses and cookware. Studies show that people tend to eat everything on their plate, even if it’s too much food. So downsize the meal and your portion of it to ensure that you eat the proper amount of food.
4. Eat Right And Exercise
Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t give you an excuse to stray from your diet, no matter how much you tell yourself it is okay. It’s important to continue eating right and exercising throughout the year. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat a treat or two here and there, but if you keep your healthy eating habits intact at the end of the year, you won’t have to stress out about getting back in shape when the New Year arrives.
5. Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
It’s so easy to knock back a few holiday cocktails, but make sure you don’t consume too many. Not only do you want to keep your buzz to a minimum, but you’ll want to keep your calorie consumption to a minimum as well.
6. Don’t Be A Wallflower At Parties
Don’t be afraid to work the room at parties. You can meet some new people and if you’re stuck against the wall or stand near the food table, you’ll be more likely to snack mindlessly out of boredom.
7. Don’t Fall For Retail Tricks
As the holidays approach, special holiday editions of basic retail items start hitting the shelves. Coffee shops start offering gingerbread and peppermint lattes, clothing stores stock up on special holiday dresses and sweaters, and specialty stores tempt you with cute stuffed animals and Christmas-themed home goods. Because these items are available for a limited time, you may feel pressured to purchase these items. But don’t be suckered into buying them if you don’t need them or can’t use them. Save your money for more important items on your list.
8. Keep The Germs At Bay
No one wants to get sick during the holidays, so practice healthy habits like washing your hands often and sneezing into a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Be careful when touching commonly touched items like door handles, coffeepot handles and chairs. Keep some antibacterial gel in your purse or in your desk drawer at work, and use it when you aren’t able to wash your hands. Also beware of public restrooms as they are laden with germs. After washing your hands in a public restroom, use some paper towel to turn off the water and when touching the door handle.
9. Beware Of Germs In Malls
The only thing you want to pick up from the mall is Christmas gifts, not germs, so watch what you’re touching when holiday shopping. Don’t lean on or touch the jewelry or perfume counters, and be careful of the items you touch. Dozens of germ-filled hands have probably touched those same items before you. And try to avoid large crowds as having bunches of people packed into your breathing space is a good way to inhale germs.
10. Practice Fire Safety
Space heaters, fireplaces and candles don’t mix well with Christmas trees and decorations. Keep all sources of heat away from flammable items and materials. Make sure your Christmas lights don’t overheat when lit and if you don’t already have one, create a fire escape plan and practice it with your family.
11. Travel Safely
Long trips can be tiring, but don’t forget the basic safety tips: always buckle your seat belt and make sure your children buckle their seat belts, don’t drink and drive and don’t drive if you’re feeling sleepy.
12. Manage Your Holiday Stress
If you find yourself feeling stressed out over the chaos of the holidays, practice some stress relieving techniques such as visualization and deep breathing. Or just take a few moments to relax and unwind with a good book or your favorite TV show. The holidays should be enjoyed, so don’t let yourself get caught up in the details.