5 Top Tips To Stay Healthy This Christmas In Cork
Looking After Our Mental Health at Christmas
Even at the most ‘normal’ of times, the holiday season brings a sacksful of unique demands from financial pressures to family strains. Christmas can be particularly challenging for those who are vulnerable or already facing pressures. In this article, we run through some simple things we can do to look after our mental health at Christmas.
During these unique times, it’s even more important to plan ahead to avoid feeling overwhelmed. A little advance planning can be crucial to help ourselves and others stay healthy and safe. We can’t choose when Christmas arrives, however we can decide to help ourselves get through it as seamlessly as possible.
5 Tips to Take Care of Mental Health at Christmas
Tip 1. Be realistic – we can make an effort to be realistic with ourselves, and honest with others, about what we expect from Christmas. It’s important that we don’t expect everything to be perfect. Should things not turn out quite how we expect, it can have an impact on our self esteem and our mental health at Christmas. Instead, we can simplify things by focusing on one or two aspects of the Christmas period that are most important to us.
Tip 2. Reflect – as New Year approaches, we can make an effort to be positive and forgiving about the things we think we could / should have achieved by now. Instead, we can try to reflect on all the good things that we’ve done, or achieved, during the preceding year.
Tip 3. Practice compassion – a simple step that we can take is to make a commitment to perform a daily act of kindness. Giving, by doing a simple act of kindness, can change any experience to a positive. Over Christmas, people can feel more isolated and more lonely than usual. A considerate gesture, such as spending time with someone or offering a listening ear to a friend, can make a real difference to both their and our own mood.
Tip 4. Seek help if you need it – despite our best efforts, we may feel low, stressed or sad over Christmas (particularly this year). If you’re struggling, remember that you can always talk to your GP who can talk to you about the various support options that are available.
Tips 5. Healthy habits – during holiday seasons like Christmas, it’s really easy to fall out of our normal routines. This can lead to our body clocks changing. As we all know, it’s also really easy to over-indulge in a whole variety of ways. As a result, we can end up feeling unmotivated, bloated and unwell. In contrast, we can make an effort to maintain healthy habits by:
- Sticking to a regular, healthy, sleep pattern.
- Making an effort to get regular outdoor exercise, whether that’s taking a walk in the local park or a cycle ride if the weather’s settled.
- Eating a varied and healthy diet.
- Controlling alcohol consumption.
Coping if You’ve Overindulged this Christmas
It’s fair to say that we’ve all overindulged at Christmas at some time or other. Of course, it’s a veritable tradition to indulge on Christmas day. However, if we’re not conscious of what we’re consuming, the entire festive period can turn into a whole stretch of overindulgence. With all the rich foods around, it’s not surprising that by the time New Year arrives most people are in serious need of a detox.
This Christmas, why not take a few simple steps to avoid that sluggish feeling of overindulgence this year? Here are 5 tips that can help:
Tip 1. Be selective about your alcoholic drinks – many of us choose to enjoy a few alcoholic drinks, that we might not drink at other times, over Christmas. Of course, enjoying a few festive drinks can be a joy. Then again, being a bit sensible about our choices can make a big difference to our health and happiness throughout the festive period and into New Year. It’s fine to open that bottle of rich cream liquor, but remember that you don’t have to drink the whole bottle. It can help to treat Christmas like any other day, when it comes to your drinking habits.
Tip 2. Eat sweets in moderation – chocolates and sweet treats are always some of the most common gifts that we give and receive every Christmas. While it can be tempting to dive in and gorge on festive sweets, we can do our stomachs (and our wallets) a favour by putting some away for another day. Whether we enjoy our stashed sweets at a later date, or re-gift them to others, moderating our rich food intake can make a big difference to how we feel through the festive period.
Tip 3. Maintain some exercise – it’s easy to fall out of our ordinary routines during Christmas. However, if we take a minute to plan ahead, it should be possible to fit at least some active exercise in. Even if it’s just half of our usual exercise time, maintaining some activities over Christmas can make all the difference to our energy levels and mood.
Tip 4. Drink plenty of water – many of us are guilty of not taking-in enough water at the best of times. Particularly over Christmas, it’s easy to neglect drinking the recommended water intake (6 – 8 daily glasses for an adult). If instead we make a conscious effort to trade some of those fizzy drinks or alcoholic drinks for a glass of water, we can avoid becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can have a serious negative impact on our health and wellbeing.
Tip 5. Contact your local Irwin’s pharmacy if you’re unwell – should your health be suffering in Cork, your local pharmacy are here to help. Our friendly team are always happy to advise about appropriate treatments to get you back on a healthy track. Whether supplying antacids for indigestion, or paracetamol for a headache, your local Cork pharmacists here at Irwin’s are ready to help.
Take Time Out for Yourself this Christmas
Amid all the festive and family activities, it can be easy to overlook our own health during the festive season. Above all, remember to allow yourself to take a breather over Christmas. If you’re feeling tired or drained at all, find yourself somewhere quiet to be still for a short while to relax and recover.
Contact your local Irwin’s Pharmacy in Mayfield, Togher or Shandon Street for healthcare advice in Cork
Our focus on customer service hasn’t changed since we opened our first pharmacy shop in Cork back in 1996. If you’re a local person who needs some expert healthcare advice, our pharmacy team are always ready and willing to help.
Call your local Irwin’s pharmacy on 021 430 4165 (Shandon St), 021 496 2777 (Togher) or 021 450 6633 (Mayfield).