Traveling for the holidays is finally back on the menu of options, so you may be gearing up to hit the road or head down to the airport soon. However, the holidays can also stress your body out.
At Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, Dr. Poonam Malhotra wants all of her patients to have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. Here are her five top tips for staying in top shape throughout this festive time of year, especially if you have concerns about anxiety.
1. Eat, drink, and be merry
It’s really easy to forget to hydrate and eat regularly when traveling, and this can make you feel cranky. Have a water bottle available, and keep it filled so you can maintain good hydration habits during your travels. Also make sure you pack snacks and plan scheduled stops for real meals so you keep your digestive system on track. Traveling can be stressful, but don’t let it get the better of you. Eating and drinking regularly will keep your blood sugar from dropping suddenly and can help you maintain an optimistic mood.
2. Don’t forget your medications
Traveling, especially across time zones, means you need to be extra careful about making sure you take any regular medications on schedule. If you’re flying, have all your meds packed properly in the correct prescription or OTC bottles, and make sure they’re in your carry-on, not checked luggage. Have an emergency number for your doctor and a copy of your prescription in case you end up needing a refill while you’re out of town. You can set an alarm on your phone to help you stay on track with your meds.
3. Prevent infection
The pandemic means a lot of us have been staying in germ-restricted areas. Now you’re out and about and getting exposed to a lot of bacteria. Double down with your mask in public, and use wet wipes and hand sanitizer to decrease your chances of coming down sick on the road. Also get your flu shot; the 2021-22 version protects against four different virus strains!
4. Get enough sleep
Excitement, stress, anxiety, a lot of people you’re not usually around, back-to-back activities, and a bed you’re unused to can all lead to lack of restful sleep. Consider bringing your own pillow and linens if possible, and a sprayable scent that smells like home to make your sleeping area feel familiar. A small fan can provide white noise, or you can use an app on your phone.
5. Practice self-care
Anxiety and depression can build up during the holidays, causing you to crash hard with “post-holiday sadness” when you get home. If this time of year is rough on you, plan ahead and think of ways to make it easier. This could mean limiting time with family members who cause conflict, saying “no, thank you” if there are too many excursions planned, or even getting a hotel room for part or all of your stay so you have somewhere to retreat to.
If you’re worried about traveling during the holidays and want to discuss a plan for your anxiety with Dr. Malhotra, call our office at 352-254-5649, or request an appointment online.