Although treating yourself occasionally does not stop us staying healthy, Christmas can be an indulgent time of year, especially with sweet treats, extra calories and alcohol. It can be a difficult time of year for some people, perhaps for people who struggle with their weight. Have a read of our tips for ideas on how to stay healthy and enjoy Christmas.
Drinking more alcohol over the festive period increases your calorie intake, as well as putting extra strain on your health. It is important to drink in moderation and make sure you stay hydrated by drinking enough water. Alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks helps you stay hydrated and may also help prevent hangovers. You can use this guide from Drinkaware to find out how many calories and units of alcohol are in your favourite festive drinks and make healthy choices. Drinkaware also offers useful online resources to help you stay safe while drinking.
Avoid food poisoning
Making sure you are taking all steps to avoid food poisoning is especially important at Christmas. This includes avoiding cross-contamination and making sure to wash and dry your hands regularly. Even if you are busy, defrosting the turkey correctly and cooking it properly is also key to staying healthy at this time of year by avoiding food poisoning. NHS Choices has published useful tips on Christmas food safety. You can find out more about food poisoning here.
Are you watching your weight?
If you are trying to watch your weight over the festive period, you may be looking for low-calorie alternatives for your Christmas favourites. NHS Choices has published advice on how to cut 500 calories from a traditional Christmas meal, which may be useful. Snacks can be tempting at Christmas time, although there are lower-calorie options and swaps that you can make to reduce the amount of calories you are consuming if you’re trying to watch your weight.
Avoid Christmas injuries
If your home is full of people, it is especially easy for accidents to happen. Over 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for injuries over the festive period. These can include falls, cuts and burns. NHS Choices has published tips on avoiding injuries at home over Christmas, such as keeping children out of the kitchen, wiping up spills immediately to avoid falls and keeping mistletoe out of the reach of children.
Make time for yourself
Christmas can be a very stressful time, particularly with the influence of factors such as alcohol, lack of sleep and gift shopping. This can be overwhelming for some people. NHS Choices recommends finding some time for yourself, such as having a relaxing bath, and finding someone you trust to talk to or a third party, for example the Samaritans. For more tips on keeping the festive period stress-free, have a look at this article. If you are feeling lonely, it may help to speak to someone. Some organisations, such as Mind or the Samaritans offer befriending services and confidential telephone support.