12 tips to have a healthy holiday season from the Byon8 doctors.
Updated: Mar 10
Author: Dr. Blaise Ntacyabukura
Similar to 2020, this year was under a public health crisis worldwide. Lives were lost due to various unhealthy behaviors and practices that could be prevented. As we are approaching the end of 2021, it is essential to stay vigilant for your health and ensure the festive season is enjoyed with precautions.
We, therefore, recommend practicing the following healthy behaviors that could prevent a wide range of health problems attributable to social events and the Covid-19 infection in particular.
Wear a mask to prevent breathing air contaminated with viruses such as the Covid-19, the flu virus, or other air pollutants. Practice wearing an appropriate facial mask before meeting someone outside your home bubble.
Get the vaccine! Getting an initial or booster vaccine against the Covid-19 infections is recommended. Kindly check which forms of the vaccine is appropriate for you and ensure you receive them before engaging in holiday social activities.
Wash hands often, use condoms and sleep in a mosquito net when indicated to help prevent the spread of germs. Many germs capable of turning your life upside down are spread around in the environment or circulating in people’s body fluids. Do not always forget to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds, use condoms appropriately and sleep in insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs).
Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Are you participating in activities that could expose you to extreme heat at the coast or upcountry? If yes, wear appropriate outdoor clothing and sunscreen.
Manage stress and avoid unnecessary confrontations. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are finding support, connecting socially, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep. Most importantly, avoid confrontations as the risk for physical injuries increases during social events. Don’t put your life at such risk; involve security bodies in your area, for instance, the police.
Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. Additionally, be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have more significant health risks because of their tobacco use. However, nonsmokers are also at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
Fasten seat belts while driving or riding a motor vehicle, and wear a helmet when on a bike or a motorcycle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip, and encourage passengers to do the same.
Get BYON8, and make sure you have enough coins to consult a medical doctor or a psychologist as soon as it is required. Do not self-medicate. Ask a healthcare provider on BYON8 what could be the cause of your sickness, exams you need and where to get them, and medications that can help you.
Monitor children and your other beloved ones. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning in the beach or pool, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the holiday season, don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
Eat healthily, and stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables as they boost your immunity and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 3 hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Until the next time - stay safe, have a cheerful Christmas holiday.