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10 tips for staying healthy this Christmas

There’s never a good time to feel ill or run-down, but Christmas – when there’s so much to do and enjoy – is arguably one of the very worst. It’s no fun having to stay home with hot lemon drinks and tissues when you should be enjoying yourself, so how can you do your best to stay healthy? Here are our top ten tips.

 

Reduce stress

That might seem impossible as you try to get everything organised, as well as fitting in extra socialising. However, a little planning can go a long way. Don't do anything you don't have to - or want to. It's OK to say no. Help yourself by allowing extra time for shopping trips and journeys. Prepare your meals in advance and put them in the freezer, taking away the strain when you might have had a long day with little free time to cook. Enlist help from others whenever possible, so you don't get overburdened.

 

 

 

 

Protect yourself from germs

If you’re shopping or travelling you will be exposing yourself to other people’s germs. Carry antiseptic wipes with you so you can clean your hands after travelling on public transport and handling money. Use tissues if you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading germs to fellow travellers and family/friends. 

 

Get enough sleep

Christmas time can all too often mean late nights followed by early starts with parties and days off work, meaning you don’t get enough sleep. Plan to have some nights where you stay at home and where you can enjoy being cosy in the warm before having an early night.

 

Eat well

When we’re busy and our usual routine is disrupted it can be tempting to grab crisps and chocolate bars to keep going. However, try to make an effort to eat healthily – get your five daily portions of different types of fruit and veg, and don’t skip meals by prepping your meals, for the week on a Sunday.

 

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can make us feel fatigued and hungry – making us eat more! Aim to drink six to eight glasses as the recommended water intake is approx of 2 litres a day, even if you are sat down all day. If you’re out and about, make sure to carry a bottle of water.

 

Stay active

In the run-up to Christmas you’ll likely be rushing around getting everything organised, but you need to make sure you stay active when the rush and fuss is over. If you’re having a lazy day at home, stand up and stretch regularly, and try to get out for a walk, even if it’s only a short one as some exercise is better than none!

 

Stay warm

Being cold won’t cause you to catch a cold, but if you’re carrying the virus it gives it more of a chance to develop. Wrap up warm and, if you get caught out by the weather, get out of wet clothes and footwear as soon as you get home.

 

Indulge – but don’t overindulge

It would be miserable if we didn’t allow ourselves some treats at Christmas, but don’t have so many that you feel ill! Too much rich food or alcohol might be delicious at the time, but overindulgence comes at a price. Practise a little moderation to not over do it.

 

Take some time out for yourself

It’s all too easy to be so focused on making sure everyone else has a good time that we forget to look after ourselves – so take a little time out just for you. Go for a walk, take a long bath, curl up with a book; whatever helps you relax and unwind.

 

Wash your hands regularly

Handwashing is always important, but perhaps especially at Christmas. Not only is it one of your main defences against colds and flu, but it can also help protect against food poisoning. Chances are you’ll be doing a lot of cooking, and good hand hygiene helps prevent cross-contamination when you move from (for example) handling raw meat to preparing vegetables.

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/coldsandflu/Pages/Coldcomfort.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/water-drinks.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/coldsandflu/Pages/Preventionandcure.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/how-to-wash-your-hands-properly.aspx

 

UK/DIF/16/0018

Date of Prep: December 2016