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November 17 2022

Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Anyone can get sick from COVID-19, the flu or other common winter viruses. With the holidays approaching, below are three steps people can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting sick.

  1. Get the COVID-19 Vaccine and Updated Booster. Protect yourself and your loved ones, especially if they are ages 55 years and older or immunocompromised. The CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 5 years and older receive the updated (bivalent) booster dose. If you haven’t gotten the updated booster, now is a great time to get an added immunity boost ahead of large family gatherings or travel. The updated booster dose helps to protect against Omicron and its variants.
  2. Pay Attention to Babies and Young Children. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that has recently spiked across the U.S. in infants and young children. For children, the symptoms to watch for are a runny nose, sneezing, decreased appetite, trouble breathing or pauses in breathing, coughing or fever. Infants under six months old or children with weakened immune systems or other health problems have a greater risk of severe illness. If you suspect your child has RSV, consult your doctors right away to get tested.
  3. Take Steps to Mitigate Stress. Make the most out of the holiday season by addressing stressful situations instead of avoiding them. The University of Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) shares these tips:
    • Give yourself permission to enjoy meals. If you’re on a special diet, bring a dish you like and encourage family members to do try something new.
    • Stay active and prioritize yourself. When it gets cold, it’s easy to stay inside. There are plenty of indoor activities to keep you moving, like mall walking, dancing, or yoga. If you need extra support, ask a trusted friend or family member, or schedule time to relax and plan your day to fit your unique needs – emotional or physical.
    • Control what you can, not what you cannot. For example, if you’re hosting a gathering, you can’t control the conversation, but you can control the preparations, the timing and your own well-being.

Staying healthy in body and mind may help you have an enjoyable holiday season. Take the time to be present, enjoy the extra time with your family and friends, stay healthy and make new members to last forever.


“Everything You Should Know About RSV.” 15 November 2022.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 17 November 2022.

“UB researchers offer healthy, holiday tips.” Buffalo.Edu. 15 November 2022.