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Resource Round-Up: Healthy Holidays

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

The holiday season is in full swing, bringing both joys (family, travel, gifts!) and challenges (family, airports, bills…). Social events and family gatherings can be simultaneously joyful and wearying—not to mention hard on our wallets and diets—and even those who opt out of the celebrations may experience stress or the “holiday blues.”

Fortunately, the following resources can help you manage your HIV health and well-being over the holidays and get the new year off to a great start.

  • ‘Tis the Season for Adherence: Holiday Tips for Living Well With HIV
    This slideshow by Matthew Rodriguez at TheBody.com provides “a few tips to remind you how to make your health the best present of the season.” Worried about sticking to your treatment regimen while traveling? Wondering whether it’s safe to toast the season with a drink or two and still take your pills? View the slideshow and find answers (and further resources) here.
  • Making the Most of the Holiday Season
    The American Psychological Association offers tried-and-true strategies for handling holiday stress, including being sure to carve out some time for yourself: “Sometimes self-care is the best thing you can do—others will benefit when you’re stress- free.” Read the full list here.
  • Stress, Depression, and the Holidays: Tips for Coping
    From the respected Mayo Clinic comes this series of tips to help you prevent or manage feelings of anxiety or depression during the holidays. A particularly good one for people who don’t find themselves surrounded by friends or family this season is #2: Reach out. “If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.” Get the rest of the Mayo Clinic’s holiday tips here.
  • Healthy Eating During the Holidays: Tips from a Duke Nutritionist
    Maintaining a healthy diet is a key part of HIV care, but does that mean abstaining from the rich, festive, and comforting foods that make holiday meals so special? Not necessarily, according to nutritionist Heidi Scarsella of Duke University: “If you plan ahead, there are many strategies that can help you strike a balance between following a healthy diet and being part of the fun and celebrations.” Her tips for healthy holiday eating can work for everyone, regardless of HIV status; click here to read them.
  • On the Road with HIV: A Guide for Positive Travelers
    If your holiday plans include traveling, this article from the BETA archive can help you set a course for a healthy trip. This reader-friendly piece covers adherence strategies, traveling with medications, and expert advice you can use wherever your holidays find you. Looking for even more travel tips for folks with HIV? Click here.

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