The hustle and bustle of the holidays can make taking care of yourself trickier than perfecting a gingerbread house.

However, it’s important to prioritize healthy habits, so you can experience all the joyous events of the season. Follow these five tips from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s wellness team to prioritize your well-being.

All I want for Christmas is to protect my loved ones’ health

Get-togethers with friends and family make the holidays special, but gatherings have become more complex the past few years due to the pandemic. The good news is that by taking a few key steps, you can help stop the spread of COVID-19 while celebrating all the season has to offer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following to make gatherings safer:

  • Get vaccinated to protect those who’re unable to receive the shot, such as young children
  • Wear a mask indoors, especially if your area is experiencing high virus transmission rates
  • Stay home if you don’t feel well
  • Take a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms or were exposed to someone who tested positive

It’s the most wonderful (but also stressful) time of the year

‘Tis the season to create memories you’ll cherish forever. All the extra events on your social calendar can take a toll on your physical and financial well-being, however. Remember to monitor your stress and schedule time to take care of yourself. It’s okay to say no to activities if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Rockin’ around the ice skating rink

The holidays can make it difficult to squeeze in daily workouts, but you can elevate your options by embracing seasonal activities. Dancing to your favorite carols, ice skating and sledding can get you in the holiday spirit while you move your body.

Run home, Rudolph, and grab a scarf

Temperature drops and snow are just a part of the holidays in Nebraska, so don’t forget to add extra layers before heading outdoors. Warm, loose-fitting clothing and tightly woven, water-repellant outerwear will best protect you from the elements.

Santa, tell me. How do you balance holiday treats?

Festive sugar cookies, eggnog, traditional family recipes. The holidays place many sweet temptations in arm’s reach. You can and should enjoy them. After all, many special foods only come around once a year.

The key to finding balance is planning. If you know you’re going to indulge later in the day, start your morning with a healthy breakfast that includes whole grains, protein and fruit. While at events, back away from the food table and mingle to avoid unconscious nibbling.

For more articles like this one, visit Health and Wellness.