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From the Neighborhood Press

The Holidays: staying healthy

It’s the time of year we have all been looking forward to. The time when normally, family would travel even long distances to reunite and celebrate together. Now, even though it’s still possible for seniors to connect and share special moments together, it may seem a little more complicated given the numerous viruses surrounding us. With just a little preparation and precaution, you should be set to enjoy the Christmas season to the fullest and remain healthy. Let’s take a look as some of the ways you can stay well and help protect yourself from illness right here in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Socially active. It may not be surprising that surrounding yourself with loved ones can go a long way in boosting your or a senior family member’s mental health. If you live independently or have a family member in an assisted living or nursing home, it’s important to bring the warmth and love of the season to each other. If you are unable to spend time with family or loved ones due to health concerns, you may be surprised how much joy spending time with neighbors in your retirement community may bring. Invite a neighbor over for some freshly baked Christmas treats, or plan a holiday themed event together. You may also check and see what your community offers in terms of special holiday events. If Covid-19 restrictions make it impossible for you to mingle with others, make sure to connect by phone or video “visits”. It’s important to share this joyful time of year with those that mean the most to us. Mental health may be the most important key to overall health – and can give us the motivation to stay physically fit, eat healthier and live healthier in general. So make sure to celebrate to the fullest this year together with your loved ones! Remember that the neighbors in your community may become your best friends – lifelong.

Keep Informed

With Covid-19 in a state of constant fluctuation, it’s important to stay informed about any new guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, your state health department, and your retirement community or assisted living home. These recommendations may be to wear a mask while indoors or even outdoors, keep social distance when out in public, and receive Covid-19 or flu vaccinations. Even if you’ve already been immunized, you may be eligible for booster shots. Your doctor can help guide you when it comes to receiving vaccinations, so be sure to ask your doctor what is best for you.

Staying organized. Sometimes the holidays can be filled with excitement and even chaos and crazy schedules for seniors and young people alike. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to prioritize your health. Make sure you are taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor. If you are traveling, you may want to make a list of your medications and set reminders on your iPad or phone to remember to take your medications at the right times. It’s a good idea to keep a list of your medications and allergies and take this with you when traveling. Your doctor’s information, emergency contact information and any other important information can also be tucked into your wallet or purse in the case of an emergency.

Proper hydration. There are so many delicious drinks around the holiday season. Some are alcoholic and others are filled with sugar or caffeine. Whatever your holiday beverage choices will be this year, remember that water is one of your best sources of hydration. Ask your doctor how much water you should consume per day and make it a goal to keep up with this recommendation every single day. It can make you feel better and perhaps even more energetic as you tackle these busy days.

Exercise. It can be easy to cut out the daily walk or exercise routine especially when days become busier during the holiday season. Prioritizing getting out and moving, even if it is for a short time can be very beneficial in staying healthy. For example, a short walk in the crisp morning air or even doing a shorter version of your workout routine may keep you motivated to stay fit during the holidays. Decide what will work for you and try to make it a goal to work towards staying active.

Staying healthy is a great goal for the holidays and prioritizing a few simple items can be the key to achieving these goals. You can finish this year strong. Keep connected with your neighbors and family and enjoy. Your Neighborhood in Rio Rancho wishes you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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