Spread Holiday Joy Not Germs

The holidays are here. This is a time for celebration. Getting together with family and friends, office parties, reunions, and many festivities. The holiday season brings many occasions to visit with people which often includes travel.

Center for Family Medicine Sherman Texas Spreading Good Cheer & Bad Germs This Holiday

Be of good cheer

More travel means more exposure to germs and a bigger possibility of getting sick. Although protection from all germs is impossible with a few tricks passing on bad bacteria and viruses can be minimized. Keep holiday time safe, healthy, and fun by bearing in mind the following considerations.

To touch or not to touch

The first thing to consider is contact. Washing hands is important and should be done frequently. Don’t worry about trying to stay completely germ-free all the time (this is a nearly impossible task) so instead just minimize contact. The transmission of germs can be significantly reduced by keeping hands away from the eyes, nose, and mouth; areas where germs can easily multiply.

Germs on a plane

When traveling by plane, remember that planes and airports are hotspots for germs. Wearing a face mask can help, particularly for people who have a compromised immune system. Using hand sanitizer and keeping air vents above the seat open can also reduce the risk of infection.

A single sneeze can travel up to 26 feet and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes!

Sometimes not sharing is caring

The holidays are about sharing but that doesn’t mean passing on sickness. People who are already feeling symptoms of a cold or flu should stay at home. With Skype, FaceTime and other social media, missing the holidays isn’t quite as tragic but better to stay home and heal than to spread the flu.

Give stress the boot

Avoid holiday stress by setting realistic goals and trying not to get anxious if things don’t work out exactly as planned. Accept family members for who they are to avoid conflict whenever possible. Maintain your healthy habits, exercise when you can and try not to over-indulge.

Use immunity superpowers

One of the best ways to avoid picking up unhealthy germs and getting sick during the holiday time season get an immune system boost. This can be done by maintaining a healthy diet, but also by adding supplements. Always consult a healthcare provider before adding new supplements, however many studies have found these herbs to be beneficial:


The coneflower or better known as echinacea is in the daisy family. This herb boosts the body’s defense against herbs and may help prevent colds.

Ginger root

The Japanese have known the healing properties of ginger for centuries. Ginger has antihistamine and decongestant properties; dual action against colds.


Ginger’s orange cousin, turmeric produces curcumin. There have been many reported successes of the combination of curcumin and ginger helping boost the immune system.

The best present is your presence

Be mindful this holiday season and present in the moment. Instead of re-gifting germs this holiday, practice smart hygiene and stay healthy. Don’t forget to prime the immune system, the body’s number one defense against germs. Most of all enjoy the festivities.