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As part of our ongoing efforts to support the health and well-being of our haumāna, the Kamehameha Schools Mālama Ola Division presents the Mālama Ola Minute series. This month, we focus on staying healthy during the holidays.

Mālama Ola Minute: Staying healthy during the holiday season

Dec. 1, 2023

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The festive season is a time for celebration, not neglecting our health. Checking in with our bodies, preventing sickness and traveling smart are all essential to staying healthy during the winter. Here are some tips to stay well and have a healthful holiday:

Defend against viruses

The holidays are all about sharing – but some things, like the flu or a virus, are best kept to yourself. If you are feeling sick, stay home and avoid others who may have symptoms. If you go out, consider wearing a high-quality mask and washing your hands frequently. Cover coughs and sneezes when around others to help protect them, too. Hosting the family function? Choose well-ventilated or open spaces. By opening windows or using air purifiers, you can improve air quality and reduce the number of viruses to which you are exposed. Hosts, remember to keep soap and tissues stocked!

When we can ensure a safe environment for ourselves and the ones we love, the more we can enjoy and relax knowing everyone will be leaving just as they arrived.

Travel smart

Going holoholo? Remember to check your destination for area-specific health risks and get the appropriate vaccines and medicines at least a month before you leave. Prepare for emergencies by leaving copies of important travel documents (e.g. itinerary, contact information, credit cards, passport, etc.) with someone back home in case you lose them during travel. And make sure you have their contact information in case of an emergency.

Plan for the unexpected. Prepare a travel health kit with prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, a first aid kit, sunscreen, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, water disinfection tablets and your health insurance card.

And while some of us feel more adventurous over a vacation, be sure to choose safe food and drinks. Generally, dry and packaged foods, as well as those served hot, are usually safe to consume. Bottled, canned, and hot drinks are typically fine. Foods and drinks contaminated with bacteria can cause travelers' diarrhea and disrupt your trip.

As we head into December, let us keep our health in mind! When we practice mindfulness, good hygiene and preparedness, we can avoid getting sick and enjoy the holidays with our ʻohana and hoaaloha.

Learn more:

Take Steps to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tips for sticking to a holiday season health routine
Mayo Clinic

5 Ways to Stay Healthy for the Holidays
TeensHealth, Nemours Children’s Health

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