December is “Holiday Shopping Safety” Awareness Month
There is nothing more stressful than shopping during the Holiday Season and whether you celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, it will test your patience
You may not think of the Holiday Season as a health threat, but the fact is that the season is filled with reasons to drive you to the edge of your mental and physical capacity. Here are the top health challenges to a joyful Holiday so that you can be aware and take preventive or remedial action at the first sign of a challenge:
• Shopping Safety – We’ll start with the most obvious. If you are shopping for items in multiple stores, don’t make the mistake of taking it to your car and then walk away. Thieves are on the lookout for expensive items like computers, TVs and gaming consoles. The moment they see you put one in the trunk, all they have to do is wiggle their way (and they know how to do so) though a lock or even by breaking a window on an SUV. Avoid creating a temptation for the bad guys by shopping in a single location and then drive away before they can lock-on to your vehicle.
• Family Stress – From planning where to spend Christmas Eve with to who you should visit during Christmas Day or New Years’ Eve can be very stressful. In fact, people don’t realize how family stress can exacerbate other ailments. Stress is known to lower your body’s defenses, so it is important to reduce that stress to ensure you won’t fall ill to the flu or a cold. Anxiety is also a common reason for people to end up in the ER during a holiday break, so take it easy and breathe—your body can handle anything if you set your mind to it.
• Shopping Stress – Waiting until the day before Christmas to buy gifts is not the best way to ensure a stress-less Holiday Season. Try to plan ahead and shop early—and do it online if possible. Ask your family members what they want and resolve any uncertainties (such as what to get, what options to choose, etc.) beforehand so you don’t stress about it just before you reach Christmas Eve when you won’t have much to choose from.
• Heart Attacks – If stress alone is enough to make you feel bad during the Holidays, consider that it could trigger something worst: a heart attack. Anxiety is a preamble to what could potentially evolve (quickly) into a full-blown heart attack. Reducing your stress is essential, but eating healthy throughout the rest of the year, coupled with regular exercise, can do your body lots of good in combatting the potential for a heart attack during the Holiday Season.
• Choking – During family gatherings during the Holidays, you are likely to find yourself laughting, talking or even arguing at the dinner table. Consider that choking is a real risk that can lead to a bad scare or even death. Eat small pieces one at a time, pace yourself and drink water often, as well as chew food well before swallowing. If you have children in the household, monitor them as they place food in their mouth. Prevention is your first line of defense.
MyMRI wishes all of you a safe and very joyful Holiday Season in whichever way you celebrate—Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or any other celebration. Remember that being safe and staying healthy is a choice you make through effective planning, organization and preventive measures.