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How To Stay Healthy This Festive Season

04 Oct 2023

We’re all too familiar with it… you look forward to Christmas (for many of us it’s our favourite time of year), you’ve got a few days off to relax and have fun and what happens?  You get ill!

It’s a particularly busy time of year. We’re rushing about here, there and everywhere. We travel around and mix a lot (whether it’s for personal or work reasons). Add to this the many (enjoyable) festive things going on at schools and nurseries.

We’re trying to keep on top of it all. Exhausting! No wonder we get sick.

BUT there ARE a few things you can do to help yourself during this time so that you don’t miss out on the festivities:


  1. Keep stress levels down.

We all know that stress adversely affects the immune system.

Okay,  it’s easier said than done and you don’t want to stress yourself thinking you’re stressing too much -  but it IS important to keep a perspective.

What does it matter if things aren’t perfect? Your best memories are from happy and fun times you’ve shared with others, NOT of the tastiest roast potatoes or the best decorated tree!


  1. Keep your immune system healthy.

Eat as healthily as possible in the build up (well, it should be all year round!). There are certain foods that boost your immunity like blueberries, dark chocolate and broccoli.

Get as much sleep as possible but again, don’t fret if you’re short of a few hours sleep! Just do your best.

Drink plenty of water.

And see point one!


  1. Food Hygiene.

Particularly important if you’re cooking for lots!

Remember the  basics:

  • Wash hands before and after preparing food.
  • Make sure equipment and surfaces are clean.
  • Make sure food is cooked thoroughly.
  • Chilling – make sure food leftover is stored at the correct temperature.
  • Avoid cross-contamination (raw foods with cooked, etc) – one of the main causes of food poisoning at Christmas!


There’s plenty of advice online if you’re unsure.


  1. Avoid gastric issues

Of course most of us overdo it at this merry time, there are so many delicious treats around us but it does result in some unpleasant conditions!

Did you know the average Christmas Dinner contains around 3,000 calories?!!

Did you know people on average gain around 5lb over the holiday?

So some potted advice:

  • Start a busy day with a good breakfast like porridge. Porridge stabilises blood sugar levels and controls appetite later in the day.
  • Avoid heartburn/indigestion by controlling the amount you eat of crisps, cheese, fizzy drinks, fried foods, pastries and more, especially late in the evening.
  • Keep some antacids in, just in case!
  • Avoid too many crisps. They’re high in salt which can disrupt your sleep and make you feel bloated the next day.
  • Don’t forget to eat fruit and vegetables over the holiday! Easily overlooked but it’s important to keep those vitamins going in!
  • Watch your alcohol intake.


  1. Move!

Recent research has shown that walking for just TWO minutes after a big meal can reduce blood sugar levels.

Apart from burning excess calories and aiding digestion, exercise boosts mood, ‘blows the cobwebs away’ (as our parents would say), helps you sleep better and helps to combat stress. Outside is best but indoors will do. Just get moving, in whatever way!


  1. Avoid hangovers 
  • Eat a protein-rich meal before partying.
  • Start the evening with a glass of fizzy water. It fills you up and quenches your thirst which should slow you down!
  • Stick to 1 type of drink.
  • Try to have no more than ONE alcoholic drink an hour.
  • Drink water or juice in between drinks.


  1. Treat hangovers

Bad luck, you’ve got one.

Seeing as the main symptoms of having ‘overdone’ it are due to dehydration, try these:

  • Drink water or juice. You might not feel like it if you’re nauseous but regular sips will do.
  • Try a cup of ginger tea.
  • Add an electrolyte mix to your drink to balance your levels and combat nausea and tiredness.
  • Eat something. Your blood sugar will be low.

Toast, protein-rich eggs or a fruit smoothie if you can’t face solid food.  Bananas, kiwis and oranges are great as they contain potassium that you’re probably lacking.

  • Sleep (if you can, at this busy time)!


  1. Charity

Doing things for others is good for us! Recent research has shown we are hardwired for love and compassion. 

Christmas is a very difficult time for many people with loneliness being one of the biggest problems.

Helping and supporting others makes us happier and healthier.




So just a few suggestions to keep yourself fit, well and happy at Christmas time!

It’s important to strike a balance between enjoying the festivities and looking after yourself. Of course you can indulge but know your limitations, keep a perspective and keep as active as possible!


Meanwhile, if you do know of someone ill this Christmas or having a hard time, why not send them one of our festive hampers to brighten their day?  We have a range of hampers to suit all budgets and tastes.