Top Tips for a Healthy Silly Season
With 2022 coming to a close, the team at Padbury Pharmacy would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have had an amazing year of wonderful community support, and hope your year was filled with happiness and good health. As the holiday season draws closer, it is finally time to relax, catch up with friends and family, and celebrate together - which we all know means plenty of food and drink to be shared! Although it’s the time to kick back and relax, you should still keep your health in mind to ensure you can truly enjoy this special time of year. From healthy digestion to sun safety, here are our top tips for a safe and healthy silly season.
1. Prevent Indigestion
The holiday season is prime time for feasting with family and friends. With a true abundance of good food, you need to be careful you aren’t indulging too much. Overeating or eating too quickly can often lead to negative health effects such as indigestion, acid reflux and heavy bloating which can quickly ruin your Christmas lunch plans.
Here are a few small things you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing indigestion:
1. Be conscious of your portion sizes
With so many good options on the table, a spoonful of this and a spoonful of that can quickly lead to one big plate of food. We recommend taking a step back to consider the overall meal size or try using a smaller plate to limit serving too much food at once.
2. Consider what you’re drinking
Carbonated drinks (both soft drinks and alcoholic) can cause bloating of the stomach, which may lead to symptoms of acid reflux. Alcohol is also known to irritate the lining of the oesophagus and the gut so try pairing your meal with a lower-alcohol option.
3. Stop eating when you’re full
Despite the temptation, it is important to acknowledge when your body is telling you that you’ve had enough. Don’t fret about leaving food on your plate. If there’s a dish you are really sad to miss out on, ask to get a serve wrapped up to take home and enjoy later.
4. Eat slower
The excitement of the holiday season and having so many good food options to try means you may be eating faster than you realise. Food is enjoyed more when consumed slowly, so take your time, relax, and eat slower for a happier tummy.
2. Stay Hydrated
As the summer heat is now out in full force, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated throughout your day. The average adult woman needs roughly 8 cups (around 2L) of water a day, whilst adult men need about 10 cups (around 2.5L) of water a day. Our bodies get one-fifth of the water we need from food and the rest from drinking fluids so especially on those warm days it’s important to keep up your water intake.
3. Drink Responsibly
There is plenty to celebrate at this time of year, and with that, often comes plenty of drinking. Although it’s easy to get carried away, you shouldn’t be drinking more than 4 standard drinks a day and no more than 10 standard drinks a week.
What is a standard drink?
A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol. It is important to note that the type of alcohol makes no difference. 10 grams of alcohol is 10 grams of alcohol whether it is in beer, wine or spirits. It doesn’t matter whether it is mixed with soft drink, fruit juice, water or ice.
4. Prevent Sun Damage
Christmas time for Aussies often means plenty of time spent at the beach, or Christmas lunches spent outdoors. However, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world with each year almost 2000 Australians die from this disease that is almost entirely preventable. Fortunately, being sun smart is an effective way to reduce the risks of developing skin cancer.
It may be hard to associate a family lunch with the need to be sun smart but it should always be on your mind anytime you intend to leave the home during daylight hours. Here’s a quick refresher on sun safety so you can enjoy your family BBQ or Boxing Day beach trip with peace of mind.
1. Apply and re-apply SPF
Sunscreen needs to be applied 20 minutes before going outdoors. Use a generous amount of sunscreen - you need at least one tablespoon per limb, one for the front of the body, one for the back of the body and one for the head. Many Australians apply too little sunscreen and often forget to reapply. You should reapply after swimming, sweating or towel drying. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, especially if you’re spending time outdoors.
2. Limit Sun Exposure
Staying in the shade is the smart way to enjoy the summer weather while limiting the risk to your skin. If you’re setting up for a day at the beach, remember to bring a tent or umbrella to create a shaded area where you can sit. Don’t spend an extended period of time in the sun. For very fair-skinned people, UV (ultraviolet) radiation can be harmful after just 10 minutes. Particularly during peak UV times in the middle of the day, try to keep out of the sun as much as possible.
2. Cover Up
Wear sun-smart clothing to protect your skin from the sun's rays. This includes:
- Hats (ideally broad-brimmed for greater protection)
- Long-sleeved shirts or over shirts
- Collared shirts to protect the back of your neck
- Sun glasses to protect your eyes from UV rays
5. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Although the holiday season is seen as a time of joy, it can take a mental toll on a lot of people. This can sometimes come from the pressure of seeing friends and family, being overwhelmed with too many plans without leaving enough time to recharge, or feeling isolated and lonely. It can cause stress, anxiety and depression for a lot of people so during this time it’s important to be gentle, patient and kind. Here are some practical tips, you can use to possibly minimise these feelings.
- Acknowledge your feelings - It’s OK to take some time to cry and express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be joyful just because it's the holiday season.
- Reach out - If you feel lonely or sad, seek out community through your loved ones or those who care about you. Volunteering your time or doing something to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. For example, consider dropping off a meal and dessert at a friend's home during the holidays. This also goes both ways, remember to reach out to your friends who may be struggling at this time of year.
- Don’t abandon healthy habits - Be aware of letting the holidays become a free-for-all or interrupting the stability you have from an established routine. It is okay to set any boundaries you need for yourself.
- Seek professional help if need be - Despite your best efforts you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
The holiday season is a time to spread love and joy with those who matter to you, but that shouldn’t mean compromising our health. We hope with these quick tips you can be sure to truly relax, recharge, and celebrate this holiday season.
We again would like to wish our community at Padbury Pharmacy a happy holidays and a wonderful new year. We will be open with adjusted trading hours to support your health over this period. Pop in for a visit or give us a call on 9401 7101 if you need health support during this time.