with Williamson Health
From decorating the tree to holiday gatherings and special meals, the holiday season is full of fun and festivities most of us don’t want to miss. The experts at Williamson Health have some advice to help you prevent injuries, eat healthfully and manage your stress throughout the holidays.
Your holiday should be filled with memorable moments and fun with friends and family, not injuries! Christopher Stark, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee, emphasized the importance of safety during the holidays:
Be careful on ladders when decorating. “Stay lower with your decorations and make sure you have someone supporting the ladder. Don’t worry about high decorations or hire someone to do it,” he said.
Take steps to avoid falls. “We routinely fill our ERs with people who have tripped and fallen at home,” Dr. Stark said. He advised making sure cords are covered or out of the way, avoiding throw rugs that can slide on slick surfaces and using mats in and outside of the shower for holiday guests. If you or a guest does fall, Dr. Stark recommends visiting one of Bone and Joint Institute’s urgent care locations, to be quickly assessed and treated, even during the holidays.
With all the parties and gatherings, it can be easy to overindulge during the holidays, but there are ways to eat healthfully and still enjoy the season. “If you know there’s a certain holiday treat that you look forward to, have it,” said Lisa Mathews, R.D., clinical nutrition manager. “Don’t deny yourself, but have a plan.” A few ideas to include in your plan are:
A food log: Keep track of what you’ve eaten during the day so you can make healthy choices. “If you overindulge during lunch at a work party, maybe you eat something lighter for dinner,” Mathews said. If you’re heading out to shop or run errands, pack a healthy snack to avoid less-than-healthy decisions.
Move more each day: Increase your steps by sneaking walks into your daily activities, such as during your lunch break or a quick walk while dinner is cooking.
The holidays may be the happiest time of the year, but they can also contribute to increased stress levels. Bethany Malone, a certified family nurse practitioner with Williamson Health Medical Group, offered a few tips to manage stress effectively:
Take time for yourself. “Keep a schedule,” Malone advised. “Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, add in time for exercise, and limit time with things that create more stress in your life.”
Plan ahead. “If you’re hosting, set small goals leading up to the gathering so that you’re not trying to get everything done the day of the event,” Malone recommended. “Think ahead and buy gifts early, and set boundaries that will help you enjoy the season.”
We hope these tips help you enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. And if you do need medical attention, Williamson Health will be there to help!
Visit williamsonhealth.org for more information and a location near you.