Holiday Safety Tips and Tricks

December 04, 2017

From decorating the tree to wrapping Christmas presents, the holidays often spread joy and laughter. However you choose to celebrate the season, we wanted to share a few safety tips provided by the National Safety Council.

Happy Holidays!

Decorating

  • Never use lighted candles near trees, curtains/drapes, or any potentially flammable items.
  • Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
  • Use no more than three light sets on any extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.
  • When displaying outdoor lights, fasten them firmly to a secure support with insulated staples or hooks to avoid wind damage. Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off of the ground and away from puddles and snow.

Ladder Safety

  • When hanging holiday decorations, always use a proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on desks, chairs or other furniture.
  • Use ladders with slip-resistant feet and wear clean, dry, slip-resistant shoes when climbing.
  • If you have to use a step ladder near a doorway, lock the door so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder.

Food Preparation

  • When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family, be sure to wash hands, utensils, sink and anything else that comes in contact with raw poultry.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
  • Avoid cleaning kitchen surfaces with wet dishcloths or sponges. They carry bacteria and promote bacteria growth. Use a clean paper towel instead.

 

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Happy Holidays: Eat, Drink, and Stay Healthy

November 01, 2016

This is the great time of the year when friends and families get together to celebrate the holidays. The downside is that all these fun gatherings can turn into extra calories and less time to exercise – but that doesn’t mean skipping the festivities. 

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the season without letting a good health suffer.

 

 Going Easy On . . . 

 

  • Sugar: Apple cider and eggnog? These beverages often contain a ton of sugar –
    especially when alcohol is added. It’s okay to enjoy these in moderation, making sure to have a glass of water in between every drink.
  • Dairy: It’s not a party if there’s no dessert. But the key to maintaining healthy is  keeping the servings small and not going back for seconds. Skipping the whipped cream or ice cream, which often accompany the slice of pie, also helps.  
  • Red Meat: Opting for lean cuts or skipping it entirely, and sticking with fish or skinless chicken, are great options. So is eating twice as many vegetables as meat. Also, baking, grilling, or steaming food are healthier options than frying.  
  • Saturated Fat: Moderation is key. A quick example – for any dish – is cutting down on the butter. In general, using olive oil instead of butter adds some healthy unsaturated fats to the food. For flavor, fresh herbs and spices are good alternatives. For baking, Greek yogurt, banana, or equal parts unsweetened applesauce can substitute butter. 

Being realistic is also important. Here’s a morsel of advice to keep in mind:

  • Trying to maintain the current weight is better than worrying about shedding a few pounds over the holidays.  
  • A full calendar shouldn’t get in the way of exercise. Walking for 10-15 minutes, twice a day, helps maintaining good health through the season. 
  • Arriving at a party too hungry is a bad idea. So when going to a celebration, it’s important to make healthier choices the rest of the day. 
  • The key is eating to get satisfied – not stuffed. After eating, and giving it some time to settle, going back for seconds is okay. 
  • Bringing an appetizer, a main dish,  or dessert to the celebration can help keeping control of the situation. Healthier recipes for traditional favorites is just an Internet search away. 

 

Fight Depression During the Holidays with Random Acts of Kindness

December 04, 2017

Holidays are typically a time of joy and celebration with family and friends, but for some it’s anything but the most wonderful time of year. Depression can occur at any time, but stress and anxiety during the holiday months may cause some people to experience a lack of fulfillment or a sense of loneliness from the loss of loved ones.

Although depression can make you distance yourself from people, participating in random acts of kindness can bring a smile to your heart. Doing good deeds for others can prevent negative thoughts, promote feelings of accomplishment and happiness, and make a positive impact on both you and the recipient. Practicing kindness can be as simple as:

  • Holding a door open for a stranger
  • Giving someone a compliment
  • Texting or calling an old friend to say “hi”
  • Lending a hand to a co-worker who needs help with a project
  • Volunteering at a shelter
  • Donating books, clothes or food

Your act of kindness, regardless how small, will serve as a way to lessen stress and anxiety and boost self-esteem during the crazy holiday season. If you are experiencing depression this holiday season, please call (855) 425-1777 (toll-free) to schedule an appointment or speak with a representative.