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Friday, June 14, 2024

Have a Happy Holiday Season

By Dr. Veita Bland / December 22, 2023

Make holiday memories this season. Use this festive time to check in with family members.

During the holiday season, many people desire to be close to home and to the people who mean the most to them. The holidays come packed with emotions and expectations. There are so many expectations as to what the perfect holiday should be, however, is perfection really what you should be striving for?

The holidays often come with an emotional toll. Ask yourself, what does this period really mean to you?

How many people stop and ask, ‘Are you ready for the holidays? Is this a warning or a friendly greeting?

Pace yourself and if possible, share some of your preparations with other friends and family members. Do not let Mama do all the cooking! Take this time to pass down some of those wonderful recipes to the next generation of family cooks and bakers.

Another factor to weigh is to make sure the kids are shielded from strangers, even if they are relatives. Your children may not know all their extended family members and they may not want Cousin Joey, twice removed, hugging them. All this excitement with all these strange people may be too much for some children.

Another factor to remember is that different generations may have different interests. Do not be offended if the young adults in your family want to do something different.

Again, pace yourself. It is okay if you do not go to every event to which you are invited. Take the time to enjoy the people who mean the most to you.

Remember those less fortunate, who have no family or friends. Invite them to an event or take them a plate of food. This act of kindness could make their holiday a cheerful and meaningful experience. Studies have shown that your mental state of being is satisfied when you help others.

It may be a little late but be cognizant of older relatives and friends who may have health issues. It is still important that everyone attending a family gathering be up to date on their influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), pneumonia and COVID-19 vaccinations. If you have not gotten a COVID-19 booster, please be considerate and test yourself before socializing with your loved ones. If you test positive, skip the event.

All events and gathering sites should strive to have better airflow in rooms. Consider installing air filtering devices in primary areas of the home to keep the air as clean as possible. Consider wearing a mask to protect yourself. Masks should be fitted over the nose and go under the chin. Remember, cloth masks are inadequate because the weave of the material is not tight enough to filter out the virus rendering your protection useless. With an appropriate mask, the metal nose piece should go over the bridge of the nose, and it should be fitted to prevent leaks.

Take this time to see how family members are doing. Have conversations with older family and friends. Make sure your elderly relatives and friends are still capable of caring for themselves. Check their living environments and surroundings. Is there adequate heat? Is the house clean? Check rugs and other things to eliminate fall risks.

Enjoy yourself and remember not to overindulge in food or drink. The 10-15 pounds you may gain may be difficult to lose. Alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation. Getting smashed is not the way to have an enjoyable time and it is not good for your health.

The holidays should truly be enjoyed. The glow and memories of that joy may warm the heart for the next 365 days. Make memories and take care of one another. Happy holidays.

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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