The holidays are upon us. That means a break from work, time with family, and indulging in once-a-year food and drink. It can also mean stress, being sick, and overdoing it.
If you’re traveling for the holidays this year, there are steps you can take before and during your travels to keep yourself healthy. Here are some of our favorites.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for twenty seconds (about the time it takes to sing the alphabet) when traveling, particularly in highly-trafficked areas like airports or gas stations. This is the simplest but most effective way to prevent spreading germs to others or contracting something yourself. You may also want to stash some antibacterial wipes or spray in your bag for times you don’t have access to a sink.
It’s easy for sleep schedules to be disrupted when traveling, particularly when traveling across time zones, but getting enough sleep each night is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. If you think you might have trouble sleeping, bring whatever you need from home to make it easier to get into a healthy nightly routine, like ear plugs, an eye mask, white noise machine, or even your favorite pillow if you’ve got the room for it.
The holidays are often stressful, and it’s smart to tackle that stress head on, even if it’s not part of your regular routine at home. Some of the most effective stress-busters are meditation, prayer, journaling, aromatherapy, laughing, and listening to smoothing music. Exercise is also great for relieving stress, and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Even brisk walking or easy yoga can do a lot to bring stress levels down. Allowing stress to build up can not only ruin your mood, it can also depress your immune system, making you more likely to catch something.
Continuing oral health routine
Just because it’s a special time of year doesn’t mean you have an excuse to skip brushing and flossing. Keep brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and if you have appliances like retainers or mouth guards, continue to take care of them, too.
It’s about whole-body health
Although we’re dentists and our main areas of focus are sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, and orthodontics, we’re firm believers in integrative health. The body isn’t made up of discrete parts; everything is interconnected. That’s why it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health during your holiday travels this year, not just your teeth.
On that note, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!