It’s still wise to skip large parties this year.
As the pandemic hangs over our incoming holidays, the next best thing is to try and be our healthiest selves yet. The COVID-19 landscape has changed throughout the year, as we’re now averaging 538,2891 daily vaccine doses according to the Department of Health (DOH) — but celebrating at home remains to be our safest option.
That said, pandemic fatigue is a thing, and the holidays can amplify a crucial period where most of us fall off our health and wellness routines. It’s a season full of warmth, reunions, food, and just a jolly ol’ time, after all. If you’re finding it hard to stay on top of your priorities over Christmas and New Year festivities, here are some tips to keep you on track:
1. KEEP YOUR GATHERINGS SMALL
As inviting as it is, having too many people (especially those who do not live in the same household), is probably not a good idea even if the attendees are fully vaccinated2.
Johns Hopkins Medicine’s expert in pharmacology and molecular science Namandje Bumpus, Ph.D. weighs in on the risk of gatherings.
“The risk goes up when people from multiple households are included on the guest list, she explains. “Two or three couples, [with] everyone … fully vaccinated, is safer than larger groups,” says Bumpus.
Intimate parties are where things are anyway, so have a small spread and host a virtual party if needed!
2. BE SMART WITH FOOD
Staying mindful of food intake is a challenge during the holidays, but it’s important to remember your priorities in terms of health. You can focus on eating in moderation and just enjoying the season with your loved ones—maybe over whole grains, greens, etc.
3. REGULARLY EXERCISE & TAKE SUPPLEMENTS
Workout out is one surefire way to combat holiday weight gain, which isn’t easy to shed. Staying physically active indoors is pretty doable with a tailored set of at-home exercises, too. That, and supplementing your routine with recommended vitamins should get you to strengthen your immunity in no time.
A Harvard Medical Publishing article3 outlines vitamin C and D, zinc, and melatonin might help in fighting any virus for the following reasons:
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant and a key player in healthy immune function.
- Zinc possibly has an antiviral activity that acts on improved immune cell function or reduces the rate of viruses to multiply.
- Vitamin D and melatonin may have positive effects on immune function, but a specific antiviral effect hasn’t been proven.
4. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Your healthy habits should only be followed by a good 7–9 hours of sleep every night. This shouldn’t be optional as adults need a full bar of energy that will get us through situations in both life and work. With the holidays, especially, we tend to check a whole lot of things to do in preparation, so get your full night of rest when you can.
In a Mayo Clinic writeup4, Eric J. Oldson M.D. mentions that those who do not get quality sleep or get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus.
Sleep deprivation affects the release of cytokines, especially the kind that helps promote sleep we need when we are under stress or have an infection or inflammation. This also decreases infection-fighting antibodies and cells, so our bodies need sleep to stand a chance against infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
5. STAY HYDRATED
We’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: It’s recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day. Now, just because we’re supposed to be taking things easy doesn’t mean we let go off regularly hydrating, too! It’s a healthy strategy to put in place since there is no shortage of alcohol on every spread during the merry days.
6. BE EXTRA SECURED
It’s not unheard of to be extra vigilant when it comes to symptoms of the COVID-19 virus as it is key to warding off infection. If you’re feeling generally off, it’s best to consult a doctor that fits your needs with a provider that boasts of premier healthcare for Filipinos.
EastWest Healthcare is more than happy to give you options in this area—providing day-to-day health security, plans that give you peace of mind, and treatments that offer the best care during emergencies or illnesses. Follow these tips to keep your immune system at its best and make the most of your holidays.
1 Department of Health Website. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://doh.gov.ph/vaccines.
2 What’s safe after your covid-19 vaccine? Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/whats-safe-after-your-covid19-vaccine.
3 Robert H. Shmerling, M. D. (2021, April 5). Do vitamin D, zinc, and other supplements help prevent covid-19 or hasten healing? Harvard Health. Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/do-vitamin-d-zinc-and-other-supplements-help-prevent-covid-19-or-hasten-healing-2021040522310.
4 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2018, November 28). Can lack of sleep make you sick? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757.