The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun — but they're also a prime time for germs. From office parties to gatherings with loved ones, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up a bug, compromise your immune system, and end up feeling sick at a time when you should be celebrating. Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting sick this winter!
Advance ER is here to be a guiding hand to get you through this winter as your healthiest self. Keep reading to learn how to enjoy the winter festivities with peace of mind and stay healthy all season long.
Moderating Alcohol and Unhealthy Foods
As we all know, winter means more comfort foods and celebrations that may involve alcohol. According to a study by Morning Recovery, adults consume two times more alcohol during the holidays than at other times of the year.
And while indulging every now and then is natural, it's essential to keep your body balanced by moderating the amount of unhealthy food and drinks consumed over the holidays. Your immune system can be weakened by alcohol and unhealthy foods, making you more susceptible to winter illnesses.
Make sure to stay mindful of the amount of alcohol you're consuming and to fill your plate (and glass) with healthy options. Fruits and vegetables should occupy half your plate and proteins and grains should occupy the other half.
Knowing the Most Significant Winter Health Problems
Winter weather can bring with it a host of health problems. The most common include colds, the flu, COVID-19, winter blues, and skin issues.
Viruses such as the common cold, streptococcus, or adenovirus cause colds and other respiratory illnesses. Symptoms include sore or scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing, and a low-grade fever. To help prevent colds, wash your hands regularly and keep them away from your face.
To learn more about keeping your children safe from respiratory illnesses and RSV this season, check out our recent blog RSV Season Safety Tips: Keeping Kids Healthy.
The flu is caused by the influenza virus and can be much more severe than a cold. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, and coughing. As previously mentioned, the flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself from the virus.
For several years now, COVID-19 has been a significant health issue, particularly in the winter. Studies show that COVID-19 peaks in the colder months of the year, similar to other common respiratory viruses.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of smell or taste. To protect yourself and others, it is essential to wear masks in public, practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wash your hands.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder, is a type of depression caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter months. Symptoms can include fatigue, irritability, panic attacks, and difficulty focusing. If you think you may be experiencing winter blues, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Finally, skin issues are common in cold winter months due to a decrease in humidity and lower temperatures. Make sure to stay hydrated and wear protective clothing when going out in the cold.
Getting your flu shot is always recommended during winter, as it's the number one way to avoid getting sick. If you haven't gotten your shot yet, make sure to get it as soon as possible — the sooner you do, the better protection you'll have during the winter.
Additionally, we will likely see a COVID-19 surge this winter, so stay up-to-date on your coronavirus immunization boosters as you are eligible. Other vaccinations that should be considered this winter include pneumonia, tetanus, and shingles.
Staying on top of your vaccinations this winter can help protect yourself and those around you!
Knowing Where to Go in Case of an Emergency
If you experience any severe symptoms this winter, it's vital to seek medical care as soon as possible. Make sure you know where the nearest urgent care centers and hospitals are located in case of an emergency. Keep a list of important numbers and contacts handy, such as your doctor, pharmacist, and emergency contacts.
24/7, Emergency Care at Advance ER
At Advance ER, our facilities are open 24/7 to help you with any emergency medical issues during the winter season. Our compassionate team is on standby to help you with any medical emergency, big or small. We are committed to providing the best quality care and look forward to helping you stay healthy this winter!
For more information on how to stay healthy this winter, fill out our online form or give us a ring at today! We're here for you. Have a happy and safe winter!