Physician Shares Seasonal Health Advice

Gratitude. It’s easy to overlook at any time but especially during the hectic holiday season when we may be distracted by material things as well as happenings in the world around us.

Think about ways to be present with your family and friends. Start new traditions that involve doing activities together, sharing, volunteering and giving. Agree to limit gifts to a few; they’ll seem all the more special and meaningful.

Help your children to make homemade gifts or bake for friends and family. Read together and play games! Put phones and tablets away and have a meal together without distractions. Make a family contribution of money or time to an organization important to you. Volunteering at a soup kitchen over the holidays can be extremely rewarding.

Here are a few reminders during the holiday season so we can all be grateful for the gift of good health:

  • Keep tinsel out of reach of pets and small children.
  • Make sure holiday greenery, especially trees, is well-watered.
  • Mistletoe, holly and poinsettia plants can be harmful if ingested by children and pets
  • Stick to bedtime routines to help everyone get the gift of a good night’s sleep.
  • Cook meats to the recommended temperature. A meat thermometer is essential and makes a great gift for friends and family.
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly to avoid spoiling and food poisoning.
  • Sharpen all knives; dull knives are the cause of many holiday emergency visits!
  • Include fresh vegetables, salads and other healthy food in all holiday meals.
  • Encourage everyone to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated.

You can find a CHA doctor near you by calling 617-665-1305 or visiting

About Cambridge Health Alliance

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health system committed to providing high-quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, visit

Submitted by Lisa Dobberteen, MD, Pediatrician at CHA Cambridge Family Health

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