4 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season


Jonathan Goodwin

Holidays are coming, but the pandemic is still of concern around the world. Vaccinated or not, we need to take steps to protect our health and our families over the holiday season.

As the year winds down and the holiday season falls upon us, it’s important to not forget the importance of staying healthy and preventing illness from spreading to family members.

COVID cases are on the rise in the US currently and that’s a bad context for hosting big family gatherings. In order to ensure we don’t spread COVID to our families this holiday season, here are four tips for having safer, healthier get-togethers.

Tip #1: Get a COVID vaccine booster

If you’re eligible, that is. Any adult who was vaccinated 6 or more months ago with an mRNA vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer or 2 months ago with the Jonhson & Johnson vaccine would be eligible for a booster if they want.

COVID boosters are proven to boost immunity to the COVID-19 virus, which wanes over time post-vaccination, so it’s especially crucial for more vulnerable populations to protect themselves in case cases continue to escalate over the course of the winter.

And if you’re not currently vaccinated, please consider scheduling an appointment right away to prevent a risk of infection and contagion.

No one wants to get sick or cause their loved ones to get sick and vaccines are the best tool we have for limiting the spread of COVID.

Tip #2: Stay home if you’re feeling sick

It sounds obvious, but it needs to be said for everyone’s safety. Same as for going into the workplace, no one should make themselves a vector for spreading disease.

If your throat is feeling itchy, you have a cough or an increase in sneezing, or feverish symptoms, please just stay home and take care of yourself. Missing family events is no fun, but it’s worth not sending your relatives to the hospital.

The Delta variant does spread faster and evade vaccine protections more successfully than previous versions of COVID-19, causing breakthrough infections. So, even if you’re vaccinated, you could become ill and contagious, hence the previously stated need for a booster shot.

Tip #3: Avoid large gatherings

While it may feel like the pandemic is behind us and we can celebrate, it’s actually not as infection rates are climbing and there are still more than 1,000 COVID deaths per day.

We all miss our families, but it’s important to avoid large gatherings, especially if several people are traveling to attend. The more people in attendance, the greater the risk of contagion. And if people are traveling and get infected, they’ll likely carry the virus with them and spread it in transit and back home.

The safest version of a holiday gathering will confine in-person attendees to cohabitants of a single residence and connect with everyone else virtually. Take a lesson from Canada, which celebrated its Thanksgiving on October 10 and saw its COVID caseload spike sharply in the three weeks after the holiday.

It’s uncommon to say it, but don’t be like Canada and do your part to reduce the spread with smaller gatherings!

Tip #4: Remember to be grateful

It may sound counterintuitive after warning people away from big celebrations, but it is a season for cherishing what’s most important: our family, our friends, and our health.

Millions of people have not been fortunate enough to see today and we should be grateful to still be here and able to see another holiday season. It’s easy to use gratitude to reach a state of mindfulness and gratitude is also a powerful path for feeling authentic happiness.

If we remember what we’re grateful for – our health, our homes, our families, and more – it becomes easier to accept some of the struggles we still face to stay healthy and safe.

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