It’s no fun getting sick during the holidays, and if you’re like me, it happens at some point almost every year. It’s plain rotten that cold and flu season aligns with November and December holidays. And while we can’t prevent every illness, we can be proactive and reduce our chances of having the sniffles while wrapping gifts, or being felled by the flu and a fever instead of making snowmen and sledding.

Not only can you get an annual flu shot, but you can also adopt some everyday practices and embark upon the upcoming holiday and illness season with a mindful commitment to use these tips. These tips may be common sense, things we’ve heard many times before, but a timely reminder to stick with them can make all the difference.  You might even want to jot down these goals in your planner each week to remind yourself to use them.

Stay Hydrated

With so much activity going on, and with special holiday beverages in the mix (cider, eggnog, and champagne to name a few), it’s easy to let water consumption fall by the wayside. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll drink eight glasses of water each day in addition to any fun and festive drinks.

Eat Healthy Food – Most of the Time

For many of us here in the U.S., Thanksgiving is the unofficial start to a 30+ day-long food fest. You enjoy favorite family recipes, attend holiday parties, and some office environments become a continues stacking opportunity. And while we’d never suggest you forgo all the tasty fun, we do recommend you indulge wisely – saving yourself for the really good stuff. Perhaps you can enjoy your very favorite things – homemade or specialty treats – versus eating low-grade store-bought “treats” that just happen to be available.

Keep Moving

We get it. November and December are crazy busy, and in many parts of the country it’s cold, dark, wet, and frozen. A little exercise will do you a world of good though, so keep moving! No time to get to the gym? Take a quick walk around the block. Is it snowing outside? Put on your headphones and march in place for twenty minutes while you listen to some of your favorite tunes. Almost everyone can do something to get the blood flowing and those feel-good endorphins flowing, so get creative.

Wash Your Hands Often

There are tons of germs out there, especially during this time of the year. It’s ridiculously easy to pick up germs and infect yourself, even if you manage to avoid airborne particulates, so do your best to keep your hands clean. Wash them often, and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Oh, and remember to moisturize after all that washing, or your skin may chap and crack.

Get Some ZZZZZ’s

This can be one of the most challenging things to do when it comes to wellness. After all, many of us try to double the number of things we’re doing each day during the holiday season, and that often cuts into our sleep. Just take a moment and think about it though: getting enough sleep will help to you be more effective during those waking hours, and will also promote happiness and wellness. What good are all your efforts if you can’t be well rested to enjoy the season?

These tips focus on physical health, and we hope they’ve served as an excellent reminder. Another major key component when it comes to being healthy is your emotional well-being, so be sure to read part two in our series: Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays Part 2: Emotional Well-Being. We hope you have very happy and healthy holidays!