5 ways you can avoid suffering this holiday season
The holidays can be such a magical time for families. I love seeing children in my office, excited for special events or outings. Parents seem to enjoy this time of year as well—I know I do. However, added activities, travel, work, and the like can also increase the risk that parents are putting their own health on the back burner for a month or two. Here at Bundoo, we know that the health of children is very dependent on the well-being of their caregivers. So we compiled a short list of tips to keep parents healthy this busy season.
- Flu shots! Every year parents dutifully bring in their children for annual flu shots, but I worry they often forget to prioritize their own! Our office, and many others, offer vaccines for parents, but if your pediatrician does not, do not neglect your own vaccine. Seek out your own physician or hop into a local pharmacy to get your influenza vaccine.
- Maintain good eye health. Disposable contact lenses are such a lifesaver, but the key is using them appropriately. Dr. David Goldman, board certified ophthalmologist, reports that, “The biggest mistakes that contact lens wearers make are wearing their lenses past the expiration date or longer than they are advised to wear because they are close to running out or trying to save money. In addition, they may try to sleep in their contact lenses, which we’ve seen time and time again leads to trouble. Both are high risk factors for developing corneal ulcers even if the lenses are approved for use during sleep.” Take those lenses out regularly to maintain good eye health.
- Sleep! Make sleep a priority by putting it on your schedule. Make it a reality by disengaging with the computer, TV, or smart phone at least 30 minutes before wanting to fall asleep in order to allow your brain to prepare to rest.
- Say no! We’ve all seen delirious children screaming as they watch the late-night fireworks displays at Disney or the like. Young families often have so many social responsibilities that routines and sleep suffer, leading to unnecessary stress for both parents and children. We understand well-meaning relatives want to do “all the things” with you and your kids, but pacing yourselves will help you moderate stress and not create any bad habits for your children. Pick key activities that are important to your nuclear family and that fit into your existing framework, then include others as you see fit.
- Eat well. You work hard to nourish your children, now do the same for yourself. Increase the amount of water you drink as well as fresh fruit and vegetables you eat right now. Fill yourself with good protein sources and carry healthy snacks for when you find yourself with little time to eat. Mixed nuts, cut fruit with cheese cubes, or a nut butter spread on celery or whole grain bread can keep you going and help you resist the urge to reach for a quick sweet.
Taking care of yourself will allow you to enjoy the best parts of a busy season without getting run down. Take a minute to check in with the other adults in your life to see that they are doing the same. Finally, remember that childhood is a magical time already. More than anything, your children want to enjoy you and to feel like you enjoy their company. Doing simple things joyfully together makes families feel strong and happy.